We all struggle. It may not always look that way on the outside, especially when we look at somebody we admire from a distance, but I assure you, we’re all human.
Being human means that we covet what we don’t have, then when we do get the object of our desire, we find something else that’s even better. This creates a closed loop of never being good enough, of never being happy enough, of never BEING enough.
Happiness isn’t something we chase, it’s something that we create.
We all know the importance of working out. In fact, when we hear the words working out, we think of the physical act of working out our bodies, our physical health, never our mental health.
But that’s exactly how I want you to see it. Working out is as much about your mind as it is about your body, even more so.
During this post I’ll be talking about spirituality. Spirituality doesn’t have to mean religion, although it does for a lot of people. Rather, spirituality relates to a person’s thoughts and beliefs. In fact, you can be spiritual without being religious.
Being spiritual means that you seek connection and meaning. While some people see spirituality as seeking a relationship with God, others see it as seeking to connect with and find purpose though nature and art. In fact, how YOU define spirituality is personal to you and can change and evolve depending on life’s seasons.
3 Aspects of Spirituality
Human spirituality is comprised of three specific aspects: relationships, values, and purpose.
They form the foundation of your spiritual core. Just like in the physical act of working out, your core strength is an important part of strengthening your body. Your core is a group of muscles that stabilize and control both the pelvis and the spine. It’s less about strength and more about being able to maintain the body’s posture.
Your core strength helps you to get off the floor, stand up, or sit. It promotes more efficient movement and improves performance. It allows you to be more resilient and less prone to injury. This is exactly how I want you to think about your spiritual core. It makes you more resilient and less prone to injury.
Spiritual Core: Relationships
There are two types of relationships that you should focus on, one with others and one with yourself.
The relationship that you have with others starts with how you connect with yourself. To strengthen your outward relationships, you must first understand your own self-worth. Only then can you project an aura of strength, confidence, and be fully self-realized as an individual.
Once you’re connected to who you are as a person you can engage and create relationships that have real meaning with others. Relationships help you to grow beyond yourself if you’re willing and open to learning from them.
Seek the kinds of relationships that foster mutual respect, honor, and trust. Ones that allow for mutual growth, which are intentional in nature and allow both of you to grow beyond yourselves.
Spiritual Core: Values
What matters most to you? What are your guiding principles? Knowing who you are and what you value makes life’s decisions much easier to make.
Have you ever taken the time to think about what you value? Have you ever written them down? If not, you should. It really puts things into perspective.
When you know what matters to you, you know when to say yes and when to say no. You’ll always know which direction to go when life comes to a crossroad. Decisions are easily made when you understand fully what matters.
Start defining what matters and focus on what you value in terms of family, work, relationships, fitness, wealth, or personal growth. Then, when you rank them in order of importance, you’ll know exactly the direction you need to go.
Spiritual Core: Purpose
Spirituality helps you to connect with the big questions, “what is my life’s meaning?” Or “What’s my purpose?” And even, “why am I here?”
Connecting with those spiritual truths requires that you look inward. It requires that you listen to your inner voice without being so quick to shut it down.
The Spiritual Workout
It’s time to flex that spiritual muscle! We should normalize working out our spirituality in much the same way that we’ve normalized working out our physical muscles.
Don’t you want to feel a powerful sense of peace, well-being, and gratitude? Easier said than done I know, which is why it’s important to perform daily spiritual workouts as it can take time to build up.
You can’t expect to do sit-ups once and have a six pack. Nor can you engage spirituality workout once and expect results, you must work at it daily.
Small everyday rituals can have a massive impact on your mental and physical well-being. They can create a better life, bring you comfort, and will help you to uncover your purpose.
Spiritual Workout #1: Daily Meditation or Prayer
Set aside a few minutes each day to connect with yourself. You can do a guided meditation or focus on your inner voice, what it wants, and to set your positive intentions for the day.
Always start with what you’re grateful for to get yourself in the right mental state.
Spiritual Workout #2: Go for a Mindfulness Walk
After a few minutes of meditation go for a walk. It doesn’t have to be long but spend this time being mindful of your surroundings. The sounds around you. The coolness of the breeze and the sun on your skin.
Pay attention to the breath in your lungs and the rise and fall of your chest. Be in the moment.
Spiritual Workout #3: Daily Affirmations
Spend time each day reminding yourself of what’s important. If there is something you really want in life or some thought that you want to reinforce within yourself, write it down. Write it in first person and read it aloud multiple times a day. This will help you to connect with what matters to you the most.
Spiritual Workout #4: Read Books on Spirituality
Reading books about spirituality will open your mind in ways that you can’t even fathom.
- The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
- The Power of Now by Echart Tolle
- Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- Radical Forgiveness by Colin Tipping
The list can go on and on. Feed your spirituality.
Spiritual Workout #5: Get Out in Nature or Enjoy the Arts
Start a garden. Go on a hike. Go out in nature and check out new scenery. Connect with the world around you. Sit and gaze at the stars.
Let your mind drift as you dig in the dirt to plant tomatoes or a rose bush. Watch them grow as you remove weeds, water them, and prune.
Or, if you’re not the outdoorsy type, then start painting. Get artsy and connect with your inner wonder.
Or do both.
Fundamental Spiritual Truth
Understand that everything you desire is because of how it makes you feel, or how you THINK it will make you feel. Slow yourself down enough to remain calm and intentional with your desires. Think things through before making rash decisions.
Understand that since you can’t control anything but your own thoughts and feelings that you should give yourself both the love and patience that you need. Stop being so hard on yourself and don’t forget to partake in life’s pleasures.
Understand that practicing self-love and compassion can help transform your world.