We’re two weeks into the year and—congratulations—so far you’ve stuck to your guns. Each morning, in the grand tradition of the New Year’s resolution, you roll from bed and into a rigamarole of Pilates classes, kale smoothies, and get-behind-me-Krispy-Kreme.
But as you whip yourself into shape this year, don’t neglect to work your spiritual muscles too. Strengthen your spirituality in 2015 with these fifteen exercises.
Get Lost in a Good Book
Rescue your library card from the blackhole beneath your sofa cushions and hit the books this year. Start a blog and share the passages that inspire you.
Take a Hike
You look like you could use some fresh air. Pack yourself some sandwiches and head for the hills to clear your mind and marvel at the natural world.
Take a page from Henry David Thoreau: “We need the tonic of wildness…. We can never have enough of nature.”
Paint Your Masterpiece
Unleash your inner-artiste. Write a poem, make an app, sew a dress. Use your unique talents to express who you are.
Lift Your Mood with Music
Whether you’re playing the guitar or just hitting “Play,” music is a powerful muse. Put those high school saxophone lessons to use and make some noise.
Do Some Good
Get off your duff and help a brother out. As you lift other people’s burdens, your own will start to feel lighter.
Say Your Prayers
A prayer is a phone call to a higher power. Dial in to give thanks and ask for help. Or lose yourself in meditation and find your spiritual center in quiet reflection.
Try Something New
Get unstuck from your rut. Break your routine and do something you’ve never done before, whether it’s backpacking in Patagonia or walking the the long, scenic way home.
“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.”
You Are Here—Be Here
Put your phone in your pocket and take a break from Words with Friends to have some actual words with your friends. Pay attention, take interest in people, and be present.
Get to Work
Manning the banana stand for the summer or running the company—whatever your gig, do your best work. When you put in not just the hours but your best effort, you’ll enjoy both the paycheck and the satisfaction of a job well done.
“To find joy in work is to discover the fountain of youth.”
—Pearl S. Buck
Say Thank You
“What do we say?” your mom prompted you as a kid when Uncle Ted handed you a snow cone. Moms know best. Take time to write a letter and say thanks to someone who’s made a difference in your life.
Let Go of Grudges
Carrying a grudge is like carrying a huge boulder everywhere you go: it will only leave you feeling sore and looking like a crazy person. May your fences and beefs be mended and settled respectively.
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
Eat, Sleep, and Be Healthy
Your body is the car your spirit rides through life in. Keep it tuned up with adequate sleep, nutrition, and exercise.
Make Your Space Sacred
Make your home a peaceful place. Fill it with reminders of what matters most—your family, your faith, and whatever else inspires you.
Look at the Big Picture
We fixate on small, daily concerns and sometimes forget about the big, long-term ones. Take a step back and put things in perspective.
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Life can be a mess, but it’s a big beautiful mess all the same, and there are countless pleasures to be plucked from it, even though sometimes they’re buried down deep. Dig in.