5 Ways to Become More Spiritual

The journey to spiritual wellness is simple but not easy. It is we who make it difficult and complicated with our desires and distractions.

As a great teacher once said, “God is simple; everything else is complicated.” The spiritual life, however, does take effort and introspection like all worth-while aspirations.

“We are not physical beings who may have a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a physical experience.” ~Teilhard de Chardin

The good news is that there's nothing to attain. You are a spiritual being. You only have to improve your knowing by eliminating those things in your life that keep your soul from shining through. Your soul is like the sun trying to shine through a dirty window. If you want more sunlight in your house, you have to wash the windows.

1. Keep a Gratitude Journal

Practicing gratitude is the easiest, fastest way to become happier and thus more spiritual. Try to move your focus from feeling grateful for the gift itself to the person who gave it to you to the Spirit behind all blessings. Look for people in your life that you can thank for immaterial things such as their friendship, patiently listening to you when you were upset, or a friendly smile of encouragement. Being graceful to your friends and family is a good way to open your heart and increase feelings of love in your life. You may also be surprised to find them starting to shower you with love and appreciation too.

2. Make Value-Guided Decisions

Living a life in tune with your values is the best way to be true to yourself. In turn, this trueness allows your spiritual life to flourish. What do you value? Is it honesty and truth? Is it charity? When faced with a decision, look within and ask if this decision is for your and others highest good. Hold each option up to the light at the spiritual eye and feel which one makes you happier.

3. Search for Meaning

Everything that comes into your life has a purpose. As cliché as it sounds, it's the most accurate explanation for the myriad of things that happen to us. Whether we believe that life’s meaning is pre-determined or self-directed, to grow in spirit is to realize that we do not merely exist. We do not know the meaning of our lives at birth; but we gain knowledge and wisdom from our interactions with people and from our actions and reactions to the situations we are in.

You may not like a situation or even understand it. But instead of reacting negatively, take the time to connect with the deeper meaning. Try to find something—even the smallest thing—to be grateful for.

Our lives have purpose. This purpose sustains us during trying times and gives us something to look forward to—a goal to achieve, a destination to reach. A person without purpose or meaning is like a drifting ship at sea.

4. Introspect

To grow spiritually is to look inward. “The kingdom of God is within you.” Introspection goes beyond listing what happened. You need to look closely and reflect on your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and motivations. Periodically examining your experiences, the decisions you make, the relationships you have, and the things you engage in provide useful insights on your life goals, on the good traits you must cultivate and the bad habits you have to discard. Like any skill, introspection can be learned; all it takes is the courage and willingness to seek the truths that lie within you. Here are some pointers when you introspect: be objective, be forgiving of yourself, and focus on your strengths.

5. Meditate

All spiritual traditions include the practice of meditation. The techniques and names for it differ, but the goal is the same: to quiet your mind enough to connect with your inner self. A daily practice of meditation will bring you joy and peace, reduce stress and anxiety, teach you to focus in present.

Start with 5 minutes once a day and gradually increase the time. Use a technique from your own spiritual tradition or start by watching the breath. You can find many meditation techniques online or on this site. If you like the beach, you could try Recharge with Three Meditations on the Sea Or you may prefer to find a meditation teacher for personal instruction.

Start Simple, Start Small

The important thing is to just start. Don't make it so important and difficult that you don't do anything. Give up perfectionism. Take any one of my five suggestions above and try it for awhile. Then try adding another one. Enjoy the process. The journey is quite fulfilling and you will soon notice an increase in spirituality in your life. There is a deeper level of peace and understanding to be gained when you travel this road. Experience the journey and see what it feels like to truly accept yourself.

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