by Lay Minister for Worship and Arts Susan Bennett.
In turbulent times like the ones we find ourselves in the midst of now, it can seem almost impossible to stay balanced and centered. Perhaps like me, you find yourself feeling alternately sad, frightened, angry and confused about where to best put your energies. So many emails, so many tweets, so many requests for your time, attention and resources. I find that I’m asking myself every day: “How can I best serve the values I hold dear and also maintain some level of equilibrium?”
I return again and again to spiritual practice. It keeps me grounded and gives me hope. Spiritual practice can sometimes be a complicated concept for UUs. Before we can practice it, we need to define it and for many of us that takes some time. For many years I thought I needed to decide what I believed before I could undertake spiritual practice. I also thought I couldn’t be any good at spiritual practice because I didn’t have the patience to sit and meditate. My mind was too busy and besides, I had important things to do! But now I’ve come to realize that spiritual practice can be almost anything that you engage in with the intention of connecting to that which is greater than yourself alone.
I engage in daily spiritual practice, though it’s not always the same practice. I’ve come to accept that different practices ebb and flow through my life and I have faith that if I follow my inner wisdom, I will engage in the practice that is most appropriate for the time. For me, the key is the word “practice.” Like learning any skill or art, you have to show up and do the work. So now I don’t worry so much about whether I’m doing it right, I just show up and engage. And often, when I’m done, I see the way forward more clearly, I have a greater sense of where I need to put my energy and I just feel calmer, which helps me be more effective in my life.
So if you’re feeling a bit battered by the storm, I encourage you to consider your relationship to spiritual practice. Attending Sunday services regularly is a great spiritual practice and there are many other opportunities at UUCF to engage in and learn about spiritual practice. A great place to start is the book “Everyday Spiritual Practice” edited by UU minister Scott Alexander. And if you have questions or need help in connecting to the spiritual resources at UUCF, contact me. You can find me most Sunday mornings at services at UUCF!