Spiritual Growth Ideas
By Editorial Staff
Contributed by Info Guru Angela Bushong
You don’t have to travel the world and meet with great spiritual leaders to give your own inner workings a boost.
Simply getting to know yourself and the world around you can be enough to burst your existential perspective wide open.
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10. Slow Down and Pay Attention
Learn to live life deliberately. Sometimes, this step alone is enough to open a person up to what needs to change in her life—her actions, thoughts, and habits—to become a more spiritually sound person. When you eat, pay attention to what you are eating. When you watch television or go to work, notice how you react to things. When you breathe, notice how the simple act of taking in oxygen and releasing carbon monoxide sustains you.
9. Learn the Art of Letting Go
There are a lot of negative emotions which accumulate within a person over the years. Anger, sadness, jealousy, and fear all have ways of tearing a person down from the inside. Let these things go, especially if the hurts are old and the anger festers in ways that are no longer relevant. Letting go can be freeing, and much growth is stunted when negativity gets in the way.
8. Volunteer Your Time
Nothing satisfies the soul like giving. There are many charities and nonprofit organizations which rely on the goodness of others to volunteer and lend financial support. And, while it is helpful to them to receive a check in the mail, it is not nearly as enriching for you as getting in there and working with your time and energy to right the wrongs of the world. Truly cosmic lessons can be learned by the simple acts of work and charity.
7. Spend Time with a Child
Children have a way of looking at the world that we as adults often forget. Take some time to spend, one on one, with your own children, with a niece or nephew, or with an underprivileged child through one of the many fantastic volunteer organizations out there. And, don’t just take them to a playground and let them run amok while you read a book. Really be there with them. Listen to their weird stories. Pay attention to what they pay attention to. When you get down and see the world through a child’s eyes, even a little, it can open up your own world in ways you would never imagine.
6. Learn to Meditate
Meditation is as old as the human spirit, and in many theologies it is the primary way to connect with one’s own self. Whether you get into transcendental meditation, yoga, or just learn some simple breathing techniques, meditation can go a long way toward opening your senses and quieting your cluttered mind.
5. Read a Good Book
Many a wise tome has been written on the subject of spiritual growth throughout the ages. Pick one up. Pick up five or six. And don’t stop there. One philosophy leads to the next, and it is all information to grow on. Reading on spiritual topics gets your mind thinking on spiritual things and opens you up to all the possibilities, which are vast and endless and ultimately humbling. This is how you tap into the whole of human experience.
4. Connect with Nature
Many of us live the nine to five grind, commuting to work in our cars, working in high rise air conditioned office buildings, hitting the drive thru for dinner, and collapsing in front of another episode of Who’s Got Talent or Law & Order. We are so far removed from the natural world so much of our time that it’s led to national epidemics of depression, anxiety, and failing physical health. It’s time to disconnect. Get out of the smog, get off the internet, and get into the great outdoors. Even if it’s just for a few minutes a day, find a walking trail and look at the trees. Breathe in clean air. Watch the birds. This is where you come from; this natural world is the stuff of you.
3. Get Out of Town
Sometimes there is no better way to hit the spiritual reset button than to vacate to a whole new environment. Spiritual retreats and workshops are great places to meet like-minded people—or even different-minded people—and have new experiences which will get you out of your spiritual rut.
2. Return to Your Roots
If you find yourself drifting in spiritual waters, unsure which way to paddle, it may be time to reclaim your old family religion. Perhaps your family wasn’t particularly religious. That doesn’t mean you can’t look back on your lineage and find, somewhere down the line, a spiritual path which speaks to you. Even if you choose not to strictly follow that religion, there is something to be said for simply coming home.
1. Find a New Path
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What if, through it all, you find no established path truly suits you? Give yourself permission to blaze your own trail. Don’t be afraid to try new things and even to mix and match. Visit a mosque, find a Buddhist or Hindu temple, hit the local Unitarian church. Most religious services will allow visitors. If all else fails, take what speaks to you and leave the rest. Truth is all around you. All you have to do is open your mind and look.
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