Lifestyle is just a temporary expression of a life, an eternally transitory phase of being like this or like that, in this form or shape or another, with this preference, visual representation and value structure or some other at this point in time. Lifestyle is bound by the guidelines of the style and is very much of earthly origin. A life is an unbound force living within the one that is free to choose a lifestyle from what is offered, to align with certain things and break with them if he/she no longer sees their purpose.
Being spiritual has very much become a lifestyle in our construct of society. “Spiritual” is not a label you stick onto someone. To be truly spiritual you cannot be bound within a lifestyle because the spirit is not dependent on the changing circumstance or parameters of the style that determines how to speak, how to sit, what to eat or own, how to behave and what to believe. Spirit is free and flexible, fully open-minded to all the different expressions of being alive so spirituality itself cannot be a lifestyle. The yoga pants or a sari you buy are items, a plant based diet is a choice among thousands of others, you can burn incents, smack the gongs and listen to the bowls singing until the cows come home – it is just an expression of something else. Lifestyle can easily be bought and mimicked. Having a life cannot because it has nothing to do with the things you trade money for. Spirit is not trapped within the material or ceremonial expressions of it, it has no form, it does not discriminate, it sees life as a force, not something to be packaged and marketed. The mind is free in its purest form, so is consciousness, and your lifestyle trinkets can be a great help to act as a conduit to something bigger then themselves but they cannot become that thing in themselves. There is no reason to be averse to the physical objects and things. After all, you have a body, an object of your very own, that experiences the world through the senses. The trick is not to confuse the senses that breed emotions and behaviors with yourself, and not to confuse the things that make a lifestyle as the core of building a life.
You may use the lifestyle to manage the chaos around you and choose a particular one as a means of communication to the world of who you are and what you stand for. It is a creative endeavor of trying to make sense of the chaos by taming your self-image – equally a reassurance towards yourself and as a message to the outside world. Choosing a lifestyle is like you’re painting yourself from scratch to show your colors. In doing this, make sure you don’t just paint by numbers and end up with some bland generic reproduction by doing the bare minimum. It is only natural and completely all right to try to express the ungraspable within the graspable – if it weren’t we wouldn’t have millions of love songs, speaking of the same thing from infinite personal experiences that vary. You need the physical. Even if you refused to participate in the world and decided to live naked in a remote cave grazing on all fours, that to would be considered a lifestyle. Don’t worry about the particularities of it. Your job is just to make sure you don’t get to identified with this fleeting instances of you. You’re free flowing even if you’re in a puddle right now. You’ll evaporate, come down again and flow somewhere else. As Bruce Lee said: “Be water my friend.” – flow, adapt, change your lifestyle freely with your core life force intact.