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Spiritual Topic for April-May 2023 - A Spiritual Approach to Managing Life’s Challenges

Updated: Mar 27



A Spiritual Approach to Managing Life’s Challenges


Overview


Last month we covered Attention, Intention, and Inspiration, which focused on the positive, creative side. This month we expand on this to look at what is within our control and what is out of our control; how to deal with stressful situations, and recognizing that it is within our control to avoid certain situations. We also cover how our current times are both stressful and exciting; stressful because events are happening in a way we perhaps would not choose if we were in control, and exciting because we are witnessing truths starting to come out and knowing we can be involved in building a better future.


In the Attention and Intention topic, we indicated there are times in life when we can plan our day-to-day affairs and there are times when we must cope with unexpected and challenging situations. The first is proactive while the second is reactive, and yet we can be mindful in both. Also, in both scenarios, we can accept where we are and then focus our attention on where we want to go from there.


We acknowledge it is easier to manage our day-to-day activities and create our desired future when things are going our way. But life has a way of throwing us curveballs. We have all at one time or another experienced life’s little disappointments, unexpected issues, as well as short and long-term stresses. At times life seems to be going in a completely wrong direction and we need to take measures to turn this around and follow a path that is more in line with our soul’s calling.


Most of us would like to have a greater element of control in our everyday lives. Yet if everything was completely within our control, we would lose something very special, that magic moment and the possibility of serendipity.


God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”—Serenity Prayer, Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr

As noted in this prayer, there are some things in life that one cannot control. Know what these are and accept them (serenity). Recognize that these may be a part of your plan, lessons, or experiences on Earth even if you cannot understand the reasons why (wisdom). And then, turn your focus toward that which you can control and take positive steps forward (courage).


My Circles of Influence!© Venn Diagram



©Created by Becky Parkes and Chris Clifford


As outlined in the My Circles of Influence!© Venn diagram, we have control over our:

·       Thoughts, words, and actions

·       Goals and dreams

·       Boundaries and personal protection

·       Perspectives and beliefs

·       Self-talk

·       Mindfulness

·       Attention and intentions

·       Responses and decisions


We do not have control over:

·       What other’s think about our thoughts, words, actions, and dreams

·       The past

·       Other people’s responses

·       What others say about us


It is worth noting that what is within our control is greater than that which is not in our control. 


The overlapping circles include what we can influence such as external events and the future. Even though these may not feel like they are in our immediate control (and at times we may not be able to affect them as quickly as we would like), we can influence these through our actions. For example, if we want to help others wake up, we can share truths, support one another, and take steps to build a better future. We can also contribute through the vibration we offer to the collective.


Inspiration is in the middle because recognizing and being open to divine inspiration is largely influenced by factors that are within our control, such as our goals and dreams, attention and intention, positive self-talk, etc.


Anxiety is included in the center because it is based on what one feels they can control and cope with and what one feels is out of their control. Also, anxiety can inhibit what one feels is within his or her control.


People who suffer from anxiety often want to control situations to avoid experiencing certain stressful triggers. However, one can learn and own the concept that we have more control than what we may initially think. As one recognizes they have more control, their anxiety naturally lessens.


One can view anxiety as a gift because it highlights one’s triggers and offers a window into shadow work, self-reflection, and self-development. Awareness, personal development, and learning to use coping mechanisms can help one overcome the source of their anxiety. 


With a bit of hindsight, we can sometimes avoid certain situations. When we look at what is within our control, we can recognize it is possible to avoid some things. At times when we get sick, it is to give us a much-needed rest that we wouldn’t have otherwise taken. It is classic for a teacher to get laryngitis, which requires time off to recover. This can be true for some accidents as well, which might have been avoided with mindfulness, and yet, the outcome may be to give all four bodies—physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual—a much needed respite.


We have the opportunity to give ourselves the needed rest and respite before it becomes critical. We can also better prepare ourselves to handle stress—small disappointments and longer-term stress—by having coping mechanisms in our personal toolkits. Tools and Coping Mechanisms to Help Reduce Stress can be found in this month’s Worksheet and Quick Reference Guide.


If things aren’t going your way, think about what’s holding you back? What’s not going your way, and how would you like to change this? What can you control or influence? What do you want to manifest in your life? How can you take baby steps to get there? There is no time like now...now is as good of a time as any.”—Becky Parkes


We are living in unprecedented times, moving into a new age in a beautiful and historic way. This shift entails crumbling paradigms and monumental change, which can cause stress. It’s arguably the case that never before have we as individuals and humanity as a whole had the opportunity to see where we’ve been, recognize where we are now, and decide on the kind of future we would like to have. We are stepping into our sovereignty, taking responsibility, and focusing on creating the world of our dreams. We are coming together as sovereign people who have influence to change the world for the better. We are spiritual warriors! Despite the many difficulties and challenges we may face, we are standing up for our beliefs and for that which we know to be true in our hearts.


