How to Start Your Spiritual Journey in the New Year!
Does a “spiritual journey” sometimes feel like something only special people with magical access or a whole lotta time, money and emotional space get to do, or even think about?
I remember feeling like that at times in my life, especially when I hit bottom from alcoholism 35 years ago (yup, just turned 35 years clean and sober a week ago!).
Around that same time, my parents had just literally lost everything – their house, whatever money they had saved – and I felt like we were all drowning. I honestly thought any kind of spiritual connection for me was irreparably broken and whatever God there was operating in my life, was following me around with a fly swatter.
But this, too, was part of my journey. I was being called to surrender to Spirit, to learn the dance steps, and to follow along.
And so, let me assure you that no matter what is going on in your life, however you may have been let down, whatever temporary outer conditions may have you believing you shouldn’t or can’t or don’t deserve access, that you 100 percent HAVE your own spiritual journey. Hello! In fact, you’re already on one right now!
Longing for More Connection with Spirit
When I hear from people who say they want to know how to “be more spiritual” or how to “start a spiritual journey,” usually what they mean is that they long for more connection with Spirit. They’ve grown out of touch with the voice of their soul, and they want to create a life that recognizes the relationship they have with the Divine. But guess what, Spirit is available for everyone all the time.
When you feel connected to the Universe, you see that Spirit is always around you, always supporting you, always calling you to your highest good whatever that means to you! What a gift to give yourself this New Year.
So today, I have seven ways you (yes, you) can kickstart or deepen your spiritual journey in 2021.
7 Ways to Kickstart Your Spiritual Journey
#1 Start Thinking of Yourself as a Spiritual Being
I love this thought from one of my friends and mentors, Dr. Wayne Dyer, who said that we’re not human beings having a spiritual experience; we’re spiritual beings having a human experience!
That means the work you’ve done up until now is all part of your own individual spiritual journey.
Isn’t that a relief? You don’t need to head to Tibet… or go to a silent meditation retreat… or eat only wheatgrass and loganberries… your sacred adventure towards Spirit can (and is!) taking place right here, right now!
No matter the current conditions of your life they are not reflections of your worth, or value, it’s the inner spark of the Divine that often needs re-igniting. You matter now and always.
When you become more intentional about your spirituality, everything becomes an opportunity to deepen your connection to the Universe.
Just this small shift in the way you approach your day can have a huge impact on how you respond when you’re sent “lessons.” Suddenly, the driver that cut you off in traffic is not a jerk — he or she is a teacher.
What are you learning right now?
#2 Turn to the Oracle Cards
Oracle Cards are such a fun and easy way to deepen your spiritual connection. My decks in particular are created to be a gateway to the language of Spirit — mystical, richly symbolic, and easy to navigate (even if you don’t think you’re “woo!”).
A wonderful place to start is just by sitting down with your favorite deck (don’t have one? Access my free online Oracle Card app here!).
Clear your mind, release your expectations, and ask, “What do I need to know today for my highest good?” Then choose one card.
Look at the imagery. What jumps out at you? What do you notice? What pulls you in?
Next, read the card’s meaning in the guidebook. Do any words or phrases seem brighter or darker, or jump off the page? Do any give you a little “buzz?” Pay attention — that’s your intuition speaking! The Universe has a message for you.
Many people make this process the foundation of their spiritual practice. Each morning or evening, you can perform this ritual, writing about the card in your journal or meditating on it.
It’s a simple way to become more aware of messages from Spirit that are all around us… which is what spirituality is all about! It’s a collaboration, a partnership that will enable you to meet life’s challenges with faith and grace.
#3 Practice Mindfulness
When you see every moment as an opportunity for learning and growth, you stop trying to rush through life to get to some end goal!
Mindfulness — focusing on what’s in front of you and what you’re sensing and feeling right now, without judgment — is a key practice for many people who long for a Divine connection.
This is actually one of the most simple (and at times, difficult!) meditation practices. You simply sit right where you are, and notice.
Notice everything — your breath, the sound of your companion animals in the next room, the feel of the chair under your body, the tightness in your shoulders, the thoughts that flit through your mind at the speed of light… You observe, and in your role as observer, you detach from outcomes and begin to appreciate the beauty of each moment. Ahhh!
Living mindfully can become a whole spiritual practice in and of itself.
We’ll be exploring this concept in depth in my free upcoming “Vision Board Challenge: 7 Days to Create Your Most Inspired Vision for 2021.” It runs from Jan 18th-24th, 2021. Click here to register!
#4 Start Meditating
Many people don’t meditate because they think it’s too hard… or it takes too much time… or they don’t need to!
