Embracing Spirituality With or Without Religion


Human beings are innately spiritual. Most of us believe in some way or another that we have a soul and a purpose greater than ourselves. It’s human nature to ask questions about our existence and our relationship to the awe-inspiring universe we live in.You can certainly identify with your spirituality through the lens of religion, but that’s not the only way. 

Being spiritual, on a very basic level, means believing in something meaningful that’s unseen.Our spirituality is just as much a part of us as our physical bodies. Spirituality is the attempt to connect with and understand the universe and our place in it, and become better people in the process. 

Anyone, regardless of their beliefs, can share a spiritual experience by observing how they feel in the beauty of nature, witnessing the strength of a community, being moved by music, or participating in acts of kindness. Anything that causes you to feel connected and inspired is spiritual. It can happen every day in small ways, or every now and then in the form of something amazing. 

You don’t need to be completely sure about the ultimate truth of the universe or convinced by one belief system. That isn’t a requirement for being spiritual; in fact, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to nurture spirituality by being open to possibility. If one particular religion really speaks to you, that’s equally as legitimate.

Different people will connect with their personal spirituality in different ways. It’s important to be respectful of this fact, and realize that others are just as convinced of their spiritual reality as you are of yours. Listening to viewpoints that challenge or contrast our own actually helps us cultivate deeper understanding and become more compassionate. 

You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.” 

-Swami Vivekananda

Just as there are many ways to be spiritual, there are a lot of different methods of nurturing and developing spirituality. Some people might find interaction with like-minded people to be helpful. When possible, it’s great to have a mentor or group with whom you can gather to practice your beliefs. Other people may prefer solitude for reflection, reading, journaling, and other rituals. A good balance of both is wonderful.Prayers, mantras, and quotes that resonate with you can be powerful daily tools. You could make up your own, or discover something relevant by reading. 

It’s possible for you to access your spirituality by not doing anything at all, but turning inward instead. Meditation and deep breathing practices can help calm your thoughts, still your mind, and release tension caused by the external world. This practice is a way to connect with your inner self in a meaningful way. Often, it is in this state of peace that people feel most connected to the universe as a whole. 

What’s right for you might be a lifelong commitment, or change along with you as you learn and grow. Start your journey of embracing and deepening your spirituality by choosing one practice or exercise to work into your daily routine. With our resources at Take2Minutes, you can text “Ground Me” to receive a free exercise that will help bring your focus to the present moment.