04/02/2020 Personal Growth
We often hear the phrase "practice makes perfect." How do you put into practice something you’ve never done before but only strive to do? Read how.
The road to the life of your dreams is paved with good intentions. You may want more for yourself, and mean well, but inevitably after a challenge or two crosses your path, you may change course, get distracted, and put off for later the healing and growth that can be done today.
A common question that comes to all of us when we hear the call to begin or deepen our spiritual journey is “Where do I start?”
The “how” of it all seems to be one of the more anxiety-inducing parts of the whole process and, for many, can prove to be almost paralyzing in nature. Typically, the reasoning behind it is something that shows itself in many other aspects of your life: a fear of the unknown and discomfort with being a novice.
After many false starts and hiatuses over the years in my own journey, I have found that the secret to beginning and maintaining your growth is found entirely in the creation of a daily spiritual practice. Simply said, a daily spiritual practice is a routine of things that you do every day in service of your personal evolution. For maximum benefit, this routine should include something from each of these four categories:
When done consistently, you will be able to maintain and improve major and subtle aspects of your life. So, let’s dive in and get started with these five steps to building your daily spiritual practice!
1. Pick Your Practice
First things first, you need to create some structure for this plan to flourish. With the four categories mentioned above, make a list of at minimum four things that you can envision doing every day in service of your highest self.
Feel free to add in whatever you feel called to, and if you need a little help with ideas, take a moment to choose from these:
- Meditate for 15-30 minutes
- Create movement by doing yoga postures or stretching for several minutes
- Say affirmations aloud
- Smudge yourself to clear your energy
- Pray or share thoughts with the divine
- Read a few pages from a book that feels nourishing to your spirit
- Utilize crystal energy by holding or meditating with a crystal of your choosing
- Perform freeform writing in a journal for 10 minutes
- Go outside and commune with nature
- Make a list of things you are grateful for
- Do self-prizing
- Do breathwork exercises for several minutes
Now that you’ve made your selections, it’s important to structure your time. Since daily practices work best when experienced at the start of your day, what are the minimum and maximum amount of time you are willing to spend on your routine each morning? It’s important to be honest with yourself as you decide this. In order to be consistent, you must be realistic. 15 minutes? 45 minutes? 2 hours?
To help keep me on track no matter my schedule, I have found it serving to develop two different versions of my daily practice. One that I can do in 15 minutes if I am crunched for time and a more luxurious version that lasts for 45 to 60 minutes on days that I am able.
2. Create the Space
This is the part of the process where you get to be creative! Select an area in your home to turn into your sacred morning space. This can be a den, nook, garage, or a dedicated corner; size doesn’t matter but privacy does. This area is just for you!
If it feels comfortable to do so, add some design flair to it, such as the following items:
- Journals and spiritual books
- Photos that make you smile
- Sacred objects
- Comfortable pillows
- Meaningful family heirlooms and trinkets
- Your favorite affirmations written out
- Essential oils and other scents
The most important part of this step is to create a space that you want to be in every single day. A space that feels warm and inviting—where you can put your own energetic seasoning on it.
Once you have created your routine and made the space to practice, it’s important to honor your heart’s desires by committing to your growth. Make an agreement with yourself to give this your personal best by writing out your intentions and saying them out loud. For example:
“I _______ plan to nourish my highest self by participating in this spiritual practice each morning. I will strive to do this a minimum of ____ times a week. I am enhancing and healing these areas of my life: ________. I honor the desires of my heart through consistency.”
When you have finished and if it feels comfortable for you, place this paper in a place you will see it often as a reminder of your vision for yourself.
Get started! Now you will begin to deepen your path to the highest version of yourself! If this is day one, spend 15 to 60 minutes today honoring your soul by going through the routine of your new spiritual practice. Don’t overthink this. There is no way to do it wrong. Be patient and gentle with yourself. If your mind wanders that’s OK, you are human—just release the thoughts and keep going. It’s important to not rush to or from this sacred time so make sure you schedule yourself comfortably so that this routine feels effortless. Execute and repeat!
5. Expand Your Vision
Once you get into a good groove with your practice, take some time to reflect on where you are and, if necessary, tweak your plan a bit. Self-evaluation is an incredibly helpful tool on your journey. A few self-inquiry questions can sound like:
- How do I feel mentally, spiritually, physically, and emotionally?
- What have I noticed about myself or my reactions to the world?
- What areas of my life do I feel in charge with?
- What parts of my daily practice do I really enjoy?
- What parts feel difficult?
- Am I keeping my word to myself?
From here, evaluate if there is something you want to add to or subtract from your practice. This is also a beautiful opportunity to supercharge your ritual. If you have nailed your morning routine, perhaps there is space in your life to add a mini evening one. This can look like an evening bath with Epsom salt and essential oils, taking time to set bedtime intentions or doing some recapitulation of your day.
Now more than ever, finding ways to cultivate peace and add more joy to your daily life is an essential part of our humanity. When you take the time to be still and silent, your heart expands and the world begins to open up to you in new ways. As your daily spiritual practice expands, you will see growth in areas of your life you never thought possible. You will effortlessly attract abundance in all forms, experience more depth in your relationships, feel a lightness of being, make better choices, and overall feel a more exuberant energy for yourself and your life. I hope for all of these things for you and so much more!