Three influential aspects to spiritual identity and perspectives are:
- your personal big picture of reality and conscious connection to the ongoing nature of life and consciousness, a personal relationship with your sense of the divine may be part of this,
- the consistency and quality of mindful awareness and connection to your big picture at any given time, and finally
- the values you hold that resonate with your big picture view and how you put them into practice.
We all have our personal struggles. The battles we fight within are usually more crucial than the outcomes of the battles we fight in the world. A spiritual outlook provides an overriding perspctive that allows us to turn all of our challenges into character strengthening and while transcending conditioned ego attachments and aversions.
Personal daily reminders that help us reconnect with our higher Self has enormous benefits over time and with consistent practice. It is daily connecting with some element of mindfulness, connection to nature and a sense of transcendent sacredness that lifts and strengthens our spiritual identity. Taking responsibility for a progressive journey from within means utilising all occurrences for development and goodness consistently, but this takes inner strength and not falling into forgetfulness.
Here are some ways to go about daily life with some reminders and inspiration:
- Start and end the day with prayer or stillness …. developing a regular habit of quieting the mind and being still and present has many benefits physically, mentally and emotionally. Spiritually it is beneficial when it is done with a sense of sacred receptivity. Prayer or meditation or just a simple contemplation on reverence for life and existence are great ways to enter inner stillness. It is not about thinking nothing, but about letting go of the thoughts that occur, being present with the breath and the sense of letting everything fall away for a time. Physically it is best done in a comfortable but upright position, relaxing deeply into a wakeful sense of stillness. Try 3 minutes and build up to 20 minutes.
- Create your own alter – Enjoy finding some symbols or ornaments that mean something about reverence for life to you, holy or sacred symbols, images of teachers or loved ones. Include a candle or lamp to light during your daily stillness and whenever you feel the need to connect or initiate an atmosphere of sacredness. You can also burn incense or place fresh flowers regularly to offer in compassion for the greater good or to whatever form of sacred connection you identify with. Those who have a personal sense of the divine can cultivate loving devotion to a form or formless sense of the divine. Many religious practices do this, yet anyone can benefit to a dedicated space in their home. Such a focus can really connect the devotee to a deep sense of love, compassion, mercy and wisdom. Keep your alter simple, not too cluttered and know the true alter lies in the heart and deep in the consciousness.
- Create a daily active practice – an activity that can be done that is calming and connecting within yourself. Yoga, meditation, a walk, a special place in the garden or by a window to breath and stretch, a walk on the beach, forest or park, or a daily time to read only inspiring words of wisdom. This practice is your commitment to yourself for building a conscious connection within and to spirit. Inwardly you can combine prayer for others and the world, a meditation technique, or something you may already be doing. This is an active way to create a sense of peace and quietude within and around you. If it is done in a similar way most days, then it will develop a more powerful effect on cultivating the state of mind and connection you resonate with within.
- Meditate – is a key technique for billions of souls over thousands of years. Create you own private space, find a technique that suits your temperament and is most enjoyable aside from the longer term benefits. There is much information on how to meditate and further blogs on this site will delve more into various approaches for various types of people.
- Reminders during the day: Set your phone or watch timer to 3 key moments through the working day to stop for 6-10 breaths and reconnect consciously to your breath, inner stillness and maybe call to mind steps points 1,2 and 3 or a beautiful moment you have had recently.
- Use meal time to settle and refocus: Give thanks every time you eat and eat in silence.
- A random act of kindness – Set an intention each morning to do something to help or support someone or make their day better in any way. Do not seek recognition or thanks for it. Anonymous givings are great or doing something for a stranger. It can be different on different days and can be simple as consciously offering a smile to people. Privately review each evening what your act or acts of kindness were for the day.
- Purpose and meaning in what you do: Review your work and any major interests you spend time on outside work and actually write down the deepest purpose for doing it. It may take a small list of reasons to get there. If your ‘why’ is not something with deeper meaning than earning an income or achieving personal pleasure or something practical then keep writing down ideas on how you can transform your attitude and way of doing this task so it is a practice that develops important values or qualities for you or contributes to others. Consider ways these activities can assist others or add to your quality of life. Every role in society contributes in some way. Review your ‘why’s’ regularly so you reinforce a sense of serving some meaning and purpose in all the key things that you do.
- Practice gratitude and compassion. Have a daily time or a weekly time when you list or say quietly out loud at least 12 things you are grateful for. You can use the same ones regularly but try and include at least 2 or 3 new ones every few days. The more detail you give to each item the more powerful. Then consider 6 people or situations you are aware of that represent bad situations of stress or suffering and describing them to yourself until you have enhanced your empathy, understanding and urge to send out supportive and compassionate energy to them. If you only find time to do this weekly, you can still read over it daily near the start or end of each day.
- Promoting balance in your life is conducive to harmony and greater spiritual receptivity. This starts with our own states of mind and energy. Overcoming destructive inertia mobilises your energy into productive activity. However, some activities can become part of our stress or self-focus in a limiting way. They can then be transformed into conscious and positive action that brings you into balance and harmony.
- Destructive inertia: if there is something your are procrastinating about or have resistance to doing, then write down and commit to a timeline to get into action and move your energy on it.
- Transforming activity: obvious examples are an emotional reaction or a compulsive habit that no longer serves you or others. Write down an alternative behaviour that is more positive and supportive. It may be taking a few minutes out to breath, get into a positive space then re-engage with a solution oriented mind when stressed. It could be replacing a compulsive habit with something healthy and enjoyable. Attach a key word you can use to remind yourself and commit to 21 days of using your key word (saying it out loud through the day and having it written and visible in key areas). Then when that reaction or compulsive urge comes up, you can better remember to use that key word and go for the positive behaviour immediately. Remind yourself this is a 21 day commitment to help break that habit and transform your energy to improve overall quality of life and spiritual receptivity.