THE BLOG
06/14/2016 12:45 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

You Don't Have To Do 'Spiritual Things' To Be Spiritual

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I, like many people, thought for a long time that spirituality was practiced by doing "spiritual things." I'd sit at my alter, and use my oracle cards, and attempt to meditate, and try to contact my spirit guides, and do the exercises from A Course in Miracles, and read a zillion books on spirituality, but if I was being honest with myself, I didn't really love it, and it felt like work.

I began to realize that this wasn't spirituality. Spirituality isn't obligation and empty actions; it's being fully alive, doing things that light you up, enjoying and loving life. Trying to force myself to sit through another New Moon manifestation ceremony while I really just wanted to be out having fun wasn't all that helpful.

I'm not saying this to criticize myself by any means- this was all part of the process and this whole spiritual journey of mine has been a series of experiments, trial and error, figuring out who I am and what it means to be happy. Not only that, but there was a big part of me that was fascinated with it all- it was just my application of the spiritual principles that I wasn't loving.

I believe that the energy that you put behind something far outweighs the actions. Spiritual to me means laughing with friends, lying in the park, being by the ocean, making delicious smoothies, or whatever else lights me up and fills me with happiness. The energy behind that is full of love, whereas the energies behind my previous spiritual practices were obligation and fear (fear that if I didn't do these things, I wouldn't find true happiness). Now, I try to give gratitude for everything in my life, and I am by far the happiest I've ever been.

Letting go of the need to force myself into spiritual activities that I didn't want to do has let me experience not only a whole new level of ease but also a greater connection to myself. It's hard to really feel in touch with who you are when you're spending so much time trying to "fix yourself" by means of activities that you don't enjoy. The more I do what I genuinely want to be doing, the more connected I feel to myself and the Universe. I now trust that following my bliss is exactly what I am meant to be doing with my life.

Who would have thought that not using crystals, not sitting at my alter, and putting away my self help books could be so spiritual?

I believe that to be spiritual is to live a life of gratitude, kindness, and joy. How that looks is completely individual to every person and it will constantly be changing, but it's basically just doing the things that fill you with love. When you fall in love with your life, you bring more love into the world and to others around you.

And how great is that? I am so grateful that we live in a world where being happy and giving love is not only our privilege but also our purpose.