I have a confession to make. For the past few weeks I stopped meditating in the morning. I also stopped journaling and writing my gratitude list at night. Now this might not seem like a shocking confession to most, but for someone who has had a daily meditation and journaling practice for the past 4 years this is pretty drastic. Essentially I fell off the spiritual wagon, and the results weren’t pretty.
I didn’t really intend to stop my spiritual practice, it just sort of happened. Why? Because I got busy for one, and to be honest life was treating me really well. It’s easy to disconnect from the spiritual world when you’re happy and life is grand. I woke up feeling awesome in the morning and didn’t feel like I needed meditation to center me. And I would go to bed feeling perfectly content and happy with my day. I didn’t feel the need to journal and write a gratitude list, I knew I was grateful. And of course after awhile this became a new habit. Next thing you know instead of meditating first thing in the morning I was checking my email and going on Facebook. At night I would stay up way too late wasting time on the internet and then crash without taking a second to really reflect on my day. After a few weeks of this it really caught up with me.
I started to feel more scattered and unfocused. All of these old fearful thoughts and beliefs began to surface. I was forgetting things. I would find myself standing in the kitchen and mindlessly gorging out on chocolate. My mind started to bombard me with negative thoughts and worries. I became paranoid that all the great things that I had going on in my life were going to end. Overall my energy was just off and I was giving off some funky negative vibes (I apologize to anyone that had to be around me last week).
It wasn’t until the end of the week when I was unloading all my craziness onto a very dear friend that I was made aware of what was happening. In stopping my spiritual practice I had completely disconnected from myself. I lost my center. Instead of tuning in, I was tuning out. This resulted in a chaotic state of being, and that chaos started to affect every area of my life. I went home that day and sat my ass down on my meditation pillow and began to quiet my mind. I started to release all that funky energy that had built up. I began to feel more peaceful, more at ease. And once I was able to calm down and center myself again I realized that everything in my life was perfectly fine. I was ok.
And this my friends is why you should have some sort of spiritual practice on a daily basis. Even when you are crazy busy. And even when everything your life is great. I had taken for granted how impactfull meditation was in my every day life. It wasn’t until I went without for a period of time that I saw how much I needed it.
Now meditation and journaling are just a few of the tools that I keep in my spiritual tool box. I have many other tools that I can whip out as part of a daily practice or on an as need basis. Here are a few of my favorites that help me connect with my higher self, shake off any unwanted energy, and cultivate a sense of peace.
1. Meditate: Meditation can be as simple as taking deep breaths with your eyes closed for 5 minutes. You can listen to a guided meditation, or meditate to a beautiful song. Don’t expect your mind to be free of thoughts. You are going to still have thoughts during your meditation. The key is to let the thoughts be and not engage in them.
2. Journal: Journaling is a great way to get out any crazy or upsetting thoughts. It is hard to think clearly when your mind is too crowded. Get it out of your head and onto paper. You’ll find that you think a lot clearer and gain a better perspective when things are written out. I also like making a gratitude list at night. I think this is huge for changing your outlook and your energy.
3. Dance: One of my favorite tools for shifting my energy is to put on some great music and dance it out. You can’t help but feel better if you are listening to some of your favorite songs. And the dancing does help to release any negative energy that you have hanging around.
4. Work Out: Like dance, working out is a great way to clear your mind, shift your mood, and release some funky vibes. For me running and yoga are spiritual practices. When I need to shake off some negative energy I run. When I am looking to center and calm my mind I’ll practice yoga. Both of these activities to me are a form of moving meditation.
5. Read/Listen to Inspirational Material: I have so many inspirational books, and tons of recorded motivational lectures that I really have no excuse to have an “off” week. I can easily take 10 minutes to read a passage from one of my self growth books. And it is so easy for me to listen to a lecture or an audio book as I am driving. Even if it is something that I have heard/read countless times, sometimes just one phrase can turn my whole perspective around. Gather as many inspirational books and audio files as you can. Create your own library that is accessible on a daily basis. You’ll find yourself turning to it time and time again.
These are my go-to’s, now what does your spiritual tool box look like? Do you have a daily spiritual practice? If not, it would be a great time to start. Give meditation a try. If meditation is too heady for you start with something fun like dancing to music. But do something every day that helps you tune out all the negative chatter, and tune into your soul.