What is spirituality? And why does it matter?


Let’s talk spirituality: part 1 of 3! 

What connects us all? What’s our purpose on earth? Is there something bigger than ourselves?

My friend and astrologist, Suzie Guillette, is a guest and expert on the topic of spirituality. Suzie is a published author, an intuitive, and an empath. And she’s here to have a dialogue and offer her perspective on  the question—what exactly is spirituality?

What connects us all? It’s what we believe in—hope, faith, meaning, and trust in something larger than ourselves. Spirituality at its core is rooted in love. How does what I think, say or do impact others around me? Spirituality is the self-awareness to ask yourself the question, “is my presence having a positive impact on  other people?”

We are all connected to one another. Spirituality requires an expanded perspective—connecting to something larger than yourself. Spiritual moments can be healing and profound, but they can also be everyday moments—as simple as the experience of thinking of someone and having them call you shortly thereafter. Have you ever experienced a synergy, a coincidence or something that you couldn’t rationally explain? 

It’s in spiritual moments like this that remind us there is a purpose to our existence—that we are all interconnected.

Often, spirituality manifests itself in religion—a common text people study or read, a community that convenes often and defines morality. Unfortunately, manipulation is also rampant in the spiritual world—though it’s pretty easy to spot people with bad intent when you realize they are just professing their values, not living them. 

Moral leaders are often the ones we turn to for guidance around life’s big questions. They’re supposed to be our north star, but all too commonly, humans fall prey to being human and they can be swept up by greed, pride and an abuse of power. Spirituality isn’t always moral, and “spiritual” people aren’t always perfect. For example, Catholic alter boys were sexually exploited for decades in the church. Another example is the yoga community—where instructors have used their position of authority to have sexual relationships with their students. 

Many years ago, Suzie started reading astrology charts and now provides intuitive readings for people as well. She’s fascinated by how each time she goes over her astrological chart, she discovers a deeper layer of herself. 

Astrology speaks to our unique complexities as human beings and provides a new avenue of learning for those interested in connecting with their spirituality. Your chart can reveal your strengths, blind spots, and weaknesses—a blueprint for what your soul wants to express during your time on earth. 

What allows you to venture into the unknown? Self-trust. 

Healers like Suzie, teach you tools to strengthen your self-trust by tuning in, listening to your gut, and trusting your intuition. Sometimes, you  don’t get to choose—self-trust comes out of necessity. Your circumstances force you to lean into the unknown. 

When you are troubled, lonely, or can’t see a way forward—that’s when you will likely be searching for new answers. This is when you will be most likely to surrender. When you’ve experience a physical or emotional crisis (and we all have), you may find yourself in disbelief. When you feel surprised or shocked, these are the moments your belief system often cracks wide open. While they may seem scary, these moments of vulnerability are an opportunity for transformation. 



Doctor Neha Sangwan: Hi, everybody, and welcome to The Communication Cure. Today, I have invited Suzie to be with us for many reasons. One is that Suzie is someone I have great conversations with, and oftentimes our conversations move into the realm of the unknown, spirituality, and what we think about exploring mystery and what we sometimes can’t see.

So I thought you were the perfect person to have today. So, welcome!

Suzanne Guillette: Thank you! Thanks for having me.

Doctor Neha: Absolutely. And just as a side note, Suzie has been helping me edit my upcoming book, and also happens to be an astrologer. So you are, in more ways than one, you are the right person to have on today. 

So we were having a discussion the other day, and I said, “Oh, save it, save it. Let’s turn that into a video blog!” Because it was such a rich discussion, and it was around—what is spirituality? What do we mean by that? And in our world, there are a lot of conspiracy theories going around, and what’s the value to them? Where are they not valuable? Not as valuable? And so wondering, where do you want to start in that discussion?

Suzie: Well, maybe we could link up the connection between defining spirituality and the conversation about conspiracy theories. I know we were just talking about it before we got on air, but I thought that might be best.

Doctor Neha: Well, I guess, I want you to add to this as well. It’s more like [a discussion of] our willingness to

explore awe or mystery, the unknown, maybe things we can’t see, things we don’t know for certain. But we have an inclination about things or we wonder about. 

