What Defines Spirituality: 3 Key Principles
(Hint: Love!)

A rock cairn on a rocky shoreline in front of the glossy ocean at sunrise.

The word spirituality has become more and more popular these days, but what is spirituality and where do we start?

On my own journey to embrace spirituality, I first had to overcome the longstanding misconception I had of spirituality and religion. Spirituality is often equated with religion, however they are not one and the same. It is possible to be spiritual and not religious. This was an important learning point for me since the link had always held me back from exploring further. While I respect that religion is a powerful tool for many, I had decided that following a specific religion was not for me.  However, this narrow view had closed me off from understanding that life is made of something more than just the physical. This limiting notion of life left me feeling disconnected and uninspired. 

Thankfully, spirituality has a way of finding us when we finally choose to look at that nagging feeling deep inside and acknowledge that we are something more. For some the awakening is soft and gentle, while for others it comes when we are at a low and desperate for change. Whichever way it comes, it does so with love — and if you ask me, living a life characterized by love sounds pretty darn great, doesn’t it?

So what is spirituality all about anyways? Here are 3 key principles that help to define it:


1.  We are spiritual beings having a physical experience

We are so much more than this physical body. We are spiritual beings. The essence of who we are is a great energy, a life force that existed before this body and will exist after it – we are limitless, infinite beings. 

This spirit that animates me, animates you too; thus, we are all one. We are all connected by this great force. This energy goes by many names: Soul, Spirit, Source, God, All That Is, the Universe, Grace, the Divine, the Higher Self. Whatever we choose to call it, there is a part of us that is always shining bright. There is a magnificence inside us all. 

Recognizing that we are more than the physical and that we are all one, is often referred to as an “awakening.” Why awakening? We are leaving the dream of separation behind us to embrace the beauty that arises when we can see the same light shining in all of us, a light that exists in a constant state of love.

An example of ourselves as spirit is out-of-body experiences, some of which have occurred while individuals were considered dead or brain dead, suffering complete loss of brain function. These out-of-body experiences are an example of how we are more than just these physical bodies we inhabit – we are spirit and so much more. The silhouette of a young girl sitting on the edge of a cliff looking over the hazy skyline of Los Angeles.

(Photo by Christopher Sardegna)

2. Love is the language of Spirit

Our natural state of being is love. When we connect with the part of us that is spirit we discover an energy within called unconditional love — a love that simply exists without the need to be qualified or proven; love that can never run out or dim.  When we choose to live a spiritual life, our existence becomes defined by living a life that is constantly touching and spreading love. 

Sounds pretty incredible doesn’t it? 

Love is no longer limited to special relationships and doesn’t have to come from outside of who we are. Love becomes an innate part of our being shining on ourselves, others, and all things. Living as a spiritual being means learning to live from the heart center. 

The beauty of this is that it adds purpose to all we do. We no longer need accomplishments, physical possessions, or to prove our worthiness to receive love because love exists naturally at our core. We have always been worthy of love. 


3. This physical life is a learning ground

Infused with love and an understanding that we are more than the physical, this life becomes a learning zone for the soul. We get to explore how to live a life inspired by spirit; a life dedicated to shining our light and spreading love. 

So how do we do this? We embrace our whole selves. Who we are in this life is made up of 4 powerful tools: mind, body, spirit, and emotions. When we live for spirit, life becomes about how we can express this unconditional love through our mind, body and emotions. The more we allow ourselves to shine in all we do, the more we experience the joy, peace, and harmony that is available to us all in this life. 

It’s important to note that embracing and exploring our spirituality does not require seclusion (though for some that may be the chosen path). It means learning to shine in everything we do on our own unique journey. Life becomes about practicing the art of love. No matter our profession, no matter what we do in our play time, no matter how we choose to fill our days, we learn to let love be our guiding force. 

As we continue to learn and grow, we recognize that this love starts with ourselves. It means taking care of ourselves in a way that lets us shine. It means being willing to let go of the habits that bring us down and embracing those that make us feel like the amazing beings we are. Each day becomes a beautiful opportunity to expand when life is a home for love.


A Call to Action

Spirituality is a call to action to see and express the beauty within; to live with love and to embrace expansion daily. Spirituality helps us understand that we are already everything we have been searching for and that we are never alone. We are one in this beautiful journey called life.