Practical Spirituality

The daily grind often immerses us in our own microcosm and we forget that there is a bigger world out there. This siloed perspective leaves us feeling alienated, isolated, and often sad and scared. It is for this reason, that many of us value a connection to something greater than ourselves, a reminder that we are not alone. In spirituality, we can find a deeper connection to ourselves, our loved ones, the natural world and all that it encompasses.

A beautiful thought, but how can we fit one more thing into our already busy lives? Ironically, when people engage in spiritual practices they often find they have more, not less, time. Why?

  1. We become more aware and intentional, including about how our time is spent. The ability to discern is crucial to our sense of peace and wellbeing. Being able to determine what we enjoy and what we don’t helps us get clear on what we want to keep saying “yes” to and where we want to start saying “no.” This clarity allows us to relish and spend more time with the things that support our thriving while helping us identify and release, or let go, of things that are no longer serving us, habits that are not helping, and behaviors that don’t promote our health and wellbeing.
  2. The world becomes more expansive. Connecting to that which is greater than us allows us to see the big picture and in that realize that some of the minutiae we dwell on is not really that important in the big scheme of things. This ultimately helps us focus on what truly matters to us.

Ideally, this increased clarity makes more space in our lives, providing us with more time. But even if it doesn’t, the beauty about a spiritual practice is that it can be tailored to you. You can make it as long or as short as you wish, separate out time for it (if you have the time) or include it in your daily activities (if you don’t have the time).

Here are some ideas for you to consider and try on your journey:

  • Set your intention – As you are brushing your teeth in the morning, set your intention for your day. What are the most important things you want to experience today and how do you want to show up for them?  Naming 1-3 things helps increase the likelihood we can realistically achieve them.
  • Replace a coffee break with a spirituality break – This can be 5, 10, or 15 minutes and can include meditation, chair yoga, breathing exercises, body scanning, etc.
  • Incorporate moments of celebration – This could be walking to your car and noticing the sun shining or a beautiful flower blossoming. It could be appreciating a coworker, partner, or friend. Or reveling in the pride and joy you feel after completing your daily exercise.
  • Listen to calming peaceful music on your way to work, school drop off, or errand running.
  • Try a gratitude journal – You can carry this with you and jot down things you are grateful for throughout your day. A moment of thanks to a helpful friend. Appreciation for the meal you just ate.
  • Bring spirituality into your fitness routine. Try a running or walking meditation. If you have a dog, make it a part of your daily walks.
  • Meditate – This does not have to be a long practice, and could be a few minutes in the morning, evening, or during a break. It could be self-paced or guided and practices in stillness or with movement.
  • Helping others, service in the community – Volunteering is a way of connecting to others. Don’t have extra time, make it part of your daily practice – be on time to appointments (helping others stay on time too), smile at others throughout your day (spreading positivity), or gather some old clothes or extra food for donation and drop it off on your way to or from work.
  • Repeat favorite prayers or mantras – Find a mantra that resonates with you or a special prayer that you enjoy and repeat it to yourself multiple times throughout the day.

The take home message is that if you want to incorporate more spirituality, time is not the rate limiting step. Play around with various practices and discover the ones that work for you. Then do those, regularly.

Photo of Alona Pulde, MD
Alona Pulde, MD
Chief Executive Officer & Co-founder

the pillars of life is wonderful

January 3, 2023

Practical Spirituality

The daily grind often immerses us in our own microcosm and we forget that there is a bigger world out there. This siloed perspective leaves us feeling alienated, isolated, and often sad and scared. It is for this reason, that many of us value a connection to something greater than ourselves, a reminder that we are not alone. In spirituality, we can find a deeper connection to ourselves, our loved ones, the natural world and all that it encompasses.

A beautiful thought, but how can we fit one more thing into our already busy lives? Ironically, when people engage in spiritual practices they often find they have more, not less, time. Why?

  1. We become more aware and intentional, including about how our time is spent. The ability to discern is crucial to our sense of peace and wellbeing. Being able to determine what we enjoy and what we don’t helps us get clear on what we want to keep saying “yes” to and where we want to start saying “no.” This clarity allows us to relish and spend more time with the things that support our thriving while helping us identify and release, or let go, of things that are no longer serving us, habits that are not helping, and behaviors that don’t promote our health and wellbeing.
  2. The world becomes more expansive. Connecting to that which is greater than us allows us to see the big picture and in that realize that some of the minutiae we dwell on is not really that important in the big scheme of things. This ultimately helps us focus on what truly matters to us.

Ideally, this increased clarity makes more space in our lives, providing us with more time. But even if it doesn’t, the beauty about a spiritual practice is that it can be tailored to you. You can make it as long or as short as you wish, separate out time for it (if you have the time) or include it in your daily activities (if you don’t have the time).

Here are some ideas for you to consider and try on your journey:

  • Set your intention – As you are brushing your teeth in the morning, set your intention for your day. What are the most important things you want to experience today and how do you want to show up for them?  Naming 1-3 things helps increase the likelihood we can realistically achieve them.
  • Replace a coffee break with a spirituality break – This can be 5, 10, or 15 minutes and can include meditation, chair yoga, breathing exercises, body scanning, etc.
  • Incorporate moments of celebration – This could be walking to your car and noticing the sun shining or a beautiful flower blossoming. It could be appreciating a coworker, partner, or friend. Or reveling in the pride and joy you feel after completing your daily exercise.
  • Listen to calming peaceful music on your way to work, school drop off, or errand running.
  • Try a gratitude journal – You can carry this with you and jot down things you are grateful for throughout your day. A moment of thanks to a helpful friend. Appreciation for the meal you just ate.
  • Bring spirituality into your fitness routine. Try a running or walking meditation. If you have a dog, make it a part of your daily walks.
  • Meditate – This does not have to be a long practice, and could be a few minutes in the morning, evening, or during a break. It could be self-paced or guided and practices in stillness or with movement.
  • Helping others, service in the community – Volunteering is a way of connecting to others. Don’t have extra time, make it part of your daily practice – be on time to appointments (helping others stay on time too), smile at others throughout your day (spreading positivity), or gather some old clothes or extra food for donation and drop it off on your way to or from work.
  • Repeat favorite prayers or mantras – Find a mantra that resonates with you or a special prayer that you enjoy and repeat it to yourself multiple times throughout the day.

The take home message is that if you want to incorporate more spirituality, time is not the rate limiting step. Play around with various practices and discover the ones that work for you. Then do those, regularly.

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