When you feel like you’ve been skimming the surface of life, it is likely a sign you need to reboot. Feeling like you’re stuck in a rut can put a damper on even the most blessed life; however, spiritual stagnation can also give you the motivation you need to refresh yourself and recommit to a journey of profound inner growth.
Has Your Spiritual Practice Plateaued?
For ages, human beings have longed to know their true nature. Your spirituality can be defined as your relationship to your truest Self and the Universal God-consciousness that unites all beings. Spirituality is a lifelong pursuit, and depending on your season of life, it might be time to step back and fall back in love with how you connect to God and achieve a renewed spirit. Even longtime spiritual practices get tired, as it’s common to reach a plateau and to yearn for something more.
Just like repeating the same exercises at the gym day after day would eventually reach its limit of effectiveness, it is important that your spiritual life feel exciting, challenging, and supportive to the person you are today. And once you have renewed yourself spiritually, it can feel as if you have taken a fresh breath of clean air after living in a windowless room.
Time to Refresh
The first step to energizing yourself on a soul level is to make a decision to do so. If you wanted to, say, get a massage, you would have to make the effort to get yourself to the spa, not just hope that a massage therapist would show up in your path, begging you to receive some bodywork. No, you would carve out the time, make an appointment, and get yourself to that massage table. Similarly, just hoping you feel a new sense of inspiration in your personal practice is not going to render results. Committing to your intention, preferably in writing, and being willing to put in the effort is the only way to achieve your desires. Let that be your starting point, and the rest will unfold as it is meant to.
If you want to reboot your system on a deeper level:
- Choose to embark on a journey of spiritual renewal.
- Schedule time for yourself and commit to it. Remind yourself that you don’t “find” time, and you don’t even make it. You identify it, put borders around it, and make it sacred.
- Leave space for the magic.
Once you have decided your soul longs for a fresh start, choose your approach by engaging in one or more of the following suggestions to bring the twinkle back into your eyes.
1. Go on a Retreat
One of the most effective ways to recharge your batteries is to depart from your everyday routine and go on a retreat. There are retreats anywhere and everywhere your heart desires, from two-night getaways to month-long pilgrimages to native lands. While going away may seem like an indulgence, seeing your trip as an act of self-care can yield tremendous results for you and the people who care about you. Creating intentional distance between you and the hamster wheel of life can illuminate a pathway that is simpler, more peaceful, and more in touch with your heart.
Traveling and meeting new people from all walks of life also breathes new life into your practices. Spiritual retreats (whether it is with people you know or a group strangers) attract people who are also seeking depth and growth in their lives, and connecting with others is one of the markers of the happiest people in the world.
2. Be of Service
Giving of yourself can be a deeply spiritual act of abundance, so consider volunteering your time to enhance the lives of those in need. Giving money is wonderful, but is almost too easy to have a deep spiritual effect on its own. Share your time, your attention, and your skills with a person or group of people who allow you to show up as your brightest self. You could commit to spending time in a rehab facility, a local women’s center, or an animal shelter, for example. Serving others develops compassion and gratitude, not to mention benefits those who need it the most. Never underestimate the power of generosity as a way to connect to God.
3. Immerse Yourself in Nature
Think of a time when you felt the most expansive, limitless, and at peace. Chances are you were in nature when you felt that way. Being outside offers perspective in a way few other activities can. Contemplating a rose, breathing in the fresh air, or receiving the grounded energy of a mighty oak tree can transform your life if you let it. Swim in the ocean, get your hands dirty in your garden, and hike in the mountains. Feel the sun on your face and the wind in your hair. Commit to getting outside every single day and see what you feel. When you get in touch with nature, you find your own nature, hiding in plain view.
4. Start a New Morning Ritual
How you start your day sets the tone for your entire mental and emotional life. If you don’t have a morning practice, create one! Waking before sunrise and spending the first hour of your day meditating, praying, or otherwise communing with God is one of the easiest ways to feel a profound shift in your spiritual life.
