The Healing Power of Spiritual Health
Earlier this week, I shared an Instagram post about my personal spiritual practice and how this has ebbed over the last several months. At the beginning of summer, I moved (a few) times, had visitors in and out, and traveled. It made for a busy time. Therefore, I found it particularly challenging to maintain my then very consistent daily spiritual practice.
My personal practice consisted of meditation, pranayama (breath work), chanting, and sometimes journaling—totaling to about an hour of practice each morning.
How I began my own practice
My practice and ritual originates from my yoga teacher training which is rooted in the teaching of Hatha Yoga. Learning these practices was a profound experience for me. We would wake up every morning at 4 AM (in the jungle of Costa Rica, mind you). And have our practice together for an hour in this beautiful open studio space. You could hear the jungle noises, the ocean, sometimes the jungle rain—it was truly magical and a privilege.
As you could imagine, this special experience helped me to cultivate a strong foundation and practice before implementing it into my day-to-day back home. I kept this practice up consistently for about 6 months. In fact, it’s a big part of what I teach to my holistic healing retreat clients. I found this practice so healing and profound in my own life, that I want to share it with others. It helped me to cultivate a part of myself that was truly missing—my spiritual health. And it helped me to develop a relationship to Source that I didn’t realize was possible.
During this time of consistently meditating and practicing ritual, I noticed I was eating healthier, I lost weight, I was much less anxious, I was more trusting, and connected to the Divine—I felt balanced and whole.
When I fell out of my practice
Around month six of being consistent with this, my practice gradually fluctuated from seven-days-a-week, to three-days-a-week, to maybe I’ll consciously breathe for a few minutes in the morning here or there.
I allowed the beliefs about my life to outweigh my practice:
“I’m too busy”, “I don’t have enough time this morning”, “I need more sleep”, “I woke up too late”, “I’ll start again tomorrow”, etc.
It’s easy to go into judgment towards myself about this. But my compassionate higher self knows that this is the nature of being human. We can allow ourselves to be easily changed by the cycles of life. It’s a practice to stay grounded and committed to our rituals even amidst change.
What I personally found to be the greatest concern as a result of neglecting my practice, is that I have felt much less connected to my Source. Which means I haven’t been feeling as balanced or trusting as I once was when I did have a consistent daily practice. And this is important to me in all things I do. Especially my life’s work.
Spiritual practice is like our air supply…
A couple days ago, someone close to me shared a passage from my favorite daily devotion and inspiration book, “A Deep Breath of Life” by Alan Cohen. It was about the importance of staying connected to our Source.
Cohen compares this to a deep sea diver. A diver has an oxygen supply when he dives deep into the ocean to explore the wondrous mysteries of the sea. If that supply is tampered with or even cut off, the diver risks major complications or even death.
He relates this is to spiritual practice being our own “air supply” that connects us to our own Source. When we’re connected to this source we live more fully. When that “supply” is tampered with or disappears all together, we may experience anxiety, distrust, and imbalance.
I find Cohen’s metaphor so profound. Because he describes spiritual practice being essential to our happiness and wellbeing. And I personally believe this to be true.
What you may find “spiritual” is unique to you. This doesn’t mean organized religion. It’s doing something daily that makes YOU feel connected to a greater purpose or your True Self. This simply could be spending time in nature, making art, writing, singing, dancing, meditating, etc. For me, it’s meditation, writing, and art-making.
Cohen’s metaphor of spirituality has given me a refreshed perspective on my own practice. It’s re-inspired me to recommit to my daily practice and refill my own supply. Because I know how essential this is to my own wellbeing and also in how I show up as a healing guide to others. It may not look exactly like how it once did. And that’s ok. As we evolve and grow, so does our practice.
We all have the ability to access this within ourselves. It’s a matter of choosing to commit the time of going within. And believing how vital this is for our happiness. Spiritual health is just as important as our physical, mental, and emotional health. Find what FEELS good to you and make a commitment to practice that daily. It will be much easier to maintain in the long run.