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Cheat Sheet

Spirituality For Dummies

Spirituality goes deep into the heart of every matter and extends far beyond the physical world of matter. Understanding what spiritual principles are (and aren't), can help to improve your life, empower your mind, and nourish your soul. Whether you’re looking for happiness, inner peace, or supreme enlightenment, no knowledge can propel you to achieve your personal goals and provide as effective a plan for living as does spiritual knowledge.

Spirituality: The Basic Idea

Spirituality is the one accomplishment that blesses every aspect of your life and remains with you even after your time on earth is done. Spirituality brings you in touch with the great eternal nature of life. It invigorates and inspires your soul to reach for the highest and to do what is right instead of what may be easy or comfortable. Spirituality is like a stream of wisdom that flows through your very own being and guides you on your path.

Some ways spirituality can manifest include

  • Being conscious of the subtle power of grace that pulsates behind the physical appearance of your life

  • Experiencing a higher universal love and respect for all, instead of only feeling connected with certain people

  • Remembering that there is infinitely more to you and everything else than can be known by your mind and senses

  • Surfing the waves of life with a lighthearted view that nurtures a positive sense of humor

  • Staying aware of the divine nature of life as you move through events and experiences with faith, optimism, and an unfettered heart

  • Coming into your true inheritance and divine birthright as a human being

  • Developing a mature approach that allows you to appreciate simplicity and peacefulness

  • Achieving an ability to see the spiritual even in the ordinary

  • Making your relationship with the divine more important than your relationships with this world

  • Coming into your true inheritance and divine birthright as a valuable human being

Dispelling Several Myths about Spirituality

The quest for spiritualization is as valid and important now as ever, however, at times the spiritual path can be confusing. Here are some clarifications about what spirituality is not that may help you to understand what spirituality is:

  • Spirituality is not the same as religion. Religion is the shell, while spirituality is the kernel within that shell. Religion is the map; spirituality is the territory.

  • Being spiritual doesn't mean becoming something you weren't before. Although the light of spirituality may soften some of your personality's rough edges, your individuality is an important part of how spirit expresses in this world through and as you.

  • Spirituality isn't just for a chosen few. The universe doesn't run with a class curve. Everyone can get an A in this class! In fact, everyone who gets an A helps more people get an A. One spiritually aware person can awaken many others, without even trying — through their positive efforts and expressions, and through the vibration of higher consciousness they contribute to the world.

  • Spirituality is not about using metaphysical techniques to bend the universe to fulfill your material desires. Spirituality is about bringing yourself in harmony with the greater good of this universe so that blessings can unfold around you naturally without your having to grab them.

  • Spirituality is not beholden to one or the other doctrine. Nor is it possible to fully express spirituality in any doctrine. Spirituality is alive in and personal to each soul.

  • Spirituality is not about being outwardly smart or well-versed in theological debates. In fact, spirituality is one place where being simple, humble, and open is the first step! Spirituality is a shift to the wisdom of the heart.

  • You don't have to do anything in particular to be spiritual. Spirituality doesn't require a list of specific actions. In fact, anything can be a spiritual practice, depending on your attitude. Spirituality inspires you to act with skill, freedom, gratitude, and a sense of service.

  • You don't have to go anywhere to be spiritual. Of course, certain spiritual places can bring positive energy and inspiration to you — which is one reason spiritual seekers often take pilgrimages to holy places. Nevertheless, the ultimate goal of spirituality is to become a beacon of positive energy and inspiration unto yourself and the world. True spirituality comes with you wherever you go.

  • You don't have to wait to be spiritual. Spirituality is a shift of awareness that can happen in a moment. Although external efforts can help trigger the inner shift, you can become spiritually aware right where you are — right here and right now.

What Spirituality Can Do for You

Knowledge of your true spiritual nature can transform your entire world because the world you know is inherently limited by your ability to know it. The journey of spirituality gives you new eyes through which to see. You still see the same world as before, but it is nothing like before:

  • Within every joy and behind every sorrow, you begin to perceive the same underlying exhilaration of being alive.

  • Your uncomfortable feeling of being separate from the world begins to dissolve into a subtle sense of oneness with all things.

  • You take greater responsibility for the circumstances of your life as you realize that everything around you is a reflection of your inner being.

  • Even when you're totally alone, you know that you're never really alone.

  • When you're aggravated by an outer circumstance, you can sense that it is only a reflection of some deep lesson your soul is struggling to learn.

  • As the ups and downs of life come like waves to your shore, you ride them with acceptance and detachment, knowing that your true home is in the ocean's great depths — in the peaceful calm beneath the ever-changing waves of worldly life.

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