How do you live your life?
Do you have a spiritual practice?
And if so, how long do you spend doing it?
Perhaps you do yoga once a week, or maybe you have a daily meditation practice, or perhaps you have an on-again-off-again relationship with your spiritual practice.
The one thing that is consistent however, is life.
You are always doing and experiencing life.
And because of this, every moment of everyday becomes an opportunity to practise.
To practise staying aligned.
To practise living from your heart.
Yes, life is your most important spiritual practice.
Because, that time on the yoga mat or the meditation pillow, that is simply preparing you for life.
We practice yoga, or we meditate, to get good at life.
Once we leave the meditation pillow or the yoga mat, that’s when the real practice begins.
Can you maintain that loving centre, that inner alignment, when you’re being blown around by the wind’s of life?
Can you continue to stand tall and not lose your inner balance, when someone triggers you into emotion?
Life is the real test.
The real opportunity to practice what we might do so well when we’re in the safety of our own space on our yoga mat.
Because here’s the thing…
Your yoga practice, or meditation practice, or doing the Japanese Tea Ceremony, or whatever spiritual practice you have…
Absolutely, it’s important.
Our spiritual practice teaches us so much about ourself.
It teaches us resilience, helps us clear our emotional backlog, helps us listen more deeply to our heart’s wisdom…
Spiritual practices are important, and they’re important, as they give us a place to practise being connected to our True Self.
But like I said, the minute you leave your spiritual practice, is when the true spiritual practice begins.
Can you bring the qualities you cultivate on your mat, to life?
Can you shine that same compassion and love into all corners of your life, especially when life is mirroring back all of your yet-to-be-resolved gunk?
It’s very easy to become so reliant on your spiritual practice, feeling like you need to do many hours a day in order to stay balanced.
To stay sane!
However, when you feel like you can’t go a day without your spiritual practice, then you’ve swung to the other side.
This is what is called an addiction.
When our spiritual practice becomes an addiction it’s no better than any other addiction.
If you feel like you ‘must’ do this much yoga or this much meditation or you simply won’t be able to function, then you know that your spiritual practice has become a crux.
That’s no reason to stop meditating or to stop doing yoga.
But it is a sign, that you’re not applying the teachings from your spiritual practice to your life.
Like I said, we have a specific spiritual practice to get good at life.
Consider learning a new language.
Why do we practise grammar and do language exercises in a foreign language?
So we can have real life conversations in that language.
So we can immerse ourselves in a new culture, and participate in life in a new language.
It’s our language practice that helps us be able to live our life in a country that speaks a different language.
The more words we learn, the better our grammar becomes, the easier and more enjoyable it becomes to speak a foreign language.
And so it is with our spiritual practice.
We use our spiritual practice to cultivate the ability to live from a place of love – to listen to our heart more easily – and then life is where we get to practice those skills.
Yes, we do our spiritual practice so we can get good at life.
So life can be smoother, easier, more fulfilling.
But if we keep our spiritual practice as something seperate from life, then we miss the whole point of that spiritual practice.
I know I went through a phase where I would feel that if I didn’t do my tuning in practice – where I listen to my heart’s wisdom and clear my limiting beliefs (as I teach in the Remarkable Relationships course) that I couldn’t stay emotionally stable.
It had become a crux.
And while I certainly do recommend having such a practice to set yourself up, and create more emotional freedom in your life each day, if you feel rocky missing a day, then you know that you’re not taking your practice out into everyday living.
I’ll say it again…
Our true spiritual practice is living.
If you miss a day of meditation, it’s ok.
Come back to it the next day, and know that the calm mind you practise on your meditation pillow each day, can be practised while doing life.
And should be practised while doing life.
I’ll say it one more time…
Spiritual practices are important, but only in so far, as we use them to prepare us for life.
Many people struggle to sit through a meditation session.
And that’s ok.
Because you are simply cultivating a new skill; the ability to release unhelpful thoughts, so you can create the space to listen more closely to your heart.
For others, a yoga or meditation practice feels great as they have developed the skills to listen deeply to their body and heart.
But the question remains…
- Can you take that heart-connection out into every day life?
- Can you maintain your composure when knocked off balance through someone else’s gunky behaviour, and instead of reacting from a place of fear, respond from a place of love?
- When someone says something to you of a negative nature, can you stay connected enough to know that it’s their gunk and not yours?
It’s great to feel all blissed out from your spiritual practice, but if you fall back into old patterns the minute you leave the yoga mat and get triggered by life, you know that it’s time to start focusing on the real spiritual practice…
A spiritual person is not someone who does yoga, or qigong or meditates every day.
A spiritual person is someone who is willing to use what they learn during their spiritual practice – regardless of whether they’ve done their spiritual practice that day or not – and apply it to everyday real life situations.
So I invite you now to ask yourself:
- Can I walk the spiritual path outside in real life, when life gives me a little push or shove, pressing my proverbial buttons?
- Can I be mindful of my thoughts, and choose new, more loving thoughts as I go about my day?
- Can I love and accept myself and others, while setting healthy, loving boundaries, at all times?
And if not, ask yourself:
What would I need to do shift or change, so I could treat life as my new spiritual practice?
Please know that being spiritual isn’t about getting it right all the time, and staying totally connected to your true 24/7.
Putting that kind of pressure on yourself isn’t helpful to anyone!
What is does mean, is being willing to notice when you don’t feel good, and to choose to do something about it.
Choose to invite love in.
And that does take practise!
Even for the more spiritually aligned people.
For that is what life is for, to practise returning to our loving centre.
To practice being kind and compassionate.
To practise living your truth.
If you’d like to learn first hand from me, on how to let life be your spiritual practice, how to learn through life, how to stay full and centred when life knocks you for a six, I invite you to join me for a cuppa tea.
Tea with Tamra is my gorgeous membership offering that gives you a place to come each month and receive the guidance you most need at that time.
And we do it over a virtual cuppa tea, for the price of a cuppa tea!
I will always be there to help support you as you learn how to support yourself through this delicious thing we call life!
Tea with Tamra is your way to learn how to let life be one big yoga mat.
A chance to grow, realign yourself and become a powerful alley for yourself, so you can live from your heart.
So you can live your truth.
And there can be nothing more beautiful than that.