5 Spiritual Hacks that Will Change Your Life
The spiritual journey can be long and tumultuous, and so I’m going to give you 5 spiritual hacks that will change your life. If you don’t have lots of time to meditate, read books, and take long walks in nature, there are still simple, yet effective things you can do, moment-by-moment, to increase your joy, lift your vibration, and expand your consciousness.
1.Repeat affirmations anytime you’re in an altered state of consciousness.
You have limiting beliefs and programming installed from childhood. You heard your parents talk about their money problems (not to mention their dysfunctional relationship). You watched the news, which kept you in a state of fear and lack. You looked at magazines that portrayed one image of beauty. You wonder why you struggle with money, relationships, and weight, when you received negative programming (and still do), which taught you to argue with others, fear love, shop more, and eat more candy bars than your thighs would like.
Now, you’re on the spiritual path, and you’re trying to repeat the affirmations that are taped to your bathroom mirror, but you’re frustrated, because they don’t seem to be working! Here’s the hack: Your more receptive to building new neural pathways in your brain when you’re in an altered state of consciousness. Christa Smith says in Psychology Today, “Altered states of consciousness, sometimes called non-ordinary states, include various mental states in which the mind can be aware but is not in its usual wakeful condition, such as during hypnosis, mediation, hallucination, trance, and the dream stage.”
Why do you think people pay to be hypnotized if they’re struggling with giving up a vice, or losing weight? The hypnotist puts them into an altered state of consciousness and then directs them to release the bad habit. If they were conscious (awake and aware), their mind would not be as receptive. Think of an altered state of consciousness (also referred to as a trance state) like this: When you are semi-conscious, but also aware of your subconscious, you walk the line between being awake and feeling like you’re in a dream.
This is what happens during lucid dreaming, or as a result of taking psychedelic drugs. It expands your perception, allowing you to know things you couldn’t when conscious, and anything you repeat gets right into your subconscious mind (without the filter of consciousness). So, when you become aware that you are in an altered state of consciousness, that’s when you want to silently repeat affirmations.
You are in an altered state of consciousness when:
you are about to fall asleep, and you’re still aware, but not quite (if you catch yourself moments before bed, or as soon as you open your eyes in the morning, your mind is receptive to programming)
during mediation (mediation alters your brain waves)
you take certain drugs, such as psychedelics, that shift your state of awareness
you do anything that feels meditative (sex, or certain moments when you experience ecstasy, as if you are no longer thinking, but simply experiencing sensations, can put you in an altered state of consciousness)
2.Ground your energy by touching the earth.
Your are a walking psychic receptor, picking up energy from those around you. This is why people often talk about “psychic vampires,” referring to people who leave you feeling drained of energy. When you’re relaxing on the couch, and your partner comes home, grumpy after a long day of work, suddenly, you feel a little off. Over the course of a day, it’s likely that you encounter loads of people who are frustrated, angry, insecure, and pessimistic. You don’t want their energy to enter your field, or at the very least, you want to cleanse your energy by grounding it.
Sonia Choquette writes in The Psychic Pathway, “Grounding is a technique that calmly drains your self of excess energy, thus keeping your perceptions clear, your emotions balanced, and your body relaxed and so preventing emotional explosions.”
Choquette offers several methods for grounding that will rid you of the psychic residue from others, such as touching the earth (by taking off your shoes and walking in the park, or gardening), baking, kneading bread, or holding crystals, such as hematite or fluorite. As you do the grounding activity, imagine the energy of others flowing into the dirt, or crystals. It’s a simple hack, as you can keep a potted plant on your window sill, or some crystals in your desk drawer at the office. It’s the work of mere moments, and it will neutralize your energy field so that you’re not carrying other people’s frustrations.
3.Be grateful for everything, even when life sucks.
Life can feel hard. You get stuck in traffic. The train doesn’t come. You lose your cell phone. Your partner decides to act like an asshole. Your child is failing math, not to mention your house is a mess. Your mind has a long list of complaints in every moment. It’s unceasing in its relentless quest to control the uncontrollable; you awake to rain, and your mind responds with, It can’t rain! I’m going on a picnic! Your mind wants to control not just the weather, but other people, the economy, and the political climate.
