Many people share the misbelief that, in order to be spiritual, you must be religious. However, there really isn’t only one way to be a spiritual person. After all, spirituality is incredibly personal and can be different for every people. Spirituality is about quiet and reflective moments as well as intentional thoughts and practices that help you connect to your inner self and find fulfillment.
While spirituality does involve communion with a higher power, this does not necessarily mean being in touch with a religious power like God. In fact, it could be the connection with nature, the connection to your own place in the cosmos, or the connection to the personal deep power you hold within yourself.
If spirituality isn’t about a higher power, how can you become more spiritual? If you don’t have a book or a pastor to guide you, what is there to help you along the journey? Luckily, there are many different ways to find a spiritual guide.
There are books, professionals, and seminars you can attend in order to find the best way for you to practice your own particular spirituality. We’ve gathered some of the best tips from around the spectrum to start becoming a more spiritual and ultimately happier person. Your journey starts here!
What you focus on is what you find - a manifestation is a powerful tool, and the things that you choose to think about during your days and nights are often the things that will find their way to you. If you keep a gratitude journal or notebook and write down things that you are thankful for every night before bed, it will keep your mind focused on the positive things in your life.
After all, happiness can come from small moments just as well as big ones - so it is very important to remember all the positive experiences you have each and every day, be it as simple as acknowledging your health or the sunrise, or as big as a promotion.
It’s the Small Stuff
“Take time to enjoy small, positive moments,” says Jamie Price, who founded the wellness app Stop, Breathe & Think. “Slow down and notice what you see, hear, smell, feel, and taste, really paying attention to your experience.” What we pay attention to is what we remember, manifest, and experience. When you shift your attention to try and absorb as much of the world as possible, you will find an increased capability of enjoying the world overall.
This enjoyment and attention are vitally important for spirituality, as it keeps you connected to the world around you and helps foster a deep connection between your physical being and your metaphysical self.
Forgiveness is Crucial
Vias Shanmugam is a mindset and empowerment coach in Maryland who stresses that “forgiveness is crucial for spiritual growth.” People can hold on to a lot of trauma and stress from even small moments, like a tough encounter with a stranger, to of course bigger childhood traumas of bullying or abandonment. We may think we’re past this trauma, but we’re secretly harboring resentment. Letting go of those resentful feelings is key to being able to move on.
In order to help yourself let go and move forward on your spiritual journey, a good tool is a forgiveness list. A forgiveness list includes all the people you think have wronged you, and then the reason you forgive them. Even if you still are hurt or don’t believe that they were ever right, it’s about you being able to let go of the anger for your own benefit, not theirs.
Spiritual Wish List
Now, we know what you’re thinking! This doesn’t mean you’re making a wish list for much needed Amazon products. No. A spiritual wish list is more about the things that you wish to accomplish on your journey, and the qualities you want to foster in yourself. Jacqueline Pirtle, who wrote “365 Days of Happiness: Because Happiness is a Piece of Cake!” says that a wish list should include aspects like “self-love, self-compassion, self-acceptance, self-respect, self-appreciation, and self-gratitude”.
If you’re still a little stuck, you can try just writing about how you wish you treated yourself, or what energies you wish you brought into the world and how you can begin to cultivate them. If you wish you were a more patient person, for example, you can wish for patience for yourself, and try to work toward that goal.
Be Open to Everything
If you say 'no' more than you say 'yes', you will find your journey to spiritual life very difficult. Instead of closing yourself to new opportunities and possibilities, try saying yes to everything that comes your way.
It is important, writes Pirtle, to “start [each] new day by setting the intention to be open and receive all inspirations coming your way”. If you do this, it will be easier to accept change and to accept yourself as you change along with the world around you.
Patience Takes Practice
While the world today may encourage us in the habits of consumerism and purchasing new tools in order to make big changes, you don’t actually need to buy new things in order to become more spiritual. Indeed, essential oils and salt lamps are not at all necessary. Spirituality is about taking advantage of the opportunities you already have, and using what you have been given to move forward.
For example, on days when you’re stuck in bad traffic, don’t say “if I had some nice oils to smell, I could calm down” but rather practice patience with what you do have - deep breathing, a commitment to yourself to be more calm, patient and understanding. This is a way to make small steps forward with your given situations, and understand that patience cannot be purchased.
Heed Your Instincts
People who are in tune with their spirituality are also in tune with their gut. They use their instincts to make informed and intuitive decisions. Our gut is not just a survival mechanism - it’s a feeling fueled by the subconscious observations our mind is making without our conscious realization.
We often think that the brain is best at decision making, but usually, it is the gut and heart who have figured out where the best path to take lies, and we are merely drowning them out with cries for logic and order. When we take time to listen to our first instincts, slow down, and follow what our gut wants, we find ourselves on the right path more often than not.