Many people have woken up to their soul’s whisperings and have decided that they don’t want to carry on living a life that felt like they were on a treadmill and partaking in a rat race. Many have felt ‘there must be more to life than this’. Their search for something more opened pandoro's box, caused them to question the ‘truth’, and ultimately enabled them to discover more than they ever bargained for. This is where we, the awakened human beings, are today.


We understand that humanity has been programmed and controlled, we’ve been told (and continue to be told) lies and fabrications, and people are being hurt by this every day.  For us, there is a chasm between where the world is now compared to where we feel it could and should be, and this can be hugely stressful. 


Current world affairs are frightening for those who are unaware of what is really happening and it is causing much stress and anxiety for them. From their perspective, the world is becoming more corrupt and more chaotic. Unethical and inept politicians are making decisions that are increasingly obvious in not representing humanity’s needs; medical help is more difficult to find and becoming more expensive; and food, fuel, and housing costs are rising astronomically. Seemingly random viruses; sudden unexpected deaths in young people; severe weather events like earthquakes, storms, and fires; train derailments; food shortages in first world countries; and threats of escalating wars and annihilation are befalling Earth in a biblical way. Without knowledge of the bigger picture, the world looks bleak and people feel helpless.


Yet many of us understand this is a process to bring out the corruption that has infiltrated politics, courts, corporations, and many other systems from the global to local levels. This corruption has been around for a very long time; however, it has been hidden from public view. Now, this deeply entrenched corruption is coming to the surface and old ways are breaking down. This takes time and it can be frustrating for those who understand what is going on and wish that the process could happen more quickly.

Even so, being awake and aware provides us with an epic opportunity for service. By focusing on what we can control and / or influence, we can help others and humanity as a whole. How can we do this?


Humanity needs to wake up and people need to see what is really going on. But, the majority of humanity is going through this process very slowly and reluctantly. Those of us who see the bigger picture and know what is going on are holding strong because we are here for this very purpose. We have the opportunity to help others because we have woken up to what is going on and we have survived—physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.


Those of us who can see the bigger picture are vital to supporting humanity as we move through our transition to the golden age. By helping others who are just beginning to wake up, we are providing a great service to humanity, even if it doesn’t always feel that way in the moment.


Discussion Questions


  1. Do you agree with the My Circles of Influence! © Venn Diagram model? Can we change the future? Can we influence external events?

  2. What causes you anxiety? How is this a gift?

  3. Have you ever navigated your way out of what you perceived to be an insurmountable problem and into a new way of being? What was your experience?

  4. What has been most frustrating and / or stressful for you about being awake and aware to current world events, and what steps have you taken to reduce your stress?

  5. By focusing on what we can control and / or influence, how can we be of service to others and humanity?


Presentation Timeframe


Please host a Monthly Spiritual Topic discussion with members in a Zoom meeting during the given month.

 

Coordinator Tips and Best Practices


  • Please customize this material and use it however it would best work for your region and members.

  • Use the discussion questions to generate conversation and to invite members to share their experiences and ideas related to the topic.

  • At the end of your topic discussion, please share the worksheet(s) with members and / or cover the worksheet during subsequent Zoom meetings as there are additional concepts that can be used as stand-alone topics.

  • Invite members to visit the Spiritual Training course on Mighty Networks to share their thoughts on the monthly topics and to engage with members around the globe.

 

Member Best Practices


  • Participants are encouraged to share their personal viewpoints, opinions and experiences.

  • Members should listen with an open heart and respond respectfully to one another.

  • Information discussed and points made during this meeting are confidential and not to be shared with others or on other platforms. Please feel free to discuss your own thoughts and feelings in the Mighty Networks Spiritual Topics group.

  • To protect privacy, the meeting will not be recorded. Participant recording of CC meetings is strictly prohibited.

  • Use the worksheet(s) to delve deeper and to personalize the monthly topic.

  • Visit the Spiritual Training course on Mighty Networks to share your thoughts and ideas with CC members around the globe.



Worksheet: Tools and Coping Mechanisms to Help Reduce Stress

202304-05-Worksheet-Tools-Coping-Mechanisms-to-Help-Reduce-Stress
.pdf
Download PDF • 317KB

Quick Reference Guide to Progressive Muscle Relaxation and Tapping / EFT

202304-05-QRG-Progressive-Muscle-Relaxation-and-EFT-Tapping
.pdf
Download PDF • 425KB

A Deep Dive: Magic of the Universe—Serendipity, Synchronicity, Fate and Free Will

202304-05-MST-Deep-Dive
.pdf
Download PDF • 534KB


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