Spiritual Growth Plan and How to Create the Perfect One For You
What is Spiritual Growth?
Before we dive into what exactly a spiritual growth plan is, and what it should cover, first let’s look at what exactly we mean by “spiritual growth.”
Spiritual growth is about nurturing and maturing your inner soul. As important as it is to keep your body and muscle in good health, the well-being of mind and soul is equally important if not moreso. A healthy body has a healthy mind.
Though spiritual growth is not specific to any religion, many theologians have tried to explain spiritual growth in the context of the Bible, which defines it as:
“Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.”
As you can see, even though the above verse is from the Bible, it is clear that spiritual growth is not limited to a particular religion nor is it limited to being close to God. Having a relationship with your higher power, be it God, Creation, Source, Allah, or Spirit, is clearly the end result. Still, spirituality is about bringing harmony between your mind, body, and spirit.
When it comes to our overall well-being, many experts are clear: The wellness of any human being can be looked at within eight different dimensions (or categories)… and spirituality is one of those eight. Spiritual well-being is considered the most crucial dimension amongst all. That’s because while everyone is striving to live a harmonious and good life, spirituality can bring unshakable peace and profound meaning into your life. Being accomplished and completing goals is rarely enough for the person who wants to bring depth and meaning to everything they do, including their successes.
The Art of Looking Beyond Myriad Forms of Life
Spiritual growth is not limited to people with religion but focuses more on making a person more confident and only self-dependent. It is looking beyond what is visible, simultaneously developing an awareness of realities beyond the confines of time and space. In short, spiritual growth is all about finding the essence of our belonging to this world and searching the purpose and meaning of our origination to lead a meaningful life.
The whole process of spiritual growth involves transforming yourself and the continual evolution of your thinking towards positivity, hope, compassion, and connection. The result is a better relationship with yourself, others, and God.
Beyond Happiness and Unhappiness, There’s a Place
A spiritually mature being is resilient to the hardships of life and takes them as trials for the better good. One of the best ways to know if you’re spiritually maturing is to see how you handle adversity. When you are growing spiritually, sayings like “hardships follow ease,” “no pain no gain” makes more sense, and you understand great things come to you through trials.
These trials are what make you strong and, in turn becoming a source of your development. Spiritual growth asks for perseverance, persistence, steadfastness, firmness, and faith in God and yourself.
Why Should You Create a Spiritual Growth Plan?
One way to make sure that you are growing spiritually is to treat it with the same study and seriousness you would give to pursuing a University degree. For this, we recommend creating your own personalized “Spiritual Growth Plan.”
That’s because even though most of us relate to spiritual growth as something that grows and heals with time itself, and that has some truth, our greatest progress will come when we intentionally move forward. Just as growing physical muscles requires working out and a plan, so does spiritual growth.
The rest of this blog post will be devoted to helping you create a customized spiritual growth plan that works for you, independent of your religions and spiritual beliefs.
This plan starts with one simple premise: You’re a spiritual seeker and are committed to creating harmony in your mind, body, emotions, and spirit. You recognize that your inner world requires its own nourishment, just like your physical body does for it to stay healthy.
If you haven’t ever really considered making a plan to support your spiritual development, then this blog post will be an invaluable resource. Here are three benefits you’ll experience when you create a plan and stick to it:
1. Deeper Connection With Yourself, Others, and God
You could think of a spiritual growth plan as a sort of nutrient chart or food pyramid helps you know how much you need and how often. It shapes your journey and helps you reach spiritual maturity more easily and effectively. The plan keeps you focused so that you don’t wander off course. It keeps you continually refocusing back onto what will bring greater connection, meaning, and positivity in your life.
2. Identify And Overcome Your Inner Demons
When you become more self-aware, it’s natural to also more clearly identify the triggers, traumas, and challenges that have limited you in life.
This spiritual growth plan will help you determine the best tools, techniques, and objects, to help you overcome your past and move forward with power, grace, and courage.
When you find below will be essential to integrate into your life so that you can heal, grow, slay your inner demons on the path to fulfillment and spiritual depth.
3. Greater Control Over Your Mind
Our mind possesses the power to take us to the right path and detach us from the limitations of of greed, fraud, lies, hypocrisy, disloyalty, lack of ethics, and more. However, to do that we must become self-aware and be capable of reflecting on our thoughts with mindfulness, compassion, humility, and above all else, honesty. A plan for our spiritual development gives us the focus and support to make that happen.
What Should Your Spiritual Growth Plan Cover?
In order to get the results that you want, it’s important to lay out a framework for how to get there. What you’ll find in this section will help you move towards your spiritual goals. Once you know what it can cover, then you can begin to bring in the specific symbols, practices, and healing methods that will be unique to you. A spiritual growth plan is all about chalking out ways to bring harmony between mind and body. Different people opt for different options since it all depends on what brings peace to you. The most widely accepted ways that many coaching experts suggest, however, are:
Enjoying Some Personal Time To Cultivate Your Inner Self
The first step towards growing spiritually is finding some time to connect with your inner self and determine what’s stopping you from getting to know yourself more fully. This will require you to invest time in yourself, similar to how you might invest money into your future retirement.
Adapt Self-reflective Habits
When you practice self-reflection, you get to know your mind and heart more fully. This empowers you to move forward both in your spiritual growth, and in your life. The easiest effective ways to do this are through journaling, prayer, meditation, and therapy.
Read Books That Help You Grow Spiritually
There are tens of thousands of books that help people deepen their spirituality. Reading every day will give you new ideas to consider, practices to try, and experiences from others you can use to better understand your own life and struggles. Books also give you a productive way to invest your time so that you are less likely to participate in activities that limited, or even reverse the positive progress that you make.
If You Have Religion, Use It
Every religion cultivates peace and harmony. If you follow a specific religion, then it can be a powerful ally in your spiritual development. Religion often already has specific symbols, practices, and healing methods to help you deepen your relationship with God. It has stories for moral and spiritual reflection, quotes to inspire, and various leaders to support you directly. Most religions include powerful prayers you can use to keep moving forward in your life.
