We share with you a few of the 100 ways to keep your soul alive from the book authored by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat. These tips are not only excellent for personal reflection but may also be used for discussion in your Action Group Meetings. –Editor
Unwrap the Ordinary
Holiness comes wrapped in the ordinary. Every tree is full of angels. Hidden beauty is waiting in every crumb. >Spend a weekend afternoon on a treasure hunt for the sacred in your experiences of the past week. Where did holiness shine through?
Watch for Diamonds
Life itself is hazardous … There are sharp rocks everywhere. What changes from years of practice is coming to know something you didn’t know before: that there are no sharp rocks-the road is covered with diamonds. >Reflect upon an event in your life which at first seemed unpleasant but turned out to be a blessing.
Welcome Spiritual Opportunities
Waiting for a bus, standing in line at the market, being stuck in traffic become another chance to practice awareness. The usual frustrations of waiting and standing can be transformed into serious spiritual opportunity, a return to our pursuit of a more conscious, present existence grounded in respect for the sacred element in living. >The next time you have to wait somewhere, relax. Pay attention to your breath and the input of your senses.
Have a Hobby or Craft
The purpose of the craft is not so much to make beautiful things as it is to become beautiful inside while you are making those things. >When you are engaged in your favorite hobby or craft, tap into the positive feelings you have about yourself.
So many people don’t know how to inspire themselves. Use everything that moves you: music, walking by water, flowers, photographs of special memories. Inspiration helps so deeply in overcoming laziness, summons what the mystics call the fragrance of the Beloved into everything. >Compile a list of sources of inspiration for you, and set aside time to use one this week and every week.
Create a Place for Silence
When we make a place for silence, we make room for ourselves. This is simple. And it is radical. A room set apart for silence becomes a sanctuary, a spiritual shelter—a place for breath, for refreshment, for challenge, and for healing. >Decide what you need to do to transform a space in your home, even just a chair in your favorite corner, into a place for silence.
Step Aside and Let God In
It is the creative person who steps aside from himself or herself and lets God through, who manifests otherworldly creations, celestial music, and spirit-filled stories. Even an ordinary person can accomplish extraordinary things when he or she steps aside and lets God in. >Once in a while act in a nonhabitual way. For example, if you are right-handed, write in your journal using your left hand.
Labeling sets up an expectation of life that is often so compelling we can no longer see things as they really are. This expectation often gives us a false sense of familiarity toward something that is really new and unprecedented. We are in relationship with our expectations and not with life itself. >For one day consciously give up labeling everything. Monitor how this changes the way you respond to new experiences.
Hospitality is not kindness. It is openness to the unknown, trust of what frightens us, the expenditure of self on the unfamiliar, the merging of unlikes. Hospitality binds the world together. >Ask yourself: Where do you meet the Other in your daily experience? How can you welcome the unknown?
Expand Your Vision of ‘We’
How big is your ‘we’? Can we expand our vision of community beyond our own skin, family, race, tribe, culture, country, and species? Spiritual life is more than what we believe, it also includes how we relate. Who is included in the ‘we’ and who is not? That is both a spiritual and a political question. How we answer it will likely determine our future. >Get to know someone from a different group in your community, expand your friendships.
Native American cultures have a deep respect for the acceptance of our human imperfection. When weaving a rug, they will purposely include a flaw. This serves as a reminder that, while all that is humanly made is imperfect, it yet can reflect the beauty, reverence, care, and love of true creation. >Make peace with your imperfections, one at a time.
Excerpts from the book “100 More Ways to Keep Your Soul Alive” by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat