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Everyday Spirituality

If we are aware, the opportunities are all around each of us, every day

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If you smile at someone, they tend to smile back. If you go out of your way to help someone, that person might in turn help another and so on.

You can practice being more spiritual in little ways that add up quickly to your being a more spiritual person. For example, there are relatively minor things you can do to start the process, although nothing is minor when it comes to acting spiritually.

Each little action sets in motion the potential for greater good. So, as you proceed through this list, don’t discount the value of engaging in any of these. They all have the potential to add up to more.

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Spirituality certainly does not have to be restricted to the confines of organized religion. Freed from the rules, restrictions, and impediments that organized religion may impose upon you, how and where might you be more spiritual in your life?

1. Spirituality Behind the Wheel

Sociologists tell us that when people get in their cars, they think they’re in some type of invisible vehicle. No one sees them as they motor down the road. If you curse or scream, who’s to know? Obviously, you’re not invisible and the way you conduct yourself as a motorist potentially impacts other motorists, as well as pedestrians.

The next time someone cuts you off in traffic, fails to use their turn signal properly or otherwise engages in improper driving, practice maintaining your composure.

Don’t curse, scream, or honk your horn. If the other person is in view, look at them blankly, but not with disgust or anger, or a mocking smile.

Often, the other party knows what they did wrong. If not, venting your spleen is not likely to change their behavior.

Each time you can remain composed, you increase the probability that you will be more composed in other aspects of your life. Perhaps you’ll even be kinder to people in face-to-face encounters when they commit a transgression.

If you travel frequently, say as part of your job, and often traverse high traffic arteries, chances are you’ll have an opportunity at least several times a week to practice engaging in small displays of spirituality. As a goal, why not establish for yourself one composed response per week?

2. Aid the Less Fortunate

It’s one thing to write a check to charity; it’s another to encounter someone who is in need and aid that person on the spot. As a small gesture of spirituality, what can you do for someone you see right on the street?

When you have shoes that you no longer wear, but are not necessarily in pieces, keep them in your trunk as you motor around town. Then, if you see a homeless person with less than sufficient footwear, and it looks like you might be roughly the same size, pull over.

Promptly get the shoes from your trunk, walk up to the person and say that you want them to accept the shoes. If he or she accepts, fine, bid them good day, and be on your way. If he or she chooses not to take them, that’s okay too.

Your goal in this area could be to give away each pair of shoes or other worthwhile item of clothing that you no longer want, perhaps on a monthly basis.

3. Serve as Part of a Group

If this is not your cup of tea, volunteer once a month to serve a meal at a local shelter for the homeless. If you’re a busy career type, perhaps serving dinner will work best for you. Whatever your preconceived notions about this may be, once you actually serve dinner to real live people, you’ll see that reality is different than you thought.

Perhaps you think that people would be reluctant to speak up for what they wanted. Or worse, they’d be groveling, and you would have to do your best to remain humble. Perhaps you feel like you’ll seem to be some kind of “goody-two-shoes,” dispensing dinners with an overly pleasant, “And how are you this evening? Here’s a nice dinner for you.”

Actually, none of the above usually happens. Person to person, you simply serve another, as if you were in partnership. More peas? Fewer carrots? It’s much more matter-of-fact than you might imagine. They’re appreciative but not groveling.

Note: Some people who show up at a shelter are well dressed. Perhaps they’re temporarily unemployed, or they had a financial emergency they were unprepared to handle.

The more often you serve others in this way, the easier it becomes to do it again. You start to get the notion that there are a lot more similarities between human beings than differences. The old axiom, “There but for the grace of God, go I,” is much more true than we all often acknowledge.

4. Seek the Good in Others

Will Rogers, a political satirist, entertainer, and beloved figure in the first half of the twentieth century allegedly said, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” Many people have interpreted Will Rogers to have meant that he could find something admirable in everyone he met. So, too, can we all.

