Prioritizing a spiritual practice?

I’m trying to clean out some crap from my apartment and I found a bag full of information I received at a health fair last year. I’m going through recipes, trying to decide if I will try them or if I should just throw them away (I kept the almond pancake recipe but not the granola recipe.) I reviewed information for a Health Coach and pondered if that is perhaps something that would help me align my goals with my actual lifestyle. And then I came to this hand out on “the Integrated Nutrition Plan: 12 Steps to Better Health” (pictured below). I was reading the 12 steps in order.

  1. Drink more water (well, I already drink a fair share of water, but word, I can probably use to increase the amount).
  2. Practice cooking (yep, definitely something I am trying to integrate into my life).
  3. Increase whole grains (eh, maybe, not sold on that one)
  4. Increase sweet vegetables (yeah, yeah, the veggie thing. True enough)
  5. Increase leafy green vegetables (okay, more health stuff, sweet…I get it, eat clean and healthy)

12steps

I scanned through the next few realizing that they were all food and then skipped ahead to number 12: Develop a spiritual practice. The only thing I could think of was why was this at the end of the list? Granted, the fine print does say you can pick the steps in whatever order you want; however, my personality type appreciates the numbers and would follow that. Okay, and that may be a different issue altogether, but I do think that the list suggests a best practice. But that’s beside the point, actually. Because really, it just helped me realize how essential my spiritual practice is in my life. And it’s one that is often neglected. I’ve gone to maybe 2-3 yoga classes this year…but the amount of bars I’ve been too, well, drastically exceeds that number. And when I think about it, my current state of being reflects that. I’m overwhelmed, I feel behind, I feel like my apartment is a disaster, I eat like shit and I haven’t done any art in ages. Yoga calms me, brings me into myself and really encourages me to treat my body as the beautiful temple it is. Yoga makes me want to be healthier…yoga is my impetus for doing the 12 steps of nutritional health. Unfortunately me just thinking about it and wanting to be healthy isn’t my impetus, or it isn’t strong enough to make it happen. That want, that thought process, is overshadowed by responsibilities, by stress, by a busy, multifaceted life. I can really suck at times when dealing with stress and it’s my spiritual practice that brings me home, that brings me into light and that invigorates my soul that I make better health decisions. I need my spiritual practice to do art. It creates a healthy space in my life for creativity. It balances me and allows me to align with the universe so I can learn my truth and speak it through my art, and in all areas of my life.

 

These are all great and important steps. It’s awesome for me to recognize I want to start with step 12 and cultivate my spiritual practice.

 

When I have my spiritual practice I am united with myself and can approach life with a clear mind and beautiful inclinations. I open myself up to the vibrant and illuminating aspects of life. I have a clean, comforting space in which I live a productive and serene life. It’s my spiritual life that helps me choose to have a salad over a frozen entree at work, and to cook fish and veggies over ordering pizza for dinner. It’s because I have the 12th step, having my spiritual practice, that I choose to embody steps 1-11. It’s amazing to realize this b/c I know instead of trying to do several of these steps all at once and feeling the failure of integrating those steps into my lifestyle, that if I just embrace my spiritual practice, my yoga and meditation, that the rest will fall into place.

Meditation

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