What is Practical Spirituality?
By Santi Meunier

Practical Spirituality is a 3-part system of healing and empowering an individual by employing specific tools to:

  • Realign the Mind
  • Heal the Body
  • Contact the Spirit.

Practical Spirituality is just that -practical. It is to be used to enhance and enrich our lives, not to hide from or try to avoid  the demands of living. 

Realigning the Mind

To realign the mind, we first have to examine its contents. Many of us are ruled by core beliefs formed in childhood by our experiences. If they are positive, they give us a sense of value and self-esteem. This allows us to function well in the world, contributing our talents and knowledge.  If they are negative, they form limiting, self-defeating patterns based on low self esteem, fear and insecurity. Realigning the mind begins first by uncovering the core beliefs and then sorting out the positive or helpful from the negative, or unhelpful.

  • Identifying Core Beliefs.

All of us have patterns and themes in our thought process. Looking at these can give us important clues to our core beliefs. Core beliefs fuel our behaviors and choices, and usually are at the heart of what motivates us. Let me give an example. If you are always finding yourself in unfulfilling relationships with people who are, for one reason or another, unavailable, it might be important to look at the core beliefs of being unlovable or not good enough.   You begin by writing on a large yellow pad, making sure to fill both sides as quickly as possible:

I, (name), am unlovable because…

Or

I, (name) am not good enough because…

Just write the first thing that comes to mind, and keep going, even if you repeat yourself. When we identify a core belief it holds a lot of meaning and emotion for us. This exercise helps us to begin to see how those beliefs colors our choices. After we identify our core beliefs we then go through a process of re-programming them. Much like we do with our computers. Save what is functional and helpful and delete the rest.  We will only be able to accomplish this if we are willing to let go of our old identity and to form a relationship with our self that is loving and supportive.  Letting go of the old identity involves letting go of the past, and all our old ideas. This can be a tall order, but it is necessary if we are to break free.

Heal the Body

The body is the vehicle in which we travel in this lifetime. It houses our physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual selves. Is it not worth our loving care? Healing the body is explored on many different levels. Here we look at our relationship to our body. Do we love our body and treat it with care and respect, and if not why? What traumas, core beliefs and/or abuses have damaged our physical and sexual relationship with our body self? What is our body trying to tell us? Using the ancient system of yoga therapy and body reading we learn how diseases and certain physical conditions can have important messages for us to pay attention to. The body is a communicator, and it behooves us to learn its language. Healing is approached from a different vantage point. The body is a storage house of knowledge, learn from it.

Contact the Spirit

Contacting the Spirit is an internal exploration beyond the perimeters of the three dimensional world.  We begin to get a glimpse of this world through the regular practice of prayer, meditation, personal introspection, and the adoption of the seven core principals of Practical Spirituality.  The personality-based self that is now healthier and happier can let go into a transpersonal identity as a more spiritual Self, co-creating with God.  We strive to achieve this by: continuing to deepen meditation and yoga practice to keep the physical body/mind open and receptive to higher levels of consciousness, regularly going on spiritual retreats and establishing a community of truth company, prayer, service to others, making all decisions based more on love and less on fear, and developing, through a lifetime of practice, greater trust in the will of a Higher Power.

The Seven Core Principals of Practical Spirituality are:

Trust, Discernment, Intention, Love, Honesty, Commitment and Discipline.
These serve as a foundation.

Trust begins when we heal and forgive the pain of the past.  We first evaluate our relationship with ourselves, others, life, money, fear, and a Higher Power. By examining these relationships we uncover our trust issues. Before we can adapt a new perception we have to be willing to release our old ideas and old hurts. In order for new glasses to help us see clearly, we have to take off the old ones. The development of trust can be a lifetime process, but we need only to become willing to put down our armor to see the first fruits of this principal.    
Discernment is only possible when we know who we are and do not abandon ourselves in order  to please others. How can we choose wisely for ourselves, if we do not know who we truly are? Knowledge of both aspects of our “selves” is at the heart of this principal.
Intention creates focus and action. A life directed by a clear sense of purpose and love is the spirit functioning in human form. It is the key to joy.
Love is the nature of God and spirit. It is the only thing that is everlasting, and therefore, the only thing that truly matters. Understanding love is the greatest challenge any of us will ever have as human beings, and yet it is all that we are as spiritual beings.
Honesty is key to the development of all the other principals. Self deception and denial are cunning tools of the ego/mind, and have caused even the most spiritual among us to falter.  Here there are no “white” lies. Anything that is not completely true is a lie and therefore dishonest. Honesty in our internal self and in our external world must be in harmony. There is no conflict in truth.
Commitment is the ability hold true to people and or principals regardless of the circumstances. It is absolute and always or it is not true commitment. Commitment comes from knowing one’s truth. It is not influenced by the opinions or power of others.
Discipline is learning through mental, physical and spiritual practices how to transcend the ego realm of feelings, fears and desires. It is by these practices that we in fact grow up spiritually.   It is the ability to stay the course that your spirit has set forth regardless of how difficult it may be. Discipline actually gives us more freedom and happiness because we are aligned with the “rightness” of our soul. There is no other reason for being here.

The rewards gained by practicing and living the Practical Spirituality Program will be realized by all serious students. We need to be totally committed, but only one day at a time.  No one among us will ever achieve perfection of these principals, but I believe that God know what is in our hearts.  If we aspire to perfection regardless of how much we may falter, we will have a joy and a peace that the world cannot destroy.

Dr. Santi Meunier is an author and inspirational speaker, recognized for her unique style of practical spirituality and her ground-breaking strategies for personal and professional growth. Her program, Fearless Living has helped thousands to realize their dreams. As a highly regarded psychotherapist and expert in the field of addiction her latest book, DYING FOR A DRINK, The Hidden Epidemic of Alcoholismreveals her Holographic Treatment Plan, developed over twenty years in private practice.

For more information visit www.SantiMeunier.com


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