April 17

8 Spiritual Practices That Actually Work

Essence & Spirituality

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Another week passes by with no progress on your spiritual practice.

No mediation. No prayer. No hugging trees. 

Zilch. Nada. 

Waves of guilt wash over you. You started the year so hopeful. Making goals and vision boards on healthier choices, better habits and your new fave; radical growth. 

Instead, you favour distractions, quick dopamine spikes and instant gratification, 

I’m talking; work, social media and one too many red wines...again.

Ahh! old habits die hard. Right? 

The difference this time is, you want to make the changes. You’ve awakened to something more... 

You’re asking questions, you're consciousness is waking up, heck, you might even be experiencing your first dark knight of the soul. 

So how do you develop a consistent and healthy spiritual practice? 

Right here. 

In this post I’m going to discuss eight easy and effective spiritual techniques anybody can do and help you to understand why a regular practice is so important to your spiritual development. 

Let’s get started. 

What is a spiritual practice?

A spiritual practice is something that you do, on either a daily or regular basis to connect to your highest self, your inner light and/or to source energy. 

This practice (whichever you choose) enhances your spiritual development, connects you to closer to the angelic and spiritual realms and increases your intuition and personal insights which are often channeled through spiritual messages known as ‘downloads’. 

Raising your level of consciousness to experience multiple dimensions and a deeper insight to Unity Consciousness. 

The result?

To experience the holly grail of true and infinite Oneness. 

How do I create a spiritual practice?

Creating a spiritual practice is quite easy. Making a habit of it, is hard. 

On the other hand, it’s vital for your emotional and mental stability, especially during times of crisis. 

Creating a practice which sticks, is more important than which one you practice. 

For these reasons, I encourage you to choose a practice which resonates with your heart and not your head.

Simply put, you won’t follow it through. Don’t worry, it’s not your fault. 

So here’s what I recommend. 

  1. Know what God’s work your here to do or at the very least have an idea. This is your why. This is crucial in times of needing an extra boost or the discipline to continue.  
  2. Each practice, set your intention. Have an idea of what you would like to develop with your spiritual practice. 
  3. Choose a technique from my list below (more on that in a minute). 
  4. Make a commitment to practice it daily or at the very least weekly. 
  5. Rinse, Repeat & Refine

If you want to raise your vibration, hook up to universal guidance and energy on a regular basis then take a deep dive into a spiritual practice (that you actually commit too) is a must. 

Unless...

High vibing is not your thing. 

8 Spiritual Practice Techniques

There’s a lot of info out, so let’s pull it all together. Here are a few good examples of spiritual practices. 

Meditation

Popularized by the west, Meditation has long been heralded as a gateway to higher states of consciousness. 

Through the simple act of being with the mind; allowing thoughts to come and go, you are able to cultivate a greater sense of awareness and clarity. 

This, helping to declutter the mind and see your thoughts more clearly. 

After all, thoughts are only thoughts. However, its the labels behind the thoughts which gives a thought it's significance.

Good or bad, so to speak.

Mediation is a skill which takes regular practices and discipline to experience the full benefits. 

Some of these benefits include:

  • Heightened states of happiness, self compassion and acceptance
  • Reduces levels of stress and depression
  • Improved levels of gratitude and patience
  • Helps to develop more trust and faith in the divine

Neuroscience has conducted a number of studies, to support the number of benefits of a regular mediation practice has on the mind, body and soul. 

You may ask then, How do I start?

  1. Abraham Hicks suggests to begin with a minimum of 15 minutes a day. I’m not going to disagree. 
  2. Choose guided meditation from the resources below. Or, alternatively, sit or lie in a quiet room, with your eyes closed and zero distraction. Another option, I highly encourage us Naval mediation. This is ridiculously easy. Lie down, eyes open and stay there. 
  3. Print out my 30 day Mediation Calendar and tick off each day. 
  4. Record how you feel.
  5. Increase the duration of the mediation to 20-30 mins after the successful completion of the 30 day challenge. 
  6. Continue daily or multiple days a week.

Resources

  1. Headspace
  2. Buddhify

Better start getting into your lotus position. 

