Got a spare 10 minutes? Great! Then do this life-saving breathing exercise, meditate, and journal.

Open your Instagram feed to find multiple different life coaches, healers, and spiritual guides giving you prompts and practices. Truly, there’s no lack of potential life-saving practices you can do to fill in every possible free minute of your day!

In a society drowning in busyness, stress, and restlessness, we’re seduced by the promise of spiritual growth and personal development. Yet, amidst the sea of practices and prompts, are we truly evolving or merely spinning our wheels in a new guise?

“I have to do this, I must do that, and then I will get to do that!”

Recognize this? It’s exhausting.

Let’s cut to the chase: 

In a way, many coaches and guides are keeping us in the same old pattern. Sure we are doing different things, better things, yet we keep busy, restless, and stressed. It’s time to stop the madness. We’re trapped in a cycle of perpetual motion, forever in our minds but never in our hearts.

In other words, we keep stuck in our minds — caught up and disconnected, but with nicer colors. 

You Have to Dare to STOP

The one thing no one tells you is that you need to do less

We need to dare to stop seeing productivity as doing all and embrace stillness — not only physically doing less, but also internally by learning to relax and empty our minds.

The Key: Refraining 

Silence is not just golden; it’s essential. Everything that prevents you from being able to stay still is what actually needs to be healed and overcome, so you can free yourself from the prisons of your mind and free your heart and soul.

Here is an example: consume less content. Not only social media but also reading fewer blog posts that you will not stop to contemplate. Reducing addiction to the news and knowing all that is happening. Yes, less email checking, less book reading, less Netflix watching, and less podcast listening. Refrain. 

I am not saying these things don’t have value but we are certainly addicted to content to a level that we consume much, don’t process anything, and get overloaded and tense our minds with unnecessary information that we do nothing about. Our mental overstimulation camouflages a starving heart and soul. 

The result? Disconnection. 

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Make Silence Your Friend

It is about being much more selective — present, and discerning. 

Connection is often not about what we have to do to connect, but rather what we need to stop doing. 

We are disconnected not necessarily because we are not doing this or that, but because we are doing this and that which are activities that are disconnecting us. 

Our busyness is noisy, and when we are noisy, we can’t listen. Our ability to listen is crucial to our ability to connect. The more you can stay present in stillness, the more your intuition and heart will be heard. 

Our willingness to stop ourselves from unfriendly habits has become weak, and with that, we have no self-control — we need to get it back. 

Master Refraining. Creating gaps and cultivating silence is a much more radical life change than simply doing new and more things. 

I know this doesn’t happen overnight, and that this in itself takes practice — you might need good support for your nervous system when it gets triggered in the nothingness. Yet by keeping the busyness pattern, we take much longer to shift than we need to. 

Refraining is a huge part of the spiritual path. It is truly a catalyzer for connection, healing, and spiritual growth. 

Refraining from all the distractions and vices, so you can rebuild mental constructs and behavior patterns. So you can be more discerning, and more intentional and choose much better what you engage with. So you can stop escaping through existing repetitive patterns. So that you can improve self-control and self-mastery, and build a much stronger willingness. 

But shouldn’t I be doing practices daily?

Probably, yes. But not twenty different practices, and also not any practice. Also, doing practices is not an excuse to do things that are detrimental to what you are trying to shift after. In other words, doing a good thing in the morning is not a free card to bribe yourself later — like meditating for 30 minutes in the morning and then getting lost for one hour on Instagram. 

The invitation is for practices to be highly intentional. Refrain from all else. Heck, turn anything in life to be highly intentional. Otherwise, why are you doing what you are doing? 

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Types of Practice

I classify practices into two main categories: Purifying, and Activating. 

Purification practices are practices we do to let go of something we are struggling with, such as a blockage. A classic example is meditation to clear the mind. Most spiritual lineages are full of purification practices, this is truly the essence of most healing and growth: dissolve that which is stopping us today. 

Truth be told, many times we are not aware of what exactly is stopping us as we can’t see our energetic blockages. This is why working with a spiritual guide can be incredibly supportive — so we don’t get caught up in small pieces of the puzzle and target the bottlenecks. 

As for Activation practices, they are raising certain energies within us, or even calling in external energies into us so that we can connect to them deeper. We can for instance do rituals to call upon certain cosmic energies into our lives, or engage in QiGong to circulate and expand life energy force within us. 

Many times these two types of practices are mixed. A traditional Hatha Yoga class for instance is full of both purification and activation practices. 

The question is: what do you want to purify, and why? What do you want to activate — and why? 

What I see over and over again is people doing practices that are not suitable for their real energetic blockages or life vision. They are doing practices to feel ok, cope with a busy reality, and stay where they are. They are doing practices that are not needed to change the things they want to change — it becomes another layer of escapism. 

All of the above happens mostly unconsciously. There’s a lack of alignment and a lack of guidance. And how could it be different, in a world addicted to eternally doing more and being more stressed? 

Good guidance matters. All things being said, the teacher comes when the student is ready. 

The (Un)Practice

My recommendation today is simple: refrain. Identify the things you use as main distraction and escapism — and practice refraining from them, simply put. 

Don’t make this harder than it has to be. 

Choose one thing. Simplify. Let go. 

Observe why it is so hard to refrain. What happens to your nervous system? Learn from your own inner struggles. Identify the real problems that block you — then bring in intentional practices that will support you to shift. 

And yes, if you are serious about healing and growth, I do recommend you work with a spiritual guide, for we can become blind amidst our inner conflicts and suffering. It is also not easy for us to scan our own energy field, as a spiritual guide can do. 

The bottom line: allow yourself to stay in the gap of stillness, in presence. Stay with the discomfort, soften in it. 

See things for what they are. Do not escape the blockages you are to overcome — do not escape yourself. 

Spiritual Development

My spiritual development program Reconnect & Recharge is based on two aspects: refraining + purification and activation practices. 

I not only ask students for certain daily spiritual practices, but I also give them guidelines that remove many normal things, such as alcohol and social media. This is done with a clear intention: catalyze the energetic shifts of the practices and bring much more connection. 

I am told over and over again that the refraining part is the most difficult part of the program — but also the most life-changing and strengthening one. That’s what builds your devotion and willingness muscle. Learn more about Reconnect & Recharge here. 

Don’t just add on. Eliminate. 

Dare to break through life as usual.

Hi, I am Aline Ra M, spiritual teacher, healer, and mentor. Thank you for sharing your time and energy with me. 

Catalyze your growth: consider working with a spiritual teacher. Learn more about my work here.

Embrace spiritual growth in your everyday life with my free “Essential Guide to Spiritual Growth” — learn key concepts, receive timeless wisdom, and get practical guidance for your personal journey. 

Get Your Free Guide