• Kathryn Austin

Spiritual Presence

What is spirituality? Most people would agree that we as humans consist of Mind, Body, and Spirit. This is the spirit I am interested in exploring here, and this spirit is where I believe we connect to something bigger than yourself. This connection can be with anything bigger than ourselves: Nature, God, Community, Art, Breath, Family, Consciousness, Love, The Universe. What we connect to is less important than the relationship cultivated when we see ourselves as a part of some larger entity. All of a sudden we feel ourselves playing a part in something we believe in, that we can positively contribute to and enjoy ourselves. The lack of this relationship is evident in our Fear driven culture of Production and Consumption. Negative Ego thrives in isolation, when we feel separate from the world/people/higher purpose our ego will come in to “save” us from that pain and creates a narrative of our superior worth or inferior worth (they are more alike than different, they both leave us feeling isolated). We then lose touch with individual power and agency and drown in apathy = "who am I to change the terrible things happenings in the world?" OR "I have been hurt by the world/people so it's someone else's responsibility to fix it". Ask yourself truthfully, as a human what you feel connected to on a larger scale - regardless of what you identify for yourself the end result is the same = “I am a part of something bigger than myself, ie I am not alone” .

In order to move spirituality from a cognitive construct to a practice we must bring this idea into the Here and Now. We spend much of our time ruminating in past experiences (depression) of worrying about future possibilities (anxiety) - robbing ourselves of being in the only place we have any agency in our lives - the Present Moment. It is only in the present moment that we are able to notice the current state of our mind, heart, and body - which offers the most valuable information about our overall well-being. It is in the present moment where we can also forge a nourishing relationship with our spirituality - the thing we feel connected to that’s bigger than us. Presence therefore allows us to check in and reestablishing our connection with our spirituality. When we do this, every moment of presence reminds us that we’re not alone.

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