February: Spirituality

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Hello, it’s me again!

The Whole Life Project is well and truly underway now, and this month is the month of some serious spiritual discipline.

Even if you don’t have a specific faith, spiritual practices are really helpful to integrate throughout your day. I think the reason why so many people find peace and happiness in a faith is because it offers these touchstones and practices throughout your day, which are really helpful for your wellbeing and mental health.

I happen to believe in a God who it’s possible to have a relationship with, and so my day is naturally oriented around that, but I think there’s some general take-away points which I believe anyone can follow, which I’ve been reflecting on this month.

These are:

Taking time each morning to reflect.
I’m a ‘jump out of bed and dash around the room looking for my contacts’ kind of person, and I rarely leave myself a lot of time to get ready, although my alarm goes off reasonably early in the morning. What am I doing with all this time?! Anyway, my aim is to take 20 minutes every morning to start the day off well. For me, that looks like reading and some sort of Christian reflection (I really like this book called God Calling, which was written by these two elderly women called ‘The Two Listeners’). But that could just also be replaced by reading anything that has a more positive message at the core – I think it’s way too easy to have the first thing of the day be Facebook posts, or online news, or whatever. It’s not usually that uplifting.

Take time to listen to music every morning.
Nothing gets me into a better headspace than listening to some good CHOONS. I’m going to be listening to positive, upbeat music – no sad stuff, no negative stuff. Definitely no Adele, despite how addicted to ‘Hello’ I still (sadly) am.

Stretch.
So, while I’m listening to some of my mellow tunes, I’m going to stretch. Christianity is often more of a ‘mind’ religion, in that it often de-emphasises the more physical sides of spirituality which other faiths consider important. Personally, I think there’s something to the idea that where our bodies go, our minds follow, making our spirituality and physicality intertwined. So it makes sense to me that mindful movement can be a way of unlocking that connection. Some people meditate on a particular thought or idea (I don’t believe that clearing the mind by trying to think of nothing is helpful, so I won’t be doing that); I think I’m going to pray.

Listen to some good ideas.
I love podcasts. But despite how much I love them, I don’t listen to them enough. This month, I’m going to listen to two a week, on my evening commute. My current fave for spiritual topics is the RobCast, but I’m going to find some more and provide a little list of some of my faves.

Finally, I really want to spend each night falling asleep, listing all the things I’m thankful for. It’s not hard. There’s so much to be thankful for, and cultivating a grateful attitude is becoming increasingly important to me.

Right, now I’ve shared this list with you, it’s inspired me to get going on some of the things I’ve uneven meaning to put into place this month. A further update to follow soon!

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