Creating a Spiritual Practice
A couple of months ago I listened to this Brene Brown talk on Audible called “Rising Strong as a Spiritual Practice.” What drew me in was the “spiritual practice” piece. I’ve wrestled with religion and spirituality my whole life, and I’m into the idea of spirituality, so I used a free credit to give this talk a try.
Brene’s talk was filled with lots of gems, and I highly recommend a listen to this entire talk, but one thing that struck me the most was the concept of creating a spiritual practice for yourself – and what does that spiritual practice look like?
For me, this looks like a couple different things:
+Walking the Dog
Walking Beatrice is probably my #1 spiritual practice. There is something therapeutic about walking that sets me right. I do tend to listen to a podcast or music, but besides that, I’m just walking. One foot in front of the other. I love that rhythmic stepping motion. I’m not emptying the dishwasher while making breakfasts and packing lunches and listening to my kids and their grievances and discussing dinner with Dan and responding to a text message from my mother-in-law. I’m just walking. It’s a time I look forward to because it’s a way for me to process my thoughts. I walk twice a day, every day, I start with a morning walk in the 6:30 a.m./7 a.m. hour and an afternoon/evening walk (depending on what is going on that day, I might walk at noon, or I might walk at 7 p.m.)
Yes, walking is also exercise, but I crave something different to really feel connected to my body. For me exercise is somewhat about physical appearance – but not entirely. It’s really about my health, and it’s about my mental health. I find exercise strengthens by mind and body connection, and, for me, it’s a true spiritual practice as it’s a way I honor myself.
Writing is both excruciating and a spiritual practice (I guess I could say the same for exercise! Ha!). Everyone is creative in their own way, and for me, writing is one of my creative pursuits. Like exercise and walking the dog, writing is a way for me to check in with myself. What am I really thinking? What’s really going on? I will get an answer (even if it’s not the answer I want to hear!) when I write.
+Daily Mindfulness Habits
I’ve worked hard on my mindset these past few years, and for me it all starts with mindfulness. My definition of mindfulness is paying attention to my thoughts and analyzing them for truth. It’s so easy for me to spiral and decide I’m not good enough, she’s better than me, why should I even try, I’m a worthless human being. When I work to actively pay attention to what I’m saying to myself, assess it, and challenge those thoughts, I’m a 100% better human being to myself, and, most important to me, I’m a better mom, wife, daughter, friend, etc…
I always adding to my spiritual practice list to give myself options. In October I’m taking a watercolor class, and I think that could be another spiritual practice for me. Do you have a spiritual practice? What is it?