Journaling

Journalling is the act of writing freely and openly about whatever comes to mind. This process encourages you to explore your thoughts and feelings openly.

Without judgment. Without criticism. 

Expressing your feelings and putting them into words, helps to articulate your internal emotional centre and helps to process these feelings in a way which feels comfortable.  

Journaling is a valuable tool to assist in your self expression and helps to gain a better understanding of yourself. 

A rich way to get to the bottom of the core of the issue and/ or events in your life, to then bring greater self knowledge and understanding to be able to process them fully. 

I know what you’re thinking…

How can a few sentences on a piece of paper be that beneficial? 

Here’s how:

  • Provides a Means of Unburdening Your Mind
  • Problem solving
  • Reduces stress
  • Improves emotional response
  • Puts Prayer to Paper

Journaling is a great way to explore the infinite possibilities of self reflection and self discovery. 

It helps to track habits and patterns that maybe holding you back and is a great way to measure growth and your spiritual development. 

You can also take comfort during times of unbalanced or unease and see where you have previously conquered the same problems and come to resolutions. 

How do you take advantage of this simple exercises?

Here’s how. 

  1. Buy a journal that you actually like and a pen or pencil you like to write with. No computers. 
  2. Journalling upon waking is the most effective way to begin. 
  3. 20 minutes non stop, no structure, no punctuations, no spelling corrections. Nada. 
  4. Review your writing and make bullet points of - self discoveries. 

Let’s get real here. 

Journaling isn’t about becoming the next J.K Rowling.  

Although, it would be good.

No. 

You’re here to develop your inner wisdom and to decipher your hearts language. 

This, is journaling's true gift. 

Dance

Plato once wrote: “The dance, of all the arts, is the one that most influences the soul. Dancing is divine in its nature and is the gift of god”. 

If this isn’t enough to get you moving, then I don't know what is. 

Dance is perhaps one of the oldest and longest standing spiritual practices used by all religions and cultures the world over.

One of the earliest origins of dance, dates back some 9000 years ago to cave paintings in India. 

From this day on, many of us have used dance as a way to fully express ourselves, to bridge the gap between our physical and energetic bodies and to bring us closer to the Divine. 

Unlike, some of the spiritual practices, dance requires very little discipline and you can feel the immediate benefits. 

Some of these include:

  • A holistic workout for the mind, body and spirit
  • Synchronising our energy systems
  • Brings you in touch with your scared feminine energy
  • Embracing your sexuality
  • Inner freedom and expansiveness

Dance has no agenda. 

It’s a constant reminder to let life flow. To surrender in the moment, rather than control life events and experiences. 

Just like water. It bends and moves to wherever it’s needed. 

Dance is much the same.

So how do you start?

  1. There are specific movements and dances that wake our energy systems up. Some of these include a) 5 rhythms dance b) trance dancing c) ecstatic dance c) chakra dancing. 
  2. Start a class or watch on YouTube and see what style suits you. 
  3. Dance each day and/or begin a regular class once a week

Our bodies need to move and what better way to do this than through the medium of dance. 

Dance your way towards a journey of self alchemy and I promise you, you will experience a doorway beyond thought and form. 

Music

Everything vibrates - matter, sound, light, energy. 

Music has it's own frequency and has a way of communicating to us on a cellular level. A way of influencing and deepening the connecting between our spirit and soul. 

To uplift. To inspire. 

And, is a portal to higher states of consciousness. 

As Beethoven once wrote: "Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life." 

I think he may have a point. 

Remember, the last time you felt like shit? 

You reached for your phone, hijacked youtube and wamo, your energy immediately shifted. 

Music can unlock the blockages and help return the body to its natural order. 

This is only the start of a whole range of benefits:

  • Increases self awareness
  • Strengthen empathy
  • Alters your mood
  • Pleasant diversion 

Music is the universal language.

It has the capacity to connect us, in the moment. To feel utterly present in the hands of the Universe. The power to touch our soul like it’s been kissed by god. 

To be in the absence of space and time. This is the magic of music.

The best part?

You can start right now. 

  1. Play some music
  2. Let yourself go

There is no real training with music, it’s very simple. 

