Close to 10 months ago, after selling almost all my stuff, I boarded a one-way flight to the mountains of India.
The intention was simple – with very little planning, just a carry-on and my developing trust in the Universe, I would head off into a new life/chapter of epic spiritualism by living amongst the greatest monks and yogis. I would then return home, with a flocking crowd of admirers, armed with knowledge that I would then share with ‘the people’ and save the world from obliteration.
*If you are holding yourself back from dying of laughter, there are no feelings to spare… you have full permission to let it out!
As embarrassing as it is to share with you that was the mindset I had, I can confirm that at the time it was very, very real for me. I remember walking beside someone I really cared about (Obviously I say that in retrospect) before departing and saying “I can’t wait to leave, the people of this city are broken “ without out any consideration that this same city I ridiculed, is a place she called home.
You can call it the ‘saviour’ effect or just plain out pretentiousness… or both. Back at that time spiritualism was a ‘badge’ for me… a ‘credential’ … a ‘license’ in which it magically bestowed right upon me that ‘I knew better’. I would be the example… set the standard… show the way… LOOK AT ME YOU MINIONS AND BOW DOWN TO MY SPIRITUAL WAYS!
M!@#&F*&@^ EGO! Damn it’s clever.
While I’ve always had an internal battle with the word spiritualism, which I believe has unfortunately come to be taken literally as the ‘top’ of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, I was never aware enough to acknowledge that I was just as much a part of the very problem in which I had with it.
Well today, I announce my unintentional participation.
And today, I also declare my shift in perception.
I’d be a flat out liar to say that I have no ego attached to this journey I’m on. I am excited to see where this journey takes me, in which others may not get to experience in this lifetime. However, I am choosing to go about it in a much more balanced and self-aware way.
With every step I take, I remind myself it’s just a step. And to compare this step with others is like trying to compare the branches of a tree. Each and every step we take is spiritual as much as it is physical. No different, no worst, just what it is – a step. It leads us to a better understanding of ourselves, whether intentionally taken for that purpose or not. Maybe today, maybe not today, or potentially someday, it could/might/will make sense.
I would not be here today were it not for my unconscious lifestyle just few years ago where I was always racing after the next new tech toy to validate my importance. Or my obsession with lying to avoid judgement. My bankrupt, selfish attitude. I was an a$$hole and I guess that’s what allows me to gain a sense of progress (although I’m sure some would argue I’m not in the clear just yet lol).
Aware and awake, unaware and asleep.
All just a bunch of words at the end of the day, with the only meaning being that which we give it.
I remember having coffee with someone recently in which they shared that someone told them there was a ‘right’ way to spiritualism. I tried to wrap my head around it, but couldn’t get over the questions – How do you know if going ‘that’ way or ‘this’ way isn’t necessarily part of going ‘your’ way? How can we ever know if changing any of the turns we made would get us further along? Couldn’t it be true that changing any of our choices could (hypothetically) also have held us back? What makes my journey any better than your journey if all I’m referencing it off of is an arbitrary reference point?
I guess what I’m trying to say in a long-winded ramble to you is – fuck trying to find the way to be spiritual.
Even if you tried, you can’t.
Just do you … find your way. And when you do, even if it’s just a glimpse, share it not for the intent of convincing others to follow, but rather for inspiring them to find their own.
Every choice, chance, turn and detour adds to the neutral experience, in which you add meaning, and in turn which gives you more conscious or unconscious awareness of who you are, should you ever decide that’s something you’re interested in investigating.
If you want to dance and call it meditation, get your zen on!
If you want to read and call it praying, Amen!
If you want to become attached to someone and call it worship, Hallelujah!
If you decide someone isn’t taking the same path as you, applaud their courage to find their own way.
If someone decides you’re on the wrong path, high5 their courage to be honest.
If you one day think you’re going the wrong way, humble yourself to find another.
No matter what you do or what you call it, ultimately it’s all just an experience… one in which will push you, challenge you, shape you and grow you… don’t judge it against some arbitrary reference line called ‘spiritualism’… design you own.
Here’s an idea… let’s call it ‘grounded spiritualism‘ and see where it takes us..
** Oh, in case you’re wondering what happened with the trip – I was back within 2 months, more lost then ever, living in my sisters basement, had removed pretty much my whole online presence, felt alone, scared and embarrassed, but did everything to maintain the facade that I was ‘OK’ and “I knew what I was doing”. I think I met with maybe 1 yogi, did 1 yoga class, and saw monks as a tourist to various temples. **