Laughter Is Medicinal
Spirituality and happiness are often the same. Laughing more often and making a conscious effort to smile and find joy in every moment is one of the best ways to keep your mind and body healthy. Laughing creates joy and energy, and when you laugh you revitalize your own outlook and aura.
Even more so, if you make laughter your default reaction, as Pirtle explains in her book, you will experience everyone and everything through a filter of joy and laughter, and that will make even the difficult times easier to deal with.
What Do You Believe In
It is incredibly important to believe in yourself. While it is very hard - who knows all of our weaknesses and doubts better than ourselves? It is also necessary in order to become a more spiritual and fulfilled person. However, in addition to yourself, there is something else you must believe in.
While it may be difficult for some, it is important to believe in something higher than yourself. That something does not have to be a god, but it could be the power of the universe, fate, or perhaps even the random acts that bring the universe into being. Believing in a purposeful life is the first step to having a meaningful one.
What We Owe Each Other
One of the first things to realize about your spiritual journey is that, while it may be unique to you, it isn’t all about you. All of us are put on this Earth to help each other. Helping another person doesn’t necessarily mean you have to find a cure for cancer or go build homes in faraway places for the less fortunate.
Rather, Mary Potter Kenyon, a grief counselor and program coordinator for the Shalom Spirituality Center in Iowa, says that helping others can be as simple as “extend[ing] a helping hand, smil[ing] at people” or even just offering physical comfort to a friend. Whatever the path is, be it small or large gestures, it is important to open up your heart to the needs of others.
Even if you aren’t the type to pray or talk to yourself, meditation can be intensely helpful on your spiritual journey. It gives you a greater sense of connection to yourself, the universe around you, and the divine holiness of all things.
If you want to practice spirituality in your day to day life, it is important to schedule a time to meditate with intention and try to connect to your heart. Meditation can be difficult, so practicing with videos or podcasts at first is a very good idea, or even taking a few classes to learn how to get into the proper mindset.
Just Don’t Be Jealous
Selfishness is the antithesis of spirituality. In order to find your inner peace and be at one with the world and all those around you, you first need to cultivate genuine happiness for the success of others, rather than being envious. Envy is of course a normal emotion, but you cannot allow it to take control of you or your life.
Instead, try to transform your envy into joy for someone else’s accomplishments, or ambition for your own eventual successes. This is incredibly crucial if you want to be a more spiritual person.
Mankind was not meant to be alone, and that doesn’t mean that you must always have a partner or friendships. Rather, it is really important to build yourself a community, to find like-minded people who are also trying to embark on a spiritual path.
When you surround yourself with people who are also on their own spiritual journey - be that in person or even on an internet group - it gives you a place to talk about your struggles, learn from others' achievements, and realize that you are never alone in your pursuit of becoming a greater you.
Honesty Is Key
Kadeem Alston-Roman is a spiritual advisor and co-founder of Full Force Wellness, and he says that “in order to achieve a higher state of spirituality, the aura needs to be as clean as possible. When someone lies, it is clairvoyantly seen that gray clouds emit from their aura.” While you may not be able to read your own aura, it is true that lying creates a stress reflex in your own body.
In order to keep your aura clear and your body stress-free, it is important to practice honesty with yourself and with those around you, so that you can relax and be true to who you are and where you are in the world. Little white lies absolutely count - try not to fool yourself in any way at all!
Eat Healthily, Be Healthy
The inside of your body has a big effect on the outside of your body - and your entire body has a huge effect on your soul! When you eat food that is unprocessed and clean, when you take care of your body and its needs, you can show yourself love and care.
Along with that love and care, you gain a lot of energy and intent, raising your capabilities so that you can access your higher spiritual self along with a higher physical being. Who knew your salad was so spiritual?
Margaret Paul, Ph.D., who is a co-founder of InnerBonding and a relationship expert, says that spirituality is all about being caring enough to “connect with the love, peace, and joy of spirit.” In order to do that, she says, you must first learn to love yourself. While that seems like a daunting task, Paul has an explanation.
“When we choose to be open to learning about loving ourselves and others, our heart opens.” If you doubt yourself, it is much easier to doubt others - or if you love others, it is much easier to love yourself. It is important to realize and reflect on how connected we all are to one another.
The 555 Practice is a morning mindfulness ritual that Uma Peepat created. It helps put the mind in a state of spirituality with just fifteen minutes of application every morning. She says “It basically just involves spending five minutes in meditation, five minutes stretching, and five minutes mentally preparing for the day.”
Having a conscious approach to your wake up routine, instead of rolling over and immediately getting lost in notifications and news updates, can really make a difference when it comes to being more spiritually aligned.