Spirituality is a concept easily dismissed by those who have a very practical and scientific mind, or those who aren’t particularly religious. However, it’s important to let go of any stigma attached to the word ‘spirituality’, as there is no reason that even the most practical and scientific minds can’t explore their own spirituality in their life and work, without it having to mean that they let go of any core beliefs. In its simplest form, spirituality can mean adopting more profound experiences in your life.
What Does it Mean to Be Spiritual?
Being more spiritual can mean you are taking steps to be more connected to everything around you. It can mean many different things to different people. Being spiritual to you may mean that you want a further connection to a spiritual realm specifically or may simply be focusing on more positive energies or practices that help you to feel more grounded. There is no right or wrong when it comes to spirituality, but adopting positive practices can help to boost your well-being, your life, and your career if you feel a greater purpose and satisfaction for everything you choose to do in your life.
Being more spiritual can mean taking active efforts to change your life and career in an improved way, such as studying or choosing careers that are rewarding, like nurse practitioner programs or working with those in need.
You may wish to practice your spirituality alone on a personal level, share the experience with those close to you, or maybe even on a greater scale, such as joining spiritual community groups. Even if sharing the experience with others, spirituality is ultimately what you choose to make it on a personal level, and have it as your own spiritual journey — in whatever way you decide you want that to be.
Spirituality and Religion: What’s the Difference?
You don’t have to be religious to be spiritual, but the two can often go hand in hand. The main difference between religion and spirituality is that religion is a set of beliefs and practices which you choose to follow, and this usually occurs as part of an established group who follow the same religion. Spirituality is a much more personal experience, which doesn’t require you to follow set teachings or practices; it can be your own focus and practice along your own journey for finding more peace and being connected in many ways to the world around you.
Therefore, being spiritual doesn’t mean that you are religious, and you can practice being more spiritual without having to practice any set religion.
Signs You’re Looking to Be More Spiritual
Certain signs that you want to be more spiritual, or perhaps have already done so naturally or through what some might call a spiritual awakening, include:
- You’re suddenly setting less importance on material things. Maybe you’re getting less enjoyment from material possessions, and considering decluttering or putting more focus on life’s experiences rather than things.
- You enjoy spending more time alone. You’re suddenly wanting to connect more with yourself and perhaps spend less time socializing or being busy with others.
- You’re suddenly unconcerned with drama or things which don’t bring you joy. Becoming more spiritual often means that you’re more concerned with authentic areas of life and those that bring you joy, rather than unnecessary stress, drama, people or situations which don’t bring positivity into your life.
- You’re suddenly more focused on the positive than the negative. You’ve switched your thinking (or you’re taking the right steps to switch your thinking) so that you can focus more on everything you have to be grateful for, rather than everything you might not have.
- You’re more interested in being understanding and compassionate. Maybe you’re not as easily irked as you once were, and you’re finding more time to understand other people and find compassion for other situations, or a deeper understanding.
- You’re suddenly drawn towards more spiritual practices. Maybe you suddenly want to spend more time being mindful or meditating. Maybe you’re drawn towards nature or elements, or anything which represents relaxing and mindful practices that you might have overlooked previously.
- You might want to make a career switch to undertaking work which means something more to you, in which you can help other people or have yourself more emotionally rewarded. This could be charity work, helping those in need, or healthcare positions like nurse practitioner programs where you can treat and support patients.
Exploring Spirituality in Life and Work
The points below discuss the many methods you can seek to explore spirituality in your job and your everyday lifestyle.
In Your Career
- Find Spirituality Within Your Career
Spirituality within your career can mean many different things. It could mean learning from an institution that encourages spirituality and compassion, such as healthcare courses or nurse practitioner programs, or it could be finding your own spirituality on a personal level with everything you do within your career. There’s no set career that allows you to explore your spirituality in a set way; all that counts is that you can identify those careers which you know will help you feel more positive about the work that you’re doing, and the positive influence you’re having over other people’s lives in a compassionate way. Healthcare is a good example of this, as you’re directly working with others in need, like nurse practitioner programs as mentioned.
- Choose a Career Which Can Be Rewarding in a Spiritual Way
This could mean choosing a career that directly focuses on spiritual practices, or it could be a career that allows you to feel as though you are getting some gratification out of it on an emotional, spiritual, and personal level — or both!
