Silencing the voices demanding our attention

Image: Eli DeFaria

Why we need spiritual practices more than ever

Who gets to speak into our lives? Who gets to influence what we think and feel? Who gets to shape the choices we make? Who gets to determine our beliefs and opinions?

We like to think we are above the influence of those around us, but it’s rarely the case.

Who of us can truly say we are not influenced by advertisers? Or the media? Or peer pressure? Or celebrities?

In truth, it’s impossible to be completely oblivious and unaffected by what goes on around us. But if we want to have a rich and meaningful life, we have to have filters in our life to guard against unhealthy and unhelpful outside influences.

How do we do this? How do we avoid getting sucked into the merry-go-round of voices pulling us away from our true self and towards a lesser version of ourselves?

It’s not rocket science, but it is, for many of us, revolutionary. It’s nothing new and, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. The answer lies within the spiritual practices wise people have used for thousands of years.

Sadly, most of us have never been taught the ancient practices of rest, reflection, silence, solitude, and contemplation.

Even churches seem to have stopped teaching people how to actually live spiritually rich lives.

But these practices, perhaps more than ever, are vital to a healthy existence.

We have to find ways to filter and, sometimes, completely shut out all the outside voices screaming for our attention — and there is no better way than through these ancient spiritual practices.

Spiritual practices force us to slow down in the midst of a world that never stops. They give us the space to find perspective. At a time when irrationalism is on the rise, we need to avoid getting caught up in the here and now. We need to separate ourselves from the world in order to re-engage with it from a healthy place. That is the gift of spiritual practices.

What was she thinking?!

Stubborn gladness