Asceticism it is a practice that can be done throughout the year but a good place to start is Lent. It is the practice of self-discipline that is exercised along with prayer. The practice of asceticism allows the individual to complete certain outward facing actions in order to practice penance for an individual’s sins. These can be challenging activities but through the help of guided prayer and community this allows and individual to grow and continue their task for the period of time.
Asceticism can help us grow in a number of ways as an individual, God gives us the spirit to keep strong in prayer and mind and we hear this a number of times in scripture, for example in St Pauls second letter to Timothy:
“for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice,
but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline”.
(2 Timothy chapter 1 verse 7)
Certain tasks that an individual can take part in at any point throughout the 40 days are as follows:
Exercise: regular vigorous exercise taking place weekly to help the body maintain fitness.
Abstain from sugar: thing includes sweets, deserts, and sugar in your tea.
Abstain from milk: having tea/coffee with no milk.
Abstain from alcohol: no alcoholic beverages for the duration.
Abstain from meat: Monday’s and Friday’s no meat, vegetarian options.
Abstain from snacking: no snacks in between meals.
Short cold showers: every morning a short cold shower is taken.
Sleep: getting regular sleep patterns (7 hours per day recommended).
TV/Gaming: limited access to TV and Gaming throughout the 40 days.
Reading: encouraged, take a piece of scripture or read something that will help guide you in prayer and help you focus.
Silence: spend 20minutes per day in silence making it part of regular prayer and reflection.
Mobile Phones: use of mobiles for work and family calls only.
Social Media: stay off social media sites for the 40 days.
These different tasks, some more challenging that others can be used throughout GodCalls Adventure. Select one or a number of tasks that you will carry over the 40 days then make sure you pray over it, look at what will be useful to you and work at it. In week 4 when we look at courage you are asked to select one each day, to undertake as an extra during that week to help you focus.
Spirituality in Daily Life
Integrating Spirituality into your daily life
Exploring your spiritual, deeper, more mysterious side can be one of the most exhilarating experiences of your life. Spirituality can give you clarity, vision, and guidance where you had confusion, disappointment, and lack of purpose. It can awaken your senses and arouse your intuition.
Spiritual truths can answer many important questions and give you the ability to see things beyond the surface. Everything begins to take on a deeper significance and your choices no longer stem from ignorance.
The Benefits of Integrating Spirituality into your Daily Life
People who say that as you become more spiritual, life becomes more serious; have a lack of understanding of real spirituality. The more connected you become to the spirit within you, the lighter things get, as you develop an ability to laugh at yourself more and to recognize that this world is a playground for exploration.
You also realize that joy, happiness, fun, and laughter are integral parts of your life and are necessary for your overall well-being.
The more spiritual you become, the more freedom you feel to be yourself and to allow others to be themselves. Your need to criticize others dramatically decreases and compassionate understanding take its place. You will also become more tolerant with yourself and the people around you. You may even find yourself drawn to people you would usually have little interest in. Thus, you unlock the gates to the most fascinating, expansive connections with others, life becomes a real adventure.
How fantastic would it be to wake up every day and know that anything is possible? You may meet a person who will change your life, receive an amazing job offer, discover an important piece of information, receive a positive surprise or have a deeply spiritual experience. Remember that God sees us first, it is God who sees our identity.
The more fun something is, the less resistance we have to experience it. When there is no resistance, life, well-being, joy, wonderful opportunities and abundance can flow effortlessly into our lives.
There is well-known saying that ‘spirit works in mysterious ways.’ Wouldn’t you want to be part of the mystery, knowing that every day holds an opportunity to transcend the ordinary and enter the realm of the extraordinary? The most beautiful thing is that you don’t have to work out how things will happen, just be open to amazing opportunities entering your life.
As you come into a spiritual communion with your Divine essence, you begin to attract people into your life, who will have a deeper connection and an understanding of who you are and what is important to you. Thus, you may expand your circle of friends, from people who are close to your age and your experience of life to people from all walks of life who will offer different perspectives than what you know.
Integrating spirituality into your life is a unique process, which requires time, connection with yourself and deep and profound exploration.
A way that you know that you are moving forward in your life is that you feel that you are growing and expanding. You will feel a sense of Joy and happiness in everything you undertake.
Volunteering or simply performing acts of kindness will deepen your compassion and help you grow as a spiritual being. By offering a helping hand to others, you will consequently help yourself. Giving is receiving, and every time you extend your help to people, they will be much more likely to help you when you need it.