Spirituality is often likened to religion, when in reality it is a completely separate entity. Someone who has never picked up any religious text, never practiced meditation or attended a silent retreat in the mountains can be very spiritually connected. In the same way as someone who is a man/woman of god and does everything in the name of spirit can be extremely spiritually disconnected.
On a collective level a good indication of someone who is spiritually healthy is the way they treat people and their ability to accept people of all walks of life. On an individual level it is more about the connection you have with yourself and how well you know yourself as a person.
Getting to know yourself happens as a result of exploring the outer and inner world through conscious effort. By being present and in the moment. This can be achieved through more traditional spiritual practice such as meditation or yoga, but it can also be achieved through connecting with the things you love.
Below are 5 non-spiritual activities you can do that will promote your spiritual health.
This could be drawing, painting, coloring, textiles or scrapbooking (just to name a few.) Arts and crafts takes you away and if you are doing it fully in the moment and enjoying it what will happen as a result is a full expression of yourself.
It encourages creativity, boosts self esteem and can be highly rewarding. It also gives you a chance to grow, as the more you practice the higher the quality your work will become. Art gives you a chance to be in the moment and while you are in that moment nothing else matters. No future, no past, just the moment and that is what spiritual growth is all about!
Listening or playing, music has the ability to evoke an emotional response within you like nothing else. When you really feel the music, instead of passively listening you connect with the story that the musician is trying to tell, this literally has the ability to change your state of mind and intensely remain in that state of mind while listening.
When you play music it gives you the chance to actually live within the music you are playing. It promotes growth, creativity and creates a challenge in which you are constantly striving to improve upon. One of the great things about music is you can always improve or change and it has unlimited potential for moving forward.
If you happen to love music, it can be a life long companion and a go to spiritual practice that can take you away from the daily stresses of life.
Being a writer I will be the first to admit that this is a bit of a paradox, writing is one of the most connecting and expressive things you can do. At the same time it is disconnecting, frustrating and at times make you want to throw the laptop out the window.
Luckily most people don’t have to worry about writing as a job and it does not need to be so frustrating. Writing can be used to express how you feel in this very moment through journaling, or you can use your current emotional state to create poetry, musical lyrics or stories.
Writing can be used as an extension of yourself, and is also good to look back on and reflect upon how far you have come.
Reading also deserves a mention here too, as while it is a little different from writing, without reading writing would not exist! Reading allow you to be fully present and enter different worlds in a way that can only be achieved by diving into a good book.
Human beings are made to move, it is in our DNA. It doesn’t matter if you are 50 pounds or 500 pounds you have been hardwired to move daily.
The cultural problem we are having these days is that a pretty big section of the population relate exercise to a structured routine that is not enjoyable, the fact is there are many ways to exercise and it doesn’t mean you have to join up with a gym or stand in front of your TV in spandex exercising to a Zumba workout video.
Exercise doesn’t need to be intense, although it can be if that is what you enjoy. There are many different ways to enjoy exercise and if you are doing something that is not enjoyable to you because you feel like you need to shift a few pounds chances are that habit will only be temporary.
Exercise is one of the most spiritually grounding things you can do, it is about finding the thing that you love to do and doing it. Taking the dog for a walk every morning, joining a martial arts class or spending a while in the morning dancing to your favorite music. These are all ways you can exercise, so try and find something that makes you feel good while moving and do that thing!
Some of the benefits of exercise are the obvious health benefits, but also being fully aware and in the moment, the sense of accomplishment the goes hand in hand with completing your workout and the progressive growth that comes with practice.
Maybe not an activity, but this is one of the best things you can do to get to know yourself and grow spiritually. Meditation is one way of doing it, but it doesn’t need to be you sitting down and actually meditating, it could just be you laying on your bed for 10 minutes or just stopping and listening to your thoughts for a while!
When you learn to be with yourself, you can start to work on becoming full and not being reliant on others to dictate the way you feel. This is quite possibly the most empowering thing someone can do and it all starts with getting to know yourself
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