Spiritual Development 101


Jennifer Robson
11 June 2016

Spiritual development is a process that involves improving your spiritual skills.  Spiritual skills do not necessarily have to be associated with religious belief.  In fact, many atheists consider themselves to be deeply spiritual people.  Believing that the entire universe is, in some way, connected; even if only by the mysterious flow of cause and effect at every scale, and therefore they should nurture thoughts and actions which are in harmony with their world. 

Spiritual development means asking questions like;
* What is life all about?
* What is the meaning of this?
* Who am I?
* What is my purpose?

Spiritual growth is an inner process or journey that people undergo to become happier and to live a more harmonious life, free of tension and strain, fear and anxiety.  Spiritual growth is the process of getting rid of wrong concepts, thoughts and beliefs about who you are and about the world in which you live. Through this process, you increase your awareness of your real essence, which is beyond the ego and the personality.  It is a process of looking inside you, shedding your illusions and uncovering your true essence.  

Feeling connected has characteristics such as upliftment, peace, insight and unlimited potential.  This level of connectedness is often described as the spiritual self.  Being connected to your spiritual self-manifests as a sense of everything's right with the world; you are in a complete relationship with other people and the world around you.
One technique to feel connected is to become aware when life seems difficult. At that moment focus on yourself to investigate what is going on. 
  1. What is my body doing and how do I feel physically?
  2. What is my emotional state? Is my mind agitated or calm?
  3. Does this thought, action or impulse keep me connected to myself or make me feel separate?
Spiritual practices, such as daily meditation, lighting candles, or taking time to retreat into nature, all assist in reducing stress and therefore improving the quality of life. 

"Quiet the mind, and the soul will speak" - Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati

Many spiritual concepts can only be understood by a “knowing” inside you. But however, you come to certain realizations it is entirely your path. There is no “right way” to experience spiritual growth.

* Realization of who you really are.
* Increased feeling of happiness and bliss.
* Experiencing a state of inner peace.
* Circumstances and situations do not affect your state of mind.
* Becoming more patient and tolerant.
* The ability to rise above frustration, disappointment and negative feelings.
* Increased inner strength and confidence.
* Accept adversity as something in your experience that is for your higher good

* Learn to focus your mind and remove unnecessary thoughts.
* Practice meditation every day.
* Read spiritual quotes – (we are posting them on our social media channels for you)
* Developing a certain degree of emotional detachment would be very useful, so that outside conditions would have less effect on your mind and moods.
* Look inside you, and try to find out what it is that makes you feel alive.
* Always try to look at the bright side of life.
* Don’t let circumstances and situations dictate to you how to feel or think.
* Endeavor to focus your attention on everything you do, instead of letting your attention go wherever it desires.
* Do your best to be tolerant, patient, tactful and considerate. 
Spiritual growth is an inner process or journey.  Like any journey, you're more likely to reach your destination if you have a map, and you know what direction you are heading in.  Using our growth tips plan out three things you will start doing to help you to connect to yourself on a spiritual level. 
To help you get started here's mine:
* Do your best to be tolerant, patient, tactful and considerate.
* Endeavor to focus your attention on everything you do, instead of letting your attention go wherever it desires.
* Learn to focus your mind and remove unnecessary thoughts.
Some of the ways that I'm incorporating these things into my life are writing a gratitude statement for each day of my diary. I know some people who keep a whole gratitude journal so experiment with what suits you best. I also practice yoga and pilates both of which help me to focus on the moment.  There are lots of different ways that you can incorporate spiritual practice into your life, why not pick some to experiment with over the next few weeks?
Tell us about your spiritual practices - how do you already incorporate spirituality into your day-to-day life? The best discussions are happening over in the community boards so members of The Singles Sisterhood we'll meet you over there for a chat. 

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