Pause for a moment and ask for wisdom and insight from God as you observe the things from nature that capture your attention. You may have a particular question in mind you desire to understand or explore with this process, so ask specifically for insight with this particular question. You can also come with a childlike curiosity and playfulness to see what new insights you might discover in this process. If you are unable to take a walk outdoors, you can also use this method to observe an object from nature such as a plant, a rock or a sea shell.
Nature is a very rich source of Divine inspiration. This exercise is an opportunity to "read" God's creation by taking a leisurely walk outdoors. Lectio divina (Divine reading) of scripture is one way to communicate with God through prayer and meditation in order to gain new insights. You can adapt this method of sacred reading with any object found in nature.
What is your favorite way to release stress in your body, mind and spirit? Have your practices changed over time? Take the poll above and leave a comment below if you have a practice that is not listed above. If you have not tried some of these practices, consider giving one of them a try in the coming weeks and let us know what you think.
May you be well!
Create a sacred space in your home to use for silence, contemplative prayer and meditation. This physical space will help to quiet your mind, connect with your life purpose and listen for inner wisdom and Divine inspiration when used regularly. Performing daily routines of prayer, meditation, yoga or other spiritual practices in this space allows you to quickly reach a deep state of expanded spiritual awareness. A consistent space dedicated to quieting the body, mind and spirit acts as a portal to the Divine. Your body, mind and spirit has muscle memory, so you recognize the special items and remember previous visits to this safe space, allowing you to quickly return to deep states of relaxation.
One reason people like to create sacred space is the feeling of hygge and well-being. Hygge is a concept of creating a cozy, warm, safe space where you experience a deep sense of well-being and connectedness to God and others. Creating a sacred space allows you to experience integration of body, mind and spirit through the physical, mental, emotional, relational and spiritual experiences in this space.
What special items create this feeling of sacred space or help you connect to the Divine? For some people, lighting a candle or viewing a religious icon helps the space feel sacred. For others, a photograph of a loved one or a special vacation spot evokes feelings of love and joy. Still others find that sacred connection on the yoga mat, watching birds outdoors or rocking in a favorite chair. Coloring, sketching or writing in a journal are great practices to create a special routines that feel sacred.
Take a moment and list the places, activities and things that create a sense of sacred space for you.
You can create a cozy, sacred space in your home for meditation, prayer or relaxation when you need to escape from the pressures of stress around you. Sometimes soaking in the bathtub with scented oils and candles can create that sense of sacred space. Sitting outdoors or watching the flames in the fireplace on a cold winter night can also be sacred space. The important thing is to take time to block out the ordinary activities of the day and savor quiet time in your own sacred space. You may occasionally invite special friends or a loved one to share that space with you.
You can create a portable altar space by placing special items in a basket to use in various rooms or outdoors if you are unable to have a dedicated space. Consider a colorful piece of fabric as an altar cloth, to transform an ordinary space into sacred space. Add a candle, sacred icon, journal/pen, photograph or other items that you consider special. If you wish to create a less formal space, tuck in a cozy blanket, slippers and your favorite mug for an on-the-go self care basket. Experiment with various spaces and activities to find several options that work for your lifestyle.
You might want to consider creating a sacred space at work. Try using an empty Altoids tin with a few special items inside for a mini-altar. A candle, sacred icon, photograph from a favorite vacation spot, pebble from the beach or other special items can be placed on a small cloth in front of you for a few moments, then discretely hidden when your break time is over.
How will you create a personal sacred space?
Visualization is a meditation technique using your imagination. Close your eyes and imagine exploring a safe, peaceful place in nature. Try to picture a landscape, either real or imaginary, that brings pleasure and helps you feel peaceful. This might be the beach, a lake, a park or a favorite vacation spot.
Life is unfair. There will be situations in your life that cause emotional or spiritual pain. Holding on to emotions such as anger or fear can lead to other health problems such as depression or heart problems. It can show up as jaw pain from clenching your teeth or neck pain from tension in your shoulders. When these emotions are not processed or released, you body responds by holding tension in your tissues and organ systems which can eventually lead to chronic illness.
Studies show that 5 – 10 minutes of meditation and deep breathing a day can significantly reduce the impact of stress and improve your health and well-being. There are many ways to meditate. The goal of meditation is to switch from doing something to simply being present in the moment.
Begin your day by pausing in silence. Take a few deep breaths, then allow your breathing to return to normal. Take a moment to set some intentions for the day. Taking a moment for this simple practice is helpful for introverts.
Life often feels busy. When you pause during the day, you create a still point which helps to anchor you in a whirlwind of activity. Pausing allows you to listen and hear your quiet inner voice that cannot be heard over the constant activity and noise of daily life. It allows you to become present in the moment. As the brain chatter and stream of thoughts slow down, you begin to notice what is happening within your inner landscape.
Gratitude boosts your immune system and elevates your mood. Keep a daily journal with three things you are thankful for. Post your list where you see it frequently to foster a positive attitude all day long.
The end of the calendar year is a good time to think about the new things you want to do different in the coming year. I've made a commitment to improving my overall wellness of body, mind and spirit. I am not waiting for the start of a new year. I'm starting now and I'd love to have you join me.
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