Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah!
Spirituality is a foundational element in all of our lives no matter what or if we celebrate on December 25th. It’s easy to make our spiritual life a priority today, but too often spirituality isn’t given the time and attention it deserves. So many other things seem to be more immediate needs, and we forget that neglecting our spiritual lives can throw everything off balance.
Counterbalancing Your Spiritual Life
Our spiritual lives are much more influential than we may realize. Professors at the University of Minnesota note that spirituality can help us get through rough patches, make healthier decisions, be more forgiving and even live longer.
Days like today bring our spiritual lives to the forefront, but unfortunately there can be long spells throughout the year when it is set aside and secondary to everything else. In The ONE Thing Gary Keller discusses the idea of counterbalancing not just work and family, but all areas of your life, including your spiritual life.
The idea of counterbalancing is based on the principle of shifting your focus back and forth as needed rather than trying to give everything equal attention all the time. Keeping things counterbalanced will make it so that you never feel like you’re completely ignoring an area of your life or pressured to do everything all at once. As long as attention is given to what matters most when it’s needed, nothing is ignored for too long.
Given that our spirituality has such a profound impact on other aspects of our lives, keeping it counterbalanced will make everything else easier or unnecessary.
The ONE Question That Will Help You Focus on Your Spiritual Needs
How do you make spirituality a priority? The answer is simple – the Focusing Question. Gary uses this one question to bring all the important aspects of his life into focus. It is designed to direct attention to the actions that are going to deliver the greatest results. The Focusing Question can be modified specifically for your spiritual life by asking:
“What’s the ONE Thing I can do right now for my spiritual life such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”
Keep asking that question each time you come up with an answer to line up the priorities that will help you meet your spiritual needs. Replace “someday” with “in five years” or “right now” to first get more of a big picture perspective and then drill down to something more specific and immediate. It’s about finding that ONE Thing that will begin the domino effect that makes counterbalancing more successful.
Incorporating Your Spiritual Life into Every Day
Good habits are created by repeatedly thinking or acting in a way until it becomes automatic. Ask yourself the Focusing Question daily to begin making it a habit to incorporate your spiritual life into every day.
Jump-start your daily spiritual focus with one of the ideas below:
- Use contemplative practices like yoga, meditation, stretching and prayer in the morning or at night. Contemplative practices are often used to direct focus and reflect inward. These practices are known to provide numerous benefits including reduced stress, calming of the mind and improved attention.
- Find your spiritual community. This support group can provide a sense of belonging that has a positive impact on well-being and mood.
- Put your thoughts on paper in a journal. Journaling helps to give people a deeper connection with their thoughts, experiences and the rest of the world. Some people keep dream journals as a way to examine their subconscious thoughts as well.
When we’re immersed in our spiritual life, it’s easier to understand why our spirituality needs as much attention as other areas of our life. Use today as a test run for making it your focus throughout the year.