Tag Archive | spirituality

Divine Refreshment


Dehydration has been shown to negatively impact people’s moods. Mild dehydration is “associated with confusion, fatigue, and negative moods.” Moderate dehydration symptoms include “lethargy or extreme sleepiness”. [source]

As with dehydration, an early symptom of a weakened spiritual connection is a feeling of listlessness, making us wonder why our zest for life seems to have evaporated.

Symptoms similar to dehydration surface when I have been negligent with my prayer and meditation practice. The ‘busyness’ of life and the distractions of pain are excuses I’ve used to allow lapses in my prayer practice. It’s terribly ironic that when I need that grounding connection the most is when I often forget to be still and go within.

Let’s remember to refresh our body and our spirit. As I reach for a glass of water, I also reach within. I bring my glass to set on the table beside my small altar. I close the door, light the candle and have a seat. It is time. God patiently waits while I run around distracted and in pain. At last I notice my spiritual dehydration and take a moment, no – I make the time – to sit down and empty my mind. Calm those thoughts. Observe them and let them dissolve. Feel the deep calm and bubbling-up of love that rises to the surface to fill all of my life, if I will but make the time to actively pursue my connection with God. Once I am quiet enough it feels as though the still small voice within seems to whisper ‘there you are’.

I like to remember this old poem by an unknown author:

Whoso draws near to God one step, through doubtings dim,
God will advance a mile in blazing light to him.

(Note: To my women friends and spiritual sisters, we know this is beyond gender and speaks to the love God has for us all: if we will take ‘one step’, God will advance towards us ‘a mile’.)

Today I propose that we maintain proper hydration for our spirits as well as our bodies. As healing as a glass of water is for the dehydrated, actively maintaining our spiritual connection nourishes our soul and refreshes our life. Energy and vitality return, bringing a flush of growth in the form of enriched gratitude and renewed awareness of our vast blessings.

Whether you turn to the scriptures of God or other spiritual texts or turn towards a walk in the woods, whether you sit to pray at an altar or practice meditative yoga, whatever works to help you feel God’s love surrounding you, do that. Let us strengthen our relationship with the One who patiently waits. It is we who must make that first step. We must pick up the glass. God is waiting to fill it to overflowing if we but ask.

Are you feeling hectic and busy? Overwhelmed? Depressed? Tired? Take a pause. Close your eyes and go within. Relish some deep calming breaths. Pray, or go for a prayerful walk. You deserve some nourishing refreshment of the most divine kind.

Copyright © 2014 Gina ~ Professions for PEACE

[Gratitude to the makers of these amazing images found on Pinterest and Google]

Have Faith that we will have Peace

Some people are filled by compassion and a desire to do good, and some simply don’t think anything’s going to make a difference.

~Meryl Streep

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[Clicking on the panel of images opens the slideshow for larger viewing, saving, and sharing. Namaste]

Don’t Wait For Perfect

wait too long perfect moment passEcclesiastes 11:4 TLB ~ “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.”

“Procrastination is the thief of time.”
~ Edward Young, English Poet

“Don’t wait for the perfect moment; your opportunity is now. Do what you can, where you are, with what you have.”
~ Theodore Roosevelt

“One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now.” ~ Paulo Coelho

life has no remote“If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.” ~ Lemony Snicket

“Don’t wait. The time will never be ‘just right’.” ~ Napoleon Hill

“Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect!” ~ Aryn Kyle

“There are seven days in the week and someday isn’t one of them.” ~ Anonymous

“Stop waiting for things to happen. Go out and make them happen.” ~ Anonymous

if not now when 

Ann MortifeeToday is the day to begin anew the great adventure. Today is the day to resolve to awaken in every moment. Today is the day to commit, to determine, to live, to love. This is the day in which to serve our highest dream. If we wait for circumstances to align in the way we desire, we may wait forever. Tomorrow is an illusion. Today is the day to breathe in the mysterious possibility that life now offers. Regardless of what surrounds us, this is the day to begin.
~ Ann Mortifee, In Love With The Mystery

Remaining Balanced

i-love-present-moment sri chinmoy

Ann Mortifee ~ “When we become overwhelmed by the events and burdens of our life, we can be sure that we are either projecting into the future or ruminating about the past. If we worry about how far we have to go when climbing a mountain, we will falter. But if we place one foot in front of the other, attending to the step we are taking in the present moment, we will eventually take one more step and find ourselves at the top. Our inner stability is found, not in the future or the past, but in being masters of the present moment. The step to follow will always appear once we have tended to the step we are in the process of taking right now.”

enjoy NOWRecently I was pleasantly surprised to be given a copy of Ann Mortifee’s book In Love With The Mystery. As I wrote in the email subject line happily sent to the friend who gifted me with it, even after I’d thanked and hugged her for it in person, I am In Love With This Book!

