Let's start with a question that frequently arises before we get into the simple, yet vital, ways to nourish your spiritual self.
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What does being spiritual imply? This is a difficult question to answer within the confines of this article. Simply simply, being spiritual implies that you recognize and understand that you are more than your physical body and mind. It indicates that you recognize yourself as having a soul. Being spiritual also entails realizing that your soul has a yearning to express itself. It's all too easy to get spirituality and religion mixed up. They are not the same thing. That subject, once again, is way beyond the scope of this article.
Occasionally, we have an encounter that reminds us that life is more than just the mundane, everyday existence we all have. As a result, you realize how critical it is to nourish this aspect of yourself.
There are numerous options available to you if you want to incorporate a spiritual practice into your life. Here are some of my favorite spiritual practices for nurturing your soul and allowing it to speak to you.
By far the most significant and beneficial strategy to enhance your spiritual practice is to do so. Nature was made for our enjoyment. Nature is necessary for humans. It is tremendously peaceful, grounding, and centering to stare at a green, natural landscape complete with trees, sky, water, and plants.
Every day, take a trip outside to decompress and take in the sounds, sights, and fragrances of nature. You will notice a difference in your peace of mind if you do this. Even a ten-minute walk can be beneficial. If you live in a city, go to a local park to get your daily dose of nature.
Breathe. Pray. Be thankful for everything you have, including the people you love and the benefits you've received.
Journaling can lead you to the most intimate areas of oneself. A nightly journaling practice might assist you in processing the events of the day. Allowing your thoughts and feelings to spill onto the page after a difficult day or interaction can be cathartic.
It can also assist you in determining which encounters, topics, and events are likely to cause emotional distress. This enables you to prioritize your concerns and fears by giving you insight into recognizing these triggers.
This is a beneficial practice to embrace in general, not only for spiritual growth. Allowing your soul to speak to you and being able to hear your own inner wisdom are both essential. You won't be able to do this if you're constantly checking emails, texts, social media, or YouTube videos.
When you disconnect from these daily distractions, you give yourself the opportunity to tune in to your own wisdom and have the silence you need to hear what it has to say. It doesn't mean you have to give up your gadgets entirely. Every day, even thirty minutes to an hour can make a difference.
Meditation does not have to be difficult or daunting. Setting aside 15-20 minutes a day for stillness, emptying your mind of distracting thoughts, and allowing your soul and higher self to communicate with you can be as simple as that. There are an endless number of meditations available, so choosing a handful that correspond to your spiritual goals should be simple.
Meditation allows us to re-establish a connection between our body and mind. So many of us are completely unaware of what's going on in our bodies on a holistic level. This is an excellent way to relax and listen.
Keep in mind that your brain will continue to generate thoughts while you meditate. The key is to avoid becoming attached to or engaging with them. Allow them to pass through your head, but keep your distance.
Is it possible to use exercise as a spiritual practice? Without a doubt! Please consider what I'm saying. You know that your body is your soul's home while you're here if you're spiritually aware. And I know you want to give your soul's house the best possible care, therefore movement and exercise are essential. As we all know, staying in good physical shape has practical advantages. A better night's sleep, weight loss, and improved mood are just a few of the benefits.
You can't go wrong with dancing if you choose an activity that allows for more creative expression. You'll have a hard time picking which dancing workout to attempt because there are so many to choose from. The list continues on and on: ballroom, hip hop, belly dance, Latin, and so on. You'll pick your favorite after taking a few lessons, either online or in person.
An affirmation is a sentence that is specifically created to target the subconscious mind and reprogram it so that it does not undermine your spiritual advancement. If you choose one that aligns with your personal aspirations and deliver it with heart and presence, these statements can be quite effective.
It's also crucial to perform it for a long enough period of time for your subconscious to accept it as true. A typical rule of thumb is to say a certain affirmation at least twenty-one times in a succession. A new belief is formed in this manner, and it becomes true for you.
You'll probably outgrow the rituals and practices you started with as you progress in your spiritual practice (I'm not talking about religion here). This is fantastic! Continue to grow and seek out the things that make you happy and allow you to express yourself on a deep level.
