In my last blog post in this series on spirituality, I talked about spirituality and the importance of having a spiritual practice when it comes to your health. This week, I want to take it a step further and give you a few tips that will help you start your own spiritual practice.
I’m sure there are many of you who already have a spiritual practice, perhaps one that is rooted in faith and religion. An existing spiritual practice is not a requirement, however, and even if you already have a spiritual practice there may be tips here that will help you to deepen your practice and take it to the next level.
That said, I want to offer you some tips and resources that will help you create space for spirituality in your life based on what has worked for me.
Establish a Sacred Space
Start your own spiritual practice by first finding a quiet, private space. One that feels safe and special to you. This space can be in your bedroom, a corner in your living room, or even outdoors.
Once you’ve identified a space, decorate it in a way that makes you feel connected to yourself and any Higher Power that you believe in. A few suggestions: statues of religious icons, photos of ancestors or family, gemstones, candles, and any other objects and icons that connect you to greater purpose and meaning.
I just came back from Bali and one of the most fascinating parts of my trip was getting to see the temples inside each of the houses we visited. This is not a common sight in the United States, but in Bali, each home has a dedicated space for contemplation no matter what the socioeconomic status of its owner. Each space was beautifully decorated with fresh flowers and other meaningful items and used twice a day for 20-30 minutes of spiritual connection.
You may not have a temple, but you can create a sacred space with the resources you have available.
Set Aside Time Daily
When you start your own spiritual practice, it is essential that you choose a time each day to connect. There’s no right or wrong here, but choose a time that you can consistently set aside to connect with yourself and The Divine.
You can use this time to sit quietly and connect with yourself – notice how you’re feeling or feel the ebb and flow of your breath.
If you’re comfortable praying, you can say a prayer. If not, sitting and meditating for a few minutes is just as effective. There are several meditation apps that can help you get started with meditation if you need support at the beginning of this process.
No matter how you choose to spend your time, before you get started, set an intention. Think about your goals and what you hope to achieve during the time you’ve dedicated to connection.
I find it helpful to pull an angel card, cards with messages from angels. These help me to feel as though I am connected to the wisdom and guidance of The Divine. You may find it more comfortable, however, to read a scripture from The Bible or speak an affirmation. Choose something that helps you to feel connected to yourself and a Higher Power.
Engage Your Senses
Engaging your senses is a great way to feel a greater sense of connection when you start your own spiritual practice. It’s also a great way to remind yourself of your spirituality when you are away from your sacred space.
I like to use candles and essential oils in my sacred space to help me feel grounded and balanced. I also carry these scents with me when I’m at work or out and about, away from my sacred space. These scents provide me with little reminders throughout the day of my spirituality and spiritual practice.
Another great way to engage your senses is with music. Not only does this activate your sense of hearing, but the vibrations of the music can help to soothe and relax your nervous system.
Below are a few musicians and songs I love to listen to when driving to work, in the sauna, taking a walk, and any other time I want to feel more connected and grounded outside of my sacred space:
Wear or Carry Symbols That Help You Feel Connected
As you can see, your spiritual practice doesn’t just happen in your sacred space, but in every moment of every day. Just as keeping sensory items on hand can help remind you of your spiritual practice, jewelry and pictures can serve a similar purpose.
Some symbols that may help you feel connected throughout the day are: a necklace with a cross, mala beads, or an amulet. You can also carry pictures of your ancestors, inspirational quotes, or scriptures in your wallet to help you feel connected to something greater than yourself.
Create Time for Retreat
Oftentimes, our day to day routine can leave us feeling burned out, depleted, and disconnected. In order to stay spiritually nourished, it is important to get away from the hectic nature of everyday life and feed our souls. This could be in the form of a yoga retreat or a silent meditation retreat.
Another wonderful way to connect, if you need a change of scenery or sitting isn’t your thing, is to go outside.
Walking is a great way to connect to a greater sense of purpose, especially walks in moonlight or during sunrise. If you choose to walk as part of your spiritual practice, use this time for self-reflection, not for exercise or sport.
These are some things that have helped me. I hope you find them helpful as you start your own spiritual practice.
Remember, no matter how you choose to connect, it is a practice and requires a daily commitment.
In the same way that you fo to the gym to exercise and strengthen your physical muscles, committing to a spiritual practice regularly will help you to strengthen your spiritual muscles, so you feel connected and purposeful whether you’re in your sacred space or out in the world.