A New Year is upon us. This is usually a time for reflecting on the direction we want our life to go in, what we want more of, less of, and overall how to achieve balance.
In today’s climate of economic and political instability more and more people are turning to spirituality to find an anchor. Some of us already committed to a spiritual path feel a growing desire to "come out of the closet" so to speak and integrate our spirituality into every aspect of our lives. This can be challenging when constantly bombarded with the message that if we just buy the latest [fill in the blanks] we’ll be so much happier. Even more so when that message has sneaked into the world of yoga, now a multi-billion dollars industry. But I feel there is a much greater, yet very subtle, obstacle on the path. And that’s ideas. Yes, ideas. Ideas thrown left and right about what spirituality is, what it looks like, should look like, must look like, all of which interfere with our own organic discovery process.
The (Illusory) Divide
In my 20 years in NYC, 18 of them as a yogini , I’ve often observed spiritually-inclined people (including myself) create a divide between what they consider “spiritual” and the rest. On the “spiritual ” side we usually find things such as:
Taking yoga classes
Meditating and chanting
Becoming a vegetarian, vegan, raw food eater...
Using natural remedies and receiving energy work
Taking self-development workshops of all kinds
Reading Tolle, Chopra, Dyer, Williamson...
Watching Forks Over Knives or other "conscious" documentaries.
Then there’s “the rest” :
Our “not-so-spiritual” romantic partner and sex life
Bills to pay
Visits to the doctor and secretly taking prescription drugs (oh my!)
Cleaning, shopping, partying, drinking, smoking, reading People magazine while getting a pedicure, watching TV with Ben and Jerry...
At first sight the “spiritual” and the “non-spiritual” lists don’t seem to have much of a common thread running through them. It is easy indeed to perceive some activities as more elevating, some as less. I think we all do at some point. Unfortunately this compartmentalization of our existence is an impediment in our quest for more wholeness, unity and harmony, all defining characteristics of Spirit. So how can we reconcile those seemingly incompatible two sides, the spiritual and the mundane, and feel as connected to Source running errands than during our seated meditations? I'll let you ponder that question for now, and maybe even allow your unique perspective on the matter to come through.
I will share my own perspective in my next post.