Why Spiritual Self Care Is Essential (Part 3 of 3)
In a culture where being busy is a badge of honor, slowing down and making time for spiritual or contemplative practices can feel daunting, counterproductive or perhaps even frivolous.
But take a moment and ponder these clarifying questions:
Am I running my life or is life running me?
Do I make my peace and well being dependent on my external circumstances?
Do I have a well defined sense of purpose and meaning?
Do I find it difficult to tend to my true needs and desires or even remember that it’s important to do so?
Do I struggle with self judgment or feel like I constantly have to improve myself?
Am I having a tough time dealing with change or uncertainty?
This important inquiry gets to the heart of spiritual wellness, an important but often overlooked piece of our health and well being.
Spirituality means different things to people but one shared experience is the recognition of a greater intelligence at work. Spiritual practices help us see ourselves as a small piece of something larger. They give us an expansive view of ourselves and the world around us. Cultivating spiritual wellness gives us access to subtle guidance and support which can help us find meaning in life’s challenges and become more resilient in the face of obstacles.
It’s important to explore what you believe and discover your own sense of meaning and purpose. Some experience benefit in yoga, meditation, being in nature, prayer or affirmations. It’s really any activity that gives you a sense of aliveness and instills a sense of awe and possibility. It’s anything that helps shift your awareness towards a better understanding of yourself and the life around you in order to act more wisely and contribute to a more fulfilling experience in the world.
There’s no shortage of scientific studies supporting the long list of health benefits of spiritual practices including lowered risk for anxiety and depression, reduced stress and inflammation, stronger immunity, mental clarity and even greater longevity. By design we have the physiology and neurology such that what’s good for the soul is genuinely healing for our body and mind.
For me, the greatest gift of spiritual self care is an empowering mindset that everything is working out according to plan. There’s no war with reality because of the inner knowing that life is unfolding for our greater good. I seek out the hidden gifts of learning and growth in every experience of my life. This relationship with life leads to a natural contentment, a lot less worry and a profound sense of inner safety and comfort.
For those of you who have worked with me, you’ve experienced the healing and transformation that comes when you shift out of “why is this happening to me?” to “what lessons am I being invited to learn” shifting from judgment to curiosity, from victim consciousness to radical self acceptance.
Love, in its expression of compassion, joy and kindness is innate to us. We can either stay in our conditioning and have this part of our nature be latent or only partially expressed, or we can decide to become more intentional about having these qualities flourish through spiritual self care.
Start with embracing the truth that you are a human BEING rather than a human DOING and set aside time for daily relaxation and stillness.
You can begin by exploring your inner world by exploring different styles of yoga and meditation or finding a few moments in your day to hit that pause button, close your eyes and breathe consciously.
We can look for connections in the natural world, a quiet walk in the woods, a stroll in the park. We can even find spirituality by losing ourselves in self expression through a love of art, dance and music.
There are many beautiful paths and they all begin with a moment of simply offering your attention, real listening, real presence.
Try this right now,: Place your hands in the center of your heart, one resting on the other. Let your eyes close, deepen your breathing in and out your nose, relax your face, soften your jaw, relax your tongue and just feel and BE.
Notice how In the moment of becoming aware of your own experience, your heart naturally opens.