For some people, the word ‘spiritual’ may sound a bit old- fashioned. Spirituality is a subject like no other; it has no real beginning or end, and is an ongoing learning process that can only ever be defined by ‘you’. Spirituality has always been uniquely different from one person to the next. Buddhist monks, for example, often retreat to remote locations for years on end in order to meditate on the meaning of life. For the modern goddess, a meditation is often fitted in between a deadline and a shopping date with friends. Here, author Stephanie Brookes shares tips from her book How to Be a Spiritual Goddess, on how you can add elements of modern-day spirituality in to your busy life.
The 50:50 Equation
Your spiritual or mystical side (whichever term works for you is fine; or indeed choose a word that’s a better fit for you) can be as little or as much a part of your life as you so choose. It’s all about finding the part of your spiritual side that is uniquely right for you. You might, for example, want to understand more about guardian angels or how to see your aura. It’s what I like to call the spiritual ‘pick-and-mix’. We pick and mix with every aspect of our lives, so why not our spirituality too? For example, we pick and mix with fashion all the time, every day in fact. We may team a fabulous vintage skirt with a high street jacket, and a bracelet you’ve worn since . . . forever. It’s what creates the vibrancy and variety of life. How dull would it be if we all chose our outfits, shoes and accessories from the same store? Not only would we look like a walking brand but it would also suggest a rather unadventurous attitude to life.
Mixing it up is always the most fun. My secret pick-and-mix is a love of make-up and spirituality all blended into one. I bet you’ve never heard that sentence before. If I’m in a particularly ‘girly’ mood I find there is nothing more soothing for the soul than trying out a brand new look. I am always aware that colour plays a major role in our lives, as it has a transformative effect on our entire well-being. It also has the power to bring out the different facets of our personality. Incorporating spirituality is not about hanging wind chimes outside of every door or struggling into the lotus position for a meditation. It’s simply mixing it up with your current likes or interests and seeing what happens. Whoever thought a lipstick or a jacket had the power to change how we feel about ourselves, but it can. Not only on an aesthetic level but a spiritual level too.
Spiritual Goddess tip: Modern goddess – The fabulous ‘you’: a woman who is not afraid to explore and question the spiritual aspect of her life.
The Higher Self and the Lower Self
The spiritual and material aspects of who we are are often termed the Higher Self and the Lower Self. Our spiritual self is connected to our higher purpose, and the Lower Self, or ‘material’, relates to the life we are living right at this very moment.
Understanding how our Higher Self and Lower Self work are the pivotal first steps to understanding our material and spiritual life. I like to call it the material–spiritual equation.
Our material life is the life you and I are living right at this very moment. As you read this book you may be curled up on your sofa with your favourite hot drink and a few chocolates, or you may be on the bus or train on the way to work or to see a friend. This is the material world in which we live, day in, day out, 365 days a year. An average day in the material world might go something like this: wake up, shower, out the door, head to work or study, and then return home later that evening. Of course our day-to-day schedule changes, but we can all safely say we are familiar with the general framework of daily life, or the material life, you might say.
The spiritual life is the other half of life’s great equation. This ‘other part’, often described as the ‘mysterious and mystical presence’ of our universe, is commonly viewed as a more alternative lifestyle, and not really a part of everyday mainstream culture. The material world, by comparison, is generally accepted as the way in which we live our lives, and yet the spiritual actually plays a much bigger role in our general well-being than we could ever imagine.
The spiritual is not as easy to define as the material; for example, our spiritual self is a complete mystery because we don’t often see it. It isn’t a tangible reality. We see a face staring back at us every morning when we look in the mirror, but we can’t see what is behind or even around our exterior. It may even unnerve us to know that we each have a guardian angel by our side, but more on that later.
Also, the spiritual aspect to our lives has no boundaries, and the possibilities are vast. When you open your mind to the idea that you can live the life you truly want to live, you are tapping into your innate spirituality. Maybe you occasionally feel limited by the material world, and think that the life you have now is the way it will always be. By considering the idea that your life journey holds much more for you than just the daily schedule, you are already opening up to the idea of your true potential. The trick with the material–spiritual equation is all about balance. Once you are near to 50:50 of both the material and the spiritual, life becomes richer and more fulfilling than you ever thought possible.
Stephanie Brookes is a leading young writer on modern spirituality. Her fresh, pragmatic and youthful approach appeals to a wide audience, leading to appearances on BBC Radio 2 and ITV’s This Morning, and interviews in the Daily Express, Company and many more. Her work as the ‘Destiny’ writer for Bliss online, introduces all things cosmic for the 21st century girl.