The Power of Spiritual Practice When Life Becomes Overwhelming
The Power of Spiritual Practice
I got to thinking about the power of spiritual practice since we are in the holiday period of Easter and Passover. So what arrives? An inspiring and uplifting blog on the topic. It’s part of a series of articles on the benefits of spiritual practice.
One of our former love mentors, Kristie Guthrie, wrote this piece. She shows how a simple spiritual practice can dramatically alter your mood. For more on the power of spiritual practices like meditation and prayer in helping your love life, pick up a copy of Love in 90 Days.
When life becomes overwhelming
When life becomes overwhelming, as it does at times for everybody, I use a very simple and effortless method to focus and get in touch with my core, my highest self. The method? An affirming mantra. My mantra makes the impossible seem more than possible—even likely. It allows me to focus on a positive thought and move quickly through my struggles. No matter how difficult they may seem at the time.
The chaos of life can chip away at our core; distract us from our goals and deepest desires. I use an affirming mantra to re-center my life and to move forward with confidence and ease. I use it to stay on track, to put my best foot forward. Such is the power of spiritual practice.
In the past I have taken several different phrases as my mantra: “Stay present, stay focused”; “It is what it is”; and “I am worth it.” But the mantra that works best for me focuses on the present while reminding me that I control the future through my actions right here, right now: “The past is gone, the future is yet to be told, and today I am here to live. Of course, what works for me might not work for you.
Mantra and the Power of Spiritual Practice
Mantra constitutes a voyage of self-discovery—a unique experience for each of us. It represents the ability to reach into your core—into your soul or gut—and find what means the most to you and generate positive energy. For me, mantra relieves anxiety, builds self-esteem, and helps develop a core value system. I hope you find my personal story of mantra helpful, but the mantra may serve a slightly different purpose for you. Again, I want to emphasize the individualized nature of mantra—it must work for you and get you past your particular difficulty, a broken heart, loss of employment, or the daily struggles of life.
Mantra is about eliminating negative thoughts and replacing them with positive thoughts. When you feel you are losing control, stop, focus, put aside your fear, and concentrate on your mantra. Repeat it to yourself over and over, perhaps; “I deserve true love and happiness.” Often, you’ll find that the physical symptoms of stress-induced anxiety and worries will disappear completely.
How to do your Spiritual Practice
For our purposes, you may, if you like, remove the term mantra from its roots in Hinduism and bring it into the twenty-first century. I don’t ask that you sit cross-legged on your bedroom floor, The Essential Ravi Shankar blaring from your iPod, as you repeat the syllable “Om”—unless you find that particular position and type of music comforting. Instead, I hope that you’ll find a word or phrase—a slogan, perhaps— that functions as a kind of emblem for your journey of self-discovery, finding love, and self-fulfillment. Make it simple and easy to remember. Recite it as often as you like and to whatever musical accompaniment you prefer, but your mantra should serve as a constant reminder of your goal. Repeat it during times of doubt or desperation.
When you prepare to create your mantra, begin by asking yourself these questions: What is important to me? What is the consistent theme or goal of my life? How are my life’s problems and worries— undermining my morals and values? How are these issues standing in the way of my becoming the person I want to be?
The Power of Spiritual Practice in Love Mentoring
When I’m coaching and mentoring my clients, I first ask them about the personal accomplishments that brought them pride and joy; I direct them towards the positives in their lives. However, while I focus on the clients’ achievements during this early part of the process, I then also have them talk about their fears, their failings. Since they will use their mantras to surmount these obstacles, I encourage them to examine their lives very carefully and, of course, very honestly.
For example, Ashley, is a love mentee who is a successful business women in her 40s. She exudes beauty in many ways, both physically and internally. Recently, she had lost a promotion. More importantly, Ashley experienced a deep fear of failure in her career. She believed that her success to-date was due to her appearance and for her skill sets. True, she is quite attractive but she’s also very accomplished in her field. As a result, Ashley believed that her business upside was limited. In addition, Ashley was very demoralized about not having a life partner. Someone she could love and cherish and who felt the same way about her.
Relationship Killer Beliefs
As I coached her, it became clear that she feared not failure but the power of great success. She felt that she did not deserve to be recognized at work or to be loved by a terrific guy. She showed what Dr. Diana Kirschner calls a relationship killer belief, specifically, feeling not worthwhile or loveable. This belief pattern caused Ashley to be stuck in her love life and professionally.
In our sessions (by skype) I worked on bringing out her Diamond Self and helped her develop a mantra to own her inner strength power. She came up with “I have the courage to be great!” I asked her to sit quietly for a few minutes daily and repeat the mantra. Through this process, Ashley gained a promotion. And she found and is dating a fantastic guy.
So whether you are recovering from the heartbreak of a failed relationship or looking for more inner peace, a mantra will quiet the spirit. And help you move on more quickly. So take a moment in your life to create a mantra or follow any spiritual practice that works for you. You’ll notice the power of spiritual practice almost immediately! Go here to follow a simple guided meditation. And for more articles on the benefits of spiritual practice read here and here.
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Dr. Diana Kirschner
Diana Kirschner, Ph.D. is a relationship advice expert, frequent guest psychologist on The Today Show and the creator of a globally available dating coach and Love Mentor® program. Dr. Diana is also the best-selling author of the acclaimed best-selling relationship and dating book, “Love in 90 Days”. Love in 90 Days was the basis of her PBS Special on love. Connect with Dr. Diana through her Dating Tips & Relationship Advice Newsletter.
“Diana Kirschner’s work is life-changing, love-affirming and wonderfully effective.”
~Dr. Christiane Northrup, Internationally bestselling author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom.