Spirituality is a topic many people might have difficulty defining. It is only a church thing? Is it greater concern with the soul than material possessions? (Oxford Dictionary) Is it the deepest values by which people live? (Wikipedia) Is it pondering ideas that take us beyond ourselves or is it the meaning of life? Is it all of these things and more? How do you achieve spiritual growth?
Today, many people talk about being spiritual rather than religious. Being religious to some has the meaning of following rules whereas spiritually is more self-directed pondering of the universe. What is the point of all of it?
Being more aware of what it is important in your life or what the purpose of your life is can be considered being spiritual. In the world of a Christian, spirituality most often means how one lives in response to Jesus and what his life, death, and resurrection mean to a believer.
Even longtime Christians can sometimes feel that their relationship with Christ has run dry or seems distant. We may at times feel that God is distant from us because of the trials of life we are experiencing. Loss, grief, and hurt can make us feel depleted spiritually. We feel alone. It is at these times we feel an increased need to grow spiritually. Therefore, we want to reignite the connection that brought us to a belief in Jesus.
But what do we do? How we recapture that sense of the presence of Jesus in our lives?
A Medical Emergency Is In Progress: Imagine the Scene
You or a loved one are having a medical emergency. The common emotions are anxiety, fear, trepidation, and perhaps a bit of frazzled disorganization. On the other hand, some people face emergencies stoically, calmly, and firmly in control. Sometimes people maintain their composure through the event and others, well, their legs become jelly once the immediate crisis has past. Which camp are you a member of?
Perhaps one way to help maintain that calm composure in the face of a medical emergency is to be prepared. Be prepared? Wait! If it is an emergency, how can you possibly be prepared?
Emergency! That is a word that none of us ever want to hear, let alone experience. One thing you can count on with an emergency is that it is always a surprise. We may not be prepared for the surprise, but we can be prepared for the emergency. Being prepared for something, greatly affects the impact on us. The challenges can be physical, mental, emotional, and financial.
Emergencies can come in several unexpected packages: a health crisis, a natural disaster, an accident, or a home-based disaster such as a fire. Regardless of their cause, we need to react. Reacting from a position of strength and faith, rather than one of fear, will help us recover and regroup. How do we prepare? Do you have the philosophy, if you prepare you won’t need to be? I do. This is the reason I take a bunch of different kinds of medicines with us on a trip. I prepare for colds, headaches, upset stomachs, allergies, and cuts and scrapes. If I prepare and I have what I need, I won’t need it. Apply the same philosophy to preparing for emergencies and you will be ready.
Growing spiritually is something many of us aspire to. But what does that mean? How do we do it? And what are the benefits? As we age, we can continue to grow and change. We can change in many ways: the hobbies we enjoy, the food we eat, the areas that interest us, our physical health, our relationships, and many others. One important way we can grow is spiritually.
Regardless of age and abilities, we have the opportunity to grow spiritually as well. We can grow closer to Christ until we take our last breath. This is a deeply held belief of mine. We can grow closer to Christ everyday, even if our abilities are limited. Even if we are unable to utter our prayers. God knows what our heart is yearning for.
One thing we yearn for is joy. Feeding our joy, in-line with our love of God, is a balm to our soul even in difficult times. Feeding your joy by using your gifts and talents for others can allow you to reach a different aspect of your relationship with God.
The article linked here, gives 5 strategies for deepening our spiritual life. No great surprise, they revolve around reaching out beyond yourself. There are more ways to deepen your spirituality personally and privately. We shall explore them soon. For now, look to your community. Who is in your community? We influence each other. Who is influencing you? Who are you influencing?
How important are the benefits of social interaction? Could just one activity help you live longer, enjoy better physical and mental health, and lower your risk of dementia? According to this article in Psychology Today all of these are possible from engaging in social activity. Wow! Let’s get out and see the people. if you can’t get out today, take advantage of positive social media and engage on-line. Have a great day. 🙂 Even better reach out to someone you know who isn’t able to get out. Give them a call or stop by for a visit. You both will benefit.
Who are you engaging with today?
Too often we think that improving our health has to be hard. We think about eating more vegetables and less sugar. We might think about fitting in 30-45 minutes of exercise everyday. Stress reduction and sleeping more, and, and, and. By the time we think of trying to accomplish all of that, we are exhausted. But how great is it that getting out and being with people can reap such huge rewards without the stress of thinking about all of those other important ways to get healthier?
Truthfully, it may be easier to do most of those other healthful activities if we spend some time focusing on this one solution. Meals shared with others, walks shared with others, and conversation shared with others all lead to improved health. It starts with that interaction.
No Better Time than the Present for Social Interaction!
Since Spring has finally sprung around here, let’s celebrate! Well, for the most part. We shouldn’t have to worry about ice on the roads or on the sidewalks. What a great time to be outside and enjoy the sunshine and a conversation with a neighbor.
Social interaction is still possible even if you are still mired in the cold of winter, reach out to others. Pick up the phone. Call a friend you saw last week or one you haven’t heard from in years. Reach out. It will do you and your friend a lot of good. Getting healthier can be fun and it doesn’t have to be hard.
Just in case you want to try one of those other mains ways of improving your health, check out this post about the benefits of sleep and how to improve yours.
Who are you reaching out to today? Let us hear about what you are doing to improve your health in a fun way with others?
Your story is important. Family history is your story, at least a big part of it. Your story has a foundation. Perhaps it is time to put that foundation into writing so future generations will have a greater understanding of their foundation. If you haven’t done this before or you did years ago, it is time to revisit your family tree.
Genealogy is one of the top hobbies across all age groups. It is a perennial favorite activity. Personally, I spend time almost every day researching some part of my family’s history. I have looked into my own family and my husband’s. I am yet to find any famous or notables among my own, but my husband has claim on a number of passengers on the Mayflower voyage to Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620. Regardless of the notoriety of your ancestors, each person is an important link to who you are today. Just think, if any link in the chain had been broken, you would not be here today.
When you are planning for retirement, do you primarily think about the financial aspect? There is no doubt that this is a critical component. Without diligent preparation financially, retirement may be short and require a return to the workforce, or retirement may be lived at a standard far below what you had anticipated.
But is that all there is to planning for retirement? Absolutely not!
Yes, we all have stress. It is a part of how we are made. Most of the time, most of us deal with stressful situations and move on. However, there are times in our lives when stress seems unrelenting and we remain in a state of heighten physical and emotional response. This is not good for our wellness, and really not good for no one around us. We do know that events are going to happen. We need to monitor our response to them. What we do on a regular basis can have a great impact on how we respond to those stress-inducing events. So before life throws “life” at us, let’s engage in habits that will help us have a healthier response.
I love my children, but 2 in 16 months does not equal quality sleep, or quantity either. They do have a lot in common, but when it comes to sleep, well…. Let’s just say one has always known the value of a good night of sleep and the other hasn’t ever really been a fan. Personally, I love sleep. When you are little you may have looked at having to take a nap as a punishment. Along with read a book and take a bath, having to take a nap was not fun. Now, those three would make a perfect afternoon.
Digital is giving way to paper in many ways. We still need to practice good important paper organization. Yes, we live in a digital age! Aren’t we supposed to living paperless by now? We are supposed by pay our bills on-line. Everyone says use credit cards or debit cards instead of cash. We don’t even have paper airline tickets most of the time. But we still have important papers that we need to track and keep organized. What are we supposed to do with them? What do we need to keep? How can we be sure that we are safely shredding or tossing the right papers in the recycling bin? Do you know where the important items are? Do your loved ones should something happen to you and someone else needs to access them?