Why spirituality is important to mindfulness and mental health.


What does spirituality mean to you?

A couple of years ago, I started an anonymous spirituality blog because I wanted (and still do) explore what was out in the metaphysical world and find like-minded people while keeping the blog relatively separate from the rest of my online life.

I was raised Catholic but according to an aunt, I’ve been questioning the existence of God since I was eight.

I have questions!

After all of these years later, I still am discovering my belief systems which continue to be pretty fluid (hence the aforementioned spirituality blog). I don’t believe there is a singular god (unless I’m dying, then I become Catholic) but I’m open to a pantheon of gods or a mother earth goddesses. Pagan? Druid? Greek? Norse? Roman? Indigenous? Doesn’t matter. I find it more rational to believe we come from and the world is shaped by a variety of somethings rather than just a lonely peerless god. (But if push comes to shove, science always wins out.)

But let’s get some clarification. Spirituality, to me, is when you believe in something such as soul or the metaphysical world which contains many while religious means you are affiliated with a particular sect and typically a monotheistic god. Put another way, spirituality is utterly fluid while religion is stocked with rules and restrictions yet both have rituals. The definitions themselves tend to overlap but they are not hard and fast rules so your milage may vary.

So for me, spirituality is the acceptance there is something greater than me, I don’t know who or what it is, but I’m in the process of learning and discovering it. I believe this is going to be a life long process.

I wanted spirituality to be incorporated into Effing Mindful because whether you are spiritual or religious, it all comes down to not only your sense of self but of community and ritual as well as a sense of belonging and lastly, of being grounded in your being which is literally the number one positive effect of living a mindful life. Living with a mental illness is hard and finding people who know what you are going through is difficult but there is some comfort in knowing there is a support system not only in the communities we choose that help define us but also communities that mesh with our belief systems. Even atheists create communities of belonging; I know several who attend Unitarian Universalist churches so you can completely abstain from believing anything otherworldly and still get the benefits of community and ritual.

Rituals is another aspect of spiritual life and if you follow DBT, rituals such as daily meditation or self-soothing techniques play a huge factor in calming the brain. There is so much here to explore, it’s almost overwhelming.

Some of what I may discuss may seem a bit woo, like tarot cards, but I like to believe anything is possible. I hope you’ll join me.*

*The spirituality blog is now defunct but I’m keeping it up for posterity.

4 thoughts on “spirituality

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