Archive for May 2014

Is Your Health Growing Older by the Minute?   Leave a comment

Sands of timeIs time speeding up? Not really, but it sure feels that way. Everywhere I hear people saying, ‘Where has the month gone?’ Is it just “oldies” that feel this way? Apparently not. Even the younger-set are surprised at how quickly the days fly-by.

It makes you think about the passage of time and what it means for one’s health and life-style. As one diner in my local food-court was heard to say, “I’m getting older with each tick of the clock.” It’s a bit depressing when one looks at aging that way. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Despite what we may think, there’s no evidence to suggest that time is toxic to us humans.

In an article for the Seattle Times, Richard Cutler of the National Institute of Health’s Gerontology Research Center states, “aging is unnatural… there may be no immutable biological law that decrees human beings have to get old and sick and die.” And in the same newspaper article, university biochemist Elliott Crooke says, “There is no clear reason why aging starts to occur. By design, the body should go on forever.”

If the remarks of those scientists are accepted, then aging is not caused by the number of sunrises and sunsets we accumulate, nor does this have to negatively impact our mental or bodily health. It would seem entirely possible for our faculties, mental alertness, energy and wellness to remain intact – in spite of the rotation of the earth around the sun.

So what makes us think that an aging body is related to how many birthdays we’ve had? Perhaps it’s because of what we see, read and hear about aging from a variety of sources – including drug companies, the media, and people we know. Examples of advanced years being accompanied by decline tend to be more prevalent than stories of mature people being active and useful in later years. Yet from time-to-time we come across inspiring individuals – past and present, who have overcome the limitations traditionally associated with old age. Clara Barton (1821 – 1912) was one such person.

Barton founded the Red Cross in America and she worked tirelessly into her nineties. She not only believed that we can live longer, useful lives, but she did just that herself. In an interview with Viola Rogers – a journalist for the New York American, Barton explains her viewpoint on not letting the age-clock beat us into submission.

“Most troubles are exaggerated by the mental attitude, if not entirely caused by them. … Now it has been my plan in life never to celebrate or make anything of birthday anniversaries, because this only depresses and exaggerates the passing of years. The mind is so constructed that we have become firmly convinced that after a certain length of time we cease to be useful, and when our birthday calendar indicates that we have reached or are nearing that time, we become lax in our work and finally cease to accomplish; not because we feel in reality that we are no longer useful, but because we are supposed by all laws and dictums to have finished the span of life allotted to work. Birthday celebrations after one is ten are without any value, and what is more, I verily believe that they are harmful.”

Barton continues in the interview with this good advice. “Let your life be counted by the mile-stones of achievement and not by the timepiece of years. We would all be younger if that were so, and would live to be much older than we do at the present time. … To-day I feel as young in my own mind as I did a half century ago, and that is because I have not folded my hands and given up, and have also given up the thought that I was not as useful as I had been in other years.”

There are many other individuals – famous and not so famous, who have thought and done likewise. They’re the folks who’ve refused to say that they used to be able to do this or that, and now they can’t because they’re old. In so doing, they’ve shown us what’s possible – what we can aim for.

For example, can we anticipate being healthy and active into the future? Can we say no to becoming limited in mind or body? Can we continue to learn how our mental state governs the physical. Can we find, as I’ve done, that prayer is useful in aligning our thought with the divine source of life and its perpetual longevity?

Such prayerful religious practice, according to scientists, can actually aid longevity. That’s why I’m finding encouragement in a favourite Scriptural text. “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: …They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be healthy and flourishing.”

Surrendering the notion that time impacts our health, means you and I could look forward to a longer, more productive life. We might even join the ranks of the 76 female and 2 male documented supercentenarians – individuals who have reached the ripe old age of 110 years or more. And why not? Without the spectre of time looming in our thinking, a long, healthy, active life, might just become the norm.

This article by Beverly Goldsmith was originally published on her blog site Spirituality and Health Connect. Beverly is a Melbourne-based health writer who provides a diversity of health content on how spirituality and thought affect health.

The Link Between Spirituality and Happiness in Children   Leave a comment

shutterstock_124525981Spiritual children are happier children, according to a study by Mark Holder, associate professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia.

Holder found four things happier children possess: personal meaning, communal meaning, awe for beauty and nature, and a belief in some sort of transcendental power.

“I think a big part of happiness in general is the feeling of personal meaning,” he said. “Spiritual paths are ones that promote personal meaning.”

He goes on to say: “People who can’t find their spiritual connection have the most difficult time, without question, and the ones who find it early on do so much better.” Read more …

This article, The Link Between Spirituality and Happiness in Children, by Patti Machelor  was originally published in the Christian Science Sentinel. The full article can currently be accessed at JHS-online.

