It is my firm belief that spirituality is practical, hands-on, and rooted in everyday life.
That’s right! We are on Earth now, we are on physicality — not somewhere else. If we were to only ponder about the mysteries and do spiritual practices at all times we wouldn’t need to be here — we would be somewhere else, without matter.
We are here to live. Seems so obvious, right? Yet, we keep neglecting presence and joy.
This seems obvious to most of us in our everyday lives: too busy at work and living too serious lives, we seem to be anywhere but here now.
The truth is, no one is immune to this play of the ego. Many who devote themselves to spirituality keep having these same patterns — just in different, more subtle ways.
The ego is smart and great at its job.
When we think of escapism, there are some famous culprits: social media scrolling, using drugs, being a workaholic, busyness, constant planning and worrying, and oversleeping.
But the truth is, ANYTHING can be an escapism.
By escapism, I mean things we do to escape the discomfort of living. Escaping life and its responsibilities. Escaping our self-responsibility, and the healing work required to live joyfully.
We are here to live, and I understand this world can be difficult, that living comes with a series of painful experiences, and that we don’t like how many things work on this planet — as a consequence, we suffer. Surprise surprise, no one likes suffering.
The result of all of this is that sometimes we try to escape life.
Yes, we can use spirituality as escapism. We can stay alone all the time locked in a room meditating, reading about occultism, and keep repeating we are starseeds, because we do not want to deal with the world.
In this way, spirituality becomes a fantastic escapism, because it also looks like we are so deep and doing the work. Again, the ego is smart and is constantly looking for better cover-ups.
Our issues of not belonging require much healing and go deep into our roots of being.
The amazing thing about spiritual growth is that we can use everything in our everyday lives to support us in our expansion. It is not only about silent retreats, water fasting, and meditating in caves.
Our relationship issues are constantly teaching us about eternity for we can’t just leave things hanging there — or they will weigh on us. We are one.
Don’t get me wrong: spiritual practices that we perform in solitude have great value, and they certainly can catalyze our growth. I am all for meditation and practices. In fact, to work as a spiritual guide I have almost four hours of spiritual practices per day — and all my students have their daily practices (obviously, not such long ones).
But there is a difference between meditating and then leaving the room to be an active member of the world, living, creating, and enjoying it. This is to use spiritual practices as tools to become a better and more healed divine human, more authentic and purposeful.
The issue is when we use them as escapism.
The tricky thing is that the only thing that can show us if we are using spirituality as an escapism is ourselves: our intentions, our deepest feelings, and our struggles with our lives.
Are we contracting when facing adversity and looking for safety, or are we using our tools to walk forward?
Spirituality is not well-being — despite many making it look like it. Spirituality brings well-being through healing suffering and ignorance — dissolving our judgments and filters by which we interpret reality.
But that doesn’t make it a coping mechanism. It is a liberation mechanism.
If something in our life is not ok, but then we do our practices or do something for our well-being just to return to that same situation after, we are not dissolving, healing, and growing anything. We are using spirituality and well-being to make hell bearable.
Sometimes we need to do that till we figure out what we want to do instead. One step at a time. Yet, if we create a pattern of coping, we are walking in circles. That’s scaping.
Spiritual growth is not comfortable, because it asks us to take ownership of what has to be healed and outgrown. It brings joy that is authentic because it supports us to go through our problems.
Growth and expansion are not comfortable — otherwise, we wouldn’t have to go beyond our sweet comfort zone. That said, we are humans, and we all need to rest.
We live in a world full of issues and structures that do not support us. Our growth is reflected in our ability to see things for what they truly are, and from there be able to create better lives and systems — and not in coping with what is.
When we rest between periods of expansion, we are recharging for more. When we rest to cope, we just go back to what already was.
“Love of the truth puts you on the spot.” Naropa Institutute motto
I say this because I myself have done that a lot in my path: hiding in my house, and doing my practices, instead of fixing my relationship with life hands-on. Sure, maybe I needed that for a while to heal myself. Eventually, I realized I was running away and my work was to come back to the human world and be an active part of it to build a life that brought me joy.
If we withdraw from the world, the world stays the same.
It is our active participation in the world, as humans taking responsibility for creating better lives and living more in joy in connection with all, that changes the vibration of this place.
Withdrawing at first can be a temporary answer to big wounds, but eventually, we need to take that next step and come back.
Now, I never said this would be easy — we wouldn’t ever escape if it were.
It is easy to be peaceful when we are alone in a room in silence or with people who think just like us. No one needs spiritual practices for that. The real test of our inner peace is when we are in a noisy and distressed world. Can we keep our center, can we hold our Light, can we be our own anchor and illuminate the path for others?
To learn more about what spiritual growth is, get my free guide “What Is Spiritual Growth?”
WHAT IS SPIRITUAL GROWTH?
Explore the meaning of spiritual growth In practical terms, and its connection to soul fulfillment.
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