Friday, November 4, 2016

Your Spiritual Toolset -- 10 Must-Haves

Everyone knows the importance of eating a well-balanced diet to staying healthy. But did you know that a well-balanced spiritual toolset can help you be at your best in stressful times? Just like how different foods give you different nutrients, different spiritual tools give you different support on your journey.

We are mind, body and spirit. Your spiritual toolset should have different tools that support you in this way. There are so many good practices available. In general, however, I have found in my experience with clients that people tend to get better results when they utilize a wide range of tools instead of focusing deeply on only one. Even if you do different practices half-way or only at novice level, that is still better than becoming an expert in one practice. It’s the cross-blend of tools which address the body, mind and spirit that creates the best result, rather than one specific tool. Sometimes people tend to focus on the one practice they do the most, and sometimes forget that there are other types of support they need.

Here are 10 practices, grouped by type, that I’ve found to be helpful. Consider them for your spiritual toolset.

For Your Mind

1. Meditation – whether guided, unguided, in movement or in stillness, any kind of meditation is better than none at all. Pick a style you like and commit to meditating regularly. Clinical research has shown that meditation for an uninterrupted length of at least 11 minutes a day is a threshold that starts to produce additional health benefits. But even a few minutes of clearing your mind will do wonders for your stress level.

2. EFT – Sometimes called “tapping” or “Emotional Freedom Technique”, EFT is a powerful technique for releasing stuck energies in your mind so you can move forward in your life. Our minds, left to their own clever devices, tend to focus on trying to understand things. But understanding does not always bring relief. Tapping, when done properly, can bring in relief. Basic EFT how-to instructions are readily available on the internet. For deeper work, consider work with a practitioner.

3. Journaling – by putting thoughts on to paper and getting them out of your head, journaling can be cathartic, insightful, and clarifying. It is often easier to let things go, once they are fully expressed and worked through.

For Your Body

4. Exercise – No other practices can substitute for the benefits of physical movement. Your body is a spiritual instrument, and it requires the right maintenance. Consider that exercise is a spiritual practice. The Shaolin monks in ancient China understood this, and that is why they practiced deep meditation and vigorous exercise. Exercise improves the quality of meditation. Most people simply don’t move enough every day. This impacts our physical and emotional health. Find a way of moving that you like. This could be hiking, dance, a brisk walk, or a trip to the gym. For best results, focus on getting your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes at a time, 3 – 4x/week. You’ll feel the stress relief quickly.

5. Time in nature – We were meant to be more connected to the earth than most of us are living these days. Make a conscious effort to reconnect to Mother Earth. It can be as simple as “earthing”, which is the practice of standing on the earth with your bare feet, letting the power of the Earth’s magnetic core fill you. Nature reaches us in a way nothing else can.

6. Embodiment awareness – Most people live in their heads and energetically outside their bodies. This makes people irritable and feeling off center. Embodiment practices put our awareness back into our bodies so we can feel better, more in balance. This can be done through tai chi, yoga, martial arts, Art of Feminine Presence ®practices, massage, or body energetic healing practices, such as Reiki or acupuncture.

For Your Spirit

7. Shadow work – This is one of the most powerful tools in self-growth and consciousness work. “Shadow work” addresses the parts of ourselves we don’t know very well , the parts of us we have disowned that are in our blind spots. Once we integrate these parts of ourselves back in, immense personal and spiritual power is reclaimed. One book that covers this is, “The Light Chasers” by Debbie Ford. Shadow work is easier with a mentor but you can do a lot for yourself by being curious and open.

8. An attitude of gratitude – It can be hard to look for gratitude when things are challenging, but it is one of the most powerful spiritual practices you can do. I find it more powerful to hold gratitude for the smallest, tiniest of things each day, rather than reciting gratitude for the bigger, obvious things. The size of the thing you are grateful for doesn’t matter as much as how much you noticed and appreciated it.

9. Archetype work -- A powerful line of spiritual inquiry and inner growth, working with archetypes is about understanding universal patterns and our inner world. Things stop feeling so raw as we develop insight in moving from personal into a more trans-personal or universal perspective. There are several archetype systems you can explore, ranging from the Jungian Enneagram system to Caroline Myss’ “Sacred Contracts” work, to books that delve into collective myth like Clarissa Este’s “Women Who Run With the Wolves”. Be curious about archetypes and allow the universal power of them to help guide you on your journey. A mentor can help with this type of work.

10. Relationship Nurturing – Make it a conscious practice to feed and connect with your most important relationships every day. This includes yourself. We all have a basic need for connection with others in order to thrive. Treat your relationships with the care they deserve. It’s easy to take them for granted when we are under stress. So now you have 10 practices to consider. Don’t worry about trying to develop mastery in any of them. Instead, take bits and pieces of them, along with a bit of commitment to yourself to mix and match, and watch yourself move forward more easily in your life.

What do you think? I welcome your comments!

Before you go ... Would you like a great way to feel better fast when life gets tough and you're stressed?


Adele Wang
Certified energy healer and mentor, helping smart, intuitive, perfectionist women create happiness and success in an imperfect world

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