Posted in Future/stability/security, Life, Mental health/wellness, Prayer/healing, Time/stress

Asceticism and spiritual practice

Asceticism is a spiritual discipline that has been practiced throughout history as way to deny the self and feel closer to the Divine.

For early Christians, the ascetic practices were as diverse as their understanding of Jesus Christ. For some, it was living in monasteries with a strict spiritual discipline, for others it was living on tall pillars in the midst of a community, and for some others it was imitating Christ through martyrdom.

Today a spiritual practice often has to do with a desire to feel connected. Feeling connected to nature, to people, or to God.

For some, spiritual practice may include prayer or fasting, for others it might be yoga and mindfulness, for others it might be community and social justice. Perhaps ones spiritual practice may include elements of all of these things.

I find a consistent spiritual practice and discipline that allows me to become more aware of my thinking, what is happening in my consciousness, to be essential. Am I entertaining doubts or fears? Am I buying into materialism or commercialism? Am I having God-centered thinking? Maintaining balanced thinking is essential to keeping us healthy, happy, and purposeful.

A spiritual practice can help one discipline thought by becoming more conscious of the Mind of Christ or divine inspiration. This divine Mind is always communicating that we are blessed, we are spiritual, we are healthy, we are whole, we are loved. God sees and knows who we absolutely are. God is holding you in spiritual peace and divine perfection right now. Seeing beyond matter to the deeper spiritual sense of things helps us see and know a concrete being that is spiritual, perfect, and harmonious.

This is a metanoia experience, a change in consciousness, a healing. It satisfies and has healthy side effects (such as better relationships, improved self esteem, a greater connection to the Divine, and discernment of the Holy Spirit).

Developing a spiritual practice that enables one to be mindful and aware of God, keeping watch over our own consciousness is a great protection to us; it maintains our bodies (since our bodies are inextricably linked to our consciousness); and gives us spiritual renewal and freshness to keep up with the daily demands whether they be parenting, working, or volunteering.

At the end of the day, I like to wrap up the day with gratitude. Being grateful for every little thing — the sunlight. The wind in the trees. The smile of a family member. A feeling that God is with me. Whatever it may be. Wrapping up our day in gratitude shuts down the mental cycle of to-do lists. It stills and quiets thought.

Forgiveness is key, too. Practicing forgiveness for any slights you may have felt that day. These can be subtle (or overt) and we don’t want to let them build up. So simply letting go of any hurts or things that may have rubbed you the wrong way. Getting ready to start the new day with freshness.

A spiritual practice is a wonderful thing to cultivate. It is a gift. It is the perfect way to care for yourself and, thereby, to bless others. It will give you the insight, freedom, love, and joy you need to feel sustained throughout the day and the years.

Posted in Future/stability/security, Mental health/wellness, Prayer/healing

Spiritual freedom

Affirming what is true about you paves the way for transformation. What is true? The truth that God has given you: health, fearlessness, purpose, dominion, supply, thoughtfulness, awareness, self-control, confidence, unselfish love and affection.

When I pray, I usually listen for what is true and affirm and accept these truths. This is a way for the human mind to yield to the Divine Mind. But what makes this prayer even bigger and more potent is when we see these truths are true for everyone in our community and our world.

Then you are acknowledging that God is so much bigger.

The spiritual gifts that God bestows are for EVERYONE. It is universal. Everyone is included and not one is left out of God’s goodness.

The universal reign of harmony is for everyone. If it’s true for you, it’s true for everyone. If it’s true for everyone, then it’s true for you.

Recognizing that God’s law is ever present and is actively blessing us gives us security, confidence, and hope. We aren’t making the law of health and happiness happen; we are simply recognizing this law exists and witnessing it in our lives.

The Holy Spirit gives us the power to negate anything which God does not ordain.

So, affirm your dominion and live freely today!

Posted in Employment/jobs, Future/stability/security

Inspiration from Bible text

So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”… God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.

Genesis 1:27, 28, 31 NRSV

This Bible text has new meaning for me this week. There is the literal interpretation of the text “be fruitful and multiply” meaning to procreate. But what about if we can’t procreate, if we are beyond our child-bearing years or we just don’t want children? Does the text not apply? How about if we look at the text from a spiritual interpretation?

“Be fruitful” can signify fertility, but it can also have a larger meaning. Be useful. Be effective. Be constructive. Be worthwhile. Be helpful. Be beneficial. Be rewarding. Live a life that is well-spent. God is calling us to be productive, valuable, and rewarding.

This doesn’t mean be busy bodies.

Rushing around smartly is no proof of accomplishing much.*

It’s really about acknowledging the productivity that is already part of your day. It is already established. We are just awake and responding to it.

Success in life depends upon persistent effort, upon the improvement of moments more than upon any other one thing…If one would be successful in the future, let him make the most of the present.*

This reminds me of a time when I was seeking additional employment. I was looking for more expansive ways to use my talents as well as for additional financial income for my family.

I wrote down a list of all the spiritual qualities I felt I expressed naturally. Some of these included creativity, discipline, organization, attention to detail, energy, activity, love of community, etc. You could say I was writing a spiritual resume and becoming more aware of my spiritual identity. I called a friend who lived in another state and inquired if she knew of anyone hiring within our church organization. She informed she did know of someone, and they had just brought up my name as a possibility. When she sent me the job description, it included all of the qualities I had listed on my spiritual resume. I knew it would be a perfect fit. I interviewed for the job and was able to work remotely from my home. I started just a few weeks later. This work continued to be a blessing over the next few years.

The last part of the Bible text states that God saw everything he made and it was “very good”. This “very good” text is particularly noteworthy. Good  means beneficial and useful. So, we are beneficial and useful to God, and we are beneficial and useful to the needs of society today.

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This is a poster I passed by one day. Credit belongs to someone besides me. 

___

Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings, p. 230