You could explore spirituality directly with careers such as holistic teachings or practices, yoga teaching or even mental health therapy and positive thinking. Or, you can find careers unrelated directly to spirituality but which offer a chance for you to feel more personally rewarded and fulfilled, and therefore more positive about your lifestyle and the difference you are making. An example of this could be a career in which you are always helping others.
- Even Medicine or Scientific Careers Can Explore the Spiritual Side
Maybe you think that if you have a scientific career, or if you’re planning to go into one, it doesn’t follow that you can have any spiritual beliefs or practices in relation to this, but that doesn’t have to be true. Even those with scientific minds or careers based on the human body and direct medicine, like doctors or nurse practitioner programs, can still apply the spiritual practice to their own work, even if this is done on a personal level with something as simple as viewpoint and own personal journey or emotions.
Not only that, but certain courses and institutions, like with nurse practitioner programs, can be an example of how spiritual and community practices can be adopted even when learning scientific or medicine-based study. Exploring spirituality in scientific job roles is more about your own viewpoint and your own personal outlook, rather than applying spirituality to the medicine or treatment you’re providing others. There is nothing that indicates spirituality should replace modern medicine.
Not only that, but spirituality can help you to better connect with those people you are treating; especially if your patients are spiritual themselves. Patients can appreciate it you might work closely with, such as a designated family nurse through nurse practitioner programs, if you can open your mind more to spiritual practices they may appreciate alongside the mainstream medicine and treatment provided. An example of this could be discussing positive thinking and mindful practices to help your patients deal with what they are going through on a healthcare level.
- Find Your Community
Communities can be found both in your life and in your work. You can find a sense of community with the same beliefs or ideas guiding their life simply by searching for it. A lot of job roles will hold the same collective ideas and sense of community through the core values of the industry, or perhaps the institutions which offer teachings for certain job roles — like those organizations which support a spiritual learning community with nurse practitioner programs and similar — or you may be able to find a more personal sense of community with your colleagues and the friends you make who hold the same practices or beliefs.
In Your Life
- Have a Serious Declutter and Rethink Your Possessions
Decluttering your home is a great way to open up the path to feeling freer. Your stance on material possessions may change when you put more focus on your spirituality. You suddenly may be more concerned with only keeping the things in your life which you absolutely need, and which bring you joy. You might put more focus on your own wellbeing and happiness rather than how many material items you have, and you may have realized that many of your material possessions don’t bring you fulfillment at all. Happiness, after all, can more easily be attained from within rather than the number of things you have.
Therefore having a good declutter can put everything into perspective and allow you only to keep key items which mean something to you, rather than having a home that is too busy with items you don’t use or which don’t bring you joy.
- Spend Time Connecting with Yourself
This is perhaps one of the most important things you can do when you’re trying to explore your spirituality because you need to better get to know yourself first before you can begin to explore your own stance and beliefs. Taking the time to connect with yourself means spending time alone and blocking out any other distractions so that you can focus on your own thoughts and feelings. It could also be exploring a new hobby or something which is true to yourself, in order to discover new passions.
In connecting with yourself, you may also want to ask yourself some fundamental questions or explore your own ideas in the form of a journal or note-taking. In terms of spirituality, these questions could be based on your own wants, goals, and beliefs, your own viewpoint when it comes to your life, or any new lessons you would like to learn.
Connecting with yourself may also bring to light any career aspirations you might have. Does your current job hold little meaning to you? Do jobs in which you can help people, like community service, healthcare or nurse practitioner programs appeal to you more greatly now?
A gratitude journal specifically may also help you to reassess your own life and all the positives you have to be thankful for.
- Take a Step Back from Negative Situations or People
It can be very liberating to cleanse your life of negative situations or people, and you have every right to do so. Toxic situations or bad situations which are affecting your own wellbeing and your own positive thinking need to be removed for you to live your best life, and one most in tune with your own emotional and spiritual needs.
In removing negative situations or people from your life, it can be a journey of self-discovery, too, as you will need to pinpoint those situations and people which make you feel negative, and also understand why these things have such an effect on you.
Is it something you are doing, such as trying to people-please or worrying too much about what others think? Or is it a situation which you do not need to be involved in, therefore can eliminate the drama and negativity from your life in an easier way?
When analyzing these situations, be absolutely honest with yourself and how they are impacting your life, to understand better the next steps to take, and hopefully, you can explore your spirituality in a better way overall.