The word ‘spiritual’ derives from the Latin ‘spiritus’ meaning ‘breathing’ or ‘the breath’.  The spirit is the animating or life-force principle.  Spirit is the spark of life we have within us.  It is often said that we are spiritual beings living in a physical body.  There is a part of us, a spiritual essence, that co-exists with our physical body which connects us to the spiritual or life-giving energy of the universe.

Spirituality can be defined as:-

  • Becoming aware of our spirit and thereby becoming aware of our potential for growth and enlightenment, sensing that our lives have a purpose.
  • Recognising the God force within us and therefore our connection to the Source/Creator/All that is.
  • Recognising that we are no longer separate and alone but are in fact all connected to one another.  We learn from each other, attracting and reflecting the experiences, people and situations we need in order to learn and grow.
  • Recognising that we have a spirit that needs nurturing through meditation, positive thoughts and acts of love and kindness.
  • A willingness to practice forgiveness and develop tolerance and compassion, knowing that only love can heal and bring peace to the individual and to the world.

What Spirituality is Not

The proof of spirituality is in how you live your routine day to day life.  It is not about how many attunements you have had, courses you have attended, how many Reiki treatments you’ve received or given, or even how psychic you are.  Some of the most spiritual people live quiet lives, simply taking responsibility for themselves, and being honest, modest and kind to others.  Taking responsibility for yourself simply means making your own decisions, taking credit for your successes and being answerable for your mistakes.  In other words, it is living your life, making mistakes and learning from them.  The end result is a much more well-rounded person who has acquired a sense of what is truly important in life.

Personal Responsibility

We are living at a time of great awakening.  Spirituality is no longer seen as only going hand in hand with religion.  Enlightenment and the experience of oneness are no longer only available to a select special few.  Much is changing in our world at the present time with the decline in traditional religion and the burgeoning interest in spiritual practices such as meditation.  Spirituality connects us to the sense of oneness and unity that lies behind and beyond all the different religious traditions.

Spiritual awareness and the responsibility for personal growth are coming back to rest upon the individual.  We are responsible for our own spiritual development.  Our potential for enlightenment, our spirituality, lies within, and through our own inner work we will find it.

A Final Note Regarding Spiritual Teachers

There is a well-known saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”  When you find your spiritual teacher, it is important to remember not to give away your own personal power.  You should always discriminate and take responsibility for yourself and not just take for granted anything anyone tells you, whoever they seem to be.  What is true for one person will not be true for everyone else.  Only take from them that which resonates with you and rings true at the time, for that is what you need right now.  You already have within yourself everything you need – a teacher will only help you to find it.


Helen Shortland is a Reiki Master Teacher, Meditation Teacher and Holistic Therapist based at Little London Herbal Stores on Kings Walk in Nottingham city centre. Please ring her on 07748 591690 to book a treatment or visit her website http://helenshortland.com for further information.



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