How do you create a space for your Spiritual Practice?

As we are going through this series all about the enneagram and spiritual practices, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to talk about creating a physical space for this. How do you create a space for your spiritual practice? And what are the benefits of having a space that is dedicated to your practice?

Let’s talk about the top 3 reasons for creating your space.

Why?

Why is it important to have a dedicated space for your spiritual practice? Of course, you can take your practice wherever you go, but there is something special about creating this space for yourself. It is a way to honor a decision you made.

1.Consistency

The first benefit a physical spaces gives to you, is encouraging consistency. Knowing you have a physical place to go, is going to make you much more likely to show up there. Seeing your pillow on the floor, or your small area set up with candles just waiting for you, will both remind you and entice you to begin your practice. The physicality of having a real space keeps you more accountable. The more you show up for yourself and your practice in this space, the more you’ll want to show up. This creates a consistency in your practice and in your life.

2.Ritual

The very nature of having a practice is in itself a ritual. The repeated pattern of doing something, anything, can be considered a ritual. It is when we add meaning to our rituals that our lives begin to open up in new ways. Creating a space you love, adds so much to your ritual. It allows for all your senses to be involved: the scent of a candle, or sight of it’s flame, the soft pillow beneath you, the smooth stones in your hands, the sight of something beautiful…

These all add meaning to your ritual, which in turn transforms your ritual into something more. You might begin to long for this place. The rhythm of your ritual brings the gifts of grounding, self-worth, and honor to you and your practice. Ritual, also gives you a place to come back to, and a place to begin from. This is a beautiful circle of practice.

3.Connection

Thirdly, having a space for your practice is going to make you feel more connected. Connected to what? Well, that depends on what it is you are practicing. Many times in spiritual practice, it is ourselves we are re-connecting with. It gives us a chance to sync the mind, body and spirit. Often we get stuck, working without one of these and forgetting that we need all three to function best.

The body is always in real time. It can’t be anywhere else. The body feels things now, needs things now, and functions completely in the present. Our minds however, might tend to wander to the future, or past, but when we can align these, the spirit sings!

This is why having a place to experience such deep connection is so important. And the more you practice, the more aligned you will become with your mind, body and spirit. This is something to get excited about!

Where?

You might be thinking, I don’t have the space anywhere to dedicate to a spiritual practice.

You don’t need a lot of space.

The important thing, is that you have chosen the space, and that you will use it. It could be a corner in a room that isn’t being used. Another idea, would be using part of your closet, if its large enough.

In the photos I’m sharing today, you will see my own space. I’ve taken a stool that I absolutely love, and placed it in the corner near my closet.

You could use a chair, or whatever you have, maybe a small table.

This works for me because its in a location that is both private, and next to the closet where I need to access everyday.

What To Include in Your Space…

This is highly personal. I wanted to include things that make me feel inspired, comfortable, and positive.

My big cushy pillow, is perfect for sitting on as long as I need. I added a tray to my lovely stool, to keep all my things in order. This allows me to incorporate other elements as well.

Art and words inspire me, so I have a few small pieces to focus my time. My stress ball helps me occupy my hands while I’m thinking, meditating, or praying.

(I read somewhere that just looking at a plant can lower your blood pressure, so hence the plant)!

I love candles! There is something in the ritual of lighting a candle that makes any moment feel special, and honored. The light, the warmth, the scent, it all adds to the experience of making this space feel sacred and set apart. Essential oils are also a passion of mine, so I add my favorites in a diffuser, if I’m feeling it.

How do you create a space for your spiritual practice?

I really like my space to feel cozy, so as you can see… I have lots of pillows, quilts, and more pillows!

A pen and paper are also kept handy, in case my meditation time inspired something I need to write down. And I have a board to post lots of words of encouragement, inspiration, and people I might want to think about or honor that day.

I hope this has given you some helpful ideas on how to set up your very own spiritual practice space, and many positive reasons on why you should create one soon!

Make it your own! Yours will look completely different from mine, I’m sure, but I hope you feel inspired to enjoy this space all to yourself and continue your spiritual practice with new found vigor!

Blessings!

Live your life inspired!

