An inner shift of consciousness has left me pondering the place for spirituality within our fast-paced city lives
Back in February of 2011, I wrote a piece titled Revolution of the Youth and Mind. Here I wrote not only about the Egyptian revolution that was taking place at the time, but also about an inner shift of consciousness that I was experiencing and trying to understand.
A lot has happened since then, and somewhere in the midst of working in the fashion industry and living in one of the busiest cities in the world, I feel like I’ve lost sight of this inner shifting.
However, like a ceiling patched in with a temporary filling, the leaks of spiritual awareness have once again come pouring through the cracks.
I first started seriously thinking about spirituality when I was about fourteen years old. Between my mother and aunt there were always dozens of books on crystals, Reiki, alternative remedies, yoga and Buddhism around the house. I would devour them one by one, intrigued by this supposed road to enlightenment.
As time went on, I guess you could say I got a little distracted. The youthful search for identity kicked in and before long I was lost in a material maze, just like everybody else.
Flash forward a decade and although the need for acceptance by peers has weakened, the way it does when you grow up, that yearning desire we all have for more things is both infinite and unfulfilling.
So instead of ignoring this feeling the way I did last year, I’m engaging with it face on and embracing this spiritual reawakening that obviously needs to happen.
If only it was this easy.
The Consumerist Curve
Trouble is, the Western world we live in is so bombarded with advertising slogans, must-have technological devices, quick-fix diets and flashy vehicles polluting the air, that it’s so hard to see through the smoke and figure out what’s real and what is important.
I remember the countless times I watched the American sitcom, Sex and the City throughout university with my friends. We would laugh our heads off over glasses of wine, imagining moving to a big city like New York, working in our dream jobs that would pay for our never-ending wardrobes.
It’s funny how much you can learn in a couple of years. I moved to London exactly two years ago this week and have found my way into a copywriting role for a fashion e-tailer.
Ok, it’s a long way off from living in Manhattan and writing my own column, but you see my point. I have accidently-on-purpose worked my way into the capitalist machine. I throw back my Starbucks and waste my money on clothes, all the while waiting for that bottomless inner-vacuole to be filled.
Right now I’m reading a book that sums up my current mind-set perfectly. Written by Oliver James, Affluenza takes on the world’s consumerist plague, focusing on how our obsessive, envious, keeping-up-with-the-Joneses ways have resulted in “huge increases in depression and anxiety among millions.”
I would thoroughly recommend the book to anyone, as it really is a brutal eye-opener to how a large percentage of the world (predominately the parts that have been affected by Americanisation) now operates. It has also made me look at my city and myself far more closely.
Meditation on the Move
Moving through the hot crowds throughout central London in the last couple of weeks, I feel like I’ve started to see things in a completely different light. And in perfect Carrie Bradshaw style, have been asking a lot of questions.
Questions like, “who am I really? What is my purpose? What is it that I really want?” But the latest one I’m pondering is, “does spirituality really have a place in a Westernised city?”
I was debating this with a colleague last week. “Do you meditate?” she asked me.
“Well, I used to,” I replied, seriously trying to remember the last time I had had the time to, “but I really should get back into it again.”
“I once knew someone who would meditate on the bus,” she said back to me with complete sincerity, “it was the only time he found the time.”
The notion of searching for enlightenment on a number 29 couldn’t help but amuse me. However the more I got to thinking about it, the more it made sense.
Although I might still be a long way off from finding answers to all of my questions, some things are starting to become a lot clearer.
I’m realising that no matter where you live or what you do for a living, spirituality can still be adopted into your everyday life. After all, opposites do attract.
The truth is, we’re all on our own paths with different views on how to reach our destinations. What’s important is that we treat each other with dignity and respect along the way.
That way whether we’re looking for Nirvana in Nepal, or peace on public transport, we can all travel alongside one another in harmony.