The ins and outs of practical spirituality
Ever feel like something’s missing in your life, but you can’t quite place your finger on it? Do your days fill quickly with the overwhelming details that just have to get done?
Between packing lunches, walking the dog and laundry, there just doesn’t seem to be enough time to fit in spirituality. However spirituality isn’t time consuming, even with all the demands on your time and energy. Really.
At the core, spirituality isn’t about creating a to-do list of rituals that need to be checked off daily. It’s about being aware of what’s happening on the inside while being fully engaged on the outside. Of course, spiritual practices take time to grow and develop, but that’s why they are called practices. And, BTW, you don’t have to be religious to be spiritual.
At Unity we emphasize practical, everyday spiritual practices to help you live a more abundant and meaningful life. We are open-minded and honor all paths to God while applying the teachings of Jesus and other spiritual masters. We affirm the power of prayer and help you create a stronger connection to God (by any name).
Spirituality can certainly exist within the context of religion, but it doesn’t necessarily have to — you can be non-religious and spiritual. You just have to feel that there’s something bigger than yourself that holds this world, and humanity, together. This feeling combined with doing the inner growth work and the outer work to make the world a better place is all it takes to be spiritual. It’s not complicated. In fact, it’s so simple that we sometimes miss it entirely.
Our practical approach to spirituality can bring you inner peace, outer joy and a sense of your life’s meaning and purpose. And…you have to stay focused. As as we talk about in Unity, we can be easily distracted by the demands of the outer world.
Two simple and non-time consuming practices you can take for a test run today
Prayer When most people think of prayer, they think of asking God for something. Not so in Unity. Unity uses “affirmative prayer.” Rather than begging or beseeching God, this prayer method involves connecting with God and asserting positive beliefs about the desired outcome. For example, if you prayed traditionally, you might say: “Please God, help me find a job.” In contrast, an affirmative prayer might be: “I am now guided to my right and perfect employment.” By incorporating affirmative prayer into our everyday brain chatter, we are reflecting the certainty of being led to our highest good.
Meditation Prayer is talking to God. Meditation is listening to God. Meditation’s purpose is to feel oneness with God. It emphasizes relaxing the mind and body, paying attention to what’s happening within us and connecting to our spiritual center. And all this is accomplished while sitting in quiet. Start meditating with just a couple of minutes per day. Know that your mind will wander — that’s what it does. But every time it wanders, bring your attention back to your breathe. This short, simple practice can reduce stress, help you sleep better, feel happier and be more peaceful.