Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Keeping your soul alive in tough times


Altered Postcard by Lani



For Children:

"50 Tips for Keeping Your Soul Alive in Tough Times"

from SpiritualityandPractice.com

by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


1. ANCESTORS

We all have roots in the past and branches reaching for the future. Use the wisdom of your ancestors to help you enjoy the whole experience of being alive.


2. ANIMALS

Let animals be your spiritual teachers. They have plenty to show you about love, patience, and being yourself.


3. ARTISTS

God the Creator loves artists. Feel free to express your creativity at home and at school.


4. BEAUTY

The soul appreciates beauty and will see it in some pretty surprising places. Relish all its discoveries.


5. BODY

Listen to your body when it speaks to you. Remember it is a temple of God, and take good care of it.


6. BOREDOM

Banish boredom from your life. There is always something interesting to be seen, felt, or made known.


7. CARETAKING

Be a caretaker in your world. The Earth needs looking after and as a child of God, this is one of your responsibilities.


8. COMMUNITY

The soul flourishes when you share your adventures with a community. You are connected to others in more ways than you think!


9. COMPARISONS

Don't compare who you are or what you have to anybody else. In God's scheme of things, each of us is unique and totally irreplaceable.


10. COMPASSION

Your soul is compassionate. Allow your deep feelings for others to move through your words and deeds.


11. DEATH

We all encounter many little deaths before our last day. Study the lessons in these experiences, and they will help steady you.


12. DIARY

Keep a diary. It is one of the best ways of honoring your spiritual journey — the sights you've seen and the people you've met.


13. DREAMS

Pay attention to your dreams. They can be spiritually revealing. Try to unravel the images in your dreams and see how they unfold in your waking life.


14. ELDERS

Seek out men and women to guide you on your journey who show by their lives that aging is a blessing and not a burden.


15. ENTHUSIASM

Never put down the enthusiasm of another person, and don't allow anyone to do that to you. Your excitement and commitment are very precious resources.


16. EXERCISE

Engage in a regular spiritual exercise program by praying, meditating, and reading sacred texts. But don't show off your spiritual muscles.


17. EXPLORATION

Explore the wider world of other cultures and different spiritual traditions. It's amazing how much you can learn.


18. FEAR

Trust in God's love of you, and fear can never build a fortress in your heart.


19. FOCUSING

The saints have a secret: they give all their attention to whatever task is right in front of them. Stay focused and live in the moment.


20. FORGIVENESS

Forgiveness begets forgiveness. Once you've accepted the forgiveness of God, it's your turn to forgive others — no matter how much they've hurt you.


21. FRIENDSHIP

Have and be a good friend. Friendship teaches us about sharing, tolerance, and loyalty.


22. GRATITUDE

Every day be sure to give thanks for all the gifts you have received from God and others. Do it at every meal and in between, too.


23. HAPPINESS

Happiness usually comes in small doses. The secret of happiness is to be pleased with what you have and not to always be wanting what other kids have.


24. HELPING

Be an angel for others whenever you can. Angels have been there for you when you've needed them. Keep the gift moving.


25. HOSPITALITY

Be welcoming. Create an open house in your heart for all peoples and things, especially those that are different and strange.


26. IDEALISM

Find ways to spark your idealism. Put it into action, and it will become an eternal flame.


27. INTUITION

Trust your intuition. By tapping into your inner voice, you'll learn what makes you special and develop your character.


28. JOY

Joy animates all deeply spiritual souls. Plug into this divine energy, and the lights will never go out.


29. JUSTICE

Believe that justice can be achieved. Whenever you get angry at injustice, remember that you stand on the shoulders of prophets and whistle blowers who put their lives on the line for what they believed in.


30. MORALITY

It is always worth the effort to try and do the right thing. That is how we give our lives meaning.


31. MYSTERIES

The ways of the Spirit are mysterious. In a world created by God, we're all detectives looking for clues.


32. NEWNESS

Notice those moments when you feel brand new inside. Cherish and encourage that feeling in others.


33. OUTCOMES

Will this turn out okay? Will that person like me? Worrying about outcomes can stop you from acting in the first place. Give up worrying, and just do the best you can.


34. PLAY

Playing around is a good and holy thing. Don't let anybody tell you otherwise. God loves people who can have fun.


35. PRAISE

Everybody needs a little pat on the back to keep going. Be lavish in your praise of others.


36. PRIVACY

Treasure your privacy and times alone. Silence is an oasis for your soul.


37. RELATIONSHIPS

Relationships are workshops for spiritual discovery. Classes start in the home and continue in school. Some courses may have to be repeated. Be loving and kind, and you'll graduate with honors.


38. RISK-TAKING

Taking risks is essential to spiritual growth. You need to test your principles and find out what you are made of.


39. RITUALS

Rituals feed the soul. Plan celebrations regularly to count your blessings and express your commitments.


40. RESOURCES

Make good use of the spiritual resources that are available as sources of strength, renewal, and transformation. They may be books, people, hard times, or breakthroughs.


41. SELF-ESTEEM

Cultivate self-esteem. This is inner wealth that makes you feel rich all the time. And no one can take it from you.


42. SERENDIPITY

Those times in your life when you come upon one thing while looking for another are magical moments of grace. Notice them.


43. SHARING

Share the spotlight with others. God appreciates solos, loves duets, and rejoices in choruses.


44. SIGHTS

Don't travel too fast — you may miss the best sights along the way. That goes for everything from walking to eating to studying.


45. SOULMATE

Look for a soulmate. Life is wonderful when you have someone with whom you can share your deepest secrets, fears, and pleasures.


46. SOUL-SAVERS

Faith and hope will always help you get through the day. Don't make them ride in the backseat. They are soul-savers who belong up front where they can see the road ahead.


47. SOUL-STOMPERS

Turn away from those who walk all over your soul. They'll never give you what you deserve or need.


48. SPIRIT

Spirit speaks through stories, movies, novels, paintings, cartoons, drama, and dance. Our souls are nourished when we pay attention.


49. TEARS

Don't ever hold back your tears or laughter. They are expressions of your soul.


50. WONDER

Keep wonder alive in your life by seeing the world with fresh eyes.


SpiritualityandPractice.com is a multifaith website on ways to practice spirituality in everyday life. You'll find book, audio, and film reviews; ideas and links for 37 essential practices; e-courses; online practice circles; teacher profiles; inspirational quotes; video and audio clips; articles; daily celebrations; discussion guides; galleries and art meditations; blogs; and more.

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