We live in an era that propagates self-indulgent behaviour than spiritual awakening experiences. It is challenging to take time out especially in our always “on something” culture. We have constant access to our emails, Facebook updates, tweets, snapchat, and smartphones, all of which keep users distracted, exploiting the same vulnerability as gambling. The addiction has disastrous consequences if caution is not applied.
We can regularly check our bank balance on the go and the banks can even alert us if we have insufficient money in our account to pay a bill. Stress is no longer something you hear others talking about. The fast paced lifestyle we are encouraged to live comes with its challenges and worries. The likelihood of knowing a friend or family member dealing with stress is a lot more common.
We often find ourselves running up and down, doing this and that whilst neglecting the important things and people in our lives. I have experienced this and taken the steps below to support my journey in making the required lifestyle changes.
Ways to take better care of YOU.
Drop excess baggage.
I repeat, drop all excess baggage including negative associations. When you are at the airport and you have excess luggage, you are asked to pay a bit more money or just dump it for someone to pick up later, either way it will cost you in the long run. Speak your truth, be congruent and do not present a false representation of who you are.
Negative interactions can erode your inner peace and drag you into an emotional space that doesn’t promote positivity.
Maintain your spiritual practice daily
It is imperative to have a daily spiritual practice. Whatever happens make sure you keep to it. It could be getting up to pray in the morning, listening to worship songs, music or just sitting quietly with God. This might be challenging for families with young children, so sometimes I wake up extra early whilst everyone is still asleep.
Strike a Balance.
We shout about it, we talk about it, but we know it’s hard to maintain. I learnt many years ago after I was totally burnt out that I can’t save the world and everyone. In fact, God doesn’t have that expectation of me. When you love to serve people, there is a tendency to neglect your own emotional and mental wellbeing. I volunteer a lot, from school governor, to helping out at my local primary school, to mentoring youths, I could go on. I reached a breaking point and had to reassess all my activities; I dropped some activities and continued with the ones that I felt I was able to manage.
Family is important; maintaining healthy relationships with loved ones can help to maintain a balance. Spending quality time with family helps to improve our mental and emotional resilience and improve relationships. You don’t necessarily need money to do this. A trip to the park on a sunny day can be equally enjoyable. I sometimes sit with my kids, and we watch cartoons together. I am a child at heart.
We are constantly drawn in by other attractions and just being still is no longer normal. Meditation is vital and necessary, particularly in the age of technology overload. We need to dwell in the presence of God and air out our internal and external distractions. This can be challenging even with the best intentions.
Meditation is a spiritual universal wisdom leading from the mind to the heart. It is a way of simplicity, stillness and silence. God is the centre of everything. Meditation has been shown to lower stress levels. Meditation re-energises us and awakens our spiritual consciousness. We no longer become self-centred but God-centred. Even in the midst of our challenges, if we are awakened, then our focus can be shifted to a place of gratitude. When we meditate we allow our being to soak in God’s wisdom and we become a source of wisdom in our mind, will and emotions.