Spirituality is a philosophy and personalized system of principles and beliefs. It is universal, yet is customizable. The American Academy of Family Physicians states, “spirituality is the way you find meaning, hope, comfort and inner peace in your life. Many people find spirituality through religion. Some find it through music, art or a connection with nature. Others find it in their values and principles.”
Spirituality has evolved from all the ancient religions, cults and practices. It represents an interfaith appeal, with its emphasis on an individual’s spiritual growth. A difference does exist between spirituality and religion. Religion focuses on an organized set of written beliefs, stories, guidelines and rituals and is practiced by a group of people. Religion requires participation in a certain set of rules, for example, praying at specific times of the day, celebrating specific holidays or worshiping only the God of that religion.
The Foundation for Holistic Spirituality has defined spirituality as “the natural human connection with the wonder and energy of nature, cosmos and all existence, and the instinct to explore and understand its meaning.”
An integral part of spirituality is the idea that everyone can connect with and become one with the energy in the universe and all of its mysteries. This experience can happen to anyone, regardless of nationality or whether or not they are religious or an atheist. Gaining a sense of true spirituality can take place at any time in life. It deeply affects lives and allows for the development of an even stronger sense that one’s life matters and that it is worth living.
There is no set way to practice spirituality. It is a personal choice. Some people choose to congregate among themselves to share their common beliefs and to strive for a higher consciousness. New age style congregations might practice spiritual and/or physical healing. Others find their spiritual side by meditating, doing yoga, praying or just going outdoors and experiencing nature’s bounty. Others still, may awaken their spirituality through a self-help or life-empowerment program.
Many psychics and healers base their work on spirituality, which is particularly comforting to them and to the people they assist. Spirituality opens the door to the realization that psychic phenomenon and an afterlife exist. Take this further, and the door opens to the belief in after-death communication and that there is a spirit world comprised of spirit guides, animal guides, angels, archangels and departed souls. Even though not of the physical realm, we are all connected to that part of the universe.
Spirituality must be shared in a loving and comforting way. It does not seek to convert others to its way of thought. It is open to anyone who takes the time to discover it on his own terms and at his own pace. We all revolve with the universe — the universe does not revolve around us. Spirituality allows the freedom of belief about what your connection to the universe is.
Simply stated, spirituality teaches us that we are all one with each other. We are all connected together by a common thread, which is the universe.
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