One of the healthiest things you can do to find balance and harmony is to build a spiritual oasis in your life.
Creating an oasis is not escapism; it is pragmatism. In order to survive the emotional and physical wear and tear that the world subjects us to, we need a firm spiritual foundation. When unpredictable floods are going wild, you have the power to create an oasis — a protective womb — that lifts you and your loved ones to an eternal place, which shelters you from the storm. This oasis — a spiritual “ark” of sorts — help us ride through the stormy seas of information overload which hyper-stimulates our senses, and all the demands and expectations which can overwhelm us. The following suggestions can help you to grow solid spiritual roots — on a daily basis, at home — that you can always return to.
Designate “Oasis” Time Throughout the Day and Throughout the Week
Morning: When you awake in the morning, while you are still lying in bed, think for a moment: What does it mean to be awake and alive? Begin each day with a prayer; thank your Higher Power for the new day. Acknowledge your inner self. Think about what you would like to accomplish that would make today a meaningful day. If you train yourself to do this every morning, you will begin to see your life in a new, sharper focus.
Evening: End your day just as you begin it. As you prepare for sleep, review the day and how you used its opportunities. Recognize that you have been put here for a purpose, and that all your activities should express that purpose. Go to sleep with the resolve that no matter how good — or difficult — today was, tomorrow will be better. By doing so, your sleep will be more peaceful, and your waking more meaningful.
Weekly or Daily: Take time each day, each week, or on weekends – designate any time that works – to gather your family together and study, read a spiritual thought together, or pray together.
Create An Oasis-like Physical Space
Surround yourself with sacred words, insulate yourself with spiritual values and ideas. The next time you are sitting in your living room or sharing a meal with your family, ask yourself: Do I truly feel at home? Do guests feel welcome here? The following are a few suggestions for improving your physical space so that you can answer “yes” to the foregoing questions:
Keep Out Negative Influences: A beautiful home must also be free from influences that can pollute its wholesomeness and spiritual grace. A great challenge we have today is with technology. We cannot allow a constant stream of video, television, and all sorts of media to rule the home and control the minds and hearts of our young. People today recognize the damaging effects that overexposure to the hypnotic effect of TV has on impressionable children, and, for that matter, on teenagers and adults.
A Space for Gathering: The spiritual oasis is a foundation for the family’s shared sense of purpose while providing a springboard for each member to pursue his or her own goals. Schedule quality time for family get-togethers. Strive to have a home where your family stays up late talking heart-to-heart about what’s on their minds. Children crowd around grandparents to hear stories. Teenagers debate meaningful issues with each other and with their parents. The whole family gets together — and not just on holidays — for evenings of songs, games, and reminiscing. A cozy living room, a big kitchen table — create spaces that are conducive to meaningful conversation.
Charity: Place charity boxes in various rooms of your house. Why? Charity reminds us not to be consumed by self-interest. The more you focus on acts of goodness and kindness the more powerful is your oasis. This is especially true for monetary charity, which is the most powerful way to elevate your soul, for it means giving a piece of everything that you are — your abilities, your efforts, your ambitions, your compassion. Charity boxes elevate a “normal” home from the mundane to the transcendent. They turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.
Exercise: Introduce some of the suggestions above to your home. Make a daily effort to build your oasis. Journal about it in your MyMLC journal.
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