Saturday, October 29, 2016

How to Prepare to Vote Spiritually

Every year I try to decide how to vote without being consumed by the news of the latest attacks on one candidate or another.

Every year I wonder how our country has survived such scandal and cruelty in our election process.

Every year I want to be a tiny bit of sanity and kindness in the process.

Last year I was sick when the election came around, so for the first time in my life I didn't vote even though there were candidates I supported.  I know about early voting so this year I have choices about when to vote so surely I'll feel well enough to vote one of those days.  It's only a little over a week away so I'm preparing by studying the State Questions, praying and researching articles about spiritual preparation.  I found an article by Rev. Frederick Schmidt that helped me.  Here's my summary:

       * Don't vote from fear and/or anger.  Explore the causes of those feelings.  Think about solutions.              Find candidates that support those ideas or solutions.

       * Remember that character assassination doesn't help assess character.

       * Remember that after the election we all have to live together.  That's democracy.  Look for                     candidates that seem to be capable of that.

      *Voting requires us to be realistic about what our leaders can actually accomplish.  Look for                    candidates that are realistic.

      *Voting requires that we look beyond our own needs and the needs of the people we agree with                and vote for candidates that seem likely to serve ALL the people.

     *Look for candidates that look into the well-being of future citizens.

    *Pray for humility, wisdom, and perspective.  Sit in quiet humility and self examine so that our                 love of God and others drives our decisions.

This article was extremely helpful to me.  Maybe it will be to you too.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Benefits of Mentoring Others.

I've been missing my blogs for awhile now.  I read other people's and love them and miss writing mine. it is again.

I've had the honor for several years now of being asked to mentor a few people in recovery.  I, of course, hope they benefit, but for sure I benefit more.  Every time I suggest that someone practice a new behavior or thought pattern I realize that I could benefit from doing the same thing.

I don't suggest things that I haven't done and benefitted from myself,  but most things I've tried were good for a lifetime and not just a one time deal to solve one problem.  So...sure enough going back to a spiritual practice I've forgotten about is almost a thrill.

In the past week or so, I've suggested writing out decisions made with the help of a Higher Power and a wise person, and then reading what we've written every day for as long as it takes to integrate the new idea into my soul. 

This practice reminds me of my meditation practice.  I really only stay in the peaceful silence for about four breaths before my mind wanders.  After awhile I remember what I'm doing and return to the silence.  It lasts about four breaths...The same thing happens with decisions.  My mind wanders.  The events of the day take my attention.  The next thing I know I'm back practicing old ideas and habits. 

Thanks to my own mentors, I have a whole lot more patience with myself than I used to.  The mantra needs to be "never, never, never, ever give up."

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