So, you've read all about the benefits of regular meditation. You understand how a gratitude practice can boost your mood. You believe that if you took time for prayer and contemplation, you'd be less stressed and more centered. But the catch is, how on earth do you find the time? Your days are packed full already, and there's no way you want to get up an hour (or even a half-hour) earlier.
Yet spirituality is, at its root, all about connection. Your connection to the divine isn't something that has to be done a certain way, or time of day. It can be fostered anytime, or all the time. Here are some tips to help you make spiritual practice an integral part of your life, no matter how busy you are.
Combine tasks. Say a prayer or recite a mantra in your mind while you go about your daily tasks. While taking a shower, doing the dishes, or brushing your teeth, focus on connecting with the divine or your higher self. Let repetitive tasks become a time for grounding and getting centered.
Use commuting time for spiritual development. If you use public transportation, your trip to and from work is a perfect time to read an uplifting book or close your eyes and look within. Even if you're driving, listening to a spiritual audio book can help you get connected.
Join a community or enlist a friend's help. If your intention is to pay more attention to your spiritual life, get some accountability by becoming part of a group. Join a church, temple, or meditation class. If you're not part of a particular religion, a Unitarian Universalist church (where they focus on many different traditions) might be a good option. Or invite a friend to commit to a regular practice too, and support each other in making time for it each week. You don't even have to share a belief system; encouraging each other to spend more time on spirituality is the intention.
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Jot down your blessings. Keep a file on your laptop, a notepad app on your phone, or a piece of paper in your purse. When you pause for a break during the day, before heading to the washroom or to lunch, jot down a couple of things you're thankful for today. Before you go to bed each night, review your list and see how blessed you are!
Choose to be outdoors more often. It's easier to connect directly with the divine when you're taking in the energy of the natural world. You've read the tips about getting more exercise – walk when you can, park further away. Follow those ideas and you'll get more time in nature, too. Eat your lunch outside, walk your dog in the park, and pause to observe the natural beauty all around you.
Respond mindfully. In conversation or when making decisions, pause before you respond. Ask yourself if what you're about to say or do comes from a place of compassion and love. It may feel awkward at first, but keep practicing this brief “pause to connect.” This technique will become part of your normal way of thinking and being in the world, and keep you in tune with the path of your spirit.