How to Connect with Your Spiritual Path
July 26, 2019 by Jen Martin | The MS Wellness Coach
In a global world and modern societies, spirituality has become a very personal thing. Whether we share a religion with others or prefer to forge our own spiritual path, our relationship with spiritual practice is unique to each of us. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to truly connect with your spirituality.
Life is busy and often chaotic. Whether you’re rushing kids out the door to school, trying to figure out what to prepare for dinner, or stressing about a deadline at work, it always seems never-ending. But our well-being depends on having a fulfilling spiritual life and inner world. Whether you believe in a creator or a spiritual existence beyond the physical world isn’t as important as how you fulfill the need for spirituality in your own life.
A spiritual practice is simply the things that you do to help you deepen your inner world in meaningful and impactful ways. If you are the kind of person who likes to work with spirit guides or other spiritual beings, that’s great. But if you prefer to focus on the here and now, that’s also fine. Having a true wellness practice includes taking time out to nourish your soul, whatever that looks like for you.
Discovering Your Spiritual Path
For those of us who don’t connect well with organized religion, it can be tricky to know how to engage our spiritual sides. We might even spend a few years without much practice at all. Only when we start to feel the lack of spirituality in our lives do we finally understand how much it impacts our well-being.
For true wellness, it’s essential to focus on your inner world and spiritual path. But how do you discover what works for you?
The best place to start is from a place of curiosity. Everyone is different and what works for your best friend might not be a good fit for you. But that doesn’t mean you should pass judgment on something before trying it. Be willing to try new activities, classes, join groups, and read books.
Take different kinds of yoga classes. Show up for support groups where people come together to talk about different spiritual ideas. Join a meditation class. Attend a weekend conference or class to learn something new. Sign up for a spiritual book club or start one with some friends. Get curious about the softer side of life.
Eventually, you’ll start to notice a pattern in the things that you don’t feel connected to and the things that really move you. Over time, you’ll realize the commonalities that link together the things that fill you up spiritually. You’ll start to understand what moves you and why. The deeper you go, the more fulfilled you’ll feel and the more meaningful your practice will become. Let the path unfold organically and you’ll find what works best for your life.
How to Get Started With Your Spiritual Path
If you walk over to the spirituality section at a bookstore, you’ll most likely be blown away by all the different books, teachings, ideas, and vibes. You might get overwhelmed and walk away. Since there are so many people in this world, there are millions of ways to approach the spiritual side of life. There isn’t a wrong way to do it, there’s just what works for you.
The most effective spiritual path involves having teachers, mentors, and inspiring practices balanced with tuning in deeply to your own wisdom. Within each of us is knowledge we often ignore and forget about.
Our mental chatter drowns out the wisdom of our bodies, leaving us feeling confused and conflicted. Balance listening to others with listening to yourself and never participate in anything that makes you feel negative or that feels wrong for you. Always listen to your inner guide.
Here are a few practices to help you tune in and connect with the inner spiritual you:
1. Start a meditation practice.
Many people on the path toward wellness and well-being come across meditation, but often it feels like an enormous undertaking. How does one clear the mind and sit in quiet? There are some really wonderful apps out there for absolute beginners and meditation resistant folks.
Good places to start with meditation include guided visualizations. These meditative practices help to redirect the chatty mind toward a transformative mental experience. You’ll find 20 minutes passes in no time and finish feeling refreshed and calm.
Be patient and know that mindfulness is for life. There’s no race or one right way to do it. Try different things until you find what works for you. Then practice it daily to uncover more of your spiritual path.
2. Relearn to listen to your intuition.
As children, we often made our choices based on our intuition or “gut feeling.” But as adults, we’ve been taught to trust logic and reason over our inner knowing. When you make a choice that goes against your gut feeling, how does that feel? Often, we can feel sick, sad, or even depressed about the choice we made, even if it’s perfectly logical. Sometimes it’s only later that we find out why our intuition was the better voice to listen to.
Take the time during your mindfulness practice to get familiar with your intuition. You can do this through guided visualizations, meditative conversations with your inner guide, or through deep meditation that allows only the deepest feelings to emerge. Find a way that will help you get back to trusting your intuition. You’ll feel more at peace and more connected with your spiritual world.
3. Practice embodiment and present moment awareness.
Being spiritual is often about learning to quiet our minds and listen more to our whole beings. Embodiment practices allow us to get out of our circle-thinking minds and move into the wisdom of our bodies. You’ll become more grounded, centered, and feel connected to each moment.
Take a moment as often as you can to stop what you’re doing, sit down, and close your eyes. Listen to the noises around you and just notice them without investing in them. Feel your skin and how your body feels in the space around you. Do you feel pain, discomfort, cold, heat, or other sensations? Now tune into your internal body. How do your lungs feel? What about your stomach, spine, neck, feet, and other internal sensations?
What does your inner world feel like? Notice your emotional sensations, how your spirit feels, and any intuitive messages that might be trying to get your attention.
Allow yourself to just be in the moment, noticing without judgment. This is a good exercise for calming a panicky mind, de-escalating a frustrating moment, and reconnecting with your inner world in an embodied way.
4. Journaling for more gratitude and spiritual depth.
Commit to a journaling practice to help collect your spiritual experiences, process them, and save them for future inspiration. Writing helps us to better understand our lives and is an excellent way to tune into your inner guide. If you’ve ever found yourself writing down thoughts that you didn’t realize you were thinking, you’ll understand the power of writing.
Journaling doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. I highly recommend The 5 Minute Gratitude Journal and write in it every am and pm and keep it consistent.
Whatever will get you started with journaling will help you dig deeper into your inner world. The more you understand yourself, the richer your spiritual life will become.
Don’t Wait For Perfect
Often we think of spiritual practice and we imagine the perfect surroundings, knowledge, and skills. The thing we forget is that everyone has to start somewhere, even that spiritual teacher you so admire. Don’t wait to get started when everything is perfect. If you wait for the right conditions, you’ll never begin.
Just start with where you’re at now, be patient with yourself, and don’t set up conditions that will hamper your success. Focus on making your spiritual path as easy as possible so you’ll actually do it. Over time, you’ll deepen your practice and find more meaningful experiences. But you have to start somewhere. Connecting with your spiritual path will help you find more well-being in your life which will help you to inspire others.