In November, I gave a workshop on integrating spiritual care with mind and body health. Too often we compartmentalize, losing a sense of wholeness. Even if you consider yourself an atheist or humanist, there is something holy, divine and inherently spiritual about your being.
One of the questions explored involved meaning and purpose. Finding relevance in a cold, complicated world is a very personal matter that can only be explored by crafting questions unique to one’s sojourn. Crafting and living those questions can bring on a new awakening about who we are and our place in the world.
“What is the meaning of life?” and “Does God exist?” are circular questions too often asked with much energy wasted. The better questions involve an individual’s meaning in life at the present and how you “experience” something holy, joyful and meaningful today. In using the word holy, I don’t mean angels or hearing the voice of a supreme being, though it’s perfectly acceptable if you have the benefit of such grace. Instead, I’m referring to our individual sacredness and making an integrated connectivity to life and community. Put another way, think of yourself as a “creator” who can channel energy to bring about good things. [pullquote]“What is the meaning of life?” and “Does God exist?” are circular questions too often asked with much energy wasted.[/pullquote]
This channeling “creates” blessings for yourself and others, including those difficult to like, in an ever unfolding cosmos. The cosmos offers an open invitation to create goodness by directing energy. If you’re a person of faith, consider yourself a “co-creator” with the Creator, helping to bring heaven on earth using your personal energy to fuel greater love, kindness, empathy, and compassion. If you’re without belief, you are still empowered to create by managing energy.
Today, at this moment, is your reality. What will you create with your energy? Will you ask for the manager at a restaurant to compliment a member of the wait staff for great service? Will you go to the kitchen door and ask for 30 seconds of the chef’s time to gush over the meal? Will you buy a colleague a cookie or cup of coffee for no other reason than because they were having a tough day?
How will you engage in one act of kindness for a stranger or a difficult co-worker? Bring in a fresh baked pie. Walk around with an open box of chocolate at the office. Consider contacting Black and Pink, get a mailing list, and commit to sending out holiday cards to incarcerated LGBTQ folks.
At the time you read this, the holiday shopping season will likely be in full swing. Please don’t shop till you drop. Doing so will not be true to your Creation as the Creator intended.
In addition to boycotting the so-called holiday classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for its awful message to children (you’re no good unless you can be used), scale back spending just a bit. If you must buy physical gifts, be sure they’re less expensive so you have the resources to make a donation in a loved one’s name. Consider a financial offering in their name for a homeless shelter, Human Rights Campaign, an animal rescue organization, American Civil Liberties Union (ALCU), or the Ali Forney Center that supports LGBTQ homeless youth, among many other possibilities.
Help channel energy and create something positive using direct acts of kindness and a donation to a good cause on behalf of someone else.
*Paul is an attorney, seminary-trained priest and founder of CorporateChaplaincy.biz, a firm committed to the spiritual wellness of professionals. He is also author of “Lost Sense of Self & the Ethics Crisis: Learn to Live and Work Ethically.”