Spiritual development is a life-long course enriched by building relationship with Spirit.
Some ways in which to do this are through study, activities, and quiet time.
God wants you to feel comfortable engaging with Him as an earthly father and child would in the healthiest of relationships.
Here are some ways in which you can foster your relationship with the Divine.
Being in the presence of God and grace is an immeasurable feeling. Our lives become so busy that we can often feel as though we are anywhere but in the present.
But it is important for us to gift ourselves with some semblance of peace in this whirlwind we call life.
Meditation provides a realistic solution because you can take as little as five minutes to notice your breathing patterns and find yourself face-to-face with serenity.
An example is in the audio file below:
One of the many benefits of meditation is awakening the power of Kundalini through Chakra work.
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Meditation and prayer could probably be considered synonymous. There are really no distinguishing qualities between the two. Like meditation, prayer allows you to concentrate on a specific thought, feeling or anticipated outcome.
When I first began to grow spiritually and really allowed myself to fall in love with God, I used scripture to pray.
When you use scripture you can be certain that what you ask for is within the will of God.
One subject of my prayers was to be purged of anything within me that was not God-like.
The idiom "be careful of what you wish for" comes to mind because if you ask God to do something, and it is within His will for your life, you can be certain that He will fulfill your request.
I was oblivious to the fact that I was requesting that God completely change my life.
One of the scriptures I used was Psalm 139:23-24 (NLT). I would recite these two verses as though I had written them myself and God was sitting right next to me as the words streamed out of my mouth.
An example is in the audio file below:
I don't think that there is any way to truly form a relationship with God without sacred text.
Scripture has been my anchor. It has helped me to decipher between what I believe as a Christian and what I was taught to believe as a Christian.
Truth be told, one can find some (not all) religious institutions to be more institutional than religious.
When you lead a spiritual life (through studying scripture, praying, and so on) you can gain the discernment necessary to learn how to practice your faith while also attending religious institutions.
Bible Basics Layers of Understanding
Find Yourself Stumbling Over those Old English Words?
If the dialect of the King James Version of the Holy Bible frightens you, do not be afraid - there is hope for you.
There are so many different versions of the Holy Bible available now, that I am certain you can find one that you are able to understand and enjoy reading.
It could be both functional and fun to spend some time in a bookstore or online reading through the various formats available in order to find the right fit for you.
The New Living Translation was the first version that I purchased outside of the King James Version. I find it to be surprisingly readable while preserving the same tone as the KJV.
There are also study Bibles that provide additional resources, like detailed maps, chronological time lines, and research notes from theologians.
Once you find the translation that is right for you, it will seem less of a chore to read and study the Bible.
Over the years I have held on to many of my journals if for no other reason than to track progress.
Journal entries from my adolescent and teenage years are rather scary and fury-laden.
The tone of my entries has evolved and is now far less infused with negativity. My journals are increasingly filled with thoughts of love and gratitude.
You can glean a significant amount of information about your internal state of being when you read your inner most thoughts on the page.
If you find it awkward to pray or if you find that the closer you get to God the further away you are from everyone else you know, you may want to use journaling to candidly express yourself without consequence.
Journaling can help you transcend your environment, and you may even discover things about yourself that you did not know were true.
Spiritual development guides you towards addressing your innermost thoughts and feelings.
It's no easy task, but you typically won't make progress until you address ALL aspects of your life, even the painful ones.
Give it a try and see where it takes you. Research has shown that it is much more beneficial to write out your thoughts than ruminate (constantly turning our thoughts over in our head).
When you ruminate, you are fixed in that period of time when the unfavorable event occurred, but if you write out the occurrence, you are better able to consider it from all sides and plan a corrective course of action.
Other Materials & Methods to Help Build Relationship
Still feel stuck? Try reading about what you want to be about. For example, if you want debilitating fears to no longer paralyze your growth, read spiritual development books on that topic.
You can also attend workshops, conferences, and other events that support your goals. It is helpful to be surrounded by like-minded individuals.
Another option is to seek out life coaching or spiritual direction in order to adopt new ways to approach recurring situations. For more sensitive matters, seek professional counseling.
In the religious tradition that I was raised in psychotherapy was not accepted as a In the religious tradition that I was raised under psychotherapy was not accepted as a method of treatment.
For two and a half decades I believed that to be true, but after having tried self-destructive methods of coping with the past, psychotherapy was no longer an outlandish concept in my mind.
Ironically, I was referred to a clinical psychologist who was Christian. Knowing that my religious views were valued helped me to embrace the therapy process.
Even after my therapist relocated to a different state, I was reassigned to one who incorporated my beliefs into my therapy sessions.
When you allow your relationship with God to blossom through spiritual development, fulfillment is inevitable.
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