5 Ways to Find Your Spiritual Center

When the stresses and distractions of life spill over into your weekend put some balance back into your day with quiet moments that nurture your spirit. Try these out-of-the ordinary ideas to bring your energy back to “centered” from our editorial staff.

Daily chant
Since we live in an information age, often times we are not up to speed with the world around us. This creates disharmony, and we tend to get down on ourselves when we can’t keep up with all the latest technology, news, advancements, and so on. To center myself and unleash my inner potential, wisdom, compassion, and patience — I chant “Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.” The translation is “I devote myself to the law of cause and effect through sound.” In the morning, I chant thirty minutes to an hour. I feel more in rhythm, calm, and centered. I know that whatever cause I make in word, action, or deed has an effect. Though I may not recognize that effect immediately, chanting helps me concentrate on which action to take. After I chant, I rarely curse at drivers who cut me off, and tend to take things in stride. It really puts things in perspective when you train yourself to meditate in this way. –Suzanne

Creative focus
When I feel overwhelmed, stuck or just in a funk, turning to my artwork always soothes my soul. I paint, create mixed media pieces, take pictures, and illustrate. I love working with my hands and the messier I get, the better. I get so lost in my art that I don’t notice what was bothering me as my complete attention is on my task at hand. I don’t often have a plan of what I’m creating and just let it flow. It’s fun to see how it turns out – sometimes it’s junk and sometimes it’s a true gem… that’s not important. What’s important is that my soul is happy. – Julia

Zen foot bath for 2
When the man in my life and I feel like the world has gotten the best of us, I will often fill the tub with a mix of hot water and relaxing salts and oils. Lights off, candles lit, with a mug of hot tea or chocolate for each of us, we roll up our jeans and sit tubside, quietly soaking our feet and swishing the water around. Have a warm (nuked) pair of cotton socks for each ready for padding around the house in afterwards. – Daina

Tea Time
I’ve always loved tea — whether it’s a Lipton tea bag or a first flush Darjeeling. Coffee has won the most popular hot drink award in the United States, but I find the ritual of tea more soothing and delicate. Whenever I feel anxious, I boil some water, strain the leaves and allow the hot elixir to warm my mind, body and spirit. Coupled with a good book and a cuddling kitten, it’s the best way to let go of all the day’s toxic vibes. On my first trip to London my host abandoned me in the middle of the city. Determined to salvage my trip I found The Orangery — a tea room at Kensington Palace, the home of Queen Victoria and Princess Diana. I sat at a table near the window admiring the lawn and sipped authentic English tea and allowed ease to take over.

Bonus tea tip: If you drink loose leaf tea, wrap the hot, discarded leaves in a cloth or a paper towel. Dampen it with hot water and rest them on your eyes. You’ll feel rejuvenated and your skin will feel silky smooth. – Jen

Follow your dog’s lead
Some animal experts believe than when you allow your dog to follow his nose, sniffing, stopping, sniffing, following some mysterious trail, that they are actually getting caught up on what’s been going on in the neighborhood — sort of like reading the paper in human terms. My dog Jake gets so involved that he froths at the mouth totally focused on his path. Taking a cue from him, I have learned to give him the lead, stopping to “sniff” the flowers myself, noticing the trees, taking in my neighbors homes, looking at the cracks in the sidewalk, taking deep relaxing breaths, and always smiling at the passer’s by. Ten minutes into this lovely outing, each of us is already having a much better day. – Calliope

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