Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Taking Good Care of Yourself

As a spiritual tool, consciously choosing to take good care of ourselves is crucial.  It's easy to forget to do it in the middle of our busy lives.  We tend to think of giving to others as being the more spiritual act, but taking really good care of ourselves is the best way of honoring these precious lives that we've been given.

Our sensitive, unique and wonderful bodies really are miracles, these magnificent temples of the soul.  They allow God to not only know but experience herself, through us.  Our bodies deserve our utmost care.

As I write this, I'm sitting with my feet up, looking out the window at the green grass, beautiful tall trees and the long rays of light from the setting sun.  The low light sparkles on the leaves that dance in the breeze.  Stopping to really notice scenes like this is one of the ways that I take good care of myself.

There are many ways, individual to each of us.  If we listen, we will hear what our bodies and our spirits need.  One tool I use often is to simply ask myself, "What do I need to do right now to take care of myself?"  Stopping for a moment to ask the question shifts our attention from details and busyness to remembering the truth of our own innate value and importance in the world.

Focusing on doing what we need to do to take good care of ourselves helps relieve stress, and makes us more effective in our roles and in our lives.  When we are good to ourselves, the world can dish out what it will, and we remain our own best advocates.  No matter what, we can find deep joy in nurturing our own hearts' desire.

I believe that the more often we choose to act in a way that honors our own needs, the healthier we can be physically and emotionally.  Our bodies and minds relax as they become accustomed to being treated with care.  We learn to trust ourselves.

Self-care may come in the form of spending time in nature, or practicing a creative hobby.  It may be found in getting more regular physical activity or eating foods that nurture our bodies and feel right for us.  Taking good care of ourselves may mean saying no, even when someone else is disappointed or angry, or making sure that we honor our need to spend time alone.

Splurging a little on the perfect pair of shoes or on some article of clothing that we feel great in could be a way to cherish ourselves.  Or it might be in planning a schedule for our days that includes time for our spiritual practice, or for other kinds of self-care.

We glorify God, and our blessed existence, when we remember to consider what we need to do to take good care of ourselves, and then do it.

May you find many joyful ways to cherish yourself, and may this tool be a blessing. . .

Monday, September 27, 2010

Calling All Angels

Most people go through life with no awareness of the immense level of support and love that’s extended to us from the realm of spirit. In my own life, I have been aware of the profound healing energy of Mother Mary, providing comfort and easing my pain during some of my more difficult times. I’ve become familiar with her vibration and recognize when she is at work in my life; her energy always brings the same feelings of deep peace and security when I’ve needed them most.

Many people are aware of having a guardian angel, which is a being that has made an agreement to step in and assist us in creating our good. Countless sensitive and intuitive people have come to know the work of a guardian angel in their lives, and even call on them in times of need to help with things they feel incapable of managing in the moment.

Vast numbers of people all around the world pray to Jesus for help and guidance, or seek the teachings of Buddha or Lao Tzu, or any of the other very capable way-showers who were our guides in their lifetimes and who as spirit continue to influence our lives for the good of all mankind.

Connecting with these benevolent and loving spirits can be done in prayer.  It can be done in the quiet of meditation by listening to our own inner knowing about the beings who assist us.  I have many times chosen to see in my mind's eye a color representing the vibration of one spirit guide who works for my good.  There are many.

I see all of these beings as wonderful angels of light who have agreed to help us navigate our biggest challenges as we’re working to remember that we, ourselves, are angels of light. They assist us by reminding us that we are not alone, and that we are always connected to the divine light of God’s endless good.

May this tool be a blessing. . .

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Being a Blessing

I was thinking the other day about living my life with purpose, and what the most important considerations are for me in choosing who I want to be in my life right now.  It's interesting how the answer to that changes over time, as my priorities change with increasing experience.

