Religion defines God based on a specific set of doctrines and rituals. Spirituality refers to a sacred energetic flow and way of being in the world. It cuts across all religious beliefs and traditions and influences your attitudes, feelings and behaviors toward yourself, others, nature and Creator. Spirituality is an important aspect of integrative wellness. When you are being spiritual, you are able to love unconditionally, focus on positive outcomes, live your truth, be filled with gratitude, achieve inner peace, and witness the miraculous.
My curiosity led me to have many spiritual experiences in a variety of places. For example, I danced with masked Kachinas on the Hopi Indian reservation; bowed before huge Buddha statues in China; meditated in the Great pyramid of Gaza; prayed in a prayer booth in a Cairo mosque; climbed the hill to the Lady of Medugorje Shrine in Bosnia; and felt the energy of the Torah as it was being taken from the ark. These encounters allowed me to live my passion and experience the many forms in which the sacred can be found. They all contributed to my spiritual development and zest for living.
You do not need to travel the world to grow spiritually. You just need to feel inspired. Here are a few suggestions that will enable you to live your values, flow with spirit and improve your health and well-being:
Pay attention to what nourishes your soul and fills you with a sense of wonder and joy:
- Does being in nature help you feel close to the Creator?
- Does meditation enable you to experience inner stillness and peace?
- Does helping others make you feel like you are giving back?
- Does reading scripture or an inspiration book bring you closer to God?
- Does dancing, painting, singing, or playing music uplift you?
Make a commitment to do the things that fill you with a sense of well-being; you will feel excited to be alive and life will feel sacred.
Develop rituals that uplift you and make them a habit:
- Listen to inspirational music or chanting
- Express gratitude in some way (say it or write)
- Say or think an affirmation about your willingness to forgive
- Do yoga, walk, run, paint, or write with mindful attention
- Sign up to receive a daily inspirational message on the Internet
- Use Oracle cards for daily messages
Live your values with an open heart; you will feel empowered and attract grace into your life.
Join or create a soulful community.
- Join a spiritual community and attend events on a regular basis
- Join an uplifting group of like-minded positive people
- Start a Mastermind group
- Volunteer at a community theater, animal rescue or hospital
- Join an Internet spiritual community
Receive support from others; you will accomplish extraordinary outcomes and get through the tough times with ease.
Your spirituality can be strengthened through intention, attention, reflection and action. Your spiritual practice is working if it allows you to have compassion toward yourself, others and life; enables you to have an optimistic outlook; fills you with curiosity, wonder and gratitude; inspires you to live with meaning; and allows you to have moments of inner peace.
You may already notice that spiritual people may not follow a religious tradition, and religious people may not radiate spirituality in their lives. A spiritual person honors the sacred in life and makes the most of each day. These are the people that you want to be around because they have a zest for living that is contagious. Choose to live with passion and purpose; you will become a beacon of hope to others.
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