Learn To Forgive Others, And Yourself
Some theologists use the metaphor of a “blackened heart” to help us understand why forgiveness is so essential. Imagine that whenever we wrong ourselves or another, even accidentally, that our heart is marked with a black dot.
Because hurting others or ourselves is an inevitable fact of life, we will continue to keep getting more and more black dots on our heart… until our entire heart is blackened.
It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Instead, imagine if you had a magic eraser. For each black dot that you received, what if you could simply “erase” it? That’s what forgiveness does.
It erases the pain, sadness, and grief that cover over our hearts with those black dots. Instead, we are returned to a place of peace, forgiveness, and compassion.
Forgiveness paves a way for new beginnings for yourself and the people around you. Forgiveness is also essential in growing spiritually because it frees up inner stagnant energy so that we can use it for more productive thoughts and experiences in our lives.
When reconnecting with your soul, getting support is essential. Whether you need help forgiving yourself, learning a new meditation technique, help healing, joining an spiritual study group, or even just a partner along the journey, you’ll find it easier when you have support along the way. You can also attend one of these free online spiritual events.
There are many spiritual experts, coaches, and clergy, who can help you see the limitations of your current thinking, obstacles to your growth, and of course provide you with clear direction to move forward.
This can also include therapy with a trained counselor or coach who can help you deepen your spiritual connection. They can help you really get in tune with yourself and find more harmony with Spirit.
One of the gifts of having this kind of support is that they won’t let you drown in your sorrows, but rather, they help you use your sorrows as a starting place for greater reflection and self-awareness… and ultimately, peace and growth.
Commit to Your Self
Commitment is essential for us to thrive in any endeavor, be it work, athletics, hobbies, better relationships, family, or spirituality. Commitment does not come easy though. It requires effort and sometimes sacrifice. You will need to invest the time, energy, attention, and possibly money, to stay the spiritual course.
As long as you are being mindful and present, then you’ll notice this commitment truly does enlighten your soul. Take for example a cup of tea. If you enjoy having a cup of tea every night, this can either be a support or a hindrance. How?
Well, if you binge-watch TV and zone out, then your cup of tea is nothing more than a source of physical nourishment. And while this is still better than drinking alcohol excessively, the cup of tea is still just that: a cup of tea. On the other hand, if you sip a cup of tea and simply sit and watch your thoughts, you have used the tea as a living meditation to support your self-reflection and spiritual growth.
Similarly, while it’s essential to have fun in life, when it’s used to zone out or avoid your inner thoughts then it becomes a crutch rather than an aide. Always remember to be present while you are having fun. Notice your sensations, emotions, and thoughts. Allow all of that to be part of your fun and you will find yourself having even more fun.
When it comes to commitment though, you also have to commit your resources: time, and if possible, money. Whether you meditate for 10 minutes per day, an hour per day, or even go to a silent meditation retreat for a week, make sure you pick something and commit to it.
Even just a 10 minute meditation each day can have profound effects in your life. Money can be used to purchase spiritual stones, books, an online streaming video subscription (with spiritual titles), or even attend workshops and retreats. When we invest money into anything, including our spiritual growth, we tend to take it more seriously. That leads us to better results, no matter what the endeavor.
Understand Your Thoughts
Controlling everything that is happening around you is not crucial and relevant. However, having control over yourself over your actions is essential and should be taken into consideration every time we talk about spiritual and personal growth.
There’s a difference between taking control and having willpower. The thing is, controlling your actions comes first from understanding your thoughts.
To follow your commitments be, it for spiritual growth or anything else, you need to identify your unprocessed, unconscious, and often irrational thoughts that can possibly get in the way of you keeping commitments to yourself and others. Allow your meditation, prayers, and journaling to guide you deeper within yourself. Only there will you find the truth you seek to become the person you aspire to.
The reality is, however, that sometimes your mind will keep you stuck repeating past unhelpful activities, thoughts, and feelings. Anything that is outside of your mind’s history will feel uncomfortable, and potentially even threatening. This is a normal part of the spiritual journey. When you learn to observe these thoughts and let them go, they no longer control you. That’s when you can find greater peace, harmony, and health (inner and outer).
Change Your Habits
Changing your in-built habits can be a difficult nut to crack, but habitual changes are an essential key to your spiritual growth. In fact, so much of our lives are led by our unconscious minds, that when we change our habits we really start to see progress in our lives.
For example, meditating whenever you feel like it will leave your spiritual growth to chance. On the other hand, when you make it a daily habit, even for just 10 minutes, you’ll see tremendous growth over time.
The best place to start is by changing your habits. Read “The Power of When” (it’s not a spiritual book, and, it’ll help you tremendously). Use it to create a new morning routine that will start your day off optimally.
If you don’t have time to read it, at least put these three habits first in your day: Drink a full glass of water (start with half at first), exercise for at least 5 minutes (30 is ideal), and take a cool shower (you can start warm and later go cold for the last 30-60 seconds). Just this habit change alone will be profound because it increases your energy levels, which in turn, support your ability to pursue all of life… including your spiritual growth.
When your mind and heart are focused, you can achieve almost anything in your life. Focusing and putting your attention in one direction gives you a clear vision of the choices you need to make in life. It helps you in deciding what you want and also what you do not want.
Your mind will continuously try to trap you and will convince you to continue your old routine and schedule. However, if you’re focused and committed, and of course paying attention, then you will be able to ditch the limitations of your mind. Think of attention like a laser that cuts through limitations and helps you see, your true inner-most self, more clearly.
Set Realistic Expectations
Spiritual growth is a gradual process. You cannot expect immediate results only by meditating once or twice monthly. Spiritual And personal growth can take a while to display positive results. By making constructive variations in your daily routine, by enhancing your daily lifestyle, by leaving old habits and by focusing on your personal growth, you will find that your spirituality deepens consistently over time.
Be patient. You won’t see results in a day or even a week. Most new habits take at least 30 days to take hold. However, if you stay patient and accept that good things take time, then this process will naturally unfold and when you look back on the time you invested in your spiritual growth, you’ll see that the plan you made and stuck to was worth it.
