It’s so easy to look to the things we can touch and see as a path to living a long and happy life. A secret chemical in some foreign plant, a new fitness protocol, the latest biohacking gadget that promises to deliver instant zen. But perhaps somewhere buried amongst the mystical and unseen lies the true secret to happiness and longevity… the greatest biohack…
Listen to the Longevity Series in this order…
- Ep 40 – Longevity Series: How To Be Healthy At 100
- Ep 41 – Longevity Series: Move Naturally
- Ep 42 – Longevity Series: Eat Until 80%
- Ep 43 – Longevity Series: Eat More Plants
- Ep 44 – Longevity Series: Get Your Antioxidants
- Ep 45 – Longevity Series: Know Your Purpose
- Ep 46 – Longevity Series: Slow Down
- Ep 47 – this episode
I would love to hear from you, so please tag me @IAmNickBroadhurst on social media, and use the hashtag #broadnewworld, or leave me a comment below (I read every single one!). And if you could take a minute to leave me a 5 star review on iTunes I would be very grateful.
Welcome back to Broad New World. I’m your host, Broadhurst, and if you want to check out all of my music, my music videos, and everything that I do, including this podcast, head to www.broadhurst.world. To check out my music, just search for the word “Broadhurst” in Spotify, iTunes, Google, wherever you listen to music, and you can check them all out.
And that song you were listening to is a song called Take Me Down, which you can hear the full song at broadhurst.world/takemedown, and I’ll also link to the music video, which is so, so fantastic, really beautiful. I can’t take all the credit; I had a massive team. Just a beautiful, beautiful concept, with an epic ending. You can check that out at broadhurst.world/47.
Before we get started, definitely listen to this series in order, starting at broadhurst.world/40, and that’s going to give you an overview of what this Longevity Series is all about. It will give you an explanation of what the Blue Zones are in this podcast series, because I refer to them all the time. Then we move on to 41 – Move Naturally, 42 – Eat Until 80%, 43 – Eat More Plants, 44 – Get Your Antioxidants, 45 – Know Your Purpose, 46 – Slow Down.
Today, in episode 47, and the seventh pillar of longevity, we’re going to be talking about being connected to a higher source: Living a Spiritual Life. Now if that doesn’t sound as exciting as antioxidants or food, I encourage you to please stay with me, because my dear friend, this is the big one. This is the one I really want you to listen to. So, fingers crossed.
In the Blue Zones, the Sardinians and Nicoyans are mostly Catholic. The Okinawans have a blended religion that stresses ancestor worship. The Loma Linda centenarians are Seventh-Day Adventists, and the Icarians are traditionally Greek Orthodox. And it seems that the subtle act of prayer and worship extends your life. It doesn’t matter if you’re Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu – the benefits are across the board.
And I believe this is the case because, perhaps, belonging to a faith in some way relinquishes the stresses of everyday life to a higher purpose, to a higher being. And maybe on a physical level, knowing that your God or your deity is always there for you, maybe that helps you maintain more of a parasynthetic nervous system and a relaxed state. Just my own theory.
But maybe this explains why a long-term study showed that people who attended a religious service at least once a week actually reduced their risk of death by about a third. A third, right? Let me say that again: People who attended a religious service at least once a week actually reduced their risk of death by about a third. The only thing that I know which is as effective as that is probably infrared saunas.
If there was a pill that promised that, with no side effects, would you take it? I would. That is the power of spirituality. It’s been proven to reduce cardiovascular disease, depression, stress, suicide. It improves immunity. I mean, improved immunity? Yes, please. I’ll take more of that any day.
So what is spirituality? The word “spirit” comes from the Latin word spiritus, which means to breathe. Isn’t that beautiful? And anything that allows us to just be, to accept what is, to breathe… I personally want more of that.
Now, for me, it feels like there was a period of being asleep and then being awake. And I think my big wake-up was during my marriage, my first marriage, when that was breaking down. I was going through a divorce. Interestingly, what happened was, I started meditating before things started to get hairy. And I do believe that meditation, in some respects, was responsible for my first marriage breaking down and me separating from my first wife.
That might sound really weird, but when you start that process of purification, if your partner’s not on board, just imagine there’s like an elastic band between the two of you. When one partner takes off on that spiritual journey, the elastic band starts to stretch. And it can keep stretching, and if the other person stays rooted in their beliefs and doesn’t want to go with you, it keeps stretching more and it keeps stretching more and it keeps stretching more. What’s going to happen is that rubber band is either going to slingshot that person straight up to you, or it’s going to get to that point where it breaks. That’s what happened in my first marriage.
Let me tell you, sometimes that saying, “Ignorance is bliss” – ignorance is rather tempting. The physical, emotional, and spiritual purging that I went through last year could be labeled as depression. But for me, it was a burning off. It was a letting go of who I thought Nick was, in order to become who I am.
For me, this was a spiritual rite of passage, a spiritual catharsis. It happens to everybody, if they start to move into a much higher state of consciousness. The reason I didn’t experience this earlier is because I had not accessed those layers of my subtle energy bodies, to begin purifying and releasing them. And now, I’m much lighter.
Now, I’ve got a long way to go, and I feel like I’ve just moved out of spiritual preschool. There were tears; I had separation anxiety from my former self. But now, what I’ve discovered is the ability to create from a place of love, to enjoy being me and everything I have to offer in this lifetime.
It has led to a deeper sense of knowing, a more effortless ability to first listen to my intuition, and then hear and act upon that. It’s playing out right now in my life, with some really big decisions that I know I can move forward with much more ease and grace.
There’s only one purpose for all life, and that is for you and all that lives to experience the fullest glory, love, and joy. That, in my opinion, is spirituality. It’s everything. It’s dark, it’s light, it’s growth, it’s pain. Being able to sit in the middle, to observe while life fluctuates around you, and then choose love, always; that is the ultimate for me.
Because if a religion leads to anything but choosing love, then that is not spirit. That is not spiritus. We’re here to breathe in the whole spectrum, because love is the sum of all feelings: anger, sadness, happiness, joy, sorrow. They all add up to love.
That’s what spirituality means to me. I activate this each day through meditation, yoga, by doing my best to be love, by spending time in nature, by being of service, by doing this podcast, by writing music. That’s what makes me breathe. That’s my spirit. In fact, in the dictionary, “spirituality” is defined as “the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul, as opposed to material or physical things.”
So what does spirituality mean to you? If you’re ready to take that magic pill, but don’t know where to start, just start with your breath. Spiritus. Spirit. It’s always there. It’s waiting for you, and you can always access it.
And remember today to look up. See the beauty around you. See the beauty within you. Be gentle with yourself. Breathe. Feel your spirit. It is so strong. Let’s not get so busy being human today that we forget our very essence, our spirit. Be love. Hear your intuition. Listen to it and act on it. And, as always, have a beautiful day. I love you heaps. Ciao.