While many think that contemplative practices mainly focus on the skills of bringing your thoughts or mind into the present moment they actually have the power to go even deeper. Cultivating a “practice” can help you to connect to the healing power innately within your body.
Sometimes due to the chaos that surrounds us, or that we feel inside of us, we find ourselves struggling and feeling like we can’t find a way to move forward to reach our healing or growth goals. The sense of chaos can also cause us to lose sight of, or doubt, our true source of inner strength and our ability to heal ourselves. The source of the chaos can be an ocean of fears, traumas, illnesses, and/or pain that has cut us off from our divine self. Another result of being cut off from our true self is dis-ease. When we are not in touch with what our body needs, what our heart’s desires are, and knowing what actions will help keep us in balance in the present moment, it ends up costing us the precious energy we need to be healthy.
There is a saying in the healing world – your body keeps the score. This means that literally your history is your biology. Choices, emotions, injuries, wins and losses, belief systems, basically the good/bad/ugly of life are all stored in our mind AND throughout our whole body and energy systems. Our cells, our muscles, our organs, our nervous system, your aura – everything stores a map of your history, present, and potential futures.
The Good News – Nothing is set in stone. You can help heal and release that which is no longer serving you at any time! (Side note here the words heal means to make whole and sometimes that can look different then what our “expectations” are, but that is a topic for another blog ☺ )
One of the great teachings of the Tao Te Ching is that nature is always seeking to return to balance – to health. Therefore, our nature is always trying to return to a state of balance and “health”. Your body-mind is constantly trying to send you information about what it needs physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually to stay in balance. The other amazing truth is that your body-mind is also full of innate healing wisdom and power! Contemplative practices are one of the main tools you have to consciously develop and strengthen the skills you need to start listening and co-creating a balanced life that is in alignment with who you truly are – body, mind, and soul.
Contemplation practices are the art of learning to become fully present in your heart, mind, and body.
You can bring a "practice" to ANY part of your life – mindfully washing dishes, hanging out with your friends, playing with your kids, walking in the park, driving, and even answering emails. In fact, the power of these practices is truly connected when we get up off the meditation cushion and let the skills we develop there start to influence and BE a working part of us to help direct our daily actions. Once you are more in the present moment and interacting with the world from this moment versus what I can the “old tapes” of past hurts, pains, and limiting beliefs you are finally free to act from a place of compassion, connection, and co-creating with the divine.
You can find some form of these practices in almost any religion and culture throughout the world and time. They do not belong to any group. These are practices and skills that are designed to bring yourself into contact with the magic and healing presence of the Spirit that is within and all around you.
Take a look at the list below (and this is just a shortlist ☺). See if one or two of the different practices might resonate with you. I also invite you to stay with one or two of them for a while and really let them start to sink into your daily life. I believe that these different practices open a doorway to your authentic self. As you explore your true nature through these practices life starts to unfold and begins to communicate with you. As you deepen your practice you will find that gradually your thoughts, movements, and patterns of being are rewiring to expand your perceptions and shift you from reacting to responding to co-creating the present moment. When you develop the art of reflection you can step into alignment with actions and connections based on love, joy, and compassion.