Heaven on Earth is a choice you must make, not a place you must find. -Wayne Dyer
Spiritual practice is a pathway for personal transformation. I was raised Catholic, but was in search of something more. When I was 14 years old, I found myself desiring a holistic approach to spirituality that would include all parts of me – mind, body, spirit and heart. As an athlete, I could not imagine a spiritual practice that would not include my body and all parts of my being.
From a young age, I was fascinated by the great spiritual masters: Jesus, Buddha, St. John of the Cross, Paramahansa Yogananda, Swami Rama among many others. I saw an approach to life that endorsed living with wonder, awareness, joy and purpose. In an effort to bring these qualities to my life, I chose the path of yoga.
I began practicing yoga and meditation at age 14 but it was not until a few years later at 18 years old did I commit to daily meditation and yoga practices. When I committed to my daily practice, the teachers I was looking for, started showing up in my life and I would study great teachers such as Rod Stryker, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, Dhyan Vimal, Ed and Barbara Lynch, and Gabrielle Bernstein to name a few.
When we choose a spiritual path to life, the universe guides us. We can experience this guidance as coming from within, as coming through our life circumstances and at other times a conjunction of the two.
When I started my daily practices, I knew but did not entirely expect that daily yoga practice would become so transformational in my life. I began each morning with spiritual practice – yoga postures, breathing practices and meditation. I started to notice how this would open my being to each new day in a positive and authentic way. Incrementally, I noticed that my perception of life became more positive, my functioning improved in all areas, and I began enjoying life more. I began to believe and experience that there were possibilities in life beyond what I imagined. What I discovered was that a holistic spiritual practice was working and transforming my life.
The personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself. – Anais Nin
As the years have passed my daily spiritually practice has evolved through experience, although the essential elements of my practice remain – yoga postures, breathing practice and meditation. Spiritual practice has allowed me to deeply be present in the seasons of my life, of becoming a husband and having a family of my own, of engaging deeply in my work, and continuing to delve into the mystery of my own life as it unfolds.
Through spiritual practice, I discovered the radiant light within me – the place where the divine and I meet, the pulse of life living through me. As I discovered it in myself, I saw that it is within others too. For most, life circumstances and challenging life history cover that light, we cannot see it, experience it, disown it and perhaps forget that it is even there. Spiritual practice allows me to keep connected to this radiant light within. That connection brings awareness to the areas in my life that I can further heal and transform to deepen my experience of this light in my life. This is the power of transformation that spiritual practice has brought to my life.
Many years after beginning my spiritual practice, I do my best to be that light in all areas of my life. With that, for me, comes the joy of being alive.
I am one Self, united with my Creator. – A Course in Miracles
- In what ways does/might a daily spiritual practice impact my life?
- What is my relationship to a higher power?
- What is my relationship to the radiant light within me?
- How does my spiritual practice keep me connected to my inner guide?
- How has my spiritual practice (not) integrated all areas of my life?
© Joshua Watson
Photo Credits in order of appearance: Katrin Baustmann and Condesign