As humans we have two energetic polarities which keep us in tact. We have a grounding force in our root chakra helping us to be strong and vibrantly connected to the earth and its natural system. We also possess a universal connection at our crown chakra keeping us open and nourishing our receptivity to a higher wisdom. Both keep us aligned with our highest potential. Yet, we can often become ‘uprooted’ from our grounding force or ‘disconnected’ from our universal connection due to the infringement of daily life stressors.
As we become knocked off our axis, we can often be left feeling ‘spun out’ this is because we are literally spinning our energy chaotically through our core energetic channel known as the ‘sushumna nadi’ rather than feeling a vibrant, integrated flow of prana to and from our polarities. “But wait!” you might say, “aren’t the chakras spinning wheels of energy?” Yes! Their job is to spin energy out into the body’s energy superhighway, known as the Meridian system. However, when the collective vibe of the body’s systems is in balance it becomes a nicely integrated flow of energy through the core channel.
It's tough to stay balanced in a world that is overbooked with meetings, playdates, to-do lists out the wazoo, and date-nights. But when it comes to the big life decisions like starting a new career, moving to a new city, starting a family or relationship transitions we need this balance to help us feel certain as we cross these thresholds into something that will change our entire atmosphere. We need a strong spiritual foundation to help us gain our footing amidst all the amazing curveballs life has in store for us.
A spiritual foundation has nothing to do with dogma or religion. Spirituality means whatever it is for you that connects you to your own spirit, your higher wisdom, your true state of being, away from the noise of the ego. Here are 6 tools to help you build a strong spiritual foundation.
1. Practice Gratitude: When I trekked up and over a 15,000’ mountain pass in the Peruvian Andes, my head was pounding, I could barely catch my breath and my entire body was aching because of the altitude. I cursed every step, but was determined to make it. It’s when I paused to look back at where I had been, how far I had walked that I was able to have gratitude which powered me up and over the finish line. Looking back at the amazing gifts we’ve been given in our lives empowers us to move forward through any set of challenges. You may decide keep a gratitude journal. Personally, I like to spontaneously feel bits of gratitude each day and simply smile up to the sky or touch earth and say a heartfelt thank you for the blessings that I encounter. Either way you practice, gratitude is a higher state of being and shifts us out of whatever bad juju mood we might be feeling. This leads me to the next tool....
2. EFF-Energy Follows Focus: Wherever your focus goes, that’s where your energy flows! Think about your internal inner critic. What if it was an actual person who followed you around all day talking nonsense and criticized every move you made?This brings your vibe down. We’re so often unaware that we’re doing it, so we become stuck in a negative feedback loop. Play a game with yourself and just notice all the negative thoughts you encounter during the day. Then say to yourself, “EFF, EFF, EFF, Energy Follows Focus,” this will help you shift your focus on to something more positive and lift your vibe along with it.
3. Journaling: Every time I ask a client if they journal, they sheepishly say no like it’s something they know they should do like eating their broccoli. We often think of journaling as a task, rather than something nourishing. We think have to gather up all our pontifications and arrange them in beautiful prose, yuck! Think of journaling as simply an energy-release. Maybe a colleague really ticked you off today or you feel sad thinking about an ex-boyfriend or perhaps an old childhood memory won’t stop circulating in your mind. Get it out of your head and on to paper. You don’t have to think about what you’re writing, you don’t have to even look at it. I’ve often closed my eyes and blindly written just to get my thoughts & emotions out and release their energy. Afterwards you feel clear and lighter because the lower vibes aren’t weighing you down.
4. Connecting with Nature: I know I’m dating myself when I say one of my favorite lines of a song is from Joni Mitchell’s Woodstock, “We are stardust, we are golden, and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.” It’s so true! We are part of this earth, and this earth is part of the mind-boggling vast universe. When we go for a hike or sit in a park or lie on the beach we are automatically connecting to something more open and expansive than us. We are cleansing our energy fields with a much higher vibe. Gazing out over the beauty, we soften our eyes and quiet our minds. We’re breathing in the fresh air and energy to our cells and it restores us to our most natural state of being. So go find a lovely patch of earth, kickoff your shoes and sit on it. (you'll love my True Nature Personal Retreat to kickoff the practice of connecting with Mother Earth)
5. Power Down: During my morning commute into the city I make it a point to turn off the radio and let phone calls go to voicemail. It’s a nice 30 minute sliver that I get to let my mind wander away from the noise. We live in a techno-saturated society. There are so many ways for information to fill our heads that we have become overloaded. Power it all down. When our mind is full, then it begins to loop on itself. It’s why we get frustrated with our meditation practice because we can’t get our mind to be still. Streamline what you need and leave the rest. Whether it’s on your morning run, your commute, during your workday or even at bedtime (read all you binge-watchers), get used to a quieter environment and you’ll gain a quieter, more responsive mind.
6. Meditate: Awwww, you knew this was coming, gosh-darnit! But notice how I saved the best for last. We get frustrated with meditation because we think we need to sit down, clear our minds and be still for 20 minutes...okay 15. Practicing the first 5 tools will prep you for this last one. Once you gain a mind that is gratitude-based, trained on shifting its focus, emptied of all the emotions, revived by nature and quieter from all the daily stimuli, then you’re ready to sit. Meditation re-wires your brain to allow you to access information from your centerpoint, a more intuitive mindset beyond your daily consciousness. This helps you feel less scattered, think more coherently, and become much more integrated.
As you incorporate these tools into your daily life, you’ll find a truer sense of yourself. You’ll find more mental and emotional bandwidth to navigate life challenges. You’ll also feel connected to a deeper support system to assist you with major life decisions. All of this ultimately informs your way of being in the world which has a lasting ripple effect on everyone around you. Simply by creating a strong spiritual foundation you are contributing to lifting the vibe around the world!