Activities You Can Include In Your Spiritual Growth Plan
So far, we’ve explored the basics of spiritual growth, what it is, how it affects your daily life and what positive changes it can bring to your life. We have also looked at why it’s important to have a plan and some of the high-level ideas about what it can include.
Now we are going to get more specific. We’ll look at how you can start customizing a plan that will be unique to your spiritual journeys.
You can adopt multiple thoughtful approaches to expand your personal and spiritual growth. There is solid scientific evidence that shows people who have high degrees of spiritual wellnesss also tend to have better physical and mental health than those people who do not have a spiritual practice. You can rest easy knowing that the journey you’re on, and the plan you’re making, will enhance all aspects of your life.
Meditation is at the heart of every great spiritual tradition. It’s also a core practice to deepen your spirituality, so find a method that works for you.
Fortunately, there are many different types of meditation, so it’s mostly a matter of trial and error. Whether it’s a breath meditation, mindfulness practice, or even chanting, keep trying until you find something that works for you.
When you commit to a consistent meditation practice, you’ll notice greater feelings of peace, compassion, joy, and ease.
Meditation helps you think more clearly as well as creates space for creative ideas to land. Edgar Cayce liked to say that prayer is talking to God and meditation is listening for an answer.
Not only that, but there are volumes of scientific research on the psychological, physical, and even financial benefits of meditation. It other words, it not only heals your body and mind, it also helps you succeed in just about anything else you’ll ever do.
Finding time to meditate can be challenging, especially if you live a busy life. First start with whatever you know you can complete, unquestionably. Is that just five minutes? Fine. Set a timer for five minutes during your lunch break. Over time, you can add a minute or two. Eventually, you’ll find yourself meditating for ten minutes per day. You can repeat this process until you find yourself meditating as much as is needed for you to maintain your presence of mind, body, and spirit.
If you want support, we recommend you use the Insight Timer Meditation App. It has thousands of guided meditations you can listen to if you prefer to have a teacher support you. Our founder, Chris Cade, shares two free meditations that you can listen to in the app:
The app also has a timer that you can customize for any amount of time, including mid-meditation reminders to re-focus, and different bell sounds you can switch up for what pleases your ears.
Though prayer tends to be mostly associated with religion, it is not an exclusively religious practice. Every religion believes in prayers, and all of them have different ways of offering them as well. If you already have a prayer practice within your spiritual path or religion, then recommit to it. Stay consistent.
If you aren’t praying regularly, now is the time to start. Prayer offers you a way to give your stresses, your pains, your concerns, over to a higher power. It doesn’t mean you’re giving up, but rather, you’re playing your faith in the core belief that all happens for your highest good.
As some have said, “Things aren’t happening to you. They’re happening for you.” Trust that.
There’s also no “correct” way to pray. Just close your eyes, connect with your heart, and allow yourself to speak freely from that place. You’ll naturally find your words.
As for the practical benefits, prayer has been shown to increase hope and inspiration, feelings of peace and wellbeing, and it is often part of spiritual healing practices. In fact, people suffering from anxiety and depression have been shown to recover more quickly and better than those who did not pray regularly.
As part of your spiritual growth plan, you should decide when each day you’re going to pray. It really doesn’t have to take long, and it’ll be easier to remember to pray daily if you attach it to something you already do. For example, you could pray briefly before each of your meals. The easiest time though, is simply to close your eyes and pray while taking a shower.
If you need help finding the motivation, take a few minutes to read these quotes about praying for miracles.
Yoga is an ancient practice particularly invented for spiritual wellness. It establishes a sense of peace, compassion, motivation and hope within the observing individual. This process incorporates different physical poses and stretches in which a person holds their body, some ethical and habitual considerations and slow breathing.
From a physical perspective, it has been scientifically proven that yoga decrease inflammation and swelling, reduces stress and anxiety, regulates blood pressure and generally lifts up your physical wellness.
Yoga is also known for spiritual growth as it is often seen as a form of “moving meditation.” This contemplative practice has both positive health benefits, and, it reduces stress & cortisol as well. It’s also been shown to reduce fatigue and ease insomnia.
Like meditation, there are many different types of yoga. Try searching YouTube for some videos of different yoga types so you can find a style and/or teacher you like. You can do yoga at home in your spare time, or attend classes and get the support of in-person instruction.
While some people love doing yoga daily, you’ll find benefits even from going just a couple of times per week. Like meditation, don’t feel like it’s an “all or nothing” deal. Even if you can only practice yoga once a week, that’s better than nothing and it will continue to support your spiritual development.
Write And/Or Journal
Journaling and writing are introspective approaches that will also support your spiritual growth. Writing has similar benefits to meditation because it helps clear your mind. Writing is also similar to prayer in that it can help clear your heart.
What’s interesting is that studies have shown people who journal actually handle adversity more easily than those who do not. That’s because so much of the psychological weight we carry is unconscious and writing helps us start to see the thoughts we’ve been unconsciously thinking.
Writing helps us see patterns in our life that we may want to let go of. It helps us look at our thoughts candidly and decide which ones we want to keep and which ones we want to let go of.
There’s also no “right” way to write. Some people like to write daily and keep track of their thoughts and experiences for the day. Others like to write at the beginning of the day for just five minutes to clear their minds before they get out of bed. Others like to write short stories (fictional or not).
Journaling isn’t a one-size-fits all approach. However, what is clear is that it is tremendously beneficial in many ways. Try different types of writing / journaling, and different times of day to do it.
When you can commit to at least five minutes per day of journaling, you’ll start to see surprising benefits in your life over time. Make it part of your plan for spiritual growth and you won’t be disappointed.
No, we’re not talking about extravagant world-wide trips (though you can do that, also). What we really mean is to change your outer environment.
Whether it’s a long trip far away, or just going away for the day or the weekend, traveling has tremendous benefits.
First and most obviously is that it can act as a form of therapy. When you change your environment, it can bring forth feelings of peace & happiness, as well as relaxation, and even childlike curiosity.
If life is tough, it can also be nice to step away from your immediate challenges. This is not to escape, but rather, to gain perspective. When we look at something too closely or intently, it can be difficult to see the big picture. If you’re looking at a single tree, you might not see the forest that it’s part of.
