I was completely burned out. Fried. My marriage was on the rocks, I wasn’t a present parent to my three sons, and just the thought of my job made me nauseous. I also had no clue why I was feeling so done. Circumstantially, things were good but internally my tanks were empty. All the usual remedies didn’t seem to make a difference… eating right, exercise, sleep, therapy, prayer. It was in this state of desperation that I first heard the term spiritual practice. I learned that it was a small, intentional action that invites us off the hamster wheel, out of auto-pilot and into actually being in the present moment. It creates a small space in the day that allows our souls to catch up to our bodies and remember what matters. It’s an invitation to cultivate the ability to quiet the mind, open the heart, and unbrace long held tension in the body.
My first spiritual practice was to simply sit in a chair each morning, before the kids got up, and do nothing. No reading, no praying with words, no busyness. I told God that I would passively sit here for a chunk of time each morning in the hope that some kind of help or healing would happen. Kind of like sun bathing, I did nothing but sit and trust that immersed in divine presence whether I felt it or not. Days turned to weeks and weeks into a couple of months and I was shocked to begin to feel my tanks starting to refill. Not because I was busy and achieving lots of things on my to-do list but precisely because I was making space in my life to be busy-less. My wife said to me, “Whatever you’re doing, please keep doing it because it’s changing you as a husband and dad.” Since that time I have learned hundreds of spiritual practices that I can fold easily into my daily routine. I am forever grateful that I discovered the gift of spiritual practice. They’ve transformed my life from the inside out.