Finding the Sacred …in the Simple

By Jesse Herriott, M.A.

Cultivating a spiritual life involves finding practices that can coexist with your normal life. Life can be complex enough; spiritual practices help us transcend what psychologist’s call “normal life stresses.” But we don’t need to make those practices complicated because we could find it difficult to integrate them into our regular routine. Have you wondered why it’s difficult to get into the habit of a new diet or exercise routine; or how about that decision you made to go back to school? When you don’t condense your life’s choices into simple steps, you will always find yourself chasing a dream. This is why I believe that simplicity should be the model by which we govern both our spiritual lives, as well as what we call our “regular” lives.

True transcendence that occurs through spiritual practice doesn’t pull you completely away from your life—rather, it gives you just enough of an escape so that you have the energy to enter back into life refreshed, reborn, and full of vigor. Typically, when we think of connecting with the divine, we think of reaching transcendence through the spiritual practices found within some of world’s most ancient traditions, such as meditation, prayer, divine reading, sacred service, and many others. But if we overlook those simple practices like going for a walk, getting out of the house, going to the beach, daily exercise, and spending time with family and friends, we would rob ourselves of an amazing chance to connect with the divine. And taking a day off every now and then can be really good for you on so many levels.

The perennial wisdom found in our spiritual traditions suggests to us that there is not a spot where God is not. In other words, God is in the profound, and in the so-called mundane! Some of our vocations are fast-paced, and working in those environments provides just the right amount of stimulation that makes life worth living at times. Yet learning how to free yourself from that clutter and making your life simple (whatever that means to you) gives more room for your soul to breathe.

But don’t allow yourself to be pulled into the trap of comparison; what could be considered simple for you could be complex for someone else. Your soul will let you know when you have too much on your plate. Remember, your soul isn’t some eerie, alien, intangible force outside of yourself. Your soul is ... well ... you. You’re smarter than you realize, and you are wiser than you could ever know. Close your eyes—tune in to to your soul’s voice and let your mind and feet be guided into the right path that’s suitable for your life.

Jesse Herriott is a spiritual writer and teacher. He has been an associate minister and college professor, and today he lectures widely on spiritual psychology, Christian mysticism, and the Bible. Jesse is in the process of completing doctoral studies in spiritual psychology at Sofia University (formally known as the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology). His website is www.jesseherriott.com.