Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the spirit open.
– B.K.S Iyengar
In a way, the very idea of separating ourselves into components (body, mind, heart) and analysing them seems reductionist and even a little ridiculous. Talking about spirit in this way seems even more so, in the way that we would find a fish rhapsodising about the ocean more than a little odd. This has been pointed out to me, and I get it, totally. On the other hand, what else is there for a fish to talk about? Looking at life through the lens of spirit brings everything together, joins the dots, brings in meaning. It is the bringing of meaning to life – everything is spiritual – that keeps me in-spirit (inspired). Because without a spiritual dimension, then what is the point?
Connecting with spirit brings us into contact with our eternal wisdom, divine guidance and our higher self. Connecting with spirit is connecting to our true self. In many ways, it is the ultimate goal as a human to be an open and clear conduit for spirit here on Earth. That being said, it is challenging to live inspired (in-spirit), when the Earth is full of people who are disconnected from themselves on every level, existing on automatic pilot. It is no coincidence that there is so much cultural interest in zombies, because that is what a person becomes when they are separated from their true selves. The zombies are already here, sleep-walking among us, caught in a groundhog day existence. No wonder we need to fall under a bus, get a terrible disease or lose everything to wake up – what do you do with a person who pretends to be blind, deaf and dumb? How do you get through?
This is the paradox of Earth – we are swimming in a sea of spirit, searching desperately for our spirituality. We make up stories about it, we create rules and religions about it, we hate and kill people in the name of it, we destroy the very Earth we live on and all the time we completely miss the point. I am spirit. You are spirit. Everything is spirit. We need to stop looking, and start being what we already are.
A strong connection with spirit is not only possible but assured, if you have only the desire to do so. Your line to spirit has not been severed or interrupted. While you are still living, that connection is still alive. What can and does happen, however, is that it gets cloaked in feedback and static, confusing and distorting the messages. Your work is to purify your connection and reduce static and interference so that you can feel the connection and receive the love and guidance that is always pulsing down the line.
When your connection with spirit is open and clear, you are awake. You can spot the other people that are awake too – they shine like beacons. You move towards clarity, openness and joy – and at the same time you can no longer pretend that you do not see how you treat yourself, others and the planet. It is no longer acceptable for you to follow someone else’s path when your own path beckons you. The voice of your higher self speaks louder and clearer to you, and your intuition is something you trust with your very life. Once you taste the feeling of truly being alive in your own skin, with your open heart and your radiant spirit shining within, it’s impossible to go back!
Spirit work is the culmination of the effort that we put into loving and caring for all of the different parts of ourselves. An enhanced connection to spirit occurs naturally when we do our work, loving and accepting our body, disciplining our mind and opening our heart. As a natural consequence of this work, we step forwards into an in-spired life. It is for this reason that we must stay connected with all of the parts of ourselves, because the ultimate goal is to bring ourselves into wholeness, expressed through the vehicle of spirit. This is not airy fairy work. There is not something more important that we should be doing. There is not the work in the world and then our spiritual work. Everything is spiritual. Even the stuff you don’t like – especially the stuff you don’t like!
Below is a glimpse of my struggle, as a human, to keep a hold of spirit. My spirit is a bird, and it is easy for her to feel trapped, even when the bars are invisible. Especially when the bars are invisible.
Journal entry: 14th July.
I went for a walk to escape the caged confines of my life today. I walked along the familiar road as it wound slowly around and along the ridge, head down, hand in pockets. It was cold and still, with a wet blanket of cloud blocking out the afternoon sun. I decided to walk until I felt better, freer, until I liked myself and my life again. Hopefully I would be back before it was dark. Needing to go somewhere new, I headed up a path I had never been before, over a rusty gate and up a rough eucalypt-lined track. I was not on public land anymore, and that made me nervous out of habit, even though I know all my neighbours and none of them would mind me walking on their land. My only purpose was to go as far away from people as I could, somewhere I could feel my connection to spirit again. My dog was with me, bringing comfort and company. She wasn’t likely to ask me any questions, argue with me or insist on getting her own way. She would walk as far as I wanted to walk, keep pace with me, and be an extra set of ears and eyes too. The path split into two – one headed downwards, treed and curved, and the other upwards, towards a high ridge and open-topped gum trees. I climbed, my heart thudding in my ears, until I emerged at the top. I saw a grey wallaby watching us from the side of the path. Bodhi could smell her, but hadn’t yet seen her, so to distract her, I tossed my scarf over her eyes and tickled her ears, giving the wallaby a chance to bound away undisturbed. Up at the top there was a 270 degree view of the valley below. Finally I felt high enough and far away enough for the pull of humanity to lessen and the pull of spirit to strengthen. I sat for a while, looking and listening, until I came back to myself and the fear and loathing lessened. Walking home, I felt strong and buoyant. Just before I reached our driveway, a thought came to me: all you need do is receive the things that come, follow the things that call, and stay still when there is nothing coming or calling. Easy right?
And so it goes: we do what we must, with what we have. We don’t give up, and we don’t let ourselves be pulled under. Sometimes we have to heave ourselves up by our bootlaces, and kick our own butts. A spiritual life is not necessarily a pretty one, but it is a true one.