I’ve heard it a lot from people who lead active, busy lives, and it goes a little something like this…
“I just don’t have time to fit a spiritual practice into my life.”
Well, the good news is, you do!
There may be some shared beliefs around what a spiritual practice looks like and whatever that is, it takes a lot of extra time or long hours of devotion.If you find yourself in this predicament, here’s a new truth for you…a spiritual practice doesn’t require more time, it’s simply a “higher” use of the time you already have. Right now, you can take a deep breath, relax and release the story that you don’t have enough time or energy to deepen your spirituality, experience inner peace or create the life you desire.
When you consciously choose to make better use of the time you already have, you are re-warded with seemingly more time and even more energy!
Since this appears to be a common concern for a lot of us, I’ve decided to pull together a few tips I’ve shared with my clients to help in transforming life itself into a spiritual practice.
♥ Consciously seek out ways to inspire yourself + nurture your inner peace throughout the day. Choose to listen to relaxing music in your home and office. During your commute, swap talk radio or the the 80’s on 8 with uplifting kirtan, recorded spiritual teachings or spirt-based self-help audiobooks. When deciding what to do for the weekend, forgo the cinema or the ballgame for a meditation group, a spirit-based workshop, a service at a local spiritual center or a class at a nearby yoga studio.
♥ Consider substituting “mindless” activities with more nurturing actsof self-care. At the end of a busy day, instead of watching network television, reading gossip magazines or scrolling through Facebook; shift to reading spiritual texts or inspirational writings, journaling, taking a hot bath or meditating.
♥ Take a moment to create personal affirmations. Place them on your bathroom mirror, in your bedroom, on your refrigerator, in your car and in your office. Affirmations are positive phrases of loving wisdom written from your heart in the present tense, starting with “I am…”. Use them to remind yourself of your inner strength, courage, wisdom, limitlessness and beauty as well as to re-train your subconscious mind into becoming your own “best” and most “reliable” spiritual teacher. For example: I am gracefully and easily integrating greater spirituality into my life, I am experiencing deep inner peace as I joyfully witness my life itself transform into a spiri-tual practice.
♥ Turn your home into a spiritual sanctuary. If you share your home with others, enlist your family, partner or roommate(s) in the creation of a divine dwelling. Express your thoughts and ask for their ideas in what would help foster a more peaceful environment. If you have your own place, go wild! Either way, be certain to consider all of what inspires a sacred space. Clear excess clutter, keep things clean and tidy, allow for plenty of sunlight, live plants and fresh air. Throughout your home add candles, incense, statues, carvings, crystals and other items that evoke and enhance your feelings of spiritual connection. Contemplate the creation of a personal alter – include pictures of loved ones, spiritual masters, places that bring you peace and joy, art and spiritual relics, etc.
♥ Stop, Drop and Pray! Slow down and allow yourself to really see the beauty, miracles and abundance that surround you throughout your day. Notice nature wherever you are and receive it as a gift from the Universe just for you. Be grateful for every meal, for every bite – take a mo-ment before you devour the decadence on your plate to bless your food and remember each soul that took part in making the nourishment available to you. Say a silent prayer of thanks. It’s spirituality on the go! You don’t need an extra hand or pocket or even to stop what you’re doing…you can do it a hundred times a day while multitasking and it doesn’t cost a dime!
♥ Set bedtime intentions each night before going to sleep. Pray for assistance with desired outcomes for the following day. As you close your eyes, release unwanted worry, stress or ten-sion over to your higher power – ask that all that is unnecessary be cleared as you sleep. If wanting clarity or a fresh perspective around something, ask that it be brought it to you in your dreams or as you awaken. Give it over to God! Think about it, we can probably trust that the power that holds the planets in alignment and created your eye balls that are reading this just might have a better way of handling your issue…
♥ Take pause + breathe deeply. Give yourself what you need to stay grounded during times when your inner peace is challenged – a traffic jam, a disgruntled employee, co-worker or client, a long line at the grocery store, etc. Use these times to honor yourself and your “centered” posi-tion. Stay within yourself and refrain from moving into knee-jerk responses of anger, disap-pointment or frustration. Take a deep breath in while setting the intention to inhale, love, peace, gratitude and light. Fill your lungs completely and follow with a powerful, purposeful exhale re-leasing all negativity, defeating thoughts, beliefs, energy etc. Do it as many times as necessary to lift you out of the heaviness and into a lighter place with conscious clarity and intention.
♥ Insert a mini-meditation practice into your day. Explaining the profound benefits of medita-tion to someone who has never meditated or never meditated with regularity, is a bit like de-scribing chocolate to someone who has never had it. It’s sweet, it’s bitter and once you’ve tasted it, life will never be the same! That’s truly how I feel about meditation. And, by simply reserving a mere 10 minutes a day for this practice will quite possibly change your life forever. I once heard Deepak Chopra say he recommends that everyone meditate at least once a day, and for those who say they don’t have time, he recommends twice a day. Read my post here for more meditation ideas and inspiration.
Step by step you can gently and gradually begin to integrate some of these simple exercises into your daily life and before you know it, you’ll have created a spiritual lifestyle.
Here’s to your greater inner peace and deepened spiritual connection!