by E.C. LaMeaux
Spirituality exists in all traditions and cultures. You can put your spirituality into practice in your daily life through ordinary, everyday activity. Learn about how different spiritual disciplines cultivate spirituality, and five ways you can grow in your spiritual development.
Learn what spirituality is
Spirituality includes your spiritual practices or spiritual disciplines, which may include prayer, meditation, chanting, breathing exercises and ceremonies or rituals. Spirituality and your spiritual life also include your daily interactions with other people.
In Care of Mind, Care of Spirit, Gerald G. May, M.D. and theologian, says that spiritual development is the growth of a person as a whole: your spirituality, interaction with others in your daily life and spiritual disciplines or practices. However, your spiritual development can only move forward if you focus on all aspects of your life.
Pray or meditate
Sounds pretty basic, right? According to Stewart Bitkoff, Ed.D., an expert in therapeutic recreation, psychiatric rehabilitation and psychiatric treatment, you can increase your spiritual development with regular prayer or communication with a higher power. Bitkoff adds that spiritual development is a process that should be practiced and honed like any other ability.
Praying more, meditating more, attending gatherings of like-minded believers more often and joining a prayer or meditation group are just a few ways you can put your spirituality into practice.
According to Bitkoff, you can grow in your spiritual development by helping and giving to others. Donate to charity. Volunteer. Offer your skills to those who need them. You can give money or give your time. Either way, being more generous in your actions, behaviors and personality will help your spiritual development.
You might not think of living healthy as a spiritual discipline or practice, but it is. According to Bitkoff, as a multi-level being, you must take proper care of all of your levels. If you want to improve your spirituality and spiritual development, you also need to take care of your physical body: eat better. Exercise more. Stop smoking. Drink less alcohol. Live a healthier lifestyle in general. Bitkoff recommends complementing your spiritual health with your physical health.
Focus on yourself
Focus on yourself, but not in quite the way you might be thinking. This doesn’t mean going shopping for new clothes or getting your hair done. The focus should be on your inner self, rather than your outer self.
Bitkoff says that to increase your spiritual development, you need to grow your spirituality, and you can do this by dedicating 10 to 20 minutes per day to inward exploration. This inward exploration can be done through various spiritual disciplines, including prayer, meditation or journaling.
Nancy Monson, a certified professional coach and spiritual guide, recommends the spiritual discipline of breathing exercises to increase your inner awareness, balance and stillness.