How To Start A Spiritual Practice And Where To Begin
I remember when I started to feel differently about life. It happened so slowly I wasn’t even aware of it, until one day it just hit me. Boom.
Suddenly what I saw in front of me wasn’t enough. I was thirsty for more. I knew that there were things to be revealed just beyond the veil of my reality. Only I didn’t know how to begin unraveling the web I was tangled in.
For a long time I wished I could be like Alice in Wonderland and drink a magic potion that would change my perspective and reveal the answers to all my spiritual questions.
Instead I began the painful process of finding my own path. But I made one fatal mistake. I thought if I found the right thing, I would be able to wave a wand and everything would magically become clear.
The trouble is, when you’re thinking about adopting a spiritual practice or need help coping with everyday life, it can be utterly overwhelming just knowing where to look and how to begin.
What I finally realized is that in reality, there are many paths. The important thing is that we just start walking.
Here is some guidance to get you started on your own spiritual quest for a more fulfilling life.
Don’t worry too much about adopting new belief systems or practices that feel abstract and confusing. Look for things that resonate with you and are relevant to your unique lifestyle.
For 5-10 minutes once or twice a day, simply sit in silence and concentrate on your breath. It doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that. Just give yourself time away from the usual stimulations like your phone, Facebook and the TV and instead tune inward.
Commit to your practice, whatever it is. Create a little discipline. Whether it’s 10 minutes in silence, a solo stroll, a run, a yoga class—just do it—everyday, without question.
Practice kindness and act with compassion. But remember that to take kindness into the world you must begin by being kind to yourself. Connect with what is in your heart and honor it. If something doesn’t feel right no matter how much rational sense it should make, don’t do it.
Be half full
Focus on what you have, rather than what you don’t. Before you go to bed, jot down 3-4 things that happened that you can be grateful for. It will help you recognize abundance all around.
Decide who you want to be
Spend some time considering who you want to be. Think about how you’d prefer to respond to something and what impact that might have. Then begin to adopt the same thought process and behavior patterns. Practice being a better version of you.
Observe & accept what you see
With new awareness comes new information. And, with information comes insight. Watch yourself without judgement or psychoanalysis. You may not always like what you see, but accept it and trust that with awareness comes change.
Find your tribe
Surround yourself with people that support who you want to be and cast off folks and things that no longer serve you.
There is no better tool for self-reflection and self-inquiry than journaling. Each morning when you wake, spend 10-20 minutes writing. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what to write about—just start and let the words tumble onto the page. This is a powerful way of getting to know our own psyche and uncover unconscious thoughts.
Don’t be afraid to change
Change is the only constant. Embrace the fact that any kind of practice invites change. Even though it can be scary, go with it. You never know where it might take you!
When you’re ready to dig a little deeper, there are many wonderful books and resources that will support your spiritual development.
Here are some of my favorite books that helped open my eyes and inspired me in the beginning. Click here to view my spiritual reading list.
At age 87 Michelangelo said, “I am always learning,” as are we. Just remember that there is no quick fix. You will never stop learning, and there will always be somewhere new in your spiritual journey to explore, so start walking!!