I wrote this piece about 20 months ago, maybe longer. I have slightly edited it for more modern times, but wanted to keep the essence. Enjoy.
What a topic… I feel like I’m going to have to be cautious with what I choose to focus on in this post as spirituality can be seen/felt/experienced in all aspects of life. I see it more as a way of life I’m learning to navigate than a set of practices.
What I’m learning is that there is no road map for life. We all must venture our own way, and if we arent, its time to pause and reflect. At best, we can use a toolkit to help us navigate it. However, even that is entirely individualized, not only that, but its also continuously unfolding and adapting. There are seasons in life, like that of nature.
Through this article you’ll notice the use of the terms “higher self” and “universe” are often used. For me, higher self is my inner knowing and an aspect of myself that I can connect to when I quieten down my mind. “Universe” is my equivalent to “God” or “Source Energy”, some sort of divine power that makes up the system we live in. I would also like to explicitly point out that I follow no religion, though I do see the value in the pure, un-tampered-by-human-hands ideas that they are built on, not the adaptations used to manipulate and control.
“Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Now, for me, spirituality is about deepening my connection with myself and others, and looks like fresh air, the grass between my toes, in nature in some form, swimming in oceans and rivers, reading books, listening to podcasts, journaling, movement, breathwork, meditation, prayer (to a higher power, not religious) and so much more. It’s a continuous process of growing and developing. We all experience it differently. That’s one of the craziest things about this life experience we are having. We draw completely different conclusions with the same input, and I think it’s something that makes humans so fascinating and should be cherished.
For me personally I find there is a lot of fun to be had with this journey of connection. If I get goosebumps when something happens I see it as a sign to follow whatever it was that caused them. Early in my journey, whenever I heard Kanye West at random I somehow knew I was where I needed to be. The same goes for numbers, I often see 333, 77 or 1111. If there is a number you see often its worth checking out the meaning of it. Most recently it has been seeing Piwakawaka or fantails (a native bird to New Zealand), during a breathwork journey I was shown the connection I had with them as guides.
I’ve used tarot cards on and off too. I think people are a little scared of them, but they are kind of fun, you can take it as a grain of salt, and sometimes they are helpful. A few months ago I used them in deciding if I was going to move to Australia. The cards gave a most definite yes, but what I really gained from the use of them was that I wasn’t actually ready to leave just yet. Oracle cards are good too, they are like the tarots more chilled younger sibling, there are no bad cards and they can give some useful guidance. My favourite is the I-Ching, a chinese book of divination written some 800 years ago and used by the likes of Lao Tzu, but this is a book I take very seriously and have only used a handful of times. It speaks in obscure metaphors but it’s unbelievably accurate. I was given the book by a good friend just before I left London and is one of my most precious possessions. Much like tarot it will put you in your place if you disrespect it, but they both have a sense of humour too.
My all time favourite aspect of spirituality is coincidence, and the power of it. I especially enjoy it because it requires such presence in the current moment You’ll never notice these little winks from the universe unless you are present. The most powerful example of that came recently with the passing of a friend. I met Dariusz on the Camino de Santiago ( an 800km pilgrimage across Spain where coincidence is a common occurrence) in 2019 and I found out a month or so ago that he had passed. He lived in Sweden and we weren’t keeping regular contact so I found out through another friend he had actually passed away 6 months earlier. The crazy part was, that on the day he passed away I had sent my friend a voice note reminiscing our time on the Camino and how grateful I was to have met my friend Dariusz. I remember feeling quite overwhelmed with emotion when speaking about him, and you can hear it in my voice. It was like some deeper part of me knew that he had passed on and I as I spoke of him I was giving a eulogy. I think the best example of this concept can be found in my favourite book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho or in Deepak Chopra’s book Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire.
As a less intense example, I have a selection of books in my room. Sometimes I will have a question that needs answering and I will occasionally feel called to pick up a book and open at a “random” page, where I will often find the answer I’m looking for. It’s actually how I found a powerful meditation technic for connecting to my “higher self” and communicating.
In a final example, and a fun one for everyday use, is maximising the opportunity for serendipity. Meaning, if I’m feeling stuck I will just get out of the house, go to a cafe, go for a walk, then I begin to relax, maybe I’ll meet someone and have an interesting conversation, or I’ll overhear a conversation, or see a print on someone’s t-shirt or hear a song which will be relevant to my situation. Maybe something will catch my eye. Essentially just maximising the ways for the universe to connect to me. I know that for some people the same can be achieved through connecting through meditation etc, but sometimes I personally cannot get there. This technique is actually how a percentage of my blog is written, often they will sit 95% complete for weeks as I feel they aren’t ready, then I will read a quote somewhere or have a conversation that is relevant and that will be the finishing touch.
