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Barbara DeAngelis

Everyday Spirituality

Discovering Real Moments With Yourself

Barbara De Angelis is one of America's foremost experts on relationships and personal growth. Her New York Times bestselling books include How To Make Love All The Time, Secrets About Men Every Woman Should Know, Are You The One For Me, Real Moments, and most recently, Real Moments for Lovers.

Her award winning television infomercial Making Love Work airs in hundreds of cities each day and is the most successful relationship program of its kind.


In our search for self-knowledge and spiritual truth, many of us are, I believe, looking in the wrong direction. We have separated the spiritual from everyday living, and thus separated ourselves from experiencing everyday spirituality. The spiritual has become associated with Sunday church services, or the Sabbath, or yoga and meditation, or a trip to India, or a tour of a famous European cathedral.

We think praying is more spiritual than riding a bicycle, reading religious literature more holy than making love. We are living secularized lives and yet wondering why life often feels so meaningless and devoid of purpose. The search for real moments and everyday spirituality must begin with a return to and embracing of the human.

Everyday spirituality is not an escape from your usual life in search of some special, exalted experience, but a surrender into the fullness of every experience.

It is not a path that leads you away from the human to the spiritual, from the Earth to Heaven, but rather one that leads you back into the ordinary and everyday, and invites you to find the spiritual within it. It begins and ends where you already are, right here, right now. There's nothing else to look for, nothing else to acquire. You already have everything you need.

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience." Ram Dass

EMBRACING YOUR HUMANNESS

When I became a seeker, I began what I called a "spiritual path". In my longing to know God, I turned away from worldly things. I practiced meditation for hours, sometimes days at a time. I spent whole years in retreat and in silence, living in the mountains, seeing only other meditators. I viewed my physical body as an obstacle to enlightenment, my human desires as impediments to achieving a pure, spiritual state. And I looked at my life on Earth as some sort of prison sentence I was serving that kept me from going back "home" to my Divine origins.

I had many beautiful and uplifting experiences during those years, but I could only be happy when I was doing my "spiritual practice." After searching and searching for answers to my dilemma, I finally had the important realization that all of human life was a spiritual practice--I was supposed to be practicing being human!! And thus far, I hadn't been doing a very good job. In fact, I'd attempted to avoid being human entirely. No wonder I was so miserable: I was in the water, but trying not to get wet!

Since that time, I have worked on embracing my humanness, not running from it, and looking within it for the very same spiritual experiences I used to seek elsewhere. I know now that my presence here on Earth is not a sentence - it is a gift; that being human is not a loss of spirit, but an opportunity for spirit to enjoy itself on the physical path. I am here because I am loved.



LEARNING TO RECOGNIZE EVERYDAY HOLINESS
In order to experience everyday spirituality, we need to remember that we are spiritual beings spending some time in a human body. We are not separate from spirit. This would be impossible. We are simply spirit disguised in human form. In this way, we are connected to all life. The flower is spirit disguised as a flower. The tomato is spirit disguised as a tomato. The rock is spirit disguised as a rock. We all share the same source. We are all made of the same invisible particles of matter. We are all One.

When we separate the spiritual from the everyday, we limit our opportunities for real moments. We miss ordinary miracles and wonders because we are looking for something flashy, something that screams, "I am special, I am holy." We are so distracted by our search for the extraordinary that we don't even recognize the sacred when we encounter it.

Real moments of holiness happen when we experience moments of wholeness with ourself, our environment or another person. As you go through your day, look for holy moments and everyday miracles --the hug your child gives you for no reason at all; a flock of birds flying past a cloud; the beautiful array of fruits and vegetables the earth has produced that are waiting for you at the supermarket; the song playing on the radio that gives you just the message you've been needing to hear; the lone yellow dandelion bursting through the crack in the concrete sidewalk.

When you stop and pay attention to holy moments and everyday miracles you will start living with awe and wonder, and participating in a Divine love affair with God.

Yesterday, approximately 200,000 people throughout the world died. Their time on earth is over. They did not wake up this morning. They did not feel the sun on their face, or feel the wind on their skin. They did not hear laughter, or singing, or birds calling to each other. They could not eat an apple or drink a glass of water. They were not held or kissed or smiled at. They cannot see the stars twinkling in the sky tonight. The cannot gaze at the moon.

You are alive. You are here now. You have another day. That is a blessing. Enjoy the ordinary everyday miracles that make up your life....They will be your most sacred real moments.

Barbara De Angelis is one of America's foremost experts on relationships and personal growth. Her New York Times best-selling books include How To Make Love All The Time, Secrets About Men Every Woman Should Know, Are You The One For Me? Real Moments and Real Moments for Lovers. For information about books, tapes or other products by Barbara De Angelis, or for a schedule of seminars and personal appearances, pleas call 1-800-682- LOVE (5683).



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