Top 10 Goals to Leading a More Spiritual Life
As I edge toward the big 4-0, I am becoming increasingly aware that there is more to life. I’m seeing the world through bigger, more expansive eyes, and I’m craving less fluff, more meaning. As I begin this journey to live a more conscious life, I’ve set out some goals, both to give me a roadmap and a home base to check back in if I get off track (and I will!). Here are the top ten goals that resonate with me.
1. Be conscious of the beauty everywhere.
In our busy world, we are often on auto-pilot, caring for others and hurriedly driving ourselves and children from one activity to the next. The cult of busy-ness and the chronic self-neglect deadens our senses, and we stop noticing the beauty that is literally all around us.
I want to notice the sunlight filtering through the window and dancing on the floor. I want to stop and take a few seconds to marvel at the color of the sky or a soft breeze. It is really all a miracle, the fact that we exist and we are given this chance to live on this beautiful planet. Just taking some time to appreciate that miracle will awaken my senses and keep me in a grateful place.
2. Stop the negative self-talk.
I am particularly guilty of this one. My inner dialogue consists of berating myself for my fat belly, haranguing myself for being socially awkward, and beating myself up for drinking too much wine. Why am I so unkind to myself? These voices are not pushing me to excellence; they are not encouraging me. They are pulling me down and making me feel like I am not even worthy of happiness, which is completely counterproductive to where I want to be. Stop the madness!
The benefits of meditation are completely life-enhancing. Meditation clears our minds and reduces stress, giving us more emotional stability and an increased ability to listen to our intuition. It increases blood flow, slows our heart rates, boosts our immune systems, and lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease. The practice of sitting quietly can help you discover your purpose and bring your body, mind, and spirit into harmony. And it slows the aging process. Less wrinkles=more happiness.
4. Choose actions from grace.
To be honest, I am not at all sure how to do this one yet. What I do know is that I feel much better when I act from a place of kindness with the intent to create no harm, instead of acting out of fear, anger, or disappointment. Keeping in mind what my ultimate goal is in a particular situation, I want to choose my actions and words carefully.
I know that when I act from a place of grace, it feels right.
5. Listen to the whispers within.
I want to listen to my intuition. I think we all have that voice within ourselves that says, “No, don’t do that,” or “Yes, yes, yes, this is good.” Those voices deep within our core can lead us to our true purpose and our happiest state, if only we would listen. When I don’t listen to the whispers within myself, I often regret it (and then engage in some negative self-talk. See #2 above). I would like to focus on listening to myself and see where that takes my life.
If we’re quiet (e.g. meditation/prayer), we can hear those whispers within. Shhhhhh.
6. Attract what I want. Visualize goodness.
The law of attraction posits that like attracts like and what you focus on, you bring into your life. Personally, I find The Secret a little bit creepy, with its haunting visuals and obsession with wealth. However, I do agree with some of the core concepts of the law of attraction. I think that keeping my mind in a positive place, figuring out what it is I really want, and then visualizing it will help me accomplish my goals. After all, if you know what you want, then you will be more likely to take advantage of opportunities that will take you there. For me, visualizing what it looks like and feels like is just another way of clarifying the details of what I want for my life.
7. Be grateful.
It turns out that counting our blessings can have an enormous impact on our lives, increasing our happiness, improving our relationships, and even helping us sleep, exercise, and have more energy. Keeping a gratitude journal for just a few minutes a day can exponentially increase our feelings of well-being.
Lately, when I’m in a stinker of a mood, I force myself to do a mental list of 10 things I am thankful for. I immediately feel the chip dislodging from my shoulder. Making the list also forces me to reframe some things in my life that may seem on the surface to be negative. This can be a powerful tool to seeing things in a different light.
Gratitude is the ultimate pixie dust.
8. Let go of things that aren’t working.
Life is hard. Our lives and relationships are constantly in flux, and sometimes what used to work so well stops working. As we become more comfortable with whom we truly are and what our purpose is in this life, sometimes certain habits and relationships begin to hold us back. Addictions and toxic relationships are prime examples of things we need to let go. Letting go of these habits and people can be very challenging, but we must make a commitment to filling our lives with healthy, positive goodness.
9. Follow my curiosities and be open to where they take me.
You may not have a dream or identify with the thought of “following your dream,” but everyone has interests and curiosities. We can follow those curiosities and see where they lead us. Arguably, there are no dead ends. Even if we explore something and it turns out to not be what we thought it was, it may lead us to other paths and other epiphanies.
10. Pass all of this along to my family
Believe it. Speak it. Model it. Live it. If you shine your light on the path, your children will walk in that light.
And who doesn’t want to walk on a path bathed in the light of joy, gratitude, grace, and beauty? Yes, please.