In recent years more and more of us have started to consider ourselves spiritual.
In fact, a 2017 survey found that in the USA 75% of Americans define themselves as spiritual, with 27% deeming themselves spiritual without a specific religious belief.
And yet, we spiritual folk regularly fall victim to myths and misconceptions.
I have a friend who wears a pentagram, and if I were paid a dollar for the number of times she has been side-eyed or asked if she worships the Devil, though I wouldn’t be able to retire, I would certainly be able to indulge in a fancy meal or two!
Oh, she doesn’t worship the devil by the way 🙂
All this got me thinking, and after consulting with friends, family, and various blogs and articles, I’ve compiled a list of some of the most common myths/misconceptions around being spiritual.
Here we are…
The 7 Most Common Myths About Being Spiritual
Myth #1: All Spiritual People are Zen Masters
When many people think of a spiritual person they usually picture someone so laid back that a gentle breeze might knock them over.
I can personally attest to the fact that this isn’t true.
While some spiritual people might be perpetually calm, or use techniques such as meditation or mindfulness to bring their minds to a more positive space, all spiritual people, are different.
It only takes a glance at any form of Zodiac sign, be this Eastern, Western, or other examples to see that a variety of different personalities exist.
Even if you don’t prescribe to horoscopes, just thinking about the variety of people in your life can highlight this.
So, while of course some spiritual individuals may be much more laid back and peaceful, the opinion that all spiritual people act this way is a myth.
Myth #2: All Spiritual People Practice Yoga
While yoga has definitely increased in popularity in recent years, and some of its Western origins did come from the spiritual community, it is a myth that all spiritual people practice yoga.
In fact, yoga is practiced by spiritual AND non-spiritual people alike and can be a great way to get healthy in both body and mind.
Of course, this isn’t for everyone – I myself am certainly not gifted with the flexibility required for more than a downward-facing dog!
Myth #3: Spiritual People all Dress like Hippies
Though my fiance loves to don a pair of harem pants in hot summer months, I know that some of my other spiritual friends would view this beloved item of clothing of hers as a crime against fashion, me being one of them!
Put simply, spiritual people do not conform to a specific dress code.
While some may choose to dress with a hippy or even a ‘witchy’ vibe, many more of us dress to our own personal style, whether this includes harem pants and wide-brimmed hats or not!
Myth #4: Spiritual People Avoid Animal Products
While many aspects of spiritual living do align with the reduction or refusal of animal products, such as veganism or vegetarianism, adhering to this lifestyle certainly isn’t a prerequisite for being spiritual.
Many spiritual people do feel strongly about avoiding animal products, while others strive for more sustainable agriculture.
Basically, just like with all societal groups there is a sliding scale of opinions, with some for, some against, and most of us floating around in the middle.
Myth #5: Spiritual People Conform to a Religion or a Standardized Set of Beliefs
The belief that you need to be religious or must follow a prescribed belief system is probably one of the most widespread and desperately untrue assumptions that spiritual persons face.
Note in the introduction to this article that 27% of Americans are spiritual without a religion.
Being spiritual is much more of a lifestyle than a religion. It is deeply personal and aligns with who you are as a person and your unique outlook upon life.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ spiritualist ideal.
In fact, many people, forge their own customized spiritual path. I personally don’t follow any religious beliefs but instead, use my spirituality to gently guide my day-to-day life.
Myth #6. Those that are Spiritual are Obsessed with ‘Finding Themselves’
Aren’t we all whether we realize it or not? Finding yourself is what the human experience is all about!
I think the reason why this myth seems to center around spiritual individuals is that we can be much more vocal in affirming our wants, desires, and goals.
As mentioned, a large sector of the spiritual community is interested in self-discovery, be this through meditation, mindfulness, tarot, horoscopes – the list really does go on.
This curiosity and need to look deeper into oneself can create an outward appearance that spiritual people have an obsessive need to find themselves.
However, I think that every person, spiritual or otherwise, has this deep-seated need to some degree, they just might not be as vocal about it.
Myth #7: Spiritual Individuals Deny Modern Medicine
As an objective person, I can understand the logic behind this somewhat laughable myth.
The media loves an absurd or sensational story which leads to articles being published about people who believe they only to stare at the sun to live, or can simply meditate away diseases.
While of course meditation does have some medical benefits, almost all spiritual people would agree that it isn’t the solution to all of life’s’ misfortunes.
Yes, it is true that the spiritual community do turn to a larger proportion of herbal remedies to relieve minor sickness or ailments.
In fact, modern medicine is starting to catch up on some of the benefits of these age-old ingredients.
However, this does not mean that spiritual people will frantically rub herbs on a broken leg instead of seeking medical aid.
Put simply, as with all the points on this list, don’t believe everything you read in the media!