The connection between sports and spirituality is natural   Leave a comment

As we talked through the half-time state of play of his soccer match, my grandson expressed an openness to some helpful ideas I shared with him. He went back on and scored a goal immediately, and soon after I saw him patting a team-mate on the back following a similar success.

Rather than counselling on techniques or from a sports psychology perspective, I’d focussed his attention on the spiritual nature of the game: had he noticed that when they worked together as a team quite a big change occurred? I shared how love for individual team members and joy in the game itself is what brings success. When he felt a teammate wasn’t working as a team-player my grandson could go out of his way to applaud his efforts, even if his mate wasn’t reciprocating yet. On this otherwise unremarkable Saturday morning, a spiritual approach to his soccer match had transformed his game, and the score.

The extensive scholarly literature about sport and spirituality reports experiences by many thousands of athletes, with and without religious affiliations, that are frequently described as spiritual. They are collectively called “being in the zone.” Sports psychologist, Mark Nesti, has identified that spiritual experiences in sport have much in common with feelings of intense love.

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Learning how love, joy, compassion, strength, balance and respect lead to sports success is important. Even more important, is to know that the source of our ability to express them is divine. Athletes who know this might practise these five essentials.

Always start with stillness. Your affirmation could go like this: Divine Life and Love, God, you are with me right there on the field (or court or track or slope or wave). As Mind (another name for God), you are helping me to know exactly what to do during the game.

Discover true strength. Knowing that we reflect the infinite strength, flexibility and quickness of the divine, we’ll experience less physical limitation in sports. Mary Baker Eddy, in her ground-breaking book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, sheds light on this connection. “The Scriptures say, “They that wait upon the Lord . . . shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” The meaning of that passage is not perverted by applying it literally to moments of fatigue, for the moral and physical are as one in their results.”

Let love lead you. You’re not there to impress people but to express goodness and love. God is Love and doesn’t take sides; so, show sportsmanship towards the opposition and wholeheartedly love the game.

Enjoy yourself. Know that your confidence, freedom and success depend entirely on ever-present divine Mind. This relieves us from feeling that pressure is squarely on us to perform. Getting pumped is not what’s needed either, implying that we’ll eventually need to come down from a false high. It also stands to reason that the short-lived benefits of cheating or sports fixing cannot compete with the health-giving, joy-enhancing effects of honesty, courage and integrity in sport.

Stay safe. Spiritual ideas move in harmony – complementing each other, instead of hurting each other. “We live and move and have our being in God,” the Bible quotes Paul as saying. Knowing this, we are always safe.

Kay Stroud writes about the connection between spirituality and health, practices Christian Science healing and is spokesperson for Christian Science in NSW, QLD, ACT and NT http://www.health4thinkers.com

Heaven: It’s not only real, it’s here   Leave a comment

Live audio chat with Mark Swinney, C.S.B.

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In this inspiring chat, Mark explores two major themes about heaven. The first is the encouragement people find from near-death experiences and the abundance of books on the market today chronicling accounts of people having “died” only to “come back” and talk about their perception of heaven. The second is about heaven itself: What is the nature of heaven? And is it something that can be experienced here and now by any one of us?

Mark answers questions about how near-death experiences can make “the afterlife” seem so much better and happier than life on earth; whether these so-called near-death experiences really show life beyond death or whether they are just a state of consciousness; if we can know what actually happens after we pass on; whether anyone experiences hell after death; how we can all know we deserve to “live in heaven” right now; and what we can do to wake up and feel the present reality of heaven right here with us.

 Click here to listen

Also mark the date for a free lecture by Mary Bothwell CSB

Experiencing Heaven Now

Sunday 4 March 2.00 pm
Where: The Reception Room, Legislative Assembly Bldg, London Circuit, Canberra City

 

mary-bothwellFrom childhood, Mary Bothwell has pursued a quest to understand the universe.

Mary earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Principia College and an MBA from UCLA. She was employed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for 34 years. During her time at JPL, she participated in and managed the development of technology and scientific instrumentation for earth, planetary, and astrophysics missions, earning NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal for her work on an experiment which flew on an early space shuttle mission.

Now, in her work as a Christian Science practitioner, Mary prays with people of many faiths to achieve healing through prayer as taught by Christ Jesus and described by Mary Baker Eddy in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

John 16:22: “Your heart will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”   Leave a comment

Your right to be joyful

“Joy is independent of and untouchable by evil, so we can be full of radiant, spiritual joy always.”

 

_E0A0144-2A while ago there was a debate among some of my friends on Facebook about expressing joy. Some said joy is a gift from God, so it’s right to express it regardless of the state of the world and the hardships some people are facing. Others argued it would be arrogant to smile and sing despite reports of human suffering; moreover, it would be callous to tell those who are suffering to just lighten up and be happy.

