This week, I interviewed my college friend Stephanie Langner on my podcast about long-distance backpacking. She hiked the Appalachian Trail back in 2016 and has since sold her house, quit her job of 11 years, and in less than a month is about to fly to Seattle to begin her 2,600-mile thru-hike from Canada to Mexico on the Pacific Crest Trail.
Stephanie and I reconnected over COVID, believe it or not. It’s weird how life comes full-circle like that. We were always about a degree of separation back then, but a friendship never manifested. Now, we’re very much aligned on the same path.
The podcast started out serious but by the second half, we were shooting the shit about waiting in line in a monsoon for the Port-A-Potty in the Marine Corps Marathon, shots of fireball at Mile 24, and peeing, pooping, and getting your period in the woods.
We also talked about spirituality.
Now, before I got healthy, the spirituality thing put me off a lot, because “why the hell are all of them like that?”
Even my friend who lost 90 pounds during the pandemic confessed to me about midway through his journey that he had a very reassuring spiritual feeling, that everything in the world he desired was his.
And I must tell you, I see people actively avoiding things that are good for them because of this.
When you begin to move your life forward, change your physiology, sway from the Standard American Diet, practice the pause, stop drowning in the bottle, and all of the things that come congruent with that sort of life, spirituality manifests on its own.
It just happens in the wake of clarity.
I experienced this tremendously when I stopped drinking. The glaze over my eyes and perpetual fog I was always trying to sift through dissipated, and I felt awake for the first time in my adult life. I felt, for the first time, that I could see.
I had an inner feeling of goodness, and that is possible to have while also using the word “fuck” in every other sentence. It’s possible to be a hilarious badass who swears like a sailor and still has that inner feeling of peace and tranquility.
And that to me was the beginning of “spirituality.”
I think in Western society, the word spirituality on its own is off-putting because people relate it to a Christian God.
I wrote a Facebook post recently about embracing spirituality and the thing you feel inside of you when you’re at your best, eager to share my happiness with friends and people I loved, and I got deleted by a handful of people.
I was confused, but I was never looking at it from their lens.
Most Western people’s brains instinctively tie the word “spirituality” to “Christianity” because of how they were raised.
I had Atheist parents, so my brain doesn’t do this by default. I don’t get put off by the word spirituality, because up until now, I never even knew how to interpret it.
Going back to the podcast, (which got pretty spiritual, by the way,) Stephanie asked me when we were finished why we never were closer friends back in the day.
I told her that I was not the human that she knows now. I was happy to tell you that God didn’t exist, along with anything else. I was happy to tell you that everything was insignificant, smoking my cigarette, sucking down gin.
She told me she would be similar regarding the subject, but not exactly the same.
So I’ll say to you, if you’re worried about having to embrace something you don’t quite believe in, don’t. That won’t happen.
When you get healthy, get unstuck, and start living the life you absolutely love, mind, body and spirit, spirituality and whatever semblance of it will be right for you happens on its own. It won’t be disruptive.
It will simply feel peaceful, rather than chaotic. You get to retain everything else about yourself. You don’t have to learn any new dogma. You don’t have to start speaking in tongues. You just get to feel peaceful.
I hope you are having a great week.
And HEY- I am going to be doing a webinar in a few weeks! Something totally new for me and I’m stating it here publicly as accountability because my ass hasn’t figured out the tech piece yet… (For as tech savvy as I am, sometimes I’m not. LOL)
It’ll be totally free, and a great way for us to hang out for an hour.
When I have a date, I’ll be sure to let you all know.
Originally published at https://www.getthefuckoff.com on May 26, 2021.