One of my friends who glows with vitality lent me a book about superfoods, those foods that are insanely good for us – blueberries, salmon, spinach, green tea, etc. Foods that seem to cure whatever ails you, from clearing out arteries to boosting the immune system to sharpening eyesight.
So I was wondering, what would be the superfoods of spirituality? What are the spiritual practices that are so nourishing we should partake of them every day?
Most people might feel obligated to say prayer is first. But sitting still and trying to commune with God is a chore for many people. They prefer to sense the Presence in the outdoors or find the expression of Life in other people.
The experience of our spiritual nature doesn’t always come in stillness, but rather in uproarious laughter or exhilarating activity.
Really, which would bring you closer to knowing Oneness? Sitting alone in a quiet room with your eyes closed, or snorkeling in Hawaii to see the panorama of fish in every color imaginable? Which would you find more nourishing?
Well, snorkeling in Hawaii might be more akin to a delicious, occasional dessert than the daily superfood practices that keep us healthy. So consider these for everyday nourishment:
Create quiet time: Call it prayer, meditation or just stillness. It might involve reading or music. It might include journaling in some form.
This time can be shared with others. I know couples who read books or listen to recordings together in their shared spiritual time. Certainly people can meditate together in groups.
A period of stillness, I believe, makes the day go more smoothly, whatever we encounter. It boosts our immunity to small irritations and niggling fears.
You need not sit cross-legged on a meditation cushion. Find a quiet practice that feeds you.
Practice denials and affirmations: These are tried-and-true spiritual superfoods to clear out toxins and build up strength.
Denials remove blocks in your thinking, much like blasting a kidney stone or dissolving a clot. You don’t deny the reality of whatever is happening, but you can deny its power over you, whether brought about by people, events or circumstances. You get to choose how to feel about them.
Then affirm what you know to be true: that you are part of the Infinite, you live in a universe of abundance, and there is order you cannot yet see.
Affirmations are like vitamins; you get a little boost from each one.
Speak positive words: This is the equivalent of drinking fresh water throughout the day. It keeps you in the flow of universal well-being, constantly reminding you what’s true about your existence.
What’s true? That good far outweighs anything we consider bad on this planet. And you attract more good every time you speak of it.
Hold a vision. I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the importance of having some idea, some picture, of where your life is headed.
Write the vision of your future life as if it has already happened, and read it every day. Put yourself at the frequency of your dream. Practice living there.
A vision allows you to take steps in the direction you want to go and measure your progress. Of course, you’ll leave room for the wonderful surprises — and perhaps challenges — you might never have desired consciously.
But you’re going to be creating your life with your thoughts anyway, so why not do it as deliberately as possible?
Move your feet: Action based on spiritual guidance is the equivalent of daily exercise.
As you consciously connect with the divine in you, you might feel moved to take action, even in ways that surprise you. Action is never forced. Wait for clarity and inspiration, but be ready to move when called.
If a handful of blueberries and a cup of green tea can save our physical lives, then I am prepared to make similar extravagant claims for a few simple spiritual practices.
None of these spiritual superfoods are complicated. Many are old and familiar, like salmon and broccoli. But they can keep you strong and supple, day in and day out, so if you should ever encounter a catastrophic emergency, you are better equipped to survive it.
When I think of eating healthy and getting exercise, I think of the dread word discipline. But it comes from the same root as disciple, a follower who adheres to a particular teaching.
Just as we adhere to the wisdom of our bodies, we also can follow the promptings of the divine, so we may gratefully partake of the most nourishing and satisfying fruits of the spirit. We are filled from within.