It is an amazingly beautiful and very wise book that I won’t begin to review but rather will state that I am cherishing every page… every paragraph… every word.

Today I opened it randomly to the passage above. It resonated with me deeply. The practice of remaining awake and aware of the present moment has strengthened my inner stability. It’s the erroneous habit of projecting and ruminating that pulls me off center. Staying in the now, I support my inner balance.

“It is a mistake to try and look too far ahead.
The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time.” ~ Winston Churchill

not a rehearsal dyer

Wayne Dyer: “There’s an irony to this habit of letting your mind drift to other times and other places. You can only drift off in the now, because now is all you ever get. So drifting off is a way of using up your present moments. You do indeed have a past, but not now! And, yes, you have a future, but not now! You can consume your now with thoughts of ‘then’ and ‘maybe’ but that will keep you from the inner peace you could experience.”

Today I choose to remain reminded of this present moment. Show me God how to live one day at a time. I will do what I can with joy and enthusiasm, and trust You to do what I cannot. Now is my moment.

My Word is NOW

make present wonderful Thich

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Recently I’ve been contemplating the word ‘Now’. If my mind wanders during meditation, I bring my awareness back to my breath. Lately, if my mind wanders during the day into future imaginings or recollections of the past, I’ve been gently bringing my attention fully back into this moment. Just this moment. And then this moment. And so on. That’s all there is, and yet it’s not so simple.

As beings of habit, we tend to do what we’ve always done. The act of developing good habits is worth every effort required. And remaining in the NOW is a very good habit.

present moment Dyer 350Some may argue that everything happens in the present moment, and all thoughts of the past or the future are actually happening in the now. But while that logic holds on some level, it doesn’t erase the fact that our life erodes the longer we step out of the present and wander into the future or the past with our thoughts.

This morning I caught myself thinking about someone I saw over the holidays… wondering why I hadn’t heard back after sending a thank you for her gifts… speculating whether or not she liked mine. Then I noticed what I was doing and I changed my mind. It was as easy as bringing my attention to the act of dressing I was doing. Then I looked around and noticed my environment, and gave thanks for it all. I said to myself, “Thank you God for this day” continuing to develop the good habit of remaining present rather than wandering into thoughts that do not serve me.

Wayne Dyer 200Wayne Dyer: “Have you noticed how often we use up the present moments of our lives, the very precious currency of life, consumed with a longing to be someplace else, doing something else? Or we waste present moments feeling guilty about the past or apprehensive about the future. Slipping away from the present happens because we are living our lives with an attitude of depreciation rather than appreciation. We can ease this dilemma by learning to pay attention to what’s going on in the inner world of our thoughts.”

Staying fully awake and aware of only this moment is a habit I intend to keep working on, like a mental muscle I’m developing. It will become more ingrained with practice and there are many benefits. By releasing imaginary meandering into future events that haven’t happened I can be more effective in creating my future by visualizing the best possible outcome. By releasing aimless mental wandering into my past I can more fully move forward while forgiving past hurts or wrongdoings. I intend to be conscious of my thoughts.

It’s about not allowing aimless thoughts to wander without focus and fall into fearful thinking. Thoughts of regret about the past and anxious worries of the future increase our stress and lower our energy. I choose to engage in thoughts that raise my energy. I choose to remain aware of my thoughts. I choose to visualize a positive future and remember what I’ve learned from the past and move forward in confidence. I choose to remain in the now.

This is my ‘Word for 2014’ ~ NOW. A word for me to focus on, contemplate, learn from, and grow with. Have you selected a special word to focus on for this year? I encourage you to do it!

Copyright © Gina ~ Professions For PEACE 2014

Here Comes The Light

Winter Solstice 2013

let us love winter“Peace be with you. The darkest day of the year has come. The silence of winter covers the land, and even the waters are still and frozen. Their clarity reflects the purity of heart that we may all claim in this season. Their mirrored surface reflects our insight and understanding. Let us pray, ‘May there be peace on earth and goodwill towards all’.” From the writing of Joan Borysenko, Ph.D. in Pocketful of Miracles

faith rabindranath-tagore

Quote by Rabindranath Tagore

May today be a tipping point towards ever-increasing light and kindness the world over.

Living at the 51st parallel North, the Winter Solstice is an anticipated point of the year. At long last, the globe begins its return to increasing daylight. I feel my spirits lift for I know this cold, northern hemisphere is on its return trip towards summer, more sunlight, and abundant growth.