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The Enneagram and Spiritual Practices

Type Two

Hey there, friends and lovers of the enneagram! Last week, we introduced the idea of using the enneagram and spiritual practices together. Both are great tools to add to our over all wellness, but using the enneagram to specifically choose a spiritual practice is completely fascinating to me. This gives us the most opportunity for growth in our awareness, in our own number, and in our lives. Today, we are going to be focusing on enneagram type two.

To check out last week’s introductory post as well as spiritual practices for type one, click the button below:

Let’s review…

What is a Spiritual Practice?

A spiritual practice is something you do regularly and intentionally to experience the Divine and grow in awareness and expansiveness. There are multiple ways to do this, maybe even endless ideas of practices. Spiritual practices help connect us to the path we want to be on, and help us become who we want to be.

Furthermore, a practice keeps us connected to our goals even when our heart is not in it. The structure of the practice allows for the ups and downs of life, while being that stable thing we can come back to. It works like a muscle, or a habit. The more you do it at the same time and in the same way, it’s going to get stronger and become second nature to you.

Goals and Beginnings

You might be wondering, how do I start a spiritual practice if I’ve never had one before?

It is important not to overwhelm yourself by trying to do too much too fast. The best way to begin, is with a small achievable goal. Set aside just 5-10 minutes to focus on your practice at the same time every day. By setting aside the time and sticking to it, you will really begin to see a change in your life. And you will look forward to this special time in your day, that you have made just for your practice.

For example, if you wanted to add a meditation practice into you day, don’t start out with a goal of twenty minutes. This might be your long-term goal, but on your first day of meditation, this is too steep a mountain to climb! Begin with two minutes for a week long period. When that feels satisfying and doable, add more minutes. In a few months you may reach you goal of a twenty minute meditation practice.

Enneagram Type 2 and Spiritual Practices

The hardest part for enneagram type 2, might just be setting aside that time for themselves everyday. Setting boundaries and taking care of themselves is a constant struggle for twos, but one they can win with some intentional effort. Twos need to know that they deserve the time to grow in the ways they desire, and that this is not self-ish.

Actually, spending time positively working on themselves in a spiritual practice is the opposite of selfish. The effects of this practice will not only improve their lives, but it will allow them to be the best they can be for the people around them. Which is what twos love best, taking care of others.

Twos- remember that you are worth this time! You deserve self care, and you deserve a space of spiritual practice that is just for you!

Upriver and Downriver Practices

I am for all spiritual practices because they add so much depth to your day, and essentially your life. However, as we are combining our enneagram numbers with the most ideal practices, we are thinking about what practices will allow for the most growth for each number.

Downriver practices- your downriver practices are going to come naturally to you. These are things you are so inclined to do that is feels like floating downriver on a sunny day.

Upriver practices- These are things you are not good at. It will take a great amount of effort for you to try these practices, but these will also produce the most growth and awareness for you on your journey. These will feel like paddling upriver through some rapids!

Practices for Type 2

The number one spiritual practice that I recommend for type twos, is centering prayer.

What is centering prayer?

Centering prayer, is a specific kind of prayer that is silent. The goal is, in the silence to experience God’s presence, and to prepare yourself to receive the gift of God knowing you completely, and loving you just as you are. It is an experience so deep and meaningful, beyond thinking, but being in the presence of God, the very breath of life.

The enneagram and spiritual practices

Why is this a needed spiritual practice for type two?

Type twos struggle with knowing that they are loved for who they are. Deep inside them, their wounded message is that they must earn love and acceptance from others by serving and doing things for them. This is the opposite of grace and the message of the Divine. There is nothing you need to do.

Twos need to know that they can show up exactly as they are, sit in silence and feel the Presence as unconditional full, and radiant love. This practice over time will greatly grow their capacity for self love, which in turn, moves into real relationship and love of others.

This practice develops the relationship with the Divine, the discipline of having intentional boundaries, and encourages the idea that being present is all that is needed.

This upriver practice challenges the type two’s desire to move and act. Twos are thinking repressed, meaning they function primarily through the doing and feeling centers of intelligence. Slowing down to sit in a space where nothing is expected of them, where they can empty out negativity, judgement, and poor thinking, is incredibly healing.

