I’ve always been a seeker — someone eager to understand life, my experience, other people’s experiences and the relationships between them all.
Growing up, I yearned for a spiritual life but never stuck to any one spiritual practice. I tried chanting and quit after three days of repeating om namo bhagavate vasudevaya with no magical change. I meditated. Twice. Did yoga, half a dozen times. I researched the Bhagavad Gita but never actually read it.
I dabbled, yet never went all in.
Because standing right next to that desire for spirituality was a very real part of me that resisted it.
My hesitation wasn’t caused by a lack of stick-to-itiveness or sincerity but rather by my narrow view of a spiritual practice. I thought spirituality meant meditating, chanting, and praying every day. I thought I had to do new, Eastern, “out of the ordinary” activities to guide me to the door of my inner experience.
But those practices, however wonderful, didn’t resonate to the depths of me. I needed my spiritual practices to awaken my soul, to touch the untouched, to both stir and settle the fire inside.
In exploring that need and envisioning what spirituality looked like for ME, I realized that any action or process that takes us out of the daily, chaotic grind and reconnects us to our loves, our wisdom, our joy, and our truth is spirituality. I found that I was already participating in activities that brought me to that connected place.
Dedicating ourselves to a spiritual practice requires us to slow down and actually do these heart-connecting activities regularly. There is no right way to a spiritual life. Everyone’s path to spirituality is different, and an authentic spiritual practice is one that speaks to your unique soul and gets you in contact with what’s most true.
These are the three everyday activities that have opened me up to a spiritual life:
Breath is a practice that immediately brings us out of our heads and into our bodies. No matter what’s going on with the torrential storm of thoughts in our brains, taking a moment to breathe directly transports us back to the present moment. We enter a space of calm and are granted a sense that everything’s going to be OK.
Journals are a sacred place where we get to be ourselves. Journaling gets us to share our fears and desires without judgment or criticism. In putting pen to paper, we clear the cobwebs of our minds and cultivate an open heart to explore the rich spiritual landscape within us.
Dance is a practice that touches the parts of us that aren’t accessible through words. It’s a full-body, visceral experience that bypasses all the noise of how we should be and gets straight to who we really are. It opens doors that have always been closed, locates untold truths, and reveals feelings never before felt — all with the power of a downbeat.
If you’re struggling to find the practices that take you to a spiritual place, try journaling on these questions: Which activities make my heart sing and remind me that life is GOOD? Which activities get me to the truth of myself? Whatever you write down are your new spiritual practices. Gently begin to integrate them into your life with intention and notice what shifts.
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