Spiritual strength does not come passively. It takes an active posture to encourage growth. Many spiritual leaders throughout history have endured excruciating pain and suffering, setting an example for intentionality and dedication to beliefs and practices. And if there’s one thing you can learn from them, it’s that your spiritual journey is your own. What works for you may not work for your best friend or partner, and vice versa.
Whether you’ve been stuck, you’re feeling apathetic, or you’re simply seeking growth in the spiritual domain, here are four ways to strengthen your spirituality.
Practice ForgivenessForgiveness is a power action and a catalyst for change. There are many terrible things that happen in this world, and chances are you’ve been hurt badly by someone in the past. Holding onto that hurt and fostering a grudge only encourages negativity to fester and harden your heart. And you may not be aware of this, but that grudge is affecting you much more than the other person.
While it’s not easy to forgive, it’s a necessary step toward wholeness and true connection with your True Self. Lean on your Higher Power to increase the strength within to forgive those who have wronged you. Surround yourself with mentors, friends, or spiritual gurus to help guide you in the process.
If you need some inspiration, use Mahatma Gandhi as an example. He said it best, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
Be Open and Honest with OthersWhile spirituality is subjective, its power lies in shared connection with others. Forging true authenticity opens your mind, body, and spirit to infinite possibilities. It’s easy to default to operating out of your False Self—the “you” that you share with the world to please others, meet expectations, and guard your heart. But power comes from sharing all of who you are—your True Self—with those you trust.
Take a risk and be vulnerable by sharing your secrets, your uncertainties, and your shortcomings with others. By experiencing acceptance just as you are—flaws and all—your Spirit is allowed to breathe and celebrate that no one is perfect and that beauty can come from messiness. Here are some ideas on how to do this:
- Have dinner with a trusted friend, setting the expectation that you want to get vulnerable
- Attend a support group where anonymity is required
- Find a spiritual leader who is willing to listen
- Seek counseling with a licensed professional or a life coach who will listen objectively
Explore Your Inner-SelfWho you are is unique and worthy of exploration. By spending intentional time getting to know yourself inside and out, you can begin to identify what gives you life and what depletes you. With this knowledge, you’re able to create a life of abundance, honoring your way of being and giving space to others to step into their True Selves as well.
Try any of these practices to start exploring:
- Journal about times in your life when you were content and times you were down. Identify any lifestyle patterns or circumstances that can shed light on what you need more or less of in your life now.
- Discover your dosha type through our online dosha quiz. Knowing your mind-body type can provide awareness of what you need to live a balanced life.
- Meet regularly with a spiritual leader who can guide you through self-exploration activities and practices.
- Meditate with the intention of discovering your true self.
- Take personality assessments like the Enneagram, Myers-Briggs, and StrengthsFinder to gain valuable insight into how you interact with others.
Create a Rule of LifeYour “Rule of Life” is a roadmap for how you want to live your life, outlining spiritual practices that you commit to regularly engaging in to maintain connection to your Higher Power, True Self, and others. This is meant to act as a guide, not a rulebook, so give yourself grace if you don’t follow it exactly. It is also fluid, so recognizing when practices are serving you—and when they’re not—is important. You can always adjust as you see fit.
Some regular practices for connection to a Higher Power might include:
- Creative expression
Incorporate practices that fit into your existing schedule. If you barely have time to eat during the day, chances are you can’t schedule a half-day retreat to spend alone. Instead, start with making the time to eat away from a computer, phone, or other people.
Try practices that align with your interests. If you aren’t a creative person, then perhaps you don’t start with a commitment to creating four pieces of art in a month. Instead, find something that will nourish your soul and bring you pleasure. If podcasts are your jam, then commit to listening to three per week on your commute instead of zoning out to mindless music.
- Adjust your practices according to your needs. What is serving you today may not serve you tomorrow or in six months. Likewise, you might think you need one hour of silence and solitude in the morning, but you’re sacrificing sleep for it. It might be better to commit to adequate rest first, and then incorporate intentional solitude once you’re rested.
Discover Deepak Chopra’s practices and tools to help you move forward on your spiritual path at Seduction of Spirit, our six-day meditation and yoga retreat. Learn More.