Is there a co-worker with whom you have had a nasty relationship? Is there something good about this co-worker that you can draw upon, so that you can get yourself to  say something nice to him/her at your next encounter?

Is there a neighbor with whom you have had a continuing squabble? What would it do to your relationship if you sent your neighbor a card or a brief note that said something along the lines of, “I noticed how lovely your garden was the other day, and wanted to let you know that I appreciate the work you’ve done in maintaining it.”? Too syrupy, or, pardon the expression, too flowery? Guess again.

You’re going to be on this planet for finite amount of time. Do you want to go through your life trading hostilities with people, never having the where-with-all to restore some semblance of civility to the relationship?

List five people at work or elsewhere in your life with whom you may not have a good relationship, but whom you can acknowledge. Next to each person’s name, write a dash and then what is good about them.

5. Become a Better Listener

Listening is one of people’s most underrated skills. Your ability to listen to another person, giving him or her your full and undivided attention, can be an act of spirituality, particularly if the other person needs someone to listen to him/her. In this rush-rush world, too often we want people to summarize everything they say.

There’s a running joke that if Moses came down from the mountain with the ten commandments this afternoon, the evening news cast, instead of citing all the commandments, would report only the top three.

Human beings have a profound need to be heard. When you give others your full and complete attention, in essence, you’re telling them that you value them as a people. All activity and concerns in your life stop as the words and emotions of another person take on paramount importance.

Consider the people in your life who have mattered the most to you and, chances are, they were the people that listened to you best. Whether it was your parents, a brother or sister, a good friend, a relative, a teacher, a coach, a coworker, a mentor, or just somebody down the street, you tend to value those who value you by listening.

In Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse, the young Siddhartha speaks about his most well-developed skills. He can listen, he can fast, and he can wait.

These talents don’t seem like much to the Western mind, but they’re handy if you want to increase the spirituality of your life. As a goal, why not to listen in earnest to one person per week in the workplace whom you would not have otherwise given such time and attention?

At home, give your significant other one good listening to per day, and I promise things will go better. Do the same with each child.

6. Judge Deeds, Not People

It’s likely that you judge things, including others, all day long. Judgment is a necessary and practical skill. After all, if you want to choose the colleges appropriate for you, friends that share similar values, and the professional, social, and civic groups that you will enjoy being a part of, you need to make some judgments.

We all judge one another, however, sometimes harshly. Everyone can learn from each other. It is so easy to fall into that game, as Carl Rogers articulated, of “mine is better than yours.” It is too convenient to conclude that people who walk, talk, or look differently than we do, must be vastly different, and by extension, inferior.

Opportunities Abound

As you might have already concluded, it doesn’t take considerable effort to be spiritual and to engage in spiritual-type behavior that will benefit yourself, and benefit others. The opportunities are all around each of us, every day. All we have to do is to stay aware.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Covid

Give Me Liberty or Give Me The Vaccine

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Patrick Henry Speaking About Freedom

The American history books use to teach of a patriot named Patrick Henry.  Patrick Henry was a founding father of American.  Yes the term founding father is a term that Google still finds worthy as they identifies Henry as one.  Patrick Henry was a man who stood up to the oppression of King George.  In the second Virginia Convention in 1775, he proclaimed “give me liberty or give me death.”  In days past, Patrick Henry was a symbol of the American spirit of freedom.  His passion and his ability to communicate his desire for freedom are powerful words that continue to motivate bold and courageous leaders for the last 200 years.

Today it would be wise for patriot Americans who value freedom to again pick up this sentiment.  The call that freedom is the most essential component of existence which brings life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Vaccine Manipulation:

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President Joe Biden now declares that Americans who do not take the Covid19 vaccine are “not as smart as he thought they were” and that they (American citizens) are “a real problem.”

Many Americans believe in the vaccine, but they believe more in freedom.  Donald Trump, the leader of the Republic Party has also encouraged people to get the vaccine.  The vaccine is not a Republican or Democrat issue, but how the vaccine is administered very much speaks to how the political leaders look at freedom.

