Welcome to part 5 of my balanced living series! In the previous four posts, I went over honoring our Earth aspect, Fire aspect, Water aspect, and our Air aspect. In this post, we’re going to go over our Spirit aspect. I feel this is the most ignored aspect, because it’s everywhere but easily overlooked.
In many places within our society, spirituality is equated with religion. For many people, particularly those abused, neglected and traumatized by major religions, spirituality can be a bad word because of this association. Spirituality is a journey. There is no path, except the one you forge, no dogma, no rules. There is only Sacred, or the Divine, whether this comes in the form of “The One God”, one god, many gods and goddesses, no gods, a sacred universe, Nature, the divine within, or something else entirely. Religion, particularly organized religion that holds rules and doctrines, and limitations.
That’s not to say rules or doctrines are necessarily bad, but given the nature of humanity to abuse power, I’d say that religion is a slippery slope that one must tread carefully or risk becoming a wound for others, rather than a path of healing as it should be. It is within our own personal power to use religion responsibly, and for some, not at all. Many folks are fine with sticking with their own spiritual path.
Our spirit aspect is exactly as it sounds- it is our spiritual well being. It is our connection to the Divine, to the Gods, to our higher Self, or to the Universe, depending on how you define it. Spirituality is the belief in something bigger than ourselves. Spirituality is important to the human psyche- it can help us to find purpose and meaning, it can help us to cope with feelings of stress, depression, and anxiety, as well as create feelings of hope and optimism. Even Psychology Today has articles on why spirituality is good for us that are scientifically based.
The simple act of gratitude has been documented to increase happiness, and decrease stress. Meditation has been shown over and over by researchers to be a huge boon to our minds and bodies, and most spiritual people can attest to how good it is for their souls. It can bring a feeling of peace, provide a foundation for stability, grounding us and centering us so we can see the world and our own problems clearly. It is easier to find a solution when your thoughts are organized, and not scattered.
When we feel as though we have a purpose in our life- whether it’s divine, or the simple belief that our lives are enriched by human connection, we’re motivated to work harder to see that goal attained. Studies have shown that older adults who are more spiritually inclined lead healthier, happier lives, and tend to live longer.
So what can we do to bring some balance into our spiritual aspect? This is going to depend on your own path and journey, but some things include:
Devotional acts (writing poems, singing songs, etc to the Gods, Universe, Higher self- yes, taking care of your physical body for the sake of honoring yourself is a devotional act!)
Go out and appreciate nature
Watch the stars
Attend a spiritual gathering with those of similar faith- I attend a gathering each year with other pagans, witches, wiccans and heathens. It’s a lot of fun and renewing in that I don’t feel as alone in the world.
Attend a retreat to one of your Gods/Goddesses/Spiritual belief- again, I attend another retreat each year to The Morrigan- it leaves me feeling better connected to her, as well as others who serve her and helps me to forge my path a little further.
Create a ritual
Seek a spiritual companion
Surround yourself with the elements, and rest
Share a meal with those you care about, savoring each bite, each word and each laugh.
Read more about spirituality, and spiritual practices
These are just a few things you can do to keep your spiritual aspect balanced. Some might resonate with you, others may not- the other reason that our spiritual aspect might be the hardest to balance is that what works for others, might not work for you. Because each of us has our own faith, beliefs and practice, and even how we view the world around us, including the gods, spirits and the nature of the universe.
For my own practice, I use meditation, prayer, journaling and a connection with nature. A part of that connection is going camping, hiking and watching the stars. I write something I’m grateful for every day. And I have a devotional practice to The Morrigan, as well as the ancestors that I do daily to honor and respect them. And while it all sounds static, it’s something that evolves often as I learn and grow. Sometimes, I go through very hard periods where my spiritual side feels very dull and I know I need to reexamine and find new inspiration. That’s all part of the process.
Stay tuned for the final part of this series- I’ll wrap it all up by talking about how we can incorporate it all to find balance, even on a small scale.
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