90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 64 – Actively Connecting with Our Spirituality

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part III: Living the Journey

Making the Now Count: Rebuilding our Lives

Day 64: Actively Connecting with Our Spirituality

“A connection to Spirit restores your confidence, relieves your anxiety, and frees you from the desire to control everything in your life.”

-Sonia Choquette

Relationships take work to feel connected. When we love someone it may not feel like work to show the people we love that we care, but we are still showing our appreciation for them being in our lives and we MAKE time for them. Why would we consider connecting to self and to Spirit any different?

I’ve had an installment on spirituality and/or religion in each section, because or beliefs can create blocks (Day 6) or connection (Day 35) in our lives. My perspective of truth is that Source Energy, Divine Energy, God Energy, Spirit Energy, Buddha Energy, Allah Energy, Mother Earth Energy (whatever you choose to call it) is not capable of being fully understood by humans. We think too small to understand that level of love available in the Universe, so I do my best to try not to put my spirituality in a closed container. The best I can understand God is through my definition of love. I don’t care what religion a person believes in, if they have messages that reflect the definition of love that I believe in, I will embrace that message. The list I have below can be used and adapted for any spiritual and/or religious practice. These are just suggestions to help people to find ways to connect that feel right for their spiritual journey.

Side note: I’ve brought up my definition of love multiple times in this series and in many of my writings about love, because that definition is the best I can do to feel God’s love within me and in the world. That doesn’t mean that is the path that is right for someone else. It’s not my business how someone connects to the Spirit Energy within him or her. My perspective of truth is to absorb and spread love and light. I feel that is apart of my soul’s journey here. It doesn’t mean I don’t have darkness within me.  It doesn’t mean I don’t make mistakes and occasionally spread my darkness instead of my light—I’m human. We are all here learning. I’m simply doing the best I can.

Actively connecting to our spirituality is an important part of our journeys. Our intention behind what we do is key to how this energy will rest inside of us, project out, manifest, and attract people and things to our lives. It’s my perspective of truth that God gives me everything I need. I do my best to give and receive from a place of abundance. When I feel lack, I know I’m not connecting to Source. Here are 9 ways we can actively connect to our spirituality:

  1. We can actively connect through our self-love and self-care. That shows we are honoring our lives that have been created with a purpose to shine. When we shine inside we create a brighter light in the world. The more we work to brighten our own lights, the more we can connect with Divine Love in the Universe, which connects us to Spirit.
  2. We can actively connect through prayer. How much time are you willing to converse with your Higher Power? This is a personal choice. Just remember to treat this relationship like you would the love of your life.
  3. We can actively connect through meditation. When we sit in meditation we are open to listen and receive love, light, and wisdom.  The clearer we can get our minds, the more we connect.
  4. We can actively connect by serving with love. This isn’t about obligation. If you feel obligated you need to look within yourself to see the resistance to genuinely wanting to serve. When we serve with love, we are connecting to the Divine’s creations.  We connect to spirit when we honor the Spirit Energy within each creation. Serve in a place that pulls you. For me, I serve through spreading love. I make sure I give time everyday that is about spreading love.
  5. We can actively connect through gratitude practices. This can be in forms of lists, letters, and/or rituals. Showing gratitude connects us to the loving energy of the Universe, which connects us to Source.
  6. We can actively connect through religious services and/or rituals. The intention is important. Be clear on what feels right and what doesn’t. If we want to create more love in our lives, we must be connecting through love. Fear will lead to more fear.
  7. We can actively connect through movement. This can be practices like yoga, tai chi, Qigong, transformational breathing, dance, etc. Our intention behind the movement of energy has the power to connect us to Source. If we are connecting to our energy through Love we are connecting to Source Energy. We are allowing energy to move through us and release toxic blocks  keeping us from Source Energy naturally.
  8. We can actively connect through the feeling of AWE. Whether we feel this because of something we see in nature, in art, in wildlife, in animals, in architecture, in relationships, in a moment, in a child’s laugh, etc. That feeling of AWE connects us to a love deep within us that moves us. That is Divine Love. That is why actively living life is so important for our connections.
  9. We can actively connect in the water. I make a practice out of connecting by feeling the energy within me as expansive. I do this best floating in water. I just imagine myself as pure energy with no limits of body. I visualize God’s love permeated through each individual particle that makes me who I am. When I do this exercise, I feel completely refreshed, energized and connected.

