Monday, October 25, 2010

Seven Steps in Getting There From Here

by Nancy R. Smith

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These suggestions are intended to supplement, not replace, any individual faith disciplines you already practice, such as daily Bible reading, Buddhist meditation, Islamic prayer or Jewish devotional practice. Spend time in quiet reflection, preferably daily. Listen to your inner being. Here are some suggestions:

  1. You may listen best by sitting in silent meditation and contemplation or by taking a quiet walk through nature or by listening to inspiring music.

  2. Pay attention to your physical body. What is your body trying to tell you? What is out of synch between you and your environment?

Does your neck hurt? Who or what is your “pain in the neck?” How can you be your authentic self with this annoying person or situation?

Is your stomach tied in knots? What is causing fear in your life and how is that fear preventing you from living authentically?

Do you have a headache? Is it stress? What can you do to avoid, alleviate, or deal with that stress?

  1. Keep a record of this daily listening. If you write comfortably, keep a journal as part of our daily routine. No one has to see it but you. Remember to include things you are thankful for every day. Perhaps sketching or painting is a more flowing expression for you—not everything has to be put into words.

  2. Review your journal (or art or whatever you do) at least monthly. You will be amazed at the insights you will gain about yourself.

  3. Share your life’s journey with others beyond your immediate family. You will find that close friends, members of you faith community, or students in a continuing education class are likely to share some of the questions and situations that you yourself face in daily life and work.

  4. Start a workplace or community series on Workplace Spirituality. Your group can decide whether to focus on mutual support and discussion, bring in speakers who deal with different aspects of Workplace Spirituality, or study ethical issues.

  5. Be willing to seek help. Consult with a physician if you experience signs of agitation or clinical depression or if you experience uncontrollable rage.

    Talk with a therapist if you need help with personal problems and/or your relationships. Find a spiritual director (sometimes called a spiritual guide or spiritual friend) or a coach to help you listen to God on your spiritual journey.

Time and reflection are crucial to developing the spiritual traits that come from your experience of awe and mystery before God. Inner reflection is necessary to discovering both your limits and your unique gifts. Peace and blessings on your journey!

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