Q: What is the definition of Spirituality? (vs. religion)
Where religion tells you what to think, spirituality invites you to choose your beliefs.
The dictionary says spirituality is, “the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.”
While correct, they miss how the word “spiritual” is commonly used today.
Although the thoughts on this site are all a reflection of “Unpuzzling Spirituality: An Introduction to Spiritual Thoughts to Create a Big, Happy, Peaceful, and Loving Life (Ages 9 and up),” the copy below is cut and paste from our book, with slight alterations so it makes sense outside of the entire body of work.
How do we define “Spirituality?”
Your spirituality is your special relationship, understanding of, and connection with ∞ and the world around you. How you know and understand ∞, or your spirituality, can shape your life. This can become the lens through which you see the world. It can influence your thoughts, actions, and life experiences. It will be the inner guidance that points your life in a positive direction.
But remember, this is YOUR special way of understanding and
relating to ∞, so it only needs to make sense to YOU. Just as your relationship with ∞ is unique, so is that of others. Let’s draw some parallels between the uniqueness of your spirituality and baking
Spirituality – It’s unique
Imagine that you and your friends and family are in your kitchen. Each of you has a bowl, and each are going to make a cake. As you add ingredients, you notice that some of the others add a few of the same ingredients you have chosen, while adding some different ingredients too. Everyone may be making a cake, but each cake is a little different depending on what ingredients were added. Your sister may have ended up with a chocolate cake, your best friend a vanilla cake, and your dad a carrot cake. They are all cakes, but each one is unique!
Each person’s spirituality and relationship with ∞ will be different, just as the cakes were. They might be similar in many ways, but each will be unique depending on what thoughts (ingredients) one puts into their relationship.
Even though everyone’s relationship might be different, it does not mean that one is right or wrong. Each person’s relationship may be different from one another but as long as you are comfortable with your relationship it is okay if other people’s beliefs are different from yours. (Even your parents can be different from yours!)
In this book we will offer some possible “ingredients” and you will get to create your own recipe.
Your thoughts will change
You will see and learn new things during your life’s journey. Because of this, your spirituality and understanding of ∞ and the world will evolve as you grow and change. So, remain open to exploring new spiritual understandings, adding a new spiritual ingredient to your own relationship with ∞, or even subtracting or substituting a few ingredients. Allow your spirituality to grow as you continue to explore, investigate, and seek answers to a better understanding of yourself and your world. As you read the various beliefs in this book, try them out. Keep the ones you like and let the others go.
What is religion?
Religions offer a set of fixed beliefs (or a recipe) that people can use to help them understand their relationship with ∞ and the world around them. Each religion creates this relationship with ∞ differently and each religion has different rules and beliefs as to how we should act towards one another. (Though some use very similar ingredients.)
Although all religions are different, most religions agree that there is a spiritual energy.
Even if two people have the same religion, their connection and understanding of ∞ and the world around them can be different. It will be unique to them. So, find the beliefs (ingredients) that feel right to you.
Using Your Resources
Other people, such as your family, friends, religious leaders, philosophers, authors, etc. can be a great resources of knowledge. They, too, have a unique relationship with the world around them. So, listen to others, and learn from others, but remember, your spirituality is unique to you – it is always yours to decide what you believe.
Begin alone, or choose to involve others. Read, take time to think, feel and express your thoughts as they come up. There are no wrong answers, only ideas and thoughts that will allow you to grow, learn, and feel more secure within yourself.
You choose what YOU believe.
By CHOOSING what you believe, you’re empowered – you stand straighter and your heart opens more, making your ♡ bigger!
If your religion empowers you, helps you better understand and relate to the world around you – awesome! Don’t stop believing! If not, we invite you to explore your spirituality with us.
People throughout the world call spiritual energy that is in all and/or the creative force that created it by different names. Some names given to either spiritual energy, the creator of energy, or combination of the two include: God, Spirit, Life Force, Life, Infinite Wisdom, Love, the Light, Allah, Jehovah, Higher Power, Supreme Being, Brahma, Sira, Tao, Kami, Yahweh, Great Spirit, the Universe – the list goes on and on. How you think about this energy, the creator of energy, and its meaning in your life is your special connection. So, choose a name that feels right for you. You can even change the name whenever you like.
From now on, on this site, insert your chosen name whenever you see the symbol...
In our videos we will use the word "All" for ∞. Please substitute your chosen word when you hear it.
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What is spirituality? How does spirituality relate to my life? How do I develop spiritual beliefs? How can I use my spiritual beliefs in my every day life? What is death? Understanding your spirituality can feel like you are putting together a puzzle without a picture to guide you. Unpuzzling Spirituality invites the reader to explore answers to these questions and more. It helps the reader to put the pieces of the puzzle together to create a big, happy, peaceful, purposeful, and loving life.
Exploring your spirituality is a journey that can help you to figure out who you are, who you can be, and how you can understand and make a difference in the world around you.
Let’s unpuzzle your spirituality together...