Dear friends and members,
How is it with your spirit?
For the past three years I met monthly with a Spiritual Director who asked me this question at the beginning of every session. At first, as I can sometimes be… I was a little cynical. Why don’t you just ask me how I am?! But I softened with time and came to realize that these are not the same questions. And they are equally vital.
So… how is it with your spirit these days?
If you’re not sure, you’re definitely not alone. Sometimes we masterfully avoid the question because we don’t have time to pause long enough to know the answer. Or we don’t like our answer. Or we’re afraid that if we acknowledge the true weight we are carrying, it would be too much to bear. But our spirits have so much to tell us.
I try to remind myself that emotions are just energy-in-motion. A while back I listened to a podcast on the neurology and psychology of emotions, learning that all emotions have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Like a tunnel, the only way out is through. While we can’t always change the circumstance at the root of an emotion or eliminate the “stressors”, we can carry on through the tunnel to the other side, completing the cycle of stress. Letting spirit move and breathe.
How do we move through the tunnel, then? Physical activity, breathwork, positive social interactions, laughter, crying, creative expression, rituals. All of these can help us to get un-stuck, to move through our emotions to the other side. And since our emotions can settle into our spirits… these practices become spiritual in nature.
One of my go-to care practices is getting myself to the ocean. My partner Laura and I walk the beach as often as we can, usually a few times per week. It’s where we move, breathe, and complete the cycle of emotions that have built up through our ministries and lives. Where I have the space to wonder how it even is with my spirit?! I wonder, how do you tend to your energy-in-motion? Do you need to carve out some time to do so with more intention?
One of the most powerful gifts about being part of a faith community is that we know we don’t do this work alone. We bear witness to one another. If you could use a witness or a listening ear, a companion in the work of spirit tending, don’t hesitate to reach out. I always love to hear from you.
I’ll be away this Sunday, so when we worship together again on 10/30 we’ll be talking about fear and faith. I’m looking forward to it. Until then, stay healthy and be well.