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Top 10 tips for leading a more spiritual life

You’ve surely seen the trend … on TV (Medium, The Ghost Whisperer) in the books (Eat, pray, love, forgive Ararat) In movies (Eat, pray, love again, Avatar) – there is much more spirituality going on. And it’s making its way into our lives. Our overly busy, socially networked, unappreciated selves are suddenly craving a little more “personal me time.” Here’s how to get more of this life-changing, aging-busting, and personal-growth spirituality in your life:

  1. Breathe. Seriously. Breathe more slowly, be more aware when you breathe. This cultivation of mindfulness will extend into your daily spiritual life. It is the small changes that create the big changes.
  2. Start a meditation practice. There are a million ways to meditate, from closed eyes to open eyes, fully guided to quiet, mindful downtime. Start slowly – 5 minutes a day and build up to 20 minutes or more if you can afford the time.
  3. Read. It grows your mind and teaches you new things. Not a beach reading nor the last John Grisham. Read spiritual books that appeal to you. Try Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, or Eat Pray Love if you haven’t read it yet. Your spiritual life will thank you.
  4. Stretch. It sounds simple, but it will keep you younger longer and again help you develop mindful habits. If you’re up for it, add a little yoga. Four greetings to the sun a day help you to ground yourself, connecting your body, mind and spirit.
  5. Start keeping a journal. Writing down your goals helps make them come true, it’s scientifically proven. Getting those thoughts and feelings off your chest can help clear the way for new feelings and ideas, and release negativity.
  6. Take a spiritual vacation. Where have you always wanted to go? Where does your heart want to take you? Living a spiritual life means listening to those thoughts and acting accordingly. Consider taking a spiritual tour, where everything is already created for you, especially if you have never done something like this before.
  7. Create “Personal Time for Me”. Whether it’s a massage, a manicure at home, or twenty minutes in a comfortable chair with your feet up (and the TV off), taking time for yourself is vital, and even twenty minutes can help make the rest of the day seem less . mad.
  8. Give it back to the world. Do something nice. Volunteer somewhere, take in a child or pet, contribute microloans in Africa or Heifer International. Creating a spiritual life means being more aware of the world, not just our city or even our country. Take time each month to learn more about the world and give back.
  9. Be kind. Most people who are short with you, interrupt you, or ignore you are simply trapped in their own world. It’s easy to take it personally, but if you take the extra moment to go out of your way for someone, they will often surprise you with kindness in response. And your blood pressure will thank you.
  10. Forgive. When you experience living a spiritual life, there is no place to be angry. Remember that old expression “Is holding a grudge like taking rat poison and waiting for the other person to die?” Find the places you still cling to and let yourself go. If you still want to stay angry or upset, ask yourself what you still gain by staying there. Then listen to the answer.

Bonus: keep trying. We are humans. We make mistakes.

Forgive yourself and then move on. In no time, these tips will turn into habits that really help you develop your spiritual self.

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