On our weekly radio show (www.blogtalkradio.com/prayables), my friend Alice and I discussed daily spiritual practices, using Jasper Fforde’s very funny book “The Woman Who Died A Lot” as a model. In the book, a single faith has gone global, uniting everyone. Among their faith practices are a set of “Bastions;” the church recommends each person practice four a day. Among them are “Pause and Consider” and “Moment of Levity.” Taking time to think and to laugh — pretty sound advice for healthy living, whether you’re a person of faith or not.
What are your daily faith rituals? What keeps your spirit in tip-top shape? It’s an intriguing consideration. Alice’s offering was “Breathe.” That is, pay attention to your breathing, allow yourself to consider the wonder of it, slow down, be in tune with your body…all these things. It’s a practice that those who do yoga know well. This “slowing down” time offers a good opportunity for prayer and reflection, too.
My ideas for good faith practices were: prayer, silence, time alone, time together (accompanied, as Alice rightly pointed out, by human touch, essential especially for children and the elderly), a moment of appreciation, an instance of forgiveness and a period of “giving over” — divesting yourself of whatever plagues you, be it anxiety, depression, anger, envy, whatever it is that’s getting in the way of you being freely you.
I came up with these practices as part of the show we were doing. It was only after the show that it struck me: Why wasn’t I actually doing these things? Why not add these supplements, as part of a good faith diet, so to speak? Funny how revelation can sneak up on a person. It had never occurred to me that there might be tenets just as conducive to my faith life as exercise, good food and sleep are to my physical life. Tenets beyond what is prescribed by my church or by scripture — tenets that are personal, that I need in order to tackle the bigger things.
So now I’m all in. I’m making a list of things that keep my spirit happy and healthy, and I’m bound and determined to indulge in them daily. Furthermore, I’m advising you to do the same. Make a list of good faith practices, things that bring you joy, center your being, and help you function as a person of faith. Then take as directed, daily. And feel free to share them. You never know when you might bring healing to someone else, too.