When we come to a new endeavor, it helps to approach with a beginner’s mind. When we decide to open our minds to other religious beliefs, carrying old beliefs from a previous religion can block our learning experience. I have never played the drums except to bang on them in an undisciplined effort to imitate what I’ve seen others do. The result is disappointing.
If I want to learn to play the drums, then I must enter the experience as a student who is open to the instruction of another. I must be willing to accept and open my mind to ways of holding the sticks and striking the drum. If I come with a closed mind, little will be accomplished.
When we are closed-minded about other religions and judge them based solely upon what we believe to be true, we fail to gain the experience and wisdom that can make our lives richer. So, we choose instead to open our minds and to approach with the attitude of knowing nothing. We engage as if our minds were blank slates, and allow the experience to unfold. Later we can decipher what we liked and what we didn’t, not based on past religious beliefs, but based on what brought us closer to Love and unity with one another.
As an author, I often struggle with the decision of knowing when to let go. When I work on a project, I try to make it as perfect as possible. What I’ve come to realize is that it will never be perfect and that I will always find ways to say something a little better or a little clearer. Authors struggle with clarity, because if the writing confuses the reader, then we have not communicated our message. Eventually we must decide to release our writing.
Releasing a book or an article and allowing it to be read by the public is a daunting prospect. Even though we want to be published, and we want others to read our words, we still struggle with acceptance. What if people don’t like my book? What if they disagree with what I said? These kinds of questions can keep an author from publishing their work. They can keep us withdrawn and afraid. But, if we want to make a difference, at some point we have to let go. Knowing when that moment is right can be tricky.
We don’t want to send out work that is loaded with mistakes. So, we go over the manuscript or article until we are sick of our own words and worry that no one will want to read our drivel. If we stay in this rut, our work will never touch another’s life. At some point, after we feel we’ve done the best we can, we simply abandon the project and send it out. The Divine will take it from there.
This newsletter may sound as if it’s intended for authors, but “knowing when” is important in many areas of life. When do I make a commitment to someone I like? When do I release my child into the care of the Universe and stop trying to micro-manage? When do I share my secrets and perhaps even my shame with someone so that I can further the healing process? We might miss the perfect opportunity if we are too cautious, and we might regret moving forward if we are not cautious enough. Balance is crucial, listening to our instincts is important, but at some point we must decide to take a chance if we ever hope to improve our lives and also the lives of those around us.
Sometimes our routines weigh us down to the point that we feel physically tired, mentally drained, emotionally wasted, and spiritually unclean. We’d like to get away from it all, but our next vacation may be nowhere in sight. How do we recover? When we’ve done some exhausting physical work, it always feels nice to rest awhile and then take a warm bath or shower. The physical work allows us to release tensions, concentrate on something else, and focus on the task at hand. The shower allows us to freshen and feel clean once more.
When we find ourselves in need of a spiritual lift from the everyday drudgery, a spiritual shower can work wonders. This sometimes occurs at a place of worship on a Sunday morning, but it can also be created in our homes. The feeling we want to create is that of being bathed in the flow of Light and Love. We may have a favorite mediation CD that can facilitate this feeling. If not, then simply taking a few minutes to relax and imagine drops of love splashing all over our bodies can give us the feeling of Love being showered all over us.
We can also find renewed energy by listening to the sounds of nature. For those who live in the city, many CDs are now available which have recorded nature sounds. But, other sounds work for us as well. Some enjoy a symphony. Others enjoy religious or spiritual praise music. Some enjoy chants. There is a large variety of musical sounds that can help us feel as if we are being bathed in love.
Music isn’t the only means of taking a spiritual shower. For some, reading and meditating works wonders. For others, taking a walk or watching an uplifting program helps bring our spiritual focus back to The Divine with renewed energy. And, don’t overlook the value of laughter. Stone Eleven reminds us to choose laughter as the notes of our song. Personally, a good, hearty, belly laugh does wonders for my emotional well-being. Sometimes it helps to be around children because they know how to laugh and have fun. Whenever we are prone to take ourselves too seriously, whenever we are burdened by the everyday cares of life, we can take a few minutes out of our day and enjoy a spiritual shower.
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Our purpose is to help individuals to heal who have been injured by religion or the religious. We welcome your comments and questions.