The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
By Renee Collett
Ever since I was young, I’ve felt incredibly curious about my spirituality. But, like others, I was misled by the term “spirituality.” Being spiritual is often misinterpreted as being religious, being connected to God, being an avid member of the church, synagogue, mosque, etc. And as a young girl who was not affiliated with any particular church, I assumed that getting in touch with my spiritual side was impossible for me to do.
I ignored the unexplainable sensations in my body that activated my spiritual side. It wasn’t until I did some extensive research that I learned the true meaning of spirituality. It’s so much more than being religious. In fact, it’s different for everyone which makes it all the more special. For me personally, it’s getting in touch with some higher power, reading my horoscope and astrological analyses, connecting with nature and Earth and drawing Tarot cards when I need to be enlightened or some extra guidance.
I’ve made it my 2018 goal to embrace my spiritual side daily. Although it’s only two months into the new year, I already feel the difference. I’m so much more aware of my surroundings and the energy of myself and others.
I feel like I can literally feel the vibes emitted by others, and I myself have practiced sending positive vibes to those around me. I read my horoscope on a daily basis to see how my stars align. When I’m feeling down, I draw a Tarot card after asking my higher power a question pertaining to my current situation. And it’s always relevant. I wear my rose quartz and cross necklace every day, and I swear it makes a difference. When I’m feeling anxious or sad, I stand barefooted outside on either the grass or pavement and imagine myself growing into the Earth, becoming one with world, like a tree. And when I do this, I feel completely removed from the intensity of any life problem. Sure, skeptics may scoff at my practices. But that’s just another thing that spirituality has taught me; spirituality is such a deeply personal thing and, if it makes me happy, it’s not worth explaining myself or convincing others to join.
Being mindful is key to connecting with your spiritual side. And its not easy. At least it’s not for me. I’m a naturally anxious person and have struggled with anxiety for most of my teenage years and early adulthood. I tend to let my thoughts dictate my actions. The spiraling of negative thoughts puts a huge damper on my self-esteem and body image.
Practicing mindfulness is incredibly difficult for someone who is constantly “in their head,” so to speak. Connecting to my spiritual side encourages me to be mindful, which means acknowledging the negative thoughts, then letting them go. And although I still struggle with being mindful, its definitely helped me to be more in tune with my body. I take deep breaths and imagine the negative energy and thoughts literally escaping my body with each exhale. Incredibly enough, visualizing the action actually works.
Another aspect of embracing my spiritual side that people don’t often relate to being spiritual is the connection of mind, body, soul and music. Music has always done something to me. It has always seemed to move me in ways that it didn’t move my friends. Certain songs make me feel elated and so overly emotional that I’ll actually cry because of the intensity of my feelings. I just thought that I was sensitive or overdramatic! But it wasn’t until recently that I realized how music is a major part of my spirituality.
And I’m not talking about chanting music or songs in Sanskrit (although this is totally amazing, too). For me, I can forge those connections with the music of Kanye West, Lorde, Frank Ocean, and other popular artists all over the top charts. Although Kanye’s “Only One” is simply a tune for some people, it’s so much more for me. What’s that feeling in the pit of my stomach or the chills on my arms that I get when I hear the song? That’s me connecting to my spiritual side too.
Something that I want to reiterate is the how personal spirituality is for everyone. You don’t need to prove your spirituality to anyone as long as it speaks your truth. I often feel embarrassed for admitting my spiritual practices.
But that’s what my 2018 resolution is all about: It’s for being unapologetically moved by Kanye. It’s for drawing Tarot cards when I’m looking for the answer to a seemingly unsolvable question. It’s for practicing yoga outside in winter with no mat in order to root my feet into the Earth and to be one with nature. It’s for squeezing my rose quartz and cross necklace every morning to activate the positive energy needed to start my day. It’s for praying to God whenever I feel called to do so. Most importantly, though, it’s for me and nobody else — and really that’s the most amazing gift that embracing my spiritual side has given me.