Spirituality & Consciousness


What does being a spiritually conscious person really mean? Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality, an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being or the deepest values and meanings by which people live.

Does being a spiritually conscious person mean we no longer have strong emotions one way or another, positive or negative? Or does it suggest that to be in higher consciousness we are no longer with emotions, regardless of what is playing out in our lives? There have been times on my own spiritual journey when I have felt confused about this point. To be truly spiritually evolved, must I be devoid of, or rise above, emotion?

At times when Life has shown up like a hurricane slamming into my front door, this idea of a separateness of spiritual consciousness and emotion has left me questioning. How can I navigate the intense emotions lurking around me while retaining a sense of spiritual balance and serenity?

When I try to understand life from the perspective of my higher Self (that everything is Divinely protected and in order), I don’t get thrown for such a loop when things appear out of control. But if I am honest with myself, sometimes life can really throw a sucker punch right to the solar plexus. It is at those times when practicing spiritual consciousness can prove challenging.

For example, if something that I perceive as frightening or dangerous or sad happens to one of my children or someone very close to me, am I to just keep walking through it without skipping a beat and expect myself to automatically trust that all will be well? Or is it part of the human journey to take a moment (or many moments) to feel the deep pain, sadness or even anger?

For me, allowing for a time of contemplation and digestion of being in my place of pain, sadness, fear or anger is part of the spiritual process. As I continue to speak out for abuse victims whose voices are so often silent, I believe allowing myself to be in the moment fully experiencing what is happening both externally and internally is a critical part of my spiritual journey.

Just being is something I am not always comfortable with. And I did not always grasp what simply being meant. I sometimes still struggle with the idea of being vs. doing. Early on in life I was given the message that if I was not doing something (i.e. physically moving, being busy, productive, etc.), then I was being lazy. And so I have spent much of my life doing.

But a personal triumph that has come with age and practice has been my ability to honor my inner voice — to actually be still enough to invite it in, and quiet enough to truly hear it. At those times, there is nothing I have to physically do or say. It is enough that I am present, and listening. Setting aside self-judgment (i.e., I should be working, cleaning, exercising, etc.), as well as realizing that to simply be is an accomplishment in itself, is key.

In this place of quiet contemplation, I can ask myself what it really means to be a spiritual person and then sit back and listen to my inner voice, my angels, and trust that the answers and direction that come to me will be Divinely inspired. I can trust that I will be guided to best use my abilities, energies and passion for children’s welfare. By allowing my very human emotions equal space, I can connect to my higher Self and make conscious choices for the greater good of the amazing children who are just waiting to have their voices heard.

I believe my compulsion to speak out on behalf of victims of child abuse is Spirit-driven, moving me back to my Divine purpose of wholeness. To me, being a spiritual person means that I fully experience the complete range of human emotions, while returning to a place of quiet contemplation for renewal. Only with this balance do I find the strength to do the work I am passionate about, and the serenity my soul craves.

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Joan Van Eyll brings many years of personal and professional experience to her work as a mentoring consultant through her personal development company, Hearts of Healing. An ordained Minister of Peace with the vision of assisting others in finding their Soul-purpose in life, Joan co-founded Families Advocating for Change in Education and is active in many Minnesota organizations. Through the Minnesota school system and as a Certified Special Olympics coach, she has served as a mentor and mother for many lost children, helping them find solace from and safe passage through the storms of life. Visit www.heartsofhealing.org.


  1. To be spiritually conscious…
    I think you have to be a dualist. That is you have to believe that there is more to consciousness than just the brain. You also have to believe in free will. That is you have some control over your destiny. You also have to believe that *doing* isn’t everything. You also have to believe that *information* and *technology* aren’t everything. You also have to listen to your inner voice to help you find a path to happiness, creativity, inner peace and so on. You also have to believe that life has meaning. Modern society is turning people into robots and away from spirituality. Keep in mind that scientists can’t explain consciousness and robots can’t think. Until they get those things sorted out there is absolutely no reason to worship technology, information and so on.

    So, spend less time using mobile/cell phones, less time looking at advertising and more time thinking about life ! 🙂


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