Spirituality. It means something different to different people, I read, in a Bottom Line newsletter I get regularly in my e-mail box. To some, the article said, it can mean religious observance, prayer or faith in a "higher being." For others, the article continued, it can stand for a deep appreciation of nature or art or participation in a secular community.
The article cited research in Virginia that included an analysis of 16 studies on illness and "religious intervention," specifically, praying or attending religious services, that suggests spirituality can do the following:
*decrease the length of hospital stays
*decrease fever in patients with severe infections
*increase immune function
*help relieve rheumatoid arthritis symptoms
*improve outcomes in people with heart disease
That's pretty powerful healing without any cost, don't you think? Prayer, for sure, doesn't cost a thing.
Since it is Sunday, it seems like a good day to ask: Do you have a special place you reserve for your prayers and thanksgiving...a place where you can practice your own spirituality--however you define it?
For me, I do most of my praying either when I'm riding my bike or driving. They are the two places where I can have my conversations with God undisturbed. The car, especially, has always worked well for me. I've been praying in my car regularly since 1989--the year my second husband died.
When I feel a sudden rush of anxiety, I'll turn the car radio off and just speak out loud, say my fears, talk things out, and then let it go. I'll follow with a prayer of thanks and then continue driving, feeling much more relaxed. My car is also the only place I ever listen to Christian music. I have several such CDs in my car for those times when I need a pick-me-up.
It's good to be reminded that you are not alone in your troubles. Even when friends or family have too much going on in their own lives--which they often do these days--you always have a spiritual side to connect with. It will never leave you, but you have to connect with it first.
When was the last time you prayed or asked for help or guidance from that greater being you cannot see? If it's been a while, there's no one stopping you now.
Think about that as you head into a new week. It's always a good time to pray.
All my best,