It is in the quiet moments of Daily Practice, when no one is around to notice, encourage or celebrate your steps, when it is just you and the power of now to set the bar higher and ask a little more of yourself, that personal Integrity is ignited.
A Daily Practice does not have to be difficult. Whether your practice involves doing one thing or a number of things a day, the key to making long lasting change is to take small steps that you can repeat with accuracy and consistency. The objective is to gently rouse your brain, heart and body out of their drowsy routines and tell them to start working on creating a new reality for you.
Let’s begin with Accuracy. To set up a Daily Practice for Soul Conscious living I would suggest that you have four categories: Mind, Heart, Body and Soul. In each of these categories, come up with things that you can do that will strengthen your connection in that area. For example:
- Mind: Quiet your mind and focus on your goal for soul-centeredness in a clear, relaxed manner. Visualize it as if it has already happened.
- Heart: Engage your emotions by reading a personal statement you have written that describes how you will feel when you reach your goal. Write it in the present tense as if it has already happened, read it out loud and read it like you mean it!
- Body: Breathe the intention, synchronize your breathing with the visualization, breathe it into every cell of your body.
- Soul: Take the vision of your goal up into the field of all possibilities and make your request known, Be it.
Some other suggestions of things you can do are: prayer, meditation/quieting the mind, active meditation, conscious breathing, spiritual reading and journaling, eating pure foods, eating mindfully, mindful exercise, making a conscious spiritual connection with nature each day, expressing gratitude each day, saying a mantra or affirmation at the top of each hour and sharing your goals with others. The most important thing of all is to engage in things that are meaningful to you.
The next step is Consistency. Determine the timeline for when you will do these things. When my Daily Practice involves more than a couple of things a day I find it useful to create a chart to help me stay organized. The chart can be segmented into morning, afternoon and evening with sub- categories for mind, heart, body and soul. Within these sub-categories, write down what you will do on a daily basis. When you have accomplished something, check it off.
Use this chart as your ‘go to’ place for remembering what you need to do when. You can print it off and keep it in your wallet, make it your screen saver or even put it into your smartphone, just make sure it will be in your field of vision several times a day.
A Daily Practice should be fluid as well as structured. For initiating major shifts in my life, my practice is quite involved, with a number of things to do at certain times each day. Once I’ve shifted to the desired level, the intensity eases up greatly and I make modifications to it so that my practice becomes one of maintaining this new state.
Last year, as the start of the May 24th long weekend approached (it is the unofficial beginning of Summer in Canada and cause for much celebration), I found myself thinking that I wanted to do something other than the usual long-weekend activities. To this end, I created a Spiritual Intensive for myself with the plan being that I would do it for the entire four-day stretch.
By the end of the long weekend I was so amazed by what I had accomplished and how incredible I felt that I decided to continue it.
As of today, March 16, 2012, I am now on day 296 of this Intensive. I have been using the same approach that I have just written about here. It has been absolutely transformational!