Spiritual Pathways

What’s the greater risk? Letting go of what people think – or letting go of how I feel, what I believe, and who I am? – Brene Brown

As spring equinox approaches, I begin an annual ritual of searching for balance. I move away from the appealing urge to cuddle up indoors and aim to risk the adventure of going out into nature, even though it may be slippery, muddy, chilly. It’s also a time when I intend to review my work/self-care/family priorities. So many professional continuing-education gatherings, podcasts, and trainings, along with a physical exercise imperative and my addiction to hugging our grandbabies. And, of course, I can’t forget the protests, legislative actions, rallies, and dire needs outside of my privileged bubble.

I imagine that families are challenged to find balance, too. Children thrive on play and creative unscheduled hours, along with more explicit educational opportunities, sports, and arts experiences. There is peer pressure coming from friends and the media that certainly affects people of all ages. Kids want to belong and parents are driven to insure their offspring don’t miss out. I don’t have the answer, but I can share a possible path. At this time in the wheel of the year, in young people’s worship, we share what is in our hearts and minds around ways to find balance. In fact, we honor the messages that can be found in the concept of Sabbath.

There is wisdom for Unitarian Universalists in keeping a Sabbath practice. A UU congregation that I am familiar with has an ongoing Sabbath project, helping one another remember to pause. Some of their suggested Simple Sabbath Rules are:

  • The first rule is to have rules! Make some simple agreements with yourself and your family about the things you will try to do to observe your Sabbath.
  • Write your rules down and hang them up. That way, when you come upon a challenge – and you will – you have something to fall back on.
  • Do…
    • Spend time with the people you love, or spend time alone.
    • Spend time enjoying the spaces and things you already have in your life.
    • Something spiritual. Attend church, commune with nature, read a sacred text, meditate, pray, sing hymns, dance, or write poetry.
  • Don’t…
    • Work or worry.
    • Schlep, shop, or stress out.
    • Try to get things done.
    • Use phones, laptops, tablets, social media, etc.

Do you find balance? Do you practice Sabbath? What must you let go of in order to do so?
I look forward to being able to answer those questions myself and to knowing your stories.

Maybe this spring I will find my way.

Take care –

Cathy Seggel, Director of Religious Education