Recently, I was privileged to talk to my friend and fellow blogger, Tracey Hughes about faith and spirituality for the busy woman. She authors a terrific blog called Vine2Victory and each week I look forward to a weekly dose of her wisdom. Not only is Tracey a writer, speaker and entrepreneur, she also happens to be one of the most resilient and optimistic people I know. I firmly believe that part of being a whole, healthy person is embracing your own spiritual practice that you can cultivate over time. Here Tracey details a simple way you can cultivate your own spiritual practice right now.
What inspired you to start your blog, Vine2Victory.com?
I’ve always been an upbeat kind of gal. When I started posting inspiring notes on my Facebook page, I was overwhelmed by the positive response and the private notes on how my words touched hearts and brought some to tears. I felt compelled – no pushed – by my higher power to broaden my reach and encourage more people.
Why should someone think about developing a spiritual practice?
A personal and private spiritual practice provides a sense of grounding, a feeling of being centered and calm. I call this the “calm before the storm.” Life is filled with daily challenges, issues, problems and crises. When you’re centered and relatively calm, you can focus and strategize with a cool head versus reacting haphazardly.
You’ve had a demanding career as corporate brand marketing executive and an entrepreneur, how has your faith sustained you through the ups and downs of your career?
I’ve always been a faithful and spiritual person from my Catholic upbringing. I discovered the true meaning of a relationship with Jesus Christ during my company’s ups and downs. Within a four year period, I watched my company spring onto Oprah’s “O List” only to come crashing down in bankruptcy and betrayal. At that time a college friend/business partner temporarily stole my company. I’ve since regained it. But during those years of turmoil, disappointment, shame and self-doubt, God moved into my life and worked a variety of miracles, including leading me back to my first love, writing.
What’s the best way to get started?
I always encourage people to start slow and simple. If you only have five minutes to spare, spend those five minutes by saying a prayer, reading a page from the Bible or repeating a favorite affirmation. If you can spare a few more minutes, make a cup of coffee or tea, write a page in your journal and read a chapter from a favorite devotional. It’s not the length of time spent, it’s the quality of that time. A few minutes in prayer or repeating an encouraging affirmation will do wonders for your energy level, patience, self-esteem and SPIRIT.
In the morning I set my clock 40 minutes early. I journal three pages to clear my head and get my creative juices flowing. Then I enjoy a cup of tea with lemon while reading a few pages from a Christian book, some Bible scripture and a short devotional. Currently I’m reading Power Thoughts by Joyce Meyer. I close the session out with a prayer. Again, that’s not for everybody. My morning devotion has evolved over a four year period. Start off with five minutes and let the moment and your meditation grow over time. You’ll be amazed the results.
As women, we tend to shoulder a lot of responsibility at work and at home. That often means we have little to no time for ourselves. What advice do you have for women who are trying to find “the balance”?
That is precisely the reason and value of developing a spiritual practice. Being grounded and connected to a higher power reminds us that we don’t have to do it all alone, in fact we are never alone because our higher powers are always guiding, supporting, comforting and protecting us. As mommies, wives, caretakers and caregivers, we know that we should never run on empty but time and time again we do. It’s imperative, no it’s critical, that our energy tanks are filled on a daily basis. A private spiritual practice will do just that. It can be a simple few minutes reading a favorite scripture or psalm in the bible, saying a silent prayer, reading two pages of a devotional or enjoying a few sips of coffee or tea while writing in a journal. These are all different forms of spiritual practice that will do WONDERS for you and your family. In the end, aren’t you worth it?
Explore a few of Tracey’s favorite books: