Monday, July 25, 2005
KEYS TO GETTING YOUR ACT TOGETHER VIII
Finally, my last and extra point brings me to the one topic that I hate to discuss, Religion. It is a difficult subject and I have to admit that it does bring order into your life by giving you a routine and most of all hope that things will get better. Webster dictionary uses the words commitment, devotion and observance in its discription of the word religion. It goes on to further describe it as a personal set or institutionalized system of attitudes, beliefs, and practices. This screams order and you can see its manifestation in the lives of many hard working and successful people. Setting time aside to go to places of worship, reading holy-books, fasting, meditating or even taking a walk to appreciate nature routinely and 'religiously' is key to maintaining a sound and orderly state of mind. I am not saying 'get religious', absolutely not, because in my opinion, being religious is the reason the world is in chaos today. Terrorism, the Intifada, the Crusade, Slavery and the near annihilation of Native Americans all have their roots in religion. But if being religious is your forte, by all means be the best and the most humanely religious 'non-fanatic' for lack of a better word. I prefer to use the word 'Spirituality',which is when you draw elements from your beliefs and values, whether moral or religious. For example, being loving, kind, caring and humane are not just religious values, they are life's values. Just as displayed on the Oprah Show, 'Remembering Your Spirit', knowing and acknowledging the fact that a greater being placed you on this earth for a purpose has nothing to do with religion. You can be spiritual with your diet(no junk or fattening foods), your dressing (strictly pure cotton and no sweat shops), your language (being positive and speaking words of blessing), volunteering with the needy and so many other ways. You can draw inspiration from the lives other people have led, like Jesus, Mandela, Ghandi, Malcolm or Martin. Spirituality is about finding a connection on your own, something that provides inner peace and tranquility, something that you can reflect upon that allows you to make sense of your existence and the crazy world out there. Reading self-help books, listening to mellow music, lighting up candles and turning off all unnatural lights, meditating on words from religious books, on poetry and reflecting on life in general (ever tried looking at yourself in the mirror to see how intricately you were molded) are other beautiful ways to connect spiritually. Ideally I would rather gather in the nude, round a bon-fire fueled by marijuana bushes, playing banjos, congas and tambourines, making crowns from daisies, singing and dancing entracingly to Kumbayah. But then again people will begin to think I have gone mad.