Many people think of New Year’s resolutions as a method for self-improvement. It is a great personal custom, but also remember that every day is an opportunity to begin anew to better ourselves. This article is about some ideas of spiritual renewal and spiritual practices that you might want to consider or even adopt. Think of them as steppingstones to a better spiritual life and deeper communion with God. Choose some now. As your spiritual life grows, you may want to choose additional ones.
1. Think/meditate about yourself. Who are you? What is important to you? How do you wish to change? What is your destiny?
2. Spend time in nature for inspiration, remembering that the word “recreation” means “re-creation” for body and soul. Find time to be alone in nature and carefully observe the small details and the “big picture.” We are fortunate to live in Southeastern Alaska surrounded by wonders and beauty in abundance.
3. Set aside time for spiritual work and practice.
4. Read, learn,and inwardly digest holy scriptures and other spiritual writings. Perhaps join a study group in person or on-line.
5. Pray privately and/or in public worship. Participate in liturgy and religious rites. Set time aside for prayer and meditation.
6. Meditate! Be silent, listen, train your mind to be mindful and to observe yourself. There are many forms of meditation that you can experiment with until you find a form that works best for you. If you need help, seek a teacher or a class. Also, there are many good options on-line and some great apps.
7. Be open to inspiration that may come you in dreams, conversations, observation of nature, reading, and being aware of your surroundings. Spend time with someone you admire and seek their advice and guidance as you walk your spiritual path.
8. Spend some time to discern your life’s work or calling at this time and what you may be called to do in the future.
9. Evaluate your relationship with money. Be aware of your consumer habits and how they affect the planet and others. Ponder how much you give away as opposed to what you can actually afford to give. Attempt to live simply so that others (people, plants, & animals) may simply live. Plan for the future.
10. Do good works. Live compassionately and without judgement of others. Do for others as you would have them do for you. Discover ways to help others by using some of your time, talents and finances for their benefit. Work for peace and justice for all.
11. Move towards non-dualistic thinking and become able to live with ambiguity in your life. Continue to educate yourself to discover the wonders that surround you and appreciate the diversity of people.
12. We are all one family and united in many ways, although we are also diverse in individual expression. Many believe we are all one within our Creator. What do you experience?
13. Maybe clip and save this article for future reference.
14. Laugh! Have Fun! Don’t take all of this too seriously.
• EcoChaplain Roger Wharton is an Episcopal priest from Juneau who returns when possible, for spiritual inspiration and a taste of wilderness. Currently, he produces short video meditations exploring the Biblical and Christian Nature Wisdom Tradition.