Exercises for Your Soul
Tools for Nurturing Your Spiritual Fitness
We are all familiar with the benefits of exercise to our physical health, the importance of intellectual stimulation to our mental acuity and the process of achieving emotional health through introspective therapeutic work. So how do we create spiritual fitness for ourselves?
Spiritual fitness, as I have come to define it, is one’s capacity to experience one’s self as a spiritual being having a human experience and to live fully in both dimensions. A few key attributes include:
Awareness: The state of being self-aware, conscious, intuitive, and perceptive.
Presence: The experience of being fully in the moment.
Acceptance: Knowing that you are exactly where you are in each moment; that what is, is.
Paradox: Holding opposing ideas and experiences. Life is not black and white, either/or; rather it is about both-and.
Process: Like emotional health, spiritual fitness is not something to be achieved like a smaller waist size or larger muscle mass. It is a lifetime process presenting opportunities to learn every moment and requiring surrendering and patience.
The benefits of spiritual fitness include:
Self knowledge: Seeing what prevents you from being fully open to the flow of Love in your life including your dark side, unconscious beliefs and outdated habits that do not serve your higher purpose.
Purpose: Discovering, embracing and living out your soul’s purpose.
Unconditional Love: The experience of loving and being loved deeply, totally, infinitely.
Courage: This journey is not for the faint of heart.
Gratitude: Deep appreciation for life and its abundance.
Generosity: Giving from the fullness of your heart and life.
So, how can you begin to nurture yourself spiritually? Like physical health, spiritual fitness takes discipline, patience and persistence until it becomes a lifestyle, a soulstyle! Here are five simple ways to begin your practice.
1. Practice living consciously. Deliberately change a daily habit, brush your teeth with the opposite hand, take a different way home from work, change the order you put your shoes on.
2. Breathe! Take breath breaks several times each day. Stop what you are doing. Consciously take five breaths inhaling and exhaling as deeply as possible. Relax. Notice how you are feeling physically and emotionally. Then go on about your day.
3. Experience silence. Turn off the radio when driving and TV at home. Be silent for 10 minutes. Notice what you are thinking and feeling. Be still.
4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Lighten up! Let someone go in front of you in traffic; give up your need to be right about something. Laugh at yourself. Cry if you need to! Suspend self judgment.
5. De-clutter! Pick one space to start in. Let go of things you don’t really love or that don’t bring positive memories. Clean it out! Do the same with your thoughts!
We are all here to experience the precious gift of life as fully as we can. Spiritual fitness helps you find and create joy, fulfillment and purpose in your life. What’s more, as you grow spiritually you contribute to the spiritual fitness of the rest of us. Imagine the possibilities for each other and the world.