When I think of spirituality, I’m thinking of what connects us all. What’s the bigger purpose? Where do I find hope and faith and meaning and trust in something bigger than myself? And I often think of spirituality being rooted in love—for me, how can I see the impact of what I’m doing affecting other people? And make sure that I become a higher version of myself so that when I’m in other people’s presence, their experience can be better? 

So sometimes I think of [spirituality] in nature, or like, our invisible heart connections to each other.

Suzie: Yeah. Yeah, I agree. I have a similar conception of spirituality. I mean, for me, it’s really as simple as transcendence. The moments where I feel really connected to something larger than myself, and it can happen in nature. I’ve had it happen once in the middle of a relative’s health crisis, where I felt flooded with love, and it was really profound. So it can be very healing, but it can also be really ordinary, it can be

something as simple as—you think of someone, and then they call you [later on that day] and you just feel connected.

Sort of these things that take me out of my personal, my own personal concerns and remind me that there is some sort of purpose to our existence. And even though we don’t know the great mystery in its entirety, getting glimpses of that can feel really healing. 

Doctor Neha: And I would say one way that spirituality manifests itself is in religion. People have a set of beliefs that they share, a common text that they read, a community that convenes at some particular frequency, right? A way that they define their moral beliefs to navigate the world. So to me, it’s also a way to create certainty from the unknown. 

And so if that’s true, does that mean that all religions and all spirituality is amazing and only provides guiding light to the world? No, of course not. Of course not. There are some really clear examples of how that has gone astray as humans interpret religion / spirituality for their own needs and purpose.

Like, I would say, like the Catholic Church and alter boys—there’s been, you know, reports on a widespread basis

on sexual abuse that’s gone on in multiple institutions. And to me that’s using this institution that is supposed to be for the betterment, the higher moral ground, community building, and our North Star, and then it gets used for people’s personal needs, wants, desires, whatever, whatever that is. 

So it can be morphed. 

Suzie: Absolutely, I mean, what you’re describing is abuse of power, which you can see in all kinds of different spiritual contexts and different spiritual communities. I think people who fall prey to that are often vulnerable, and the person abusing the power is aware of that and exploiting that vulnerability. And also, taking advantage of perhaps the person’s desire to believe in something larger than themselves. I think that’s where it [spirituality] can feel particularly horrible.

Doctor Neha: You know, another example would be the yoga community for sure. Where some of the yoga instructors or leaders of a cult or an organization, then start using it as a way to have sexual relations, let’s say for example, with the students or participants. That’s another example. 

There’s something there about what I call “snuggling up to spirituality,” because it’s perceived as good or cool, versus actually striving to be that as a human being. I think when people realize that they can get something they want—power, control, something they want—by cozying up to or looking spiritual in a certain way. Or if someone thinks consciousness is cool in society, like, “how can I associate myself with that thing that I now am,?” A business person who’s conscious, or I am a yoga teacher, who does X-Y-Z. So I think understanding what people’s intentions are, beneath what they’re doing or saying, is a really good way to decipher. clarity around around whether it’s a genuine like, ask yourself, Does this person behave in ways that align with that, which they are saying? That’s alignment? Right? That what they say, Do think Express show up in the world? Does that align with what it is the context in which you are meeting them?

Suzie: Yes, exactly. Exactly. Yeah, I mean, there’s so many examples of this, where it goes awry, where someone’s behavior doesn’t match up with their words. And, you know, in the context of a spiritual community, it can be easy to manipulate and gaslight followers or adherence or members of that community to not looking at that disconnect between what they say they value and their actual behavior. I mean, I think that probably happens, unfortunately. A lot. Not always, obviously, but it’s not uncommon.