I hope you look into trying this upriver practice if you are a type two. And if you know a type two, encourage them to give it a try.

Continue with your downriver practices as well, those are your strengths and add so much to the lives of those around you as well.

Blessings.

Thanks for reading. Live inspired!

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The Enneagram and Spiritual Practices

Type One

Learning the enneagram can feel like a spiritual practice. There is so much depth to it, that I am always uncovering new layers and areas of growth for myself. I want to spend some time with you over the next several weeks exploring the enneagram and spiritual practices.

Today we’ll talk about what spiritual practices are, and specifically dig in to a few that are great for enneagram type one.

As each type has its own strengths and weaknesses, we are each drawn to certain practices naturally. The place I want us to land on, is understanding ourselves in our number (which is always a big goal here at Let’s Inspire Today), and finding a spiritual practice that allows for the most growth for our particular type and person.

What is a Spiritual Practice?

A spiritual practice is something you do regularly that connects you to the divine. This definition leaves open many options and opportunities. It really can be that simple. What do you do on a regular basis that brings you into the presence of more? When do you feel an expansiveness, an awe, or special awareness that is both beyond you and part of you?

The practices that come naturally to you, and simply flow out of you are not the ones you need to work on. It’s fantastic that you have found those, and you should keep doing them, but we are always looking to grow. The practices that will force growth are going to be the ones that we almost cringe about.

Challenge is always going to allow for the largest opportunity for growth. This means we have to practice the things that are hardest for us.

To give you an idea of some common spiritual practices here are some examples:

centering prayer

meditation

yoga

morning pages

confession

Now that we’ve defined spiritual practice and looked at a few examples, let’s shift to focusing on enneagram type one specifically.

Enneagram Type One

It’s important to remember when deciding on a spiritual practice, that it is practice. One’s tend to want to be good at things right away. The focus here, is that in practicing, you have already done what you set out to do. The goal is in the effort, not the result. Committing to your practice and sticking to it alone is enough.

The enneagram and spiritual practices

The Down River Practice for Ones

“Down River Practices,” are practices that are easy and natural to you. It’s like simply floating down river. This takes little effort, you are naturally good at it, and enjoy it. I didn’t want to overlook these kinds of practices, because it is worth noting that these are good and an important part of who you are. Keep doing these down river practices.

Ones, being present oriented and repressed in their thinking center, chiefly want something to do in the moment. This means they are naturally good at things that fall into the doing category. Many type ones find it easy to lead, teach others, serve or guide, and organize a group or cause. They interact with others well and find joy in making a difference in peoples lives.

The Upriver Practice for Ones

However, if you are in a place ready to grow, it’s time to move into upriver practices. These are going to be practices you don’t enjoy, that you are going to have to work hard at. It’s as if you are paddling upriver to get to where you want to go. Though challenging, these will be the most rewarding for you.

For Ones, these will be the quieter more contemplative type of practices. These could include: journaling, centering prayer, and meditation.

A big challenge for type one during these practices will be quieting the inner critic. This is the time to really work against the negativity of the inner critic by intentionally adding in positivity.

Through journaling daily, type one can focus on what is going well. This will really counteract the power of the inner critic’s constant judgement. Type one needs to own all the good that they have done. By writing this down daily, the negative voice will begin to get quieter.

This practice will also result in a less stressed type one, who feels good about the day ahead. Noting the many things in life that are going right, lifts the spirit and reinforces positivity.

Centering prayer, and meditation are also great choices for enneagram type one. These may be even more challenging because they require stillness and an emptying of thoughts. Quieting the mind can is definitely an upriver practice for a type one.

The best way to begin, is with a small, achievable goal. Choosing a time that works and an amount of time that isn’t too overwhelming, maybe only five minutes a day to start, working towards a goal of twenty minutes.

As always, remember that growth takes time. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Showing up for your practice is the most important step, and that alone is enough to build on. I applaud you on your efforts and encourage you to keep doing your best!

Thanks for reading!

Are you an enneagram type one?

What practices work for you? What practices do you find challenging?

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