Travel gives you a break from the “trees” in your life, so that when you return, you can see your life and it’s challenges more clearly.
Interestingly, scientific studies also show that traveling can help relieve stress, anxiety, and depression. Traveling is also a great time to practice some of the above ideas we’ve mentioned: writing & journaling, meditation, yoga, and prayer.
Further, if you attend a spiritual retreat or workshop then you’ll return completely refreshed and anew, ready to take on your life with new energy and enthusiasm.
Include travel in your spiritual development plan, and you’ll be delighted just how positive it is for you.
Positive Thinking Can Help
Positive thinking and constructive thoughts are yet another important and crucial aspect of spiritual growth. The day you start concentrating on positive aspects of life is the day you will start growing both physically and mentally. A meaningful approach towards life stands for eliminating and getting rid of all the negativities that are affecting you one way or another, to rethinking about the bad choices you have made or bad decisions you have taken.
When you work on adapting a meaningful and intelligent approach towards life, you instantly start to observe great differences in your life. Life generally becomes more relaxing, and you can focus better on your spiritual and personal growth. Studies have shown that positive thinking tends to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Do not let negative thoughts take a toll on you. Instead, appreciate your better qualities while healing and growing spiritually and physically.
Be Gentle To Yourself
During challenging phases of life, we often trap ourselves into negative thinking, and at times these negative thoughts get onto your nerves that you are not capable of focusing on your mental health as well as physical health. Whether you are launching a new product, starting up a new business, kicking off new academic life, or getting into new relationships.
Each of these life events brings a lot of positive energy but also negative thoughts come to the surface as well. Instead of being hard on yourself, allow the negative thoughts to flow through you and then let them go as quickly as they came.
Enjoy Time Alone & Ponder Life
Taking out some time from your busy and hectic daily schedule and dedicating it to yourself can impart positive effects on your spiritual health. Spending some time alone and enjoying solace can open different life windows for you. In the meanwhile, you can ponder over yourself, think about your personal growth, look over your future preferences, chose wise sides in relationships, and make healthy decisions. This can collectively impart a constructive effect on the expansion of your spiritual growth.
What Spiritual Healing Modalities Can Be Part of Your Plan?
Energy healing refers to the use of different therapeutic modalities of restoring and reorganizing one's energy fields. It reduces blockages, improving natural energy transfer, and facilitating the body's natural healing mechanisms.
Listed below are a few possible spiritual healing modalities.
Reiki and Therapeutic Touch
Transferring the universal life energy most commonly known as the qi to enhance the natural healing mechanism is referred to as Reiki. It stimulates the integration of one’s mind, soul, and body to fasten the mechanism of natural healing.
It is deep-rooted in Buddhism as was created by Buddhist Monk in 1922. We are able to experience this technique due to the fact the monk did not limit it to himself, and instead taught it to more than two thousand students at that time.
It is now popularly known to be an alternative medicine; however is not supported by any medical or clinical research. Still, many people have sworn to its benefits and healing effects on their mind and body.
Reiki is also referred to as energy medicine by some as it channels positive energy and is a way to open energy blockages. Reiki does not involve any medication and is somewhat similar to healing touch. The practitioner focuses on transferring life energy to speed up the body’s self-healing process.
The Science of Therapeutic Touch
Therapeutic touch and healing touch are two names of a similar practice that differs slightly from the Reiki. Healing touch does not require any attunement before you can practice. It was originally invented for those in the medical field but now others can also practice it. It was created by Janet Mentgen, R.N, and is an energy modality just like Reiki. It comprises of many levels. There are approximately 15 levels. The therapy requires the affected to believe in spiritual healing and growth and a strong commitment to holistic health principles.
The levels can be taught together and the practitioner does not have to wait between different levels. These levels can even be taught on a weekend. Therapeutic touch specifically requires that the practitioner has an understanding of 12 meridians and the chakras. The practitioner’s main goal is to open energy blockages or closed chakras by having an understanding of learning hands-on therapeutic skills. The gentle use of hand from the practitioner channels a wave of energy within the receiver.
There are specific healing touches and procedures for various problems. Such as the healing techniques for someone suffering from a back problem are no essentially different from someone suffering from abdominal discomfort. But it is to be noted that therapeutic or healing is just a means of accelerating body self-healing mechanism and cannot serve as an alternative to clinical procedures.
It is a healing procedure that is being used for centuries and has surely some positive results on the mind and body of a person. The histories of various cultures unite at the concept of sound healing.
The techniques may differ such as the Mantras in Hindus, the lacros in various groups of North America to Pythagoras' use of interval and frequency in various other parts of the world but they all extend back to the same intention to cultivate and pose and balance in the soul and body.
Various melodies and sounds synchronize with our brain waves by producing a stable frequency which our brainwaves can easily attune to. Through this synchronization, we are also able to control our beta state that is normal waking consciousness. We can alter it to alpha that means the relaxed consciousness and even make it reach theta that is the meditative state. We can also get our brainwaves to delta state that is when a person sleeps. The delta state is very crucial for internal healing.
Some of the tools being used today are drumming, tuning forks, and Himalayan singing bowls.
Many practitioner presses on the importance of self-awareness for healing. Sound healing is largely based on what pleases you to reach the desired mental state. Sound healing is brought about at two levels. The first process is simply passive and requires the receiver to take deep breaths and paves the way to listen to even the minor sounds in the surrounding. Following the passive procedure is the participatory process where the practitioner makes use of the instruments or tools.
“Prayer is the medium for miracles. In whatever way works for you, pray right now.” ~ Marianne Williamson
Though prayer is often associated with religion, the two are in fact separable. Prayer is a personal way of connecting with our spiritual source (no matter what you believe) and deepening that relationship.
Prayer has several personal meanings some may consider it as a bunch of sacred words that give inner peace or near oneself to God or some may refer to it as a practice in which a person gives a part of his day for the divine will. The informal or regular talking to God sharing problems and asking for solutions.
