Between the novel coronavirus, the fires and smoke, and the news, it feels a bit overwhelming these days. Even as many of us were feeling overwhelmed already with the start of school and, well, just life.

We all know the ways to care for our bodies: wash our hands, wear a mask, rest, eat good food, move our bodies.  How are you taking care of your spirit?

Many of the things that are good for our spirits are good for our bodies and minds, too: slowing down, pausing, reflecting, writing, meditating, meditative movement, talking to someone, attending worship service, or other spiritual community events, expressing love, compassion, and gratitude.

These aren’t just more items to add to our To-Do list.  These are things that help us stay well and whole. The world needs you and each of us to be well and whole. We need each other to be well and whole.  The Spirit of Life needs us to be well and whole.

So, I invite you to take a moment to ask how you are taking care of your spirit.  Here are some tips:

Pick a spiritual practice or two.  It doesn’t have to be big or long or complicated.  Take 3 deep breaths, light a chalice, be still for 5 minutes, take a 10-minute walk, call or text a loved one.

Make a plan for doing your practice: set a time each day or give yourself a reminder.

Just do it.

Commit to do it again, even if you forget.

Also, remember that what you do once or for a while may not be what you need that moment or going forward.  As we change and grow, our spiritual practices change.  It’s OK to do something else for a while. Just do something to feed your spirit.

To help you get started, here is a poem adapted from the words of UU Minister Caitlin Cotter Coillberg, who serves in Charleston, West Virginia.  You can read it on your own.  And I offer a reading of it and a time of silence in the recording below.

May you be well and whole.

Blessings on your week.

Rev. Mary

 

“As Fires Loom” 

By Rev. Caitlin Cotter Coillberg  

Spirit of Life and Love, we gather today under smoky skies, 
Aching from the onslaught of the daily news, 
Our spirits weary and sore, 
Our nerves jangling with every loss of power, every alert on our phones 

Our thoughts are with the firefighters and all those whose bodies continue to be on the line, 
Our hearts with every person who has lost a home or a place of work or a special piece of wilderness, 
Our minds with the unfolding effects of climate change and the path ahead of us. 

As sirens sound in the distance, 
We pause here to center ourselves once again- 
To transform our tension into tranquil readiness, 
Our fear into loving purpose. 

May we find in this time a moment of calm amidst the wind churned ashes, 
May we find in this space a sanctuary to breathe, 
May we find in this community reminders that we are enough, and we are not alone. 

I invite you to breath in the quiet with me for a moment, 
to take in the serenity of this moment together 
and breathe out more love into the world. 

Come, let us sit in silence and settle into the peace of this time together. 

(pause, count to 5, take a breath in and out)