The first two blog posts were both about
Spirituality – a word that perhaps conjures up images of Monks, Mystics and an Ascetic way of Living. Almost all of us today have come across numerous aspects of the New Age movement including transformational workshops, Yoga, meditation, breathing techniques and visiting Ashrams to find that elusive inner peace and happiness.
Yes, wonderful for all those people who may have the time to devote to inner search and the meaning of life, you may say, but perhaps its not something you consider adding or adapting your current lifestyle to for many reasons – time, practicality or simply the current circumstances of your own life.
Well, this article demonstrates how you can perhaps transform a simple, mundane task that you perform on a regular basis, into a more meaningful and enhanced experience.
Whereas we may regard or expect spiritual experiences to be of the profound, near-ecstatic, potentially out-of-body kind, I suggest that ANY experience that brings an individual greater Joy, or an enhanced sense of well-being, or even a generally ‘feel good’ sensation could perhaps be regarded as a spiritual experience.
Consider this – any experience that makes you feel good in your body, that brings about a sense of heightened awareness, (as long it does not bring about any harm to the individual or to those around, and as long as it is done with integrity and with good intention) could be considered a spiritual experience.
After all, it is now often heard that we are perhaps Spiritual Beings having a Human Experience – a little too far out? Well, let me give you an example.
Take Driving, for instance. Those of us that do drive, are all aware of the general ‘un-state’ of the roads, and the traffic, and the inconsiderate drivers etc. Most of us brace ourselves for a traffic jam at some point in time during the day, and most of us even end up getting stuck in an inadvertent traffic jam at a most unexpected hour. So how could driving in this city, possibly be turned into a so called spiritual experience that brings about joy and all those other lovely emotions?
Well, here’s a scenario – you brace yourself for a two hour wait on
You have two choices. You can work yourself up into a silent, seething rage, with shallow breathing and all or……take a deep breath. Just that - take a deep breath, then another one, and another. As you calm down, you realize that you sink back into your seat (this pretty much happens naturally). As you sink back into your seat, something amazing happens – you suddenly start to care a lot less about the traffic! A part of you resignedly accepts the situation as it is. So you sit back, and perhaps start tapping your fingers lightly on the steering wheel, and as you do so, you start looking around.
You notice the street vendors, the people on bicycles precariously trying to weave their way through traffic, and the numerous others trudging home on foot. Perhaps you now appreciate the fact that you have a car to drive home in. You also now suddenly start seeing the insanity of the other drivers who, just like you two minutes ago, are still trying to cram themselves in through the one foot gap between two cars! As the insanity becomes apparent, you immediately give way to someone in front of you.
Now, because of your new state of calmness, you realize that you’re here for the next 20 minutes or so at the least. So you do a really crazy weird thing. Forgetting about how unsafe it is to roll down your window because of crime etc, you actually allow yourself to do so for a breath of fresh (or fume filled) air. As you do so, one of the street vendors comes up to you, but now you’re feeling calm, and so you don’t regard him as a potential deviant. Instead you strike up a friendly conversation with him. Because you’re in good spirits, you manage to convince him that you don’t want to buy your tenth pack of peanuts for the day, and the most surprising thing happens - he smiles back at you – and tells you to have a great day! You say something similar to him and the traffic starts to move, and suddenly you’re moving forward, but now you’re feeling really great!
As you move forward in traffic, the feeling carries forward with you. Now, all you have done is shifted your perspective on the situation. But you’re left with a net result of generally pleasant feel good sensations. You probably will end up getting home feeling better than you did then when you left work.
So, you have now felt, in order of appearance – calm, accepting, observing, grateful, considerate, free of fear, patient, smiled at a stranger, and optimistic. I don’t know about you, but I call that Spiritual.
Have a little patience today – and show a little consideration. It’ll go a long way.