Presently when I talk about spirituality, I am not just referring to the religious. I feel that you can express your spirituality in may other ways and I have people around me who do so. I was baptised and raised Catholic and while I do believe there is a God, I don’t agree with everything the Church preaches. I have been questioning and challenging since I was a teenager, much to the detriment of my father’s strict, dominating ways.
As I have gotten older, I realise that spirituality does not only come in the form of religion. I know people who are spiritual in the sense that they find it relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things, or religion. They may practice meditation, alternative healing methodology eg Reiki or channeling/ using chi (natural energy of the universe) or a combination of these. I have become more open to different practices and also incorporate a few in my life along with religion. I think they compliment each other in ways where I feel one is lacking or satisifes a different part of my spirituality.
I feel that even if you do believe in God or a higher being, then the best thing is to find a way that it compliments your life and incorporate it in a way that works for you. As I have gotten older and become more exposed to different belief systems and open my mind to different possibilities, it seems that a combination of religious beliefs and other beliefs makes up my spirituality now. I have read a book each on Ghandi and His holiness the Dalai Lama and felt that they both resonated with me in different ways but felt more compelled by the teachings of the Dalai Lama. I have also read the book, ‘The Prophet’ by Khalil Gibran – the back cover of the book describes the book saying “Gibran’s Prophet speaks of many things central to daily life: love, marriage, death, beauty, passion, eating, work and play. The spiritual message he imparts, of finding divinity through love, blends eastern mysticism, religious faith and philosophy with simple advice.” This book was given to me by my Aunty who I feel is one of the spiritual people I refer to. I feel these different perspectives help to open my mind, become more accepting of other ways of thinking and helps me grow as a person.
I believe that compassion, empathy, tolerance and acceptance transcends religion – it becomes more just a part of your make-up, defining who your are or what you are becoming. I feel as you get older, you become more aware of things that might not have been as apparent to you when you were younger eg not attaching yourself to material things, that life is a journey of growth, change and acceptance, that you want to live your life as much as possible without regret, cherish small things and your elders – some of these you may also have been aware of when you were younger but they may have strengthened. I feel change in any form (positive and negative) during your life will affect your view of life. And even though I know people who say to me that they hate change, I think life is all about change – change is the only constant in life! Things change as we grow, we change (physically, emotionally and mentally), people and things around us change – there is no escape from change. I actually embrace change and am grateful for it because I feel things would be pretty boring if they stayed the same!
My career is based on change, the acceptance of change and adapting to the new – new systems, processes, products, skills and business transformation are the topics I tend to educate people about. I feel that my spirituality is my own ‘change’ journey, one I have been on for some time now without realising. Many things in my life have changed and at times the change has been challenging but there was always something to learn. I feel that not all change is adverse – just think about a caterpillar – when they change, they go from a crawling bug (larvae) to a beautiful butterfly with wings that can fly! Each time one is flying near, my daughter and I always stop to admire it’s beauty. I feel that if you think of change as giving you wings to fly then it makes it much easier to embrace it! Don’t you think?