My perspective as a middle-aged woman is certainly different from when I was younger, raising kids and working hard to make ends meet.  All of those experiences helped shape my ideas of the world and my place in it; now it feels like I have time to really hear the quiet voice of spirit within me, and design the remaining days of my life from my own deep purpose.

I recognize that the priorities I feel now will change in time, too, as I've had a chance to experience and assimilate the lessons I'm learning in present time.  But I've noticed that the older I get the more important it becomes for my life to follow guideposts of my own conscious choosing.

One of my present-time guideposts is simply to be a blessing.  In choosing to be a blessing, we automatically make our decisions from the part of ourselves that is connected with truth, and we are able to transcend judgement, resentment, or any other things that can come up when we're acting from a more fearful place.  We are able to do, and be, our best.

By making a conscious decision to be a blessing, we affirm our good, and let our awareness of God expressing through us shine through.  We validate what is true of us.  And when we raise our own vibration to awareness of God at work within ourselves and in all things, we raise the vibration of the entire world and everyone in it.

Being a blessing is like a prayer.  When we choose this day to be a blessing, as we ask, we are answered.  We give our best to the world, and are provided for in kind.  And as we live in the truth of our own divine nature, our own voice is God's voice in the world.

May this tool be a blessing. . .

Monday, September 20, 2010


Through it all, we breathe. Each and every breath we take provides us with another precious moment of being. Breathing is life itself.

Our breath contains the essence of all that has ever been and will ever be. The divine intelligence that created all experience, all history, our collective hopes and dreams, and our deepest fears, lives in the breath. With our breath we connect with spirit, and with our own place in eternity.

At any moment that I stop and become aware of my breathing, whether it is just stopping in the middle of a busy day to notice that I do breathe, or sitting in meditation for a longer time, I am reminded of the miracle of my own sacred life.

In noticing my breathing, I am brought back to that most simple and absolutely profound truth, that I Am. The large and small details of the day take on new meaning, because regardless of their relative importance, I am here.  My choices around those details weave threads into the fabric of who I am, and who I choose to be. My thoughts, words and actions contribute to the essence that all will breathe for time neverending.  I Am. There is no bigger gift.

There’s a song we sing at Unity that I love which says it beautifully:

O, spirit, sing in me.
Breath of God, dance in me.
Let me be your song of love,
O, spirit, sing in me.

May the breath of God dance in you today, and may this tool be a blessing. . .

Monday, September 13, 2010

Being Ordinary

I believe it is human nature to want to excel, to know that there are things that we do especially well and that we are special in our own unique ways. But in our fast-paced, constantly-productive, competitive and ego-driven world, it’s easy to forget the grace that comes from being just plain us.

In remembering that we are expressions of divine creation and therefore innately special, there is nothing we need to do. Our birth into the human family is an automatic guarantee of greatness in this whole delicious scheme that is the miracle of ongoing creation.

In our greatness we are quite ordinary. For all of the seeming uniqueness of our experience, in the bigger picture all people move through life experiencing most of the same things that come along with being human. Like all others, we live and breathe, we love and hurt and struggle and rejoice. We remember our divinity, and we forget.

An awareness of being ordinary allows us to open our hearts to other people without judgment, because we recognize that we are all expressions of what is commonplace in people. We become less divided when we notice that our differences really are insignificant compared to the vast similarities that we share.

In being ordinary we can reduce the stress in our lives, because there is nothing to strive for. We don’t create goals or make decisions based on comparing ourselves with others’ goals or accomplishments. We can put our attention on the things that bring our own intrinsic joy.

Being unexceptional is a very nurturing state of awareness. It allows us to live more fully in the present, because there is nothing additional we need to do. We are just us, and it is enough.

May you delight in being ordinary, and may this tool be a blessing. . .

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Greeting the Day

I woke this morning with a prayer of gratitude, as I do on most days. It is one of the ways that I say hello to the gift of another day. Greeting the day in whatever way feels right is a wonderful way to consciously set the energy for what awaits me.

