The word “spiritual” to most conjures up a scene of perfect peace. Like doing asanas in yoga-style garments on a secluded tropical beach at sunrise, and then returning to a retreat hut for meditation and fresh organic fruit.

Spirituality has become synonymous with what makes us feel “good.” Spas, crystals, beads, positive affirmations, scented candles, eating organic, repeating spiritual verses, can all make us feel like we are more “spiritual”, but can they actually make us any more spiritual?

If standards as to what is spiritual relate to pleasant ideas, and things that are external to us, then anyone can surround themselves with things associated with “spirituality” and in doing so appear more spiritual than others—when they may have no more consciousness than the next person standing in line at the supermarket. Additionally, it’s easy for someone to simply recite whatever makes people “feel good” and then look like they are giving spiritual information.

But isn’t the real good to be found in the inner qualities of consciousness—like true friendship, courage, faith, and honesty—and in some of the most unexpected, ordinary, everyday, and trying of circumstances? In my view, it’s what’s within and who we are that counts. Real love doesn’t put on a show, but is expressed in deeds that those who like a show often can’t perceive, and is the very thing that puts someone closer in touch with their true Being no matter where they are.