In recent times, many people have abandoned the idea of an omnipotent and benevolent creator in favour of philosophy, logic and science.
But in spite of the pursuit of scientific rigour and a fair amount of atheism and skepticism, there are those who are still searching for that ever elusive meaning to life.
It is an inevitable part of being human. We all have an innate urge to seek out transcendence and answers to the proverbial question of what happens after death.
Organised religion is not for everyone but spirituality crosses all cultures and boundaries. Making room for spirituality is essential in order to feel whole and connected, and it is a core part of the human experience that should not be shunned or overlooked.
Feeding your spiritual needs is a momentous lifelong challenge. Paying close attention to your inner voice and intuition, and responding to your inner yearnings to become one with the universe is critical to your development.
Having a spiritual practice grounds you, giving you a solid foundation to base the rest of your life on, while providing a much needed counterbalance against the strains and stresses of 21st century living. It also makes you more loving and compassionate, and to be more open to new experiences. In a nutshell, it helps you to become the best version of yourself.
But, as with most things, it is easier said than done. Maintaining your spirituality often takes a lot of conscious effort, and it can be horrendously difficult when you have a demanding schedule and various family commitments to juggle. I often hear women lament that they need to become more spiritual, but there isn’t just enough hours in a day.
Spirituality is often the first to be shoved aside, with everyday concerns and material needs taking greater precedence.
The proliferation of companies peddling spiritual systems and products in the last decade, signifies an unwavering desire for wholeness and unity with the miracle of life and creation.
But going into a state of zen is near impossible when you are being bombarded by media messages 24/7 and when there is a frenetic buzz of activity taking room in your headspace.
Silence and stillness, as perpetuated by mindfulness and meditation gurus, is seemingly a far off dream for most busy women.
So when you lack the time or motivation to nurture your spirituality, here are five simple steps you can take you to bring you closer to your higher self:
Going for long, meandering walks in the forest or wandering through art galleries is not everyone's cup of tea. But should at least try to see the beauty in all the things and people around us. Try taking a different route to work for a change of view or simply stop and literally smell the flowers. Alternatively, stop what you are doing at your desk and take a good look outside. Study the colours unfurling before your eyes and try to capture the sight and sounds in your mind. The key is to cultivate emotions of gratefulness and to give your mind the time and space to wander. As dusk approaches, find a quiet space and light some candles. These have been used for centuries to stimulate reflection and contemplation. Their ethereal glow banishes worries, putting you in a tranquil state of mind.
Think about all the media that you consume at every single waking moment of your day.
List down what you watch on television, listen to on the radio and the social media you browse on your smartphone. How do they make you feel?
Perhaps it is time to move from being a passive receiver of information to becoming an active learner and thinker.
How much would your life radically change if you read 10 pages of spiritual insight a night instead of just flopping on the sofa watching the next big Netflix series? Or how about trading your voyeuristic tendencies on Instagram with listening to motivational podcasts from Hay House?
Behavioral scientists believe that it takes 21 days to form lasting habits. So you can in theory, replace a single habit of negative media exposure with one that re-programmes your mind and revitalises your thoughts.
There is great personal power when you realise that you are in complete control of what you let into your mind and consciousness.
Indeed, when you start to feed and nurture your soul, you will want to take affirmative action to enact positive changes in your life.
Food is the most primordial form of spirituality. When you feed the body, you also nourish the soul. The next time you have a snack, choose a healthy one. Nuts, fruits or seeds are good options. Eat with a renewed sense of purpose - take your time to notice and savour each morsel that passes your lips. Concentrate on the texture and flavours as you chew. Noticing the small things in life, helps to focus your mind on the present and yourself. It liberates you from the everyday, and takes you into an altered, meditative state, making you feel more connected to your surroundings, Mother Nature and all those who have worked relentlessly to grow what you eat.
Get together with a few friends you admire for their spiritual finesse or for their almost supernatural ability to read people. Next, ask them to pick one or two aspects of your life where you are fulfilled, thriving or happy. Then, ask them to pinpoint the parts where they perceive you are less energised and are unenthusiastic about. Though this exercise could make you feel extremely vulnerable, self-awareness is after all the key to cultivating spiritual awareness.
Remember your little notebook as a child where you jotted down your thoughts or impressions and doodled your daydreams? It might well be time to do this once again. Put pen to paper and write what you love about your life. Gratitude trains your brain to see the positive, even in the most challenging situations. List all the values and principles you have as an individual. Let it stream out freely. Do not attempt to cull any thoughts you have put on paper. You might be pleasantly surprised by what you unearth. Finally, write about your dreams and wishes. Being in a hopeful state of mind helps you to spot new opportunities.
In addition to the five easy steps mentioned, here are some healing modalities that can nurture your soul.
Thanks for reading,