August 02, 2020

Spiritual Resources during hard times

While we are past the worst of the pandemic lock down, we still face challenges in our lives, whether it be global violence, the loss of a loved one, or existential dilemmas. Please do know that our Chaplain to all (spiritual, secular, and religious) and Director of Spiritual Life is here to support you. Those of us in the Center for Spiritual Life appreciate each of you and your student groups and activities, and we celebrate the interconnectedness and interdependence of our community.

We wanted to offer these thoughts for caring for self and others in challenging times, originally shared by Alex Kern at Northeastern University.

Some Spiritual Tools and Tips

  1. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe some more.
    Take time in your day, at any moment, to take ten deep even breaths. Carve out 5-10 minutes to meditate or practice mindfulness or contemplative prayer. Start here, now, wherever you are.
  2.  Ground yourself in the present moment.
    Focus your awareness on something real, enduring, or beautiful in your surroundings. Look up often. Discover the wonder and awe that is already here.
  3. Acknowledge your fears, anxieties, concerns.                                               Offer them up in prayer, if you pray. Write them in your journal. Share them with others. Feel what you feel, honor it, and know that it is not the final word.
  4. Remember you are not alone.
    Ever. You are surrounded by care and support. Reach out.
  5. Create and sustain community via checking in with a phone call, text, or  Facetime/Zoom.
    Show up for one another. Listen compassionately. Practice empathy. Message the people you care about. Stand with those most vulnerable and those who suffer the brunt of prejudice and fear. Check in on folks. Call your mother, father, guardian, mentor, little sibling, long lost friend.
  6. Unplug, judiciously.
    While staying aware of local and global developments, do not let the chaos govern you, but forgive yourself when and if it does.
  7. Practice kindness. Remember we are in this together. Remember to engage one another. Smile when you can. Bring good deeds and good energy into our world.
  8. Stay healthy through sleep, diet, exercise.
    See healing and wellness holistically – mind, body, and spirit.
  9. Make art.
    Discover, imagine, engage your hopes and fears, the beauty and ugliness of our world. Write, paint, sing, dance, soar.
  10. Practice gratitude.
    In the face of crises, make note of the things for which you are grateful: your breath, the particular shade of the sky at dusk – or dawn. The color blue, the color green, the gifts and strengths you have, other people in your life, the ability to laugh. A pet.
  11. Connect with your spiritual, religious, humanist, cultural, or other

    Find strength and solace and power in traditions, texts, rituals, practices, holy times and seasons.
  12. Pray as you are able, silently, through song, in readings, through

    Remember the long view of history, the rhythms and cycles of nature, the invisible threads that connect us all.
  13. Practice hope.                                                                                                     Trust in the future and our power to endure and persist, to live fully into the goodness that awaits.