First, meditation is hard because we need to learn to disconnect from our “monkey mind.” We’re so used to letting our brains run all over the place like a group of 4-year-olds at a McDonald’s playland! Meditation asks us to focus and to concentrate, at the same time we’re releasing.
It’s in this process that we can be transported to a vast, mystical space, one that is beyond our limited earthly perceptions.
Sound magical? It can be! And guided visualizations can make the process easier.
One of my favorites is my Removing Blocks guided meditation that you can access for free on YouTube here. It’s only 12 minutes long. Just sit back and let your soul out to play! (Note: guided visualizations are a great first step for meditation for beginners.)
NOTE: Another wonderful resource for practicing mindfulness in your everyday life is Peace Is Every Step by peace activist, teacher, and Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh. This short book is a beautiful reminder of the gift of presence and mindfulness. It also includes simple exercises that anyone can do to bring greater joy and peace.
#5 Practice Gratitude
This one should come as no surprise. The more we see gifts in the world around us, the more blessings we receive.
Everyone from Oprah to Tony Robbins has taken their gratitude practice to the next level by writing down the things they’re grateful for on a regular basis.
While even just jotting down a few quick items will help you turn your life in a positive direction, what can be even more meaningful (and spiritual!) is diving into why you’re thankful for certain things or people in your life.
I like to turn my gratitude into a love letter — to the trees behind my house, to my husband, to Spirit! I’ll set a timer for 7 minutes and write why I love them and how they enrich my life.
This is such a revealing exercise, and one you can do even for the tough times/people/circumstances (“Dear COVID, I appreciate you for helping me see how important connection and physical presence are in my life…” “Dear boss who fired me, thank you for releasing me from a situation that wasn’t right for me. It allowed me to move on to discover my soul’s true calling…”)
When I do it, I see that my judgments about what is “good” and “bad” in my life are often a result of limited perspective. It all contributes to my spiritual exploration!
Want more ideas for practicing gratitude? I wrote a whole blog post on it — just for you!
#6 Look to Mother Moon
For thousands of years, humans have connected the moon’s sacred nature with our most basic rhythms of life. It’s no wonder that lunar cycles are known to affect everything from the tides to human fertility!
When it comes to our spirituality, two specific points in the lunar cycle are particularly potent: The New Moon, and the Full Moon. (These two times are so sacred, I offer New and Full Moon readings every month in the Oracle Circle Membership!)
The New Moon — which this month is Jan. 13 — marks the alignment of the sun and the moon. With the sun shining behind the moon, we are blocked from its view.
The New Moon marks the beginning of a new lunar cycle and is a wonderful time for welcoming beginnings and setting intentions. Use this extra bump of energy as a reminder to connect with yourself, to listen to your heart’s longings, and to discover what you are intended to start in the coming month.
The complementary lunar phase to the New Moon is, of course, the Full Moon. The Full Moon is the end of the lunar cycle, and it’s the time when the seeds you planted in the New Moon are starting to take root and grow. The Universe asks us to use the Full Moon as a reminder to reflect on what we’ve been creating, and release what no longer serves us to make room for the new.
You can create your own moon rituals during these potent lunar times. Retreat to a quiet, clutter-free space. Light a candle. Pull an Oracle Card and journal on the meaning for the period ahead. Give yourself the gift of connection with your “soul-GPS!”
#7 Join a Spiritual Community
Even if you’re not a joiner, or maybe you’ve had bad experiences with groups in the past… a community is an essential element to spiritual exploration.
Nothing has accelerated my own spiritual growth more than finding a supportive, healthy group of soul-seekers who accepted me (but at the same time wouldn’t let me get away with any of my BS)!
I know it can be hard to find this kind of spiritually healthy community… (which is why I ended up creating one with my Oracle Circle Membership!).
If your soul has been yearning for companionship for your spiritual journey, you are most welcome to join us in our free Facebook community. That’s where you’ll receive regular infusions of Spirit and instruction about Oracle Cards and divination, connect with me on the regular, and get to know some other amazing, heart-led individuals!
Now, please don’t think you’ve got to do all seven of these things, all today, in order to feel like you’re “becoming more spiritual!”
Instead, read through these suggestions and listen to your heart. What are you pulled to? What gives you a thrill of joy at the prospect of exploring? Start there. When your soul speaks, listen!
Hey! Want a step-by-step guided walkthrough of the process I use to create my vision boards? You’re in luck! Join me for this free event Jan. 18th-24th, 2021:
Colette Baron-Reid’s Vision Board Challenge: 7 Days to Create Your Most Inspired Vision for 2021
Click here to reserve your free spot!