Have you noticed some changes in yourself lately? Are you blaming the pandemic or a tough time in your life for this? Well, you may be having a spiritual awakening and chances are you probably don’t know what is happening to you. And if you haven’t gotten the calling yet, you too can learn how to start your spiritual journey.
What is Spirituality?
I would define spirituality as the highest form of self which enables one to operate from a state of peace and total clarity. Is it achievable? Absolutely, yes! And no, you don’t need to enroll in a religious movement or any shaman practices. You can only start where you are. Let me show you how.
The 4 Practical Ways to Start Your Spiritual Journey
I will share with you 4 ways on how to start your spiritual journey. You can, however, decide to embrace them all or choose those that align with your beliefs. Either way, you later need to measure your spiritual growth progress so you know if the ones you choose are truly working, or not.
#1: Spend Time in Solitude
Our modern life is full of stuff. Stuff that needs to be done, stuff that clutters your home, stuff that distracts you, and all the other stuff that needs our attention. The problem comes when we lose focus on the stuff that really matters. We can all learn from the great spiritual teachers like Jesus, Muhammad, Guru Nanak, and the rest who used to wander away from crowds and spend a lot of time alone.
Start by finding a quiet and peaceful environment. It could be in your bedroom or even outside with nature. Then deliberately sit silently for 10 minutes and simply be with God. You don’t have to say anything. Just be there and be still and aware of the moment.
Naturally, your mind will tend to wander away. Don’t feel guilty, that’s ok. Just notice these thoughts without commenting or engaging deeper in them and simply let them flow away. Remember, your thoughts shouldn’t define you. Rather, you are the one making these thoughts and feelings. Does that make sense?
Now you’re simply free to just be in the presence of your creator. After a week or more of doing this every day, take your notebook and note down all the lessons you’ve learned about God and most importantly, about yourself.
The lesson: I bet this will change how you feel about spirituality. Prayer will now be more of an intimate conversation with a friend.
#2: Serve People in Need
Ever heard of the saying “do unto others what you would like done to you?” Common as this saying is, we still feel that “it’s not fair”. Challenge yourself to do something good for someone every week or every month. Something as simple as helping them carry groceries to donating items you no longer need or even gifting a needy family with a shopping voucher this festive season.
However, this should be a secret between the receiver and yourself only.
You might be wondering how this helps in how to start your spiritual journey. Well, I’m making reference to our spiritual ancestors as well. See how much Jesus served others or even Siddhartha Gautama (The Buddha)? We should learn to follow in their footsteps if we truly want to live a spiritual life.
After several random good deeds, review our usual question. What have you learned about God and what have you learned about yourself?
The lesson: I hope you realize that in helping others you are helped and in blessing others, you are blessed.
#3: Living With Integrity
Why is it that when you commit to a weight loss program you observe all the rules but halfway through you give in to that extra portion? See, we all want to live honest good lives. Being the best, we can, but there is always another shadow side dragging us down.
Sometimes life takes all the wrong turns and it gets messy and ugly. However, we can learn how to consistently do the right thing. Start by seeking inspiration from your daily spiritual books. For Christians, you have the bible, Muslims have the Quran, and so on. Note down the verses that teach you how to live with honesty and integrity.
Now practice each lesson for a full day. Like today, try not to say anything negative about anyone from sunrise to sunset, no matter how badly they offend you. As usual, at the end of the week, take notes of what you learned about God and most importantly, what you learned about yourself.
The lesson: I hope you notice that you weren’t simply following the rules or trying to be a people pleaser but you were indeed trying to please your maker because he loves you unconditionally. It is this love that should propel you to continue living with integrity.
#4: Pay Attention to Dialogue
In reference to the spiritual books you follow, write down a quote each day that you feel speaks directly to you. Meditate on this quote and see how you can incorporate it into your daily life.
After you’ve had a successful spiritual journey, it’s time to spread the knowledge. However, don’t share your experience with others with an aim of converting them. Not at all. You are sharing your journey in a simple and humble way without being judgmental of other people’s spiritual practices.
The lesson: This exercise when done in a genuine way should help you find genuine spiritual partners. Someone you can confirm notes with or even hold you accountable when you start backsliding.
Do you believe in the life after? It’s ok if you don’t. Such beliefs require a deeper faith. When you master how to start your spiritual journey, take baby steps and you will eventually get there.
Always remember that awakening is not changing who you are, but discarding who you are not. As you follow the above steps, pause to re-evaluate your spiritual growth so you know what changes or additions to make.