Long gone are the days of men in turbans sitting in lotus pose taking a vow of silence. Sure, these people exist and accomplish wonderful things, but there is a new generation of gurus cropping up for the modern woman.
Though shopping can sometimes be considered a heavenly experience, God and spirituality are not usually aspects of that. But, just like religion and society have evolved over centuries, so to has the relationship between materialism and spirituality. Now, owning a pair of Christian Louboutins and meditating daily is not only okay, but many female leaders in the wellness realm would argue it’s encouraged. Based on the principles of abundance, we can be living and celebrating lives filled with both material items and overwhelming happiness.
Religious vs. spiritual
At one point in time, saying someone was spiritual inherently meant they were also religious, but that notion has changed. As more and more people step away from conventional religion, they are adopting new practices that are still considered spiritual. These observances are less of kneeling in a church with palms pressed, but rather meditation and seeking the divine within oneself.
“Previously, I think we all tried to label spirituality because it seemed so close to religion,” says Filippa Svensson, holistic health coach at Raw Clarity. “But, in my opinion, religion separates by saying that one theory is correct over the other. In spirituality we are simply one.” Most religions will say that God is a higher power where you must use a clerical authority as a vessel or be in a place of worship to call upon that power. The idea behind being spiritual is that God is within us and has an open-door policy whenever you need to connect.
A new definition
If Oprah is hosting a whole program dedicated to the new definition of spirituality, then you know the tides are turning! On her Super Soul Sunday, the talk-show host has top thinkers, authors, filmmakers and spiritual leaders on to discuss what it means to be a spiritual person in 2014. From Gabrielle Bernstein and Meggan Watterson to Patricia Moreno and Marie Forleo, powerful women have put a new face on what being spiritual in the modern world means.
“Today the word ‘spirituality’ does not have one definition, but a variety of personal definitions,” says Svensson. “We have all had different encounters and experiences in this realm, but in the end, we are all on the path of returning to love, light, compassion, gratitude and forgiveness.”
Materialism and spiritualism
With this modern definition comes the question of whether being materialistic fits into a spiritual world. How can someone still like the finer things in life, but still live a sacred life?
“It is our birthright to be abundant,” says Kathleen Graham, motivational speaker and women’s empowerment expert at Vikaz.com. “Authenticity in itself is a spiritual practice, and if the finer things tickle your heart and light up your soul, own that.” In fact, Marie Forleo has made a whole business out of teaching women how to make money off of their passions and how wanting abundance doesn’t make you a shallow person. “If you want the recipe to create a life you love, you need two key ingredients: achievement and fulfillment,” Forleo says in one of her online video lessons. “Very often making money is part of the achievement puzzle. Fulfillment, however, is deeper and richer. You need both if you want to be happy. There’s nothing evil or dirty about [money].” In fact, if you see any of these young women who are the new gurus, they all have their hair and nails done, are dressed nicely and travel the world. They’re not ashamed of their wealth and celebrate it, while inspiring young women to achieve their personal goals.
How to be more spiritual
Whether you work in a tough-as-nails industry like law or business, there are always ways to incorporate spirituality into your life.
“It starts with practicing presence,” says Graham. “Begin by slowing down. Pause. Take in your environment. Allow your senses to be stimulated and become present to the myriad layers of life occurring in each moment.” There’s no major step any one needs to take in order to begin their spiritual path. At any moment in time you could be practicing your version of spirituality and begin to build upon in. “It’s a lot more simple than we make it,” said motivational speaker, life coach, and author Gabrielle Bernstein in an episode of Super Soul Sunday. “The first step is to be willing. The second you say, ‘I’m willing to see things differently; I’m willing to know more,’ what you need will be given to you.” Simply showing up to your life on a daily basis can have a dramatic impact on the course of your life for the better. Surrender to knowing what you don’t know while being open to everything the universe has to offer. You never know, your wildest dreams could come true!