Imagine that the spirit is a deep water well – one that always stays full, no matter how much is drawn from it. But because daily life is so demanding, many of us have not made time to visit the well and have become very, very thirsty. In today’s world, this is not an uncommon phenomenon. Many people go through their daily lives suffering, simply because they have not gone to drink deeply of the clear, sweet waters of the spirit.
Nourishing the spirit isn’t difficult – in fact, it’s quite easy and pleasurable. What’s difficult is making it a priority. In today’s increasingly secular society, very little emphasis is placed on spiritual health and well-being. It’s time to turn that around and join the many who have found out that making time for one’s spiritual self will actually help you become a better, happier person all around. Your boss will notice it. Your partner, children and friends will notice it. But most importantly, you will notice that your thirst has been quenched, and this will allow you to feel more connected and to experience greater joy in everything you do!
Here are just a few ideas to get you started on a path to greater spiritual health:
- Make a list of spiritual goals. Do you want to be more patient with others, less stressed in your daily activities, feel closer to your god or self? Having a list will help you identify what activities will be the most beneficial for you.
- Go for a walk in a walking-friendly place. This could be the beach, a park or your own neighborhood. The slow rhythm of walking relaxes the body and mind, and allows you time to take notice of your surroundings – the flowers blooming in someone’s garden or light shining on the water. Be sure to take deep breaths and sigh aloud if you need to. As you do this, you will experience walking more fully – the way you want to experience all the other activities in your life, even the fast-paced ones.
- Spend the day in nature writing in your journal. If you don’t know where to begin, start with plain observation and see what evolves.Try to think in terms of sensory detail – what you see, what you smell, what you hear, what you feel. If anything else pops into your head, even if it seems unrelated, begin writing about it. Allow yourself free flow.
- Connect with elders. It’s been an important facet of human development since ancient times. Talk with older members of your family or older friends. Ask them what their life was like when they were your age. You might learn some surprising things about them and about yourself!
- Read a book or watch a DVD by your favorite spiritual author. It could be something new or something you want to revisit. Spend just ten minutes a day with their words of wisdom.
- Make silence a part of your everyday life. Sit quietly for fifteen minutes in the morning or just before bedtime. Set yourself up with a candlelit bath. Do some gentle stretching, then lie down in a relaxing position for ten minutes and enjoy the flow of energy through your body. Even listening to meditation or relaxation music can be called silence, as long as you are really listening.
- Take a class to focus your spiritual commitment. Many yoga studios and even community colleges now offer classes with a focus on spiritual health, such as meditation, self-enrichment and even classes on topics such as the use of plant and flower essences. Check out your local studios and schools, and see if anything calls to you.
Spending any time alone can be one of the greatest spiritual activities of all!
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