THE BLOG

The Traveling Sanctuary: A Spiritual Approach to Unplugging and Recharging

05/20/2010 08:11 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

There is always enough time for spiritual practice in a life if we'll make time for it. Yes, spiritual practice requires time -- not always a lot, but some to be sure. Of all the things I know that will affect your health for the better, spiritual practice is the one that works consistently well and to good effect.

I recently saw a client in my home office. She, like so many of us, spent a lot of time telling me that she doesn't have time to do spiritual work. She works full time. She's got a husband and a daughter, friends, three ongoing lawsuits, the usual goings-on of a busy life.

I listened and then countered with, "How can you not do spiritual work with all that going on?!"

There are two major kinds of time in life. They are kairos, or holy time and chronos, or clock time. Chronos runs our lives. It's what allows us to be on time, in time, timely. Soccer practice is five days a week at four. Drum lessons are on Tuesdays at five. Karate is on Saturday mornings. Despite the fact that it is a strictly human construct -- real time isn't linear -- we need chronos in order to make and fulfill our agreements.

Co-existent with chronos is kairos -- holy time, eternal time, the present moment, only the present moment. Now. It does well for our health when we make a commitment to touching into holy time over and over again during each daily round of activity.

Holy time is about Being. Clock time is about doing.

We were fashioned as human beings, not human doings. Spiritual practice is the easiest way I know to stay in touch with eternal time. Consider it checking in with Heaven whilst on Earth. Or, being in the world but not of it. In the beginning of a practice, everything is new and can feel effortful. No worries -- it will get easier, uh, with time.

Truly, the busier you are, the more prayertime you need. Have you ever thought of your life that way? That the more you do, the more guidance you need? The more people you know, the more blessing you need to be doing? The more you hurry, the more you need the slowing of everyday time into holy time?

To start, you set up triggers. These are earthly actions that cause you to pause and do spiritual practice. For instance, every time you put your key in the ignition of your car, before you turn the car on, stop.

Breathe out -- that's right out, not in. A conscious breath out will cause a deeper in-breath.

Then say a prayer. It needn't be complicated. Try: Peace. Or: Love. Or: Thank you, God. Or, my favorite: Yes. Any word can be a prayer if that's your intention. Then start the car.

One practice I tend to suggest to parents of young children is a little graphic, but it works. When new parents who are so exhausted they can't think straight a lot of the time tell me they can't meditate, that they're too tired, I always ask if they ever use the bathroom. It startles most of them and, of course, they answer that they do.

"Use those few moments of alone time to check in," I say. "Ask for something you need or want." Strength, revitalization, peace, joy. The ability to stay present in the moment with your new little angel. Everything worthwhile in life is worth a prayer.

How long will it take? Seconds.

How long will it last? Hours.

Learn to use your everyday actions as triggers for spiritual practice. Your brain will stay active, your spirituality will thrive, your day will be easier, and eventually, we'll create peace on earth.

As a well-known watch company used to say for their slogan: There's no time like the present, and no present like the time. Giving yourself the gift of heavenly time during everyday time is healing and you're worth it.

For spiritual nourishment, visit Dr. Susan Corso's website and blog, Seeds for Sanctuary. Follow her on Twitter @PeaceCorso and Friend her on Facebook.