Think back to the last time you looked at your cellphone to find that dreaded low-battery warning. I bet you immediately went to plug it in, finding immediate reprieve in knowing that it was charging once again. If only we all had this same sense of urgency when our spiritual batteries run low—when we feel like we're getting lost in the day-to-day grind and losing connection with ourselves.
I like to think of this concept of connection using the analogy of a lamp. When your batteries are low, ask yourself, "Is the lamp plugged in to the source?" That can be a mantra as we carry through our days: Am I fully plugged in? Through many years of trial and error, I have picked up some tools to help me slow down and connect to this source. Let’s walk through a few:
Daily moments to recharge:
When you first wake up.
Notice what the first thought is to pop into your head upon waking. What if instead of reaching for the snooze button, you set a simple intention, quote, or prayer? Mine begins with "God, I put my day in your hand." If the association with God doesn’t resonate with you, simply replace that part with something or someone. The power comes when we get outside of our egos and plug into something bigger than ourselves. It is a freeing thought for first thing in the morning.
When you're going through your daily to-do list.
Even when we start the morning with the intention to stay connected and grateful, it can fade shortly after we walk out the front door. Unfortunately, the unavoidable element of human nature sneaks in. The key here is identifying what triggers you throughout the day. For me, it's driving.
The other day, when a bit of anxiety and road rage started to arise during rush hour, I received a beautiful gift: The word "acceptance" floated into my mind. I could not "will" the cars to move faster, so I had a choice. I wanted to blast my music and detach from the situation, but instead I came back to my breath, and lo and behold, I noticed a gorgeous ray of sun shining through the clouds.
When you find yourself triggered throughout the day, try to complete a calming breathwork routine, search for acts of service in your home and work life, express gratitude for everything (even the challenges), or go on a walk with a friend. Through it all, be aware of your intentions. Throughout the day ask yourself "Is this driven by love or fear?"
When you're interacting with others.
I love the expression "God in skin." The human encounters we have each day can be either uplifting and deflating. Tuning into our spiritual side allows for a softer, more tolerant mindset to guide us through any challenging encounters. Do so by repeating "Namaste," or "the light in me honors the light in you," internally. Remember that you may be a light to others through service and that you may be open to receiving the light from others through gratitude.
A 5-minute spiritual recharge you can do anytime:
- Set a timer for five minutes.
- Start in a quiet, comfortable place and read a paragraph or two from an inspirational book to help focus the mind.
- Close your eyes and tune into how you’re feeling. Acknowledge those thoughts and feelings without judgment, and then try to leave them outside the space.
- Find a slow, steady breath pattern in and out through your nose. Inhale for four counts, hold for two counts, exhale for four counts, and hold for two counts. Repeat.
- Imagine a soft, calm energy on the inhale and connection on the exhale.
On the days that even five minutes is not possible, take the same perspective, awareness, and connection, and breathe into whatever chaos the day may bring. Here’s to finding and keeping your spiritual connections and finding joy in the process.
Here are seven more quick spiritual rituals to sneak into busy days.