What does it mean for you to live a “spiritual” life?
Personally, I feel that there are many common misconceptions about the reality of spirituality. It’s such a beautiful word with a meaning so tainted by the likes of religious dogma as well as the recent upsurge in the new age movement – which comprises the likes of the law of attraction, manifestation, forced positive thinking (even when you feel like crap), pendulums, psychics, channeling, and various other inauthentic methods which really amount to nothing more than confusing hokus pokus to prevent you from living from the truth of who you are.
Living a spiritual life, at least from my perspective is really simple. For me, it means exploring the truth of who I am by questioning any cultural beliefs or childhood pain that may be holding me back from being my absolute best. It also means diving head first into the shadowy parts of my being in order to release any blocks so that I can reveal the more authentic person that’s patiently waiting right below the surface. It means honoring the essence of who I truly am – that same essence that connects every single one of us – the love, compassion, joy, courage, empathy, and deep drive towards purpose, meaning and service in life. And it also means accepting that I have both light and dark within me, however I also have the gift of free will to choose which one I feed.
Remembering that my spirit – my essence – is the true me, that’s when I feel the most connected to myself, to my purpose, to my intuitive guidance, to my body, and to the choices that I make that are congruent with the compassion at my core. It’s also when I feel the most connected to others. All others. It’s when a beautiful sunset moves me to tears, or hugging a pig, chicken (if they stay still long enough) or cow makes my heart feel like it will explode with love. It’s when I feel like I could swim, ride or hike forever. It’s when I laugh my guts out when my partner and I break into fits of crazy dance moves as we boogie our way around the living room. It’s when the present moment feels exactly as its meant to – as the only moment that matters.
We all know the feeling of being present, deeply connected, and that beautiful feeling when time stands still. This is when we’re connected to our spirits. This, at least for me, is a spiritual existence. It’s really simple. It’s not about some judgmental god sitting on a cloud condemning people to hell for their sins. It’s also not some dude channeling some unknown entity with a questionable level of consciousness that supposedly knows all. Here’s the reality – we’re the only one with the wisdom that knows all – at least as far as our own lives are concerned. And when we remember this – and when we totally trust in this – this is when life becomes really simple and really rich.
The key to maintaining this deep connection to your true self is a daily practice. And just so you understand what I’m talking about, I’ll share with you my daily practice as an example. It’s really quite simple.
For me, a nightly candlelight meditation followed by a mental gratitude prayer listing everything about the day that I’m deeply thankful for is what stills my mind and sends me into a peaceful sleep every evening. Meditation has also helped me immensely with my mental focus and productivity. I also move my body daily – in a good hard sweaty way that really gets my prana flowing. And lastly, I spend solid time in nature with my canine companions every single day. These are all non-negotiables in my life. Along with eating from love (aka vegan), this is my daily spiritual practice. So you see, a spiritual existence is quite simple. It’s really all about the exploration and honoring of your true self. And when we honor our true selves, we show up in the world ready for action with love in our hearts.
A few weeks back, I released a podcast interview about living intuitively with Dominique Hurley. At the end of the podcast, she asked if I’d be interested in interviewing a friend of hers – someone who’d experienced immense trauma and pain in her life and was able to maintain a powerful life force despite it all. Of course I said yes! I’m always intrigued by people who are able to live consciously and lovingly in a world just that wants to squeeze that out of us.
So I contacted today’s Unplug podcast guest, Leslie Bridger, and was in for a really interesting interview. She spoke openly and authentically about so many things including the premature deaths of her two brothers, a 4-year cycle of childhood sexual abuse, coming out as a lesbian at a time when it wasn’t nearly as accepted as it is today, and she also spoke candidly about a life altering bicycle accident that almost took her life. Many people would unconsciously choose to live their lives as victims to their circumstances but Leslie is a woman who’s handled it all with love and grace.
Today we speak about so many interesting topics including:
• The union of ego and essence to live a meaningful life.
• The importance of focusing on what is right in your life rather than what is wrong. Hint: gratitude.
• The power of choice.
• The importance of telling your truth and being who you are (despite what others tell you).
• The power of nature to heal our souls.
• The importance of living a grounded life connected to the magnificence of your body.
• Stop taking yourself so seriously and lighten up!
• We go into great depth about how important it is to feel it all.
• And experience a powerful guided meditation that will connect you to…you!
We speak about how simple life truly is when we remember who we really are. Basically we speak today about the spiritual being that we all need to remember in order to live a loving, purposeful, compassionate, and awesome life.
Leslie has much deep wisdom to share that has come out of moving through so much life trauma without allowing herself to become victimized by it.
So open your heart and mind and allow Leslie Bridger to help you love…YOU.
THIS WEEK’S INSPIRED QUESTION:
How do you nurture your essence?
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