To paraphrase what Joseph Campbell, the famous mythologist, once said, “We are not looking for the meaning of life as much as the experience of being alive.” And around December, when the flickering of candlelight and the sound of carols give us all a spiritual feeling – even though we may not be churchgoers – it is a good time to be in touch with your spirituality.
Spirituality is vital to living, but it should not be confused with religion. Spirituality, for me, is living your life with an open heart. Being accepting, kind, being open to ideas and thoughts and become the best of you.
Your spirit is what makes you who you are. It is not what you do. When we describe ourselves, we often list our job, our responsibilities, our successes or our failures as the determination of ourselves. But spirituality is the answer from the purest, deepest part of you to the questions: Who am i? What do I want out of life? What is my purpose? What are my talents?
Spirituality is not the role you play in life; it is not “I am a mother”; it is not “I am a company director”. It is who you really are and what you really stand for. These are your core values that guide you and set you on your path – they make you the person you are and allow you to take the decisions you make.
I guess your spirit is really your soul, and your soul is who you are behind the mask that everyone sees and knows. It is the real you. Spirituality guides your instinct. It’s when you know what to do, even though you don’t know why you know. Because your soul is made up of your insights, your past experiences and your memories. It’s why we learn from the past, live in the moment and hope for the future.
And how often do you forget to live in the moment? So often we let life pass us by, with our noses pressed to the grind of living and working; being concerned about what we didn’t do, or what we should have done.
Life is made up of many things beyond what you do, did or didn’t do, and these things feed the spirit of who you are. For me they are family, friends, laughter, food, sex, wine and travel! They are the things I do not because I have to, but because I want to and find joy in. And you have to search yourself to find them.
You have to pay attention to those moments – otherwise time flies by and, before you know it, you don’t know what makes you happy any more.