It's not only about what you eat when it comes to your health. It all comes down to how you feed your mind, body, soul, and spirit.
What's the most recent spiritual practice you've begun? Will you keep going with it?
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Why do we need spiritual food?
You've probably heard the joke about how to devour an elephant. At a time, one bite at a time. Do you have any idea how large an elephant is? It weights around 6 tons (12,000 pounds). Their skin can be up to 1.5 inches thick and a ton of weight. To eat an elephant, you'd need a lot of bites! There's no way someone could consume one at a meal, yet given enough time, anyone could devour an entire elephant.
Every year, the average American consumes around 3,000 pounds of food.
It would take around four years to devour an elephant if you didn't eat anything else.
When I was in sixth grade, I read the entire New Testament from beginning to end.
That made me feel pretty good and pious, but it was like eating an elephant all at once.
One meal at a time is the only way to learn the Bible.
It becomes a part of you and fuels your life if you persevere, keep eating elephant, or keep reading and memorizing the Bible.
Spiritual food is required for our souls on a daily basis, just as physical nourishment is required for our physical bodies.
You've missed a day, and you're hungry.
After a few days, you start to feel hungry. We eventually starve our spirits if we don't connect with God through prayer and the Bible on a daily basis.
Junk food may keep you from going hungry, but it isn't good for your health.
Spiritual nourishment is what we feed our thoughts and hearts. It's what our minds consider or digest during the day. Your digestive system transforms the carrots or cheese you consume into YOU, and the things you introduce into your mind offer it ideas to digest throughout the day. Have you ever had a commercial jingle play over and over in your head? That is an example of “junk food” for the mind. What is fed to your mind is chewed up and becomes a part of you, for better or worse.
How do I nourish the Holy Spirit?
Your spirit is your deepest sense of self, a priceless component of existence that is all too frequently overlooked as life becomes busy.
We've discovered that having a happy outlook on life, emotional vitality, and a sense of purpose can help people be more physically resilient, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke while also making it easier to manage chronic health challenges, such as living with a handicap. This is why nurturing your spirituality is so vital for your overall health.
- You're talking to yourself. Make it a habit to check in with yourself every day. How are you doing today? Do you spend your time doing activities you enjoy or things you feel compelled to do? Are you satisfied with your life? This seemingly insignificant stage is critical for determining what offers you joy, where your passions lie, and how to incorporate more of them into your life. I lost my feeling of spirit because I stopped checking in with myself; I let other obligations, such as finishing medical school, take precedence over the activities that made me feel my best, such as meditation. That was a valuable lesson, and I now understand the importance of pausing to consider which behaviors are genuinely beneficial to me and prioritizing them.
- Make a note of it. Journaling is a terrific technique to talk to yourself on paper because it allows you to have an unconstrained conversation with yourself, which frequently leads to a “aha” moment that has been lurking beneath the surface all along. Expressive writing can also help us let go of previous traumas or future fears that are blocking us from living in the present moment and suppressing our spiritual expression. In addition, research have shown that gratitude journaling might reduce inflammation and improve mental health.
- Make place for change in your life. The expectations of others can get the best of us. We merely keep driving in the same direction if we get trapped in a rut with our foot on the throttle. However, life is not a static state; as humans, we must be able to learn from our mistakes, grow, and change. It's quite acceptable to recognize that your current path isn't fulfilling you and to change pathsgive yourself permission! Rather than rejecting the thought of growing older, we can embrace it with grace, embracing the wisdom we gain with each passing year and continuing to strengthen our character and soul via the teachings of ordinary everyday situations.
- Get rid of the mess. We can become caught up in material items that distract us from our own needs, just as we can get wrapped up in other people's expectations. Donate any gifts you're holding onto out of guilt to someone who could use them. Remove anxiety-inducing items from the house, as well as clothing that hasn't been worn in more than two months. A more ordered and streamlined environment will allow you to focus on the more important and non-material aspects of life, allowing your spirit to shine brighter.
