Sharin the Journey: a note from the Director

Peace in Preparedness.

by: Peggy Mason

child attempting to bake, has hands on her head

Don’t we all wish we were prepared for anything?  Really?  Who in their right mind wants that?  If we live our lives in a state of constant preparedness, all the joy would be sucked right out.  Wouldn’t we miss spontaneity, the spur of the moment opportunities and adventures, what about surprise, what about the unknown or unexpected, and what about the thrill of anticipation?

This time of year is a time of preparing. Many people begin preparing for the holidays, preparing for vacation, preparing for gift exchanges, preparing for the year end reconciliations, preparing for the New Year, we even prepare for the flu season.  Since the very state of preparing means we are looking towards the future, the “doing and busyness” of preparing can really take away from the importance of today.  Now, please don’t think that this means all preparation is bad or that the things we prepare for are not important.  The point is all too often our attempts to prepare get out of balance and lead people down a path of unhealthy results. We begin feeling overwhelmed and stressed, many articles have been written on the theme of how to remove stress from your holiday planning.  To put things back in balance we need to move away from the external preparedness and move towards a sense of internal preparedness.

Spiritual preparedness is an internal experience different than just a state of readiness. It does not mean a specific religion, it doesn’t even need to be a religious state.  It just means getting your core value and belief system in check.  Spiritual preparedness is of even greater value and importance as it provides a much deeper and more meaningful perspective.

Now, doesn’t that sound like something we all need, not just at this time of year? There are many ways for us to begin this Spiritual preparedness in our lives.  Starting slowly will build success into your efforts.  Understandably many of us have overlapping obligations in our schedules; we certainly don’t want to add another 20 minutes into our already overloaded 24 hour day. But even a couple of minutes can help to identify areas where you can simplify and refresh your spirit. Think about taking the time that you are getting ready for work or school in the morning, or your driving to your first appointment of the day, the break in the morning schedule, or your lunch hour. Choose one of these routine times and rather than catching up on the phone with someone, or checking your emails, Facebook, etc. engage in a grounding mindfulness practice in order to connect to your spiritual self.  For just a few moments take note of how you are feeling physically.  Is there tension anywhere in your body, are you tired, notice your breathing, how do your clothes feel against your skin?  Focus on what feels positive in the moment and bring those good feelings to the stressed areas of your body.

woman leaning back in a chair with a laptop open in front of her

Taking the time, even just a few moments a day to rejuvenate our inner self will make a difference. Then as the days go by perhaps you will start to find it important to take a few more minutes for yourself, you will leave the radio off in the car, not turn on the TV or computer as soon as you walk in the door, and perhaps even turn off the phone….okay, so that may be a bit of a stretch for most of us.  Allowing yourself to connect with the part of you that desires this new found spiritual preparedness will be a release from the bondage of all the other preparing we do.

When we begin to change our daily schedule a little at a time, we will loosen up the strain of overload that so many of us have. This is when we will find the peace in preparedness that our souls are searching for.