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The Spiritual Routines of the Mindful Road Warrior

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As I write this post this morning, I’m sitting in the airport waiting to board a flight that marks the beginning of a two-week tour in support of my new book. The next 12 days are going to be filled with speeches, interviews, conferences, meetings and a couple of parties. It’s going to be a lot of fun and also a bit of a whirlwind.

You can bet I’ll be following my mindful road warrior routines during this trip. All of the physical, mental and relational routines I’ve written about these past few Mindful Mondays will definitely be in play. I’ll also be following some spiritual routines this week. That’s what I want to focus on in this closing installment of my series on the routines of the mindful road warrior.

Spiritual routines can look like a lot of different things depending on your beliefs and traditions. One thing I think just about all of them do is connect or reconnect you with your sense of purpose. For me, spiritual routines help me connect with and reflect on answers to what’s one of the biggest picture questions of all, “Why am I here?” In other words, what’s my purpose in life and how am I showing up for that day in and day out?

My spiritual routines give me the time, space and stimulus to reflect on those questions and stay connected with the answers. I have three go-to spiritual routines that I practice together or separately almost every day. That will certainly be the case over the next two weeks as I know that my schedule is going to make it even more important than usual to stay grounded.

Here’s what I’ll be doing:

Reading: My early morning routine usually starts with 10 to 15 minutes of reading in a spiritual classic or a commentary on them. I find this a great way to get my brain going in the morning and start the day in reflective way. When I’m on the road, the book is usually stored in the Kindle app on my iPad.

Meditative Breathing: The next step is 10 to 30 minutes of meditative breathing. The time depends on my schedule. When I’m on the road and dealing with time zones and early meetings, it’s usually shorter. No matter the length of time, I find that the breathing makes me aware of the chatter in my mind and opens me up to listen to and pay attention to more important things.

Journaling: I’ve been journaling for almost 20 years and have a very worn leather covered journal that I use to write a page or two of thoughts down as I wrap up my morning routine. They can be really mundane thoughts like a recitation of what happened the day before; they can be about joys or concerns in my life; they can be about things I need to do. It doesn’t matter. Whatever’s in my head at that point goes on the page. Over time the journal has become a great reminder that most of the things I worry about in a given day really aren’t worth worrying about. I’ll be journaling a good bit on this trip.

So, those are the spiritual routines that help me stay grounded when I’m out doing the road warrior thing. How about you? What do you do to stay connected to your purpose when you’re out on the road?

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Executive coach Scott Eblin’s goal is to help you succeed at the next level of leadership. Throughout the week, he’ll offer his take on the leadership lessons in the news and his advice on your most pressing leadership questions. A former government executive, Scott is a graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and is the author of The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success.

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