In fact you could call it the easiest way to mediate. Allowing yourself to dissolve in the music , you will be transported to a place of the unseen. 

Music is the sound of the soul. 

Art

Creativity. 

Where would we be without it?

The ability to bring inanimate objects to life. A priceless living bridge between the mind and the spirit.  

You see, what makes Art so intriguing and mesmerising, is it comes from the richness of the heart. 

It has a childlike spirit of play and wonder. Off intrigue and mystery. 

Art is powerful. It has the ability to transcend time. To bring us into the present moment. 

Not to mention the many other benefits, some which include:  

  • A wonderful form of self expression 
  • Help to express emotions
  • Ability to problem solve
  • Be more present
  • Increased focus and concentration

I love art. 

I’ve witnessed first hand the changes of people's perceptions and attitudes when art is present in their life. 

The magical wonders of imagination and fantasy. Of rainbows and Unicorns. 

I’ve also witnessed first hand, when art is not readily available or supported within communities. 

Life is materialistic. Life is black and white. Life is linear. Life is boring. 

The thing about art, is it’s innate ability to connect us to our creative energy.  

Sexual and creative energy are one of the same. It belong to the same charka knows as the sacred chakra. 

And sexual energy, is the most powerful and scared form of energy we have.

So, where do you start? Well, it’s pretty simple: 

  1. Head to your local art store
  2. Paint whatever comes to mind

Like most spiritual practices, art is a great supporter of self discovery. 

Through art, you will discover, we are all connected and a part of something greater, something bigger than ourselves. 

Yoga

In case you haven’t noticed...yoga is everywhere. 

From downtown shiny, hip New York studios to the authentic and rustic Ashrams of India. 

And no, before you ask, it’s not about sexy yogini outfits and building an instagram following. 

I hate that shit.. 

Yoga has long been touted as one of the best forms of spiritual practices to get you out of your mind and into your body. 

From this state of being, you are present and connected to the Oneness. The infinite. The Divine. 

These days, it seems everybody is downward dogging. 

And, for good reasons. 

Some 5,000 years ago, Yoga was first discovered by Northern India. Some argue, it’s more accurate origins are 10,000 years ago. 

Yoga has long been regarded as the golden nectar for your mind, body and soul. 

The infusion of poses, breathwork and meditation can increase your vibration and expand your awareness and bring you into alignment with your soul.  

Some of the many benefits include: 

  • A sense of calmness, inner peace
  • Exploration of energy
  • Cultivation of awareness
  • A deeper bodily and energetic awareness
  • Removes blocks keeping one from fully experiencing life
  • Opens one to creativity, healing and union
  • Encourages self care

What I love about Yoga, it takes you to places within your body, you’ve never visited before (or maybe you we're too afraid to visit). 

It's freedom, a sense of exploration and creativity infused in one. 

How do I start?

  1. Head to Youtube or begin a regular class in your community
  2. Find the type the style of Yoga that suits you
  3. Start downward dogging

One of the hidden gems of yoga, is it’s influence it has on the rest of your life. 

After a yoga session, it's not like you're going to grab a can of coke?

If you do, I won’t judge. Well, maybe a little...

A green smoothie though?

Yoga supports a conscious lifestyle and influences all areas of your life.

Namaste.  

Time In Nature

I’m going to let you in a little secret about me…

In case you don’t know by now… I fricken love nature. 

So, it comes as no surprise this is my personal spiritual practice. 

Sit down and put the kettle on. This may take a while. 

Somehow, through our evolution, we've lost the deepest wisdom of mother; mother earth. Our connection to her has been severed by the modern world. 

What happened to looking up at the stars, walking barefoot on the earth, taking comfort from the trees. 

These days we are more disconnected than we have ever been. 

Why is this?

Let's be real. 

Most of us are living lives with our heads in our phones, walking on the concreate pavements to a job (that we hate) to pay for our concreate house (that we have bought to keep up with the Jones).

We put our shoes on, drive to work, drive home, eat dinner, take our shoes off and got to bed. 

This isn's living. This is existing. 

Over time, we have slowly lost our ability to connect to the natural world. 

