Consider Finding a Spiritual Adviser

Hopefully, by this point on our journey together, you’re starting to understand what spirituality is, how meditation can help you to grow a spiritual practice of your own and just why it’s important to do so. However, you still might feel like becoming a more spiritual person seems like a monumental task. It’s okay to feel a bit overwhelmed. Making a dramatic shift in the way you approach life can be a bit intimidating. The truth is you don’t have to go it alone. There are coaches out there with specific spiritual expertise that can help you out. These advisers aren’t just for the rich and famous. They’re accessible to regular people like you and me. Keep reading below to discover what you need to know about finding a spiritual adviser.

What Is a Spiritual Adviser?

A spiritual adviser is a professional who can help you to develop your own spiritual path. These folks are trained in various aspects of spirituality, and they can assist you in clarifying your reasons for wishing to become more enlightened, as well as provide you with specific action steps to reach your goals. A spiritual adviser will take time to truly listen to you and will take your specific needs into consideration when offering advice. You can count on this person as a resource to give you information you’re lacking and to encourage you along your journey when you’re feeling unsure.

Benefits of Spiritual Advisers

There are lots of concrete benefits of spiritual advisers. By obtaining one, you’ll real numerous rewards you may not have otherwise encountered on your own. At the very least, a professional guide can help to save you time on your journey. Your adviser can be a sounding board for you to air your frustrations. They can then provide you the much-needed guidance you seek, allowing you to move forward toward achieving your highest self. By talking about your concerns, motivations and goals with a spiritual adviser, you can gain clarity that is often missed when trying to work through an issue on your own. An outside perspective is invaluable to self-growth of any kind. Finally, if you find yourself getting off track in your pursuits, your adviser can gently guide you back on course.

What to Look for in a Spiritual Adviser

As you can imagine, there are lots of people out there advertising themselves as experts in spirituality who truly aren’t qualified nor do they have their clients’ best interests at heart. You can do a Google search for “spiritual adviser’, but be aware that there are likely to be fraudsters among the results. Ask your friends and loved ones for advice on trusted sources of guidance. Perhaps you can start with your own clergy person if you’re religious or with your yoga instructor if this is something you practice. Anyone with an interest in spirituality may be a good starting point. As to what you should look for in a spiritual adviser, let me give you a few tips. Ask about their training and background. This information should paint you a picture of whether their philosophy and approach are in alignment with your own. Pay attention as to how much a potential adviser listens. It’s important to understand that spiritual advisement isn’t the same as therapy. You’re not looking for someone to tell you what to do. You want an adviser who will hear what’s important to you and point you in a direction that is congruent with your personality and values. Most of all trust your gut. If you feel any sense of concern, move on to the next candidate.

As you can see, a spiritual adviser can be an invaluable guide on your path to the divine. With a little research and effort, you’re sure to find just the right one to walk with you along your journey.

Develop Your Spiritual Side with 30 Minutes of Morning Reading

As you’ve learned, the point of meditation is to focus your mind and spirituality is a pursuit toward achieving a higher purpose for your life. One way to further increase these overarching goals is to create a morning routine. This is a time when you first wake up, before you start your day, in which you reflect upon your goals and take time to consider the things that are most important to you. This practice allows you to fully get in touch with yourself and to establish a positive mindset for the day ahead. An important part of this ritual is morning reading. As I’ve noted in this series, reading and research are essential components to a successful spiritual pursuit. Read on to discover how to develop your spiritual side with 30 minutes of morning reading, along with some insight on how to structure that time.

How to Find the Time

Most of us lead pretty busy lives. It can be hard to carve out even a few moments for ourselves during the day, let alone a half hour to read and some additional time for spiritual reflection of other types. And if you’re already not a morning person? Well, you might think this goal is an impossible task. However, once you begin to experience a morning routine and its benefits, you’ll likely start to do all you can to make the time for it. Until then, let me give you a few suggestions to try to help you make the transition as easy as possible. First, you’ll need to wake up earlier. This is essential for nearly anyone wishing to establish a morning reading habit. It’s not likely you can find an extra hour in your current wake-up routine, though you could try to adjust your regular habits to try to make it happen. To help you wake up at an earlier hour, you may want to push some of your usual early activities another time. For example, you could start taking your shower in the evening or wait until your lunch break to catch up on your emails. A little creativity and tweaking should give you plenty of time for this new practice.

