Traveling as we do through this life–from one trial to the next, from one challenge to the next, from one tragedy to the next [not to be negative or morbid at all...] our strength and courage are essential!
Many families started the Easter season with spiritual strengthening at a religious or other communal service. As an ongoing habit, this receiving of grace nourishes our lives immeasurably!
After just such a beautiful Easter weekend together with family, my daughter and son-in-law had to proceed into a driving snow storm near Granby. But they were prepared, having a strong and dependable vehicle, food, warm clothing. And she had gone online to check the speed and advancement of the storm before they left my house. They had an easy drive.
Daily care of ourselves, our spirits, and those around us, build a very strong base from which to proceed on any of life’s journeys.
“If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgivenesses, selfishness, and fears.
Travel Light–Drop Your Fears
…by strengthening the spirit.
Our lives are inspired by people who have endured catastrophic life experiences and emerged the victor, rather than the victim. Helen Keller, Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, and Elie Weisel are some of the more familiar names, but many of us have personally known individuals who have come through the other side of a wrenching experience with love, grace and humility.
If we could ask each one-the familiar and the famous-”What got you through your crisis?” in all likelihood the responses would be similar. One by one, they would think back, look within and describe inner resources that enabled them to survive.
Brian Luke Seaward, author of Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, calls those qualities “the muscles of the soul.’ Faith in the Divine, humor, patience, compassion, imagination, humility, forgiveness, intuition, creativity, optimism, honesty, and love.
It is in exercising those muscles that the health of the human spirit is maintained. And the fitness of the spirit is vital to our total well-being.
With the understanding that there is a definitive link between stress and disease, and a greater appreciation for the healing power of the Divine spirit, practitioners in all areas of health are beginning to acknowledge that to be healthy, one must acknowledge and nurture the human spirit, which is made in the image of the Divine.
The following are seven suggestions Seaward offers to enhance the health of the human spirit.
1. The Art of Self-Renewal
Self-renewal is a continual process. To be present and attentive to those around us and strong for others in times of need, we must first attend to our own capacity for strength and endurance. Typically this begins with some aspect of the meditative process, going within to calm and refresh.
2. The Practice of Sacred Rituals
We attribute some habits and various customs as more special to us than others. Gravitate toward those activities and make them habitual. In so doing, we are reminded of life’s sacredness. Special readings or meditations in the morning, witnessing the sunset every night, regular meetings of certain groups to which we belong–all manner of activities can serve as an enrichment that connects us more closely with the Divine.
3. Sweet Forgiveness
Every act of forgiveness is an act of unconditional love. For forgiveness to be unconditional, you must be willing to let go of all feelings of anger and resentment. In healing, we must forgive others and ourselves.
4. Embracing the Shadow
Embracing the shadow means to acknowledge our negative, judgmental, even fearful, thoughts. Then we send a message of acceptance and compassion, and separation, to that part of ourselves where those thoughts and perceptions originate.
5. Keep the Faith
The power of faith requires balance. It is good to remember that “We are given no task too great to bear.” Faith is there to guide us through moments of fear and turbulence.
6. Live Your Joy
Living your joy is seeking and appreciating our personal beautiful side. It reminds us to live in the present moment, rather than become immobilized by that which is past or that which, we fear is yet to come.
7. Compassion in Action
Compassion in action can be explained in one word–service, and service to others offers a dividend of love and support to everyone involved.