Depending on what your background is with religion, the idea of creating your own spiritual path can be conflicting. I know a thing (or twenty eight) about the difficulties around creating your own spirituality. I actually come from an Evangelical background. I graduated with a degree in Christian Education, a minor in the Bible, and was a youth pastor for 10 years. I was what you would call a “Jesus Freak” and I wore that label proudly. The Church formed and supported so much of my life that when I walked away from religion at 27 years old, I not only had a long road of self discovery ahead of me but I also had a lot of “religious baggage” I would have to unlearn and redefine for myself.
That would take over a decade to figure out. It wasn’t until I was 39 when I came into a daily spiritual practice that I could be proud of because it was something that I created. I was able to give myself permission to trust in my intuition, which ended up being very transformative. And sadly, something my upbringing in the Church discouraged.
So if find yourself in a similar situation then listen up. Or maybe you are on the cusp of forming something new within your spirituality, this post is just for you. Here are my tips for creating your own spiritual path that helped me cultivate something incredibly meaningful for myself.
My 6 Tips on Creating Your Own Spiritual Path:
1. Give yourself space to explore.
Like I said, it took me over a decade to develop the practices I hold sacred today. Not because it was difficult to find rituals that fit my liking but because it took me a very long time to even decide if it was something that I wanted to return to. You’re in no hurry, sweet soul. All will unfold as it should. Lean into the process and show up. It is as easy as that.
2. Ask yourself what it is that you value.
Think about the things that you value most and what you see as most important in life. Create a list of 10 words that describe how want to live your life; words like:
Surround your spirituality around your values. If service is important to you, create a way to incorporate feeding the homeless. Donate to charities you love. Spend time with those who really need a friend. If nature is important to you, create rituals that allow you to spend time with Mother Nature. Celebrate Her creation! Find ways to honor you in your spiritual path, allowing you to connect to the Divine in ways that you understand and love.
3. Don’t feel quick to use labels.
By not rushing and allowing ourselves the space to explore, we can give ourselves the freedom of labels. A label for what we believe, who we believe in, and how we choose to believe it. For some, the labels, “God” or “Universe” just do not resonate. It might have a lot of baggage and that is okay. Give it time. Give yourself permission to create your own words that are meaningful for YOU.
4. Remain open in finding rituals that speak to you.
You might find that you are drawn to new practices, rituals, and expressions of your faith that you would never have thought. Be open to all of it! If you would have told me I’d be burning sage, incorporating a healthy diet, talking about Moon Time, or even using crystals as a complement to my self healing, all as part of my spirituality, I think I would have laughed out loud. So what, it doesn’t make sense now, that doesn’t mean that it won’t ring true eventually. And there are A LOT of ideas and options out there on how to cultivate and foster a spirituality so do some research (ahem, this site is full of them). Don’t forget to remain open and curious about it all.
5. Check in with yourself.
One of the most important things to remember when creating a meaningful spirituality is that you have to find something that honors you. This, after all, is your spirituality. Listen to what your heart is saying. How does this feel? Does it honor who you are and what you value? Does it feel right? Or are you trying to be someone you are not? Always, always, always bring yourself into this space. Because, after all, this practice is about you and the Divine (the Universe/God/Goddess within/whatever word you choose to use).
6. Create your own sacred space.
It might be helpful to create a space or altar that is your own where you can escape to whenever you feel the need to; a place that is completely set aside for the soul purpose (see what I did there?!) of tending to your spirit. I’ve created a space in a small closet that we don’t use but you are free to create it anywhere. In a corner, on a small table, in your bedroom, on top of your piano, on your coffee table, at the window sill–anywhere!
7. Have fun with the process.
Whatever you choose to create, make sure it is done with purposeful thought behind it. But above else, have fun creating your own spiritual path! We don’t have to take ourselves so seriously all of the time. We can have fun with this and enjoy the journey.
Cara Ansis is a Self-Love Facilitator and healer, helping women safely enter their own inward journey towards taking better care of themselves. With a master’s degree in Soul Care, she is a certified Spiritual Director and has had the privilege of working with countless women around the country. With her own profound story of self-healing, she now teaches those everyday techniques, rituals, and tools to enable other women connect with their own healing abilities and radically transform their lives. Cara lives in Chicago, IL with her husband, Matt and their son, Jaxon.