Journey to Faith

Journey to Faith
Follow your own path

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

8 Benefits of Cultivating a Spiritual Practice

Lent begins this week. I noticed the faithful with the ash crosses on their foreheads. They took time out of their day to go to church to honor God. How many of us pause to honor God? At Christmas and Easter? When things get tough? Never?

We all have 24 hours in a day and everyone seems to be so busy all the time. Yet, how often do we stop to consider if we're making time for the right things? Often, we're just on auto-pilot carrying out our daily routines. What if we're not working on what would make the most difference in our lives? 

Today, I'd like us to press the pause button so we can think about that question for a few minutes. What is really most important in my life? Is it my friends? My career? My family? My finances?

All of these are important but what lies at the crux of being successful in any of these?   Maybe, just maybe, there is something more important above and beyond anything else. By far. And that is...

Developing our relationship with God. 
On a recent visit to Morocco, I happened to catch these devout Muslims worshipping at the 5 o'clock call to prayer. Speechless, I stopped in awe to observe. After, I asked a shop owner about the practice and he said people can pray anywhere. There was no need for icons or statues or candles. The faithful simply took off their shoes and dropped to their knees. Now you might not understand, agree or accept other religions, but this act of  sincere and humble worship struck me. How different would the world be if everyone stopped several times a day to acknowledge God? Think about it.

We are all spirit. As author Wayne Dyer puts it, "We are spiritual beings having a human experience." I have studied most of the major religions and have found several principles they all have in common: compassion, faith, worship, giving to the needy to name a few.

Rather than focus on our religious differences, wouldn't the world be a better place if we focused on common ground? This is what is so great about America - freedom to worship who and what we choose. In the end, each of us will stand before God and give an accounting of our lives so let's not wait till then to meet him.

Reasons why we need a spiritual practice:

1. Helps us become more peaceful. 
2. Improves our relationshipswith others. 
3. Helps us connect to ourselves.
4. Helps us connect to God. 
5. Helps us handle life's problems. 
6. Provides hope in the hard times. 
7. Gives us guidance.
8. Helps us to grow. 

When we put our main focus and energy towards our jobs, our kids, our relationships, everything suffers because our spirit is what infuses every aspect of our lives. It affects our emotions, our moods, and our energy. When we neglect our spiritual self, we are basically ignoring the very core of who we are.

Activity vs. Connection 
Sure we go to church, pray the rosary, give our tithes, go to yoga retreats. All of these are fine and dandy, but what really matters is am I developing a relationship with my spiritual self? With God?  Just as human relationships require time and effort, so does our spiritual relationship. If we want to reap the benefits listed above, we must make time to cultivate this aspect of ourselves however that manifests itself for each one of us.

Whether we realize it or not, our relationship with our spiritual self is truly is the most important thing in life, In fact, I would go as far as to say that our human relationships can only be as healthy as we are spiritually. In fact, we can only be as healthy physically as we are spiritually.

I'm sure this post has you thinking and I would love to hear your thougths. Do you have a spiritual practice? Is it working for you? Do you consider your spirituality an important part of your life? Have you ever considered your spiritual self? Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question.

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Have a great week and remember - keep looking up!

Ariel