If you are like me, you are constantly on the go. Kids,relationships, work and myriad other pressures clamor incessantly for our attention, forcing us to squeeze the most out of every moment in order to get things done (A good example of this being that I wrote a significant portion of this article deal of this article on my smart phone while stuck in traffic and during other “in between” times) With so much going on, it can be difficult to meet our regular responsibilities, let alone make adequate time for a fulfilling spiritual practice! Here are seven practical ways to keep your spiritual “hum” going strong on even the tightest schedule.
1) Rise and Shine
Sometime after the alarm goes off and before your feet swing out of bed to hit the floor, take a drowsy, comfortable moment to connect with Spirit, thank the Universe for existence, pray for guidance throughout my day, or just acknowledge the All silently. It’s a great way to ensure you leave bed feeling loved, grateful, and focused on what’s truly important.
2) The Magic of MP3s
Okay, maybe there isn’t always time to sit and meditate when you’re feeling the need to reconnect with the Divine, but there is time to listen to something while you go about your daily tasks! Preparing for work, driving, cleaning the house, or even paying bills can be ideal times to put in some music and instantly create soul-boosting moments of bliss! Devotional or meditative music is an excellent choice (my personal favorite is Diane Bardwell’s “Sacred Hymn”), but any music that puts you in a positive, spiritual state of mind will do.
Blind-sided with a stressful situation or feeling anxious about dealing with a particular person or event? Give yourself a three to five breath timeout to clear your energies and regroup. Normal breathing from the diaphragm (your stomach should expand and contract comfortably with each breath, not your chest) is the most effective at delivering head-clearing and stress-reducing oxygen, so no need to worry about special breathing techniques. For added stress-busting benefit, reach your consciousness up to touch Source and ask for It’s guidance in resolving the situation to the highest possible good of all concerned. Choosing to calm and align yourself with Spirit will help you navigate stressful situations in new and inspired ways so that confrontations no longer leave you feeling depleted, but instead enliven and energize you as you find new, more positive solutions, to everyday problems and allow yourself to open to valuable lessons in spiritual living.
4) Practice Gratitude
Another great way to connect is through gratitude. Reminding yourself of the many blessings in your life can not only help you feel more connected to Spirit, it can help you feel more positive and hopeful as well. To get yourself in the habit, choose a physical action such as getting into your car or sitting behind your desk in the morning that will be a trigger to remind you to name at least one thing that you are currently grateful for. Not sure you’ll remember? Leave yourself a written reminder. Prominently place your reminder in a frequently viewed location such as a door, mirror, car console, or inside of a desk drawer or cupboard. Allow yourself to be uplifted as you remember the many blessings that surround you every day. Don’t focus on what you SHOULD be grateful for, but instead focus on ideas you can get solidly behind in the moment. Are yoy breathing? Is your chair comfortable? Did you make it to work safely? Thank Source! Gratitude needs know no bounds.
5) MONITOR YOUR THOUGHTS
Learning to listen to your internal dialogue is perhaps one of the most ultimately beneficial spiritual practices that can be undertaken. Those famous words, “Know Thyself” weren’t inscribed above the ancient temple of Delphi for nothing! It is only in learning to see the way we truly relate to the world and interact with it, that we can begin to change the way we do so and begin to understand the deeper Mysteries that lie in wait for us just under the surface of our every day thinking. To begin, at least once a day, or whenever you remember, take a few moments to tune into your internal dialogue. In the beginning, just listen and notice how you respond in your head to the world around you. If you notice yourself responding strongly or negatively to a situation, ask that little interior voice why it feels the way it does. In this way valuable insights can be gained into the workings of our subconscious and we can as gain an improved understanding of the areas in which there is still healing to do.
6) Make Meals Special
Saying a prayer and connecting with the Divine during the dinner hour was once a much more common practice than it is today. Differing faiths and busy schedules often make it difficult for families to share in this daily practice, but that doesn’t mean that the evening meal – or any meal – needs to be any less sacred. Thank Spirit for providing for you. Thank your food for giving of itself to nourish your body. If you are the person in charge of meal preparation, you can take this process one step further! Try thinking positive thoughts at your food during preparation. Literally envision yourself stirring in love and/or blessings for all who will be sharing the meal.
7) Practice Letting the Divine “See” Through your Eyes
Let’s face it – sometimes we encounter the same thing so often that we begin to take it for granted. We forget to see. We entrench ourselves in ways of being that are pure habit. Our minds switch into auto- drive and, somehow, we make it through. Maybe it’s time to check up on the places that have been tuned out with this easy, on-the go practice.
Whenever you notice yourself drifting off into mindless tedium throughout your day, practice letting the Divine “see through” your eyes. Envision that your eyeballs are suddenly Spirit’s. How does your perception of the world around you change? What new opportunities or energies do you perceive? For an even deeper experience, imagine that the Divine has suddenly made itself smaller – human size in fact – and that it has decided to seat itself in your person. It’s hips, spine, and face all comfortably and calmly aligned with your own, and has decided to use your physical body to experience the energies around you. Again observe how your experience of the world around you changes. With practice, this visualization can profoundly deepen our spiritual practice and allow us to connect deeply with the world around us.