What’s your Spiritual MO?

For people who may not know me, I’m as much of a spiritual “woo woo” person as I am a left-brained, logical entrepreneur and business person. And as a communicator by heart and trade, I’m always fascinated with how people connect with their own idea of spirituality. How do they nurture it, seek it, grow it — decide their own individual path? What role does it play, if any?

The topic of spirituality connects and polarizes because it’s such an important part of how people define themselves — whether you believe in it or think it’s a bunch of fairy tales (I’m friends with quite a few atheists). It’s one of the key concepts that’s supposed to make us “human”, and separates us from all the other “things.”
And clearly, it’s one of the concepts that creates considerable friction between us all.

The Spiritual Piggy Bank

During a recent meditation this random idea popped into my head — what if people viewed spirituality like a 401K or a cash only transaction? Here’s what I mean:

A spiritual 401K is something you contribute to regularly through daily or weekly practice, moment by moment. It’s a simple, normal part of your every day life. Some days you can contribute more than others and it’s a habit. The types of contributions are endless — yoga, meditation, self-reflection, doing heart-felt things for others, forgiveness (of others and self), community service, pampering yourself, spending time with family, petting an animal — the list goes on because of the rich, diverse things people consider their unique spiritual replenishment.

Other days you need to make a withdrawl in order to pump your personal reserves back up. The fee for early withdrawl seems steep when you first need to dip in, and you wonder if you can really take the hit. Even scarier, you aren’t sure you can replace it any time soon, and have no idea how you will ever be able to. In reality, this overwhelming feeling is simply the awareness of what is lacking, and that feeling is what helps you realize where you need to go next. It tags that desire to connect with your inner knowing, to discover what the next step is to evolve to a whole new level of insight and awareness, while leaving behind the scraps of what no longer works for you. Prepared or not, you are very aware of what is fulfilling or missing.

Cash and Carry Only, Baby

On the other hand, the cash and carry method of spirituality is still helpful, but perhaps a bit less fulfilling in the long-term. You panic, try to get in touch with new spiritual practices or insights to alleviate any number of uncomfortable feelings, and then feel temporarily better. Perhaps you learn something to take along to the next step in your journey but aren’t necessarily developing a practice that enables you show up in that mindset regularly. It’s why you sometimes feel on the wrong end of a rubber band, scrambling to find a way to get things in balance for your mind, body and spirit, without ever really feeling grounded. You’re biggest effort is focused on just trying to avoid getting snapped in the face.

Is one approach better than the other? Nope. It’s just a way to look at how you are creating your personal spiritual space — whether that’s through the “woo woo”, outdoor activities, spending time with family, community service, working with the land and animals —  whatever makes your heart full and open. I think the real question is how long do you want to be a pinball? Or does it feel better to create a spiritual 401K that reminds you of all the good you do and can come back to it as needed?

I know what my answer is…what’s yours?

Photo by Road Fun