When things fall apart

Spiritual Reflections: (‘Things Fall Apart’ is a well-recognized/seminal title by a Buddist writer — too close a reference)

Sometimes things fall apart. It’s a part of being human. We receive an unexpected diagnosis, go through a break-up, lose a job or someone we love deeply grows sick, frail or even dies. Inevitably, we all go through great and small losses. Is it possible to prepare for these seasons of stress, chaos and change, or to become comfortable with uncertainty?

Many spiritual teachers say that it is possible to increase our resilience, and science is now confirming that concept. Spiritual practices include many types of meditation, using the body to focus our mind through yoga, reading and reflection and offering compassion to others through service.

One of my “go-to” resources for stress reduction is the guided imagery and meditations at healthjourneys.com. They were calming and comforting when I was undergoing treatment for cancer, and they remain an important part of my weekly rituals. I’ve downloaded several of their meditations to my phone so that I can listen to them anywhere. These meditations can improve mood, help with focus, assist with healing or help prepare for a meeting or event.

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Another great resource is the author and teacher Pema Chodron, especially her book, “When Things Fall Apart.” Chodron has become one of my most beloved spiritual teachers and authors, and this book has become a classic for living through painful and difficult times.

What are the practices that strengthen your resilience and give you hope? Is it participation in an open and affirming faith community, or acts of kindness and service? Whatever helps us move outside of ourselves and increases our strength can be a spiritual practice. Remembering that we’ve come through any past adversities is also a comfort.

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Take time to treasure yourself during this holy season, and may you find practices that bring you deep peace.

info: Rev. Debbie Warren is founder, president and CEO of RAIN.

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