A look at the ways you can make the most of and spiritualise your life!
Yuletide festivities are over and the grey days of January loom large. But instead of feeling miserable about the end of Christmas partying, this is the perfect time to set foundations for a fabulous year ahead. Bring in the New Year in style with a totally transformed attitude to life and recognise the good things you are capable of achieving.
Here are six ways to make it a healthier, happier and more spiritual new year for yourself and everyone around you.
If you only have time to try one new idea for the New Year it should be learning to meditate. It perhaps sounds strange or complicated if you've never considered meditation before: but it's really not!
The aim of meditation is to calm your mind and this in turn will relax your physical self, too. Repeated meditation has all kinds of benefits to the mind body and spirit, such as lower blood pressure, clarity of thought and increased ability to focus on tasks. Through meditation you quieten the physical and mental aspects of yourself, allowing you to experience spirituality.
The most basic technique is to sit down and shut your eyes in a quiet (silence is not necessary) safe place where you will not be interrupted. Imagine yourself surrounded by a protective white sphere of light through which nothing can penetrate. Visualise this protective light around you. Then clear your mind of all chatter and thoughts. Let your mind be still and calm. If a thought pops into your head don't panic but gently push it away. Set a gentle tone on a phone to sound when your meditation is finished - that way you don't need to think about the time.
Take ten or 15 minutes out of your day, everyday, to practise meditation and your technique will improve until it becomes second nature.
You could also use breathing techniques, a candle, a mandala or crystals to aid your meditation - try them all to see which works best for you.
2) Focus good intentions
You don't need to be religious to pray. Prayer is a powerful focussing of good intentions; it is not tied to a particular religion. People usually send out their prayers to the deity they follow, but you can simply send your intentions to the universe - meaning, in this sense, the universal energy of everything. Or send them directly to the person you are praying for.
You can whisper a prayer in your head at any time, as long as the intention is good and sincere the power of your prayer will be strong.
*Ask for protection - for yourself or somebody you are concerned about.
*Send out loving intentions to somebody you don't get along with, in the intention of breaking down the barriers between you.
*Send out a prayer of comfort to a person you see in the street who looks unhappy.
*Ask for guidance with a big decision you are considering.
3) Look after your body
You cannot be a spiritual person if you don't look after your physical body. You should strive to life cleanly in body, mind and soul. Anything external that you allow yourself to be addicted to is a weight holding you down and keeping you from achieving your potential. Addictions throw us off course and end up controlling our lives. Whether it's overindulgence in food, drink, drugs, cigarettes, gambling, sex or pornography - all these things will cause you to lose sight of your true self. Ask yourself, would I want my children to emulate me? Or would I be comfortable telling someone I respect about my behaviour? If the answer is 'no' then seek professional help to break free from addiction.
Everyone can benefit from improving their diet - try cooking a few more healthy and hearty recipes this year. Don't worry if it all goes wrong at first; it is part of the learning process! Fuelling your body with healthy food and plenty of water is like laying the foundations for you to become more receptive to spirituality.
4) One good deed per week
Try to perform one positive act every week that takes you outside your comfort zone.
*Say hello to the person you see most mornings on the train.
*Invite a single parent or older neighbours around to your family meal.
*Give your time to a charity.
*Offer to babysit for a relative so they can have some free time.
*Smile at people instead of looking away.
5) Open your mind
Take a subject or belief system that you've always disliked or don't know much about - is your opinion based on fact or on fear? Read up about the subject; learn more about it to try to get a greater understanding. You are still entitled to disagree but at least your opinion will come from a place of knowledge rather than ignorance.
6) Increase your personal power
Personal power is your inner confidence. It's not about shouting the loudest or being outrageous. Your inner confidence is the calm knowledge that you are at peace with yourself.
*Think before you act
*Approach others with an open mind and heart
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