Editor’s Note: this is a guest post by Chloe Thea.
It’s one of those ‘larger-than-life’ concepts that will either spread a knowing smile across your face, or have you shaking your head ‘I just don’t get it.’
If you find yourself perched firmly in the latter camp, I don’t blame you. It can be hard to know what ‘spirituality’ actually looks like when we live in a world where we can’t take a bite without Instagramming our meals, or understand something without consulting our old pal Google.
Being a self-confessed hippy, I thought I had this whole ‘spirituality’ business down pat. I live for Oprah, I subscribe to the usual plethora of #spiritjunkies on my Facebook feed and I’ve read my fair share of Eckhart Tolle. To be honest, I thought that just about covered it.
But my all-too-short week in Nepal opened my heart and my mind to the concept of ‘spirituality’ like never before. For the first time, in a country where spirituality is so effortlessly etched into the woodwork, I saw how you could bring spirituality into every single aspect of your life (and not just to your mat during Sunday morning yoga).
If you want to be more spiritual, but have no idea how to apply it to your modern-day-Tweeting-Pinning-scrolling life, the good news is that spirituality doesn’t have to be hard, scary or foreign (and you don’t have to tote crystals in your handbag, meditate everyday or down green smoothies like there’s no tomorrow, either). In fact, spirituality can be as simple as bringing more presence and passion wherever you go.
Below are some easy Nepalese practices to help you bring a little more spirituality to your ‘one wild and precious life’, in less than five minutes a day.
Let’s dive in.
1. Bring beauty everywhere
A bowl of floating flowers. A simmering incense stick. A small, intentional altar.
Everywhere I looked in Nepal – whether it was a small, dark corner, or an important monument, beauty radiated. The Nepalese bring it wherever they go.
Think about how you can bring small bouts of beauty into the corners of your life and home. You don’t have to go all Martha Stewart on me, either. A few beautifully placed candles or some scattered crystals can do wonders for a tired looking nook. If your handbag is looking a little worse for wear, empty it, shake out all those crumbs (how do they get there anyway?), and give it a new lease on life by attaching a beaded key chain or tying a beautiful scarf around the strap.
Where can you bring more beauty to the seemingly boring or dull areas of your life?
2. Inner peace through gratitude
“Inner peace is so very important,” my wise, old Yoga teacher tells me on the first day of class.
“When we have inner peace, world peace is possible,” he laments.
So, what was this ancient Yogi’s recipe for lasting inner peace? A few moments of gratitude, a gentle dose of stillness, and a sprinkle of movement (for good measure, of course). Dosage – once daily.
To bring more spirituality into your life, think about five things you’re grateful for before you go to sleep each night. It only takes a minute, but this simple practice can help you be happier, more content and remind you of all the good in your life.
3. Ritual shouldn’t be reserved
Most people think that rituals should be ‘reserved’ for special occasions – like anniversary celebrations or Christmas day. The Nepalese take a different approach.
Whether it’s background music for cooking, or the hum of a singing prayer bowl for meditation, the Nepalese understand the power of rituals and practice them daily.
Next time you’re brewing your soy chai, why not bring a little ritual to the process? Pull out your ‘good china’, put on some gentle background music and just savour the moment.
It will only take five minutes of your time, but this simple tweak to a usually mundane task can help you feel more spiritual and special.
4. Simplify your life
Meet Ali. He’s an ecstatically happy 18 year old rickshaw driver from Kathmandu.
He attributes his happiness to one thing – simplicity.
“When life is easy, you are happy,” he says, with a huge grin spreading infectiously across his face.
The Nepalese believe that simplifying is good for the soul – in turn, you will be happier.
Look around your room right now. Everything you see should either be useful or beautiful. If any object isn’t serving one of these two purposes, it’s time to let go of it. Give it to charity, recycle it or think of a new way the object can be put to good use.
Letting go of physical objects can be very cathartic and help you release old, negative emotions, or even just help to de-clutter your life.
Again, this process will only take five minutes of your life, but living more simply can help you be more spiritual.
5. Honour the divine in everyone you meet
Whether you’re entering a restaurant, passing by a crystal jeweller or beginning your daily yoga class, the greeting is the same all over Nepal – Namaste.
Namaste is the Hindi greeting for hello, but it has a much more powerful meaning too – the divine in me, honours the divine in you.
Namaste is always said with a gentle smile, a bowed head and hands softly touching in prayer.
Like everything in Nepal, it’s intentional – more than a mere greeting – a nod to spirituality and all that’s divine in the world.
How can you honour the divine in someone you meet today? Maybe you could compliment them on their work, ask about their day (and really listen to the answer), show them respect by truly connecting (don’t just wait for your turn to talk).
When you honour the divine in someone, you are honouring the sacredness of human relationships. Think about how you can show someone that you honour what’s inside them today.
So, there you have it, Wild Sister – five easy tips to help you be more spiritual (in less than five minutes a day). How will you bring more spirituality to your life today?
Chloe Thea is a Holistic Time Management and Productivity Coach – passionate about helping big-hearted creatives become masters of their time and energy so they can shine bigger, brighter.
She writes over at You Can Go Your Own Way.
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