What to Read

Next, you may wonder what types of material you should read. Honestly? Anything, really. The simple act of starting your day with words is a way to renew your spirit and to spark your enthusiasm for the hours ahead of you. Some choices may work better than others, depending on your specific desired outcome of this ritual. If you want to relax your state of mind and recharge your creativity, getting lost in a fictional story might do the trick. Many folks find non-fiction to be more suited to their spiritual pursuits. Reading about topics such as productivity hacks, a particular hobby or interest, a new skill you’d like to learn or a certain philosophical school of thought might start your day off on an introspective track. This can prompt you to look for additional self-growth opportunities throughout the next several hours.

Benefits of Morning Reading

The benefits of morning reading are vast. First of all, it gives you a break and is a form of self-care. It’s not often we treat ourselves to downtime. Even the act of scheduling a leisure activity itself can be stressful. Building this time into your morning will soon become second nature, and it has powerful implications for your well-being. Plus, reading can be incredibly motivational and inspiring. When you come across ideas that excite you in a particular book, you’re likely to take that sense of enthusiasm with you throughout your day. Finally, reading is a form of meditation. It focuses your mind, and you’re no longer letting your thoughts wander to the worries in your world. Thus, the benefits are quite similar to spending a half hour meditating.

Do you have an idea now of just what carving out 30 minutes in your morning to read can do for you? It’s a part of a greater spiritual routine that offers many rewards.

An Introduction to Breathing Meditation

I mentioned at the beginning of our challenge that there are many types of meditation. Which you choose will ultimately be based on your purpose and your preference. I’d like to get started talking about specific kinds by telling you about the most basic, and that’s breathing meditation. Some refer to it as mindful breathing or mindful meditation. It may be a simple process, but it’s a powerful one. Let’s take a look at what breathing meditation is, its benefits and how to do it.

About Breathing Meditation

Meditation is all about focusing your mind, and that’s just what paying attention to your breath does. By taking deep breaths and letting them out in a controlled manner, you’re able to reach a state of calmness and serenity. This state is both physical and mental. In monitoring your breath, you’re controlling your focus. The technique of controlled breathing is an ancient one that has withstood the test of time because it works. It’s the awareness of your breath that will help to return your focus and to center you while meditating.

Benefits of Mindful Breathing

One of the biggest benefits of mindful breathing is its ability to provide stress relief. As I noted above, deep, focused breathing is calming. This is a technique that goes beyond your meditation practice. You can use it anywhere and at any time when you’re feeling stressed. Again, mindfulness meditation helps to focus and center you by making a connection between mind and body. Some say it brings about enlightenment. Being aware of your breath leads you to be mindful of the present moment. This is a powerful skill that not many possess. In today’s hectic world, our minds often seem to control us, going about in a million different directions. Mindful meditation puts us in control of our thoughts, allowing us to see things more clearly. Finally, breathing meditation teaches you to let go of negativity. You’ll soon learn that you have a negative thought, but simply let it go and to pass you by. This skill can be transferred to other areas of your life beyond your meditation practice.

How to Perform Breathing Meditation

First, you’ll want to find a comfortable and quiet place to sit. You could choose a chair, while sitting up straight with your back not resting on the chair back. Or the floor in a cross-legged position is fine. Just try to keep your spine as straight as possible. You can close your eyes or leave them open. Take a moment to remind yourself that it’s your breathing that’s important in this exercise. Be sure to return to your breath if your mind starts to wander. Then start to breathe, in and out, while paying attention to its cadence. You can breathe deeply through your diaphragm, allowing your belly to expand as you inhale. Many say this is the most cleansing and calming type of breath. However, breathing in a more shallow way in which only your chest rises with each breath is fine, too. Choose which is most natural and comfortable to you. Once you begin to fall into a comfortable breathing pattern, focus on that breath. Return to it if your thoughts start to drift. Always bring your attention back to your breathing. Do this for about ten minutes. You can set a timer to help you keep track.

As with any new activity, it will take time and practice before you’re able to feel in control of your thoughts. That’s okay. Be gentle on yourself and keep trying. Soon you’ll find your rhythm and will begin to see those benefits of breathing meditation in action.

How Anyone Can Benefit From Living a More Spiritual Life

I hope you’re starting to get a clearer picture of just what the word “spirituality” encompasses. It’s a broad concept that can include numerous aspects, as long as the ultimate goal is to bring you fulfillment in pursuing something bigger than yourself. You may understand now that your spiritual practice can involve anything that is meaningful to you and that it is likely to evolve. You can add activities such as meditating, yoga, reading, journaling or hiking to your regular spiritual routine. While this may all sound great, you’re probably wondering why you might want to invest such time and energy into a daily regimen such as any of these. I’d like to help you better understand, so let’s move on to discuss the benefits of spirituality and how working to become more spiritual can enhance your life.