Classes with Care   Leave a comment

shutterstock_81539152One Saturday morning I was standing in the foyer of a young peoples’ theatre. Students were gathering for their weekly drama lesson. A teacher who had been away the previous several lessons arrived. I watched as one by one children sidled over to her.
“I did my piano exam,” one told her.
“I’ve auditioned for an arts program.”
“I lost my tooth.”
Their teacher embraced each with a comment, or smile, or hug – an affirmation of value. Children know when teachers or coaches care for them and they shine under this attention. Apart from the instruction in drama, football, or swimming, this is also of real value.

As kids become adolescents they enjoy finding people that care for them enough to verbally spar with them, let them exercise their wit, reason and questioning of the world. They want teachers, coaches, friends and neighbours to care enough not to always agree with them as they develop their own unique identities. Finding a variety of situations where this can safely happen can be a challenge.

In the Christian Science Sunday School time is given for the fostering of caring respectful relationships. Grouped around similar ages up to 20, a teacher or facilitator typically stays for two to three years. Relevant ideas from unique thinkers in the Bible and the book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, prompt discussion.

Along with a pre-teen group, I was part of an exploration of an idea from this book: ‘The divine Mind maintains all identities, from a blade of grass to a star, as distinct and eternal.’ There were no right or wrong answers. It included a discovery of our spiritual identity, our pets and the local water-ways!
This group grew in confidence at school and in extra-curricular activities. They uncovered something about their spiritual identity. As part of the group I learned about soccer umpiring, teenage movies, pokemon and mine-craft. Our regular one-hour a week together was a cheerful win-win all round!

In Canberra the Christian Science Sunday School operates every Sunday 10.00 – 11.00 am. It is located at the corner of Macquarie and Bligh Street in Barton. Visitors and new pupils up to the age of 20 are warmly welcomed. Instruction in classes is based on the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes and the Lord’s Prayer.

Spirituality in Children   Leave a comment

Boy Smelling DaisyCarolyn Butler, the writer and producer of the BBC World Service radio program, “Little Angels”, spent several weeks talking with parents, and with teachers, the clergy, and children from many different faiths and those with none.

She concluded that children, whether or not they are brought up within a faith community, will always need to express their spirituality. “Like all human beings,” she told the Sentinel, “they, too, search for love, excitement, and meaning. And if they have no conventional religious experience, they’ll turn to whatever else is most exciting and most meaningful in their lives.

“For example, so many of us live in a consumer society,” she said. “We endlessly want to buy things in order to feel fulfilled, but we never are. This is a distortion of our real hunger, because spirituality is not about buying things but about giving up things and making sacrifices, and those disciplines are hard for us all.   … Read more

This editorial, Spirituality in Children, by Kim Shippey was originally published in the Christian Science Sentinel.  The full article can now be accessed on JHS-online.

 

Caring for Children   Leave a comment

sentinel-radio-edition_small[1]Each week the Christian Science Sentinel Radio Program is broadcast around the world.  It includes interviews with people who have been healed through prayer and spiritualisation of thought. 

In this broadcast, Caring for Children, parents talk about how they have relied effectively on prayer to resolve problems related to raising children.

It’s vital that children be well cared for in every aspect of their lives, and at the very heart of that care is love. Many people have seen first hand the power of God, who is divine Love itself, to meet the needs of their children through prayer. Our guests talk about this, and share experiences of healing.

Click here to listen to this 30 minute program.

If you live in the ACT or the Queanbeyan, Goulburn, Wagga Wagga areas of NSW then you can tune into these broadcasts each Wednesday at 1.00 pm on RPH radio 1125 AM.  The radio program for the current week can always be accessed free of charge via this link: Christian Science Sentinel Radio Program.

I Call It Preemptive Parenting   Leave a comment

shutterstock_122772712… Raising happy, healthy, fear-free children is every parent’s goal. Prayer that acknowledges God’s presence, listens for His direction, and follows His instruction has made this goal reachable for me. In her Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “A calm, Christian state of mind is a better preventive of contagion than a drug, or than any other possible sanative method; and the ‘perfect Love’ that ‘casteth out fear’ is a sure defence” (p299).

I’m grateful for healings our children have had of illness and injury through prayer, but I’m just as grateful for the many times they’ve been protected from experiencing injuries and contagion. Safe care of children is not a matter of good fortune or personal skill. Preemptive parenting is available to everyone, just as a “Christian state of mind” is available to anyone regardless of religion. It’s the peace and calm that come from feeling close to the one, universal Father-Mother God. … Read the complete article.

This article, I Call It Preemptive Parenting by Sara Hunter was originally published in the Christian Science Sentinel.  The complete article is currently available on JHS-online.

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