I found myself thinking about that debate one day when I was overwhelmed with anxiety about issues in my own life. When I feel this way, I often turn to God in prayer, which calms me down, lifts my thought spiritually, and helps me find healing solutions to problems. When I’m really obeying the First Commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3), I can resist the inclination to be overcome with worry.

As I considered the spiritual basis for trusting God and letting go of fear, I also found my answer to the dilemma above, about whether it’s right to be joyful under all circumstances. And the answer is yes!……

Not only is it right to be joyful in the face of suffering, but joy is a quality that brings healing. I can share two experiences where realizing I lived in God’s joyous, radiant presence lifted me out of suffering and brought healing. The first was in being freed from panic and anxiety attacks. While these did not come frequently, I would at times during the night be overwhelmed with panic or anxiety. But daily communion in prayer with God caused me to experience the harmony and joy of God’s presence and better understand my inseparability from Him and His perfect spiritual reality. I also came to realize that my natural spiritual state, the way God made me, was joyful, peaceful, and calm, not anxious or panic-ridden. This spiritual reality slowly became more and more real to me until I no longer suffered from the attacks.

Find out more about why in this article by Jyoti Raghu published in the Christian Science Sentinel

Posted February 3, 2018 by cscanberra in Happiness, Mental Health, Spiritual Comfort

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Buoyancy   Leave a comment

Some Thoughts on Buoyancy

Akin to the priceless sense of humor is the Christly quality of buoyancy; …… Buoyancy may be viewed as that “garment of praise” which Isaiah declared should replace “the spirit of heaviness.” This “spirit of heaviness” is a descriptive term for the effects of depression.

shutterstock_106035929Let us bear in mind that this “garment of praise” really belongs to man; and we can always find it, and find that it fits. It is a garment bespoke for man. It was made also for the lesser ideas, for buoyancy is natural for man in all respects. Once a Christian Scientist serving as a nurse became so tired, worn, and disheartened by the tenacity of the error in the case that “the spirit of heaviness” descended upon her, and so engulfed her that she fled the bedside and the house of gloom to the garden, where she slumped dejectedly upon a bench under a great tree. The burden of the weight of forebodings and depression was so heavy upon her that her downcast eyes saw only the darkness and the dankness of the soil beneath her feet. Then suddenly her ears caught the indescribably cheerful sound of a song, so clear and clean and good as to lift her eyes to the branches of the tree.

There she saw a wren poised on a twig and telling the world how perfectly all right everything was. Intrigued, the nurse watched the bird, which presently darted down and picked up a stick from the ground, then flew to the box someone had thoughtfully fastened to the tree trunk. Now a wren box, as you know, has a very little hole for a front door, to prevent the intrusion of larger birds. So when our little friend attempted to take the material for her nest into the hole with her, she found she could not because she had grasped the stick exactly in the middle. Frustrated, she let go the stick and flew to the top of the house, where she considered the problem for a time. Then she lifted up her head and sang.

It sounded to the nurse very like a psalm of gratitude, and it cut through the gloom in her heart like a thanksgiving. She felt “the spirit of heaviness” lifting, and the “garment of praise” descending upon her and enveloping her. Suddenly the bird finished her song, and, dropping to the ground, picked up the stick again; but this time she grasped it at the very end. Flying straight to the box, she disappeared inside, the twig following her with perfect ease. And the nurse breathed, “Thank you, God.” Her buoyancy recovered, she went straight to that bedside, and saw, with tears of joy, the coming of gladness where was the shadow of sorrowing, perfect healing where only mourning had been forecast.

Buoyancy is the quality that enables one to rise to the top or to remain there, in whatever adverse circumstance. In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” (p. 167), Mary Baker Eddy has put this quality into these words: “We apprehend Life in divine Science only as we live above corporeal sense and correct it.”

 

Posted January 26, 2018 by cscanberra in depression, Gratitude

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Calming the storm of fearful predictions   Leave a comment

 

Listen to an example of resisting fearful thinking in this Daily Lift

“While a single news item can often feel a little scary, sometimes a series of events appear to point towards a “perfect storm.”…

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“….The clear glimpse I had that predicting evil was actually forecasting a spiritual falsity woke me up, and impelled my prayer out of the starting blocks. I became increasingly conscious of the nature of God’s perfection and its expression in all of God’s creation, and as a result I began to see the future differently. The looming question mark hanging over me gave way to a calm confidence that nothing lay ahead except the spiritual experience of God’s goodness, and tangible solutions that would come to light as a result of that.”

