Can spirituality be beneficial to you?

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Can spirituality be beneficial to you?

Can spirituality be beneficial to you?
By Lee-Anne Flack

The word spirituality is thrown around so much lately, but who is it actually applicable to? Does it only concern crystal wearing, organic food eating, mantra chanting hippies? Or can it be beneficial to all?

I was confirmed in the Roman Catholic Church, but during my LLB studies I started exploring spirituality. I lived in Ashrams in India and South Africa. I read ancient texts such as the Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. I read new age books by authors such as Eckart Tolle, Doreen Virtue and Michael Beckwith. I also practiced yoga and meditation. My life has never been the same since.

Being spiritual doesn’t mean that you need to renounce the world and meditate in a forest for eternity. Spirituality plays a vital role in human beings living a balanced life. We are three part beings comprised of body, mind and soul. Each of these parts need to be sufficiently sustained in order for us to function effectively. Unfortunately, some of us focus excessively on one and neglect the others.

Just like the body, the mind and soul also need to be cleaned, fed and exercised appropriately.

1. The mind
The mind tends to become cluttered and overwhelmed when too many thoughts are constantly racing through it. The mind can be cleared and calmed through meditation. This can be done in many ways such as ceasing all thoughts or having a single point of focus such as your breath, a candle flame or chanting a mantra. The benefits of meditation are astounding. While studying for my degree, meditation kept me calm, collected and focused.

The mind needs to be fed and exercised correctly. The principle of “you are what you eat” is just as applicable to the mind…….. You become what you think about.
What are you feeding your mind? What internal dialogue are you having with yourself? Which books, TV shows and what music are you aligning with?
Are you telling yourself that you are fat, ugly and worthless? Or are you saying that you are beautiful, powerful and worthy?
Are you reading books, watching shows or listening to music which is saturated with hate, abuse, lust, greed, jealousy and anger?
Or are you nourishing your mind with things which educate, enlighten, challenge, uplift, motivate and inspire you?

2. The soul
The soul is the fundamental aspect of ourselves, therefore when it is neglected, we tend to feel disconnected, isolated and sometimes depressed. In essence, our souls are eternal, creative and pure love. Technically, they can never be contaminated and need cleaning. However, because we are in human bodies in the material world, we forget our true nature and can become fearful, frustrated, anxious, destructive and resentful.

The soul can be “cleaned” in various ways. These include, but are not limited to: meditation/prayer, clearing your chakras, practising forgiveness and letting go.

The soul can be fed by prayer/meditation and reading spiritual and inspiring material.

Exercising the soul entails allowing it to demonstrate who it is. The soul is pure unconditional love and wishes to express itself as such. That is why it feels better to give than receive. We can exercise our souls by contributing to a charity or doing volunteer work.

Lastly, we are creative beings therefore it’s important to express this aspect of ourselves. This can take the form of dancing, writing, cooking, planting a garden, arts, crafts, media, science etc.

By implementing these practices, I discovered that not only was spirituality beneficial, but that it was absolutely essential for me to lead a balanced, fulfilled, meaningful and happy life.

Lee-Anne Flack is A South African author.