Spiritual Leader's Message, April 1, 2018

Dear Friends,
Usually, I write about my own perceptions of life and our spiritual practices.  This month I’ll share something that I place a high value on but are another’s ideas—managing stress. 
Unity Worldwide Ministries puts out several monthly publications, one being the Unity Leader’s Journal. The March issue had an interesting and pertinent article titled, “Calming the Chaos: A Soulful Guide to Managing Your Energy Rather than Your Time” written by Jackie Woodside. While directed to spiritual leaders, the article is one that can assist anyone experiencing the stresses that we as humans live with. In the rapid pace of life today, that includes most of us!
In 2017, the American Psychological Association reported that there was a statistically significant increase in stress levels of Americans. Top among stress indicators were the political situation in our country, fear for personal safety, concern about violence toward minorities, money, the economy, and jobs.
The article continued with ways leaders might mitigate some of the stresses and create greater peace in their own lives and those of their congregations. I will rewrite them so that they relate to all of us.
1. We must have a clear sense of the direction of our life so that we don’t get pulled in multiple directions, thus adding to chaos and stress.
2. We create our lives through the choices we make. When we say “yes” to everything in life, we say “no” to our peace of mind.
3. Our egos thrive on overstimulation and a high need to feel special. This can lead us to chronic busyness. Be willing to look at and address this behavior.
4. Be a role model for peace. We must learn to ask for help with those things we do not know how to do or are not our strengths. We must consciously choose to do less and learn to clearly say, “no” and not feel guilty or as if we are not enough. We must remember to put our spiritual practices, rest, and a healthy social life, into our daily pattern. The joy that these bring dissipates stress.
We were created to have a joyful and peaceful life. When we are willing to step outside the mainstream and take steps toward greater personal peace, we create greater peace in the world. Consciously choosing peace brings us into closer alignment with Spirit. We live from an essence of peace.
I look forward to seeing you on Easter Sunday as we roll away the stones that keep us entombed in in the old and give us the opportunity to resurrect into the new. You will experience special music and a beautiful Flower Ceremony.