Secular Spirituality

Coming Out of the Spiritual Closet

It’s time for me to admit something. I’ve been in the closet. I’ve been ignoring a huge aspect of myself, and I just can’t do it any longer. Maybe it won’t seem like such a big deal to you. But here it is…

I’m <cough> spiritual.

(this is a cartoon version of me wearing a black wig after coming out of the spiritual closet, in case you were wondering)

And I’m not just declaring that I’m now an “SBNR” (spiritual but not religious) person just because I live in Los Angeles and it’s the hipster thing to say.

Nope.

I’m talking about dedicating myself to creating a uniquely personal spiritual path rooted in mindfulness; I’m talking about opening up to learning about different spiritual traditions to see which practices might feel like a good fit to explore—and which ones don’t; I’m talking about deepening my meditation practice with the intention of connecting not only with myself and others—but also with the giant Mystery. Love. The Universe. Spirit. Whatever I decide to call that thing (or no-thing). And, although this is hard for me to believe—my staunchly secular mindfulness meditation practice brought me to this place.

Weird… Right?

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Out of the Spiritual Closet—So Now Where Do I Go?


Last month, I officially came out of the spiritual closet as “SBNR” (spiritual but not religious) and, despite feeling a tad nervous about doing it publicly, I’m happy to report it all worked out just fine. Well, better than fine, actually! I ended up receiving a bunch of super positive responses from many of you who let me know that you felt the same way. It’s always encouraging to know when other people resonate with my experiences. So, thank you! 🙂

Moving ahead, I’m also really happy to report that I’m about to embark on a 6-month, self-designed, spiritual growth program that’s rooted in exploring different archetypal spiritual styles (like “artist,” “naturalist,” “mystic,” etc.). The program entails exploring spiritual practices within these styles from a variety of traditions to help me forge my own, unique path. I’ll be focussing on one main topic per month (like “gratitude” and “love and compassion”), and I’ll be working with an inter-spiritual mentor throughout the program.

My official dive-in date is May 11th. So stay tuned for some inevitable geeking out on the process—both here and on my Facebook page.

(I can’t wait)!

Creating Mindful Community

 

I have something to confess… I’ve been feeling lonely lately. Ever since I got back from the month I spent immersed within the mindful community at The Center for Mindful Learning in Vermont, I’ve noticed the sincere lack of community in my life…

As I contemplate it now, I recognize this as nothing new. I’ve never really felt a true sense of community—at least not a lasting one. Looking back on it, I can pinpoint several reasons why this area of my life has been lacking…

I grew up an only child with emotionally distant parents, in a relatively remote area of New Hampshire.  A shy, highly sensitive introvert with ADHD, social anxiety, and a host of other isolating symptoms—”community” was never a word that resonated with me. I mention this, not to play victim to my neurological differences from the norm—but to bring to light that my using it as an excuse to not partake in community needs to change.

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