Personal Growth

4 Ways to Cultivate a Spiritual Life in Turbulent Times

4 Ways to Cultivate a Spiritual Life in Turbulent Times
It’s no secret these are turbulent times, full of uncertainty and fear. Huge shifts are taking place both for humanity and the planet, which is commanding your attention and inspiring more people to step up and take a stand for their beliefs.

Now, more than ever, is the time to set an example for future generations on how to rise above and be a force of strength stemming from love rather than ego. And one of the best ways to do that is to cultivate a spiritual lifestyle through heart-centered awareness.

Heart-centered awareness may bring up images of passivity, kindness, or even weakness. But do not be fooled, the heart is a powerful force that can create a movement. The first spark of inspiration always comes from the heart, and it’s strongest when you are willing to shift your attention inward and listen. By moving your base of operations from your mind to your heart, you can connect to a place of true wisdom.

Cultivating this type of awareness requires you to tap into your spiritual roots. By accessing Spirit, you also access the intelligence of the heart. Having a dedicated spiritual practice plays a significant role in helping you embrace the unknown and become open to more possibilities, both of which are invaluable traits during times of change. A sense of stillness becomes activated, which fosters creative ideas and solutions to difficult situations.

Here are some spiritual practices that can uplift and rejuvenate the body and mind:

  • Meditation
  • Prayer
  • Traditional ceremonies
  • Artistry
  • Eating healthy food
  • Exercise
  • Walking in nature
  • Laughter (there is such a thing as laughter meditation!)
Maintaining a spiritual practice in order to promote heart-centered awareness can be a challenging path, especially when those around you are not on the same page. Find comfort in knowing you are not alone, and more people are beginning to recognize the need for this shift, as spiritual warriors rise up and lead the way. One of the most fulfilling things you can do is to show love and offer help to people in need.

As you navigate your path, here are some ways to feel encouraged and keep the momentum going.

Find Community

You are, by nature, a communal being. Tribal groups have always known this—existing for both survival and emotional support. Even if you consider yourself an introvert, just knowing there is a network of people that believe or support you as an individual can carry you through the most difficult times.

Seek out people or groups that share your same passions. Depending on where you live, this may or may not be easy. You may need to step outside your comfort zone and carve out your own niche within a community.

Here are some ideas for finding your tribe:

  • Volunteer at a local organization.
  • Find or create a group through Meetups.
  • Peruse local publications for events that interest you.
  • Check out the bulletin boards at yoga studios and cafes.
  • Sign up for an online community board on Facebook or Nextdoor.

Seek Inspiration

Notice any feelings of anger, anxiety, or sadness you might be experiencing. Remember that where attention goes, energy flows. What has your attention right now? Make the choice today to start diverting more attention toward that which inspires you.

This doesn’t mean you have to ignore what’s going on in the world. It’s possible to be fully aware, but function in a state of higher clarity, allowing you to rise above the muck and be more effective in helping those in need. Educate, meditate, and proceed with love.

Immerse yourself in inspiration by experimenting with the following:

  • Turn off social media for a day or two (or longer) and notice where your attention goes.
  • End your day by reading a book that’s inspiring to you.
  • Make yourself a positive music playlist and listen to it while you get ready in the morning or any time you need a boost.
  • After waking up in the morning or before meditation, visualize yourself seeking the best in life and taking advantage of opportunities to be more and do more.
  • Surround yourself with people that elevate you emotionally and spiritually, maybe try a spiritual retreat to find inspiration.

Practice Self-Care

Take the time to nourish yourself every day. This can be as simple as taking a walk or getting enough sleep. For some this comes naturally, while others may need to make an extra effort. Like they always say on the plane, be sure to place your oxygen face mask on first before helping others.

It’s hard to affect change when the body is tired or your emotions are getting the better of you. The most common complaint to incorporating healthy habits has to do with lack of time. Take a look at your daily routine and see we what can be shifted in order to make more room for nourishing habits.

Use Your Gifts

Whenever you are faced with a difficult task or you feel a bit lost, ask yourself, “How can I help? How can I serve?” This takes you away from the confusion of your mind and down into your heart.

Everyone was born with a natural talent or gift. Consider what this might be for you. Is it to teach, write, or speak out in support or against something? There is always someone who is seeking exactly what you have to offer in a way that only you can give it. Even if you impact just one person with your gift, it can cause a positive ripple effect, impacting the lives of many.

There is a lot of change happening right now and many opportunities to influence things in a positive way. You don’t have to be an activist or speak to thousands to have a say. Speak to those around you and lead by example from the heart. What you do now will affect future generations. What kind of world do you want to leave them?

Use the following prayer to start your reflection:

Drenched in Holiness

Dear God, Spirit, Divine Mother,

On this day I ask You to grant this request

May I know who I am and what I am, every moment of every day

May I be a catalyst for light and love

and bring inspiration to those whose eyes I meet

May I have the strength to stand tall in the face of conflict,

and the courage to speak my voice, even when I’m scared

May I have the humility to follow my heart,

and the passion to live my Soul’s desires

May I seek to know the highest truth

and dismiss the gravitational pull of my lower self

May I embrace and love the totality of myself

my darkness as well as my light

May I be brave enough to hear my heart

to let it soften so that I may gracefully choose faith over fear

Today is my day to surrender anything that stands between

the sacredness of my humanity and my divinity

May I be drenched in my Holiness

and engulfed by Your love

May all else melt away

And so it is

~Debbie Ford