There are various ways people use to pray. Some may consider silent prayers to be the most effective and others believe in spoken prayers. There are other methods for the prayers of mind and soul’s union with God. Prayer is the most widely used healing modality among all the techniques simply due to its context with the religion. It Is often observed that among all forms of complementary medicine people have the most trust in prayer.
Researchers also believe that prayer is the second most widely accepted way of treating pain and is the most common non-drug way of pain management. To observe benefits one needs to be preserver and patient as in any therapy. The clinical significance of prayer might not be very visible because it is more spiritual than anything. Therefore benefits come with faith in yourself and the divine powers. On the other aspect prayer is the better way of teaching patience which is a therapy in itself.
Yoga is primarily a philosophical discipline focused on an incredibly subtle science that focuses on putting mind and body into equilibrium. It is both a combination of art and science to live a healthier lifestyle.
It is a comprehensive approach to health that considers physical, physiological, behavioral, and moral facets. Yoga refers to “to yoke,” or bind the body, mind, heart, and spirit.
Yoga poses, reflection, mindfulness, and spiritual observations such as pacifism are components of a yoga practice.
Yoga provides many benefits to our bodies, including increased muscle ability, pain, stress relief, and decreased inflammation. It also aids in the improvement of cardiovascular function, balance, and sleep.
Meditation can be described as a collection of strategies designed to promote heightened consciousness and concentrated attention. Meditation is another consciousness-altering procedure that has been found to have many neurological effects.
Meditation is about being present to your emotions without being attached to them. It relieves depression. Meditation enhances digestion, memory, and interpersonal relationships while also lowering anxiety.
There are various meditation methods available, and you can experiment to see what works best for you.
In 1954, an eccentric neuroscientist with a penchant for psychedelia began obsessing over a question that would soon send indignant shockwaves across the scientific community:
“What happens to a person's state of mind, when the environmental stimuli that normally keep it engaged are suddenly cut off?”
John C. Lilly's initial experiments were controversial. He would fit test subjects in skintight face masks, and seal them up in a water-filled sensory deprivation tank just big enough to fit their bodies.
His subjects would spend hours floating in these sensory vacuums, being forced to confront, for the first time in their lives, unfiltered thoughts and undiluted subconscious impulses. The kind that under normal circumstances would be colored by the incessant sights, sounds, tastes and smells of their surroundings.
Many of those people experienced a profound sense of detachment from their egos, deep calm and peace, and oneness with the water surrounding their bodies.
Fast forward to the 1970's when a researcher named Peter Suedfeld was one of the few scientists who decided to investigate Lilly's claims in the context of real-world therapeutic benefits.
What he found was that tank sessions were capable of treating autonomic nervous system problems like high blood pressure, chronic pain, and motion disorders. When he began experimenting on athletes and artists, he noted improved performance and enhanced creativity in each.
And a more recent study involving 140 people even reveals how tank sessions can even alleviate chronic stress-related ailments.
More and more wellness centers today are offering floatation tank sessions. And you'll be glad to know there is no longer a need for uncomfortable masks or eccentric scientists keeping tabs on your brainwaves. Modern-day tank operators even treat the water with Epsom salt, so you stay buoyant without worrying about sinking or drowning.
Quantum healing is based on the philosophy of vibration and entertainment, is one of the other spiritual healing modalities. Breathing and visualizing energy flow increases the body's energy level. Quantum Healing is not only divine, but it also has a beneficial impact on the immune system. Qigong healing is another modality that is a 4,000 year-old practice that combines coordinated body movements, breathing, and meditation to foster healing and spirituality. The therapy is founded on Chinese medicine and is said to balance the body's beneficial energies, which are essential for health maintenance.
Crystal healing is another common healing technique. Stones and crystals are used in this healing procedure to eliminate impurities from the body. These stones and crystals have a variety of effects on the body and resolve a variety of physical, emotional, and spiritual problems. They repel negative energy from the body, causing mental and physical distress.
8 Movies To Watch For Your Support Spiritual Growth Plan
If you're going to be watching movies, you might as well make them ones that inspire you to deepen your spirituality and consciousness. This is an excellent way to broaden your horizons, change your perspective, and motivate your spiritual side to expand. If you want to expand your mind, learn more about the world inside and around you, and explore the various perspectives on life, the movies mentioned below are a must-watch.
In the movie, this common man embarked on a quest to investigate the influence that gurus have over people, and as a result, he impersonates a guru and travels the world healing people. This eye-opening documentary serves as a sobering lesson to never put someone on a pedestal.
What the Bleep Do We Know?
This thought-provoking movie aids in the discovery of life's mysteries. You will have a new outlook on life after seeing this, thanks to relatable stories and real-world solutions given in the movie.
The Celestine Prophecy
If you have not already, stop what you are doing and enjoy this classic right now. Based on James Redfield's novel, this story is an adventure about finding bliss and believing the world.
Ram Dass: Fierce Grace
Ram Dass, the creator of Be Here Now, is a young mystic on an ancient journey to awakening us to our actual capacity and inner power as divine beings. This documentary delves further into spirituality and gurus. It is a fascinating and moving essay on spirituality, consciousness, healing, and the surprising grace of aging.
AWAKE: The Life of Yogananda
Yogananda made ancient Vedic teachings open to a contemporary audience by personalizing his own search for enlightenment and expressing his challenges along the way, drawing many disciples and encouraging the millions who practice yoga today. The documentary delves into the world of meditation, both contemporary and ancient, east and west, and investigates why millions of people today have turned inwards, defying the limits of the natural world in search of Self-realization.
Based on the classic book, this religiously inspired film tells the story of how a motorcycle crash sends an all-star athlete and straight-A student to the hospital. A pupil falls through a tailspin as he attempts to re-learn to walk while struggling with the hard lessons and emotional challenges of recovery.
The Da Vinci Code
The film is set in Rome and follows a symbologist's discovery of the Holy Grail, which brings into question the roots of Christianity and modern civilization. It is based on Dan Brown's classic murder mystery novel of the same name.
The Man from Earth
This exciting and enthralling film is about immortality. This drama follows the life of a man who wants to be a 14,000-year-old immortal. Take a look to see how you think about the idea of living forever.
