by Melanie Gruenwald
I was in the car with my friend the other day, and she reflected to me, “I just wish I were spiritual. You’re spiritual!”
I kind of chuckled. I don’t feel so spiritual lately. I feel like I have my head down– focused on getting through each day. Putting one foot in front of the other. Beginning the school year for my 9th grade twins. Juggling my chauffeur, personal chef and personal assistant roles as they engage in their favorite activities. Grieving Koby, who should be a high school senior. Launching fall semester classes at KE. Preparing for the Jewish High Holidays. Being a wife to a rabbi and an executive director of a non-profit. Life is incredibly full but I’m certainly not feeling so spiritual these days.
I teach this stuff, yet I’m not embodying it.
As we pulled into her driveway, I wondered out loud ‘what even is spirituality?’
Over the past few days, I’ve had the opportunity to reflect.
What is spirituality? What is it not?
At Kabbalah Experience, we teach about kabbalah as the study of parallels.
Seen and unseen reality.
The physical and spiritual.
How does the finite create space for the infinite? And vice versa.
How do we live in a world where we see other people beyond the skin that separates us? How do we engage beyond our own physical doing?
What does it mean to be a spiritual being?
If spirituality is not physicality, then it is connected with the unseen. How and where do we do that?
We are spiritual beings when we look into another person’s eyes, and have insight, empathy and connection.
We are spiritual beings when we practice mindfulness. When we nourish our souls.
We are spiritual beings when we notice something in time and space that gives us pause and wonder.
We are spiritual beings when we are with people who we feel at home with.
We are spiritual beings when we are alone and when we are together
We are spiritual beings when we feel great joy and deep sorrow.
We are spiritual beings when are open to connection and awareness.
We are spiritual beings when we are being.
I feel spiritual when I am in community, surrounded by song and prayer. I also feel it when I am alone in nature, listening to a creek flowing or leaves rustling.
Spirituality is the unseen. It is what awakens us beyond our physical experiences. And it awakens all of our senses.
In this season of renewal and re-emergence, I wish for all of us, the chance to pause and to be.
And may we find the space to practice spiritual growth and engage as spiritual beings.