We all have a spiritual dimension to our being. Yet we don’t all define spirituality the same way, and therefore don’t all go about satisfying our spiritual needs in the same way.
Regardless of what your personal understanding of spirituality involves, at the core, the essential spiritual need we all have is the same: to feel a sense of meaning in life and to find moments of complete presence, awe and gratitude. Do you agree?
I personally appreciate the following definition of what spiritual practice involves...
“The word 'spiritual' does not refer to religious matters, so-called. All activity which drives the human being forward towards some form of development-physical, emotional, mental, intuitional, social-if it is in advance of his present state is essentially spiritual in nature…” - Alice A. Bailey
Basically, according to Ms. Bailey, any activity that makes one better- more evolved- in any way as a human being is inherently spiritual. I really like that. That idea resonates with me. And to me, better equals more loving- toward others, toward ourselves and toward the living world around us. For me, spiritual practice essentially involves growth in love.
I’m sure you know religious folks who are loving and others who are hateful, and secular people who are loving and others who are hateful. Religiousness does not necessarily equate to love and spiritual virtue. Neither does a secular worldview mean a lack of spiritual manner.
Here are 4 practices that can enhance your spiritual life, regardless of your personal spiritual belief system:
Lead with Love - See each person you encounter as your brother or sister. Remember that we are all one. Strive to practice curiosity over judgment and compassion over criticism. Be forgiving. Show love to yourself as well. Insist on being at least as kind to yourself as you are to others.
Have a Service Mindset - Think as much about what you contribute as you do about what you receive- from life, your partner, your work, your friendships, your community. Remember that you are here to serve.
Give Thanks - Express gratitude every day. And not just with written or stated lists, but with heartfelt emotion. Feel your gratefulness in your heart. Allow it to bring tears to your eyes. Say “thank you” aloud to life. Say thank you to your loved ones for being in your life.
- Practice Mindfulness - Strive to return to the present moment. Meditate. Take walks and leave your phone behind. Play with your children. Wrestle with your dogs. Curl up in your partner’s arms and just be. Look up to the sky, stare at the flickering candlelight, savor the cup of tea, relish the glass of wine. Be here now as often as possible.
What does spirituality mean to you? Would you like support in cultivating a spiritual practice in your life? Schedule your complimentary 30 minute consultation to learn how I can help.