Yin Yang EarthFor us residing this far north, today the sun is up for less than 8 hours – from 8:35 in the morning to 4:30 in the afternoon. This is less than half the time it’s above the horizon on the Summer Solstice, when it’s up for 16 hours and 33 minutes. I sympathize for those living even farther north. In the extreme north the sun doesn’t rise for a week around the Winter Solstice, only allowing a faint twilight between 9am and 2pm.

astonishing light beingAs I contemplate this earthly return towards the light, I also envision humanity’s spiritual return towards ever greater light within us all. This is a prayerful time for offering not only the light of our hearts during meditation and prayer, but also to share our light within through genuine smiles and acts of kindness. It needn’t cost a thing as we offer a compliment or a gentle word to a frazzled clerk or shopper. We can anonymously shovel a neighbour’s sidewalk or scrape the ice off their windshield. We can gently offer our arm to a senior traversing an icy parking lot or treacherous section of sidewalk, or our hand to someone who has dropped a bag. We can put up sweet posters on public community boards, offering quotes on hope or faith or joy. Our acts of kindness are only as limited as our imaginations!

light shines johnLet us turn our faces towards the light and our hearts will inevitably follow. Let us take even one step of action towards kindness and we become an active member of the tipping point of goodness in the world.

light-a-candleI will continue to give thanks for my beeswax candles, Christmas tree lights, and outdoor strings of lights adding cheer and warmly illuminating these long nights. I feel gratitude for the blessings that each day brings, but especially today on the Winter Solstice, I feel a burgeoning hope!

I will joyfully watch for evidence of the lengthening days to start appearing soon, as well as evidence of humankind’s active kindness towards each other. We can all do something that brings ever more light. I will do my part, and let this little light of mine shine. Namaste.

Additional Reading Suggestions:
http://professionsforpeace.com/2012/04/26/shining-from-the-inside-out/
http://www.wired.com/geekmom/2012/12/26-acts-of-kindness/
https://www.facebook.com/26acts
http://www.randomactsofkindness.org/
http://www.oprah.com/spirit/35-Little-Acts-of-Kindness
http://www.366randomacts.org/
http://www.deliberateactsofkindness.com/

Please note parts of this post were originally posted here on last year’s Winter Solstice. Also all these posters have been randomly sourced off the internet.

Consider Love Notes

“It is the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.” ~ Claude M. Bristol

positive post its mirrorWhile it is genuinely affectionate to slip love-notes into the pockets or lunches of our nearest and dearest, it is truly inspired when we remember to do this for ourselves. ‘Love-notes’ as I like to call them, or Positive Post-it’s, Mirror Affirmations, whatever we name them, are a way to send a message to a deeper part of ourselves.

Just like when we happen across a hidden note sent from a loved one, so too are the notes we leave for ourselves delightful reminders of how truly loveable we really are.

Sure any old hand-written scrap of paper can suffice for a note, but it means so much more when we put some special effort into it, such as selecting a nice paper and carefully using our best handwriting (or a really nice font if we print the note). And this can be an instance when shorter is better. Short and sweet.

Way to GO!
You Light Up My Life.
I’m So Glad You Were Born!
You Make A Big Difference In MY World.
Thank you for all you do. Thank you for being you!

i am enoughPositive and life-affirming statements help spread love and light. Certainly for others and definitely when we send these messages to ourselves! Here are some ideas for messages can we affirm and send to ourselves.

I am enough.
I speak and think positively.
I am thankful for my blessings.
I am calm, relaxed and peaceful.
I am willing to change and grow.
I am deserving of love and kindness.
I enjoy being, feeling and thinking positive.

Perhaps the most wonderful thing about thinking positive thoughts and feeling positive energy is that it’s essentially self-perpetuating. Just thinking about the ‘bright side’ of every situation (and there is ALWAYS a blessing hidden as a silver lining of that dark cloud) helps to illuminate our hearts so we can ever more easily SEE the positive. It’s like a mental ‘muscle’ that requires practice to build up strength and habit. It gets easier the more dedicatedly we practice.

post it Smile!So let’s practice thinking positive thoughts, about our life, our situations, the people in our lives, and most especially about how we feel about ourselves. Let’s practice and build that muscle of kindness as we think positive thoughts.

Remember this basic affirmation: “I Am Enough.”
And practice this most basic prayer: “Thank You.”

Meister Eckhart: “If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘Thank You’ it will be enough.”

Prayerful Thoughts

“Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever is the attitude of the body; the soul is on its knees.”    ~ Victor Hugo

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what God lovesThoughts are things that move. We must constantly water them with prayerful attention.

