Archive for June, 2011

Celebrate your true freedom

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

On this holiday weekend in the U.S., we celebrate the freedoms rebels and protesters in the Arab world demand. Yet as I listen to their cries, they ask not only for the right to speak freely and assemble as a people. They repeatedly ask to be treated with “dignity” by their government.

To be treated with dignity is to be listened to with respect, to know your needs and desires are being thoughtfully considered, to be assured your opportunities to earn a living and raise a family are protected.

The desire for dignity arises from our own interior freedom.  If we listen to our authentic selves, if we take care of our emotional, physical and spiritual needs and if we use our talents to not only earn a living, but also make a contribution to the larger community, we experience the integrity at the heart of dignity.

As you grill out on your patio this weekend, watch fireworks, and spend time with family and friends, spend a few minutes each day in solitude. Celebrate your own interior freedom–the freedom to be your true self in relationship with what you regard as sacred in life. 

Diane Glass

Create a Retreat for Yourself at Home

Friday, June 10th, 2011

No matter what you do, it’s likely that your days are driven by deadlines, To Do lists, obligations and schedules. Then, when you sit down to watch the news or check your email, you’re blasted with bad news, spam and headlines about what seems to be global insanity.

If you feel the pull of the world sapping your energy, it’s time to reconnect with yourself, nature, and Spirit.

You don’t need a whole day or weekend to create your own mental and spiritual getaway. Even 30 minutes can be enough to help you restore balance. Here are some of our favorite ideas for creating your own at-home retreat:

• Make your ears off limits to any media for as long as your retreat lasts. If other people in your home listen to the TV, radio or other sources of chatter, find a spot where you can experience quiet.
• Begin your retreat with ritual. In a place that feels sacred to you, ask for Spirit to guide and comfort you. Take a moment to create an intention for your retreat. Is there a particular question or issue you’d like to focus on?
• Spend time journaling. If you have a favorite form of journaling, great. If not, try a new approach. For instance, ask a higher part of yourself to weigh in on your key question, then see what emerges in your journaling. Just put your pen to paper and keep writing for at least 10 minutes, no matter what.
• Make a gratitude list. Write down at least 50 things you’re grateful for. Review your list. Then, with your “attitude of gratitude,” see your thankfulness as an expanding ball of light. See it growing as big as your property, your neighborhood, your state, your country, and then see it encompass the entire world. Ask Spirit to bless the planet with your gratitude. How does it feel to create a world of thankfulness?
• Spend time outdoors. It could be walking, sitting under a tree, or digging in the soil. Look for one thing that speaks to you. Examine it carefully. Do you observe anything about it you haven’t noticed before? What unique qualities does it have? How does it feel to acknowledge and honor its attributes this way? Now take a few minutes to imagine that it’s observing you. What gifts and graces does it see in you?
• Find a book that has inspired you and open it at random. How does the passage you find relate to or inform the questions you’re asking during your retreat?
• End your retreat with ritual. Write down key insights or feelings you experienced during your retreat time. Tuck the page in an envelope and date it six months from now. Make a note to open the envelope on that date and see how any seeds you may have planted or restored in yourself during your retreat have grown or flourished.