How Can I Feel More Spiritual?

Spirituality-and-Healing

  1. Keep the lines of communication open between you and the Divine through prayer and/or meditation- in the mornings, evenings, before meals, and throughout the day. If in this communication you feel inspired to do something in your life, do it. The more you are in silence the more valuable information you will receive about your life.
  2. Have a morning or evening ritual, such as relaxing music and herbal tea- watch the sunrise or set and contemplate about how your life is going and where you could improve, take action or slow down. Journal if you like. 
  3. Buy less stuff and declutter your surroundings.
  4. Spend some time in nature every day. See the Divine in all things. 
  5. Go to bed early. Read something inspirational before you turn out the light. Pray or Meditate. Rise early.
  6. Don’t forget to breathe deeply. Breathe into any part of your body that needs healing. Don’t forget to take a deep breath to clarify feelings before responding. Be mindful of your actions. 
  7. Be present with others. Take an interest.
  8. Follow your intuition and promptings when it comes to service and giving. 
  9. Take care of yourself with healthy food and exercise. Yoga, hiking or outdoor running can be a spiritual form of exercise. Drink adequate water. Clean, healthy living can help us be more in tune with Spirit.
  10. Practice gratitude, compassion, forgiveness, and love. 

 

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Is Nature Spiritual?

nature-sun_00390178Our connection with Nature is innately our connection with ourselves because we are inherently Nature.

Mountains, rivers, oceans, forests, dirt…

It gives us the space to remember who we are.

God and Nature are intertwined. Nature gives us the instructions for  how to be happy.

Breathe in clean air, look out from a mountaintop over a vista, or on cliffs that jut out of the ocean, or stand beneath a waterfall, watch lightening rip through the sky, ride the waves and paddle with dolphins, or lie on your back and discover other worldly cloud formations, sunsets or magnificent constellations.

Walk barefoot, connecting soles with the pure earth or sand, feel the energy.

Watch the sunrise. Go out at dawn and watch the world go from dark to light, feel the energy being infused  into body, mind and spirit.

Mimic the plants and reach for the sun. Get outside during daylight hours.

Take a conscious walk or hike among the trees in serenity and solitude. Listen, smell, breathe.

Swim in the ocean, lake pond, or outdoor pool.

Take a leisure bike ride or go out in a row boat, canoe or kayak.

Tend to a garden.

Snuggle or walk your pet.

Connect with nature anyway you can and remember you are part of it and it is part of you.

  • Running with Nature by Mariel Hemingway and Bobby Williams

How Can I Be Good?

wolves-2969361_960_720An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life…

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

“One is evil – this wolf is anger, envy, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.

“The other is good – this wolf is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

“This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,
“Which wolf will win?”

The old chief simply replied,
“The one you feed.”

lonely wolf

How Can I Communicate With God?

alone-in-a-crowd (1)

“One evening, out to dinner with friends, I felt profoundly depressed. At 38 years old I had stopped eating. As usual, I watched everyone eating with a hearty appetite while I sat before my plate of grated carrots pretending to savor every mouthful. In reality I was starving. I remember how utterly desperate I felt when I went to bed. I simply couldn’t go on any longer and wished I could die.

In the middle of the night, I woke up with a strange sensation, rather like a force or energy rippling like waves throughout my body. It grew ever stronger until my body was vibrating. I wasn’t frightened because the effects were warm and comforting and I no longer felt alone in my despair. It seemed someone was with me to share it. This sensation stayed with me all night, and I began to talk, expressing my innermost thoughts as if someone were listening to me. I whispered, “I don’t know who you are, but I know that you’re here and I can tell you everything.”

Shortly after, I began to breathe in a totally different way. I wasn’t frightened but, rather, curious to know what would happen next. I continued talking to the “Presence”, which had become a part of me, a faithful friend and companion ready to listen.

I talked to the Presence as a child might. When I woke up terrified by a nightmare, my friend would comfort me and I would feel the warm and gentle ripples within as if he were caressing me. The experience began my journey to discover truth.

Was it possible the presence with whom I spoke  was God? I asked it.

“Are you God, our Heavenly Father?

I felt the answer was affirmative.

“Are you sure?”

Again the reply was affirmative. I was exuberant, for God was extremely loving, simple, accessible, willing to listen, full of joy. He was nothing like the strict, severe God who judged and punished about whom I had been taught.

I heaved a sigh of relief. I had finally found Him. Yes, this was the Father I had been seeking my entire life. I gave myself up to his warm embrace, no longer doubting the identity of the mysterious Presence I had felt.

After so many years, I realize, God, You have always been with me, You have never abandoned me. I am infinitely grateful for Your Love. ”

prayer

-Interview with Patricia Williams Scalisi, edited by David Paul Doyle in When God Spoke To Me

 

How Can I Stop Judging My Circumstances?

horse-pulling-hay-wagon-with-farmer-in-it

There’s an ancient parable about a farmer who lost his horse.

One day, his horse ran away. So, the villagers came up to him and said, “That’s bad.” He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Hard to say.”

The next day, the horse came back with seven wild horses. So, the villagers came up to him and said, “More horses, that’s good.” He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Hard to say.”

A week later, the farmer’s son was riding one of the wild horses and was thrown off it. As a result, he broke his leg. So, the villagers came up to him and said, “That’s bad.” He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Hard to say.”

The next week, the king sent word commanding all able men of age to enlist in the army for the upcoming war against a neighboring kingdom. The farmer’s son wasn’t enlisted as he had a broken leg. Now, the villagers came up to him and said, “That’s good.” He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Hard to say.”

Didn’t get the job I wanted: good or bad, hard to say. Got the job I wanted: good or bad, hard to say….

To me, the story is not about looking on the bright side or waiting to see how things turn out. It’s about how eager we can be to label a situation, to put concrete around it by judging it. But reality is much more fluid, and good and bad are often incomplete stories that we tell ourselves. The parable has been my warning that by gripping tightly to the story of good or bad, I close down my ability to truly see a situation. I learn more when I proceed and loosen my grip and proceed openly with curiosity and wonder.”

  • Heather Lanier (Ted Talk)

How Can We Build Trust?

pabloneruda_poetofthepeople5

Illustration by Julie Paschkis from Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People by Monica

Trust that you have a good and compassionate nature.
You are part of the universe; you are made of stars.
When you look at your loved one, you see that he is also made of stars and carries eternity inside.
Looking in this way, we naturally feel reverence.

True love cannot be without trust and respect for oneself and for the other person.
[The essential mechanism for establishing this trust and respect is listening.]
To know how to love someone, we have to understand them. To understand, we need to listen.

-Thich Nhat Hanh (legendary Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, teacher, and peace activist b. October 11, 1926)

How Can I Find Joy?

stillness

A true spiritual teacher helps you connect with what you already know in the depth of your being. Your light within.

It is almost impossible to connect with this peace when your mind is racing or when stimuli is overpowering.

Step away into the stillness within.

Quiet your mind. Breathe. Connect with your inner life force. Feel it in your whole body, your aliveness.

Live mindfully. Notice your words, your actions. Your breath. Be a walking prayer of optimism and goodwill.

Take right actions. Serve, give, clean, work, share, write, read, run, play and love.

Spend quiet time with nature, music, art, stories, and poetry. Schedule it in. 

When your thoughts come, transport them into a brighter world. Construct them with your imagination and visualize the brightness. Make it your reality. Use whatever hopeful images or stories or perspectives elevate yourself.