Subjective Spirituality- The Many Meanings of “Your Higher Power”

Courtney Alex BELatina higher power
Photo Credit IG @tiny_psychic

Developing your own spirituality is largely a self-led exploration of what you believe to be your higher power, a process that will present you different challenges over time, and probably will even leave you wondering whether you’re doing it right. After all, while ascribing to a religion can present you with a readymade structure, community, and access to mentors, finding your own, subjective spirituality means you’re having to find your own answers to your own questions.

If that sounds daunting — and yet a little bit exciting — a great place to start is reflecting on your favorite things to do. Courtney Alex, intuitive energy healer and author of the upcoming book (available on Amazon) Trust Your Magical Self: How to Be Super Psychic, Extra Intuitive, and Love Your Sensitive Soul, told us how going toward your favorite things will help you to define and refine your higher power, on your own terms. 

Find Your Higher Power in What You Already Love

According to Alex, tapping into your higher power is actually pretty simple. Find something that you love to do, something that allows you to lose track of time for hours — anything from playing a sport to practicing yoga to cleaning your home — and follow that feeling inward. “When you have a love of random penny collecting for instance, that’s your own connection to your own heart, your center — this feeling becomes your north star,” she said. “Once you start, the feeling in your body becomes really familiar.”

She noted that a big draw for many of toward defining our higher power is the draw toward our elemental nature. “It’s really about this connection to the earth,” she explained. 

Using that feeling to guide you toward belief systems and practices that feel right to you makes it a completely subjective process in discovering your spiritual self. “There’s no way you’re conforming to be that,” Alex pointed out. It’s in stark contrast to if you had decided to pursue an organized religion.

Refining Your Higher Power

From there, you can look outside to the wisdom held by ancient scriptures to suit your needs, even of religions that you might have once rejected or overlooked. A descendent of Hungarian refugees, Alex was raised in a Jewish household. “I didn’t love Judaism because of the social structure, the culture of certain Jewish sects didn’t speak to me as a woman,” she shared. Now though, she sometimes looks to the Old Testament as a resource of higher learning when she’s searching for something specific. 

She spoke of wanting guidance to help her come into her role as a teacher, prior to leading a workshop on intuition at the 2018 Envision Festival in Costa Rica as part of the event’s Village Witches series. She recalled what she knew of the Old Testament character of Leah, a founding mother of the Jewish nation who, despite her husband’s disappointment that she wasn’t beautiful, was so fertile that she went on to bear him so many sons that he had no choice but to be satisfied. “Now that I have to embody a leader — could I embody Leah? She wasn’t loved because she was pretty; she was loved for her mother qualities, her Shakti energy.” She mainly looks to the Dao for her guidance, though, because of how it is defined by natural elements, rather than deities. “With Daoism, you are your own God. Your center is the way,” she said. 

But you can look to whatever resonates with you, mixing and matching modalities as you see fit. Consider that with religion and mythology, a lot of the time we’re using different language to describe the same, universal truths, so you really can’t go wrong here. You don’t need to limit yourself to conventional belief systems, either. If you’re a storyteller who loves to unearth the strange coincidences of life, find yourself a tarot deck and try divination as a guide. If you loathe organized religions and feel drawn toward the idea of connecting with your pre-colonial ancestry, read up on indigenous rituals to explore a few that might resonate with you.