In a similar vein Ive been thinking a lot about guardian angels. I think that they can come in the form of a “being” but also as a physical manifestation of a person being at the right place at the right time in order to redirect our path. As and example, I was a Phnom Penh, in Cambodia one night and we found ourselves hammered drunk at a club in the early hours. I decided to leave, and with one I closed tried my best to understand Google Maps and stagger my way home. I’d been walking a long time, and for those that aren’t familiar Phnom Penh is not the sort of place you want to be alone, let alone in the middle of the night. Out of nowhere a tuk tuk taxi pulled up next to me and asked where I was going. I told him and he offered me a ride, but I cussed him off (if you have ever travelled Asia you will understand the frustration of the continuous harassment from tuk tuk drivers), not my finest moment, but here we are. Anyway, as we was driving off we told me I was headed the wrong direction. I ignored the advice for a few moments longer then eventually revisited Google Maps, sure enough I was miles off track. If it hadn’t been for that man, who knows where or in what state I would have ended up. Guardian angles are those who appear when we need them.
“Coincidences are glimpses in to the creative mind of the universe.”
– Deepak Chopra
A term that I was recently introduced to is ascension flu. This describes the lethargy, headaches, muscle aches and pains and very real wake ups in the middle of the night. From what I understand of ascension flu, the symptoms are our bodies way of rebalancing as we move towards “enlightenment” or “level up”. Although the concept is a little out the gate I found it took the stress of of worrying so much about the fact that I was wide awake and have to get up in a few hours and in turn meant that I’m not so concerned if I can’t sleep. It also made a lot of sense, as often in the days leading up to a workshop or an experience which I know will test me I get flu symptoms like feeling rundown or a sore throat. In these times I find it best to rest, allow my body time to recalibrate. Louise Hay has an excellent book called Heal Your Life, if you are interested in understanding the deeper meanings behind each physical manifestation.
“When you become a diamond you’ll see why life had to pressure you, because some people just come along for us to learn a lesson through.” – Londrelle
I think connecting with my higher self/soul/internal-being is the most important aspect of spirituality as it dictates everything else, like the way you interact with life, and I think its why I write so much. This form of creative expression seems to be the best way for me to access it. Most recently I’ve been attending workshops as a way to both meet people and deepen my connection with myself. It’s the perfect scenario for me, everyone there has a similar interest, and as the workshops are often personal development based there is an openness and vulnerability which allows for genuine connection. For me, its the perfect combination of learning new skills, personal growth and making new connections.
In every day life I use movement, journaling, moments of checking in with my body and time outdoors to foster the connection. I focus on being as present as I can and keeping coming back to it if need be.
It’s also meant a lot of changes in life choices, I take the work that I’m doing with myself as important and know that there is a reason in feel this way about it. And it’s meant giving up things and saying no to things which I did enjoy, like the occasional drink, which has now become the VERY occasional drink and only consumed in times when I have no deep work that I’m in the middle of our coming in to. A way to keep those portals as clear as possible.
Something I’d never considered in the awakening process was psychic attacks. You’re probably reading this thinking, yeah alright mate, now you’ve lost me. And up until recently I would have been in the same boat. I was deep in the dream state when someone I recognised approached me. They came swiftly and “attacked” my neck. I found myself in that space between being in my body and still in the dream. My entire body was shaking and it felt like all my energy was being sucked out of my neck. I somehow remembered a discussion I’d heard about this happening on a podcast Id just listened to, and knew to say “you’re not welcome here”. Sounds out the gate I know, but it worked. Something called “universal law” which means they cant stay. It was pretty terrifying, like something out of Happy Potter when he receives a “kiss” from a Dementor.
My fostered connection with spirit/source/God helps me write these blogs, after they come out as thought (some people in the spiritual community call this a “download” that I have to catch I have to write them down before the disappear. I think they come as my subconscious draws connections and beings to integrate the work I’ve been doing. Thats one of the easiest and also most challenging parts. They come at the most random and often inconvenient times, and if I ignore them they often do not return for days or weeks. Its a full time and exhausting job, especially when they come in the dead of the night and I can’t sleep until its out on paper. They are often a little crude in my regurgitation of them so nothing of mine you read is a first or even second draft. Most of it has been through at-least four or five savage revisions. It feels like a duty of my to deliver these messages and ideas as best I can.
This was a bit of a messy piece of writing, much like the path of life. As I said at the beginning, I wrote this piece some 12 months ago, and have only edited it slightly since then, but I wanted to hold it as a time capsule for my journey as its no where near over yet, and I’m excited to reflect back in years to come.
2 responses to “Current thoughts on spirituality”
Love this, John. I relate to all of these things C you articulated turn really well. ❤️
Thank you, Jorli! I really appreciate you taking the time to read the post