Ways to (Re)Connect Spiritually

Kimberly Atwood
An Idea (by Ingenious Piece)
6 min readAug 29, 2021


I recently disconnected from my spiritual path, which had its ramifications. Here’s how I found my way back.

Photo by Sarah Ball on Unsplash

I’ve been struggling with frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) for nearly a year now, but the most painful time has been over the past 6 months. I haven’t been able to stick to my typical morning routine — cardio exercise and/or strength training; stretching or yoga; and walks — due to severe, chronic pain and limited range of motion in my left arm.

Earlier on, the pandemic took away my gym membership and cherished morning routine. But that didn’t stop me. I bought a rower and free weights to help create a new at-home routine, but then my shoulder froze (stiffness with pain when trying to move it).

Without my morning routine, I floundered at first. I quickly regrouped and decided that walking all by itself would become my routine — I would just go for longer walks early each morning, which made my shoulder feel better anyway. Walking was helpful, but didn’t do the same things for my me as my regular routine.

The pain, in and of itself, led to an intense lack of connection with my body. Who wants to be in their bodies when they’re experiencing pain? Moreover, the lack of use of my body and rituals around moving meant I wasn’t expelling or moving through the stress cycle. I also had an overall sense of weakness, smallness, and contraction. I recognize this now as a spiritual disconnect.

Ups & Downs

I experience spirituality as an ebb and flow throughout life’s trials and tribulations. Sometimes it feels like a strong connection, at other times it’s entirely missing, and all points in between. I notice the physical and emotional toll it takes on me when it’s missing or headed in that direction.

Routines and rituals really help keep me spirtually connected. One of the main indicators that helps me realize when I’m falling off-track spiritually, is that I’ve forgotten all or some of these routines. Or, at times, I know they’re there and will make me feel better, but I just don’t want to do them.

Here are some ways I got myself back to a spiritual connection. Initially, I overloaded myself with ways to reconnect in order to feel a stronger re-connection, but do things at a pace that feels good for you.


As I wrote about in a previous article, I received a Monk Manual for my birthday a few months ago and started using it. Simply writing down my intentions each day helped me notice my lack of routine. Awareness is key.

By recognizing what was missing, I was able to think differently about it and find new ways of creating daily routines. I don’t have full use of my arm, but I need to stretch it several times a day, so I started to build a stretching routine before/after going for my walks. It eventually became doing a briefer version of a strength training workout a few days a week too, with areas of the body unaffected (like my legs and lower body). I basically have my morning ritual back in a slightly different form. Yay!

You can use something like a Monk Manual or just blank pages. Write down your emotions, gratitude, things you hope to do or want to try. You know what journaling is — go for it.

Read/Listen to Podcasts

You may choose to read or re-read spiritual books to help you connect, such as Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning” or “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. I also like to re-read Michael Singer’s “The Untethered Soul” and “The Arts of Happiness” by His Holiness the Dali Lama.

However, this time I’ve been focused on listening to podcasts that are more spiritual in nature. I find they helps keep me focused on spirituality and build my spiritual strength. I often gravitate toward Buddhist Psychologists Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield, but there are so many more out there. You could also try 10% Happier with Dan Harris.

Less TV — More Creativity

Tv isn’t bad or evil, it’s simply a time/energy suck. Before you know it, you’ve spent 3+ hours devouring your latest show, when you could have spend two of those hours focused on creative endeavors and one hour watching your favorite show. We all know this and do it anyway sometimes.

Creativity is spiritual all by itself. You could start a new hobby or revisit a previous creative hobby you used to enjoy. I always enjoy music — listening and playing piano and singing — so returning to these hobbies often feels spiritual. I also picked up a new COVID hobby of pottery/ceramicsm which is spiritually fulfilling to me. Pottery has truly helped me learn to slow down, but that’s a whole different article.


It never occurred to me until I felt more spiritually reconnected (because the idea came from spirit, not my brain) to look up yoga videos online to create an at-home practice with videos already modified for frozen shoulder or shoulder injuries. There aren’t a lot out there with these specific kind of modifications, but there are some. More powerfully though, this search simply got me back into yoga in general. I realized I could do Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra to focus on my mind-body-spirit connection and mainly reconnect to my body.

Set intentions for each day

Setting intentions is different than journaling. It’s just more targeted, more specific.

Write down goals or intentions for each day and then follow up at night to notice of what you accomplished or not. This practice helps us remember what works, what has worked in the past, and/or helps us try new things to experiment with on ourself. The process of writing down the intentions helps me a lot more than just setting the intent each morning because I’ll often forget.

Additionally, taking inventory of the things we did and didn’t follow through on helps us practice self-compassion. There’s really no point in beating ourselves up for not fulfilling an intent; the time has passed and we can let it go. Simply move that intention to the next day, or let go of it for a longer period. You can always bring it back.


By now, most people understand gratitude and why it works. Putting gratitude into practice is different than only understanding it though. I find that after 10+ years of strong commitment to gratitude, it comes pretty naturally and easy to me now. I even held onto my gratitude over this last period of spiritually decline. However, I find it much more helpful to write down my points of gratitude than only thinking them.

Creating a renewed practice and commitment to writing down 3–5 things that I’m grateful for each day is a game changer. Honestly, if you have to pick just one of these top ways to (re-)connect to spirituality, I would suggest starting here.

I hope this list is helpful in pointing you in the right direction at least. I know it’s not an exhaustive list by far. You can create your own list and might see benefits from writing down the things that you find are helpful, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time you fall away.

Kimberly Atwood is a licensed psychotherapist and certified sex therapist working in private practice in Princeton, NJ. She also provides online therapy with clients living in Indiana, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. She specializes in sexual health, intimacy and relationship issues. For more information, please check out her website.



Kimberly Atwood
An Idea (by Ingenious Piece)

Sex Therapist & Counselor | Sexual Health, Intimacy & Healing | Mental Health & Personal Growth | KimAtwood.com