Dear style & substance:
I am feeling quite unsettled and disconnected lately and think that I need to incorporate a little spirituality in my life. My kids could use it too…the problem is that I grew up going to church but did not continue going as an adult. I feel like I made a terrible mistake in not having any connection for my kids. Aside from just picking a church and going, which I think my kids would think was very strange, how do I bring spirituality into my life and the life of my family?
A great time to connect with your family is when you sit down to eat. Setting the tone with a blessing and gratitude puts everyone in a place of presence and connection. A blessing can relieve the stress of the day and open up the possibility of meaningful conversation.
We both say Grace at our tables and have some excellent experiences to pass on; Sally’s family has continued with a silly blessing, holding hands, which has undoubtedly taken the edge off a hard or trying day and made way for laughs and caring. We hold hands, no matter who comes to our table…and say, “Thank you for the world so sweet, thank you for the food we eat, thank you for the birds that sing, thank you God for everything”. Often accompanied by someone’s giggle….and inevitably, I can physically feel the release of tension, the change in energy, and a sense of ease in which to begin the meal.
At more celebratory meals, we have taken the time to write a blessing and most recently with friends, we started the meal with a toast of thankfulness for our friends and “Ten Ways to Love More”, as follows:
Listen without interrupting, Speak without accusing, Give without sparing, Pray without ceasing, Answer without arguing, Share without pretending, Enjoy without complaint, Trust without wavering, Forgive without punishing, Promise without forgetting.
In Michele’s family, Grace is often said mid-meal. Putting dinner on the table for six people most often takes logistical planning and precision effort. However; as soon as everyone is seated, we stop and give thanks. A traditional Grace is said but always with personal thought s and experiences from our day. This ritual has kept us together through many experiences, remaining joyful through the most difficult.
Bringing a spiritual quality to your life can be a very simple act –In beginning your meal with a blessing;
• Think of what is or has been on your mind…or someone else’s mind
• Think of the intention you want to set
• Think about gratitude; what is good, not what is bad
• Speak of these with ease from your heart…no one can ever argue with that!
This new ritual will very quickly and easily become a welcome routine and a place for you to find connection.
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A S K Style & Substance:
Michele Armani and Sally Meisenheimer
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