God is in the in-between. Spirit lives within us and around us. Spirit connects us with all of life both animate and inanimate. To communicate with God, we need to stay present and open to the wisdom that is available to us all the time. You don’t need to go to church to open your channels to higher vibrations.
Here are Nine ways to connect with God without going to church.
1. Slow Down:
Your life is precious! You have a limited time on this fantastic planet earth. It is your job to make the most of it. Staying open to this limitless sacred energy helps you to know how to live your life fully. You will discover a natural flow to life that will carry you on like a gentle river.
If you want to stay connected with God, you need to slow down so the Spirit can get your attention. It is hard to remain related to the Holy when your life is so busy that you barely have time to sleep. God’s light will be revealed in our lives whenever we open up space for it to shine.
2. Meditate and or Prayer:
Meditation and prayer are all about creating openings for the Holy to reveal itself in our lives. Meditation can help you to experience God within yourself through your body, emotions, and mind. Prayer is more like an open conversation with Spirit.
There are countless ways to pray and meditate. One method you can use both is Centering Prayer. Father Thomas Keating has brought this practice back into our modern consciousness. I love it because it does not require us to empty your mind. You choose a focus word to help bring you back into presence whenever you get too focused on a thought.
In the end, you need to find a practice that works for you. You can have a conversation with God, but don’t expect instant answers. It may seem like God is not hearing you, but years later you will find that God did respond; not necessarily in the way, you had hoped. Prayer can include a lot of active waiting. It is about living as though your prayer is answered but without any expectation of how God is going to respond.
There are many traditions to explore from a variety of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim traditions. Then there are the Eastern religions/philosophies to explore. There is no wrong or right way to pray. The only condition you should put on prayer and meditation is the holy intention of generosity, love, and respect.
Don’t expect this to be easy at the beginning. You will need to practice this new habit most days of the week, intentionally, before it becomes a regular part of your life.
3. Enjoy the Outdoors:
Most of us feel connected to something higher than us when we are out in God’s fabulous natural world. I love walking along the seashore, lakes, and rivers. I love the grandeur of the mountains! What do you enjoy?
Find where these sacred places are for you whether you live in the country or urban area. Make time for it. Go to these sites and just be. Soak in the beauty, wonder, and energy of the place. Take deep breaths to quiet the mind so you can truly soak in the ambiance of the area. You will come out of these experiences at a higher vibrational level.
4. Stay Open to Finding God within Yourself:
God is within you! God is as close as your breath and the beat of your heart. Going within helps you to find the oneness of God within you. Yes, you are worthy. Yes, you are loveable. Yes, you have a purpose in the world.
You might journal about how God is active in your life. Explore all the small and big things you have done that have made the world a better place whether that be for a person, pet, wild animal or for the whole earth. Everything we do that blesses the earth, and all its inhabitants make a difference.
How do you know if it is God who is speaking to you? It isn’t God if you are feeling shame. It isn’t God if it is destructive or violent. It isn’t God if you are trying to control or manipulate another person.
With practice, you will know the difference.
5. Look for God in each Person You Meet:
You meet all sorts of people every day. Try looking for God in each person you meet. It will change the way you see the world. It is tough to get angry with someone when you are open to the divine in them. Even if you can’t see God in another person, just know that God is there.
It is the holy within you that connects with the sacred in all people you meet, even people you don’t know. You know that you are part of God’s great family which includes every person on this earth.
6. Stay open to Experiencing Spirit in Unexpected Places:
God will surprise you! Think for a moment of an experience of someone encouraging you or helping you, who you never realized cared about you.
Maybe it was the time a stranger stopped to give you directions. Perhaps it was the time when a person you had never met changed your flat tire. Maybe it was all the neighbors who brought you food when you were going through a rough time. Don’t focus just on people. Animals are amazing. Our pet dogs and cats intuitively know when you have a rough time. Even wild animals warn us of wildfires. They let us know what kind of winters are to happen.
The most challenging gift from God is when it comes from a person you don’t like. It could be a sincere apology from a person who hurt you many years ago. An apology doesn’t mean you are required to become buddies with them. It can be enough to free you from the painful experience this person caused you many years ago.
7. Find Music that Touches Your Soul:
What type of music touches your heart? Music can help you to get in touch with the inner part of your soul. I love Celtic music. What do you enjoy?
Music can take us to places in the heart that no words could ever hope to achieve. Music is universal. Everyone can appreciate music no matter where you come from, what you believe or how old you are.
There is spiritual music that is universal because it gets you in touch with the rhythms of life. Take time to listen to music that inspires you. Music is incredible when you are feeling down. Music can re-balance the body, heart, and mind.
Music takes you to your spiritual depths. It returns you to thin places where the holy and ordinary become one. When you find yourself in thin places, you find joy in just being.
8. Honor Your Body as a Sacred Place:
When you acknowledge that the Spirit is within you, it changes the way you see yourself. You begin to see yourself as valuable just for being you.
When you can feel the sacredness within you, you are called to take care of yourself. Imagine your body is your church, shrine, mosque, or any other holy structure. Our bodies need good food, exercise, relaxation, and meaningful work.
Our souls need loving relationships. Our emotional, spiritual and physical health needs attention, time and practice.
9. Practise Radical Gratitude:
Practising radical gratitude opens the heart to the soul. Radical gratitude is the art of giving thanks to everything good in our lives. It can be:
· The Sun that keeps us warm and helps to grow the food we eat
· The Moon that controls the tides
· Water that sustains life
· Food that supports life on our planet
· Our pets
· Animals, fish, insects e.c.t.
What else can you add to this list?
Practising this art of loving the world opens you up to experience the holy in your life. It is an excellent way for you to keep God in your day every day. Our experience of the Spirit will become increasingly aware of the sacred the more you practice living with thanksgiving each day.
As you can see that connecting with God without going to church is achievable every day; but it does take practice.
It takes intentionality through slowing down, meditating, praying, enjoying the outdoors, looking for God within your self, being open to God in each person you meet, being open to experiencing God in an unexpected place, enjoy music that touches your soul, treat your body well and practice radical gratitude.
Staying attuned to God is a lifelong journey. You are required to make these practices a regular part of your life if you want to live life to your best.
The best part is that you know deep within yourself you are never alone; the universe always holds you.
Yes, you don’t need a church to do this, but finding a community of like-minded people to encourage you on your journey is often helpful. But this can be any group. It doesn’t need to be a formal religious organization.
Find what you need to thrive with joy, hope, and purpose. You are worth it!
Roland Legge offers coaching through REL Consultants for individuals, couples, families, and executives to help them to be the best they can be. For more information, please arrange for a free 30-minute discovery call by phoning Roland at 1 306 620-7478, or you can email Roland at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was first published at REL Consultants