By Hugh Russell
One thing that spiritual life coaches often end up telling their clients is that spiritual practices never need to be anywhere near complex or mystical. Contrary to what many believe, some of the most effective practices for spiritual life coaching are also the simplest. Take gratitude, for example.
Thank God – and Everyone Else!
Gratitude is one of the simpler spiritual practices that you could integrate into your daily life. It’s as much a habit as it is a mindset or a way of life. In order for gratitude to be fully effective in helping you grow in your spirituality, you have to let that kind of perspective about everything that happens in your life.
Adopt the point of view that every event from day to day, whether it seems good or bad, is a gift from God and the other people around you. That way, you gain a deeper appreciation of every little thing around you, as well as all those small ways through which God makes himself felt from day to day.
The Negative Perspective
One common problem today is that people tend to look at the worse side of life; pessimism has become vogue. But constantly sniping and nitpicking about every little thing can make life seem like a drudgery and a curse. That’s not a very conducive state of mind for your spirituality because you’ll only end up questioning why God allows such bad things to happen if He’s so benevolent.
But the thing that you often forget (thus setting the need for spiritual life coaching) is that there is someone up there who’s watching out for you. It might not always seem that way, but there’s a bigger plan – His plan – at work, and things will work out better in the end.
Gratitude as a spiritual practice doesn’t stop with your just inwardly thanking God and your neighbor for the good and bad events in every day. You also have to practice looking at everything as a blessing; it’s just that those blessings can sometimes come in very good disguises.
Living in the Positive Light
Did you get promoted at work today? Thank God that for the raise – and the opportunity to do an even better job from your new position. Did you lose your job today? Thank God for the opportunity to find a more fulfilling job or for the opportunity to spend more time with your kids. Go one step further and view every little incident as a chance for you to grow and improve in life, work and faith.
That and constant practice are the keys to using gratitude as a spiritual practice. Your spiritual coach won’t always be there to remind you to look at the world in a certain way, so you have to get used to the state of mind from the get-go. Do enough of it and you’ll realize that God is indeed present in just about everything in life, and that God isn’t the kind that’ll easily let you go.