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Spiritual development should be a life-long journey or exploration, where we continually learn and grow.
- What is it?
- Why is it important?
- Where do we start?
- How do we start?
These are some of the questions I’d like to answer for you today.
What is Spiritual Development?
Spirituality has so many definitions. One for every belief system ever imagined or created. No one definition is correct. We need to create our own definition based on our own beliefs and spiritual journey. Everyone’s path is unique and different to them.
Here is a definition from Psychology today that I really like.
The aspects of spiritual development we’ll be talking about today will not be about any one religion, belief, or viewpoint. Instead I’d like to delve into more of the path of discovery for those things.
Why is Spiritual Development Important?
Spiritual development is an important part of any self-development plan. It answers some basic human questions we all ask.
- What is my purpose?
- What is the meaning of life?
- Why am I here?
- Who am I?
- Who do I want to become?
Another benefit is the chance to discover if our values and beliefs are really our own. Many beliefs we have are simply a product of how we were raised, taught to us by others.
How Do I Start My Spiritual Journey?
Start simple. Start small. It’s important to take stock of where on your journey you are at right now. Have a quiet time where you can write down your values and beliefs. Analyze them. See if they benefit your life. Ask yourself these questions:
- Are these beliefs mine or someone else’s?
- What beliefs do I want to keep?
- What beliefs do I want to replace?
- What beliefs do I want to grow stronger in?
- What steps do I take daily to grow in these areas?
Write it all down.
Be open to new ideas. It is difficult to grow spiritually if you are close-minded. Let new ideas in. Meditate on them. Read on them. See what resonates with you.
Some ideas of things to try:
- The Chopra Center – Has some great online articles on meditation. They also have courses and physical products for purchase. You can access their free 21 day meditation course here .
- Apps: The mindfulness App, Headspace, and Calm are the 3 highest rated. They all have free trial versions and paid versions.
Praying for guidance, for others, for healing, giving thanks, giving praise and communicating with your creator.
All mindfulness techniques are a form of meditation.
Palouse Mindfulness offers a free online course I highly recommend. It is a self-paced online course with 8 weeks of material consisting of reading, videos, and printables.
There are quite a few journaling techniques out there: freewriting, List making, dialoguing, Using writing prompts, unsent letters, mind mapping, gratitude journaling, dream journaling, meditation journaling, automatic writing and many more.
Spending time in nature
- Boosts immunity, happiness, vitality, and enthusiasm for life
- Produces brainwaves like those experienced during meditation
- Inspires creativity
- Improves memory and cognitive function
- Decreases feelings of anxiety and depression
Give to others/volunteer
- Homeless shelter
- Meals on wheels
- Big brother/Big sister
- Animal shelters
- Food pantry/Food bank
- Nursing/Retirement homes
- Red cross
Gratitude journaling, Gratitude letters/notes, gratitude jar, Prompts, Walks, Reflections, visit someone you appreciate, Say thank you.
Go to church
Pick a different church to visit to each Sunday. If you already attend a church, go more often and get more involved.
There are so many great books out there to chose from. Here are some of my favorites
This is an excellent book I highly recommend for studying different religions
Listen to podcasts on spirituality
Pick 1 or 2 items from the list. Make a commitment to spend time on them. Spirituality is a discovery. Your journey is unique to you. There is no right or wrong way. Just start today.