Seven Steps to Creating a Spiritual Life
Do you sometimes feel that you are living someone else’s life? A life that is not genuine or authentic? Do you yearn for something more than what you have? Do you find yourself longing for a life that is full of purpose, of meaning; a life where you feel as if your physical existence and soul purpose are in alignment; where you are living the sort of life that you were meant to live?
Many people do. And many people try to fill that gap in their life; that need for meaning and purpose with whatever it is that has made them feel good in the past. This could be anything from food, alcohol, excessive exercise and nicotine to sex, marijuana, extreme sports or hard drugs. It doesn’t matter for it’s all the same. That is to say that there is nothing wrong with most of these things in the right place or time, but when you begin to use them as a means of filling that gap; that is when those things become a problem. The thing is that there is a better way.
You can create that purpose and meaning in your life by living a spiritual life.
No, living a spiritual life does not mean that you have to go get yourself a religion. It does not even mean that you have to pick a particular tradition and stick with it. No. What living a spiritual life means is that you are taking those things that you instinctively know in the deepest part of your soul to be right and true; and are incorporating them into your everyday reality.
You are finally living from your heart.
It is not an easy thing to live from your heart. In fact, sometimes it can take all of your strength and test your resolve to the point that you wonder if it is really worth it or if it wouldn’t by far be easier to go back to living the way that you were; the life that you had.
But if you are truly committed to living a more fulfilling and authentic life; to bringing your reality into alignment with your soul purpose, then below you will find seven steps that should help you in putting together more spiritual life; one where you are living your beliefs so that you can become the person you were truly meant to be.
Seven Steps to Creating a Spiritual Life
Step #1: Practice Everyday Mindfulness. In the words of Jon Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness “means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment and non judgmentally.” This can be an extremely difficult (though not impossible) thing to do. And there are a number of ways to bring your attention to the here and now; to what is happening at this particular point in time. (For more information on mastering everyday mindfulness, click HERE).
Step #2: Practice Emotional Mindfulness. Emotional mindfulness is different than everyday mindfulness. In practicing everyday mindfulness you are paying attention to what is happening around you without; allowing it to be exactly what it is without judgment and without trying to change it. Emotional mindfulness is a tad more difficult. Emotional mindfulness is learning to pay attention to your thoughts. Emotional mindfulness is learning to screen your thoughts and beliefs for any self-sabotaging patterns and replacing them with those that will bring your thoughts into alignment with who and what you really are. (For more information on mastering emotional mindfulness, click HERE).
Step #3: Take Time to Pray. It has been said that prayer is the art of communication; of speaking to creation. Whether you believe that you are speaking to God, the Universe or your higher self, know that it is the presence with whom you converse that brings to you all of the circumstances and experiences that make you your life. If you want to bring certain things into your life, then it is important to be very clear on what it is that you want so that this presence knows exactly what to bring to you. Unclear or unspecific requests will bring unclear results. If you are grateful for those things that you already have, don’t be afraid to say it! In fact, expressing gratitude actually opens you up for more blessings as you make yourself into a magnet for everything that you want by BEING what it is that you are looking for.
Step #4: Take Time for Meditation. Whereas prayer is the art of communication with the divine, meditation is the art of listening. Think about it, it does absolutely no good to ask a question if you aren’t willing to listen for an answer. All the prayer in the world isn’t going to help if you aren’t open and ready for the answers that you are given. Meditation does not necessarily mean that you have to sit in a full-lotus position for hours every day. Meditation takes many forms, but the most important thing to remember is that the true nature of meditation is the art of learning how to LISTEN; to your thoughts, your mind, your soul, your body. You can meditate sitting down, standing up, lying in bed or even walking down the street. (For more information on how to meditate, click HERE).
Step #5: Learn to Trust and Act on Your Intuition. It is not enough to tell the Universe or higher self what it is that you want and then to listen to your heart and what it is telling you should do to achieve it. You must also learn to act on the promptings of that inner voice; to trust what it is telling you enough to take the steps it suggests when it suggests taking them. You may receive confirmation by the arrival of synchronistic events in your life. Don’t ignore them! (For more on the importance of synchronicity, click HERE).
Step #6: Body Awareness. Being in touch with your spiritual nature does you little good if you cannot live out your intentions. For this reason it is important to pay attention not only to your diet and exercise, but to your body itself; its needs and wants and desires. The body is what we have to work with in this physical reality and too many of us take it for granted. Learn how to communicate with your body. Learn how to listen to what it is trying to tell you. Learn how to eat and exercise with awareness and intent.
Step #7: Live Intentionally and Joyfully. Living with intent and living joyfully are probably two of the most challenging – and rewarding things that you can do. Unfortunately we live in a society where most of us live and exist on autopilot, rarely thinking about how what we are doing and how we are doing it is impacting our lives. Most people are completely unaware of how the power of intent and the transforming energy of joy can change even the most mundane of tasks into a powerful affirmation of who and what we really are. By using the art of mindfulness to focus on each task that we undertake and to bring our whole selves into the moment sanctifies what we are doing and makes it special; sacred even. By taking joy in everything that we undertake we put all of life into a sharper focus. And even the most mundane of activities suddenly takes on new purpose and meaning and becomes a part of a life lived from the heart.
The trick, you see, to creating a truly spiritual life is not to do – but to be. By choosing to engage all of our senses; our mind, our body even in every task that we undertake from eating breakfast to our evening’s meditation and doing the dishes, by focusing our intent on every aspect of our lives; on bringing our everyday life into alignment with our soul purpose, by living joyfully and by putting all of this together we choose to live in accordance to our highest vision of who and what we really are and we can finally step forward knowing that our lives will finally reflect our true nature and purpose in life.
©Stephanie S. Henry 2012