7 Ways to Fit a Spiritual Practice into Your Schedule
I've often heard the excuse that there's no time to begin a new spiritual practice when life is full enough with work, family obligations, and maintaining a social calendar. However, there are simple things we can incorporate into our everyday lives that can help us to cultivate a feeling of peace and compassion for others that don't require any rearranging of our calendar.
Here's the list:
1.As you drink your morning coffee, listen to affirmations.
I start off my morning with a cup of coffee, overnight oats, and affirmations. I enjoy this channel on YouTube, but there are so many great videos on YouTube, each one tailored to a specific topic; we can affirm positive beliefs regarding money, success, self-love, etc. When we first awaken, our minds are most receptive to new ideas, and no extra time is required other than pressing play.
2.Play a video on mindfulness as you cook dinner.
There are videos from so many wonderful spiritual teachers on YouTube. Some of my favorites include Abraham Hicks, Michael Beckwith, and Carolyn Myss. Rather than listening to the news or having a television show play in the background, we can choose to focus on the evolution of our consciousness by learning more about metaphysics and the spiritual path.
3.Tape a mantra to your bathroom wall and silently repeat it in your head as you brush your teeth.
We have been inundated with thoughts of fear and lack. Reprogramming our subconscious mind can be as easy as repeating a mantra in our mind. We're only conscious of about five percent of what we believe and think, according to Bruce Lipton, author of The Biology of Belief. Often, we're operating out of subconscious thoughts that say we're not good enough, or we don't deserve success. We can choose new subconscious thoughts, but it takes time for our brains to develop new neural pathways (and develop a belief), and so repetition is key.
4.Ask for guidance on the little things.
Oftentimes, we have a hard time discerning between the voice of our egos (the thoughts with which we identify that are rooted in fear) and the voice of our inner-guide. The key is: It takes practice to be able to hear messages from the Universe. We wait until we're faced with a tumultuous situation to ask for guidance, rather than seeking it out on a daily basis. Prayer, which is just a moment to silently speak to the Universe, God, can be done all throughout the day. We can ask where we could go to enjoy ourselves the most, or what we could offer to someone else to be helpful? Establishing daily communication with the divine is as simple as starting a conversation in our mind and letting the Universe answer us.
5.Do a walking meditation.
We can make an everyday task such as walking to the supermarket an opportunity to become present by focusing on our surroundings and physical sensations in the moment. Every time our trail off to what happened earlier in the day, or a future event that's going to happen, we can bring ourself back to the present moment. We can look up at the sky, feel the air on our skin, and appreciate the beauty around us. Becoming present means we're no longer living in the future or past, but rather, paying attention to what the current moment has brought us.
Like spirituality itself, the simplest things, when appreciated with reverence, take on an entirely new meaning. Suddenly that single blade of grass has gone from ordinary to poignant to explicit and finally miraculous in its beauty. -Oprah
6.Shift to gratitude when a negative thought arises.
It's easy to complain and focus on the negative, but that's taking the low road. As a negative thought or judgment arises, we can practice gratitude instead. For example, if we have a boss who is condescending, we can focus on how hard he or she works to keep the business running. There is always a silver lining. It doesn't require any extra time in our schedule to see it.
7.Choose to see the best in everyone.
As we continue our spiritual path, our compassion and ability to empathize with others increases. While our egos would suggest that take people as they are, focusing on their wrongdoings, our inner-beings (the divine part of us that is loving, forgiving, and gentle) recognizes that people react out of their pain bodies. People whom we would deem as mean, vicious, or manipulative act out of a deep feeling of isolation and pain that they can't manage, so they project that pain outwards and push people away. We can make it a daily spiritual practice to see people through the eyes of love, especially when we feel they are least deserving of love or compassion.