8 Spiritual Growth Books You Can Include In Your Plan
It is a never-ending search to find wisdom that will fill our souls and bring order to our emotions. A good read that inspires, motivates, and nourishes your mind, and can make you feel more connected and at ease amidst the turmoil at times like these.
Developing routines that encourage you to be imaginative, innovative, and kind to yourself and others will help you cope with difficult situations and find a more positive perspective. The following are some of the finest books that promote spiritual development.
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success – by Deepak Chopra
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success is a book focusing on how to positively nurture yourself and your families by giving back, showing thanks, celebrating life's experience, and remembering that you are here for a cause. Check for the seed of opportunity within any adversity and bind the source of opportunity to your dharma, or life intention, if you want to turn your karma into a more positive existence. This book will show you how to transform adversity into a positive experience and karma into a new term.
Metahuman: Unleashing Your Infinite Potential
This integrative medicine partner will assist you in owning your self-worth and unlocking your full ability to achieve your goals. There is a 31-day guide to being Metahuman at the end of the novel, where you can use the force of consciousness to change your life.
This book explores how following your own intuition, self-worth, and strength in life can lead to satisfaction and inner peace. It is particularly empowering for women, and it is an excellent read; many readers say that it has shifted their perspectives on empathy.
Sacred Woman: A Guide to Healing the Feminine Body, Mind, and Spirit
Via a naturopathic prism, this book is focused on affirmations and practices derived from ancient Egyptian temple teachings. This book seeks to help readers enjoy and appreciate their jobs, their surroundings, their diets and fitness, and the community interactions they have created.
The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World
The Book of Joy is a reminiscence of a relationship in which various approaches to anxiety, tension, rage, sickness, sadness, and death wind up complementing and deepening a single spiritual approach. The Eight Pillars of Joy will be discussed, and readers will be guided through everyday activities to help them anchor their progress.
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
The heart of the Power of Now, which has been translated into 30 foreign languages and published several times, is about guiding readers by self-sabotage and acquiring hindsight to make wiser decisions on their behalf. It is all about how we can truly and fully live in the present moment.
Here All Along: Finding Meaning, Spirituality, and a Deeper Connection to Life in Judaism
In this book, Sarah Hurwitz discusses everything from Jewish concepts of God, death, and justice for the world and its inhabitants, as well as festivals, values, and prayer. This book is for you if you want to find peace of mind or spiritual connection if you want to learn more about yourself, if you're going to improve as a person, or if you're going to live a more positive, impactful life.
Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing the Uncommon:
In the foreword to this book, Joe Dispenza offers a roadmap that mixes science and faith to help you transcend from the past and into a more robust future where ordinary people can do extraordinary things. The ideas of space-time and time-space realities and other aspects of energy balance and mindfulness are explored in this novel.
10 Spiritual Symbols You Can Reflect On In Your Growth Plan
Everyone is blessed with the potential to gain profound understanding just by looking at divine symbols that are everywhere around us. These spiritual symbols have been used for various purposes over the years since they have been able to deliver and combine invisible and divine rays of reality into a single graphic image.
Here's a rundown of the origins and histories of some of the more familiar spiritual symbols to help you meaningfully and respectfully incorporate them into your practice:
Hamsa refers to “five,” and a palm-shaped amulet symbolizes it with an eye in the center. Many cultures worldwide have used it; it aims to ward off unwanted energies and the evil eye, a malicious glare that is said to bring bad luck, sickness, or even death. For various religious reasons, this icon is widely used.
This symbol, which is widely used in Chinese teachings, represents the universe's harmony. All duality, regardless of dark or light, masculine or feminine, offers necessary balance. The balance of these two contrasting powers is said to add the most peace to a person's life.
The Buddhist philosophical metaphor for teachings on the road to Nirvana is the Wheel of Dharma, also known as the “Wheel of Law.” Each spoke reflects one of Buddha's Eightfold Route's eight steps. It was originated back in 2500 B.C., which tells that it is older than Buddhism itself.
Based on one's beliefs, the snake symbol is either admired or hated. In some societies, this species is respected, while in others, it is glared upon. The snake is considered the “devil” in Christianity, and it represents primordial life force, rebirth, and destruction in some Western cultures.
Om is known to be the mother of all mantras and the primordial echo that gave birth to the world. Since its creation, Om, which has been used in Hinduism, is considered to be the religion's main divine sign. Deep meditation is said to spontaneously carry this sound to the foreground, surrounding the practitioner in a universal light.
The pentacle is the Wiccan religion's key symbol, which they describe as something that represents man. The top portion of the pentacle represents the spirit, while the other four points reflect the four separate elements of water, air, earth, and fire—the people who carry this symbol claim that it shields them from evil.
The Ankh is a symbol of creation for Egyptians. According to them, the Ankh is used to recycle sexual energy after arousal during sexual intercourse. Apart from that, the Ankh is seen as a symbol of eternal life and rebirth.
The Lotus Flower
In many cultures, particularly in eastern traditions, the Lotus flower symbolizes purity, enlightenment, self-regeneration, and rebirth. The Lotus grows the most beautiful flower even though its origins are in the dirtiest waters. These characteristics of the Lotus flower are a realistic illustration of the human condition.
The cross signal is directly related to Christianity and is afflicted to Jesus. It is considered to be the most sacred signal worldwide. It is so common that easily recognized by any person belonging to any religion. It represents the power of Jesus. It is the gesture of “crossing oneself”. According to the Christian community Jesus who died to cleanse the sins of all mankind was nailed on the cross. The cross is the reminder of the sacrifice and people wear it as goodwill. The symbol is seen in all churches as it is considered a means of worshipping almighty.
Sri Yantra is known as the symbol representing the map of energies and creation. It is considered to be the king of all Yantras and mystical diagrams. It consists of nine interlocking triangles enveloped in a circle. In the center, there is the dot that shows the center of the emergence of all the energies. The upright triangles also represent the energies of males(Shiva) and the five downward triangles represent the energy of females(Shakti).
The geometric representation of the symbol intensifies the meditation experience of an individual.
