For a long while I believed giving up the church meant giving up all that came with it. So that's what I did. I stopped praying, I stopped meditating, and I stopped reading the Bible. Quite honestly, I felt a sense of freedom as I no felt longer bound to obligatory spiritual practices. Yet, living a spiritually-carefree life led me to realize how rooted my life was when I was embedded in divine rituals. Already distant from the church and estranged from my Christian God I felt forced to return to the Source of my stability and strength, spiritual practices and rituals. It was the practice of prayer, meditation and devotions that kept me grounded when life oftentimes left me afloat.
Slowly I began to find a new purpose in developing and maintaining a sacred practice. Why am I sharing all this with you? To let you know having a spiritual practice can lead to having a more fulfilled and balanced life.
How Does A Spiritual Practice Lead A Balanced Life
Improves Emotional & Mental Wellbeing
Spiritual practices help to improve your mental well-being by helping to alleviate stress, anxiety and depression as our mindset shifts to taking on a more positive outlook on life. It also improves our ability to become more self-aware and reflective. Studies have shown many people with high blood pressure, ADHD, and addictions have experienced a significant decrease in such ailments with the regular practice of mediation.
Cultivates Healthy Living Habits
It draws our attention towards formulating healthy habits for successful living. For example, you might decide you want to start your day with prayer. For this reason, planning to go to bed on time so that you are able to wake up earlier each day and pray may result in feeling better rested. Engaging in spiritual practice is often times a keystone habit which can lead to many positive outcome because it turns our attention and awareness to other areas of our lives that needs improvement.
Enhances Personal and Spiritual growth
This on kind of goes without saying. Committing to develop a spiritual practice attunes your ear to the voice of God, fosters spiritual discernment, and helps you to feel a deeper connection to God. And this is to name a few benefits. Many people also feel a stronger sense of belonging and purpose for living.
Many of these reasons is what lead me back to developing a spiritual practice. What does it look like?
What Is A Spiritual Practice?
A Spiritual Practice, is a set of activities or actions done on a regular basis with the intention of furthering your spiritual development and growth, deepening your connection to God, or spiritual attunement. Spiritual Practices includes but is not limited to:
Walks in nature
I know all this information is leading to more bigger questions, 'How do I incorporate spiritual practices into my daily life?' First, ask yourself these questions.
Key Questions To Ask Yourself
What are my intentions for developing a spiritual practice? What is your purpose and intentions? Do you want a deeper connection to God? Do you want to live a more balance life? Develop your intuition?
What am I willing to explore?Are you open and willing to engage in a variety of sacred practices? What do you feel the most comfortable with? What comes easy to you?
How much time I am willing to able to devote? Weekly, daily, etc.How much time am I able to devote right now? An hour a day? How often am I able to engage? Daily? Weekly?
How do I want to start my day?Do you want to spend the first part of your day in divine ritual? Are you a morning person? Do you feel more aware and alert earlier in the day?
How do I want to end my day?Do you want to end your day in divine ritual? Are you an evening/night person? Do you feel more aware alert later in the day?
Knowing more about yourself and your spiritual needs will help you to know where to begin. If you are a morning person, you may consider waking up a little earlier to carve out time in your day. If you are an evening person, you might decide to set aside quiet time for spiritual activities later in the day. Having a taking aside time for about 10 minutes in the morning, and 10 minutes at night might work for you. You may decide to spend this time in prayer, engaged in devotional reading, or meditation.
Currently, I prefer to begin my morning in prayer and meditation. Then, end my days with journaling. I prefer to reserve the weekends for diving deep into reading sacred texts and engaging in spiritual practices that requires more time. Find out what resonates, and do what works for you.
As you deepen your practice, you will experience many benefits leading to a more balanced life.