Last week I travelled to Denver for a company meetup. I work for Automattic, a completely distributed company, where the last time I saw most of my colleagues was pre-pandemic. These gatherings are invigorating, deep, and meaningful, and I got to see friends and colleagues I haven’t seen in five years. My coworker Steve captured the meetup beautifully in words and photographs in his recent blog post. As he mentions in that post, lots of conversations happen at these meetups — conversations not just about work, but about ourselves, about life, about the cosmos.
In one of the conversations I had, a friend told me that during the isolation of the pandemic, he realized he wasn’t where he wanted to be with himself. Something was off. He had no doubt that he was connected to his mind and spirit, but he’d never paid much attention to the vessel that carried them: he was disconnected from his body. To correct for that, he began running, and he loved it. Now, he’s got all three connected — mind, body, and spirit — and he’s happy and fulfilled and feels like he knows himself better than he ever has before.
I was, of course, inspired. I want to be happy and fulfilled and know myself better than I ever have before! But my missing piece is different. I feel connected to my body and mind, but I’m not sure about my spirit. And I’m not sure how to connect. I listen to and take care of my body: I exercise and eat well and drink lots of water, I get enough sleep, I track my menstrual cycles. My mind, I am intimately connected with. I’m always with it and in it and stimulating it and using it.
But spirit? I want to be connected to my spirit, but I’m not sure what that looks like in practice. How does one connect with their spirit? I can’t just go for a run like I did (in the cold! in the wet!) for my body yesterday. I can’t meditate like I did for my mind this morning. Is spirit something to even actively connect with, or do you just have to be?
I think I know what kinds of things feed my spirit: beauty, wonder, awe. Love, connection, laughter. Maybe? Do those sound like spirit things? Maybe I just have to be open to receiving these things. Or actively put myself in situations where I’ll experience them.
3 thoughts on “Spirit?”
Connection to spirit is an elusive beast. As you implied, it looks different for each of us, so it’s an extremely personal exploration.
I think one common thread that I’ve read about regarding people having intense spiritual experiences through the use of substances, religion, near-death experiences, etc is a deeper connection with meaning and purpose. Something that completely burns away the looser attachments of life (at least temporarily) to expose to you your core self. The person you are when you have nothing else. It’s a powerful experience.
If you ever want to talk about this stuff more privately, please feel free to hit me up. I’m not an expert by any means but my own spiritual journey has been a rather intense one and an important part of my life, especially in the last several years. I’m happy to listen and witness for you on your own journey – as much or as little as would be useful.
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Great post, Andrea. Sounds like your work meet up was invigorating and meaningful. As far as connecting to Spirit goes, for me it’s taking time to just be, as you mentioned. No noise around me, deep breathing, prayer, and meditation. I do it every morning, though I’d like to do it for longer stretches of time.
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