- Meditate. Have you seen my interview with Ziva Meditation's Emily Fletcher? In it, I discuss the profound impact that everyday meditation has had on my life. It tremendously assists me in clearing all of the confusion of a busy mind, taking a step back from my obligations, and regaining mental and physical equilibrium. This was a crucial step in rekindling my spirit and restoring the spiritual vitality I had previously lost. Find a daily practice that helps you to unfocusto just be and let go of tension, whether you meditate or simply take a walk outside in nature. Giving your intellect regular assistance and seeing how it helps your body will feed your spirit to its maximum potential.
How do I nourish?
An continuous problem with nourishment is a recurring theme I encounter in my coaching sessions. Many of my clients have no idea how to nurture themselves or even what that entails. Others regard it as a form of self-indulgence or selfishness.
When we're busy or stressed out, it's often the first item to slip by the wayside. Instead, we turn to the simple, go-to fixes of comfort food, booze, zoning out in front of the television for hours on end, avoiding social interactions, and the killer, procrastination.
So here are my top 12 strategies to fuel yourself in order to help you reduce stress, increase happiness, and improve self-esteem. If you can, try to do at least one a day!
- Turn off all electronics (and I don't just mean turn it off, I mean really turn it off!) for half an hour
- Take a pilates or yoga class (there are lots on YouTube this is a wonderfully conscious way to use technology, by the way!)
- Light some candles, lie down, and think about loving yourself (not egotistically, but warmly and compassionately, as you would a family member).
- Drink plenty of green and herbal teas, especially chamomile and honey, which is extremely soothing.
Choose acts of kindness
In a society where kindness and compassion are hard to come by, it's the best feeling in the world to be good to others. Kindness is the most effective approach to re-energize and revitalize your soul.
It's all too easy to become overwhelmed by your self-destructive thoughts. Meditation is the most effective way to reclaim your sense of calm and control.
Take care of your body
Physical activity is the finest method to get out of your thoughts and nourish your soul on a regular basis. Endorphins are released in your body as a result of exercise, making you feel good about yourself.
Listen to relaxing music
We live in a chaotic environment, and listening to soothing music might help you relax. Relaxing music can aid your mind and spirit no matter how you're feeling.
Spend time connecting to nature
A good method to nourish the soul is to go for a quick stroll outside. It shifts your viewpoint and protects you from getting stuck in your own thoughts. It's also an excellent time to think about things.
Learn how to slow down
We live in such a fast-paced world that we're always on the lookout for the next assignment, whether it's our next job, deadline, or milestone. Slowing down is the most effective technique to re-energize your soul.
Realize it's ok to let go of control
We all want to be in charge of various elements of our lives, yet this only leads to more frustration and suffering. No matter how hard you try, you will never be able to manage everything. You must learn to let go of control in order to nourish your spirit.
Try not to overthink everything
Our minds have a habit of conjuring up scenarios and ideas that are far from realistic. Distract yourself from your ideas when you see yourself overthinking so you don't concentrate on them.
Patience is a valuable asset that is often overlooked. You nourish your soul and demonstrate love to yourself by practicing patience with yourself and others.
Take things gradually
You don't have to put yourself under a lot of stress. It's quite acceptable to take essential breaks and to take things one day at a time. You'll end up depleting your soul more than you planned.
Learn how to let go of the past
There's nothing good that comes from dwelling on the past. You can never change the past; all you can do is go forward. To nourish the soul, you must entirely let go of the past.
Choose happiness above all else
Happiness, contrary to popular opinion, is entirely within your control, and no one else can control it for you. Allow yourself to be happy because that is what you deserve to nourish your spirit.
Be content in life's simplicity
Allow yourself to enjoy the small joys in life, such as the colors of a dawn or the sound of rain. These are the things that feed your soul in the most natural way conceivable.
Read more to inspire you
Nothing like losing yourself in a wonderful book that makes you remember all you thought you'd forgotten. The skill of words is the most underappreciated means of reviving the soul.
Spark your creativity
The best things in life, the very best things in life, are the ones that fill you with enthusiasm and fire. Whatever it is, let your imagination go wild and do something creative. You don't have to be great at it; all you have to do is enjoy it.
Find the beauty in the storms
Find serenity in knowing that there is a silver lining in every situation, no matter how difficult it is. This simple truth will nourish your soul.