Saturday, October 16, 2010

Beginning a Spiritual Practice with Rachelle Mee-Chapman

I am so excited to be bringing you this post from Rachelle Mee-Chapman of Magpie Girl!

She's doing a series called 30 Stories 30 Days where we get to ask her questions and she answers and tells stories. I love everything of hers and read her blog all the time, so I'm feeling really fangirlish about having one of the stories here on my blog.  Thank you, Rachelle!

My question was about where to start if you're wanting to build a spiritual practice.  Here's Rachelle's answer for you.

Q: If someone is looking for a spiritual practice but does not know where to start, what one thing would you recommend that they add to their day or their week?

What a great question! I would suggest one of two things. Both of these create space and foster awareness, which will help you identify and lean into other parts of your natural, spiritual self. 

Follow the Breath
A simple daily meditation practice is bedrock for those of us on a seeking journey. It creates openness so we can receive messages from God/The Universe/The Muse; and it fosters mindfulness so we can be aware of the next steps that are being offered to us. 

Start small – just 5 minutes a day. I like to follow my breath, envisioning it coming in and rushing out. Lately I’ve been really digging this mantra: “Ocean and Air to Fill. Earth and Fire to ground.” On the inhale I focus on the feeling of light-ness and expansion that air brings to my lungs. On the exhale I visualize powerful, red energy coursing through my body and into the earth. 

When things come to mind during your meditation, practice noticing them without judgment, and then letting them float away. You’ll be amazed at how much openness and clarity this simple practice brings you.

For an excellent primer on basic meditation, I suggest this free ebook, Mindfulness in Plain English.

Practice Sabbath
If you can’t manage a daily practice right now, I suggest setting aside one day a week as a Sabbath, or Day of Rest. Sabbath-keeping reminds us that we are not in charge. Life goes on without us, and as we rest God/The Universe/The Muse keeps things rolling along. Our family Sabbath involves a day without guests, simple meals, no chores, and lots of pajamas. You can shape yours to be a custom-fit day that nurtures and restores your spirit.

This is a video on How to Keep Sabbath which I made for my online soulcare community Flock. I hope it serves as a guide for you.

Flock: Sabbath Keeping from Rachelle Mee-Chapman on Vimeo.

What about you? What was your beginning practice on your spiritual journey? Do tell! We need your advice. “There ain’t nowhere to go but together.”

Rachelle Mee-Chapman, specializes in customized soulcare for spiritual misfits. She works with clients at Magpie Girl to help them find a spirituality that fits; and hosts Flock, an online soulcare community. You can learn more about her creative approach in her free ecourse, Magpie Speak: a new vocabulary for soulcare.

I hope you'll all take some time to share your spiritual practices and ideas with us.  I'll be answering in a later post, so stay tuned.

Thank you, again, Rachelle for sharing this with us!


Ælfswyđ said...

I just spent a considerable time following links to encouraging posts--thank you! It is in a much better frame of mind that I haul myself off to my work table.

Jeniffer said...

Great question and beautiful advise! It is amazing what we can find when we take the time to go within ourselves.

Chel said...

Check out a book called "The Red Book" by Sera Beak - it's amazing. I just finished it and it really launched me into a new way of looking and feeling out spirituality and finding a "great fit" for me in the spiritual world.

Anonymous said...

Great post to read at the end of our family's hybrid "sabbath." I'd love to bring more intentionality to what we do as a family. And, I couldn't help but notice that as Rachelle was exhorting us that "we are enough" there was a text box with the words "I am enough" just to the right! I guess it's really true.

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