In a 2017 study, the Pew Research Center released new findings
reporting that 54% of Americans consider themselves to be “religious,” whereas 75% of Americans consider themselves to be “spiritual.” This means that nearly a quarter of all Americans now identify as part of a rapidly growing faith group—if one can even call it that—known as the “spiritual but not religious,” or the “spiritual but not affiliated.” But what do we mean when we say someone is “spiritual but not religious
”? We can say that a spiritual person is someone who desires for the higher good of all people. Yet while the same might also be said of a religious person, what sets a spiritual person apart is that they neither subscribe to any social-cultural system of morality, behaviors, texts, sacred places or dogmas, nor do they participate in worship of any superhuman controlling power, be it singular or plural. For a spiritual person, all of this natural world is their sanctuary; the innermost truth of their being the higher power.
Spirituality involves connecting to the divine—whatever that might be for you—by turning inward toward the soul. Soulfulness is a deep feeling of emotion that goes with it, the ability to show up and be vulnerable
. In essence, soulfulness is what gives spirituality its passion and vigor. If spirituality is the instrument, then soulfulness is what makes it sing. The two go hand in hand. One relies on the other. Practicing spirituality without having soulfulness would be like playing a piano without any strings: You can still plunk out the notes, but in the end what is really the point? Soulfulness gives spirituality its purpose. Soulfulness makes you feel fully alive!
But what does it take to have spirituality? And what does it take to be soulful? Think of it less as a list of things to do and more as a collection of ways to be. Because soulfulness and spirituality naturally go hand in hand, we will discuss the two together. A spiritual, soulful person is one who is involved in community, is open to new experiences, curious about all of life’s mysteries and grateful for all of its answers. A spiritual, soulful person is someone who accepts all walks of life and rejects no one. (You will find this to be in stark contrast to the exclusivity of most religions.) They practice forgiveness in abundance. A spiritual, soulful person is able to celebrate the unique strengths and abilities that each person brings with them into the world without threat or envy. They may be prayerful, but more often mindful. They love hard, laugh often and remain fiercely protective of their inner voice. They work hard to protect their journey of self-guidance and they fight for the rights of others to do the same.
Is it any wonder then that an increasing margin of Americans choose to identify as spiritual?
When it comes to you, your own spirituality and soulfulness journey is just a culmination of all your past experiences, influences and habits. If you are only at the beginning of this journey, be prepared to give yourself a lot of grace. This is not a perfect practice and there is no one perfect way to be a spiritual person. Being a truly soulful, spiritual individual is something that you grow into, not something you become overnight. And some days will invariably be more difficult than others. Some days you will wonder if you are even spiritual at all, yet still other days you will recognize that the universe is indeed within you and that you’ve been given an excellent one-of-a-kind gift in the form of your personhood: You get to wake up and be you! Isn’t it wonderful that others get to experience the same?
Spirituality and soulfulness are both characteristics that I strive to embody in every aspect of Alpha Hearts’ mission and values
. That’s why I’ve built my life’s work around helping others find clarity and guidance during some of the most difficult times in their life. I am passionate about demonstrating to others what it looks like to show up, be vulnerable and honor one’s true self. It brings me no shortage of joy and gratitude to see a client grow, heal and shine. After all, that’s what Alpha Hearts is all about: Living boldly, loving fiercely, and tuning in to the radical, wonderful things your soul wants to tell you. Be spiritual. Be soulful. Live your fullest, truest, most legendary life.
Won’t you come and see what the universe has in store?
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