Spiritual makeover: Three simple practices to a more fulfilling life

Many people live with an underlying sense that their lives are not quite what they could be.

by Dr. Sirah Vettese — 

As queens of the modern makeover, we bought the clothes, colored the hair, got the personal trainer and remodeled the kitchen. Still, we feel unfulfilled, overwhelmed and underappreciated. What gives?

Many people live with an underlying sense that their lives are not quite what they could be. Their thoughts are often entrenched in limitation or distraction, which then becomes the causation of unwanted life circumstances. Individuals can become so busy handling those unwanted circumstances, that developing a spiritual practice is either postponed or relegated to an occasional, half-hearted attempt at reclaiming a modicum of peace in an otherwise chaotic existence.

Of course this peace evaporates as soon as the habitual thought cycle resumes. If this sounds familiar, then it is time to consider giving your spiritual life a well-deserved makeover.

The objectives for cultivating a spiritual practice are to acknowledge the presence of our inherent divinity, enjoy a more expansive view of reality and study our minds. To the extent that we become self-realized, we find joy in experiencing that we are intrinsically plugged into the “whole” and, therefore, we are empowered to co-create our lives. This is precisely where the process of a spiritual makeover begins. Through a series of simple practices, you can begin to access your authentic self and consistently experience deeper contentment in every aspect of your life.

Practice one: Meditation

The practice of meditation is about becoming still and aligning with the limitless nature of our own being. With practice, the chatter of the outer world is muffled, and one becomes more keenly attuned to the world within and the contents of one’s own mind. With our attention directed inwardly, one’s consciousness begins to resonate with the vibration of wisdom, love, intuition and compassion. This creates an awareness of moving with the flow of life, which eases us into a renewed connection with our Higher Self. What follows is a basic meditation technique.

  • Sit upright in a chair or on the floor and close your eyes.
  • Scan your body from head to toe, relaxing each body part.
  • Count from 10 to 1; drop deeper into stillness with each number. When you reach 1, find yourself in your “safe place.”
  • Allow yourself to rest in the sacred space.
  • Resist judging your thoughts and merely remain a witness to them. Remain in this state for 10 to 20 minutes.

Practice two: Conscious reflection

The following is a variation on the previous meditation technique, with the exception that you consciously reflect upon a specific quality while sitting in the silence. Before you sit, choose a quality you would like to embody such as joy, courage, faith, peace, compassion or love.

Close your eyes and relax into the energy of your chosen quality. Invite your thoughts to merge with whatever imagery or ideas arise. Metabolize the energy of the quality; internalize it by allowing it to fill your heart and expanding it throughout your body. This will give you an awareness of the mind/body interconnection and its relationship to the quality on which you have chosen to focus. With practice, you will be able to internalize your awareness more quickly and clearly.

Another use for conscious reflection is to reflect on a resolution for a disharmony you may be experiencing with someone. In such a case, you may use conscious reflection as a tool of resolution. See yourself applying the qualities of patience, love and compassion toward the individual with whom you are having a challenge. See their face in your mind’s eye; feel them in your heart. Then apply the qualities that would permit you to view the situation more objectively. In this way, you create the conditions for reconciliation to become a reality with that individual.

Practice three: Neutrality

This practice is about consciously activating the inner observer, as opposed to the reactor. So many of us move through our days in a continual state of reaction, without realizing how much energy we spend negatively resisting life’s challenges. Sometimes we cannot remember why we were reactionary, but we hold on to the energy of the reactive tendency anyway. Neutrality is about pausing long enough to suspend our initial emotional reactions so that we may evaluate the bigger picture with greater clarity and then take right action.

Thoughts are interconnected. They cluster together and, due to our conditioning, lead us down the same negatively repetitive thought channels. In other words, we react due to our conditioning. Neutrality is the gap between our disempowering thoughts. Neutrality, then, is our access point of transcendent awareness where Divine Alignment is activated so that we may receive intuitive guidance from the Higher Self.

Consider this metaphorically by imagining yourself driving a car. When you slip into neutral, the gear idles in the middle, observing and determining the best next gear into which to shift. With the practice of conscious neutrality, data is gathered and evaluation of that data brings into play both reason and intuition. At this juncture, you become the observer, listening without a storyline for any signals from the engine of the Higher Self. Perhaps you will decide to move forward with a specific action, or maybe you will decide to back out of the way and practice “hands off,” until urged from within to pick up where you left off. In the context of neutrality, you will make a conscious decision rooted in wisdom, dignity and confidence.

Experiencing the ongoing results of any makeover requires practice and maintenance. Your spiritual makeover is no different. So be diligent in your efforts and remember to practice, practice, practice — always with loving kindness toward the self and to others.

 

Sirah Vettese, Ph.D., author of Spiritual Makeover: 10 Practices for Falling in Love With Your Life, is a counselor, life coach, seminar leader and motivational speaker. www.spiritualmakeovers.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 26, Number 6, December 2007/January 2008.

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