Monday, May 23, 2011

QW Pillar 7: Spiritual Practice

I am super excited to highlight Freston's seventh Wellness Pillar: Spiritual Practice.

I truly appreciated Kathy's approach toward a topic that her readers may have drastically different opinions on:

"Spiritual practice reminds us what's important. Even those of us who would say we are not religious can recognize that we are connected to some sort of deep and unified source, or what I will henceforth refer to as Spirit...

[Spiritual practice] increases our capacity to love and be kind, both to ourselves and others. At its best, it is directed both inward (learning to love ourselves) and outward (learning to love others)" (QW, p 39).

I cannot think of a phrase that better sums up one of my greatest values in life: "to love and be kind, both to ourselves and others." Not only should we follow the golden rule and continue to love and be kind to others (even when things aren't always reciprocated) but it is so important to treat OURSELVES with love and kindness. If we do not love ourselves, and we are not at peace with who we are and where we are at in life, it becomes even more difficult to love others.

This topic is SO much of what this Blog is about - taking care of ourselves. Making little decisions every day that impact our overall wellness. We deserve it - and we need it: "As we nurture the light within us, we can then shine it out onto the world" (cheesy, but true!).

Kathy also makes another really important point about spiritual practice, as far as choosing our religion or type of practice: "If you do not feel a genuine and widespread love for all people in a particular avenue of practice, consider going elsewhere" (40).

I don't care what religion you are or who taught you what - no person deserves to worship in a place that shows hatred or judgment toward others. I have been through ups and downs with my faith, and must admit that the "downs" have been during times in which not enough acceptance or a grasp of the "big picture" was present in my faith community.

So - this week, take some time to think about what Spiritual Practice means to you, or what it could mean to you. See how it might play out in the next few days. Whether that means meditating, spending time outside, going to a church service, or reading a spiritual/religious book, take one step to prioritize spiritual practice in your life.


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