We all know that bettering ourselves is something that for the most part, we cannot force. We become wiser with age, and while some experiences can help us mature, that is never a guarantee. That being said, traveling, being a nicer person, trying to be more patient, staying in shape and learning as much as possible (as well as trying to be a great parent), can all be worthwhile, yet difficult to manage.
However, sometimes it can feel as though you need more than just a tune-up. Perhaps, if you have time, it can be that resetting yourself and helping yourself see more clearly requires just a little touch of a more practical, personal solution. This is the equivalent between heading on a run because you want to look good or heading on a run because you know it is ultimately making you a better person.
Thankfully, with a term we are classing ‘soul development,’ you can undergo this process with no small amount of self-awareness and positivity. Let us see what that might look like in the following words:
Learn How To Meditate
Too many people see meditation as something that would be nice to learn how to do, but may never feel they have the time for it. This is understandable. It’s not as if many people are wilfully pushing it away, but having the free time to do anything is a luxury rarely found by much of the population. It can also be easy to conflate learning how to meditate with learning how to do yoga or something like hypnotherapy training, yet of course the two things are different in how convenient they are to perform and learn.
Meditation is easy. Through resources such as Mindfulness in Plain English or reading about transcendental meditation, you realize just how easy it can be. In fact, it’s so easy we can give you a fairly reliable summary of the practice here:
First, sit down in a peaceful environment. You needn’t worry about achieving complete silence within said room or area, in fact, a little noise can be good and give you something else to focus on. Sitting down in a comfortable position, perhaps cross legged supported by cushions, perhaps on a chair with an ergonomic back can worth wonders. Then, set an alarm for around ten to fifteen minutes. From there, simply close your eyes and start focusing on the breath that comes in and out of your nostrils. Don’t worry about holding that focus forever, you will lose it. But when you notice that your monkey mind is chattering, slowly bring your focus back to the breath.
That’s it. You will find that you become distracted, get deep into thought, or even become both tired and alert depending on the day. But the more you practice this, session after session, something amazing happens. You will begin to apply your focus more and more calmly towards your breath, and your breathing will be natural and less stited. Then you’ll be making progress, and will leave your sessions feeling restored and nurtured. You would be surprised just how much this can lower your stress and help you feel more comfortable in yourself. In fact, some might even feel the effects of chakra healing.
Don’t force yourself to be perfect at it. No one is for the first month they do it. But then, slow benefits start coming, and staying disciplined in the practice, even for ten minutes a day, can be useful. Before long you will have trained your concentration well enough to ensure that you can meditate in most places, such as during a busy commute, as meditating is not always an eyes-closed activity. Try it, and see how your personality may blossom.
Do Something For Someone Else
Of course, there’s every chance that each day you do plenty for someone else. In fact, your entire life might be supporting and caring for a family, as many with children find themselves prioritizing this over other simple pleasures. It’s an admirable and noble task, and one we take on willingly.
However, being of service to someone else outside of that can be worthwhile. Perhaps you wish to help your auntie visit that theatre show she’s been talking about, which could also help you destress. Perhaps your friend has been having trouble since their last divorce and you wish to invite them along to a group you attend, or bring them to the gym to help them get their mind off things for three hours a week.
Being of service out of your normal routine can be a great thing, and help you feel more nourished. You never know, this favor might even be returned. It can also help you get out of the usual routine for a small time.
Again, finding the time for these hobbies and events can be the troubling period. But you might find that you have half an hour before bedtime to read in bed, or you might use services such as Pocket or the RSS feed of your favorite publication to catch up on articles. Reading the headlines lately can make anyone wish to crawl into a bunker, but reading analysis, poems, writings of those who you might relate to or wish to learn from, or wish to challenge yourself with, is one of the best things you could ever do.
Reading outside of your comfort zone can also be one of the best decisions you make. Perhaps you finally wish to ‘start with the Greeks’ and read the foundational texts of Greek philosophy, finally read that classic novel you have wanted to sink your teeth into for years now, or even decide to embark on reading all the works of an author you have become fascinated by. Challenging yourself to do this, perhaps by following a program such as Goodread’s yearly challenge, can help you feel very stimulated intellectually, which you may not be getting in many other places right now during the usual flow of life.
With this advice, you are certain to better embark on your personal, tongue-in-cheek yet also sincere soul development program.