Crystals and Their Place In Your Plan For Spiritual Growth
Crystals have this incredible power to help us communicate with the universal spirit. They evolved millions of years ago on the earth's surface, primarily through times of transition, and, like anything else in the universe, they retain the planet's vibrations. Each mineral contains energy and knowledge from the dawn of time.
If you are considerate to a crystal, it is probably one you will use in your everyday life. When you choose the right minerals for you, their energy will work hand in hand with yours to improve your life and discover previously hidden possibilities. Here are a few of the most popular crystals that relate to spiritual growth.
Kyanite offers positive mental therapy through self-examination and intuitive guidance. It helps us build energy bridges that allow us to overcome painful emotional obstacles that have kept us stuck and stagnant. Kyanite encourages perseverance, integrity, and discernment, among other virtues. It is suitable for the brain and the throat.
Amethyst is derived from the ancient Greek word amethystos, which means not intoxicated. Self-control and sobriety have long been linked with this crystal. Amethyst is a mineral that has a history of helping people overcome their addictions. It works by identifying the underlying issues that led to addiction and aiding in their awareness and resolution.
Blue Lace Agate
Blue lace agate may support the communication of spiritual ideas. This crystal promotes profound spiritual insight and development while also enhancing mental function. Its soothing and balancing force calms overactive minds and imaginations, making it a good choice for children who have difficulty sleeping or saying the facts. Agates are believed to have a lower vibrational frequency than other crystals in general. Slower does not imply weaker in this situation. The energy of agate is powerful, and it can produce long-lasting and stable vibrations.
Since its name is derived from the Hindu god Shiva, the Shiva lingam is a very holy stone for Hindus. The Shiva lingam is used to achieve emotional, moral, and sexual enlightenment. It is believed to include ancient cosmic wisdom and enlightened consciousness. As a result, it is often used in religious ceremonies and has been worshiped by various cultures. This mineral has long been regarded as a reproductive aid and a medium for enhancing sexual strength.
The stone comes in various ornamental colors to serve for both beauty and healing. It is widely known as the “supreme nurturer” for its supportive role in depression and tension relief therapies. The stone is often prescribed to people struggling with stress and depression and looking for peace and wholeness. It promotes honesty and faith in one’s self. Jasper’s benefits are widely accepted by practitioners who prescribe it to patients in need of courage and strength to tackle problems. It promotes pose and balance and facilitates quick thinking. It also stimulates the imagination and helps to transform it into reality.
Including Physical Health In Your Spiritual Growth Plan
Our Physical health has a vast range of impacts on our spiritual growth; let's discuss each aspect of physical fitness and its effects in detail.
Diet is not only a matter of physical health; it is also an essential part of one's mental, intellectual, and spiritual growth. Furthermore, diet and mindfulness are connected, and spirituality involves becoming utterly conscious of one's energies and vibrations. Diet is an integral part of spiritual awakening and plays a critical role in achieving the intended result. The old saying “you are what you eat” holds in every circumstance, and diet is essential for spiritual development. It is simple: what we consume gives nutrition to our bodies and has a significant impact on our thinking process. What we eat has either a positive or destructive effect on us.
We all know that getting enough sleep is important, but life is hectic. However, it is essential to be reminded of significant physical and spiritual purposes to sleep. If we do not get enough sleep, the lower spectrum's effects are that we become groggy and irritable. Suicide, addiction, and bipolar disorder are the significant side effects of chronic sleep deprivation. This explains why getting enough sleep is so essential for spiritual development.
In light of the truth, the word rest appears throughout the Bible, with over 70 verses devoted to restoration. They have spiritual as well as physical meanings. Spiritual rest refers to the calm that comes when you let God take control of your life. However, physical rest is also given a lot of attention. The other side of the coin is physical rest; both are necessary.
Exercise is not only vital for physical well-being, but it also helps in spiritual growth. Regular exercise has many spiritual effects, including the production of endorphins and other brain chemicals that can help with stress and a constructive distraction from a pattern of negative feelings and feelings that lead to anxiety. It also boosts morale levels and tends to increase healthy social engagement, primarily related to spiritual development. Bonus: If you're carrying excess pounds, exercise can help you lose weight.
Our day-to-day problems and stress often get us more anxious, worried, and tense. This affects our personality and body language. A person struggling with depression looks puzzled and confused and has a retarded spiritual growth. Meditation helps in restoring calm and peace. It does not require hours but some focused minutes of meditation can be very helpful.
Meditation does not require any specific place or time you can meditate anywhere and anytime you want. It has been in practice for thousands of years. It helps you connect deeper to yourself and the greater forces of nature. It is a common practice for stress release and relaxation. Meditation (as well as medical intuition) is among the alternatives used instead of, or in addition to, standard medical treatment and procedures.
According to many researchers, meditation is the best way to get steady spiritual growth. Scientifically it is an ideal option for getting a peaceful and tranquil mind. It is also proven that meditation helps in various health problems such as anxiety, asthma, cancer, chronic pain, depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, sleep problems, and tension headaches.
Plan To Go Through These Stages/Phases of Spiritual Growth
Spiritual growth is more a journey than a process. Every individual may pass through various stages of spiritual development and inner growth to be spiritually well and mature. Spiritual growth is a choice that not all individuals make as it requires attention and perseverance. You can realize to undertake this effort at any time depending on your will and wish.
Spiritual growth is no different than the growth of the body. It takes time and requires certain variables to interact and produce an expected result. When your body grows, you grow in size. When you grow spiritually, you enlighten your soul and elevate yourself. Where physical growth and nurturing is constant, growing spiritually is a choice that not many make. While living for many years, most people die just as spiritual babies and stay slave to their limiting beliefs and habits.
There are various stages and phases of spiritual development that one’s soul and mind pass through as they mature. Like many strenuous journeys, the journey of spiritual growth is tough yet bore fruitful results. A spiritually well person has a peaceful and poised personality. He/she is more patient and steadfast. Spiritual development is a very personal experience to have clear levels. Yet some commonalities may be discussed to help the beginners, asses that they are on the right path.
