There are two definitions of spirituality:

  1. relating to the human spirit
  2. relating to religious belief

I wrote this article around these two definitions.

Relating to the human spirit

My dear friend, Sarah Daniels, taught me how to better relate to my human spirit. She taught me to ask myself soul healing questions:

  • . Your mind, heart, and soul are all 3 in a room. You walk in. What do they tell you?

  • . What from earth is nourishing to you?

  • . What is next for you personally, academically, spiritually, physically, (all dimensions of wellness could be included) in the next 6 months?

Now, I continue to journal and answer questions about my self that lead me to know more of who God created me to be and what my purpose is here on this earth. I learned to give attention to my soul instead of suppressing it or distracting it by events, work, and technology. I still struggle being always attentive to it, because you know, living in a rush and saying, “I’m too busy to think” is easy to do.

Relating to religious belief

I learned how important consistent, daily, one-on-one time with my God is. Even though I wasn’t living in a community who shared my religious beliefs, I was closer to God during this time than three months later when I lived in a community who did share my religious beliefs. I firmly believe this was the case because I was not spending daily time with my God at Big Lake Youth Camp and I was spending nearly every morning in prayer, worship, and scripture reading at Kalu Yala. Now, my morning routine of spending time with God is my favorite time of the day, and it helps me get out of bed too.

Everyone is on their own spiritual journey. I say this because most of us have pre-conceived notions of who we think God is. We all worship a or several gods.

In my personal walk with my God, he taught me that he cares much more about my mind and heart’s posture to following him than about what I do or don’t do. Then, because my heart is in the right place, what I should do or shouldn’t do will come naturally.

During our first weekend, nearly all the interns went to Panama City. I practice Sabbath. So from Friday’s sunset to Saturday’s sunset I rest from work. In this case, we were taking public transportation into Panama City and the sun was setting. The Sabbath commandment also includes to not have others work for you. I see service jobs as a part of this. Therefore, the bus driver was working for me. Then, in this moment God told me in my thoughts, I care more about your heart and attitude towards the Sabbath than what you do or don’t do.

The next lesson He taught me was, you could be in a state of peace all the time. This lesson also came from practicing Sabbath, and in the city, but on a different weekend. My girlfriends and I were chilling at Hard Rock Cafe (yes they're in Panama too) and we were talking about what we should do for the rest of the day. The girls were becoming a little stressed out. My dear friend, Sarah Diamond, knew it was Sabbath for me and she said, “you’re not stressed out because you’re in zen state huh?” It was then I realized that we have control of our mind and we can choose what state of mind we want to be in. At that moment I decided, I can be in a state of peace when I'm not practicing Sabbath as well, I can choose every moment of every day to have a peaceful state of mind amidst the chaos.

Another characteristic I learned about God was when Sarah and I were sitting by the river. We were talking about God and respecting nature. She said something that has stuck with me ever since, “I’m pretty sure God cries when we trash his nature.”

Lastly, I read the Alchemist in the course of two days while tanning by the river during a weekend. I’m pretty sure reading the book while I was living my dream made it even more magical, but God opened me up to how He may work and created us to be and co-create in this world. Why is there synchronicity, and coincidences, and serendipities? And what about energy? Why do we feel energized by some people and not by others? Why do we feel energized by some work and not by other work? I believe that God created this universal language for humans to connect and communicate with each other and His creation. I believe He created each human being with a unique purpose. I believe in finding that purpose and living it, God speaks to us through our dreams and there are clues around us to what they are.

Bottom line:

It’s easy to live life hurrying from one thing to the next without noticing what our souls need, how we can change the norms, and how God is speaking and showing us love everyday.

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