In last week's article we discussed how spirituality is a vital part of the recovery puzzle, just as important as your emotional and physical healing.
Here's how I incorporate spiritual practices into my daily life:
Yoga – I've been doing yoga on and off since I was in high school. My mother was even a yoga teacher for awhile, and shortly after she had surgery she needed me to assist by teaching a class. That's what really propelled my interest. There are many types of yoga, including some that are very active. I do a style of yoga that's very gentle and restorative. I feel more spiritually connected when I allow myself to be still and get centered.
Guided imagery – I use guided imagery to quiet my mind. Listening to the audio recordings help me connect to the present moment. At HealthJourneys.com, you can pick up a free guided meditation sample. If you like it, they have many other resources for you.
Taking walks in nature – If you keep your eyes out, you might spot me walking all around Winter Park with my dog, usually with a ponytail on top of my head! The sights, sounds and smells of nature instantly remind me that I am part of a big, beautiful world.
Healthy exercise – Aside from yoga and walking, I regularly experiment with other forms of healthy exercise. This grounds me in my body and helps me to appreciate my health and mobility.
Healthy meals – When I make the effort to prepare pleasing, nourishing and delicious foods, I feel as if I'm giving myself a type of spiritual nourishment.
Gratitude lists – I use this technique to remind myself every day of everything I have to be grateful for. It's also something I used in my general psychology course at Valencia College. As they arrived in class, the students had to stop at the whiteboard and write down one thing they were grateful for. Most of them said it was a really positive experience, though some found it a bit embarrassing. On the last day of class, one fellow wrote, "I'm grateful I don't have to write my gratitudes in the front of the classroom anymore, but I will keep on writing them for me!""
Philanthropy – When I do something for someone who can't, it makes me feel connected and part of the world. This isn't always about giving money; it can mean volunteering at the food bank or offering workshops or groups at a reduced rate so everyone can access therapy if they need it.
Having fun – Making time to laugh and get together with people I care about definitely enhances my spirituality. It lightens my load and clears away any negative clutter that's blocking my connection.