The word spirituality can conjure up many images. You might, for instance, think of a guru sitting cross-legged on a mountaintop looking for enlightenment. This is one form of spiritual practice that has its place, but for most of us working, busy people, it is not really an option in our hectic and stressful lives.

It seems that in our culture of transient lifestyles and excessive materialism, we are running faster and faster to get ahead or to keep up with our neighbor and yet feeling less and less connected to him or her, and to ourselves.

But what if you could find inner peace and centeredness on a daily basis to help you cope with the challenges and demands of living in the 21st century? In fact, you can achieve this through the practice of “Everyday Spirituality”. This is a conscious choice to create and keep a connection to your own inner wisdom while still doing all the everyday tasks that are necessary to function in society.

The simple concept is that we can link our practical lifestyle with our spiritual center to create greater balance and peace in our lives on a consistent basis. This inner guidance is a powerful force inside each of us. If allowed, it will clearly guide us in all decisions we make and challenges we face. We cannot chase it, however, or demand that it appear. We must allow the connection to be made through the silence and introspection found in meditation and quiet time.

Here are five simple steps that you can do take to bring Everyday Spirituality into your life:

1. Make at least 15 minutes available for reflection in your schedule every day. That is not a lot of time when you consider how many waking hours you have in a day. Get up 15 minutes earlier each day or turn off the television for just 15 minutes in the evening. Early mornings, or some time after dinner are often best, but any time that can be set aside for this, preferably at about the same time every day, will work.

2. Create a Sacred Space in your home. This might be a small area in the corner of your bedroom or a separate room in the house that will become your refuge from the chaos of life. It is your private place that you can fill with your favorite things such as flowers, candles, incense, soft music and meaningful pictures. Make it a ritual to return to this place regularly. Soon you will start to crave it because it will offer solace and serenity in this sometimes difficult world. If you spend time regularly in your sacred space, your positive energy will also build up there and you will notice that you feel happy and peaceful when you are there.

3. Get comfortable, close your eyes and search for the silence. That’s right. Search for the silence in your mind’s eye and try to empty your brain of all the thoughts that clutter it, and never give you any peace. Create in your mind a blank, white canvas like new fallen snow that no one has walked on yet. This is not easy to do. Many of us have little voices in our heads that fill us with negative, self-talk gremlins that have been living in our minds for years! Simply concentrate on the white silence and every time a nagging thought crosses your mind, gently brush it away and carry on focusing on the silence. Taking deep breaths in and out in a rhythmic manner is another important element of centering and finding the silence. By doing this, you will start to allow genuine contact with your inner guidance. Guided meditation CDs are available to help you visualize different scenes that are supportive of the connection with inner guidance. For those persons new to meditation and silent reflection, I would recommend that they use these tools as they provide a sort of life preserver to hold on to, that will help them to stay focused and connected on the messages they receive and not get bored or frustrated if nothing happens the first few times.

4. Ask a question or ask for guidance on some pressing issue. Once you feel comfortable that you can recreate the white canvas on a regular basis and with very few gremlins interfering, it is time to try out this new connection. We have all the answers to our worries and fears within us. If we allow time for silent reflection as suggested in this article, we will be able to reach that place of higher wisdom within ourselves, which will guide us to our greatest good and help us deal with all the challenges in our lives. All the messages we need are inside of us, we must simply stop, make time and listen.

5. Keep an inspirational journal nearby. A blank journal (such as a notebook with an attractive cover) can be used to record images or messages you receive during these exercises. Often when the meditation is finished, you are still in a very relaxed state that is conducive to receiving more insightful messages. As you start to write one thought, another will often follow it, and another and another and soon you are writing a string of thoughts that can help you make sense of things you have asked. This is another way to make contact with your inner guidance, through a sort of inspirational writing. It does not happen all the time, but sometimes you may find that you write some very interesting things in your journal that you can look back at later.

Meditative practices like this can allow you to gain clarify on many personal and professional issues and can help to reduce blood pressure, stress levels and other health related ailments. You will gain a new insight into yourself and therefore, be more productive and successful at work.

These five action steps will allow you to reconnect with the inner self that is deep inside you – the real you - who you are at the core of your being. Perhaps you have not been in touch with that real you for a long time. By creating this type of Everyday Spirituality ritual, you will be able to face the world with a new outlook of serenity, inner calm and balance, no matter what the circumstances.

©Copyright Authentic Matter, 2006. All rights reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Barbara Rogoski is an expert in Everyday Spirituality and is a down-to-earth spiritual teacher, professional speaker, workshop facilitator and lifelong student of spiritual growth and development. The goal of her company, called Authentic Matters, is to help people remember what really matters in life: a deeper connection to self, loving interaction with others and a divine connection to something bigger than themselves. Learn more at http://www.authenticmatters.com.