I used to think that being spiritual meant being poor. My grandmother worshiped tortured saints and humble servants as the epitome of devotion. She hung pictures of sad humility on every wall as a reminder. I thought the ultimate godly sacrifice would be scrubbing latrines in a convent. No wonder religion left me with something to be desired! I’ve since learned that we don’t have to renounce modern luxuries to be spiritual.
But rags and loin cloths aren’t the dress code of saints and yogis, though your interest in clothing may fade as your devotion to introspection brightens. Great things are accomplished through the exchange of money; charities can thrive, the disadvantaged can survive, and generosity takes on new dimensions. Plus, it's hard to meditate with creditors pounding at your front door. So, if you’re partial to thinking that beggars are spiritual and millionaires are corrupt, then reconsider. You might well be your biggest obstacle to financial stability and even wealth.
The universe responds to passion, ambition, and dedication. If poverty invokes those feelings within you, that's one thing. But if the freedom of financial abundance and the reciprocity for a job well done turns you on, then you will be rewarded. Our world is starving for vibrant spirits to spread hope and enthusiasm. Determine who you are, where you're going, and the steps required to get there. The universe will meet you half way, whether that's in a monastery or a mansion.
We've seen it time and again: the headline of another millionaire who’s overdosed in the oversized room of an overpriced Hollywood penthouse, alone. With a closet jam-packed with designer labels and bottles of Don Perignon on the table, they have no material wants. These examples suggest that without the essence of spirit, life is empty. Yoga invites us to enjoy the luxuries of the world. We have the capacity to hear musical genius, to relish the miracle of a flower, to savor the taste of chocolate, and to feel the warmth of another’s arms. If your mind is tormented by the fear of losing what you've got or not getting what you want, then there's no room left to enjoy what is. It’s that simple.
Our life experience is magnified when we can enjoy it without distraction--when we are fully absorbed in the moment. Yoga reminds us that happiness has nothing to do with the accumulation of “stuff” and that our appreciation of these things is heightened with the strong body, calm mind, and emotional poise that it affords.