5 Ways To Develop On Your Spiritual Journey
Spiritual growth and development is possible regardless of your current age or level of awareness or belief systems. This process all starts with a conscious effort to be more intentional in your development of the five different areas of spirituality. Understanding why each area is of importance as well as how it relates to the other aspects of spiritual growth will help you evolve each particular element. The five areas can be developed together or you may find times in your life where one or more of the principle areas seem to be more in harmony with your needs at that time.
The body is considered a temple, but perhaps not in the way that the phrase is used in modern conversations. As a temple the body provides the foundation, framework or structure for the spiritual being. Keeping the body healthy therefore translates into a stronger foundation for the spirit, providing the best possible opportunity for evolution and growth. Helping your body by following a balanced diet, eating well and avoiding foods that are unhealthy helps you to stay in good physical shape.
Practicing exercises that increase body awareness and health, including Chi Gung, Tia Chi, Yoga or other Eastern meditative practices and body exercises will help increase your body's strength, health and overall fitness. As you learn to love your body you become less likely to over-eat, abuse alcohol or drugs or indulge in self- hatred because of issues with your physical being. Activities such as intimacy, sports, dancing and making human contact become more attractive rather than dreaded experiences through this type of spiritual growth.
A second major way to grow and develop spiritually is through a conscious effort to move our center of being from our head to our heart. Living in the head results in stress about everything. Your days are filled with feelings of depression, anxiety or anger as you obsess about the smallest little thing. By becoming more conscious of living from the heart we become more open, loving and compassionate to those around us. Acceptance and forgiveness of ourselves and others are no longer foreign concepts; rather they become the framework of our daily interactions. Through this new insight, our relationships become more meaningful and allow us to examine our own thoughts, ideas and areas of relationship weaknesses. This in turn provides the option for future spiritual growth in these areas.
Another major factor in spiritual growth is the understanding of the importance of acknowledging the role of a being greater than ourselves in the world around us. This may be through a traditional type of religious worship or practice or it may be through an enhanced understanding of a universal consciousness. The specific format of the prayer and devotion will be one that resonates with your own spirituality and understanding. Finding time on a daily basis to meditate, pray or connect with the universe or God is an essential part of spiritual growth. Seeking to help others, a key aspect of spirituality and religion, will also help to provide a way to seek interactions with others and gain insight into our own goodness and ability to serve others.
Becoming more aware of the different philosophies about the world around us also provides a fertile ground for spiritual growth. Thinking about the truly deep questions in life such as our role in the world, the essence of truth and even who we really are opens up our minds to new concepts and possibilities. Reading, discussing and studying different philosophies and understandings of spirituality allow us to form advanced concepts of these very abstract yet intensely personal aspects of our development.
Meditation is often used as a way to connect to these deeper thoughts and concepts that are rarely considered in daily life. Taking time to just be silent and seek inner peace and understanding is a practice that is very enriching to those that use it on a regular basis. While meditating can be challenging at first, the results and understandings obtained through mastery of the practice are truly amazing for spiritual growth.
The fifth way to continue your path to greater spirituality is to become more creative in the ways that you approach life. You may find your creativity is in music or the arts, or it can be in a unique expression of the world around you. Some people enjoy this type of spiritual growth with others and take classes or engage in a lot of different activities. Others may work quietly to perfect an art form on a much more personal and private level. Whichever option or combination you choose, expressing your artistic side provides opportunities to connect and learn about yourself and the spiritual growth you are achieving.
Developing ways to include these five elements or principles of spiritual growth into your daily routine will have amazing results. Everyone's journey to enhanced spirituality will look different, but each can be very profound and enriching. The ideal way to strive for development and understanding is not a pre-arranged formula, but rather a very individual, personal journey that you take to become more aware of the world around you, your place in it, and how wonderful you are.
Written by Caroline Nettle.
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