Last Saturday I hosted a day retreat on the theme of how to keep a spiritual focus during the holiday time. Most of the participants commented on how relieved they were to have a day to step away from the hubbub of the season – to “stop and drop” as my teacher Kim Rosen calls it.
The first part of the day was an exploration to broaden the scope of what we call “spiritual” and to discover the wholistic nature of spiritual nourishment – not just church, prayer or meditation. If we step outside the box of what we call “spiritual” there is a strong connection between doing what we love and allowing it in to nourish our spirits.
I loved how each person contributed to the question – What lets you know your spirit is being nourished? Responses were - feeling uplifted, expansive, inspired, creative, more awake, more grounded, settled, calm, or joyful.
If you consider all aspects of your being – mind, body and spirit, as well as, the social, emotional, relational aspects of yourself, you substantially expand your options for spiritual connection. As the conversation evolved it was clear that there is a connection between pleasure and spiritual nourishment. Doing what brings us joy, contentment, fulfillment, lifts up our spirits. It expands and opens us.
There are so many aspects of the holidays that bring an easy pleasure and there are aspects that will be challenging. In my last blog I wrote about the phenomena of how anything can be a stepping-stone or a stumbling block. When you meet the less pleasurable bits of the holidays – the cousin or sibling that gets under your skin, the traditions you believe you just have to tolerate, the over commercialism - What will you do?
What if you asked yourself – What can I learn from this? What are the deeper connections that this challenging situation or person is calling me to? In what way can I face this situation differently that might help me grow emotionally and spiritually?
This perspective will allow you to deepen your experience of holiday time, no matter what’s happening around you.
We are also nourished spiritually by feeling ourselves grow, develop and change. In my worldview that’s what I’m doing here on planet earth – fulfilling my spiritual task personally and spiritually with this growth and change, as well as contributing to the world in the ways I can.
I wish you a joyful, pleasure filled holiday season. And look forward to journeying with you in 2017.
Love and blessings, Madeline
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“Loved the “slow medicine of it”