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  • Writer's pictureJill Brocklehurst

Activating a Spiritual Practice

"The true journey of the spirit begins when we realize our path is not just about reaching out to the Divine, but also about allowing the Divine within to reach out through us.”

Inspired by the works of Emma Curtis Hopkins


Engaging daily in these four activities inspires one’s life with endless possibilities:

  • Thinking about the big ideas found in Truth and Wisdom teachings.

  • Speaking about the big ideas found in Truth and Wisdom teachings.

  • Recording the big ideas found in Truth and Wisdom teachings.

  • Living the big ideas found in Truth and Wisdom teachings.

Life got busy for me in December, and my spiritual practices began to slip… gradually at first, then almost hitting full stop. I was preoccupied with seemingly ‘more important’ tasks. However, as time passed, even though I met each event's demands, my life quality began to deteriorate. By mid January, I was wanting to stay in bed longer, watch more television and exercise less. Minor cold symptoms were threatening my wellbeing. I was more argumentative. I wondered, “What is going on?” Then it hit me: I had neglected my daily spiritual practice.


I am inspired to invite you to join me in dedicating a minimum of six weeks experimenting with these four activities that I propose. The idea is for us to do each of them in bite-sized portions, so that we don’t have the excuse of ‘limited time’. (Besides, time expands when you immerse yourself in a spiritual lifestyle).


READING:

When I am asked what I do for a living, I often answer, “Spiritual Director.” This usually leads to the question, “Oh, what faith?”… . To which I reply, “All of them.” My point is, your beliefs matter less to me than the fact that you have some.


Choose enriching literature (be it philosophical, spiritual, or enlightening in some other life-enhancing way, whether old or new) and read a little each day. That can look like one paragraph, one page, one chapter… you decide. (Some texts are so profound that a single paragraph is enough to chew on for a whole day). This reading practice will provoke deep thoughts, but don’t just stop there. Make sure to also take some notes on your reading in order to embed the principles you are exposing yourself to all the more deeply in your mind.


TALKING:

When learning something new and wanting to enrich the experience, it’s vital to share your revelations with others by engaging in meaningful conversations. Far too often, we are shy, or we otherwise hold back. Who benefits from this restraint? What is so threatening that we don’t boldly share our deep thoughts with one another?  


You might try out these sorts of conversation starters:

“Today, I’m pondering an Infinite Universe where, I can only imagine, anything is possible. (Isn’t that the definition of infinite?)”

“So I wonder, if I contemplate possibilities beyond my current experiences, might something new and wonderful emerge? Or, if I keep thinking the same old thoughts, it makes sense that my life will be the same as it always has been, right?”

“I think I am going to spend time imagining something new and wonderful. How about you?”


Our inspired thoughts can become seeds of inspiration for others. Don’t underestimate this. All those people I know who are brave enough to share their wise insights with others report back how, later, people in their circles comment on their shared offerings with appreciation. I have experienced this too.


RECORDING:

At the end of each day, reflect on the enriching literature you have written about in the morning, and record any effects and insights you may have gleaned from it as you have gone through your day. Notice how a focus on ‘high level’ thoughts manifests itself in your life. (Perhaps you’ll feel more of a sense of gratitude, or you’ll notice a change in the people and/or circumstances around you).  


I can’t emphasize enough that the focus of our attention always expands in our experiences. Concentrate on the positive and enriching outcomes of higher thinking, and your outer world will continue to expand in beautiful ways as well. Some might refer to this phenomenon as ‘a miracle’, but it isn’t at all. The good life is all around us already… it is simply waiting for our recognition and our embrace.


LIVING:

This final step falls into place naturally when we are thinking, talking and writing about life’s higher principles. It is by faithfully engaging in this practice each day that we progress to the fifth ability: accomplishing the works of the Spirit that is within us.


I can attest that, though I am just two days back into this practice, my life is already out of the dark, and I am looking forward to even more expansion of unexpected Good throughout this year.



ACTIVITIES for TRANSFORMATION

Incorporating Mindful Meditation into your routine can act as a powerful tool to support and amplify the outcomes of reading, talking, recording, and living the spiritual practices outlined in this week’s article. Meditation serves as a foundation on which to build a more mindful, aware, and spiritually enriched life.


A commitment of 10 minutes of simple meditation a day has numerous benefits that include:

  • Enhanced Self-Awareness: Meditation helps us to notice things more clearly, and this awareness leads to personal growth.

  • Reduced Stress and Anxiety: Meditation calms our internal systems, which leads to a reduction in stress and anxiety markers.

  • Improved Concentration: Regular meditative practice enhances our attention spans and trains our ability to focus.

  • Encouraging a Healthy Lifestyle: Meditative focus can increase self-discipline, which leads to greater ease in committing to healthier choices.

  • Increased Patience and Tolerance: By calming our systems and making more healthy choices, we have more energy available for patience and tolerance.

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