Let us affirm: Today I become more aware of my belief system by changing my thinking about any apparent negative occurrence in my life so that the healing can begin. I visualize every part of my body functioning in perfect health. Streams of positive thoughts replace confused thinking. I enjoy an inner awareness and confidence that there is a solution to any situation. Loving thoughts go out and loving people and experiences enter my life. I am truly blessed.

water dropletsToday’s Affirmation:
“I water my belief system with joyful and positive thoughts upon awakening and before going to sleep.”

1 John 4:7-8 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

“God is love. Therefore love. Without distinction, without calculation, without procrastination, love.” ~ Henry Drummond

“God’s unfailing love for us is an objective fact affirmed over and over in the Scriptures. It is true whether we believe it or not. Our doubts do not destroy God’s love, nor does our faith create it. It originates in the very nature of God, who is love.” ~ Jerry Bridges

Adversity Strengthens

suffering is a gift randigfine
Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.
 ~ Arthur Golden

feeling pain become stronger randigfine 350Grief is an ocean that pulls me under, tumbles me, scrapes me up and spits me out on a new beach, three inches taller.  ~ Stephanie Ericsson

Fractures well cured make us more strong.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Difficulties, by bracing the mind to overcome them, assist cheerfulness, as exercise assists digestion. ~ Christian Nestell Bovee

in_the_midst_of_winter 300In a storm, it is the tree that bends with the wind that survives to grow tall. ~ Brenda M. Schaeffer

Surmounted difficulties not only teach but hearten us in our future struggles. ~ James Sharp

A wise man adapts to circumstances as water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it. ~ Chinese Proverb

The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor humans perfected without trials. ~ Danish Proverb

Hardship dark enough stars EMERSON 200Look not mournfully into the past, it comes not back again. Wisely improve the present, it is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future without fear and with a [courageous] heart.     ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

All sunshine makes the desert. ~ Arabian Proverb

thich-nhat-hanh-quotes-hope 350Oh, Sorrow,
When we finally name you
We finally let you
Let us go. ~ Roseann Lloyd

Man was made for Joy and Woe,
And when this we rightly know,
Through the world we safely go;
Joy and Woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.
~ William Blake

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved. It is in the most trying times that our real character is shaped and revealed.
~ Helen Keller

My gratitude to the makers of these posters from Google images, especially randigfine.com

HOPE during Natural Disasters

Hang-on-pain-ends

grateful problemsThe silver lining is much harder to see when devastation is blinding us. As we evacuate from our homes and feel helpless, let us remember that faith overcomes fear. Even if you don’t go to church and perhaps don’t consider yourself religious or spiritual, leaning on faith means having a positive expectancy that eventually everything will turn out all right.

It isn’t blindness to focus on what we cannot see. Positive expectancy is a higher sight, gathering strength from knowing things will work out. Things will get better.

faith_is_the_lightI went through painful dental dilemmas and learned about hanging on to faith in the future. Even as it culminated with the extraction of my deep-rooted molar, I breathed through the procedure as best I could while holding knowledge that this too shall pass. I endured the painful needles, pulling, and pain, which required more needles, as I kept thinking “This will be behind me soon! This time tomorrow it will all be a memory. Even in an hour from now – half an hour – it will be over and done with.”

keep your head up Gods soldiersBy focusing on how soon I would be looking back at it all, I found strength. The hole in my gums from the extraction has healed over! I am now safely in the future that I imagined when I was in the middle of that painful procedure.

Losing our homes to disasters like hurricanes, tornados, fires and floods is vastly different from dental pain, but my point is how hanging on to hope and faith helped me immensely. I believe that hope and faith can help us get through anything. Sure, we can still get through it without these characteristics, but with them we soon discover that we feel less exhausted, less frightened, and less alone.

if god brings you to itI choose to focus on the heroes, all the professional and volunteer rescuers who themselves focus on who can be saved and what can be done. A perfect example of an optimist is an emergency worker, striving for life and rescue amidst the ruins. Let us be like that with all our troubles – let’s have faith that it can be saved, that it will work out, that we have the skills and abilities to help remedy this situation.

There is always a silver lining but sometimes our eyes have to clear of tears before we can see it. Focusing inwardly on our strength and our faith in the future can help dry our eyes. Let’s all decide to focus on HOPE: Hang On, Pain Ends.

Strength Grows From Within

While I mull over and continue with a couple of upcoming articles, these images and wise words raise my spirits and remind me of the unlimited strength I have, if only I remember to ask. May we all remember how blessed we are, and that we are not alone as we journey through life. Blessings and Light and Love is all around, surrounding us and giving us Strength. Namaste.

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faith 1 corinthians 16.13 450God-Gives-Us-Always-Strength 450God circled this place for you Hafiz 450faithful in prayer roman12.12 450[Heartfelt gratitude to the artists who made these randomly sourced images off Google.]