Discover more from Journey Home to Self by Deepshikha Sairam
What does Embodied Spirituality look like?
Activism through our work and words
Many years ago, me and a friend were strolling through a bookstore in Maplewood, NJ. She pointed at The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and asked me “Have you read this? It talks about meditation……”
I tuned her out after the word “meditation”. I squinted my eyes, gave the book half a look, and said “This is for people who are having a mid-life crisis.”
Then I laughed at my own joke.
Someone up there must have laughed right back at me before saying “And so it is”.
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Shockingly, my friend has remained my friend even today.
Not so shockingly, not only did I devour the same book I joked about just a year or so later, but Eckhart Tolle’s other book - The New Earth, became my lifeboat during some of my most difficult moments.
It would take me half a decade to come out of the Spiritual Closet and truly understand what Embodied Spirituality meant.
I used to think Spirituality meant believing that there was a greater power over me. Something outside of us that we can believe in.
As a young child raised in India, I watched my grandmother cry for 2 hours every day in front of God. She begged him, cajoled him, and asked for forgiveness for whatever “sin” she thought she had committed.
I never understood this kind of devotion. A vengeful God was not my God. Therefore, even though I wasn’t an atheist, I could never fully adapt to organized religion.
The grief of my mom’s death opened a pathway to meditation and eventually opened my psychic channels. What I was connecting to during my meditations wasn’t vengeful, it was a loving presence. I wanted to tell my grandma that there was no need to cry. It gets us. And It loves us, in spite of everything.
But even then I was wrong.
You see I had created a definition based on what I saw and heard and read in books. Not from what I was experiencing. And holy cow, I had so much left to experience (remember when I cracked a joke on mid-life crisis!)
For years I could not come out and claim my spirituality. I had to always dumb it down, and hide it under other “practical, strategic” stuff.
I could not share with people (barring a few friends) about my psychic visions, and mystical experiences, or even say out loud “Hey I am a psychic and I can channel messages from the other side”
In fact, my sister and my dad still don’t know this (unless they are reading it now. In that case “Surprise!”)
Of course, I didn’t do this because I knew I’d be judged but also because…..Patriarchy. The narratives it has created against people, especially Women, programmed us to believe that anything that is outside the scope of science or religion is witchy, woo-woo, and out there and therefore must be condemned.
I highly recommend reading the book Witch by Lisa Lister if you’d like to understand how Patriarchy single-handedly took us away from our Spiritual gifts.
But if I am being honest this wasn’t the only reason why I was so confused about my Spiritual Identity. I felt like I didn’t belong in the “Club.” Here’s why I thought so:
I did not care for crystal jewelry
I cuss. A lot.
I could not change my voice when I channeled. (Nothing against those who can do that. I learned much later that I am a scribe channeler as opposed to a voice channeler.)
I don’t wear flowy gowns
I am pragmatic and I nerd over brain science
I don’t have any tattoos
I don’t speak in light language or any other language except Hindi and English
I do not have an immaculate vocabulary with words that sound like it’s coming straight from an angel’s mouth
In fact, all my examples are either Sex-related or related to… erm….digestive system. (Poop. I talk about poop a lot)
I love my wine
I also love expensive clothing
I am not a consistent person and I lose interest in rituals, ceremonies, and other spiritual tools very quickly
When my kids were younger, I did not have time for hour-long meditations (Now I do!)
I sometimes judge people, compare myself to others, get pissed at the too-slow person at the Target checkout line, and often get resentful.
(And this one may sound crazy), but I am not white.
In short, I didn’t look like them, I didn’t sound like them and therefore I believed that I may not be as “Spiritual” as them. Sigh!!
It has been a long Journey (Home to Self), but this is what I know today.
Spirituality is NOT believing that there’s a higher power over us. Something greater than us, outside of us.
Spirituality is knowing (and remembering) that there’s a higher Power IN us. We are the Divine. The greater, unlimited power is inside us, not outside us.
I know today that being Spiritual has nothing to do with anything on the list above. It’s not even got anything to do with whether you can read a Tarot, channel psychic messages, or quiet your mind in a meditation.
Here’s what Embodied Spirituality looks like:
Sitting in the Muck or Art of Allowing - Feeling your emotions, no matter what they are, instead of pushing them down or avoiding them. We talk about it in this episode of Journey Home to Self
Self-Compassion - Giving yourself compassion and grace even when the chips are down. Especially when the chips are down.
A Million New Beginnings - Fell off your meditation schedule? Begin Again. Let your inner critic get too loud? Begin Again. Let a co-worker walk all over your boundaries? Begin Again.
Putting yourself first - Take that walk. That the nap. Eat a doughnut. Ask her out. Buy that dress. Say No. Say No again. Say Yes to yourself. Do that again.
If you fail at any of these, go to number 3. Always go to number 3.
That’s pretty much it. No crystals needed. No need to sage anything. It begins here and creates a Vortex of love within you and around you.
All the things they talk about - Forgiveness, Oneness, Non-Duality, Blissed-out feeling, Unleashing Potential etc etc.
I promise you it will all come. When you do these 4 things over and over again, one day will come when you will have forgiven the person who wronged you. It will happen just like that without you doing anything. You will fill yourself with so much love that there will be no room for anything else. And that cup will runneth over onto your family, your community, and so forth.
I will go on to say this and yeah it’s pretty much become my war cry, my activism:
Loving ourselves as The Divine is the single most radical and rebellious act against Patrirachy.
There’s nothing wrong with setting a crystal grid on a Full Moon night or for that matter anything on my list. But if you pour all your love into the Moon and go to bed rehashing all the ways you are not good enough, then babe, we are totally missing the point of this Spirituality thing.
Let that day be today - when you see yourself as Divine and love yourself as if you are the coolest, most badass, most awesome-est human on earth.
If you forget, let me and let this community remind you. Remember what I said, right here our circle is always open. We’ll always see you as whole, as holy, and love you up.
Thanks for being here, beloved.
I see you, I honor you and I welcome you exactly as you are,
P.S. - What is one radical act of self-love you can do today?
I am finally committing to 6 weeks of Physical Therapy 2x a week for a Cervical Nerve Damage. It’s honestly the last thing I want to do, but the Divine in me is so grateful for it.
P.P.S - I am really, really grateful you are here. I’d be out of the charts more grateful if you’d share this publication with just one more person and urge them to subscribe 🙏