Are you “faking it” spiritually, or are you true to your path?

7 min read

When you’ve practiced yoga for a while, sooner or later, you come into contact with a whole variety of spiritual workshops, yoga retreats, Ayahuasca for the weekend, “red-tent “events for women, or silent meditation training.

It isn’t easy to choose the right group, especially if you’re new to yoga’s spiritual side. Some of these workshops are very expensive, and it’s a question of finances whether or not we can afford this kind of “advancement” in our learning.

The Tribe of Women

Due to my growing interest in women’s spiritual history, I met some real woman warriors and teachers. These women understand the historical role of women as healers and medicine women and how that tradition almost vanished with the rise in organized religion and, of course, the shift to a patriarchal society.

I was guided, supported, and honored to meet these women, and I would never want to lose my connection with them. Nothing can stop women when they come together with acceptance, love, and compassion. The power of our group is palpable.

So, I signed up for a Women’s Circle

The price of two hours seemed a bit steep, but the woman who was holding the workshop assured me that this wasn’t just “another women’s group, this was an initation.” This sounded interesting, and I decided to sign up. It’s okay to spend money on good work, after all.

There were candles and dimmed lights at the location. I also had a selection of tarot cards to choose from. I was immediately drawn to the atmosphere, and I felt excited to learn more about this women’s topic, even though I knew very little about these spheres.

As we began the “healing-touch” exercise, I started to feel something like resistance. We took turns touching each other all over, except for the private parts. The women, all experienced veterans of women’s groups, were very excited and touched by the experience when it came time to share.

It was like the woman from the movie “A Chorus Line” who describes that in acting class, they had to pretend it was winter. Everyone felt the snow, cold wind, and sleighs when asked. She felt nothing, on the other hand! Unfortunately, I was the one who did it.

From Belongingness To Exclusion

As soon as it was my turn (I had avoided saying anything), I told her so. I said that the touching part was a bit sudden for me, and even though I tried leaning into the experience, I became more and more uncomfortable. I felt the room immediately pull back.

It was not a message that people wanted to hear. It was the strangest moment when you went from being a part of a team to being excluded. It was subtle. I don’t know if I felt it myself or if anyone else did. To me, the shift was subtle. I’m not sure if it was just my imagination or if anyone else felt it.

Before I continue, I want to make a quick side note. The woman who was running the workshop seemed very authentic. She operated from a place that I would describe as, I don’t remember, as love. This feeling stayed with me for most of the time, even when things got a bit more bizarre.

The Spiritual Jargon?

Next, we went around the circle to each person and asked them what they wanted to “receive.” The options were any words, being touched, or even putting essential oils on the hands and foreheads. The first woman who leaped had spent considerable time thinking about her role in (the spiritual) world. How did I find out? Jargon.

The woman began to cry a lot and at times hyperventilated. I felt bad for her but didn’t know how to react. Also, this seemed to be the responsibility of the woman hosting the event. She may have let her speak and express herself for a good reason.

She continued to scream as she told a story of how she had lived tens and thousands of lives in the past. She described her struggle against her dying ego. Finally, she said something about her soul, which sounded as if her director were being a jerk.

Confession: I was caught judging like an expert.

It was a harsh moment. Sorry. Here’s my defense:

It’s not that I find the spiritual languageĀ helpful, but I do get tired of it.

She knew all the words, from Gabby Bernstein’s spirit junkie guidance to Eckart Tolle’s ego talk (both teachers are ones I adore, by the way). She had clearly read and studied a great deal of spiritual literature, which she used to describe her experience here on Earth. There’s nothing wrong with it, but…

Avoid using catch-all phrases that are empty and ineffective.

It’s a common phenomenon in the yoga world that can be very discouraging to those who are just starting. As a yoga teacher, I am constantly on the lookout for catchy phrases or things I’ve heard a smart teacher say. I’m also sure that I have made mistakes myself.

It’s tempting to replace the experience with quotes or sayings from books or motivational videos on YouTube. We want to end our suffering and move on in our lives as soon as possible. But we are not willing to do the dirty work. You guessed it: the road to getting there is long, winding, and annoying. It’s also humbling, humbling and painful.

We often feel and show things about ourselves that we dislike. Then there are all those times when it doesn’t work! We put in the hours of meditation, do the work, and then next thing you know, we’re screaming at the guy who cut us off in traffic.

The path to spirituality is not easy, but it’s worth it. I know I’m still not there.

Faking it over Hard Work

If you’re looking for the real thing, “faking” it is not an option. I think, as women, we can all agree that this alternative does not work. We must live life to the fullest if we are to experience it fully.

Yes, workshops, travel, and our tribe can be helpful. However, if we use well-stated quotes and jargon without recognizing our own experiences, it will eventually stunt our spiritual development. It will also become confusing. Is it my soul that is soaring or my ego? Is this pain a recurrence of a previous life or this one?

All of these questions are useful, but only when the right time comes. What’s going on right now? What am I learning?

How can we tell which workshops will be most beneficial and which experiences are ours?

It may be different for you, but I think we all feel. When someone is speaking from wisdom, we know they are authentic.

Do we also recognize our authenticity? If I was unsure, as I was in this workshop, then I asked myself, “does it resonate with me?” If I’m not sure, like in this workshop, I ask myself, “does this resonate with me?”

I learned that it was important to not hide behind spiritual feel-good messages or use words to “fit in” but rather to explore my path and to stick with those circles that felt nurturing and authentic.

You must have had a great experience in a women’s circle. How do you keep your true path? We would love to read your thoughts and experience in the comments below!

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