‘Jump-start Your June’ Series: Three Ways to Connect with the Sacred-Guest Post
Posted June 21, 2013on:
Being able to slow down is one of the gifts of summer. Authors Alan Jones and John O’Neil of Seasons of Grace: The Life-Giving Practice of Gratitude remind us that summer can be a time of ‘sweet rest’: “Sweet rest is not a matter of zonking out. It is not a mere passivity but a kind of passionate waiting in the moment.”
Cultivating ‘sweet rest’ can lead us to a feeling of interconnectedness, a sense of the sacred. How do we get there? Artist and writer Lucy Curran offers us three practices.
Stop, Repeat, and Thank You
When life gets busy, it sometimes feels as if there’s no time for the sacred in the midst of everything else. However, if we rush through life without pausing now and again to ground ourselves and reconnect with our spirit in whatever way we know how, life can begin to lose its luster.
In case this sounds familiar, here are three practices that have helped me reconnect with the sacred in my life. I hope you will find them useful, too!
Pausing for a moment to simply breathe can be a revolutionary act of healing and empowerment. I sometimes do a quick body scan: how am I feeling in my body? Are there any places where I am holding tension or where there is discomfort or pain? Without trying to “fix” anything, I bring my awareness to each point of tension in turn, and focus on breathing into each with the intention of creating space and ease there.
It is tremendously powerful to have a positive phrase, vision statement, or mantra that feels sacred and inspiring, and that you can repeat to yourself at least once a day, every day. I have a “personal contract” that I repeat out loud to myself every morning, (while I wash my face!) It goes like this:
“I am loving, kind, and grateful, trusting in my heart and in life!”
I developed this contract as part of a workshop at Wings Seminars in Eugene, Oregon, and I have found it to be tremendously useful. I treat it as a sacred practice, and it serves as a reminder of the person I believe myself to be, and also the qualities that I aspire to live out in my life.
Developing a gratitude practice has been completely transformational for me. I simply write down a list of ten or more things that I am grateful for in my life. Some days it takes a little longer than others (let’s face it: we all have challenging days from time to time). Eventually, though, writing out the list allows me to shift my focus onto the myriad ways in which things are going well in my life. In other words, the practice helps me remember my true priorities and allows me to focus on the positive.
Making space for the sacred in the midst of daily life is not only important: it’s imperative. Whatever your beliefs or practices, finding a way to reconnect with a sense of the sacred provides energy, healing, and fuel for a better and more impactful life lived from one’s deepest values.
Lucy Claire Curran is a freelance writer and artist living in San Francisco, California.