Spiritual practices can be hard to incorporate into a busy life. We’ve made it easy, so this year you can live more abundantly than ever.
Our real journey in life is interior. It is a matter of growth, deepening, and an ever greater surrender to the creative action of love.
Where do you find yourself on the journey as you live this present season? And how might God be inviting you onward and inward toward deeper connection?
Spiritual practices are a gift to us all. They can better our overall health and make space for our dance with God’s Spirit. However, we know you’re busy and building yet another thing into the day can seem daunting. So, we’ve included just three simple areas to explore.
We want to hear from you, too! Share with us what spiritual practices are life-giving to you. You may help another ministry leader discover the gift they’ve been hoping for.
So, what if you’re feeling ready for the gift but ill-equipped to unwrap it? Maybe spiritual practices are uncharted territory, and you don’t know what to do. You aren’t alone.
Maybe you’re comfortable reading a story to children and asking them discussion questions. But perhaps you’re not so sure about spending time connecting with God. There’s no shame in this. You probably just weren’t taught.
Perhaps you grew up going to church, or maybe not. Those of us not exposed to a faith tradition growing up knowing little about spiritual formation. And, it isn’t all that different for those of us raised in the Church.
Practices that open space for encounter with the Divine often take backseat to institutional protocol.
As a result, you may know how to lead spiritual formation all the while feeling pretty parched spiritually yourself.
We don’t want this for you! And it doesn’t have to be that way. These three simple practices can help.
Take a moment. How do you think about the Divine? A giant human residing in a realm not our own? Maybe nebulous energy that animates all living things? Something like the purest stuff of what we know to be love or wisdom? A watchful parent on the lookout for failures? Maybe some or all of these and more?
We come into adulthood with lots of what we were told as children about the Divine. Somewhere along the way, we learned other stuff. Some of that jives, and some doesn’t.
So, we make sense of it and are left with ideas that have come to the foreground and those that will never be forgotten but have receded.
Not surprisingly, how we think and talk about the Divine impacts the way we engage in spiritual formation.
Consider reflecting on how your thoughts about God influence your feelings about engaging in spiritual practices.
Letting Go of Guilt
God is Love. And love isn’t about guilt. So, stop feeling guilty about your spiritual growth or lack thereof. You’re probably already parched. Why add to the load?
Just start where you are just as you are. That’s all you can do anyway in each given moment. And God asks no more of you. The Divine is always and everywhere no matter our capacity to engage. Therefore, presence and peace may abound.
Isn’t that wonderful? We can merely embrace spiritual practices with intention and presence. God beckons us.
How will you freely, joyfully, guiltlessly respond to the invitation this year?
Spiritual Practices to Explore
Make Some Space
Our minds are saturated. We’re almost always watching a screen, responding to endless messages on various platforms, thinking a mile a minute.
It’s never been harder to clear our minds. And when we’re preoccupied with all that chatter, connection to Spirit is almost impossible. So, just practice clearing a little space in all the clutter.
First, find a quiet place alone. Then, pay attention to your thoughts. Notice each one. Make no judgment about it. Place it on a leaf or cloud and watch it float away until it’s out of sight.
De-clutter. Make space for Spirit connection. That’s it, friend.
We believe that holy scriptures are set apart as those that have the power to transform. They are living texts. So, use the life with which they’re infused to enrich yours.
Do you have a favorite verse in scripture? If not, pick one. It doesn’t have to be the “right” choice. Just choose what compels you even if you aren’t sure why.
Work with that scripture somehow and see what happens. Perhaps journal about it, exploring what it means to you. Research its background and context. Or practice lectio divina with it. Speak it in a breath prayer. Write it on your mirror with a dry erase marker. Try any of these.
Manufactured stuff gives us so much. Offices and houses, chairs and couches, computers, phones, cars, trains. They serve us in so many ways. And so do the outdoors. But, sadly, many of us don’t see nearly enough of God’s creation outside.
You may find yourself rejuvenated by getting some sunshine and fresh air at the very least. And perhaps you’ll perceive the Spirit’s work in things like the seemingly effortless way leaves spring up from dormant branches. Maybe you’ll notice a feeling of unity with every atom that’s ever existed.
Sit or walk or run or hike or bike. Listen, look, smell, feel. However you’re compelled, get outside.
Wherever you find yourself right at this moment, become still. It is the only moment that’s real and yours. God is ever in the present inviting you without expectation or demand to live abundantly into your whole self this new year and always.
We hope these three areas of spiritual practice can assist you in your quest. And don’t forget to share with us in the comments! What spiritual practices are serving you these days?
Kathleen A. Suggitt says
Coloring as a prayer discipline.
Alissa Ellett says
Thanks for your comment, Kathleen! We totally agree!