Five Favorite Spiritual Habits
Pro Tip: I thought this was going to be a fluff post, but it turned out to be rather deep. You should read the entire thing.
Two weeks ago I had a friend come stay with me during the fire evacuations in Malibu and Topanga. He had been sleeping on a leaky air mattress in his office for the past week when I demanded he stay at my place. I knew my routine would be thrown off, but I knew his routine had been through so much more. What’s a few days? Well it turned out to just be one day, but that was enough for me to realize how much I love my spiritual habits.
I call them spiritual because they allow me to tap into the vulnerable places I don’t easily go. Those places are where I get my creativity, inspiration, and drive. I can only credit my spirit for these traits.
Why does a spiritual practice matter?
If I don’t keep a spiritual habit, I lose the ability to be a conduit for my higher purpose, my Life Purpose. Do you ever feel like another day or another week passed you by and you didn’t accomplish a single thing? You didn’t stick to a new habit, routine or decision, you just let life pass you by. My spiritual habits help me to keep on track with my goals and I feel off when I skip them. I’m also not as productive or happy. Lack of sleep, lack of hydration, lack of nutrients all slow down our physical bodies to the point of just trying to maintain or survive.
When I am exhausted, I don’t have the energy or the “spirit” to tap into my inner self and create something valuable for you; all I want to do is sit on the couch and watch a movie, or shop online. My gift is wasted because I haven’t taken care of myself by getting the proper amount of sleep. The same with food; it is a fuel to keep our bodies going. When I’ve not eaten enough, I am distracted by the hunger I feel and then my focus turns to that hunger and how/when/what I will eat my next meal. Again, I am pulled away from my purpose.
Here is a list of my personal favorites. I know there are eight here, not five. But they are so important to me I didn’t want to leave any of them out.
1. Writing -writing helps to clear my thoughts, organize the clutter in my brain and communicate. I have a morning journal, a journal for my blog business, a spiritual program journal, a journal for my second book, and a journal for my business coach.
2. Praying – prayer is my direct line with God (not Jesus, just God). It is my conversation with my Higher Power and it is the most powerful way I know to seek serenity. About a year ago I started praying to God, and not just in the bad times. I try to pray every day, even if just to express gratitude.
3. Exercise – I have a lot of energy so I sometimes do intense workouts. They allow me to focus, turn off my mind and be present with the moment and with my breath. Basically active meditation. I also feel my best physically when I’ve increased my heart rate and pushed myself. Our bodies are our physical vessels and exercising is good for them. For me, the opposite of this is sluggish, stuck, lethargic and uncomfortable. I exercise because I don’t want to feel those things.
4. Food – Like I mentioned before, food is our fuel to do the next activity or job. That is generally how I live. I don’t like to overeat, I don’t like heavy foods and I would never consider myself a “foodie”. When I put healthy foods in my body, I feel better and am able to create or work or exercise at a stronger level. I’m not perfect, I had a big issue with ice cream for several years and I’m trying to trick myself with granola. So far it’s working.
5. Water – I know you know water is good for you. But how is it spiritually good for you? Well it obviously goes hand-in-hand with the exercising, and it helps your food digest, but water also makes the body more fluid, flowing and open to seeing the little miracles. The opposite is dry, stuck and thick, like walking through mud. *sips water
6. Reading – feeds my brain, you guys. It’s easy. Reading teaches me. I’d like to add podcasts to this category. Reading also relaxes my mind for better sleep.
7. Meditation – while you practice quieting your thoughts, your Higher Power puts the answers to your questions in your mind. This stuff is crazy, it sounds like I believe in the tooth fairy. But this is what meditation does for me. Full disclosure, I’ve been out of my meditation practice for a couple months (I blame my website). I’m going to take a second workshop in 2019 after I’ve accomplished a couple of big goals.
8. Sleep – I almost left this one out!! How could I, it’s so important! I wish I were one of those people who only sleep 4 or 5 hours a night, but that isn’t me. I need nine. NINE Y’ALL. It’s because I’m a growing girl. Growing spiritually, hahahaha! But really, I’m cranky and short-sighted and unfocused and out of my element when I’ve not had enough sleep. If I am all of these things, then spiritual I ain’t.
These spiritual practices help me feel anchored. They remind me of my purpose and keep me on course or on track. All of them exist so I can become the best version of myself, on that particular day. They all serve the function of letting me tap into my Life Purpose.
Why do you care??
You may think this is an inconsequential blog post. Like, ‘why the hell do I need to know Natascha Darling’s habits?’. But I’m writing it because I want you to ask yourself what your spiritual habits are and how you hold yourself accountable to do them every day. What are your habits and what makes you show up for them? You could just have one habit and that would be enough! Ask yourself, am I eating for spiritual reasons? Or am I eating because I’m bored, sad or lonely? (guilty) Am I sleeping because getting a full night of rest allows me to think clearly and accomplish tasks? Or is it because I don’t want to face the world? (been there) Am I meditating because I don’t want to take physical action, or am I meditating in order to hear the message?
BONUS: Cleanliness. I’m not saying cleanliness is close to Godliness (because I’m not a Christian), but think; do you often hear of high-functioning, highly successful filthy slobs? Millions and millions of dollars in the bank, helping people all over the world, running Fortune 500 companies, and a house full of garbage? I don’t know about you, but when I think of successful people, I imagine their tidy houses, lots of airflow and no cockroaches or garbage. When I lived in Venice, I had the most disgusting roommates in the world. Slobs. One roommate would have 20 people hanging out in her bedroom, smoking cigarettes and snorting drugs until the sun came up. The next morning I would wake up to vomit in the bathroom sink and a stranger or two passing out on my couch as I prepared my morning coffee. Let me tell you, that roommate ain’t doing crap today. Last I heard, she had been fired from her weed job because she got caught stealing. I know I got judgmental right there – I know. But I told y’all I was going to keep it real with you and when I think of the filthy, messy people I’ve come across, none of them have been synonymous with success.
Stagnation hides in mess. Old energy creeps around in all that junk you’re saving. Clean your closet, clean your junk drawers, clean your purse, your glove compartment, your file cabinet…get that old energy out.
Ask yourself what your goals are. What is one thing you would like to accomplish before you die? What is one thing you would like to feel all the time? Healthy? Productive? Effective? Peaceful? Comfortable? What is one spiritual habit that could help you to achieve that state of mind or feeling?
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