I was recently asked whether or not I was a religious person. ‘No’, I replied and hesitated, ‘… I prefer to focus on spirituality rather than religion’.
I then started to think what I really meant by that and found it difficult to explain without sounding disrespectful.
What does being Spiritual and not Religious mean?
The model of formal, religious practice is one which I have found previously helpful and one which is an important part of countless people’s lives. However, as I no longer have a need to attend a church, temple, mosque or synagogue, nor do I partake in any form of organised worship, I definitely could not describe myself as religious.
But what do I actually mean by spirituality? Like many, my personal definition of spirituality has developed and changed in line with how I have developed and changed with my life’s experience. The ‘boxes of belief, expectation or conformity’ (Bloom, p9) which come with formal religions are now not for me. They do not express my authentic self.
As healers, we view ourselves as beings of spirit, manifesting a physical body, but by saying that I focus on spirituality rather than religion, I mean more than that.
Behaviours at the Heart of Spirituality
William Bloom describes three key behaviours which he believes are at the heart of spirituality and which are found in all traditions and approaches:
Connection – when ‘you connect with the wonder and energy of life’.
Reflection – reflecting on your life and actions and how to change and improve.
Service – when ‘you act so as to do good for others’.
For my personal spirituality, I would order these three key aspects as follows:
Firstly, I find that as a healer I now prefer my more immediate relationship with Source. So for me, the connection aspect of spirituality is vital and foremost. The wonder of feeling the connection to an unconditionally loving and peaceful Source, without an intermediary, feels like my safe and welcoming home.
Secondly, comes Service. When connected with Source, there is a sense that we are all connected; therefore, wanting to be of service to others is a feeling which arises naturally. When we understand that we are all in essence connected and of the Love of Source, then kindness (love in action) becomes the physical manifestation.
Thirdly, the act of reflection is one which expands our possibilities of creation and is one from which I would certainly benefit by practicing more, by giving myself the time for this aspect of my spirituality!
What is your individual spirituality? What does it feel like?
William Bloom. The Power of Modern Spirituality – How to live a life of compassion and personal fulfilment. Hachette Digital, Little, Brown Book Group, London. 2011.