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5 Steps to Kickstart Your Spiritual Journey and Improve Your Mental Health

Updated: Feb 24

"Religion is belief in someone else's experience. Spirituality is having your own experience."-Deepak Chopra

There is no doubt that there is a massive shift in consciousness taking place. Many people are questioning religion. It can be quite challenging to search for answers within when you have always been taught that the answers exist outside of you. Ironically enough, many people still fall prey to the hierarchal patterns of religion by seeking enlightenment in a guru or someone they have placed on a pedestal simply because they read more books, went through more initiations, drank ayahuasca, or lived in Nepal for two weeks.

I have never lived in Nepal nor have I tried ayahuasca, but I am initiated into the Palo Mayombe and Ifa-Lucumi traditions in Cuba, I have a master's degree in education and speak 3 languages. I've read a ton of books and have a pretty solid spiritual practice. When clients ask me how to begin their spiritual journey, I always preface by saying that the answers are already within them. Each of us is on a very unique journey and what works for me may not work for you.

I do, however, think that there are some common practices that most people on their journey incorporate into their lives. The beauty of these 5 tips for kicking off your spiritual journey is that you can make them your own because that's what spirituality is. It's about finding your path. The trick is to maintain consistency. Spiritual exercise is much like physical exercise. You have to develop a routine and establish discipline before you see the benefits.

Spiritual Journey Tip #1 - Meditation

Meditation is about connecting to the upper four Chakras ( heart, throat, third eye, and crown). The good news is that you do not have to sit still for an hour. Meditation takes on many forms. You can lay down, dance, go for a walk, do mindful coloring, or garden. I think that any activity (not watching TV or scrolling), that brings you into the present moment and provides a sense of peace is a form of meditation. You can also simply light your favorite candle while sipping a soothing beverage.

Spiritual Journey Tip #2 - Grounding

Grounding connects to the lower 4 Chakras (root, sacral, solar plexus, and heart). It is about coming into your body and recognizing the vessel. The best way to ground is being out in nature. When I lived in Brooklyn, I didn't have a backyard, but I did have Prospect Park. I would make a habit of going out for walks almost daily with my husband. I learned to pay attention to my surroundings and eventually, I began to notice symbols that nature uses to communicate with me.

Working out is also a great way to ground and meditate because it allows you to be in the present moment while focusing on your body. Exercise in the spiritual sense is not just about doing yoga. For me, boxing is both grounding and sacred especially because I have a spirit guide who is a boxer. Dancing is also very sacred. So whether it's a Soul Cycle class, hot yoga, or a YouTube home workout, moving the body is a great way to ground.

When we ground, we restore the energy to our physical body in the present moment, which takes the focus away from intrusive thoughts. Simple tasks like eating without distractions, savoring your food or closing your eyes, and naming as many objects in the room as possible can be done virtually anywhere.

“The way is not in the sky; the way is in the heart.” – Buddha

Spiritual Journey Tip #3 - Journaling

.Maya Angelou said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Think of your journal as your confidant. Your journal is the place where you store your hopes, dreams, frustrations, and insights. There is something so magical and sacred about putting pen/pencil to paper. Whether you write just a word a day or 2 pages per day, journaling is an important part of one's spiritual journey and development.

Spiritual Journey Tip #4 - Get Creative

"The average person has 60,000 thoughts per day and 95% of them are the same, day in and day out (Cleveland Clinic). Immersing yourself in a creative activity produces an almost meditative state where your mind is so engrossed in what you're doing that you temporarily forget all of your troubles and worries." Creativity provides a deep connection with your higher self, source, universe, etc. It is in that "flow state" that we can receive answers and even manifest our dreams. I would even argue that it is through creativity that we can discover our soul's purpose. Creativity is also a great way to connect with your inner child.

So how can you infuse creativity into your life? Drawing, writing, painting, cooking, making music, dancing, re-decorating, coloring, sewing/knitting, arts and crafts, and gardening are all great places to start.

Spiritual Journey Tip #5 -

Read about Spirituality

I can tell you that rice and black beans is the best dish in the world, but until you try them yourself, you can neither agree nor disagree. If you are interested in the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, don't rely on your favorite content creator or healer to tell you about the text. You must read it yourself, experience it, and put it into practice so that ultimately you can decide if it's right for you or not. Another human can guide you, but only to a certain point. You must remember that every person's perspective is skewed by their experience. You and I can read the same book and walk away with 2 different experiences.

Is that all?

Notice I didn't mention the time of day these practices should take place. Some healers say that morning is best. I work with a lot of mothers and the morning is not the best for them unless they get up at 4 am, which means they sacrifice sleep and they won't be the parent their child needs. I say, find the best time that works for you. Perhaps it's at night. When I was a classroom teacher, I would meditate for 1 minute a day during my lunch, because that's all the time I had. After a while, that minute felt like 10 and it had a significant impact on how I approached my students, their parents, and my life as a teacher.

Ideally, meditation and journaling should be done daily, but again, spirituality is not a religion and there are no ground rules. You may choose to meditate on Mondays or your days off. Perhaps you can only engage in creative endeavors every other week. Whenever your time allows,consistency is key.

If you're struggling to kickstart your spiritual journey, book a session with me. I'm more than happy to help you get started on your journey to seeking the answers within.


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