4 Practices to Find the Spiritual in Everyday Life
In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, author Brené Brown defines spirituality as the following: “Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion.”
Whether you grew up attending church each Sunday, spending your Friday evenings at Shabbat dinner, savoring your weekends hiking through the woods, or bowing toward Mecca five times a day, this definition of spirituality lends itself to the understanding that anything can be sacred. That everything is sacred. And that you are divine beyond comprehension. “You are God in drag,” as poet Hafiz reminds us.
This is the basis of Tantric philosophy, which has an integral influence on modern yoga practices and healing modalities. Tantric philosophy, as described by Anusara School of Hatha Yoga, teaches us that “Everything in this world is an embodiment of Supreme Consciousness, which at its essence pulsates with awareness and the highest bliss. This philosophy is put into practice by always looking for the intrinsic goodness of every situation before responding appropriately to what is happening in the present moment.”
Although the sacred can indeed be found in all things, don’t be fooled into believing you need to buy a special potion, get that one tattoo, or give away all your pretty things. That divinity? It’s within you and it’s enough.
Sometimes India and Bali and other Eastern regions are romanticized for their seemingly seamless and intricate inclusion of spirituality into the everyday lives of citizens. In the West, we read inspiring books like Eat, Pray, Love and scroll through Instagram feeds of travel bloggers’ trips to the motherland of yoga. We learn about the ancient myths and grow enchanted with the mysticism and magic of ceremonies. We think “If only we meditate on Ganesha and burn incense and chant to Kali and cook with funky herbs, the world will make sense!” We yearn for what these eastern folks have that we’ve lost; something we crave, like meaning and community in the face of hardship and insanity.
And we forget the histories of colonialism, imperialism, and capitalism that have contributed to the way things are. We forget the human rights abuses and environmental destruction rampant in these same areas and around the globe. We forget that while there’s little harm that comes from borrowing a bit of inspiration from our global neighbors, we must beware of cultural appropriation and the seduction of a promised panacea for our ills. Let’s remember that it’s possible to integrate spirituality into our daily lives and find meaning in simple tasks without commodifying and cheapening someone else’s life experience.