Following on the heels of my last post discussing how chronic fatigue is a spiritual experience this one was written to provide some suggestions for how to deepen spirituality for those who feel called to do so.
There are two points I feel to share before I begin.
Point #1: Your spiritual connection and a sense of deepened spirituality is always available to you. It is within you. You are divine and a part of the whole, which is divine. To deepen a sense of belonging and connection that comes with spirituality one needs to only choose to go inwards, to open up and to receive what is already available.
Unfortunately, there may be a few hurdles. One possible hurdle is a need to remain closed and disconnected to feel safe (an old coping mechanism that stems from childhood when we do not feel emotionally supported or acknowledged). To open to spirituality, means we need to trust we will be held. To trust we will be held we need to experience this through opening ourselves to being held. A bit of a Catch-22. This is why chronic illness or fatigue can be a gift – when we hit rock bottom is often when we finally surrender.
The other factor that makes it difficult to just receive and open to spirituality and something greater to hold us, is that we are just too busy. That brings me to my second point….
Point #2: You have to rest and be still if you want to deepen your spirituality. It cannot be found outside of you but is within and you cannot receive it or feel it unless you consciously choose to stop and go inwards. No one can make you do that. That has to be your choice. When we open up inside then we open to receiving so much more from outside of us. But we have to slow down to do this.
If you do get to a point where you are willing to surrender the old patterns of being self-reliant, disconnected and busy these are a few ways you can encourage that opening of yourself to being spiritually held and receiving an abundance of guidance, vitality and flow.
- Quiet your mind so you can hear your inner voice - which is your truth and connection to spiritual guidance. The best way to quiet your mind is to first become aware of how much it chatters. It could be that this is such a default that you just take it for granted. A good way to become super conscious of the monkey mind is to just focus on your breath. Counting the inhalation and exhalation (without having to reach a certain number) can help to keep more focus.You can also use your 5 senses and focus on what you can see, hear, feel/touch, taste and smell. During these practices simply notice when the mind wonders and, WITHOUT JUDGEMENT (try using the words “Ah, that is interesting” whenever you notice the mind has wondered) and bring your awareness back to your breath or your senses.With consistent practice you will rewire new pathways so you can more easily plug into this different way of being with yourself. This will also re-calibrate your nervous system to more easily switch to relaxation mode.
- Practice guided meditation to connect to yourself and your body and to enhance your relationship with your truth through the content of the meditation. A guided meditation can be easier as it engages your senses more than focussing on a mantra or your breath, for instance. However, try to choose a meditation that is likely to enhance your spirituality through connecting to yourself, your body, your inner truth and helping to quiet your mind. A guided meditation to lose weight or double your income is not what I am suggesting! If you take a look in my online shop there are a number of meditations that may assist you, especially “She Let go” or the “Mindful Body Scan”.
- Read books. Books can help provide a different perspective that wakes up something we have always known but disconnected from. Trust which books you feel called to read as these are usually the ones you’ll resonate most with and which have an important message for you. Here are some suggestions: A New Earth by Eckart Tolle; The Power of Now by Eckart Tolle; The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield (the first book I ever read that started to get my spiritual wheels turning back in 1997); Waking Up by Sam Harris; Quantum Healing by Deepak Chopra; The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra; A Course in Miracles by Helen Schucman; The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama; The Field by Lynne McTaggart; Secrets About Life Every Women Should Know by Barbara de Angelis; Physics of the Soul by Amit Goswami; Jonathan Livingstone Seagull by Richard Bach; You can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay; When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron; The Alchemist by Paulo Coelo; The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck;
and the last book I will recommend is one that is not necessarily spiritual but as a book I read at the age of 19 it helped me to become aware of my inner story versus giving my power away to the outside world: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven R Covey.
- Use grounding practices regularly. When we are stressed or disconnected our bodies become saturated with positive ions. The earth provides negative ions which help to balance out the positive ions in our bodies. Furthermore, so many people who have disconnected and tend to be self-reliant have closed down the root chakra at the base of the spine. This often happens when we don't trust we are held and supported by life and others. However, the shutting down means that none of the benefits of being grounded and held can be experienced at all. Grounding helps physically and energetically to balance the body and to soften the root/base chakra – leading to improved health and receiving vital life force and energetic nourishment. Spirituality is ultimately about feeling connected, supported and fed by life.Grounding can take place by placing bare feet (or any body part) on natural earth materials. Thus, grounding can even take place indoors on concrete/screed floors or natural wooden floors.As you stand (or sit/lie) on the ground allow your body to soften and imagine receiving the nourishment and support of the earth. The feminine energy in the earth creates and feeds new life daily. Choose to receive that.
- Spend time in nature. Not only can we ground in nature but we also become attuned to a different energetic frequency when we are in nature. We naturally drop out of fight/flight mode and into relaxation mode and plug into the vitality, healing and life that can be found in nature. You can walk in forests, along a beach or over a mountain, swim or wade in water, lean your back against a tree in your garden, or even feast your senses on a beautiful bouquet of flowers in your home. The beauty, stillness and safety you feel in nature is a reflection of what is within you but in nature it is easier to plug into that so, while nature is outside of you it is reflecting what is inside of you already. Nature helps us to remember our stillness.
Any method that resonates with you begins with a choice and an invitation. When you’ve hit rock bottom and you’ve given your power away to others to make it better but it’s not helping, why not try to surrender to being held by something greater than you? Open yourself up to the flow of vitality and life available to you and hear what it is that is in your greatest and highest good at this moment in time without judging or letting your head get in the way.
This spiritual connection is gentle, accepting, compassionate and holding – we were born with these qualities but for many of us they were not consistently experienced in childhood. However, these qualities are within you now if you invite the opportunity to tune back inwards and then receive so much more....