Spirit is defined as “the nonphysical part of a person which is the seat of emotions and character; the soul” and “the courage and determination that helps people to survive in difficult times and to keep their way of life and their beliefs”.
Let’s go over that one more time- “Spirit = The Soul”? What is the Soul? Is it like in the movies? A bright white light leaving our bodies once we are without pulse? Whatever it is, we know a Soul is defined by many religious, philosophical, and mythological traditions as being the essence of our being; our reason, character, consciousness, or qualia if you will. Speaking of “will”, the second definition- “survive in difficult times and to keep to their way of life and their beliefs”. That gave me a wow only because I’ve not only heard about others turning to their faith but I have indeed turned to mine in times of both fear and joy. Our will to live and survive shines brightest in times of distress and most do not spend time nurturing their spirit until in a time of need. If we are soulful or spirit-filled how does a spiritual practice impact us? Are we spiritual without choosing to be? Maybe all these questions are more deeply apart of us than we realize.
Spirituality is an interesting topic because it is so personal yet it’s deeply connecting. We connect to our God, the universe, higher self, etc. A spiritual practice can be defined as prayer, meditation, chanting, breath work, ceremonies, or rituals. Leading a spiritual life can also include interactions with others. As we grow in our spirit some things we might experience can range from awareness of synchronicity to intuition, or even the power of prayer. These can go beyond human understanding but provide a reassuring comfort. We also connect to one another through our spiritual experiences. Shared belief systems contribute to 84% of happy couples. Connecting to one another even just in friendship through a shared spiritual mentality offers something deeper outside of ones self.
If we want to connect through spirituality to others we first need to connect to our spirituality. I’d like to get into what it means to have a daily spiritual practice, some examples and what we can anticipate in our journey. A daily practice is unique and personal to the individual. The purpose is to reinforce your awareness of Spirit, God, the Universe - whatever you choose to call it- so you can carry that with you throughout the day. The practice typically facilitates a purposeful, conscious reconnection with the Truth of your being, our infinite Divine nature and the essence of our being. In a nutshell, the practitioner is focussed on honoring the belief system and revisiting the core values of that system consciously. For new practitioners you can start small, for those well versed the opportunities can extend to multiple moments throughout the day, guiding others on their journey and more. Here are a couple tips to get started:
- Begin your day with prayer or meditation. This can be silent prayer, a daily devotional, mantra meditation, guided meditation etc. Even setting a couple minutes aside to connect with our spirit, check in and set positive intensions for the day will encourage more joy, peace, and gratitude.
- Moving meditation. Did you know movement that requires breath work is considered meditative. Any movement. Walking, running, yoga, and pilates are just some forms. Conscious connected breathing and body-mind techniques support the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels of being.
- Cultivate gratitude. The lovely saying “count your blessings” may be a more powerful message than once realized. The belief system of gratitude is an antidote to not only negativity but also depression, anger, greed, and envy. The perspective of gratitude is freeing and brings peace, directly in alinement with spirit.
- Learn and Grow. Todays world provides infinite access to a vast array of spiritual practices both ancient and new. Reading these teachings is a great way to develop your personal sense of your spirit. Listening to others opinions is much different than receiving the information yourself and interpreting it on your own. Don’t under estimate your spirits ability to guide you in the direction you're being called.
As you move through your spiritual journey make sure to bring patience with you. This is not an overnight development, it will grow with you. Let go of how you think the process should look like or feel like and accept that you do not have control over it. You are learning, connecting and igniting a deeper relationship than you ever have before. Spirituality is a gift, an insight, something that brings peace and a wondrous sense of joy to our daily lives.