Spirituality has become professionalized and it’s hurting our spiritual growth.

A teenager meditating in gym clothes
A teenager meditating in gym clothes
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One of the biggest problems with a lot of new-age spirituality is the multi-level marketing aspects of it. It’s often advertised to the spiritually interested as an intense lifestyle, and with this, your life purpose soon becomes “spiritual teacher.”

It’s not enough to simply be who you are and spiritual, you need to transform into a guru and educate others. Spiritual growth stops being about quality and soon becomes a quantified product.

I think this is harmful for two reasons: we don’t actually need that many spiritual teachers and it tells people that their current spirituality isn’t enough.

Unintentional Spiritual Hucksters

I chose…


Forget the fancy venue and allow yourself to have real freedom in a more intimate setting.

A bride wearing a modern gown and a floral headband
A bride wearing a modern gown and a floral headband
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Getting married in front of your friends and family isn’t easy these days. Between closed venues and quarantines, your happy day could seem like a lost daydream.

Choosing to hold the wedding in your backyard or a similar private setting might be your only option. However, it doesn’t have to be an unfortunate compromise and can become one of your most cherished memories.

Here’s why.

You Control Everything

When you have a wedding at a venue, you’re ceding control to someone else. Often, you’ll be restricted in the style of your ceremony, the menu, and even who you can invite.

But a wedding…


Instead, write personal stories for your fans.

A woman lying in bed at night on her laptop
A woman lying in bed at night on her laptop
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I recently watched a video from the YouTube channel that addressed the “fluff content” of recipe blogs. A writer on CNN’s website bemoaned the lack of respect for humanity in “skipping” the life story behind each recipe by readers.

But Income School pointed out something interesting which I believe is relevant to writers on Medium: if you’re trying to attract readers to your blog with a search engine, then your life story doesn’t matter. It’s not what they’re looking for because they’re only there for that one recipe.

Search engines only serve up relevant content to the query…


We’re all tempted to be rebels, but rebellion isn’t always heroic.

Young woman in a devil costume
Young woman in a devil costume
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I’m not a Christian. I didn’t grow up in a Christian family.

When I was eleven, one of my classmates described Jesus to me as a magic baby turned Harry Potter so I’d understand. But I still had some hilarious misunderstandings about the religion, like the belief that Christians partly worshipped a white bird.

But one of the most confusing things I encountered weren’t bible thumpers, but anti-Christians who reacted to their upbringing by co-opting Satanic imagery.

Ironically, it was Satan that I knew the most about.

The Rise of the Rebels

My education on Satan wasn’t extensive, but I knew enough to be competent…


Productivity

It’s stressing me out and I think you should stop too.

A woman relaxing by the creek
A woman relaxing by the creek
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I’m no longer going to track my time.

Lately, I’ve gotten into the habit of tracking how much time I spend writing, reading, and managing correspondence.

I thought it would help me be more productive, but all it’s really done was fray at my nerves until there was nothing left.

And I think you should stop time tracking too.

Hating the Boss (That’s You)

Some people have to track their time because they work on billable hours, like lawyers. But most people either work an hourly job or they have some leeway in how they do their tasks.

That means keeping a detailed time log…


We take ourselves too seriously. Sometimes fashion is to blame.

Back view of a woman wearing a dress and looking at the countryside
Back view of a woman wearing a dress and looking at the countryside
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A few months ago, the creek behind my house flooded the basement. I still remember the physical exhaustion from hand-pumping water into a bucket that my dad carried upstairs every few minutes to save the house from ruin.

Although the basement was fine, my shoes weren’t so lucky. I had to stand in rising water and my sneakers weren’t cut out for that kind of water damage.

I placed an order for a replacement not long after. When they arrived, my mom teased me because they were the plainest black sneakers I could find.

Even as a child, I was…


But the reason behind it is how to make your other dreams come true.

Woman burning American cash
Woman burning American cash
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If you’ve ever heard of the , then you know that a positive mindset can help you manifest your dreams into reality.

But what if one of your dreams is to win the lottery?

The truth is that the Law of Attraction won’t work in this situation. No matter how many affirmations you say, scripts you write, or rituals you do, the universe isn’t going to bring a multimillion jackpot into your life.

However, the reason why is enlightening and gives a lot of insight into the way that manifestation works.

Manifestations Shouldn’t Compete

You’re not the only person whose trying…


Happiness

Introverts are too serious and it’s killing them. The good news is that they can have more fun in their lives than they think.

A woman smiling at a flower
A woman smiling at a flower
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It’s easy to get caught up in the default mood of an introvert: serious.

Introverts don’t live blindly, but with purpose, and this leads them to act with immense intention in so much of what they do.

The downside is that they don’t ever really let loose. And when this happens, introverts become so wound up and stressed that they begin to unravel from the inside.

This isn’t healthy for an introvert because it can lead to unhappiness or even mental illness.

The good news is that the fix is rather simple: introverts need to be silly.

Make Time for Play

A lot of…


Culture

Politics is downstream from culture. Artists have some bad news for us if that’s the case.

A dark elf fantasy warrior on a videogame landscape
A dark elf fantasy warrior on a videogame landscape
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I love stories, especially heroic stories.

The contemporary trend of sympathetic villains as protagonists is just not my cup of tea. My parents love watching shows of criminals running their illicit empires and I can’t relate to their enjoyment.

When I see a bad person, I want them to face justice. I don’t want to see them elevated as the focal point of culture.

But that’s exactly what’s happening.

So why?

Literary Tropes Are Detroped

The traditional heroic figure is a good person. …


What you need to know about hauntings could save your life.

Female ghost haunting a building
Female ghost haunting a building
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I did my high school senior project on ghost hunting.

This was 2009 when ghost hunting shows were popular on television and thrill-seekers were forming their own groups to find out if the dead really haunted their local communities.

I believe in the paranormal then and I believe in the paranormal now, but when I began to explore this topic critically, it quickly became apparent that the symptom of ghosts may be real, but the paranormal nature of that activity is not always the cause.

My opinion on ghost hunting shifted, but not in the ways you’d expect.

Hauntings Should Always Be Taken Seriously

A lot…

Emmarie Hodge

Spirituality writer and happy introvert. Also surrounded by a hostile number of trees.

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