As you explore the world, mature, and define who you authentically are, you can’t help but discover the world of personal spirituality. This is a normal and healthy part of authentic growth and development and involves a journey that will guide you during your life, leading you toward a sense of peace and contentment that can enhance the rest of your life.
As you explore what creating or continuing a spiritual practice means for you, you’re going to find activities and information that you’ll be attracted to as part of this process. This might involve subjects you’re heard of but never experienced, including mindful practices such as prayer and meditation. Other possibilities can include more subtle expressions like the way you treat other people, or in how you take care of yourself.
Before you start thinking about how much this sounds like work, stop for a moment, and consider these benefits to developing a spiritual practice:
Benefit 1: You Experience Greater Clarity
When you put time into a spiritual practice, you’re taking time to put things into perspective. Whether you’re engaging in prayer or meditation, for instance, both involve the clearing of your mind. A clear mind allows for you to see things in a way that cuts through distractions and provides a better focus on what’s profoundly important to you. If you’re not used to doing this, it can seem challenging at first, but with consistent practice, it will get easier, and your level of clarity will increase.
Benefit 2: You Discover and Experience Greater Joy
Regular spiritual practice becomes more than a habit – it becomes something you look forward to, bringing you happiness in the act and the experience itself. Joy, though, has a deeper component which includes contentment. When you combine contentment (satisfaction with your life) and joy, stemming from being at peace with who you are and what your role in life is, the benefits multiply. There is a sense of fulfillment that comes from being happy and at peace with your life that cannot be replicated externally. Knowing within your heart that you are living the life you want to live – or at least, making progress toward that goal – that helps to motivate you and keep you moving forward.
Benefit 3: You’re More Grounded
When life feels uncertain and ever-changing, your spiritual practice can help to hold you to a pattern of sameness to remind you some things are unchanging. To be grounded is to feel well-balanced and sensible – but YOU get to define that that means for you. Balancing the demands of work and your personal life can be challenging at times but having a secure and firm grounding in what is important to you and what brings you joy (see Benefit 2, above) makes life easier. You don’t have to guess what’s the right answer for you – you can look within, check in with your authentic sense of who you are, and the answers are there.
Benefit 4: You Become More Mindful
The key to mindfulness is living in the moment. Your spiritual practice empowers you in the here and now and invites focus on this instant without getting stuck in the past or worrying about the future. Being aware of your present moments helps you to appreciate them – both for the joy they are currently bringing, and for the lessons learned when facing challenges. Notice both the joy and the lessons – at first, it might seem frivolous, but there is wisdom in your daily life. When you start paying attention to the events of your life, your “sight” expands and widens – you’ll see more, notice more, and be able to learn and experience more as you live your daily life.
Benefit 5: You’re Better Prepared for Difficulty
When your spiritual practice is an integral part of your life, you’re better grounded in your beliefs and have a keener understanding of why things happen in your life. These are key to surviving disasters and challenges. When you’re in a situation where the world around you is spiraling out of control, having a depth of experiences and information that you can turn to instantly means you’re not spiraling out of control along with the circumstances. You’re better able to step back and see what there is to learn from the experience, or even to ascribe more profound meaning to what’s going on. Past experiences give you the foundation to grow from and lean into – and because you know you’ve overcome and survived challenges before, you’re more confident in your ability to do it again.
Benefit 6: Your Spiritual Journey Becomes Deeper
Spiritual practice invites you to examine yourself more deeply. You start to see the big picture of your life. At the same time, you’re discovering things about yourself you never knew and learning to focus on the intricate details. Together this leads to a real understanding of who you are, where you want to go, and your journey in getting there. Self-knowledge may not be an easy path strewn with rose petals and sunshine, but the benefits far outweigh the character-building challenges you’ll encounter. Living an authentic life, combined with experience of a genuinely fulfilling spiritual practice creates a live that is rich and varied, sumptuous and thrilling, exquisite and educational.
Look forward to your journey – enjoy the process, reap the rewards, and revel in the strength and capacity you are building. Including a consistent spiritual practice in your life is a great way to tap into and start to realize your potential as a human being. Perfectly imperfect, yes – but with the capacity to grow, mature and change – and that’s the way you keep growing.