It can take my breath away, and did this morning, acknowledging the bounty that is mine in each day, in the middle of living my very ordinary but utterly phenomenal life. In those moments there sometimes aren’t adequate words, but I can feel my immense gratitude for being, and say “Thank you, God, thank you.”

The awareness of gratitude changes our perception and our experience as we open to the light of God within us. Let us cultivate gratitude!

It doesn’t matter if I’m tired or had an upsetting dream, or have a busy day ahead of me. Beginning the day by connecting with the profound truth of the perfection that I am born of puts things in perspective. I have another day on this earth, and I want to spend my day appreciating it.

There are many ways to welcome the day. My husband spends time in the early morning hours in our hot tub, doing his meditation and prayer as the sky lightens and the birds awaken with their song. Some people have specific rituals that validate being alive for the coming day, lighting a candle, or just sitting in the silence.  Whatever you choose to do to greet the day, cultivate gratitude.

May you revel in each precious day, and may this tool be a blessing. . .

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Approaching Your Feelings

A wise person reminded me recently of the importance of not overriding my feelings. In my focus on maintaining my thoughts in a healthy and productive place, I often try to think through the emotional issues that I’m facing, rather than really, truly feeling them.

Feeling feelings can be inconvenient. It can be painful. In the short run it can stir things up and make us less comfortable than if we had just chosen to let them go. It can also feel very unproductive, especially around situations that are past, or that we cannot change.

I deeply believe that choosing how I think about the ongoing events of my life, expecting good, and trusting God’s divine hand in all of it, mold my experience in a way that reflects my expectations, and my trust.

I’m finding, though, that some things have an emotional life of their own. My good intentions and positive thoughts help to a very large degree, but the only way through emotions is through them. And that means being fully present not with my thoughts, or how I want things to be, but with my honest feelings, messy as they might be in the moment.

When I approach my feelings rather than think them away, my body is healthier, and I am more at ease. There is a big sigh of relief when I touch on what is really going on, deep within me. Sometimes just acknowledging the depth of my feelings is all I need. That makes sense to me, because I always find that touching truth is a healing.

There is a technique called C.O.A.L., in which we approach a situation that is having an emotional impact on us by being curious, open, accepting and loving. With it we are not judging the fact that we are having an emotional reaction, but being ever so gentle with ourselves as we seek to understand and honor our feelings about it. I am finding it helpful.

I am, as always, grateful for the many tools that I’ve learned to help me embrace the miracle that is my life. And today, I remember to approach and honor my feelings.

May this tool be a blessing. . .

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Adjusting Your Sails

Inspiration comes from unexpected places! I did a post a while back on some words of wisdom that I found on the foil wrapper of my Dove dark chocolate. It made my day to bump into the simple words that were just what I needed to hear. I’m happy to report that it happened again today.

This morning's foil wrapper reminded me that while we can’t control the ever-changing winds that blow through life, we can control how we move through them. Rather than doggedly holding firm to our expected course, doing our best to hold on as the rolling waves threaten to swamp our vessel, we can adjust our course.

The winds of change have been blowing through my life lately, and I’ve realized that trying to stop that change is much like trying to keep my boat steady on a course that threatens to overtake it. As much as I might like to keep my status quo, change is going to barrel through anyway.

Things are going to be different, and in some ways that scares me. I like things the way they are. I let myself become afraid of vague what-ifs that haven’t even happened yet. I’ve worked hard to construct my world into one that is peaceful and nurturing, and stable.

It’s sometimes easy to resist change, but without change our creativity would be stifled. We would never have the opportunity to move beyond our outdated concepts of the world and our place in it. We would not be challenged. Without challenge everything remains static, and that stands in the way of growth.

There’s no way to really know what unanticipated gifts will blow in with these changing winds. But I’ve learned that life unfailingly provides me with the experiences that I need to grow into my best self. So bring on the wind.

I might not be able to control it, but I can adjust the sails. And for that I am grateful.

May this tool be a blessing. . .