Moments for deep practice are essential for continuing our spiritual progress. For instance, carving out a time to explore one of the visualization techniques for conversing with your Higher Self, can offer experiences that range from the insightful to the profound.
Of course, as lay practitioners it is both our challenge and opportunity to integrate our spiritual practice into our daily lives. Finding moments to touch into our practice during the business of daily life can infuse our world with a deeper texture and richness that would not be possible if we keep our spiritual world and our daily life compartmentalized.
Here are seven simple ways to bring the joys of deepening your spiritual practice, particularly the practice of bringing your Higher Self into your day-to-day awareness and existence. Given them a try and see if you experience a fuller, richer day-to-day life.
1. Take a Mindful Moment
Mindfulness studies show that taking even five or ten minutes a day for meditation can increase wellbeing, improve your ability to relax, focus and maintain a positive attitude. But, even if you realize you’ve missed your daily meditation, you can still enjoy the benefits of mindfulness by giving yourself a moment or two of simply being in the present with yourself and your surroundings. These brief but potent returns to the here and now can reset our experience and make us more available to the calm, contented mindset we need to stay in touch with the Higher Self.
Here’s a four-step meditation you can use any time (except when driving!):
- Close your eyes or gently rest your gaze a few feet in front of you.
- Begin to notice the sensations and movements of the body breathing in and out.
- Invite your whole body to feel the breath with deep, slow, gentle inhalations followed by long, complete exhalations.
- Continue like this until the body settles into this breathing. Let go of this experience when you’re ready.
As you release the focus on the breath, continue to embrace the sensation of having rested in the present moment. As we practice how to go about our lives in a more mindful way, we make ourselves available to the wisdom of the Higher Self as it naturally arises throughout our everyday life.
2. Come Back to Your Body
Taking a pause to observe your body naturally brings you into the present.
Whether your mind is continually orientated to a computer screen or your body is supporting you as you move through your day’s work, you may at some point find yourself out of touch with the sensations and happenings of your physical presence. If we continue to work with stiffness, tiredness or more serious chronic pain, we may have come up with subconscious habits that cause us to suppress or ignore our body, in order to stay in motion.
Our spiritual access to the Higher Self is dependent on our ability to be present in all aspects of our daily life, including our physical awareness. There may be some cultural temptation for spiritual practitioners to ignore physical activity, but as spiritual beings, the body is our home and therefore, in many ways, the seat of our Higher Self.
Bringing awareness to the body can paradoxically be as much a mental exercise as any other meditative experience. To do so, you must first notice you have stepped away from your body. Perhaps you may feel like your attention is somewhere in front of you, pointed towards a future time or idea. You may feel as though you’re only occupying certain portions of the body, and your legs and feet feel disconnected from your holistic experience.
Here are a few simple tips to see if you feel disconnected with your body and how to come back to your physical experience:
- Bring your attention to your feet. Are they cold, hot? Do you feel as though they are separated or distanced from your shoulders or your eyes? See if you can focus on the feet until they are as present to you as your hands, arms or hips. Let the mind rest on the experience of your feet touching the floor and “breath into” that area of the body until you feel a return of sensation or a “drop” into the lower half of your form.
- Download a “body scan” meditation on any meditation platform. These simple, effective meditations guide you through every aspect of the body from toes to the top of the head, leaving you feeling integrated, grounded, and refreshed.
- Do some quick, impromptu movement. Skip the structure of a yoga pose or workout routine and give your body the freedom to do whatever it is craving. Ask the mind to step aside and hand over the reins to the body sensations. You may find yourself rolling on the carpet, stretching like a cat or shaking out your limbs. It may be different every time but it will always be exactly what the body needs.
3. Have a Quick Check-In with Your Intuition
Just as your body might be craving permission to burst forward movement, your intuition might be looking for a moment in the sun.
In the business of the day-to-day it’s easy to slip into a strictly mental mindset that sets the tone for professional accomplishment and productivity. Getting into a rhythm of work isn’t harmful on its own; however, many of us get stuck in this wavelength and have a hard time giving ourselves a break to allow creativity to come in or transition into the other states of mind.
When you find that you’ve reached a point in your day where the majority of your mental work is complete, take a moment to express gratitude towards yourself for what you’ve accomplished, and check in with the intuition to determine what could come next in your day.
Your intuition gives you access to deeper, more abstract wisdom and understanding of your experience, that can’t often be accessed on a surface level. Keeping in close connection with the intelligence of intuition allows us to build trust with our hidden knowledge, much like the guidance we receive from the Higher Self.
To connect with your intuition, consider blocking off a piece of time for “aimlessness.” Allot yourself this time without any goals or expectations. When the time arrives, move “aimlessly” about the space and notice what activities you’re craving and what experiences you are gravitating towards. Keep an uplifted but gentle tone to your time, letting curiosity guide you. You may find yourself picking up a guitar, organizing a junk drawer or simply looking out the window over a cup of tea. Whatever occurs, be sure to enjoy it without judgment knowing that your intuition guided you to take up this experience.
To establish a deeper connection to your Intuition, take the first course in the School of Higher Self Yoga: Awaken Your Intuition!
