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Spiritual Friday: Joy

Spiritual Friday 12/29/17

Blessed holidays to all of you,

I wanted to just send a little end of year spiritual message to all of you and a recap of our last Spiritual Fridays of the year!

Last week, many in our community experienced the pure joy in giving as they helped Santa hand out toys to over 300 children at the Migrant Association and Soup Kitchen in Boynton Beach. It was so touching watching our patients interact so lovingly and patiently with children who will have no other Christmas. The children were so happy to receive two gifts and a candy cane. Our lessons in sobriety often come in the most unexpected ways.

Our Spiritual Friday was a lesson in joy! We watched "Elf" and ate candy, candy canes, candy corns, donuts, and cookies. Our only spiritual reading was the following:

"Whether you are conscious of it or not, it's in your power to increase other people's joy, satisfaction and safety through simple acts of kindness. A thoughtful word, a smile or acknowledgment, giving something that's needed, listening with care, extending your patience, expressing your concern appreciatively, ordinary courtesies, refraining from criticism or outbursts, acknowledging someone else's point of view or legitimate needs, making time for someone who's struggling, assuming the best: that power is worth everything.” – Stephanie Dowbrick

We talked about the spiritual power within them to bless others, to bring joy. Some of the patients shared their experience with this very thing earlier in the morning with the children – how it feels to do and give and "be" a blessing, to be able to increase other people's joy, instead of pain.

Tomorrow we will end the year with some favorite video's, music, readings on the topic of "spiritual perspective," looking for the good, the blessings, the love, the light, the God in life.

I've linked two beautiful videos below. The song, a patient’s favorite, and the video we will use tomorrow as a mediation – especially for our patients who are missing home and snow.

I will be reading this blessing (written many years ago) to our patients tomorrow. It is a favorite of mine and I share it with you to pass on to those you love:

Child of Light

Child of Light I bless you. I think of you.

I pray for you. Not in terms of what I think you

need or what I think you should do or be or

express. I lift up my thoughts about you. I

catch a new vision of you. I see you as you truly are:

a holy child of light. I see you guided

and directed by an inward spirit that leads you

unerringly into paths that are just right for you.

I see you strong and whole. I see you blessed

and prospered. I see you courageous and confident.

I see you capable and successful. I

see you free from limitation or bondage of

any kind. I see you as the spiritually perfect

being you truly are. Child of light, I bless you.

– May Rowland

I often tell the patients that our work as spiritual leaders is to remind them that they are so much more than they believe themselves to be. That they have within them everything they need, that's what being "spiritually perfect" means. I also tell them our work is to "see" who they really are; past the behavior, past the old beliefs, past the masks, to the "Child of Light".

"What a long time it can take to become the person one has always been!"

– Parker Palmer

In closing, I share with you a most beautiful thank you note to Spirit.

Thank you for being the special people who inspire me, the kindred spirits who support me on my journey through life. You bless me more than words could ever express.

Thank you, Spirit, for loving me, even when I cannot love myself. I thank you for guiding me when I've lost my way. I thank you for all the miracles seen and unseen. I thank you for placing before me so many opportunities to learn love for myself so that I could learn to love others.

Thank you Creator, for the outstanding beauty of nature that makes me so appreciate life. I thank you for the wisdom to make the right choices. I thank you for the health of my body that allows me to live such a joyous and active life. I thank you for the vastness of the ocean and the beauty of its many moods and colors. I thank you for food and the roof over my head.

I thank you for the quiet moments of self- reflection, for the peace in my heart when I realize how much I am loved. Thank you for the people and books that inspire me, for the roses that smell heavenly, for the kindred spirits that understand me and support me on my life's journey.

Thank you for the way my heart feels lifted when I speak of my blessings, and mostly thank you for the fact that more blessings come to me when I appreciate the ones I have.

May you feel so loved and so blessed.

Wishing you a peaceful ending, and a beautiful beginning.