How to live a more spiritual life using these seven simple practices and mindsets.
Are you feeling a little flat and low? Are you feeling drawn towards embracing a more spiritual life but don’t know how to start? Are you feeling lost and unmotivated with your usual spiritual practices? Wherever you are we totally understand and have pulled together seven ideas and practices that we know will enable you to nurture your spiritual life.
They say that the moment you set your intention to do something the universe conspires to help you. The moment you opened this blog you sent your question up to the universe, so try the ideas below that resonate with you and trust that as you do them the universe will draw close.
The key foundation of a spiritual practice is (perhaps unsurprisingly) meditation. The benefits for your physical, mental and spiritual health are huge and potentially life changing.
There are many different ways to meditate and many schools of meditation. However, today it is easier than ever to find a practice that works for you. Physically attending a meditation class is no longer necessary. You can listen to a guided meditation, a podcast, a live stream or even a YouTube video, or you can buy a book or read a blog on how to meditate. You can even download an app to guide you through the process. Incorporating elements like walking meditation alongside your sitting practice can help to keep things fresh.
All you need is a willingness to begin and a little bit of discipline to sit down and do your practice on a regular basis. In this silence you open up a dialogue with your inner-being and the universe can speak and connect with you.
Once you find a meditation practice intuitively connects with you, stick with it for a while. Try to avoid chopping and changing too much as your practice develops. Don’t hit the ‘it’s not working for me – bored, NEXT’ button too quickly. This is not Netflix. Give yourself and your chosen practice some time to grow.
We live in a world that encourages us to be seek contentment through consumerism. We are continually bombarded by photoshopped images of what happiness looks like. In time, the spiritual path naturally leads us in the opposite direction to seek a different form (or expression) of contentment.
A spiritual mindset begins by embracing the concept that there is more to this world than meets the eye. We are so much more than our Newtonian physiology; we are mind, body and spirit. Indeed, we are part of a unified field of energy that encompasses everything. When you slowly start to view and experience reality from this angle, you can begin to more fully appreciate the interconnectedness of all life. As a result of this expanding awareness, your attitude towards people, events and experiences will begin to shift.
You may also begin to see that many (if not all) of your beliefs, habits, preferences and prejudices are neither fixed, nor certain. This realisation brings a great freedom and is a real springboard to change. When you begin to think and behave in a new way repeatedly, new neural pathways are created in the brain. Such pathways get stronger with repetition, until the behavior becomes your new normal.
A healthy mindset also encompasses giving our body the exercise, rest and sleep it requires to function at its optimum.
Love and compassion are at the cornerstones of all the spiritual traditions.
Beginning to explore ways of being that are more loving, compassionate, tolerant and patient open up your heart centre like a blossoming flower. This in turn begins to raise the energetic frequency of your being, or consciousness. According to renown teacher Jack Kornfield “the beautiful truth is that loving awareness can be awakened, cultivated and invited to grow in our hearts”.
Love isn’t simply about being more loving and compassionate to others, indeed it can be strongly argued that the path of love has to begin within. Forgiveness, self-love and self-worth are all therefore essential. Starting with small ways of self-nurture, you can learn to listen to your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs.
Hand-in-hand with a growing love and compassion for yourself, your ability to offer those around you such feelings and goodwill will expand immeasurably. Encompassing loving awareness in your daily meditation practice also greatly helps the heart centre expand.
Walking a spiritual path is about becoming aware of all that you ‘consume’ as everything has an energetic effect on your mind, body and spirit. The higher we raise our energy field, the more we can sense, feel and intuit.
If we adopt a more holistic mindset it makes sense to look after all aspects of our being. From this standpoint ‘diet’ isn’t simply about calories; it’s about overall well-being. Accordingly, we can encompass all of the following elements when considering our ‘diet’, with some associated tips:
- Food & Drink: Eat as much non-processed food as possible. Focus on high quality and well-balanced nutrition. Learn to cook a handful of tasty and invigorating dishes that will not leave you craving other foods. Eat more fruit and vegetables. Hydrate adequately and cut down alcohol consumption as far as possible. Adopting (or re-enforcing) these habits will pay enormous dividends to how you feel physically and mentally.
- Media & Entertainment: The habit of spending hours on social media and/or binge-watching box sets has grown during the long periods of life in lockdown. In the long run this won’t be as beneficial for you as enjoying the mindful satisfaction of a much-loved hobby, dancing in the kitchen to music that makes your spirit soar or reading an uplifting book.