Meaning and Purpose

Pursuing a spiritual practice provides insight into yourself and the world around you that you might otherwise miss. By engaging in activities such as mindful meditation or the reading of spiritual literature, you are setting aside time to practice a specific intent. These activities can lead you to think about things in a deeper manner and cause you to question things you once simply accepted blindly. All of this can give your life more significant meaning and purpose.

Motivation

With a renewed sense of purpose and meaning in your life, you’re bound to feel a bit more motivated to face each new day, no matter what it brings. When you know what you want out of life, it’s an adventure to consider all the ways in which you can go after it. The insight that comes with your spiritual musings can provide that motivation. Even when faced with challenges, your spiritual side can bounce back more easily and still feel hope for moving forward.

Clarity and Attentiveness

Life gets busy. Believe me, I get it. When you’ve got a lot on your plate, it can be so easy to find yourself going through the motions on autopilot. Spirituality grounds you in the moment and teaches you to be mindful, making it easier to see what’s most important to you right now. You can then clearly move ahead to prioritize your life instead of simply going with the flow. Your attention is heightened, and you become more aware.

Contentment

When you take a spiritual path and begin to develop an understanding of your higher purpose, you’ll find that you start to feel a sense of content you may not have known before. That’s because you’ve learned to focus your thoughts, to embrace gratitude and to understand what matters most to you in life. You’re likely to feel a sense of peace and optimism to guide your daily activities in a way that leads you to personal fulfillment.

These are just some of the main benefits of living a more spiritual life. I’m excited for you as you begin your journey to discovering more of the personal advantages that await you!

The Benefits of Regular Meditation

Meditation is a practice that involves training your mind to focus, and it’s becoming quite popular these days. You’ve probably read articles about it, heard about celebrities who swear by it or even know people in your everyday circles who sing its praises. It’s used for a variety of reasons. Some feel it helps them to feel calmer when life is particularly hectic. Others just want to reduce their overall stress or to improve their sleep and feel meditation could help. You may have heard that meditating can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. All of these things are true. Let’s examine them, along with other benefits of regular meditation, to see just what all the fuss is about and to help you determine whether meditation seems like a practice you may wish to incorporate into your life.

Stress Reduction

Reducing stress is one of the most sought-after benefits of meditation. In today’s world, there’s a lot to worry about. Sitting quietly to relax your mind and focus your thoughts seems like a worthwhile method for finding a calm moment, but science actually shows this practice works to lower stress levels. A hormone called cortisol is released into our bodies when we’re physically and emotionally stressed, and it can wreak all kinds of havoc on us. The release of cortisol stimulates the production of chemicals known as cytokines that promote inflammation. They also contribute to higher blood pressure, increased fatigue and brain fog, along with added symptoms of depression and anxiety. Studies have demonstrated that mindfulness meditation leads to a reduction of these chemicals, in turn lessening overall feelings of stress in participants.

Better Emotional Well-Being

If you deal with anxiety or depression, meditation could be a tool to improve your overall sense of emotional health. One scientific study looked at the electrical activity in the brains of participants who practiced meditation and those who didn’t.  The researchers discovered that there was a significant change in the areas of the brain responsible for optimism and positive thinking in those who meditated. In another study involving individuals suffering from depression, 18 people were asked to practice meditation for a three-year period. This work determined that the participants actually experienced decreases in their depression that proved to be long-lasting and significant.

Improved Sleep

Many of us struggle with restless sleep or insomnia. It’s a chronic issue that affects you in so many ways. Lack of sleep makes us less alert, clouds our thinking and is detrimental to our physical health. In one research study, participants were placed in two groups. The first group was instructed to meditate, while the other was not. I bet you can guess which group ended up sleeping better and for longer periods. Yep, it was the one that practiced meditation. One of the reasons meditating helps you sleep better is because you learn to control those racing thoughts that keep so many of us awake for hours after our heads hit the pillow. It also aids in overall relaxation.

Decreased Blood Pressure

Meditation has been shown to reduce strain on the heart. Studies have shown that meditating can help to reduce tension in the blood vessels and relax the nerve signals that control heart function, leading to lowering of blood pressure. It also lessens the flight or fight response that is known to contribute to high stress levels and to have an effect on blood pressure.

These are just some of the many health and emotional benefits of meditation. There are numerous others. Engaging in a regular practice of meditating can help you to find specific advantages it can provide for you.