There is nothing more beautiful than having found your personal spiritual path. That said, there’s nothing quite so complicated as knowing how to develop it in ways which will constantly challenge you and change you for the better.
Thankfully, it’s not an arduous process to develop your spiritual self. You can start right where you are with these 7 simple tips, which, when applied consistently, will provide a greater connection to your uniquely personal spirituality.
Tip #1: Begin Slowly
As with any change, trying to do too much, too fast leads to burnout and the feeling of failure. In practicing spirituality, start with small changes, and add to those as you feel more capable and confident. Give yourself time to experience the changes – and depending on your personal history and personality, that might be a week, multiple weeks, or even a month. You are important enough and your spiritual journey is important enough to avoid rushing the process.
Tip #2: Try a Spiritual Retreat
Time off to explore what your spirituality means to you, whether guided or not, is always a promising idea. If you can’t afford to go on a full-blown retreat, create a mindfulness weekend by turning off all electronics and taking some time alone to explore your spiritual self.
Plan ahead to avoid as many distractions as possible and use your preferred method for gathering and experiencing new information. If you’re a visual person, try videos or videoconferencing; if you’re more of an auditory learner, try audios; if you’re feeling brave, consider a visit to a different house of worship or spiritual center.
Tip #3: Create and Use Affirmations
These are such easy and productive things to work into your day. An affirmation, in this case, is simply a truth you’re working to embrace. Write down several positive statements reflecting the spiritual growth you wish to work towards and keep them in places where you can see them often. consider recording your affirmations in your own voice on your smartphone and playing them back. Start and end your day with your affirmations, and for more material on how to use affirmations click HERE.
Tip #4: Keep a Spiritual Mind
Throughout the day, hold your spiritual self close. Look at everything in your life through the lens of spirit, forgiveness, joy, and acceptance. If your practice includes speaking to the divine, then make a practice of engaging in that ongoing conversation throughout the day. If you feel yourself in need of a “booster,” take a short break and repeat your favorite affirmation 5 times to yourself with your eyes closed. Breathe deeply and allow the words you speak to completely penetrate your heart and mind.
Tip #5: Find a Spiritual Director, Spiritual Companion, or a Group Who Holds Similar or Compatible Beliefs
Having someone who has been on a similar spiritual path to guide you on your journey gives you direction, especially through life’s challenges. You do not have to go it alone! Spiritual Directors & Companions are trained and experienced in being with people as they attempt to deepen their relationship with the divine, walking alongside you as a friend, listening and honoring the sacred stories you tell and the experiences you share.
Non-judgmental conversations, contemplative practices, deep listening, and guidance that empowers you to find answers and connection with that which is beyond you, however you define it are all essential qualities for a Spiritual Director or Companion. If you’d like more information on Spiritual Direction, click HERE.
Tip #6: Observe
Take the time to step back from your life and see it from the outside looking in. Where do you see your path the clearest? How has the divine, the sacred, or the universe guided you upon your way? What are you being led to do next? Find some quiet, uninterrupted time to tap into your intuition and “feel” your way forward. Our modern world does not encourage the use of our intuition, but we all have it, so with consistent practice and an open mind, you can tap into your powers of observation beyond just your physical sight.
Tip #7: Express Yourself
How does your spiritual self manifest? What activities – such as meditation (guided or silent), yoga, Tai Chi, journaling, gardening, mantras, walking a labyrinth, using crystals) are part of your current spiritual journey? Commit to practicing these activities daily by adding them into your usual routine for at least 21 to 28 days and re-evaluate at that point to see if you need to adjust the activity. Giving yourself the grace to practice a spiritual activity for at least 30 days gives you the opportunity to create the foundation for a new, positive habit.
Taking time to develop your spiritual life is one of the areas you will find the most rewarding in your journey of self-discovery and personal improvement. This is where you discover the truest form of yourself and tap into your fullest potential.