If your practice has gotten rote or feels boring, you’re likely burnt out on your rituals and are spinning your wheels. Try something new for the next month, like doing guided meditations, reading a book by candlelight as the sun comes up, or doing sun salutations facing the rising sun. And if you aren’t what you would call a “morning person,” consider that 20 fewer minutes of sleep probably won’t make a huge impact on your overall well-being, but 20 minutes spent in spiritual pursuit every morning most certainly will.
5. Observe a Sabbath
Dedicating an hour every morning to your spiritual practices is an incredible way to start your day, but what about taking an entire day to recharge for your week? Try taking a Sabbath—one day a week where you unplug from technology, get outdoors, dig in to your most inspired book, and spend time with the people you care about. Try not scheduling anything on this day; keep it sacred for activities of the highest quality. Don’t feel like you can carve out an entire day each week? Start with one day a month and see how you feel.
6. Read a Spiritual Text
Sometimes it is comforting to remember that you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. Dedicate yourself to a primary text in line with your beliefs like the Bible, the Bhagavad Gita, or A Course in Miracles. This can be a text that has always had deep significance to you or a text you’ve heard of but never actually read. Take your time with it; read with a pen in hand. There are also study groups, meetups, and online forums that you can join to immerse yourself in community and receive some guidance. Read the texts that have withstood the test of time and have had meaning for so many people; chances are they will help you, too.
7. Find a Teacher/Mentor
Oftentimes when you feel like the teachings have lost their power, what you really want is a teacher to lead the way. Mentors can take many forms—a yoga teacher who inspires you, a public figure or teacher whose message resonates with you, or a guru from whom you receive instructions on living a spiritual life. Your teacher not only points to the path, but models living on this plane, in accordance with the values you hold most dear.
While you want to be sure not to mistake the teacher for the teaching itself, having someone to guide you can be transformative in how you learn, study, and grow. Imagine trying to figure out math on your own. And yet so many people haven’t dedicated time to spend with a teacher to figure out this thing called life. Open yourself up and, as they say, the teacher will appear.
8. Eat a Clean Diet and Refrain from Drinking Alcohol
All judgment aside, it is challenging to feel the clarity of Divine communication if your body is in a state of disease or lack of good health. With your doctor’s blessing, try doing a cleanse or intermittent fast to purify your system and recommit to your mystical pursuits. At the very least, you might take a month (or more) of eliminating alcohol, meat, or sugar from your diet as a gesture toward elevating your vibration and brightening your energetic body. If your body is indeed a temple, taking care of your physical and energetic systems will undoubtedly bring you closer to the object of your prayers.
9. Take a New Class
A simple thing you can do to refresh your spirit is to take a new class that will move your body and stir your heart. Yoga classes are everywhere—online and in person. Try a meditation class or course, surround yourself with other like-minded people, and let yourself be led by a teacher one hour at a time. Dance your body as a moving prayer and feel the profound effects of primal movement. Tai chi, Qi Gong, yoga flow, and ancestral dance classes can all draw you closer to your innermost essence. Sometimes showing up is the hardest part, but being willing to try something new may be all it takes to feel a jolt of recognition to the depth of spiritual health you seek.
10. Journal Your Gratitude
Write, write, and write some more. If you’re not sure what to write, start with daily gratitude. Gratitude is not only a practice, but a way of life, and the gateway to spiritual depth. A spiritually mature person recognizes that gratitude can be found in every situation. And while thinking grateful thoughts is a great place to start, writing down your gratitude can make all the difference.
Already writing down three things a day you are grateful for? Take it to the next level by trying some more advanced gratitude practices, like going for breadth, depth, and specificity of your emotions. Sometimes life feels dull because you take for granted all that you have. Training your mind to search for and focus on the good creates a different way of engaging with the world. As simple as it may seem, putting your life in perspective by appreciating what you have can resuscitate your relationship to your higher power.
Don’t feel bad if your spiritual life has taken the back seat. The only way to feel the rush of falling in love with your practice again is to feel separated from it from a while. By telling yourself (and the Universe within and around you) that you long for a deeper connection to your essence, you open yourself to the myriad ways God will bend over backwards to show you who you really are.
Discover Deepak Chopra’s secrets to feel more love, connection, and purpose than ever before at Seduction of Spirit, our five-day meditation and yoga retreat. Learn More.