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Everyday Spirituality

Everyday Spirituality

Movie Review, I Am

posted by Cheryl Petersen

Tom Shadyac, a movie producer, went on a crusade to figure out what was wrong with our world and how we can fix it. He documented his discoveries in the film “I Am.” After meeting and talking with prominent people and leading thinkers in the world, his conclusion was that we must look at what is right in the world and try to cultivate it.

He visited the Heartmath Institute, dedicated to helping people connect with themselves and nature, and the results they’ve found resonate.

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The brain isn’t the source of intelligence. The heart is a hub of thoughts and emotions that actually affect the brain. For example, anger tends to stop the brain and we make stupid decisions. Constituents at the Heartmath Institute mentioned the fact that what they are finding has been known and taught for millenniums by religious leaders and gurus.

I’ve learned through Christian Science that I can accept thoughts from God, not the human mind, and respond to life much better. I can also utilize the thoughts of divine Mind, God, Love, to protect myself from greed, envy, and hate.

Psalm 16:7

New International Version (NIV)

I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.

 

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Zen Kitty and Thunder

posted by Cheryl Petersen

We’ve been having some rather striking thunder and lightning storms here in upstate New York. They kind of scare me. I watch how people do incredible things but can only realize that God is more amazingly powerful.

 

Job 37:5

New International Version (NIV)

God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways;
he does great things beyond our understanding

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Followers Can Be Leaders Too

posted by Cheryl Petersen

Leadership Challenge, written by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, is above-average in thoroughness. The book gives a detailed description of what an effective manager is and how to acclimate one’s self to leading into a promising future.

Not everyone is going to be a leader as far as the world’s definition of a leader is concerned. But, we all are leading whether we know it or not. Even as followers, we can be stellar followers and actually be leading others to follow profitably also. Just as lousy followers lead others to follow lousily.

Leaders and followers can’t be filled with suspicion, a reluctance to risk, and a superiority complex. Leadership Challenge points out that equality and respect and forward movement must be across the board.

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Useful leaders are the model of innovation and inclusiveness. Useful followers are the model of support and trust.

Useless leaders are the model of stagnation and isolation. Useless followers are the model of distraction and complaint.

Leadership Challenge asks the reader to “suspend their judgment,” long enough to think, re-evaluate, and learn how to meet the needs of the customer or world better.

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Investing in Profitable Spiritual Emotions

posted by Cheryl Petersen

Emotions are varied and across-the-board, like cold cereals. And, I’ve learned to buy into the humdrum Crispix rather than the sugary Cocoa Puffs when it comes to emotional investment. Emotions are feelings which characterize our attitude, which in turn makes a big difference in how our day goes. And I’ve concluded, it pays to invest in reliable steady spiritual emotions.

Financial investors are trained to master their emotions when making decisions and advising. Marriage Counselors remind couples to remove the emotions of infatuation or anger from their relationship in order to advance honesty and common sense.

An emotion is a natural instinctive state-of-mind connected to our circumstance, mood, or relationship with others. It’s a feeling, such as anger, love, hate, obsession, horror, joy, which influences our attitude. But what emotions do we invest in? Finding the answer can be tricky.

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Religion helps us find answers, but one must be careful. For example, I was sick with a Streptococcus that caused a terribly infected ear to drip, drip, drip pus. I did not want to invest in the gloomy doctor’s prediction so I took advantage of my certainty that God heals. I sang a hymn with words written by 19th century religious leader, Mary Baker Eddy, part of it reading, “Thou wilt bind the stubborn will, Wound the callous breast, Make self-righteousness be still, Break earth’s stupid rest. Strangers on a barren shore, Lab’ring long and lone. We would enter by the door, And Thou know’st Thine own.” And amazingly, my infected ear stopped producing puss, before I was done with the song.

Was I impressed? You bet. To this day, I can be filled with strong emotion recalling that healing. But, I remind myself not to invest heavily in the emotional passion of amazement tied to that song, or I’d end up adoring the song and neglecting God, the real healer. To be emotionally invested only in that which impresses me personally, or impresses a select few people, is not inclusive or profitable. In all reality, the words to that song mentioned above, may put other people to sleep.

We yield high returns when we capitalize on God, divine Spirit, which is expressed practically and modestly in the lives of human beings. We do have feelings but they are inclusive and wise to the bigger picture. I find there is less human melodrama when I invest in spiritual feelings, while the emotions of empathy, happiness, and mindfulness are very worthwhile.

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