I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but that way of thinking will steal your joy. You didn’t incarnate on earth to live an easy life, free of obstacles, sadness, and pain. You came to learn and grow from the challenges of life. Joseph Campbell refers to this process of individuation. Each of us are on our own hero’s journey, and it’s how we deal with challenges that create meaning for our lives and give us a sense of fulfillment. So, when your boss acts like a jerk, and you can’t find a date, become present to your complaining mind, and change your thoughts. Choose to be grateful instead. You can tell yourself things like, He’s probably having a bad day. I’m not going to take it personally, or, I trust that all things are working out for my highest good.
As you shift the way you perceive obstacles, you will find that you feel lighter, more peaceful, and your life will just flow. Instead of resisting reality, you will accept it, which means that you will overcome challenges quicker, as you shift to a solution-oriented state of being. You will spend less time complaining and more time feeling grateful for even the messy, crazy parts of your life. This shift doesn’t add any time to your schedule; it simply takes willingness and a desire for change.
4.Visualize instead of having idle thoughts.
The spiritual path doesn’t need to feel hard, or even time-consuming, it simply takes effort. One hack is to redirect your thoughts when you find your mind thinking about trivial things. Instead of thinking about mundane things (or worse, still, complaining) focus your attention on your goals by visualizing. When you’re on the train, waiting for an elevator, or waiting for a bag of popcorn to pop, get in the habit of visualizing what you’d like to see manifest in your life. Think about the state of health you’d like to be in, where you’d like to be in your career, and the sort of relationships you’d like to have. Use your imagination to come up with specific details of what you’d like to manifest.
The more you visualize your goals, the more your subconscious mind seeks out a path to achieving them. This is what happens during an a-ha moment: You’re mid-shower, and suddenly, you’ve figured out a solution to a problem you’ve been having, seemingly out of the blue. Your subconscious mind was working on it all along, but it felt like it popped into your mind out of nowhere. The more time you spend focusing on your goals and imagining them as if they’re happening in the present moment, the more your mind will work on coming up with the next step for you to take in order to manifest them.
5.Have a process for working through negative emotions when they arise.
You are going to be triggered on a daily basis. Your partner is going to say something stupid, and your children are going to get into a screaming match, before they toss a bowl of macaroni onto your new carpet. This is unavoidable, but here’s the hack: You need to be prepared. You want to have a process to work through negative emotions as they arise.
Here are some examples of processes you might turn to:
Repeat a prayer that you’ve committed to memory. The spiritual text A Course in Miracles has a number of prayers you can say when you feel frustrated, or sad. A simple one-liner from the text that I turn to is: I’m willing to look at this differently. Repeating those words when you’re experiencing a negative emotion can open up space for you to perceiving the situation through the eyes of love, opposed to fear. It can enhance your ability to be empathetic, and it can shift you to a more solution-oriented state of being, releasing you from the stronghold anger or frustration can place on your mind.
Byron Katie has a process she calls the work, which entails asking yourself a series of questions until you change your mind about a situation and find peace.
You can do a breathing exercise, such as the Wim Hof breathing method to change your autonomic response and regain a sense of calm.
Here’s the key: You want to pick a practice and commit to it. The moment you lose your cellphone, or your care breaks down, your reptilian brain goes into a fearful state and believes that the world is going to end. When life happens, turn to your practice. It takes discipline, but not hard work, or time. Decide that your’e willing to commit to your spiritual practice, instead of screaming, crying, or acting like a lunatic.
It’s possible to pursue your spiritual practice by integrating it into your life with the help of these hacks. With just a few simple shifts and a willingness to step out of your habitual, patterned way of thinking, you can change your life without even trying. Pick one of these hacks and commit to doing it for a month. The smallest shifts can bring about a radical transformation of your consciousness, and you’ll experience more peace and mindfulness as a result.