Many of us try and maintain a spiritual focus in our lives. There are many paths and approaches, but most of them have this in common: the need for space so that we can turn inward and listen to the quiet, persistent voice of our heart and soul. Whether we do this through meditation, yoga, prayer, dream work, channeling, or any of numerous other ways, we need to find time to shut out the clamor of the world in order to make a connection with what we might call Spirit or our Higher Selves.
The modern world, as we know, does not always give us this time and space. The business of our daily lives demands that we always be outwardly focused. Because of this, it’s all too easy for us to lose touch with our center. Problems at work and in our relationships, and the other dramas that we may be confronted with, involving friends and acquaintances, can continually throw us off balance. We might feel a sense of desperation because of this; we want to grow spiritually, to break through many of the problems we may be having in life, but those very problems are disrupting our concentration and making it impossible for us to feel that we’re moving.
Some people try to offset this by committing to some kind of early morning practice. Before the hustle and bustle begins, before kids wake up and/ or it’s time to rush off to work, they devote a little time to meditation, yogic practice, affirmations, or some other method of turning inward. These sorts of rituals can help us to approach the day in a more emotionally centered way. Instead of being blown to and fro by the unpredictable events of our lives, we’re better able to carry a deeper sense of ourselves into all of our activities.
Many of us may not be able to find even this slim window of time, however. We need, therefore, to have some way of coming back to our center periodically even when we’re caught up in the hustle and bustle. Silently repeating affirmations, or mantras, whenever we find quiet moments can be a great help. Find (or compose) a phrase that gives you a sense of well-being, of expanded possibility, or that give you a deeper sense of self. One tenet of many spiritual traditions can be especially helpful: the spirit (or love, or God, or the Creator, whatever you prefer) is in everything and everyone. This idea is so useful because it serves to remind us that our spiritual life is never really separate from our outer life. It is only we who feel separate; and reminding ourselves of the divinity in all things can serve to shake us out of this illusion.
Another good approach is to simply try and give our full attention to the present moment. Usually when we’re caught off balance it’s a result of projecting our thoughts too much into the future or the past. Being present is a delicate art; it is also one of the simplest of spiritual practices. When we are focused fully on the present moment, we bring our Higher Selves into whatever tasks we’re involved in. We’re grounded not only in dealing with the business at hand but also in a sense of our deeper reality. Many teachers and gurus from a wide range of spiritual paths have insisted that anything we’re involved in can be considered spiritual practice. The trick is for us to be mindful, and aware that the present moment is really all that we ever have.