For many of us it’s the first week of some new routines, new choices and new patterns chosen with the intention to change something in our lives for the better.
The usual suspects include losing weight, exercising more, spending less and saving more. On the more spiritual side of life we may add things like working on forgiveness, increasing our meditation time, and giving more of our time and money to those in need.
For many years I told anyone who would listen why Sunday mornings “just don’t work” in the 21st century. I cited statistics from Pew Research polls, the busy schedules of modern families and quoted sleep studies and doctor’s recommendations on the amount of sleep we need but rarely get – all to prove my point that the people are too busy for Friday night shul or Sunday morning church.
In many ways my arguments were spot on. The statistics tell an accurate story on the packed schedules of modern people. What’s lost in all this is the simple truth that time spent in quiet contemplation of our spiritual side is as important as 7+ hours of sleep, and good nutrition. And yet, so many of us have scratched this weekly trek off of our calendars.
If getting your life to work better for you on any level (finances, relationships, career, peace and happiness), consider touching base with your spiritual home whether it’s a church, a synagogue, a mosque, or a Center for Spiritual Living. Take that single hour on a Friday evening, Saturday or Sunday to sit quietly and allow the energy that binds all life together to speak to you heart.
“… my ally is the Force. And a powerful ally it is. Life creates it; makes it grow. It’s energy surrounds us – binds us. Luminous beings are we…not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you. Here, between you…me…the tree…the rock…everywhere! Yes, even between the land and the ship.” ~ Yoda, Jedi Master
If increasing your connection to Spirit is on your list this year, find your tribe; return to the one you’re most comfortable with or seek out a new one.
If you’re not sure where to go (you don’t have a religious history that nudges you in one way or another) but you’re interested in exploring some aspect of spirituality, I recommend finding a Center for Spiritual Living. Centers for Spiritual Living welcome people from all faiths; honoring all paths to Spirit so you can be Jewish, Christian, Muslim, unchurched, Pagan or a little of this and a lot of that and you’ll be welcome in any Center for Spiritual Living.
My introduction to a true understanding of Spirit began not in Sunday School, where the concept of a higher power was complex and distant, but with an introduction to the Force as portrayed in Star Wars. Yoda’s explanation in the link above is actually a really great explanation for how we (CSLs) understand Spirit,… but I digress.
When we connect with people who share our beliefs, our struggles and the same structure for responding to life – the good and the bad – we are in meditation with our spiritual side; we are feeding our spirit. We are strengthening our ability to manage life’s ups and downs and we are building an extended family who shares our connection to Spirit; we are connecting with our Tribe, or as Master Yoda would put it – we are growing strong in the Force.
We are luminous beings; spiritual beings having a physical experience
Yes, getting up on Saturday or Sunday morning, or heading out on Friday night after a long week is “one more thing” on already-filled schedules; but what if that hour of meditation and prayer changed your 2016 for the better?
Look at it this way: it’s a lot less painful than hitting the gym 5 days a week, it’s more fun than giving up chocolate chip cookies, and if you hang in there to find the right organizational “fit” – the benefits of belonging will continue long after that new treadmill has morphed into a clothes rack.
If you want to be a Jedi (learn how to create the kind of life that you want to live), you need to hang with others who are strong in the Force (find your spiritual tribe).
May the Force be with you.