One of my biggest passions is daily spiritual practice and the deep soulful connection that it brings. Actually, this spring I’m celebrating 20 consecutive years of daily spiritual practice! One of the best things I ever did for myself was to set – and keep – an intention to start each day mindfully.
I talk with people about spiritual practice a lot. Many women – especially those who are drawn to kindness, self-love and other interests that we readers of Kind Over Matter share – really want to have their own daily practice.
They understand the benefits. They read about it and think about it a lot. They’ve tried. But their practice is sporadic or never quite gets off the ground.
The biggest stumbling block I hear about, again and again?
In our fast-paced modern culture the topic of time is tricky. I mean yes, we all have full and busy lives. There’s work and household tasks and relationships and parenting or caring for aging family members. There’s volunteer work and exercise and activism and taking care of pets and having a social life.
It’s a lot. I get it.
But there’s also a whole lot of distraction going on. There’s Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, SnapChat or whatever the social-media-of-the-moment happens to be. There’s the wide availability of entertainment to the point where “binge watching” is a commonly known phrase. There is a plethora of silly addictive games you can play on your phone or computer.
There’s “reality” TV and the impossible standards that advertising pushes on us. We’re supposed to have a spotless home and flawless skin and wear the latest trendy clothes. Achieving that sort of perfection is pretty much impossible.
Chasing it certainly takes up a lot of time.
Be honest with yourself – how much of your time gets eaten up by these distractions each week? I’m not saying that watching Netflix or reading Facebook or playing games is bad. I do those things, too. It’s more a matter of how much attention – how much time – you choose to give them.
If you’re letting these distractions get in the way of connecting deeply with yourself and the Universe, then “not having time” is ultimately just an excuse.
First of all, a daily spiritual practice doesn’t have to take a lot of time. You don’t have to do an hour of meditation or a 90-minute yoga DVD every morning. That’s a lot. Just 10 or 20 minutes of inner reflection, done on a daily basis, will have a huge positive effect on your life.
Secondly, by devoting regular time to your practice you’re actually saving time. You’ll be much more aware of when you’re using distractions to mask a feeling you don’t want to deal with or a task you’re putting off.
You’ll be more in tune with your intuition and will notice the signs that something you’re doing feels “off.” This allows you to make adjustments, freeing up more time to devote to the things you really care about – like spending time with loved ones, pursuing a creative passion and excelling in your career.
You’ll find that you’re more productive and happier.
Finally, by committing yourself to a daily spiritual practice that you enjoy, you’re telling yourself that you’re worthy. Your attachment to advertising, peer pressure and other ways that society tries to get us to conform (and consume) will fade.
You’re enhancing your relationship with yourself, your soul and the cosmos.
Don’t let time stand in the way of deeper connection. Choose a distraction to give up or ease back on, and use those few precious moments to get still and quiet and go within. Start today!
Take it from me – you’ll be so glad you did. Plus, you’ll thank yourself twenty years down the road for starting your own daily spiritual practice!