When you look at the LIVE IT NOW wheel of life the spirituality section stumps a few people.
Not everyone is religious or supports a belief in other-worldly elements.
In reality, spirituality is no different to any of the other aspects on the life wheel.
We all have access to finances. For most of us, money played a big part in how we grew up yet different people will have different experiences of money and wealth. Some might think it is the root of all evils, others might place their whole success on how wealthy they are.
With health, some people avoid diets and exercise at all costs while others have a phobia of gaining weight.
Relationships for some people are terrifying and for others, the only thing they look to succeed on in life.
So it’s no surprise that there are equal extremes for spirituality and lots of people who sit in the middle of those extremes.
What is spirituality actually about?
At its core, spirituality means that you put time and value into the human spirit (or soul) rather than external or material things, such as clothes, food, status and bank accounts.
When you nurture your spirituality in balance with your wheel of life you take the time to know and appreciate who you are without all the noise and addictions of the modern world. It’s relaxing and helps you stay calm and equipped to handle any situation. My favourite part is you feel as though you are on passion and purpose in your life and you reach your goals faster.
Here are 8 easy ways to practice spirituality every day. Some of these may feel a little weird if they are new to you. Take that as a sign that your spirit needs your attention and rise to the challenge. It gets easier the more you do it.
1. Water your Soul Garden
Just like our body runs out of energy if we don’t feed it regularly, our inner spirit needs nourishment on a regular basis too.
Imagine that there is a garden inside you, at your very centre. What does your garden look like? Visualise the plants and the landscape.
If you do not support this space your garden’s plants will wilt and turn brown. It leads to negative thoughts, negative beliefs about yourself and even attracting negative experiences.
People like author Louise Hay have done amazing work in drawing connections between an unnourished garden and health problems and addictions. That’s how important it is to the rest of your life, to get your spirituality maintained and cared for. This is life quality.
There are many ways to water your garden, it’s just a matter of paying attention and appreciating non-material things. It can just be five minutes a day if you like. The way to know if you pick the right activity is how you feel afterwards. Spiritual activities create a feeling of space in your chest, extreme relaxation, centring or balance or even intense bliss. When your spirit is in balance you will feel magnetically drawn to pursue your passion and attract positive things into your life.
Out in nature
• Get outdoors, especially to old growth forests.
• Go for a barefoot beach walk
• Take a nature hike
• Experience river kayaking
• Sit by a lake
• Watch a sunrise or sunset
Quietly at home
• Meditation (if you are not familiar with meditation use a guided meditation app or class that suits you best)
• A long warm bath
• Gaze into a candle flame
• Say some prayers before bed
• Read inspirational quotes
• Listen to relaxing music (without doing anything else)
In a group or class
• Tai Chi
• Eye gazing
In all these activities your breath is the most important aspect. Be really aware of your breathing and your body and be in the moment. Live for right now.
Whatever you choose to do, do it on a regular basis.
2. Surround yourself with positive influences
I use surrounding influences as a key focus in all my trainings. It’s proven to make a big difference to your performance and yet, I find this is the one thing most people don’t follow through on. You can do everything else right but if the people surrounding you in your fitness, your business or friendships are toxic, you are really going to struggle to get your goals met.
Toxic influences can affect your self-esteem, your ability to identify new opportunities and an unwillingness to get out of your comfort zone.
In some cases you cannot remove toxic people from your life, they are part of your life journey, you can, however, choose to add more positive people in your life and spend extra time with people who have positive and supportive attitudes.
Surrounding yourself with positive people means you are more likely to have positive events impacting your life and increases your ability to be positive, open-minded, take risks to meet your goal and challenge yourself to grow.
Think about what you love doing, where you want to be in five years time and what you want your life to be like. That will give you solid clues on which groups and events to join and which places to socialise in order to locate a circle of positive influences who inspire you to be better.
3. Think abundant thoughts
When our mindset is all about scarcity we jump into survivor mode. Our bodies become stressed out, prepared for fight or flight. In this state we are less likely to make decisions that have a long-term benefit, instead we look for short fixes that “get us through the moment”. Sometimes the short terms solutions we pick are even damaging or harmful to us or people around us.
When you have a mindset of abundance long-term motivation kicks in. We are more likely to engage in education that will enhance our ability, look after our health and generate wealth. Our decisions will enhance choices, not only for us but also for other people.
Thoughts of abundance are connected with safety, security and freedom because we see and generate more choices. In survival and scarcity mode, many people become stuck in a loop that involves only two choices and that feeling of, “I have no options, it’s this or nothing”.
If left in this state for a period of time I can lead to anxiety, depression, even suicide.
In abundance we can create multiple choices and creative options that give us more flexibility and more power. We are able to take the driver’s seat of our own bus and steer our life on the path we desire. If you are feeling stuck or trapped in a scarcity loop it’s a good sign your spirituality needs a lift.
The fastest way out of it is to challenge yourself to find three options. Three choices you can make in this situation. The first two will probably be easy (and probably negative). Once you get that third option you move to a more creative way of thinking and more and more options become available to you. See if you can get to five choices in any given situation.
If this is a difficult challenge for your, spend some time practising the activities on this soul nurturing list. Think about taking a holiday or a complete day off from your usual routine. Turn off your phone and dedicate the whole day to doing things that you love doing. Break your every-day pattern to help reach new solutions.
4. Set I AM SMART goals
Do you know where you are going in the near future? What will your life be like in seven years time?