When we feel whole within ourselves, we are connected. When we feel whole and connected, our intentions and expectations are in-check. We are open to live, grow, learn, and teach through our connections instead of our separations. We each experience light and dark, love and fear, and abundance and lack. What we have inside is what we spread. The more we connect to the best that is within us, the greater the chance we will connect to and spread Divine Love in the world.

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Don’t forget to read today’s companion piece: 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 64 – Actively Connecting with Source

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 63 – Practicing Mindfulness

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part III: Living the Journey

Making the Now Count: Rebuilding our Lives

Day 63: Practicing Mindfulness

“The spirit in which you do something is often as important as the act itself.”

-Mark Williams and Danny Penman, Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World, pg. 114

In preparation for today, I pulled out my copy of Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic Worldby Mark Williams and Danny Penman. I haven’t touched this book since I read it in school. I opened the book to the page above and read the quote. The energy we put into whatever we are doing affects us. It also affects the energy of the situation we are going into. Then our energy moves with us coming out of the moment and moves into the next. Mindfulness helps us to be conscious of what we are bringing in and what we are taking out of any situation.

Now, there are tons of books, articles, YouTube videos, seminars, and practitioners who teach mindfulness techniques. We are just scratching the surface with today’s topic. My hope is that you will take the seed and find ways to make it grow into something amazing in your life. Mindfulness is an essential step in the path to inner peace.

Today, I’m focusing on mindfulness practices you can do as a part of your daily life. The more we can stay in the moment we are in, the more we will be able to come in and out of situations while staying conscious and in-tune with what is going on inside and around us.

We do many things operating in autopilot, which is like fast-forwarding life. Our minds aren’t where we are. We open ourselves up to being hurt physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually by moving too fast for our feet. Slowing down to be where are feet are is a way we can practice mindfulness. I will give examples of exercises throughout the day to help you add more mindfulness practices to your life. Like I said, these are just a jumping off point. Let these exercises be the spark for more.

Morning Mindfulness Practices

  • The moment you wake-up, take a deep long breath in through your nose for ten seconds. Hold your breath for three seconds. Then release the breath for ten seconds. Do this three times. Make sure you are counting the seconds. This will help you from getting distracted by those thoughts waiting to come in.
  • When you get out of bed, feel the sensations running through your body. Enjoy the feeling of a stretch as you get out of bed. What does that feel like? Take your time to greet the day. If your mind starts going into your to-do list, slow down and just focus on connecting to the way your body feels after being in a resting state.
  • While you are in the shower, focus your energy on what the water feels like as it touches your skin. Feel the pressure of the water and when you are lather up the soap and putting it on your head, enjoy the sensations of the head message. I like to use shampoo and conditioner with mint in it because it makes the sensations very apparent. That is my reminder to stay in the moment. Make sure you like what your products smell like. It will help you want to connect to the moment.
  • As you get dressed, pay attention to the way you put each item of clothing on your body. What arm do you put your shirt in first? Do you put the shirt over your head before you put your arms in? What foot goes in your underwear first? What shoe do you put on first? What does it feel like as you move to get ready?
  • While you are drinking your morning beverage, take your time with each sip that goes into your mouth. Smell the beverage as it goes under your nose. Feel the fluid move around your mouth, to the back of your throat, and through the swallowing process. Be conscious of all the sensations.
  • Take time to savor your breakfast. Before the food even touches your mouth—Smell it. Enjoy the different smells as they interact together. Then feel how the utensils you have to use feel against your hands. Pay attention to the way your body moves to get the food to your mouth. Then as you put the food in your mouth take time to chew it and feel the sensations as the food sits on your taste buds.