4. Move Your Energy from Your Head to Your Heart
Shifting energy from your mind to your heart reduces stress and overthinking.
Our world is made up of energies that inhabit our bodies, our culture, and even the phenomenon of the natural world. Together with our Higher Selves, we can learn to cultivate energies that serve us and let go of those that don’t.
Many practices relating to energy work require dedicated rituals, breathwork or movement. In the Higher Self tradition, there is a simple way to spontaneously recognize and process the energy you are experiencing in any given moment.
- Take a moment to center yourself. This could be as simple as placing one hand on the heart, and one hand on the belly and feeling your breath move in and out your mind is rested on the sensation of your body breathing.
- Notice the mental activity of your mind with a detached, non-judgmental awareness. Try to recognize that the mind is thinking without attaching yourself to the specifics of the thoughts.
- Move your awareness from the mind to the heart. Cultivate the sensation that your awareness is traveling down to be with the sensations of the heart center. feelings.
- After you have rested in the non-verbal wisdom of the heart, bring the feeling of that knowledge back up to the mind and contemplate what you have experienced with a new serenity and spaciousness.
- In a few hours, notice if your energy feels more balanced and more aligned.
To establish an even deeper connection to your Heart, consider the second course in the School of Higher Self Yoga: Living from the Heart.
5. Connect with Your Heart
Those of us on the spiritual path know that a major part of the journey is learning how to balance our spiritual practices with the demands of our everyday lives – and even try to incorporate the two.
We may find ourselves experiencing resistance to practice because an open heart is more tender, gentler and refined than when we are closed off and shut down from the world. It can be tricky to spend the evening going into a deep heart practice then get up to face a challenging meeting, unenlightened interaction or even just the ennui of the day-to-day.
It is our role as practitioners to strengthen our hearts, fortifying them for the difficult moments and uncomfortable emotions. In addition to our work “on the cushion” we can practice building our heart-strength by taking care of the heart, as it strives to be present in everyday situations.
As an example, if your heart is feeling open and you have an encounter that you find hurtful, give yourself 1 -2 minutes after that interaction to acknowledge what is arising, feel it and let it go.
You can steal away for a quiet moment and simply place one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly, allowing yourself to gently breathe into what was felt, so that it can be processed and let go.
In this way, you are not only caring for your own wellbeing, but you are halting the cycle of this energy so that its power to harm ends with you.
6. Step into Nature
The mind craves natural spaces.
As modern humans, we tend to spend the majority of our time indoors in manufactured spaces. The comforts of home can be so alluring that we may begin to lose track of our connection with the energy of nature.
Certainly, taking a moment to step away from the screen and take a mindful walk around the block can go a long way in resetting our perspective and getting us in tune with the feel of the outdoors. That said, there are other gentle ways to keep the cycles and flows of nature in your day-to-day life.
Many ancient agricultural-based religions use what’s known as The Wheel of Year and the lunar cycles to keep pace with the patterns of nature. While this may seem too in-depth for many, it could be as simple as acknowledging the changes in light or the changes of the seasons and taking note of how each makes us feel.
As we deepen our orientation to the natural world, we may begin to notice how a new moon versus a full moon can impact us on a given evening. Choosing to eat more seasonally, or choosing activities that embrace the feel of a given season can enrich our relationship to the natural world and therefore, our higher nature on the whole.
We explore exercises on how to connect to the Higher Self through Nature, in the first book in the Higher Self Yoga Anthology: Higher Self Yoga Book One by Founder Nanette V Hucknall.
7. Explore Abstract Expression
The Higher Self within us yearns to express its full authentic self. In deep meditation states, like the state you experience through the Higher Self, you become a vessel that is open to receiving information from the cosmos. This information may be more abstract than the videos and writings we encounter on a typical day. Some have described this information as a process of being able to “hear” or “see” words or images.
As a general practice, remaining open to more diverse expressions of knowledge and wisdom can support us in the moments when we are receiving abstract ideas from the Higher Self. Our conditioned resistance to non-traditional information forms loosen and we’ll have the capacity to think and feel in new and enlightened ways.
Here are some tips for keeping our mind nimble and open to diverse expressions:
- Whatever your creative outlet may be – keep it handy so you can reach for it should the moment call. Take that guitar out of the case! Get your drawing pencils out on the desk. If you have a craft going, keep it somewhere that you can easily pick it up instead of reaching for a screen.
- Keep a notepad handy and allow your hand to write and draw without looking at the page. You can also open up an empty document while you work and allow yourself to track insightful notes as they arise throughout your day.
- Explore new music including music from distinct wisdom traditions, to discover how spirit communicates in sound
- Expose yourself to art, design and illustration that you find interesting and inspiring. See if you can find work that makes you feel challenged or obtuse.
- Enhance your space with lively objects like plants, wind chimes or crystals. Add a prism to a space you commonly occupy and allow your mind to wander with changing rainbow light on the walls
These simple exercises can seem mundane but they have the power to break through the established patterns of our daily lives to create a richer, more heart-felt connection to our own experience. By offering ourselves quiet moments of connection to the Higher Self we step into a more integrated, balanced life. Experiment with these exercises in your day to day life and see if you experience an increased connection to the Higher Self both in deeper moments of practice and in your overall world.
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