Sunday, August 21, 2011

Safe Space

Recently, I've been having trouble shutting off my mind at night. I worry about friends and the young people I work with. Swirling concern about their safety are loud in my head along with questions as to how I can be a support. One night at yoga, as a lay crying in shavasana, a visualization came to me.

An orchard of trees, bathed in golden light, tended to by a loving God. Beside one of the trees is a locked chest which holds securely all of my worried and racing thoughts. From the strong tree branches hang cocoons in which precious souls are sleeping. They are bundled up among blankets and pillows in an egg shaped structure, bound in soft cotton. A warm light comes from inside the cocoon as their glowing hearts rest. They sleep surrounded in safety, comfort, and unfailing love.

I'm certainly no artist, but this is the best rendering I could create:

If you are one I worry about, you too may find yourself resting here.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Rules for Life

One day last week at work we encouraged the youth to think about their rules for life and how they effect the way they live. Having rules to live by guide the choices we make, effect our self-talk, and influence the way we feel and experience life. They are also helpful tools when it comes to decision making. Whatever challenge you are faced with, you can measure it against your rules to see if it will help or hinder your ability to achieve these things and choose the option that will be most helpful on your path. 

Since I am someone who struggles with decision making, and believe that I should practice what I preach, I challenged myself to examine my own rules for life. And here is what I came up with so far...

Rules for Life

1. Every human life is created and cherished by God, treat them that way 
          This means we are all equal and all deserving of love and respect, regardless of life
          choices or circumstances. 

2. Trust that God is present and aware
          I carry with me many questions about why God does or does not intervene in
          situations. Despite this, I trust that God sees everything that happens to His children
          and is present with them in the circumstances.

3. Always act with integrity 
          I was thinking about a lot of different concepts that I try to live by - honesty,
          trustworthiness, loyalty - but I think the idea of integrity embodies all of these. The
          word integrity is derived from the Latin word integritatem, which means wholeness.
          Living with integrity creates an inner wholeness that comes from being congruent in
          thought, word, feeling, and action.

4. Trust your intuition
          This may seem like a hokey concept to some but I've been learning more and more to
          trust the things my spirit knows. John 14:16-17 says, "He will give you another
          Counsellor to be with you forever - the Spirit of truth... you know Him, for He lives
          with you and will be in you". My spirit and the Holy Spirit reside together and bring
          wisdom that should be trusted.

5. We are created for relationships, so invest in them
          Born out of the love of the community of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we are
          created to be in community. This means that our actions affect the whole of the
          human community as we are all connected and that it is of great importance that we
          foster and nurture strong relationships.

I'm curious... what are your Rules for Life?