Spirituality is Not a Hierarchy

  More and more of us pursue things such as meditation, yoga, and other spiritual health practices. The trend for the expansion of the mind and body is in full swing.  It is one of the best fads I have seen hit the U.S. I’d put it right up there with big hair, glitter, color blocking, and leg warmers. Pain and suffering no longer have to be facts of life and we have begun to explore our way out. We are  going out into the world to conquer ourselves.

But then I hear statements such as the following: …  “I can meditate for five hours, how long can you do it for?”or “I have mastered the pose where you stand upside down on the tip of the pinky finger!…oh…you mean you can’t even do a shoulder stand yet?” or “You went on a hike without Tivas? How’d you ever manage?” People are turning it into a competition, which is the exact opposite of what these practices preach. Be careful where your thoughts and words lead you the next time you get together with your friends to talk about your time sitting in lotus. We have to learn to let go of what others think. We need to stop trying to prove something to ourselves or others. Realize your process is your own, no better or worse than anyone elses.

 We have designer yoga clothes now! Yippee! A new added pressure to look good on the mat! How cool can you look as you do your downward dog, really? Even if I love every single thing that lululemon decides to stock, which I do, I have to let go because I really can’t justify $250 stretchy pants. Spirituality is about the enjoyment of life, not how you look doing it. I’d still love the pants, but that isn’t what it is about. What we get out of the meditation, the yoga, and the nature walks is what matters. The boxes we are checking off on our “look what I can do and for how long” list does not. None of these practices, although wonderful and highly recomended,  are primary or a guarantee for enlightenment. However, non-judgement of yourself and others is essential to get to your true path.

Advice: Remember it is who I am that matters, not what I do or have.

Note: This entry was inspired by the headline statement “Spirituality is not a hierarchy” which was made by the wonderful and amazing Lillian Bridges.


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