Daily Spirituality

SCENARIO

Is your daily routine so fast paced that you get caught up in doing and lose the art of being? It can feel like you’re losing your connection with your spirituality or forgetting who you really are heart and soul. At times you may even catch yourself, especially at work, going against your personal values in order to do what you believe is best for your work.

CONSIDER THIS

VICKI:
It’s so easy to get lost in the everyday, especially at work. The most important thing we can do is to let our personal values, spiritual or otherwise, lead the way in our work life as well. It’s the difference between doing and being; most of us grew up being taught to do rather than be.

Take time during the day to just be; here are a few suggestions:
1. Meditate for two or three minutes. It clears your mind and can help you refocus on a busy day.
2. Say an affirmation hourly if possible. It should be a statement of intention for yourself and your day. You may choose to use the same affirmation hourly or change it to go with the flow of your day.
3. Keep a reminder of your values in a place where you can see it through your busy day. It may be a book that sits on your desk, a sticky note with a quote on your computer, or the old rubber band around your wrist – anything that has meaning to you.

JILL:
There is no doubt that when Monday morning comes around our busy lives can find us losing touch with ourselves spiritually. On the weekends it is easier to find the time that you need for a spiritual connection.
Be more aware of your weekly schedule and where your time is being spent. Are you doing something that you don’t have to do or don’t want to do? Can you instead use that time for yourself?

If a pocket of time cannot be found you may have to look for it in smaller increments.
Here are a few suggestions to help reframe your day:

1. Utilize unused time; get up earlier in the morning, 15 minutes at lunch or before going to sleep.
2. You can bookmark websites that have daily inspirational messages. I googled ‘daily spirituality’ and some helpful websites came up. Here are two –
New Spirituality Network
Belief net
3. Have a spiritual book, book on tape or meaningful music with you during your day. One of these is perfect while you are waiting for an appointment, on a coffee or lunch break or in a traffic jam.
4. After finishing your work try to take a few minutes to sit quietly.
5. Practice spiritual consciousness in your daily routine. Speak to people that you might not otherwise talk with, see opportunities for small acts of kindness & courtesy and be more aware of your imprint on the world.

Advertisements

When Being True To Yourself Means Saying No

QUESTION

My best friend and I have had a wonderful relationship for the past 18 years. We have been there for each other through thick and thin. She recently asked me for a favor that I feel is not in line with my spiritual beliefs and values. How can I be true to the both of us?

ANSWER

VICKI:
When we are true to ourselves we are always being true to the other; this is because we are all one. By giving yourself permission to say no to your friend’s request you model speaking your truth. That is an amazing gift to give someone.

If you were to go against your own principles it would be difficult for you to feel good with yourself and your friendship. There would be a good chance that resentment may come between you and your friend in time under those circumstances, possibly ruining a great and long-term friendship. Following our own inner value system is crucial to all of our relationships.

When you decline your friend’s request remember that it is not what you say and it’s how you say it. Remind your friend of your good feelings and wishes for her and then let her know that you cannot go against your own belief system. Someone who loves you would never want you to do that.

JILL:
Honesty is the best way to be true to yourself at this time and it will also mean that you maintain the integrity of your long friendship. Arrange to meet your friend in a restaurant that you both enjoy. A neutral place is the best backdrop in which to talk openly.
Once you are both there I cannot improve on Vicki’s advice “its not what you say and it’s how you say it…..”
Allow her to react, don’t be defensive, she will with time understand because as you wrote you have been through thick and thin together before.

Being True To Yourself – The Ultimate Life Change

QUESTION

My husband of 11 years is in counseling and recently revealed that he has been doing what everyone (mother, father, me, etc.) had wanted him to and it was time for him to start being himself. I said this is great but I’m left feeling betrayed (numb is more like it), like I don’t know who I married – I’m a work in progress but I’ve always been true to myself. What do I do now, things hadn’t been going that well between us for a number of reasons but I feel like he’s just finished us off.

ANSWER

VICKI:
Stop and take a deep breath. I understand that you feel betrayed and that is because you perceive your husband as having lied to you through your marriage. This is not the case. I doubt his intentions were to deceive; he was doing what he thought, at the time, to be the right thing. I believe he was acting in a way he felt was morally and ethically right; working at being the best husband and son that he could be.

It’s not uncommon for people to follow the belief system and teachings they were raised with and then in their 30’s, 40’s or 50’s discover that it isn’t working for them and they’re not happy. Believe it or not he’s in the majority of the population. As a psychotherapist I hear it all the time.

You need to consider that the reasons things haven’t been going well between your husband and yourself may have been due to his unhappiness with his life. It’s difficult to be supportive to the one you love when you have no clue as to how to be supportive to yourself. It’s also not uncommon for someone in this situation to become paralyzed and not function productively, therefore letting things slide. The good news is that the changes he makes may make all the difference in your relationship.

You are an articulate and intelligent woman and you need to realize that your husband’s past actions were born out of love not malice. The person that you married is still the same in his heart and soul; he is only looking to find the congruency with his actions. He is presently being very honest with you and most importantly himself.

If you have completely given up due to his past lack of support then there may be nothing left for you to salvage on your end. That is for you to acknowledge and claim responsibility for if it is true. Yet you must understand that if that is the case then this time it is your negativity of the situation that is finishing you off and not his.

To make this decision stop listening to the story you are telling yourself in your head and listen to your heart; the truth lies there.

JILL:
When we are in a relationship, somewhere along the way we tend to forget that we are not our roles/titles but are in fact an individual that is living, sharing & loving with another individual. I must therefore echo Vicki’s words, it was not your ‘husbands’ intention to deceive, he probably sincerely believed that he was being himself. But he is human, so time and life’s experiences have come together in such a way that he now realizes that he is not the person that he wants to be.

Let him take his journey and I would encourage you to give a lot of thought to your own, not as a wife but also as a woman. What do you want at this point in your life and where do you want to be as the years progress?

As you both discover the persons that you are now, you will be able to see if those two individuals can re-connect in your marriage or if you need to go in different directions.