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November 11, 2019
Word of the Week: Spirituality
Life Lesson: (Introducing what I hope is the first of many Notes From Camp, our Dear Abby/Dear Sugar-style advice column!)
This is an amazing new Forum!
Here’s what’s tugging at my heart and soul:
I’m going through another (I’ve had many) full-blown existential crisis: Nietzsche style…I’m despairing over the idea that there is no higher power, no meaning, no significance to our presence in the universe and that we’re all doomed. What is spirituality? How can I connect with the spirits? How can I connect with energy? How can I understand and appreciate this life and be present for it?
Thank you for sharing your wisdom!!
THANK YOU for sending the first Note From Camp!! I’m so excited about this new project and am grateful to you for getting the ball rolling!
I hear you on the existential crises. I actually just went through one of those cycles myself this past winter (which I am still dealing with tbh). For me, it felt like this dark, scary, confusing mess that I couldn’t make sense of. I was going through a lot of big life transitions from quitting my corporate job and moving across the country by myself to pursuing entrepreneurship full-time and starting graduate school. I was so focused on getting from point A to point B and “staying strong” that I hadn’t given myself time to grieve everything I left behind.
One day, I cracked. I didn’t want to be strong anymore. I felt sad. I missed my husband, my friends, my sunny apartment, my favorite hike, my neighborhood grocery store, and my go-to ice cream shop. I even missed the job I hated. How could that be? It was my decision to make all these changes so what right did I have to be sad?
Grief is sneaky. Even if you make changes in your life that you are excited about or know in your heart are the right decisions, your psyche still feels a sense of loss for whatever you are leaving behind. It’s important to honor those feelings. Grieving endings makes room for new beginnings.
The spiritual path is full of loss. As you do the inner work, you start to outgrow people, places, careers, and parts of your identity that no longer fit into the version of you that you are becoming. It’s natural to need space and time to process it all. Spirituality is often portrayed as this fun unicorn-filled adventure. Yes, there can be some truly magical moments on the Path. But it’s not all love and light. I believe the deep spiritual work comes when we are asked to confront the dark, shadowy parts of life and pick up the broken pieces of the person and world we thought we knew. It’s not a framework to follow. There is no rule book. To me, spirituality is the acceptance that sometimes life can only be understood backward.
Thank you for being brave enough to ask the hard questions and even more, for your strength to seek out the answers. You are doing the deep work. And the world is better for it.
Ask Yourself: How connected are you to your spirituality? What does being on the spiritual path mean to you? Do you give yourself time to grieve the changes you experience in your life?
Weekly Mantra: I trust that everything is working in my favor.