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Hello inner peace…we’ve been waiting for you!

Let go and unplug! That’s right. Unplug the phone. Unplug that computer. Unplug that TV and anything else that keeps you distracted from doing the things that are really important. Make yourself a list that says, I will let go of_____ and fill in that blank! Make a plan of how you are going to let it go and more importantly what it will free you up to do once you do oust it from your over-plugged life.

VISUALIZATION
Try this: Close your eyes, take two deep breaths and count to sixty. Go ahead. Do it now. What happened? Did you enjoy complete silence or was it interrupted by some form of technology or another distraction? If you were uninterrupted, congratulations! But if you were, think about what you can do to get those sixty seconds back of uninterrupted time.

TECHNOLOGY ETIQUETTE
Do you remember the time when going out to dinner was special? People talked quietly to each other and had respect for the people who were seated nearby. Now in even some fine dining restaurants you see people texting and chattering on their cell phones. Even in church, you can’t listen to a full sermon without hearing the accidental ring tone of a cell phone or the sound of the typing from a tablet or other device. I’ve even heard a phone ring in the pulpit once. I couldn’t believe it.

GUILTY PLEASURES
Don’t get me wrong. I am as guilty as the next person when it comes to technology. However, I do make an exception with my family that there are no phones allowed at the dinner table. That is the one time when we actually talk in real-time with each and have a face-to-face conversation. However, I am guilty of having my phone right next to my bed every night. But I do say, “Good morning” to my husband when I wake-up before I check my phone. For many of us, our phone is the first thing we reach for before we are even out of bed.

YOUR MUCH NEEDED BREAK
What about you? Is technology like a drug? When it isn’t around do you begin to have withdrawals symptoms? Can you leave your cell phone at home, or do you find yourself being totally lost if you don’t have it with you?

When you can’t find a remote to the TV are you agitated that you have to actually get up and change the channels manually? When your computer is slow, do you become impatient or wait patiently to see if the problem is only temporary.

When does your break from technology actually start? Or is it constantly on auto-pilot? There comes a point and time when we have to make ourselves accountable for our own inner peace. You may think so, but technology is not going always going to give it to you. Believe it or not, that inner peace has to come from within your inner self. We have to go to the very soul of our being to find answers and listen to what our inner spirit is saying to us. We can’t hear anything if we are distracted by the day to day interruptions of our technology. Every day we must find a way to be still and unplug — even it’s just for a few moments.

Find a way to eliminate distractions that are keeping you away from doing what is really important. I know it will be hard at first. But, if you make time to take a break each day, it will get easier. So go ahead. Turn it off. Who knows? That inner peace that you have been searching for may actually find you!

Maybe Now Is the Time to Become More Spiritual

Maybe Now Is the Time to Become More Spiritual.

You have probably heard others speak on being ‘spiritual’ or being focused on developing their ‘spirituality,’ but exactly what does the term mean and how can it enhance your life?

While there is no single, widely agreed upon definition of spirituality, scholars tend to define it as condition achieved by engaging in meaningful activity, personal growth, or blissful experience. Spirituality refers to a process of re-formation of the personality, mind, and of course, the spirit.

Webster defines the spirit as the inner quality or nature of a person or the force within a person that is believed to give the body life, energy, and power.

Centuries ago, being spiritual signified having an attachment to religious values, or matters of the spirit, rather than material or worldly interests. However, in modern history, the definition of spirituality has expanded to mean reaching higher levels of consciousness, such as when using meditation, yoga, and similar practices.

Others consider spirituality to be a state in which we are connected to God, nature, each other, and the deepest part of ourselves.

Despite its nebulous, ever-evolving definition, spirituality is important in our lives.

To fully function as a human being, the various aspects of ourselves must be in balance — our mind, body, and spirit have to be in harmony with one other. It is hard to focus on your career when you are stressed out over a personal relationship. That personal relationship suffers if you are not physically or mentally healthy. As you can see, balance is necessary to achieve harmony in each facet of your life. We cannot successfully focus on any aspect of our lives and neglect the spiritual.

Being spiritual is neither difficult nor demanding. In fact, it can be quite simple.

You are being spiritual when you listen to a beautiful piece of music, when you are captivated by an amazing work of art, or when you are reading an inspirational book or poem.

Exactly how is that spiritual you ask? Well, were you immersed in it? Did you derive some pleasure from it? Did it touch your soul? Did you connect to the artist and/or the creation itself? Then it was spiritual.

You can experience a spiritual moment while walking through the woods and connecting with nature, by walking along a sandy seashore, or by watching a sunset.

You also can experience a spiritual connection working with others to work toward a common goal, like volunteering or raising funds to help those in need, or playing on a sports team, while performing with a choir or a musical group, or anything that involves teamwork and cooperation with others.

These acts — tuning in with God, nature, each other, and ourselves — are being spiritual.

There are a few things you can do starting now to be more spiritual in your life.

Make time for yourself…just yourself.
Restore your spirit and revitalize yourself by listening to relaxing music. Read inspirational literature (or more blogs here on the WOYN site.) Book a soothing massage or even a quick a Mani/Pedi.

Reach out and help those in need.
The Dali Lama is quoted as saying, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
When you lend a hand to someone else, you grow spiritually because you are connecting with humanity. Volunteer as a big brother or sister, coach a youth sports team, serve on a committee at your house of worship or in your town, or donate to the food shelter. Every little bit helps.

Practice gratitude… celebrate the ‘good stuff.’
Each morning reflect on all the various things you have to be grateful for in your life. Acknowledge how fortunate you are for family, friends, and all the opportunities placed on your path.

Observe your world.
Be more aware. Become responsive to your environment. Be conscious of yourself within your environment. Enjoy the colors and smells of nature around you. Enjoy the feel of rain falling on your face and the wind blowing your hair. The revitalizing, fresh state of awareness you will experience is spiritual.

Be more expressive.
Pop diva Madonna said it best, “Express Yourself!” If you don’t already engage in some form of artistic or expressive activity, what are you waiting for? It’s time to expand your brain’s right-side function. Learn to dance, sing, play a musical instrument, or take art lessons. We all need to balance the logical, linear aspects of ourselves, so give the left-side brain a rest.

Recognizing and refining your spirituality helps to create a much-needed balance in your life and a sense of purpose. Take a moment, look at your daily schedule, and identify ways you can nurture your spirit.

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