I have been thinking a lot about spirituality this past weekend. It came after listening to Gina DeVee coach a client on Friday night – an Australian woman expressing how she wanted to incorporate spirituality into her coaching business but was afraid of being judged by her friends, family and society at large. She believed it wasn’t mainstream enough. ‘Well,’ Gina said with typical pizzaz, ‘this is your coming out party then.’ ‘What is mainstream about wellness but not about spirituality?’ Gina asked. What exactly? Sure there is Oprah and her Super Soul Sunday, but is that even on TV in Australia? In America it feels a lot more acceptable to be talking about God – obligatory even if you look at their presidents and hip hop stars (I thank God, yo). In Australia and many other nations, you may wear a cross around your neck or a rose quartz stone in your bra, but conversation about God or the universe doesn’t go on much outside of religious circles and crystal shops. For years I carried out SSB (Secret Spiritual Business). That is…until this blog! And through writing about it, I have seen that many people are actually open to this conversation.
But it has been a risk. I have risked being seen as a ‘dick’ or too loopy and woo-woo (as they say amongst the modern spiritual folk). I have overridden embarrassment and bared my private parts. I have shown you my intestines at times. And I’ve really gotten a lot out of it. As I was thinking about what being spiritual actually meant to me, it felt like stumbling towards solid objects in the dark. It was too large for my brain to comprehend on a Sunday morning at 8am and I don’t think it is even important for this topic. Though I do relate to this Wikipedia definition of Modern Spirituality.
Modern Spirituality is a blend of humanistic psychology with mystical and esoteric traditions and eastern religions aimed at personal well-being and personal development.
(In case you were wondering) What is more interesting perhaps is how the internet has been the vehicle for exposing parts of myself that were previously hidden. I mean, I’m not saying thousands of people read this blog (or even hundreds… and hey, feel free to spread the love), but really important people do – like work colleagues, aunts and uncles, cousins and friends of friends. Normally, how well do we know each other in real life? Even my parents and best friends didn’t know me as well as now. And even though having a blog is quite one-sided, we are talking more of spirit and higher consciousness in person – we are saying we relate at least – and so this vulnerable part of ourselves becomes more integrated into our public life. Gina says that when we hide a part of ourself, the outside world will mirror this and so we feel judged because we judge ourselves. You get it?
Just a year ago I felt embarrassed to have to explain to people who Gabrielle Bernstein was and why I’d gone to see her for a May Cause Miracles workshop in London. I squirmed when a friend wanted to come along and wondered what she’d make of it. I did these things alone. It was kind of like being in a secret cult. Then I took a risk and forwarded an email about the Art of Love relationship series to my best friends. The only response I got was from one of my dearest telling me not to send her that ‘shit’ at work! Coming out can be uncomfortable to say the least. We risk shame and then we realise we can live through it. The internet is the perfect place to find people who won’t judge us though. Online there is a distance and we can say what we want. We meet people who come to know the parts of ourselves not incorporated in real life (ps. do chat rooms still exist?). We do what humans do, forming communities and sharing information and beliefs. Wow, it really sounds like utopia, doesn’t it?
There are also plenty of teachers on the net that make us feel like talking about spirit is normal. This ‘new world’ becomes our media and sooner or later it becomes mainstream too. So we expose ourselves a little more as we sit in our homes (our private places where we can take off the uniform and unleash our authentic self). We type to a non-judgemental screen, which will sit still and not change the topic. Then we send our words, our songs, our pictures, paintings and poems into the abyss. We dangle from the edge of our pride and then fling ourselves off it.
That’s the risk. And I am grateful I took it.