In today’s fast-paced secular world, feeling disconnected from our spiritual nature is very common. As we go through life, experiencing births, deaths, and other life stages, it is natural to begin questioning our place within the universe, what happens to us after we die, and how we can find a deeper connection to that spark of life that dwells within each of us. Even psychologists agree that establishing a spiritual practice is necessary for stress relief and well-being. For those seeking to reconnect with their spiritual side, some of the following suggestions might be helpful when seeking to build your own spiritual practice.
Spirituality and our connection to the divine is something that is felt, not thought. This can only happen when we are quiet and open to the experience of this feeling. Finding time each day for meditation, contemplation, or mindfulness, a minimum of 15 minutes, is one way to begin connecting with your spiritual nature. Some find meditation music or recordings of guided meditation to be helpful, while others find it helpful to focus on breathing while sitting in a quiet space or a garden.
Many spiritual practices contend that physical illness is a manifestation of spiritual imbalance in the body. Whether this is true or not might be up to debate based on your personal beliefs, but one thing is certain, and that is an unwell body is a difficult condition in which to maintain a focused spiritual practice. Eating right, exercising, and getting enough sleep while minimizing stress can help the physical body boost the spiritual form that lives within it.
Seeking spirituality is certainly doable as a solitary practice even encouraged in some formats. However, spirituality in a group setting, or even with the support of like-minded people of similar beliefs can serve as a wonderful model of connecting to our spiritual nature. Attending workshops, retreats, and classes can help you form a deep sense of belonging to a spiritual practice, and encouragement from others to help you stay focused cannot be dismissed when you are feeling particularly disconnected.
Many make the mistake early on in establishing a spiritual practice of believing that one must purchase equipment, crystals, prayer beads, or any number of paraphernalia in order to say they are truly pursuing a spiritual practice, often without fully understanding why these items might be needed. It is a better practice instead to first have an idea of what it is you are seeking from spiritual practice. Are you trying to lessen your daily stress? Do you want a deeper connection to the universe? Are you seeking answers to philosophical questions? Setting your intention can be as simple as saying to yourself in a mirror “I wish to understand my place in the universe,” or as complicated as going through an elaborate ritual of some sort signifying the beginning of a journey. Whatever form this intention takes, it is important that it be meaningful to you, without worry about rules or spending money on stuff. The trappings and elaborate nature of spirituality often come later after a period of adjustment and commitment and only if they are needed.
If you are uncertain what forms of spiritual practice might meet your needs, try experimenting with a variety of different ones. You might attend Buddhist meditation seminars, learn tarot card reading online, attend a virtual seminar on Wiccan practices, or spend time at a Christian retreat. The possibilities are endless. Your spiritual practice should be unique and meaningful to you, and often that means taking aspects of various different forms of spiritual practices and following the ones that serve you best. Consider setting aside the notion that there is anyone “right” way to “do” spirituality or follow a particular practice. For example, if you decide to follow a variation of Buddhism, and seiza meditation does not work for you but chanting with mala beads does, follow the practice of the beads and worry not about the seiza meditation. There is absolutely nothing wrong with cherry-picking from a variety of practices, so long as they help you achieve your spiritual goals.
As we can see, spirituality is a personal journey each of us must take, and how that journey unfolds is personal to each of us. Remember, established spiritual practices are mostly frameworks under which to operate, that when they become unmoving and rigid and dogmatic, they no longer serve the purpose of imparting spiritual wisdom. When you find what works for you, you will experience greater spiritual fulfillment that will evolve with you over time.