Free Americans should believe that the Government should not be able to dictate the health decisions that an individual should make.  They believe that they should have the ability to review facts and data and not be forced to make a decision about their health based on strawman arguments like you “if you care for your pet, you should get vaccinated.”

Maybe instead of shaming people or trying to bribe people into getting the vaccine, lawmakers should convince people on the merit of the issue and allow them to exercise their freedom to make the best choice for themselves and their country, after all that is what freedom is about.  Maybe President Biden could try to solve the real problem in the vaccine issue.  He could do that by answering the questions that many Americans are still looking for as they analyze their decision about their own health.  Answering any or all of the following questions would be a start:

Vaccine Questions About Covid19:

  1.  What are the top 3 risks that a person might experience with the Covid19 vaccine?  Instead of answering this simple question, those that are in charge get offended when people seek good answers to health.  It has been the history in America to outline the potential health hazards to the choices that people make such as a warning on a pack of cigarettes.  But this concept seems foreign to those that would like to manipulate the public to make a decision without a choice – that just seems wrong.
  2. Why does everyone need the vaccine, including those that already have had Covid19?  This is an honest question and one that Senator Rand Paul has asked.  There may be a case to be made for those who have had Covid19 to receive the vaccine, but it seems like no logical or rational person is making one.
  3. Is there anyone who should not get the Covid19 vaccines?  Health issues are very personal issues and often are different for people with different issues and demographics.  There has been very little talk in main stream media about exceptions to the vaccine and more and more talk about how even babies should be getting the vaccine.  John Hopkins recently misled their readers with statement on their website about children getting the vaccine – “Yes. Experts, including those at Johns Hopkins, believe that the benefits of being vaccinated for COVID-19 outweigh the risks. Although COVID-19 in children is usually milder than in adults, some kids can get very sick and have complications or long-lasting symptoms that affect their health and well-being. The virus can cause death in children although this is rarer than for adults.”  Further the CDC is now recommending the pregngnant women and new mothers who are breastfeeding should receive the vaccine.  They state on the website “Pregnant and recently pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people. If you are pregnant, you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy can protect you from severe illness from COVID-19.”  These kind of one sided statements, should be carefully read to consider the political biases of the organization.  One has to wonder if they are really concerned about the health of the individual or the health of the whole.  I would be very hesitate to recommend a trial vaccine to a pregnant woman when there has not been studies to show that no impact will be made on the mother of the child.
  4. Where did Covid19 orginate?  An essential question in the vaccine conversation, should be consideration as to where Covid orginated.  If Covid19 orginated in a lab as a way to kill off a part of the communist elderly in China, then that would dedicate who needs the vaccine.  The idea a communist country was developing a method to kill off part of their population for population control should be considered and explored.  Americans politicians on the left seem to forget that just a few years ago communist China limited the number of babies that their people could have and would kill a child if it was born and was above the number that the government dictated as acceptable.  It is fair for the American population to wait to understand where Covid19 began before making health choices about their own health.

These questions and many more still deserve an answer.  It is the responsibility of the leaders and press in a free country to answer the fair and honest questions of free people.  Until those questions, millions of Americans will still cry out “give me liberty, or give me the vaccine.”  These Americans still choose freedom first.

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Faith

Make Fiction Great Again: Interview with Jon Del Arroz

Make Fiction Great Again! Interview With Faith-Based Writer Jon Del Arroz

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Jon Del Arroz has been called the most important Hispanic voice in Science Fiction. His book, Glorified was the #1 Amazon Bestseller in Christian Science Fiction. He writes great books, with real stories, where there is a good guy, a bad guy, a conflict, the good guy wins, the bad guy loses, and the good guy gets the girl!

And he is unafraid to explore faith-based themes in his writing! Check out this awesome interview!!!

And go buy his amazing books!!!!

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