By Lisette Cifaldi, MSW, LMSW
Director of Behavioral Health, Hilton Head Health
The number one symptom of spiritual disconnection is serenity deficiency. When you are white-knuckling it through the day and even the smallest inconveniences have you gritting your teeth, then your serenity has been breached. All signs are pointing to a need for spiritual refueling.
Environment, culture, and lifestyle can all be contributing factors involved in the kidnapping of our peace and serenity. However, a well-nurtured spiritual connection provides a healthy immunity against the influences that compromise our peacefulness. Below are a few ideas for how to begin spiritual refueling:
Laugh Until You Cry: When is the last time you had a good belly laugh? We allow life to become all too serious at times. Laughter is necessary for lightening your spirit and loosening strongholds on your heart. Have a marathon showing of funny movies or DVR some of your favorite sitcoms and watch them back-to-back. Visit a local comedy club or just stand in the greeting card section of your closest Target reading the cards filed under humorous.
Full Service Please: Being of service to others gets us out of the monkey chatter in our head. When we help people in need our spirit blossoms. We become untethered from our thoughts as our spirit naturally takes the reigns. Service can take the form of volunteerism with local charities or non-profit organizations, as well as just dropping in on an elderly neighbor or bringing dinner to a sick friend. Don’t over-think it — just dive in and help.
Naturally Speaking: One way to spiritually refuel is to surround yourself with the beauty of nature. Set aside some time to create a mindful experience in the great outdoors. Try a quiet walk on the beach or a tranquil saunter through the woods. Work in your garden or arrange a picnic under your favorite tree. Feel the sun on your face, the breeze through your hair or the snow on the tip of your tongue.
Exercise Your Right Brain: Getting creative is a great way to awaken your spirituality. Our analytic thought can become a strait-jacket for our spirituality. Channel Houdini for help in escaping that strait-jacket by engaging in creative endeavors. Paint, collage, craft, photograph…instead of looking for beauty, create it!
Mischievous Merriment: Smiles, giggles, and feelings of happiness abound when we do something nice for others, especially without them knowing about it. Putting a smile on someone else’s face lights up your spirit from within. Get a bunch of $5 Starbuck’s gift cards and randomly give them away. Sing the praises of someone who has given you excellent customer service by writing their boss a letter. Send someone flowers, or put a small box of chocolates on their desk with a note that recognizes their hard work.
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You: Gratitude is the doorway into your spirit. By purposively cultivating gratitude you align yourself with the abundance of the universe. When we expand our practices of gratitude “I’m not enough,” and “I don’t have enough” become, “I am enough” and “I have everything I need.” Start with a gratitude list on your refrigerator. Whenever you’re in the kitchen, write down one thing you’re grateful for on the list. Create a gratitude box at the beginning of the year. Once or twice a week, recognize something you are truly grateful for, write it on a note, and put it in the box. At the end of the year, open the box and reflect on all your blessings.
Pipe Down: Last, but not least, allow for silence in your life. Our mind, body and spirit need quiet. Find a place and time to rest peacefully with no distractions or noise. Let the commotion in your head and environment fall away so your spirit can surface and take center stage.