- Social groups: When we begin to work on our ourselves it can be both exciting and bitterly disappointing to see who steps forward to encourage us and who resent your progress. Sadly, there may be people that you will have to step back from and possibly let go of. The good news is that as one door shuts another always opens.
Small steps in these any of these areas can make a huge difference if your goal is to live a more spiritual life.
Get inspired – there is so much to choose from! As well as platforms like Gaia and Mind Valley there are spiritual centres like The Chopra Centre, Spirit Rock and Insight LA Meditation as well as Alternatives in the U.K.
There are podcasts, Ted Talks, blogs and social media platforms dedicated to spiritual practice. You can listen to beautiful spiritual teachers like Jack Kornfield, Trudy Goodman, Deepak Chopra, Dr Joe Dispenza, Byron Katie and Oprah Winfrey’s SuperSoul Conversations to name a few. You can even access these teachers on Facebook, YouTube as well as workshops, course, programmes and live events, some of which are free.
Watch uplifting documentaries and films anything that opens your mind and expands your heart. Read a beautiful and inspiring spiritual book.
Join a community so that you can interact with like-minded people – one of the benefits of Covid is that everything has had to go online! Surrounding yourself as often as possible with supporting individuals helps enormously. Spiritual practice need not be dull and lonely it can be exciting and wonderful. We have a wonderful community of like-minded soul on our Facebook page who are hugely supportive and kind – come and join us – the link is in our closing line.
Practising gratitude is a huge game changer. It only takes eight weeks of practising gratitude to start showing changes in the circuitry of the brain. As well as this, it also helps you to plug yourself into a wonderful mindset for the Law of Attraction and the abundant possibilities of the universe.
You can practice gratitude by:
- Being grateful for the simple pleasures (fresh sheets, sunsets, bird song). Don’t be picky; start appreciating everything around you.
- Being grateful for each breath you draw. Showing gratitude to your body for the amazing job it does every minute of every day.
- Be thankful to the earth for providing the food you eat and the water you drink. Connecting with a feeling of gratitude before you eat meals is amazingly powerful.
- Look back on your journey with gratitude – what have you learnt from the happiest and darkest times?
- Keep a gratitude diary noting down every day five things for which you feel grateful.
We can live a more spiritual life not simply through esoteric practices, but the simple act of saying ‘thank you’ for our unfolding life experience. Indeed, a heartfelt thank you is probably worth more than any number of chants, prayers and rituals.
Most of us grow up experiencing (to a lesser or greater degree) heartache, pain and trauma. Without exception, we have taken on unhelpful habits, mindsets and baggage. Intrinsic to spiritual unfoldment is a calling to heal such wounds. In doing so we set ourselves free from limiting thoughts and outdated patterns of behavior.
There are many inspirational workshops, books and programmes that can guide you through the processes of healing the past. NLP, EFT, hypnotherapy, counselling and plant-medicine are just some of the techniques you can use.
On your healing journey, inevitably there will be times when you stride forward, times when you need to rest and regroup and times when you need to retrace your steps back and try an alternate path (or strategy).
The ultimate aim is to be able to make peace with your past. To forgive yourself and the people that hurt you so that you can set yourself free. It is said that proof of healing from a past trauma is being able to revisit the moment with insight, peace and acceptance without being triggered emotionally or physically. Deep healing can be a lengthy process and sometimes we have to revisit particularly traumatic events multiple times to completely address them.
When you can witness past traumas seeing what they taught you and not what they cost you, it is a truly liberating moment. It not only re-frames the past traumas; it also sets you free from repeating them in the future.
Over the years we have used all of the techniques, mindsets and practices outlined here. However it is important to stress that there isn’t a rule book for ‘spiritual practice; no ‘one size fits all’ solution.
When we choose to walk a spiritual path we begin a journey of healing, unfoldment and expansion that ripples through every aspect of our being. New realms of possibility, freedom and contentment emerge. As we know though life isn’t predictable and well all face times that are hugely challenging and difficult. So be patient and kind with yourself and accept the fact that on the ‘spiritual path’ there will be times when you move forward, times when you need to rest, times when you need to retrace your steps and even times when you might want to try an alternate route.
What matters most is the energy of intention. There is no doubt that when we begin to explore the spiritual world, the universe does indeed conspire to help us in the most mysterious ways and remember, as Confucius said, ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.’
We wish you the very best.
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Fiona and Gavin