We often think of success as an attainment of something through hard work and with a dash of luck.
That perception is incomplete, faulty, and deceptive.
Hard work does not equal success either. Who knows it better than us immigrants? We all know that the hardest workers are sometimes only just that, hard workers, not necessarily successful.
Immigrants, who have uprooted their lives from the comfort of their culture and society to plant a new seed in a new place often feel at loss. We find ourselves lonely and lost, pushed hard by the pressures of creating a new life, and our spiritual self often strays off.
Spirituality is more than having belief in a higher power or a supreme being and demonstrating affinity to such through religious activities.
It is during those hard times that we must remember that success is all encompassing. Man is essentially a triune being – a body encased with spirit and soul. Therefore, it would be limiting to take care of either one or two (soul and body) and leave out the spirit.
What does it mean to be spiritual?
It is more than having belief in a higher power or a supreme being and demonstrating affinity to such through religious activities.
Jeanette Schneider, Author, and self-help expert, says this of spirituality: “It is the moments when you are quiet, reflective and intentional that you become your own teacher and guide – and it is in those moments that you commune with your higher power and answers become clear.”
Any person, immigrant or not, can truly thrive and be a contributor to the society he or she lives in, only when there is an active synergy between the tripartite man.
We share 12 great tips below on how you can better connect with your spiritual self:
- Explore your spiritual core. Ask yourself questions about who you truly are, what gives meaning to your existence, what spurs you, why and when you function less, what distracts you, etc. In finding answers to these and more questions you understand yourself better. That is the way to know your true self.
- Find answers to what your purpose in life. Step 1 will lead you to step 2. Be intentional about getting answers to all or most of your questions. Only through knowing yourself that you can know how you can prosper – physically, mentally, and spiritually.
- Help others. See the good in others and help them find it too. Provide as much help as you possibly can – a visit to an ailing friend, or a relative, a hug, a smile, a touch, providing care, etc. all help you develop spiritually. Your act of kindness is not just helpful to others but to yourself.
- Develop a vision and write it down. Writing down your thoughts and plan helps you chart your course. This will clear your horizon and open the paths.
- Do unto others as you would want them to do to you. Treat others just the way you want to be treated. It is as simple as that. That spreads a whole lot of goodness around. Stop the hate if it is brewing inside of you. Replace it with love, care, and kindness.
- Forgive easily. Holding grudges and not forgiving someone is more painful to you. It makes your heart heavy, poisons the system and sends out negative vibes all the time. Unforgiveness is one baggage nobody needs. Rid yourself of it. It is in your power to do so.
- Be more intentional. Practice the good and godly virtues we read about – patience, peace, love, joy, truthfulness, meekness, temperance, and so on. You can do this in particularly trying situations when the easier way out is doing the opposite of those virtues. Choose to say the truth when it is easier to lie. Choose to be patient when your patience is being tried.
- Be thankful always! There is a lot to be thankful for, don’t you think so? Life might be hard and trying in Canada, but you made it here. Be thankful about the journey covered and that will prepare you for what lies ahead. Thank God for mother nature, for air, for life, for the sun, for your family, for provisions, etc. Appreciate every moment of kindness that you experience. Appreciate the big, small, and tiniest of gestures. Remembering them all will lighten your heart, likewise that of the person on the receiving end.
- Do not withhold the giggles! Laugh often! You never can do that enough. It helps your body to secrete the happy or the feel-good hormones – dopamine, serotonin even, endorphins and oxytocin, which all maximize the ways our body’s function. Laugh at every possible situation. Lighten up your heart, health, and spirit.
- Practice your faith. Whether you are a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Hindu or whatever faith it is you follow, choose to pursue it practically and consistently. It will open you up to new experiences and unleash your hidden powers. Pray for yourself and others too.
- Eliminate the negative feelings. These negative feelings include anger, envy, pride, jealousy, hatred. They are evil, dampen your spirits and should not be accommodated. Do this regularly to be a more spiritual person.
- Enjoy the simplicity of life! William Henry Davies’ poem, titled “Leisure” is instructive here:
“What is this life if, full of care,
we have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.”
We all know that staying spiritual isn’t automatic. It is achievable with intentional and consistent practice of letting go of our vices and embracing virtues.
Feel free to share with us what other things you do that ensures your spirituality. Talk to us also about your daily struggles regarding getting focused spiritually.
As always, The Immigrant Life is here for you. Connect with us. Contribute to the immigrant community.
This article was written by Yinka Bakare