Skirting the Forest

Today is one more day after Christmas. It’s also a fresh new slate upon which we can create another 24 hours. The joy of the day is available to all of us – if we choose to appreciate it. This is an excellent time to check our spiritual toolboxes, and to review what the tools are and what they mean. We are so fortunate to be living in a time where we have others to support us on this path. That’s a very powerful tool, for we can follow our own thoughts into some pretty dark forests, but with the help of others, we can find our way back into the sunlight of the spirit.

Action: Take some time today to look at the many tools you have gathered for staying on your spiritual path. Choose one and use it.

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The Ruts of Christmas Past

The day after Christmas can be a tricky time for those on a conscious spiritual path, and it’s filled with opportunities. Many of the people around us are dealing with emotions that are difficult and painful. Unfulfilled expectations of themselves and others, fear of having done too little or being unappreciated, after-effects of social situations that were difficult, wonderful visits from friends or relatives coming to an end, and the realization that many of us have spent too much money once again. It’s especially important to be aware of what’s important to us today – and to forgive ourselves and others for any misconceptions or attachments that do not serve us.

Action: Pray for inner peace today – for yourself and others. It’s a bumpy ride for a lot of people.

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No Matter What

Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, it’s today. No matter how you feel about this holiday, you can use it to expand your spiritual appreciation. Birth is a powerful metaphor. Awareness, consciousness, and love are alive and well, and by choosing to acknowledge the joy of this idea, this can be a glorious celebration.

Action: Celebrate the gift of awareness today. It’s incredible enough to know we are loved, but to know we are capable of loving is the most incredible gift of all.

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Better Watch Out

Every year, many of the same films and music and stories are repeated at Christmas time. If you take a close look, the same theme runs through most of them – love and service to others. We can choose how we view all of this – it can either be irritating to see that people are nice only at particular times of the year, or we can see it as a wonderful opportunity for some people to absorb some new attitudes. Maybe if they try on a little kindness, it might stick. And maybe if we think the best of people, it might stick with us, too.

Action: Spend the day noticing the ideals of Christmas, and be especially on the lookout for acts of kindness and generosity. They seem to show up when you watch for them without expecting them.

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Yule Have Opinions

If you are in the Western World, you most likely have an opinion about Christmas. Television, radio, musical entertainment, discussions almost everywhere – it’s all about Christmas, whether we like it or not. This is another opportunity for practicing acceptance. By not fighting, it is possible to enjoy some facets of Christmas – whether it’s the lights, the raised energy levels, the excuses for gift-giving and charitable donations, or the delight of children.

Action: Make a list of what you like and don’t like about the Christmas holidays. Find one thing on the negative side that could possibly be moved into the positive column through a change in attitude.

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Judging Gotrocks

Judgment of others is particularly easy when it comes to finances. Many of us think that to be rich is to be tainted in some way. Without realizing it, we can also look down on people who don’t have enough money to provide for their basic needs. It’s natural to have opinions about these things; the whole process of “natural selection” means that we are constantly evaluating which us are the best models for carrying on the species. Having that awareness can keep us from taking our judgments too seriously.

Action: Observe other people today, and when you notice a judgment, just file it without a condemnation, either for yourself or for the person you judged.

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The Buck Is Here

A lot of people believe that if they had more money, they would feel better and be happier. While we know better spiritually, it’s also a fact that we need to live on this planet. Having money gives us the power to live as we would choose to live, it allows us to take care of our needs and the needs of those we love, and it also empowers us by letting us share it with the rest of the world. There’s nothing wrong with money. It’s the fear of not having enough that causes the rift between us and our Higher Power. God is your Source, and it’s okay to let abundance into your life.

Action: Take a close look at your attitude towards money today. Is it okay to enjoy money? Are you fearful of not having enough? Just notice.

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Grain of Sand Honesty

People hurt themselves in lots of different ways – by using harmful substances, by engaging in harmful behaviors, by neglecting aspects of their lives. Being “awake” often means that we can see a lot of this self-hurting more clearly than ever before. Does letting go mean that we should never say anything about what we see? What about honesty and truth telling? Usually, the most respectful and helpful approach is to be microscopically honest – rather than giving someone your analysis of a situation (the “why”), simply report how their behavior is affecting you (the “what”), and offer to help if they want help. It’s up to the other person to decide what they are going to do with that information. One thing to remember: God is in their lives, too.

Action: Choose one person whose behavior is self-destructive, and make a list of the ways in which their behavior affects you. Include not just your feelings (sadness, anger, etc.) but also the externals, if applicable (costs you money, makes you work harder, leaves you with a mess, etc.). Be clear about the what and not the why.

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Holding Very Loosely

When we let go of something, does that mean we stop all action around it? Not necessarily. A good example is relationships. By admitting to ourselves that someone is the way they are, and that we are not going to change them, it means we can let go of our attempts to make them different. It doesn’t mean we need to abandon them OR stay with them. The letting go is really about letting go of the behavior that doesn’t work – it doesn’t mean we can’t develop more loving and appropriate behaviors in that same situation. And sometimes prayer is the action we need to take.

Action: Look at the situation you chose yesterday – the one you let go of. Decide whether there is a behavior that you can take that is loving and supportive, rather than an attempt to control. Deliberately take an action (or do nothing, which is also an “action” when you  do so with love).

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Flailing Is Overrated

Acceptance may appear to be giving in and coming from a position of weakness, but it is in fact an act of courage – the willingness to admit that it is in your best interest to stop fighting. By stepping aside, we provide the opportunity for our Higher Power to take over. When we stop flailing about, we become embraceable.

Action: Choose one situation that has been an ongoing challenge, and consciously hand it over to God.

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