My company is called Your Future Now. That’s because the key to life is to live in the moment with one eye firmly fixed on where you are going in the future. Your future is now.
Your soul has a purpose, you may not know what it is yet and that’s okay, it’s about how you feel. Do you feel magnetically drawn to something or are you drifting in the breeze?
Without a goal plan, finding or achieving your purpose gets a lot harder and takes a lot longer.
Setting a path with clear goals gives you something positive to focus on, it fills you with a sense of purpose and achievement and a direction you can move in. A motivating five-year or seven-year plan can get you through some amazing challenges and beat seemingly impossible odds.
Spend time planning your future.
That doesn’t mean you have every second of your life planned, just the opposite. A clear seven-year vision will help you see a big picture of what’s important in your life and what your highest values are so you can spend your energy on the things that matter most. It gives you more flexibility to pick and chose what matters most to your day and your future. Remember, you are living your future potential right now!
When making a vision board I tell my students to use something flexible, like blue-tac. Some of your goals will be realised very quickly, others, when achieved will open doorways to new opportunities you never even imagined before. The most important part of your future vision is how you feel about your life, how you feel about yourself and what you are doing.
When you have that down you can start doing the things that feel great, right now!
5. Have a mentor
We don’t have all the answers. No matter how intelligent or how skilled we might be there are always going to be blind spots in our ability. These blind spots can potentially hold us back from achieving excellence through self-sabotage and looping the same mistakes over and over.
This is the octopus on your face effect. We are unable to see the obscurities in our own lives, but we can see everyone else’s so easily. In order to identify your own octopus, you need an outsider’s help. A mentor can challenge your thinking in the right way and get you to see, and take steps to address what’s blocking your vision.
Think about what is troubling you the most and seek out a mentor who excels in that field who can help you restore balance. You do not need to shoulder the world on your own.
Knowing when to ask for help is really important for nurturing your spirituality. Taking on too much, not sharing your feelings and telling yourself you are alone causes stress that could be damaging to your physical and mental health.
Ask for help: It’s one of the most powerful things you can do for yourself.
If you are someone who is always there for everyone else and you like how it feels to be supportive and care for others, give them an opportunity to return the favour and enjoy the good feeling of helping you. Don’t rob them of the chance to enjoy helping you or being there for you sometimes.
6. Switch off
While there are a lot of social media posts that are uplifting and motivating there are an equal amount that are toxic and horrifying. The ability to connect with the world through social media also exposes us to things we don’t want to see and experience.
It’s impossible to only stream good news. Make time to switch off from the world and get back to you. Sit in the garden, enjoy time with your family and just be in your world for a time, instead of the whole world.
Make your social media breaks a regular habit. One whole day a week social media free is enough to get you reconnected to yourself and be in the moment.
Challenge yourself to see this as a time of freedom, rather than restriction. You are free of your phone to talk to people, notice the world and all the details around you, to chat to a neighbour, make something, go somewhere new.
If you use social media as a business tool you can use an app to pre-set your media release times on that well-earned day off.
7. Ignore headlines
With so many people selling ‘news’ it gets difficult for each program, magazine and paper to stand out from the crowd. Fear sells, so media, advertising and news stories push hard to terrify us, to horrify their readers and gain their attention. The more outlets that do this, the more horrific it needs to be next time.
With so many news channels bombarding society with toxic stories, you can be misled into thinking we are all about to be mascaraed when we are in the cereal aisle at the supermarket.
All this toxic energy starts a fear cycle that increases anxiety and decreases intelligence. People make stupid decisions in the name of defending themselves that usually lead to more violence and panic.
The doom and gloom image is not a realistic view of the world. Based on news stories alone we can be influenced to feel exposed, powerless and isolated, all for no reason. When we are disconnect with positive actions in the world, we also disconnect from our own positive impact. Too much exposure to toxic headlines can have us start to believe there is only fear and anger in the world.
Take regular breaks from news and be objective when you are reading news so you can identify sensationalism and overplay. Freedom of information means that anyone can post negative stories, you can choose what you watch, read and listen to and whether you buy into it.
8. Practice gratitude
Gratitude is the easiest and quickest thing you can do to help feed your spiritual centre. Amazing things happen to us every day and often they get ignored. Slow down and take the time to appreciate and register the good things that occur, from the really tiny to the really big. It might be a sunset, a sunrise, a rainbow, a really good cup of coffee, a great car park that’s vacant, a free ticket, someone holding the train door for you, a little kid singing a song.
You can start a gratitude diary where you record the things you are grateful for at the end of the day. It’s a great way to get a peaceful night’s sleep.
Or you might choose to go for a gratitude walk. Be outside and pay attention to the details around you as you count your many blessings. This is a great way to start the day.
When we practice gratitude we shift our filters toward noticing and appreciating good things. That means we notice more good things and have more opportunities to have things to be grateful for.
Saying thank you for good things that happen to us isn’t just about increasing our ability to engage with positive opportunities, it’s also a polite to thank the universe for everything we have in the world.
When you concentrate on you spirit regularly in your life and give yourself time just to be, you will feel cantered, purposeful and grounded. Best of all you will inspire others through your positive energy to go for their goals, be their best and enjoy the moment. Positive energy is just as contagious as negative energy so spread it around.
Check in with yourself to learn when you are showing symptoms of needing some down time and take action to get yourself rebooted.
There is no better reboot than Live It Now. Recharge and give yourself one weekend this year to reconnect and rediscover your centre.
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