A Beautiful Ceremony
Last Sunday we celebrated the baptism of my brother's 6-month old daughter. It was a beautiful ceremony.
The church they chose was small and informal, but very welcoming. We attended the regular service before the baptism. The small congregation included folks from all walks of life, who offered their blessings to the water that would later be used to baptize my niece.
Excerpts from the bible, as well as other spiritual texts were read. The focus of the sermon was not on specifics of a particular religion, but on recognizing and nurturing that divine light that is beyond us and also within us.
Spirituality & Health
This got me thinking about spirituality, which I feel is an important aspect of a person's health and well-being. That being said, I'll admit that I've mostly avoided the topic thus far because:
- Spirituality is a deeply personal thing.
- Spirituality, unfortunately, can be a controversial topic, especially when arguments over religion are involved.
- I am not an expert on religion or spirituality. In fact, for years the topic of religion left me feeling confused, frustrated, even guilty. As a result, I would avoid it altogether. Only recently have I opened myself up to the spiritual realm and started to experience its healing presence.
The purpose of this post is not to persuade you into any particular type of spiritual belief. And this post is not about religion at all (although a person's religion will play a role in their spirituality). However, I feel that to not mention spirituality is to leave out an important aspect of health and healing.
I love this quote by Francis Collins, Physician-Geneticist and leader in the Human Genome Project:
In this modern era of cosmology, evolution, and the human genome, is there still the possibility of a richly-satisfying harmony between the scientific and spiritual world views? I answer with a resounding yes! ... Science's domain is to explore nature. God's domain is in the spiritual world, a realm not possible to explore with the tools and language of science. It must be examined with the heart, the mind, and the soul. And the mind must find a way to embrace both realms.
Spirituality gives us a deeper sense of meaning and purpose in our lives, as well as a sense of peace and harmony beyond the physical world. When we nurture a spirit of love in our everyday lives, ordinary things in this life become extraordinary.
- a house into a home.
- a simple meal into a ritual of emotional and physical nourishment among loved ones.
- a friend into a soulmate.
- a job/interest into a calling.
- imperfection into beauty.
- suffering into healing.
In taking care of your health, I encourage you to nourish not only your body and mind, but also your spirit. Perhaps you have a robust spiritual life and could teach me a few things! Or perhaps, like me, you've side-stepped this area, feeling a bit bewildered by that which cannot be fully understood and explained by the mind.
One thing I've learned is that when we give our mind a break from time to time, and allow our heart and soul to guide us, we become aware of the many miracles that surround us every day.
I will leave you with this quote by Dean Ornish, MD and Founder/President of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute:
The connection to each other and to our soul and spirit is already there. During the times that we feel most vulnerable, that which is invulnerable within us becomes uncovered, becomes more apparent. When our hearts begin to open, we are able to feel it, like opening the window shade and letting in the sunshine that's been there all along, waiting patiently to be allowed inside.
This post was originally published on November 2, 2016.