For those who practice one of the well-known major religions of the world and others who choose to create their own spiritual paths via a combination of beliefs derived from all religious path, spiritual practice means something different for each one. Some people remain balanced and strong spiritually through performing ritual on a daily or weekly basis, such as going to church, temple, or mosque. Others practice daily devotions, such as reading sacred text, spellcraft, chanting, or silent meditation.
But what results can be obtained through formal spiritual practice? This is a question that many people who consider themselves atheists or simply non-spiritual ask.
And unfortunately, many who engage in these religious or spiritual practices also wonder why they never seem to see the changes they desire within their lives or themselves.
From personal experience and through working with others who have chosen to walk a spiritual path, I have learned that if one’s ritual and devotion is faithfully integrated into their everyday lives and also into everyday situations, even activities we deem mundane, it is more likely that tremendous strength and progression can be experienced through practice. However, if we are simply turning to these rituals when we feel that life has taken a wrong turn, then any practitioner may find themselves feeling stuck, while also experiencing a lack of healing and movement in their spiritual and earthly lives.
Ultimately, spiritual texts may as well be wallpaper if the lessons within are not tried and tested in every aspect of our existence.
When we practice devotions, meditations, going to church every Sunday, and then leave it all behind as soon as the practice is done, we can fall into the meaningless habit of using our spirituality as a crutch, as something we hold onto when we can’t seem to stand the day, then toss in the closet once we feel okay, only to notice that we are frantically searching for it again when these same feelings of being unsteady on our feet, return. True spiritual practice of any kind, is created by us, to be an ally, a friend in the face of our problems, struggles, and confusion. No practice is capable of being life changing if we use it like an aspirin or pain killer and then place it back on the shelf. This is not healing, it is temporary relief, with no instructions for the next painful occurrence.
We will only find ourselves being overwhelmed once again like a deep fog moving over our spirit.
Choosing a spiritual path that is uniquely crafted for who you are, is one of the best ways not to end up using your rituals and devotions as a crutch. This is not to say that you must give up your connection to a major religion. You can be Christian, Catholic, Muslim, or Pagan, and still craft your daily practice to suit your own spirit.
If we are choosing a path or journey according to other’s desires, pressures or suggestions, we may more easily find ourselves falling by the wayside when it comes to creating a true relationship with ourselves and the Universe from which we are born. A tailored suit always fits better than one off the rack.
Listen to yourself and answer to your own soul. It will guide you onto the path that was paved just for you. When we allow this guidance to happen, we are more likely to see spirituality as something that gets us excited and passionate throughout every part of our lives. And we won’t just feel spiritual and balanced in the midst of performing ritual but we will feel connected even in the midst of our earthly problems.
by Kimm Smith