It’s funny because I sometimes laugh at the irony of calling myself a spiritual person.
You know you live in Los Angeles when you start out a sentence with, “My meditation teacher…”
But seriously, my meditation teacher once described spirituality as “the direct experience of our own essence.” When I heard the words softly flow out of his mouth for the first time, I felt it in my body. It was like I heard someone singing a song with perfect pitch. I had chills. I’ve since taken the meaning on and think it’s more than just an explanation of spirituality; it’s the reason why I consider my daily spiritual practice to be a life saver.
I remember having a few drinks with a friend one night after work eight years ago. I had already started venturing down the “spiritual path,” attending meditation lectures, studying the metaphysical text, A Course in Miracles, reading books like, You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay and A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, and beginning to work with a Spiritual Life Coach.
In between Patron shots, I excitedly told my friend about some of the things I was learning. I remember he looked at me and said, “Wow, Chris, you really lead two different lives.”
What he said hit me hard. Like really hard. In that moment, I realized I hadn’t yet fully committed to my spiritual practice. I was dabbling, but I hadn’t entirely committed.
That was 2014. Since then, my life has completely transformed. The number one commitment in my life today is to my daily spiritual practice.
I’m often asked how to begin a spiritual practice or what that even means. The goal of a spiritual practice is to have something consistent in our lives that keeps us connected to who we truly are.
A daily spiritual practice also gives us something to turn to during life’s most difficult moments. It’s not that a daily practice changes our outside circumstances, but having a daily spiritual practice is like having a readily available, metaphysical first aid kit.
Maybe you already have a daily practice, maybe you’ve never heard of what a “practice” is, or maybe you’re interested in cultivating something new.
The most important tip I often share with others about the development of a daily spiritual practice is that a spiritual practice is something we have to practice.
Meaning that it’s something we have to consistently show up for and do.
The second most important tip I like to share about developing a daily spiritual practice is to incorporate what I call the three “S’s”: surrender, service, and self-connection.
Because just like each grade in school has requirements in order to pass, we can’t skip a lesson we’re meant to learn in our lives. When we surrender, we allow for the lessons we’re meant to learn to naturally emerge.
A friend recently said that she always tells herself before doing anything, “This is going to work out better than I could have ever imagined.”
Not only do I love how it sounds, but it’s something I use to remind me to surrender the outcome after I take the action.
Because, well, acts of service can immediately shift our mood. The quickest way I’m able to go from feeling hopeless to hopeful is by getting outside of myself and doing something on behalf of someone else.
Not only an apple, but an act of service a day quite literally helps keep the doctor away.
Because the more we connect with ourselves, the stronger and more positive of an impact we can make out in the world.
I once heard that if we want to see the most beautiful, colorful, and unique-looking fish, we have to go to the deepest parts of the ocean. The same can be said for our lives. The deeper we go inside of ourselves, the more beautiful of treasure there is for us to find.
To help give you some ideas about developing a daily spiritual practice, here is what I like to do for mine:
- Make my bed.
- Pray to surrender my day.
- Daily reading of a spiritual (or motivational) text.
- Journal. Right now, I write a letter to my Higher Power following this format: Dear Higher Power, thank you (list what I’m grateful for), please help (write what I need help with), and then close with, “Thy will be done.”
- Daily walk outside.
- Be of service.
If you find yourself getting stressed out about what to do for a daily spiritual practice or where to begin, let that go.
Feeling guilt or stress about trying to find the “right” spiritual practice defeats the very purpose of having one.
If starting a daily spiritual practice seems a little too much for you right now, before you get out of bed tomorrow morning simply:
>> Give gratitude
>> Set your intentions and bless the day
>> Place your hands on your heart and take five long, deep breaths in and out
>> Forgive yourself for yesterday’s mistakes and be willing to forgive others for theirs
It may not happen overnight, but consistently showing up for your daily spiritual practice is a sure way to transform your life.
It will also help improve the lives of those around you.