You can read this contribution by Tony Lobl in it’s full version here

What if all I had to do today was to love?   Leave a comment

‘First on any list’

The beginning of a new year can inspire a feeling of renewal and a readiness to get things done. We might vow to tackle household projects we’ve put off, to work harder at our jobs or at school, or to get in better shape physically.

I like to make lists of the things I plan to do, and I always feel accomplished as I cross off each task and move on to the next. Not long ago, however, I was adding jobs to my list faster than I could cross them off. Time constraints and limited resources left me feeling overwhelmed and helpless.

As the pressure and stress mounted, I decided I needed to forget my list for a moment – I wasn’t getting anything accomplished anyway! – and pray. For me, praying often begins with putting aside my worries and plans and letting my thought be quiet. Then I can listen for direction from God, who I understand as the universal Mind that expresses intelligence, order, and clarity in its spiritual creation, which includes each one of us.

people walking in long alley at fall autumn sesson

Very soon a question came to my thought: What if all I had to do today was to love? This wasn’t what I’d expected. Actually, I had kind of hoped my prayer would lead me to some practical ideas about how to get everything done. Still, I did find this to be a very freeing thought, so I began to really consider it.

I remembered that once when Christ Jesus was asked what the most important law was, he answered by citing two commandments from the Hebrew Scriptures: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself’ ” (Matthew 22:37-39, Eugene Peterson, “The Message”).

I thought, How do I make this kind of love my first priority? I can start by gratefully and humbly acknowledging God as infinite Love and the source of all the love we express, then check my thoughts and actions throughout the day to be sure they are guided by Love.

Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy wrote: “Love for God and man is the true incentive in both healing and teaching. Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 454).

After spending some time giving gratitude to God and praying to better see that all of God’s children are embraced in His infinite love, I returned to my list of jobs. I found that I was able to calmly and confidently take care of each one, having just the time and resources I needed.

What better way to begin a new year and the new activities and duties that come with it than to realize that loving God and humanity best guides our thoughts and actions, even as we make our lists and proceed to do what’s needed.

This article from  The Christian Science Monitor’s  A Christian Scientist’s Perspective was written by Heidi K Van Patten


Posted January 9, 2018 by cscanberra in CS Perspective, Love, Resolutions

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Look ahead in the New Year. It’s good for your health.   Leave a comment

 

Happy New Year! It’s an exciting time for everyone. Or is it? For some people, it may be a continuation of last year’s old dismal way of living. For others, it’ll be an opportunity to look ahead – to set new goals, make an exhilarating fresh start, see the potential of fulfilling long-held dreams, or implementing new ways to achieve greater health and happiness. Being a look ahead kind of person helps foster positive prospects for a better life. So if this is what you’d like to achieve this year, check out the tips and implement them in the weeks ahead. You can do it, and, it’s good for your health.

 

@Glowimages:

LOOK AHEAD, NOT BACK.

 If you want to get the most out of the New Year, be forward looking. Don’t look back or remain stuck in a mental rut. Think progressively. Be bold. Make changes. Applying this look ahead attitude to daily life, benefits your mental, emotional and physical wellbeing at home, and in the workplace.

 

TIPS:

– Look ahead. Aim to live a splendidly useful, active life. Enjoy thinking about and planning what you’re going to do in the next 12 months. Do something different. Take up a new activity. Relish what lies ahead for you.

– Be assured that your future holds an abundance of love, kind people and happy experiences. Love and goodness come from a divine source and are continuously present.

– Look forward with confidence. If you foresee difficulties in the days ahead, have courage. Knowthat you possess the spiritual poise, calm strength, and wisdom to triumph over them.

– Don’t look back. Leave the past behind. Stand porter at the door of thought”. Shut out any “unhealthy thoughts and fears.” Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health p.392

– Say goodbye to yesterday. Drop all bitterness and regret. “Forget what happened in the past, and do not dwell on events from long ago.” The Bible. Isaiah 43:18.    

– If the New Year offers change – a new beginning, enthusiastically embrace it. Forget “the things that are behind” and reach out “for the things that are ahead.” The Bible. Philippians 3:13.  

– Move forward. Take positive action to improve your everyday life. Resolve to be a more patient parent, work colleague, and road-user. Be grateful for the good you have right now. Express your appreciation to others. Say “thank you” more often.

– So get started! As the next 365 days begin, anticipate receiving the blessings each day holds. Be excited. Look ahead in the New Year. It’s good for your health.

ABOUT THE EXPERT:

Beverly Goldsmith writes on the connection between spirituality and health and is a Practitioner and Teacher of Christian Science healing. Twitter: @GoldsmithBev

 

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