It’s all the rage right now, going on a specific diet to cleanse the physical body of toxins. Taking care of your physical health is good, but you are not just a body. Have you considered a Spiritual Cleanse? A 2012 study by the National Institutes of Health noted that there is a connection between healthy spiritual/religious beliefs and good health, both physical and mental. (1) Spiritual toxicity can show up in your life in many different ways; feelings of being lost or disconnected, boredom, aggravated for no reason and hopelessness… just to name a few.
Starting a Spiritual Cleanse may be the perfect addition to the kale smoothies and intermittent fasting regimen you’ve added to your routine. As a matter of fact, the Spiritual Cleanse may actually help your physical cleanse be more effective. Here are 5 easily achievable steps to help promote better Spiritual Health.
5 MINUTES OF MEDITATION
Can you find five minutes a day to spend in quiet contemplation? It sounds so simple to do, then why don’t we do it. Adopting the practice of meditating 5 minutes a day will change your life. Don’t let the word ‘meditation’ spook you. You don’t need special clothes or impossible to achieve posses to meditate. Meditation is as simple as finding 5 minutes a day to be quiet with your thoughts, a centering before you run out the door and into the busy day ahead. “Let silence take you to the core of life” -Rumi
Commit to taking 5 minutes a day for the next 7 days and meditating. Again… it will change your life.
Regardless of your political views (or lack of them), the effects of a toxic political climate are everywhere. And it’s not just politics. News outlets are competing for your attention, the scarier the story the better. Constant exposure to this creates a deep sense of fear in our psyche, and fear is the number one enemy of good spiritual health.
Spend the next 7 days watching no TV/Cable news or following your favorite news outlets. Notice how the underlying level of anxiety begins to subside. The truth is the world is filled with good people like you, but too much attention is given to the bad-actors in the world. Stop giving them your energy, use the new-found energy to rekindle an old friendship, start a new project or begin your personal journal.
LIFE BEFORE SMART PHONES
There was a time very recently when we didn’t know the temperature every minute of every day, we got the news about the day in one sitting and looked forward to sharing our experiences in gatherings with friends and family. It sounds like ancient history. Today news and information travels at the speed of light. The tsunami of information can be overwhelming. Smart phones and other modern devices give us instant access to a world of data we can’t possibly process as well as making us available for voice/email/text communications 24/7.
During the next 7 days, limit your access to the world and the world’s access to you. No one is suggesting a full disconnect but can you spend an evening with friends without outside connections? Start with something reasonable to you but create a space that belongs just to you with no interruptions from the outside world.
FIND FOREGIVENESS IN YOUR HEART
To forgive a person or a situation is probably the greatest challenge we are presented with in this life. Bernard Meltzer said “When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future.” Each one of us has had hurts and challenges in our lives. It’s not the “what” that has happened but the “how” we handled it that makes all the difference. An unforgiving heart holds desperately to the past, and in that obsession with the past, is unable to be in the present moment, unable to recognize, let alone enjoy, the people and situations surrounding them today. We all struggle with forgiveness, for most it does not come easily. In many ways it is a leaned skill.
Take 7 days of reflection, reflect on one person/situation each day in your past of whom/which to let go and find forgiveness in your heart. Start small if you need to, but you may quickly find that releasing a past hurt, no matter the size, can bring instant relief into your everyday life. People have benefitted from this program to assist with letting go of past hurts, click here.
LET YOURSELF OFF THE HOOK
On the subject of forgiveness; if finding forgiveness for others is a challenge, then finding forgiveness for yourself can be a monumental task. Most people are far harder and unforgiving with themselves then they would ever be on others around them. We demand perfection from ourselves, our finances, our physical bodies, our actions, our choices etc. The relentless pursuit of personal perfection is exhausting and wears down your body, mind & soul.
Over a day period, review the areas that you are not able to find forgiveness in your own life. Find forgiveness in your heart for your own words and actions, let yourself off the hook. It does not change what has happened, but it allows you freedom to choose another path in the future. Joan Lunden said “Holding on to anger, resentment and hurt only gives you tense muscles, a headache and a sore jaw from clenching your teeth. Forgiveness gives you back the laughter and the lightness in your life.” Give yourself the gift of “laughter and the lightness” in your life by loving yourself enough to let yourself off the hook for past words and actions. Transform your negative self-image into love and gratitude for all the things you have done well.
For the ambitious, you can take all 5 points and work on them at the same time. But for most, this 7 Day Spiritual Cleanse may turn into a series of 7-day cleanses as you incorporate these points into your daily life.