What are Spiritual Disciplines, and Why are They Important Today?, Part 2
In last week’s article, we described the practice of spiritual discipline and the important health and lifestyle benefits that result from having a spiritual practice. This week, we provide a ‘how-to’ kick-start your practice. Here is part 2 of our 2-part series…
These spiritual practices inform how we embrace change at OHI in order to maintain a safe and sacred space for our guests to continue their practice. We’re not changing what or why we do what we do; instead we have adapted our space to provide a more intimate experience for guests. That means smaller classrooms, a higher staff to guest ratio, an increased number of private rooms, and much more. Through intimacy we may find a greater sense of personal well-being and spirituality.
You will also experience each of these spiritual disciplines throughout our many classes and activities at OHI. Here are some finer points and how-to’s on a few of them:
The spiritual discipline of Journaling is a chronicle of your activities and thoughts; a diary of your spiritual insights; a place to record your prayer requests; and a notebook where your private reflections, introspections, questions, and musings can be preserved. Daily, weekly, or whenever the mood strikes, you can choose how often you wish to write. Use a spiral notebook, legal pad, computer, or fancy book of bound blank pages. Date your entries and record your location. Feel free to journal anywhere: your desk, in bed, on the beach, in the woods, or at the local tea house. Don’t worry about grammar or spelling – this is for your eyes only. An easy way to get started is to write about a movie you saw, a book you read, or a museum you visited, and the reaction they invoked. Write about your feelings, your worries, your fears, your disappointments, your successes, your goals, even your daydreams. Write about ruminations you can’t seem to eliminate. Write to your creator and ask for guidance. Journaling will help bring clarity to your thoughts, and help you focus on what’s most important to you
Simplicity is often thought of as eliminating excess household possessions and obligations on your calendar, but it is so much more than that. Decluttering your home and life is a worthwhile accomplishment. It removes a lot of worry and frees up time. Best of all, simplicity is all about streamlining your world so that you have more time for your life’s purpose. Simplicity is not about doing less, it is about doing more of what is most valuable to you. By eliminating short term distractions, you can focus your time, energy, and resources on achieving your goals. At OHI, we provide a safe and sacred space where you can identify your values and goals. Our Focus classes help you identify values that are important to you such as fitness, healing, or relationships. You’ll learn how to set goals, and how to make daily and weekly plans for achieving them. And, you’ll learn how to break down your time into important vs. unimportant activities, as well as, which ones are urgent and which ones are not. At OHI, we will help you simplify your life so you can devote more time to your passion.
Community (Fellowship) is a huge part of the daily spiritual discipline here at OHI. Starting with New Guest Orientation and the Program Basics class, you will quickly find likeminded people with whom you will form a lasting community. Human beings cannot exist in isolation, and your OHI Community gives you a tribe who will give comfort, encouragement, guidance, and camaraderie. You will experience fellowship in nearly every one of your classes and activities. Especially satisfying is our You Validation class, where the OHI community lovingly gathers around and shares the qualities they like about you. Fellowship is important and you will develop a support group that understands you like no one else. You’ll create friendships that may last a lifetime. Maintaining your community is important once you’re back home. Make a point of staying in contact with your new friends by planning regular phone calls or visits back to OHI.
Combine the spiritual disciplines of Bodily Exercise and Noticing God (in nature). You honor your creator by keeping your body in good physical condition. Not only does exercise keep you healthy; it reduces stress, lessens fatigue, and helps you sleep better. When you maintain a regular routine of exercise, you become a role model who leads others by example. An excellent exercise habit to develop is a daily walk. While walking you can also practice the spiritual discipline of Noticing God in nature. Albert Einstein observed, “God reveals himself in the harmony of what exists.” Perhaps you’ll see the power of our creator in the beautiful complexity of a dew covered spider web glistening in the sun; the determination of a plant growing out of crack in the sidewalk; the brilliant color of a flower in bloom; the delicate wings of a butterfly; or the sound of a hummingbird hovering nearby. As you continue walking, your heart rate increases, and you become aware of the amazing creation of God that you are: your body which consists of thousands of complex, functioning systems: circulation, digestion, breathing, seeing, and thinking. Take in a deep breath, then as you exhale… revel in appreciation for your maker.
Plan a visit to OHI, and learn how these 24 ancient spiritual disciplines can help you develop inner strength and growth to achieve optimum health.
Science and the Spiritual Disciplines: Silence by Anjeanette Roberts, reasons.org, January 19, 2017
An Introduction to the Spiritual Disciplines by Brett and Kate McKay, artofmanliness.com, May 28, 2018
The Spiritual Disciplines: Simplicity by Brett & Kate McKay, artofmanliness.com, May 28, 2018
How to Practice the Spiritual Discipline of Journaling by Trina Dofflemyer, rzim.org, no date provided
In these uncertain times, look to OHI as your safe haven. As we celebrate 43 years of holistic healing, we can teach you how achieve your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual goals for optimal health. Stay safe, and be well. Above all, embrace positivity!
Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, or call us at (800) 588-0809
to make your reservation.