Stage 1: The Period of No Conscious Effort
This is a common phase for all. Nothing has started yet. Every person who is living in the world happy or sad, contented or discontented, fearful or fearless, dominating or being oppressed nearly everyone who has never thought of the second meaning of life is defined to be in the state of oblivion by people who have already embraced the journey of spiritual development.
Our cultures and norms shape our journey
We are born in this world in different families following different religions having different cultures. We all follow what is being taught, and we do what we see, until one day when we realize there is something more to life than just living. Our religion and values offer support in life, yet finding the true essence of our life is on our own. We can say different religions define spiritual development and growth in their own terms but in general terms, it is something above and beyond the religion and is solely related to letting your soul fly high and achieve more than all the worldly desires.
The Dark Night of the Soul.
The first stage of spiritual development begins with a realization of getting more from life than just materialistic happiness or a period of which is often referred to as the ‘Dark Night of the soul’. Dark Night of the soul is the time where you most probably suffer from an existential crisis or are in a war against your existing concepts of life. You often feel the need to visit a psychiatrist. You find yourself in a fix to solve the complexities of life. You feel entrapped.
The existential crisis is often followed by a wave of depression and emotional surge as your body is under a constant state of confusion and discomfort. This may last from days to weeks or even months depending on how early you confront yourself and move towards the solution. Many people fail at this first phase and are not able to fight with the demons within. They entangle themselves more in the questions of existence rather than moving towards the answers.
Stage 2: The Period of Continuity
You reach the next phase of development only if you have been able to successfully overcome the struggles of the first phase which is an achievement itself. The people who reach the second phase of spiritual growth are anything but spiritual babies. The second phase of growth brings you closer to being ‘whole’. As we may understand it is not that easy to be a new version of even yourself so you must be willing to wait and assimilate.
Finding the purpose of life
During this time, we need to be positive that the greater powers are in our favor and we have to keep our calm. The second phase begins with understanding what prompted us to undertake this journey and continue to find its solution. It may be a mere self-reflection of why we are created? Or why do we continue to live? Or what is that we have to accomplish before we die?
When you don’t give up on yourself you are most likely to reach a state of harmony with yourself where you talk yourself out of the complexities you brought yourself into in the first place. When you have started to communicate with yourself, know that you have entered the next phase of your spiritual growth and are on the right path.
You have your own start
Where many people do not bother to be spiritually mature others unknowingly start their journey from the very second phase. In which they are found counseling themselves in the tiniest problems they face. Not only this they also help people around to be more resilient and don’t comply in with the problems. The second phase of spirituality can be referred to as the ‘ray of hope’ because it gives you the confidence to continue further and further on this journey.
A seeker becomes a believer
This is the phase when a seeker becomes a believer of God’s blessings. He accepts natures’ gifts and understands that everything happens for a reason. You begin to believe in the possibility of getting answers to all your questions. Your discomfort might not end here but you will become positive getting rid of the confusion anytime soon.
You may look for pieces of poetry, quotes from sacred texts (such as the Bible, Koran, Torah, etc), writing pieces on psychic growth, or stories of relevant happenings in the past. All this material and nature might be your only partner in this journey but sufficiently enough.
Stage 3: The Period of Consciousness and exponential growth
As you begin to study and dig deeper in the world of spirituality you will find the change is the only constant and that every being undergoes development now or then. The revelation of different aspects of your journey might be so comforting that as soon as you get answers to many of your queries the destination may seem imminent. But still, you have much more to cover. Continuing would become addictive and you would find yourself blissfully consuming over it.
Taking part in various activities to help us grow spiritually
This is the very state where many people are found participating in various activities to accelerate the rate of their growth. Prayers, healing workshops, and traditional and non-traditional means of connecting to the ‘divine will’ are more commonly seen in the third phase of growth.
People also like to explore the hidden meanings of spirituality and may even want to go on pilgrimages or spiritually renowned places.
4 Simple Steps to Finalize Your Your Spiritual Growth Plan
Above we've shared a lot about the path of spiritual growth, including the phases you'll likely go through, and various approaches and activities to support you.
What's next is putting it all together. Fortunately, this is the easy part.
Step 1: Get A Sheet of Paper (Seriously)
First, you'll want to grab a sheet of paper. At the top of it write, “My Spiritual Growth Plan.” This is to remind both your conscious mind and subconscious mind that you are taking this endeavor seriously.
Step 2: List What Interests You
Then, go from the top of this blog post and read each section. Ask yourself, “Is this something I'd be interested in trying?” If so, write it down on your sheet of paper. This will give you a comprehensive list that you can use to continue your spiritual growth plan.
Step 3: Determine Your Effort & Time Investment
The next-to-last step is perhaps the most difficult one: decide how much time you'll plan to invest in your spiritual growth. Will it be 20 minutes per day? If so, then you may need to limit your meditations (if you do it) to 5 or 10 minutes to allow for something else. Maybe it'll be easier to commit 3 hours every Friday?
You do not need to over-commit yourself to see results. What's most important is that you find a schedule that works for your life and you stick to it. Some people meditate for 5 minutes per day, watch a spiritual movie on the weekend, and journal in the mornings. That's a great start if that's what you can do. Don't compare yourself to other people because this is your plan, not theirs.
Step 4: Just Do It
Once you know how much time you can plan for your spiritual growth, the last step is simple and you can learn from Nike: Just do it.
Your Plan: In Conclusion
Though this may seem like a lot, remember it doesn't have to be. Start with what you know you can commit to and stick with it. Pick just one thing, learn about it, apply it, and plan to do it for 30 days. This will give your subconscious mind time to adapt and internalize it as normal, and even important, to your spiritual growth.
Over time, as you see positive results in your life, you will naturally want to do more. That's when you can plan more time for the spiritual growth activities that you are enjoying. The other thing you can do is go through this blog post again and see if there's any new activities, movies, books, or crystals you'd like to include in your plan for spiritual growth. Find something that calls to you, try it out, and if you like it keep doing it.
Remember, spiritual growth can be fun! It's not always “slogging through the mud” and digging up the tough aspects of our past. It can also be about loving yourself, embracing the beauty in life, and participating in activities that bring you joy and pleasure.