Doctor Neha: So tell me why you believe in astrology you’re you’re an astrologer. Why, what led you there some people think Oh, whatever. Like that’s, you know, horoscopes and stuff. Take me through a little bit of how you got interested and what helps you in your knowing

Suzie: What’s interesting, it’s very much related to what we were just talking about in a way. So I was always sort of into astrology I’m Aquarius, sun, cancer, Moon cancer rising and it was probably around the time that I hit my Saturn Return, which is Saturn, the planet of restriction boundaries, self authority returns to its place in everybody’s birth chart 20 every 29 and a half years. And so around that time in my life, I was really struggling. So they say if you’re not doing your Saturn, that’s a common astrological phrase, which means basically owning a certain part of your life and showing up with some type of, you know, clear intention and daily discipline that you can experience depression, you know, and in my case, my Saturn is a cancer and anyway, long story short, I was not feeling my feelings. And when I learned I tried everything, I was stuck in this terrible depression, chain smoking. And I really, I couldn’t get out of it. And it was very alarming to me. 

And the moment that the light bulb went off was when I had a thought that I would never make another friend as long as I lived. And I was like, Oh my gosh, something is wrong. Like, if I’m thinking like that, like that, like really woke me up. So I ran to the self help aisle at Barnes and Noble and I flipped through everything, and I found an astrology book on the Saturn Return. And that out of everything I looked at actually spoke to me it was actually practical. And so then I started learning more about astrology. 

And in typical aquarium fashion, you know, I very much did a self study, meaning I’ve I have taken classes, but I went, like deep into the things that I was interested in looking at my own chart, friends, charts, all of this, but one of my early teachers was the, I would say, I don’t know, it might be to dramatics call her the head of a spiritual community, but she would lead circles for young women like myself. I mean, I’m not young anymore, but at the time, at the time, I was, you know, still in my late, or I guess I was 30 by them. But, um, so sort of young. But so she would, you know, teach, she would have workshops, teachings, and all this stuff that I found super fascinating and had never been exposed to before. And I started to notice a disconnect with her around her behavior, versus what she was preaching. So she was big into self authority, owning your truth. But she didn’t like it when people challenged her basically, like, and so it was an intro it was I wouldn’t call it a cult, sometimes I say it was called reminiscent. Just because there was a sort of like, she wasn’t out for money that wasn’t like, she wasn’t trying. I don’t believe she was trying to actually exploit anyone. But there, she definitely had some blind spots. 

And, so I was involved for probably like, a couple years, with her various offerings. And I started to that split really bothered me. And eventually, it kind of came to a head over a specific incident that’s too long of a story to go into, but I decided to leave to not you know, participate in her stuff anymore. And that really changed. I mean, first of all, astrology is incredible to me. I mean, you could study one chart for your whole life, you could study your own chart for your whole life, and always discover new layers. And I mean, I’m, I have a curious mind. And there’s so many places you can go with different schools of thought, you know, there’s this incredibly rich and meaningful tradition, it’s connected to mythology. So I just love the learner in me loved that. But when I started giving readings myself, and I started out doing just straight astrology readings, and now I give into what I call intuitive readings, where I use the chart as like kind of a basis for having a dialogue with someone. But because of that early experience that I had with this teacher, I really am very emphatic about how I don’t I don’t own your truth. I don’t know, you know, you your own gut, your own intuition is the most valuable thing that you can be in touch with. 

So I probably go overboard, honestly. I mean, I think I’ve calmed down a little bit. But in terms of stressing like, this is your life. These are your choices, like how do you in teaching people like how do you feel in your body, when you think about making this decision that you’re so confused about, and sort of teaching different tools that help people feel more like exercise that self trust muscle, where they know what their intuition is saying, and they can come to a place of, you know, it’s important to trust myself, and for whatever reason, I don’t have to have all the answers, but I do trust that these are my feelings. And this is my best judgment in this particular moment. So that, you know, tends to be and I think astrology speaks beautifully to that, because, you know, it sort of not only speaks to that all of our different parts, you know, it explains how complex we are as human beings. Nobody’s just one way or the other. It can show your blind spots. It can show your strengths. It can show, you know, shows you where you can work, maybe where you’re lucky. But ultimately, what it really does is it’s kind of a blueprint for what your soul most wants to express in your time on Earth. And so I think it’s increasing I believe valuable for helping people get in touch with how they really feel and what their real experiences.

