When I sit down to write this I look back over the week and look for points of interest that I can share with you. This past week has been very historical in our country and historical at Unity Center for Spiritual Growth as well. I am so excited to share with you the unveiling of the new lady’s restroom. If you have been a part of this ministry for any length of time you know how important this is to the women in our community. The tour below is given by Forrest, our contractor who did the work of transforming this room.
This past Sunday was the second talk in the series “The Journey Through the Gifts of Winter.” It was “The Joy of Rest.” The message focused on three parts. The sabbath which is aligned with our emotional wellbeing. Sleep aligns with our physical wellbeing and finally meditation that we all know is for our spiritual wellbeing.
I often tell you that I give these talks for myself and if you benefit as well, that is a plus. This talk is definitely for me. I told you I would share some specific thoughts with you in this article. They come from Cheryl Richardson’s book The Art of Extreme Self-Care on sleep. I shared how Cheryl was writing a book, caring for her seriously ill spouse, and building a house…here is what she shared: “I felt like a pressure cooker ready to blow, and as a result, I did what I normally do when faced with having too much to do: I sucked it up, hunkered down, ignored my needs and tried to do everything myself.”
When she no longer could hold it together, she went to her therapist. The words from the therapist are certainly for me…she said: “It seems to me when you feel burdened you do the opposite of what a human being needs to do. Instead of clearing the decks, asking for help, and giving yourself space to breathe, you fall into a pattern of self-neglect. Rather than asking yourself what you need, you shift into overdrive and immerse yourself in the needs of others. I’d say it is time to put an end to this legacy of deprivation, wouldn’t you?”
The questions I ask you and me is this: What might we feel deprived of:
- Emotional support
- Time to yourself
- Physical energy
- Peace – are you worrying all the time?
- Hope – afraid things won’t get better?
You notice sleep is at the top of the list…
- What do you need more of right now?
- What do you need less of?
- What do you want right now?
- Who or what is causing you to feel resentful and why?
- What are you starving or yearning for?
These questions are not rhetorical…I am inviting you to use them to examine your life.
There is a lot more to gain from the message this week.
Here is the poem Sabbath written by Curtis Beaird:
That time when the noise of demand, the need to control, the illusion of power and property ceases to hold sway. The vision and dream are made of gift and promise, love and silence, hope and future.
The soul is permitted the luxury of being still; the mind’s eye envisions the land of promise. You become quiet. Demands, both inner and outer are suspended. The Sabbath offers a moment when we are complete, whole, integrated, fully alive, fully together; one, at least with ourselves.
The Sabbath provides a chance to be comfortable and comforted in an out-of-control world. A world short on care and long on sensation and threat. A world that addresses the dark with a thrill and flees from the healing grace of silence.
The Sabbath settles as well as excites. The hope found in the Sabbath generates the excitement of possibility rather than the escape of distraction. The Sabbath heals as well as calls. The Sabbath collects, gathers and inspires us to the highest and best. The Sabbath is invigorating.
It shows us more than the obvious and looks past the pain.
The practices this week are below. I hope you are enjoying the extra material you have been given with this winter series.
Next week is “The Wisdom of Nature.”
You will find information for the Season of Nonviolence which begins on Saturday, January 30.
The practice this week:
Integrity… Do the right thing. Spike Lee used these words as a title for one of his movies. When faced with a choice this week, listen to your conscience. You know what’s right. Do it.
You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey
P.S. Wednesday, Jamuary 27 at 6:30 p.m., if you would like to discuss the message from Sunday, here is the link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81805451262
Your Weekly Gifts of Winter
January 27 – Make yourself a cup of something warm – coffee, tea or hot chocolate, for example – and take your time sipping slowly and enjoying.
January 28 – Winter is a time to slow down and reconnect. Take time today to call a friend and breathe into the conversation.
January 29 – Stretch… with yoga, tai chi, or simply reaching high above your head. Move slowly and deliberately, honoring your body.
January 30 – Rest your senses and input overload. Unplug from all technology for a day, or even a couple of hours.
January 31 – Sunday Service:
February 1 – Contemplate and journal on “Questions To Ask Yourself In Winter.”
February 2 – Listen to Variations on the Kanon from George Winston’s album, December
February 3 – Spend time in nature… journal your observations.