So, today is Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year. I’ve always disliked the term “Black Friday” – it sounds so bleak. I kept telling everyone to not go shopping, but to instead go to a yoga class to make it Beautiful Friday.
If you are curious about this term “Black Friday,” there are several stories behind the origins, but the one that has become most prevalent is tied to retailers, where Black Friday indicates the point at which they typically begin to turn a profit, or are “in the black.” This terminology has always confused me, because “in the black” never sounded like a good thing to me.
All this Black Friday nonsense got me thinking about when we have our own personal Black Friday. In other words – what time of the year does our spiritual well-being really start to prosper to a point where we begin to reap the benefits from it?
Do you feel like you’re “in the black” in terms of spiritual well-being?
Some of you may feel that way, and if so, that is awesome (keep up the great work and don’t slack off in December)! If you’re not feeling the spiritual love, no worries, there’s still a whole whole month left of 2011 – and we’re going to focus today on what we can do right here, right now, to take our spiritual health from red to black, or better yet, let’s turn it to gold.
Here are a few strategies to enrich your spiritual well-being:
#1 Daily meditation. Spend a few quiet moments each and every day to let go of the mind and the mental chatter. Peace and wisdom come to the heart, not the mind.
#2 Let go of worry.
#3 Let go anger (and while we’re at it, in the same category, let go of judgment, fear, grudges – any of the nastiness that is not serving you). By practicing a sense of detachment, you can release anger, sadness, anxiety, or fear when it has a hold on you.
#4 Remember to honor your parents, elders, and teachers.
#5 Show gratitude to every living thing.
#6 Carve out some time for yourself each and every day. And of course, attending a yoga class is a great way to do this!
#7 Make a mental list of the most important people in your life. When the list is complete, figure out how you can spend more time with these VIPs. To quote James Taylor, “Shower the people you love with love.”
#8 Get outside and hug a tree. You don’t have to take this one literally, but even if it’s just for a few moments, time spent communing with nature can help restore your sense of peace in this crazy, stressed-out world.
#9 Give the gift of love. Volunteer some of your time, visit a neighbor or person who is shut-in, share a smile, give to a charity, or call someone you love today just to let them know it. If you give with your heart, without any expectation of what is to be gained or lost, that, my friends, is true spiritual gold.
#10 Got a great tip on how to flourish in spiritual health? Share the wisdom and leave a comment below.
December can be hectic, so I’m wishing you a peaceful month and a beautiful journey that takes you from red to gold on your path to spiritual well-being.
Photo: Fabian Nick
This post originally ran on December 2, 2011 – You gotta love an oldie but goodie!