Expounding on Practical Spirituality
In my article, How I Approach Practical Spirituality [a starting place], I communicate the need for body and mind to be cared for in order to thrive spiritually. Now, I’m not saying that there are not spiritual practices that also go into practical spirituality [right?], simply, that if the plane can’t fly… we’re not going anywhere.
How do you thrive spiritually [practically speaking]?
Again, there is no exact method, but here are three practices that surface when I process how to thrive spiritually through the framework of caring for body and mind.
Sleep [margin of the body]
As obvious as this sounds, if I’m not getting enough sleep, then I’m not thriving physically… in other words, the vehicle gifted to me by God to house my spirit and to navigate life on this planet is out of fuel and will not propel me anywhere. How’s this for practical? -> I own a fitbit watch that keeps track of how much I sleep at night. It tracks good sleep, restless sleep, and intermittent waking during the night. After using it for several months, I found that if I don’t average somewhere in between 7–7.75 hours of sleep a night, I immediately move out of the thriving category and land back in the out of fuel and going nowhere category.
Headspace [margin of the mind]
When I’m overwhelmed with work, projects, or new ideas, it can be easy for me to become distracted during times that I do have carved out for meditation, prayer, reading scripture [practices that help me cultivate a posture toward listening to God], and even sleep. When I find that my mind doesn’t have room for it all [and it doesn’t take much], I cling to my homemade bullet journal as a lifeline. In it, I have a calendar of my productive work and include actionable steps for each project that allow me to focus on small anxiety free steps. In the back of my bullet journal, I also keep a section for notes and ideas that I can come back to when I have time blocked off to process new ideas or thoughts. As my mind begins to clutter, I simply jot ideas down and release them from my mind [especially effective at night when I’m trying to wind down and get to sleep… sleep? yep… sleep— see aforementioned paragraph].
Downtime [margin as a lifestyle]
When our family finds that we are too busy during the evenings, we get out the calendar and look to the coming month and book evening after evening with what we call the no fly zone. These are evenings that we are committed to nothing. We try to make a habit of having two no fly zone boxes each week. This doesn’t mean we have to sit quietly on these evenings, but just means we can do whatever sounds fun to our family in the moment on those evenings. You may be way better at this than we are, so you may not need the boxes, but this has been SO helpful for us!
Any of this resonate? Anything you would add? I’d love to continue the conversation and hear your thoughts.
Thanks for journeying alongside,
Oh yeah, and if you resonate with this article, consider joining the conversation more regularly! I send out a super helpful [I think it’s helpful] short email with  highlights of content over the last month [or so], my 5-things email — meaningful content for the religiously disillusioned [or spiritually tired] seeking to practically and authentically follow Jesus in real life.