Transportation

Stay away from your distracting electronics!
  • While walking outside, look around to take notice of your surroundings. Pay close attention to what is on your path. Look up and see what is around you. Pay attention to nature as you walk. Be right where you are. Enjoy the moment you are in. Acknowledge the life that is around you. If a person walks by, look them in the eye and greet them. If you see an animal, watch them as they watch you.
  • If you are riding bikes, motorcycles, golf carts, etc., feel the sensation of the breeze. Pay attention to how your legs and arms feel. Feel your heart pumping. Keep focused on whatever you are seeing, smelling, feeling, hearing, and if applicable tasting. Use every sense you can.
  • In the car, pay attention to what you hear inside and outside of the car. What does the seat feel like against your skin? What does your foot feel like as you touch the gas and/or brake? What is going through you if someone cuts you off? Did you give yourself enough space? Are you letting another person’s energy affect yours while you are driving? What is keeping you present driving? What is distracting? What does the weather look like? How is the weather affecting the sensations you are feeling in the car?
  • You get a lot of opportunities if you are in a train, taxi, subway, Uber, Lyft, etc.  Take it all in! Use all your senses to stay in the moment and be aware of everything you are seeing outside of you and feeling inside of you. Take the time to look around and see the nature around you. Pay attention to the buildings, sidewalks, people, cars, etc. See if you can get through the whole ride being in the moment. Even if that moment is talking to others, be with them in the conversation. Pay attention to their voices, body language, words, and practice active listening.

Daily Duties

  • At work, practice using all your senses to get you from one point in the day to the next. If you use a computer and your mind starts getting overwhelmed. Pay attention to what your fingers feel like on the keys. If you are constantly interacting with people make sure to take deep breaths and be in the conversation with them. Listen, many times people are telling us important details that we miss if we are thinking about what we are going to say or trying to find ways to end the conversation. You can find mindfulness anytime you engage your senses.
  • Shopping is a fun way to explore your mindfulness. Use your senses as you go through the store. Look up and smile at individuals. Enjoy the experience of smelling, tastings, hearing, seeing, and feeling. Be conscious of what you feel inside as you interact with people and/or things. Acknowledge to yourself what you are feeling. If you don’t like the way you feel, ask yourself what are other feelings you could feel by interpreting the situation differently. Give yourself space to explore other perspectives. If you have a thought that feels better, sit with it for a few seconds. Notice that shift as you move into the next moment.
  • When you going to the bathroom, slow down! Enjoy this break from all the doing and just enjoy the being. Take this time to practice breathing slowly. Bathrooms can be a very peaceful place if we take advantage of the space to just breath and do what our body needs us to do to release what doesn’t belong there anymore.
  • As you’re cooking or being cooked for, smell, taste, touch, and look at each item you are putting into your dish. Pay close attention to the colors, texture, and sensations that move through you as you clean, cut, chop, drop, each item into the master plan. If you are at a restaurant, pay attention to each bite of food.
  • When you are washing dishes feel the water running over your hands. Feel the softness of the soapy bubbles touching your skin. Listen to the noise of the water moving and the dishes clanging. See the how each item comes in and out of your path.

Bedtime

  • Writing in a gratitude journal is a practice in appreciating your mindfulness throughout the day. As we are more mindful throughout the day we appreciate each of our moments in a fuller way. We begin projecting, manifesting, and attracting abundance by hearing, seeing, touching, tasting, and smelling more consciously throughout our day. We become more mindful of our interactions with others as we write about our experiences through the context of gratitude.
  • Put on your nightwear being fully conscious of every decision you are making. Just like putting your clothes on in the morning, be conscious of what limb is going where. Pay attention to your motions and the inner sensations as each item touches your skin.
  • Turn off all electronics and just sit, listen, feel, smell, and breath. Give yourself time to actively release your day before you shut your eyes.

 

Mindfulness is a practice. The more we practice, the better we get. Be patient with yourself. The people who feel our lack of mindfulness most are the people we are closest to. We not only serve ourselves with our mindfulness, we serve all the lives we touch.

Peace on the inside will create peace on the outside. We will benefit from our mindfulness practices as we proceed with the rest of Part III.

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Don’t forget to read today’s companion piece: 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 63 – Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness in My Daily Life