BY ALI KATZ
NOVEMBER 19, 2014 5:10 AM EST
I’m a wife and a mom. I drive carpool. I cook, and have a 50/50 chance of my family actually wanting to eat what I make. I have a goal of exercising six days a week, but lately have only been managing three. I’m also building a business as a meditation teacher. I love spending time with friends, but don’t get to do it as much as I used to. But no matter what, every single day I still manage to find time to be spiritual.
This is not to say that I am more spiritual, or more special than you. I just incorporate my spirituality into everything I do, so that even the most mundane tasks have meaning and help me to grow as a person. I am constantly learning lessons, working on forgiving myself and others, and practicing mindfulness.
Sure, some days are better than others. But with a deeply ingrained spiritual mindset, even my off days can feel like a true gift.
Here are six practices you can incorporate into your life every day, which will help you to live more spiritually:
Try to begin each day with meditation, even if it’s only for a minute. This will allow you to start your day from a place of peace, feeling more centered and grounded. Meditation has brought so many positive changes to my life, including feeling less stressed, having more patience, better sleep, a deeper connection to my inner guidance system and increased compassion for myself and others.
I began my practice two years ago with eight minutes a day, and every few weeks I added a minute or two. I now mediate for 20-30 minutes each morning, but the time doesn’t matter as much as being consistent does. It is better to meditate for five minutes every single day, than 20 minutes twice a week. But keep in mind it is better to meditate twice a week than not at all.
2. Spiritual Reading
Reading spiritual literature has become a treasured compliment to my daily meditation. I feel inspired every day when I read books like Holy Shift! by Robert Holden and A Year of Miracles by Marianne Williamson. These books are written with the intent that the reader will enjoy one page a day, so as to not feel overwhelmed by commitment. It is amazing how inspired you can feel from just one page of really profound writing.
3. Practice Gratitude
Bringing more gratitude into your life is a game changer. I firmly believe that the more gratitude you express, the more the Universe will provide you to be grateful for.
Here are a few simple ways to practice gratitude:
- As soon as you open your eyes in the morning, think of one thing you are grateful for. Maybe it is simply being alive, maybe it is the sun shining through your window, or for a loved one snuggled in bed with you.
- Keep a gratitude journal. We have a family journal that we keep on the kitchen table. We take turns at dinner saying what we are grateful for and writing them down. It is a great way to model for the kids to be appreciative of the big and little things in life. I also keep a personal journal right next to my toothbrush.
- I have an alarm that goes off on my phone every day at 3pm to reminds me to stop whatever I am doing, take a deep breath and spend a minute practicing gratitude.
4. Spend Time In Nature
I live in the center of Houston, so as much as I would love to be walking on a beach or hiking a beautiful mountain everyday, it’s just not possible. I have learned to appreciate what I can get, and to be mindful whenever I am outside.
I now leave my phone on the counter when I take my dogs for a walk and I have swapped scrolling Facebook for looking at the shapes in the clouds. I notice the way the breeze feels on my skin, smell the fresh cut grass and stop to admire beautiful flowers.
5. Be Open To Signs From The Universe
I don’t believe in coincidences, but I do believe in the synchronicity of the universe. When things “just work out” I believe it is the universe showing us that it has our back, and is conspiring for great things to happen. Living with this outlook makes for really positive experiences to occur practically on a daily basis. Each sign feels like a gift and let’s be honest — who doesn’t love presents?
6. Mindful Breathing
There are so many ways you can incorporate quick breathing exercises into your life, all day long. I often find myself doing breath work at traffic lights, in line at the grocery store and when my kids occasionally really push my buttons. I call it, “hitting the pause button.”
With consistent meditation you become less reactive and more responsive. I used to be really impatient, but now at the first sign of feeling triggered, I just “hit the pause button” and breathe.
Here’s a quick breathing trick that’s been one of my favorites:
The Sweet 16 Breath Technique
- Inhale for a count of 4
- Hold your breath for a count of 4
- Exhale for a count of 4
- Hold the exhale for a count of 4
- Repeat 4 times
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