Most people feel that to be spiritual means something extraordinary like climbing to the top of Mount Everest or that you need to be in a monastery praying all the time, or meditating at an ashram somewhere in India. All of these things can be good, but for most of us, we get up every morning and prepare to go to work or get the children ready for school. We have lives that need to be lived. We have responsibilities that need to be tended to.
I live in San Francisco and I have learned to create a spiritual practice is the daily living of life. What does being spiritual mean anyways? It means being present with the knowledge that there is a higher essence for every act or thought that I have. Even taking the garbage out has a spiritual purpose of releasing and letting go of all that does not serve me anymore. To have gratitude for the chicken whose bones are left that gave its life for me to live.
Each act we do in our lives, with Intention may become an opening to a spiritual life. An awareness of who we are in each moment. Wow! What an incredible life to do this. Now, will I do this perfectly throughout this whole day from the moment I get up to the moment I go to bed? I don’t think so, because I am human and being human means I don’t really do things perfectly. Human – Being! Being a human is a process of doing the best I can, and every day is a little different depending on how I feel that day.
When one starts the day with an Intention of spiritual awareness you can be creative and make that days’ intention about gratitude for example. It sounds easy but really, to have gratitude no matter what happens that day can be a very steep hill to hike up. I have learned huge lessons about myself and others with just this intention. When I walk to work, and remember I live in the city, there sometimes may be a crazy person who starts screaming and swearing at me as I walk by. I remember my intention of gratitude and wondered how can I have gratitude for this stranger who is swearing at me for no reason at all? I walk as fast as I can to get as far away as possible and I repeat this question to myself…..How can I have gratitude for this? I have nothing that came to me so I made stuff up to abide my spiritual intention.
I said to myself, I have gratitude for this crazy person screaming at me to remind me that I am not crazy! That I do have my sanity and I can go to work. I have gratitude that I am mentally healthy and can speak lovingly to myself and others. I have gratitude that my legs are strong and I can walk fast to no longer hear him anymore! This gratitude changed my attitude of being angry at him. I no longer carry this anger into my day and to the people I see at work. I began to have compassion for him knowing this person is in much pain to live a life this way. I asked a Prayer for his Spirit to find peace in his existence.
Intention is power, it is how we can choose our thinking and actions in our lives. You can use intention for many things but my desire is to bring a focus to spiritual intention and this will be different for each person. The one theme that will always and forever be true is that it will have a Loving Essence. All spiritual forms of worship all are about Love. A simple word, but to carry the essence of Love in everything we do everyday is a very big task. A true challenge to meet in every moment.
I invite you on a spiritual journey of learning how to love and live a spiritual life amidst the messiness of it all with Intention of Gratitude. Having a sense of humor always helps along the way!