“In a world of confusion and noise I look for the moments that help me understand who I am, where I come from and what I want to be. The Bible brings to life the stories that have shaped our world and shaped my life. Stories that have helped me to forgive. Helped me to love. Helped me to overcome. Helped me to survive, and even do better than that, helped me to thrive” – Maja Angelou
Spirit is the part of us which has the answer, if we listen carefully and give it space. Whether you believe that this Spirit is a gift from God or from the universe – when we are led by the Spirit, we are filled with a peace that just cannot be explained. So how do we start tapping into this phenomenal power inside of us, so that we lead the spiritual, purposeful lives we were meant to live?
Practising mindfulness is a conscious choice that we make. Making space to take a few moments away from the noise and distractions around us, to be still, quiet and relaxed enough to allow ourselves to listen to that inner voice. You can focus on a flickering candle flame or quietly reflect and write in your journal every morning or in the evening, as the sun sets on your hectic day. A great way to get into the zone is to begin by focusing on your breathing and positive thoughts by the renewing of your mind, once settled in your favourite place.
We take about 20 000 breaths per day. Without breath there is no life. We can live without food for 20-40 days and without water for 3-5 days, but we can’t survive without breathing, even for just a few minutes.
10 to 15 minutes a day is the recommended minimum time for doing some form of conscious breathing. Conscious breathing is where we are controlling our breath, instead of the body breathing on its own. It can make a huge difference to our wellbeing and helps to centre our mind, body and soul.
For a deeper process, you can lie flat on your back, with your knees bent at a 45 degree angle and your feet pressed down on the floor. Tuck your chin in slightly, so that your neck and energetic spine are in a straight line. When you breathe like this for 10 minutes every day, it will bring great joy, enthusiasm and a happy spirit.
Being mindful of everything
Remember to also be mindful about what you put into your body, eating healthily and focusing on chewing and savouring every bite, as it nourishes you. Mindfulness also applies to your relationships with others around you, in terms of watching how you speak with them, treating them with respect and being mindful of your thoughts and feelings that come to light during the interaction. Capture those thoughts, understand them, deal with them and turn any negative thoughts into positive ones, to move forward through your day.
Life can be tough sometimes, but in our ever changing environment, we make it even harder by trying to control things outside of our power. Have you ever wondered about those people who seem so at peace with life, even when there is so much turmoil around them. They’re the ones all over the world who recognise the power of prayer, not only for wisdom, guidance, calm and peace, but who also offer up prayers of thankfulness and gratitude, as they focus on surrendering, letting go and letting God step in. Many of you will know the beautiful serenity Prayer from theologian Reinhold Niebuhr off by heart, and just repeating it, can start a shift in perspective. It simply says: “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” As you continue to grow in faith, be encouraged to know that even if your faith is as small as a mustard seed, through nurturing and prayer, it can flourish into a spirit that is beautiful, healthy and strong.
“Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God” – Maya Angelou
With so much to gain during a time when we are facing so many uncertainties, there has never been a better opportunity to nurture that spirit within you.