Doctor Neha: I love that. And I will tell you in the beginning, right, as a engineer and a doctor, and you know, everything

had to go through science, my mom says, research scientists, my dad’s an engineer, and you know, it was all about school and the data for me. And I remember, someone asked me if I wanted to get an astrology reading, I was like, what’s that? And kind of blew it off, like, never heard of that. And I remember them saying to me, now you’re a scientist? How much? Do you believe that the tide rises and falls Do you believe? And I’m like, oh, yeah, of course, like, we all know, like, high tide, low tide, like all of this. And they said, Well, you’re a scientist, how much of you what percentage of you is made up of water? And I said, Gosh, I can’t remember. But I think it’s like, 65 66%, some large percentage of me. And they said to me, Well, how is it then that you think that the moon, and you know, and the planets can affect the oceans, which are water, and somehow it won’t affect you, when you are such a large percentage of water? And it, it got me to open my mind. 

So you know, what, I think there might be a way that I should experience this. And I want to talk a little bit about changing our mind, right? Because a lot of times logical type A academic intellectual, you know, depending on how you were raised, and what you were taught to trust in really influences how, and whether or not you open up to the unknown. Mm hmm. And that way of coming through my scientific brain and kind of reasoning with me, brought me into the openness of Okay, I’ll try it like, why not? But let’s just talk a little bit because, you know, how do you know whether something is true or not? For you, you described a space in your life when you were not doing well. Mm hmm. And oftentimes, I find as a doctor, when someone has had a heart attack, a stroke and pneumonia, some version of a crisis, a physical crisis, that is the time when their heart cracks open. A world is not they never thought they were the 59 year old status post heart attack, or the 72 year old with cancer. 

When our belief system is cracked open, that’s often a time where we’re open to new ways of thinking. Mm hmm. When we’re in despair, when we’re troubled, when we can’t find a way out when we think we won’t have another friend, make another friend in our lifetime. Whatever that thought is. I remember once having having a thought that was like, when I got really sick, I didn’t know how to cook, and I had, like 200 food sensitivities. Thinking Like, there’s not actually a way forward here. Mm hmm. And it’s that moment, it’s that

moment that either you crack open and find another way. But it almost was telling me that the way I had been doing my life until that point, I had just hit a brick wall. And there was not a way forward when I behaved in that way, right or thought in that way. So how do you know whether something’s true or not? 

Suzie: The experience that you’re describing like this, which is basically a point of surrender, right? Where you say, “Okay, I can’t do this anymore. I give up.” I don’t or I don’t know the answers or I don’t know how to proceed. It reminds me of the Pope did has a book called the name of God, His mercy. And he right it’s such a beautiful book. it’s just basically interviews with an Italian journalist on this very topic like that, when people are those really low moments that they are primed for. I think he calls it God’s grace, but God basically a some type of divine intervention. But you know, depending on your belief system, I think you could say the universe or just some some transcendent force, you know. Yes, guides, and one of one thing that he writes about in that book that I just love so much and think about all the time, even though I read it five years ago was that in this state, we are in a true state of humility, meaning we’re kind of understanding that we are not the center of everything. I don’t think this is how he says it but but there is a certain beauty and healing power of humility in those moments. That enables people to say, Okay, I’m going to trust I’m going to have faith because, you know, literally something bigger than me. Something bigger than me. Yes, exactly.

Doctor Neha: So, around spirituality, we’ve talked about how it is a way that we can move into mystery or the unknown and kind of explore it. And you’ll know the people and friends that you can do that with. Because when

you start talking about it, they light up and they share what they saw and the synchronicities in their life. And then there’ll be people who just go flat, like, I don’t know what you’re talking about, like not interested in that. It’s similar to politics, either you’re into it, or you’re not. So just pay attention. And also, the more you learn to trust yourself, the more you’ll be able to navigate mystery, the unknown, the more you’ll be willing to navigate and take risks in this arena. 

So thank you for joining us. Thank you, Suzie. We appreciate it. And in the future, we will explore how do you know whether something’s true or not true?

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