Demystifying Spiritual Practices and Disciplines

By Hugh Russell

‘Practices’ and ‘disciplines’ – the terms alone sound like they come from some hokey pamphlet. But spiritual practices and disciplines are big components of spiritual life coaching. In fact, most spiritual life coaches would probably tell you that it’d be impossible to proceed with this kind of teaching without those kinds of activities. Why exactly are they so important?

Training Your Spirit

Athletes train tirelessly to condition their bodies for competitions. Runners log miles, swimmers do laps and basketball players shoot hoops. What most people do for their bodies is no different from what you should do with your spirit, especially if you want to develop and grow in a certain way.

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Competition might not be your ultimate goal, but spiritual practices are nonetheless essential if you aim to grow in your spirituality. They might not build muscles, but they do help in conditioning you toward a mindset that’s more conducive to a healthy spirituality. That’s why spiritual life coaches swear by those habits: while a coach will escort you down a certain road, the practices make the path firmer and easier to traverse.

What Does It Involve?

Countless activities can be considered part of spiritual disciplines and practices, especially since every person has a unique set of spiritual needs. There are some common activities, however, that coaches often suggest to help keep you on the path that you’ve begun taking.

Personal activities like keeping a journal or maintaining a garden, for example, are popular because they’re uncomplicated yet effective. They’re little things that can turn into rituals for you, and those rituals help establish something routine and stable in your life. Spiritual life coaches also prefer to suggest those kinds of activities because they’re cathartic, and should help de-clutter your mind.

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Habits like simplifying your life or being thankful for everything that you have are of a similar sort, only less physical and visible. And although this kind of discipline is intangible and private, you still strengthen the basic foundations of any faith. By tearing down things like petty distractions or a cynical attitude, you practically invite a stronger and more fulfilling spirituality to take their place.

Removing Your Obstacles

One big problem that many face when starting with spiritual life coaching are personal hangups from the ‘real’ world. Concerns with work, money, family, friends or lifestyle can be very distracting and thus act as a hindrance to your progress with the coaching. When all your concerns are temporal troubles, you’ll most probably find it difficult to reflect and think on a much higher level.

That’s exactly what spiritual practices aim to solve. They’re concrete steps by which you could help yourself transcend fleeting or petty concerns and focus on things that are more important. It’s time with God that you can spend free from the bustle and noise of the outside world. You’d be surprised at how much those kinds of factors can hinder your growth. Fortunately, those habits give you space to reflect and think about things at your own pace.

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