These days, it seems as though everyone wants to cultivate more spirituality… but what does spirituality actually mean, and is there a certain way that it should look?
For spiritual teacher, expert biohacker, and motivational speaker, Luke Storey, “spirituality is about having a relationship with God and a relationship with your own spiritual self and your spiritual nature.”
Having come from a traumatic upbringing and a long-time addiction, Storey did not start to have any relationship with God (his preferred name for the divine) until he became sober. Prior to 1997, his life was in complete disarray and he was consumed with deep wounds, insecurities, and self-hatred. Yet, as he worked though his addiction recovery, he began to explore his own spiritual nature and ultimately developed a relationship with his higher power. Today, he regularly speaks about his journey, sharing practical tools and principles to greater fulfillment.
Storey believes that suffering is part of the human experience and that people often make decisions in order to avoid feeling pain, shame, or guilt. “Ask yourself why you are doing what you’re doing,” he suggests, stating that self-honesty and self-inventory are two major skills people should begin to practice. These types of self check-ins help to make sure your ego isn’t running the show. Be the observer of your mind and consciously choose which thoughts and feelings to engage with. (Meditation and mindfulness are two ways to build this awareness around what he likes to call, the “ego dance.”)
Although we’ve been taught that the ego is something to get rid of, Storey insists that instead of trying to kill it, we must befriend it, taking time to learn how it works.
Signs of an untrained ego can be when you are reacting to or making decisions out of blame, victimhood, anger, resentment, or hostility. Storey suggests training our egos to intuitively figure out what they need by focusing on self-love and self-compassion.
By implementing a daily gratitude practice we are urged to take a moment to truly appreciate the abundance in our lives. By acknowledging the blessings that already exist, we become more appreciative of the present as well as more forgiving of our imperfections.
Gratitude ultimately teaches appreciation, humility, and tolerance of the smaller annoyances that come with everyday life, making serenity easier to hold onto.
Kundalini yoga is yet another major tool in Storey’s spiritual toolbelt. It is his personal belief that kundalini is vastly more transformative than other practices because it is designed to move stagnant energy and more finely attune to your body. Through that fine-tuning, you not only feel better, but you also become more receptive to your own intuition and connection to the “divine intelligence” (something that is always available to you).
However, the biggest hack to practical spirituality according to Storey, is learning to surrender. More than anything else, surrendering is the key to connecting with the divine. This does not mean passively sitting on the couch and waiting for life to happen for you. “You have a 50/50 relationship with the thing that created you,” Storey advises, insisting that God is always trying to further your evolution in a positive way. It is your job as a co-creator with God to implement “surrendered action” and do your part in manifesting the reality you desire with the understanding that God has the final say. “You start, but you have to allow nature to finish,” he continues.
Life isn’t about getting everything you want, but rather accepting that you will be given everything you need for the betterment of yourself.
Ultimately, spirituality is about building a relationship with yourself and the God of your understanding. Fortunately for us, that doesn’t require mala beads, mantras, plants, or other accoutrements. We can keep on being spiritual and save up for that Tesla. We are, by divine right, allowed all the earthly desires we want, after all. We just have to keep it practical and simple by befriending our egos, practicing self-love and gratitude, showing up every day as our best selves, and giving the rest up to what or whomever we decide is running the show.
Or, as Storey puts it, “Make your life a prayer. Life itself is your devotion.”
Julia Piantini is a freelance writer living in Miami, Florida. You can find her on Instagram at @julia_piantini.