For over twenty years, I have had a spiritual practice that has led me to greater clarity, peace and fulfillment in my life. Since I often write about the importance of spiritual practice, I thought I would share the five spiritual practices that have made a difference in my life.
Meditation can sometimes be a challenging practice because it requires us to quiet our mind. One way to quiet the mind is to sit in a comfortable position in a quiet space and focus on the breath allowing any thoughts to pass through without attachment to them. Another way to meditate is to repeat a phrase or word such as “be still and know” periodically as you sit. I find that when I meditate consistently, it is easier to quiet my mind. Also, I find that my intuition is clearer. I have clarity about what matters and what does not. It can also be quite powerful to meditate with a group where there is the collective intention to be still and connect with the Divine.
Prayer is an important spiritual practice. My daily practice is to begin each day with prayer for those who request prayer, clients, friends and people who come to mind while I am praying. What I love about my prayer practice is that it sets a tone for my day and affirms my connection to God.
I do not beg God to answer my prayers. Instead, I affirm the truth for myself and those for whom I pray. I also don’t get hung up on what words I use. I leave it to God to guide me as I pray and I stay focused on the spiritual qualities that support the intention of the prayer. Then, I give thanks and leave it to God to fulfill the intention of the prayer.
Every day I read several readings that affirm my divinity and the divinity of us all. Reading inspirational writings are very important to my spiritual practice because they provide insights and ideas for me to reflect on and contemplate. Sometimes a reading may provide a new perspective for me to consider. At other times, a reading may remind me of an insight or idea I had, but have now forgotten. Frequently, my daily readings are exactly what I need that day whether I know it at the time I read it or not.
I am a big fan of journaling as a spiritual practice. I began to journal while I was in law school but did not begin to journal on a daily basis until ten years later after reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. In the book, she suggested writing morning pages before starting every day. I began writing every morning and found that it provided me with an avenue for articulating insights and ideas that I had as I became more grounded and centered.
Upon reflection, I now realize that it took me ten years to begin to journal on a daily basis because for the first ten years, I primarily wrote about pain. I typically did not write when things were going well in my life. When I began journaling every morning, I began to write about every aspect of my life and I found that the way I viewed my life changed. Now I journal after my meditation and reading time in the morning. It allows me to express in a way that assists me to understand where I am spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically during any given day. It also assists me in seeing any patterns that I may want to change in my life.
Visioning has been an essential component of my spiritual journey.
It opens me to accept a more expansive perspective about life and leads me to life experiences that are greater than anything I could have imagined. For that I am grateful. If you do not have a practice, perhaps, you are thinking of starting a one. Because it can be challenging sometimes to find the time for a consistent spiritual practice, I always recommend beginning with taking a few minutes in the day to be still. Taking conscious breaths during the day is also helpful.
The morning is best for me as it allows me to engage in my practices before any distractions divert my attention. However, another time of day may work best for you. Only you can determine what practice and time works for you. The most important thing is to start.