what it means to be "spiritual"

what-is-spirituality-to-you "Spiritual" is one of those nebulous words whose meaning can dramatically shape-shift from one context and perspective to another. I am not interested in listing out others' definitions, or in convincing you to espouse my personal understanding of the concept.

Right now, I appeal not to your mind, but to your soul. 

You know the feeling:

For a brief moment, the veil is lifted.

You see behind the to-do lists and schedules and stop lights, and you remember.

Oh yeah, this. This is it.

In that moment, in your awareness is pure love. Or peace, connection, grace, aliveness.

Whatever it is -- for that fleeting moment, it is pure, undiluted.

It can happen when you least expect it:

A deep breath and stillness in the middle of your lunch break. A candy-colored sunset on your drive home. A song that wells your eyes up with tears. A kind stranger on a rough day.

Or you can seek it out:

Meditation, snuggles, purrs, prayers, stars, hymns, crystals, oh-my-GOD brownie sundaes, belly laughs, watching the dance of a single flame.

If you are alive, you have access to it. 

Call it whatever you want. Love, truth, life force, ~ing, spirituality, energy, qi.

There's a lot of great, fun, silly, scary, tedious, obnoxious stuff happening on this big rock of ours. And believe me, I enjoy a Netflix marathon or the satisfaction of a tidy inbox just as much as the next girl. We don't have to "transcend" that stuff to connect to what is most true.

But we do need reminders. So right now, this is mine, and yours.

With a cheers and a wink,



Valerie Martin

Valerie Martin, LMSW, is a Primary Therapist at The Ranch residential treatment center, where she works with eating disorders, addiction, trauma, and co-occurring mental health issues. Valerie focuses on a holistic treatment approach of mind + body integration, using Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), somatic and bioenergetic therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), psychodrama, 12-step, and shame resilience. She is also a Certified Sexual Addiction Therapist (CSAT) Candidate. Valerie received her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications and Master of Science degree in Clinical Social Work at the University of Texas in Austin. She is an active member of the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Nashville, and emphasizes spiritual exploration in her work with clients.