Why You Need Spiritual Practice

  • By:  Ruth Littlejohn

Ready to experience more peace, joy, appreciation, and gratitude? Read this sage advice.

As a young child, we were taught to say grace before meals, pray before bed, and pray JIT (just in time) as when you are in trouble or really wanted something. My mother prayed all the time, so I thought it was for adults. We went to church every Sunday and participated in all church programs; I thought I was covered.

In my late 40s I was ready to change my life—from a series of stressful successes and disappointments to creating a deeper connection with God in exchange for less stress, more forgiveness, joy, peace, and gratitude. I was ready to give up JIT.

This transformation felt as though it had been a long time coming when actually I had begun creating this for myself through various experiences, providing me a firm foundation. First was the Landmark Forum, a model of transformative learning designed to give participants an awareness of their basic life structures and ways of being.

I had a new way of looking at life yet still felt something was missing….the missing piece was a spiritual connection and practices. I explored Unity church, then Science of Mind where I enrolled in the Foundation class, which provided a clear picture of spiritual practices and transformation.

Earlier I had learned Transcendental Meditation so, twice a day for twenty minutes, I sat and went within to connect with the silence. Within three months I felt much calmer and less anxious. I had learned how to establish a disciplined practice. My life was falling in place.

The Foundation class was pivotal in guiding me to embrace and establish a spiritual practice. It helped me to release what no longer served me, forgive myself and others, create life visions and values, and establish support systems such as a prayer partner, mentor, spiritual coach, and counselor.

By the end of this class, I had embraced creating a spiritual practice whether at home or traveling, feeling unwell, recovering from a late night, or experiencing a joyful or depressed mood….it is now my steady companion.

I began with meditation and silence. Currently, I have a favorite space in my home and create the desired ambiance with a rocking chair, lit candle, music, rocks, a crystal, and incense. When I awake, I begin with the physical by using a massage ball on my feet, muscle contractions, neck stretches, and EFT tapping.

Then I proceed to spiritual readings, the breathing process taught in the Art of Living, then meditation, affirmations, and prayer. I always have my journal close by to capture new ideas, forgiveness lists, and insights. I allow a minimum of 30 minutes; when traveling I take what I can.

My spiritual practice has allowed me to:

  • Create a perpetually flowing fountain of joy at the center of my being.
  • Create space for my intuition to connect continuously.
  • Support my healing and personal growth; setting and accomplishing life goals, both short and long term.
  • Transform my relationship with my ego; it’s my support instead of my driving force.
  • Forgive and release…
  • Enhance my self-confidence, self-esteem, patience, and sense of humor.
  • Establish and maintain healthy living practices… yin yoga, Pilates, and removal of dairy, wheat, grain, pork, and beef from my diet.
  • Love and value myself.
  • Make decisions with clarity.
  • Experience clarity about my gifts and talents
  • • Heighten my relationships with family and friends.
  • • Experience more peace, joy, appreciation, and gratitude.

I don’t leave home without completing my spiritual practice. How to start? Intentionally, carve out 10 minutes (I didn’t say, “Squeeze out”) each day. Forgive yourself if you miss one day and resume immediately. Nurture your relationship with the higher power of your choosing.

I find nurturing a one-on-one relationship with the Divine is joyful. I find myself shedding tears of joy because I never thought I could feel this joyful and peaceful. Not everything is perfect. I am still a divine work in progress!

Ruth Littlejohn is an ordained Religious Science Minister, Coach (executive, diversity & inclusivity, life, spiritual.), facilitation trainer for small homogeneous groups, and workshop leader for Spiritual Intelligence Skills and More Joy®. For more information, visit www.ruthlittlejohn.com.

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