Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Does Having a Spiritual Practice Make a Person Optimistic?

Does having a spiritual practice, no matter what kind, tend to make us more optimistic?

My sense is that it does. If we have a practice, it tends to help us keep our bearings and see the bigger picture. For example, I am just as disgusted with the behavior of many corporations and government officials as other people. However, I keep in mind that if I keep on creating work that I love and focus on keeping appreciating the good people and the good things in my life that I will somehow make it through the difficult times. Staying connected to my spiritual roots gives me a way to connect with the universal life energy.

If we know that everything is cyclical, from the economy to fashion, our spirituality can give us the strength to do what we need to do to survive and succeed and also the patience to wait for the things that we cannot control to change.

In this way, spiritual practice and contemplative or reflective time that we set aside every day to connect with spirit serves to soothe us and bring us peace of mind. Something as simple as quietly enjoying a cup of tea, while simply mulling over our dreams, giving thanks for another day, pulling a card for the day, or reading something thought provoking can get our day off to a good start.

Pray or meditate in whatever way you see fit, and all the craziness in the world will seem a little less crazy. A sense of connection to spirit helps us discover the goodness in life and prompts us to look forward to doing whatever it is we do with renewed strength, vigor, hope and expectation of better things to come. Yes, this is an optimistic outlook.

To be spiritual is to know that whatever might be important right at this moment is not the way it always was or always will be. To be spiritual is to know that there are concepts that span great stretches of time and space. To be spiritual is to stretch our mind to embrace these larger concepts, these larger dimensions. To be spiritual is to greet this day and put one foot in front of the other as we walk toward our goal and look ahead to see what is on the horizon. If we are in touch with our spirit guides who walk with us, the conversation encourages us to keep on.

That is what our ancestors did. This is what we do.

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