Spiritual Swag – Yes, it does exist

In the past few weeks, I was given the opportunity to be one of the two student scholar speakers at my commencement ceremony. I knew that giving the speech would be easy, but writing it would be extremely difficult. Through The Global Conversation, I have been used to writing to a very aware, very attuned audience. However, I knew my graduating class hadn’t been as into their greatest version of their greatest vision of themselves. So how to compromise? With some spiritual SWAG.

For many of the teens reading this, swag is probably the last thing they would associate with spirituality. Besides being one of the biggest culture slangs of this decade, swag has taken up many different meanings. But in its simplest form, all swag means is “the way one presents oneself”, which sounds A LOT like “the way one projects their state of being”. Does it sound spiritual now?

The point of swag is to outwardly display that inner state of oneness and beingness. And, it’s totally easy. So easy, that it can be broken down to a four letter acronym (using s, w, a, and g, of course). And here it is:

First, S for Style. We are all unique souls on our own unique journey with our own unique purpose. There is no single ‘right’ way; there is only the way that we choose. So, choose to make it yours. Personalize it with your own elaborations. Feel more attuned to Taoism than Buddhism? That’s fine. Feel like science explains spirituality better than metaphysics? That’s fine too. No matter how or what you believe, have your own personal spirituality, because with it, you will always be closer to your source.

Next, W for Wonder. We never stop wondering, even when our traditional classroom setting may end. For when we wonder, we question; and when we question, well, that’s when things really start to happen. When was your greatest expansion in thought, when you decided to just take on distorted beliefs or when you wondered if there was more to the picture? Always expand the boundaries, of consciousness and awareness, to understand even more of Who You Are.   

Also, A for Accept. On our spiritual journeys, we will encounter challenges and obstacles that hardly seem ideal, but are aligned with our greater purpose. Sometimes we don’t understand why we don’t get the perfect grade, get the perfect job, get the perfect relationship. Once we accept that there is a deeper reason for what is happening, we can explore why it is happening and how this happening contributes to our spiritual evolution. For when we accept the fact, we can detach from the fact, and then understand the fact from an entirely new perspective. As long as you accept that new perspective.

Finally, G for Go. Go out there and never stop finding out who you are. Go explore, go discover, go out and constantly recreate your greatest vision. Some have said that staying in a static state is the closest thing the soul can experience to death. Go and expand your vision, and expand your awareness. You will never regret it.

With these ideas, we can project ourselves and our own spirituality in a way that truly promotes our unique journey. Once others recognize your ‘swag’, they will find it in themselves as well. And so the spiritual process goes on and on and on.  

Using the same acronym, I presented these ideas to my graduating class, though using a bit more ‘Fenton High School’ oriented ideas and themes. Regardless, my final paragraph rings true here the same as it did in my gym:

“So, with a little bit of Style, Wonder, Acceptance, and Go in our steps, we are ready to walk out of here and rise as leaders of this brave new world with S-W-A-G swag. Though our emergence may not be as monumental as The Harlem Shake, it can be just as dynamic. It is now our choice, of whether the world will rule us, or if we will rule the world. So let’s go out there, let’s emerge with our heads held high and our spirits even higher. We ARE the class of 2013, and we got swag.”

(Lauren is a Feature Editor of The Global Conversation. She lives in Wood Dale, IL, and can be reached at Lauren@TheGlobalConversation.com)

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  • Kevin McCormack

    Incredible article, commencement speech. You are a powerful human! Thank you for being who you are and doing what you do. S W A G – LOVE IT!

  • David Wainaina

    Really nice piece Lauren. I enjoyed reading every bit of it. I remember as my class graduated from University 2 years ago, I and a group of my friends coined what could be termed as our mantra for ‘being the change’ as we joined the real world… S.W.A.G.G.A – Serious Wisdom And God Given Abilities. Its not close to your S.W.A.G. version but they both point to the same thing I guess.

  • Erin

    What a strong & Amazing young woman you example, Lauren…and a kick-butt writer to boot! Love your SWAG…and you, too. :) <3