Connecting to nature is easy. Hug some trees, swim in the ocean, dancing under a waterfall, whatever it is, it’s all about immersing yourself in the moment with mother earth. 

When you bridge the gap between you and nature, a little piece of you returns home. 

You are me. I am you. We are all connected.

This awareness brings about a deep trust and connection to the divine. A realization, we are spiritual beings having a temporary physical experience. 

It’s comforting to know, it’s nurturing to our souls. 

We don't need science to tell us, nature is healing. 

But, whilst we are here, I might as well fill you in on some of the many benefits:

These include:

  • Helps you to develop healthy behaviors
  • Your human relations will improve
  • You will be psychologically more resistant
  • Your creativity will increase
  • You will adapt to the rhythm of nature
  • Helps with weight loss
  • It has a positive effect on your brain
  • You will battle diseases
  • You will feel happy
  • It is good for your health

We need nature. It's vital for our wellbeing. 

More importantly, we need to CONNECT to nature. To return home. To remember who we are. 

Here's how you start. 

  1. This is only one step here. And, that’s to drive to your nearest forest, mountain, beach, park or look up at the night sky and bathe in the vastness of mother earth

I invite you to listen, learn and tune into her rhythm and listen to her heart. 

Nature, you are beyond my words. 

I love you, I love you. I love you. 

Prayer

When you think of prayer, you’re probably thinking of its association with many religions around the world.

From Catholics to Muslim to Jews, every religion uses prayer. 

Religious or not, prayer has a way of communicating to the divine. 

Prayer has been used for thousands of years as a tool to connect us to god, to source, to higher states of being. 

Primarily, prayer is rooted in faith and devotion. 

Interestingly, 85% of Americans who, when facing a life threatening illness resort to using prayer as way to cultivate healing. 

This tells us, that our instinctual nature wants to believe in a greater power other than ourselves. 

Prayer is a spiritual practice which helps to reconnect us back to our spirit and soul and to a higher calling. 

Some of the many benefits include:

  1. Deeper connection to god
  2. Increasing Happiness
  3. Becoming More Forgiving
  4. Significantly Lowering Health Risks
  5. Improving Mood and Outlook

I’ll be the first to admit; in times of crisis I’ve resorted to deep surrender and prayer to god. 

I take comfort in knowing my prayers are listened to and most of the answered. 

But, you won't see me in a church and you definitely won't see me in a mosque. That doesn't mean, I won't pray in times of need. 

So where do you start?

  1. You can start with an intention something you wont say to the Universe
  2. Or, you can start with a mantra. 
  3. Practice every day 

Prayer alone has found to have many powerful healing and spiritual benefits. Furthermore, a prayer circle who share the same intention has proven to significantly aid in the healing process, when they collectively held the subject in mind. 

Intention and faith, through Prayer can lift us from our darkness and be the gentle torch that leads us through the tunnel of light. 

Amen. 

Conclusion 

Enlightenment.

Is it attainable to the average joe?

No, probably not. 

But, that doesn't mean you can’t increase your consciousness and work on yourself to be a better person.

Remember, a daily or regular spiritual practice is necessary if you want to develop your spiritually. But, it's not enough.   

Here's the catch. You must stay disciplined, keep watching for the ego inside. It will say anything to trick you away from your spiritual practices. Because, the ego hates change. 

And, when you start to access higher states of consciousness?

Imagine the feeling of being deeply connected to the Oneness. All there is. Living each day in the present moment. Knowing you are being guided by higher force. 

No more unconscious choices. No more emptiness.

You will be in control, with the power, confidence, and freedom to shape your destiny. Not only in Spirituality , but in all areas of your life.

Remember, the biggest gift you could give back to the planet and humanity is to work on your consciousness. 

Good luck, you’ve got this. 

Let me know in the comments below, which spiritual practices you use?

With love,

Loz 

 

About the author 

Lauren Ringer

Loz runs a holistic womens surf company over at houseofsurf.co and is also a passionate life coach and full-time wood nymph. She's a Gypset on a mission to cultivate a conscious lifestyle - by design.  When away from her laptop, you can find her, in the surf, hugging trees and philosophising whist sipping her chaga tea. 

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