The word, Community, actually comes from Latin roots meaning common, shared, together, to commune with, to belong to, to be in unity with and to be with. Those concepts are the foundation of InSpiritry and are the essense of four relational areas: Spirituality, Self, Humanity and Nature. To live an InSpired Journey, that is to go From Good to Greater Good, you can begin by affirming the vital connection to all of life!
What is your source of Goodness? For those of us who believe in a Supreme Diety, Creator, Spiritual Oneness or Enlightenment, Spirituality begins with an inner sense of being in unity with a Power Greater Than Ourselves. That faith experience leads us to seek ways to personally commune with that Power, whether we call it God or Jesus or Buddha or Nirvana or the Spirit of the Earth. We find ourselves transformed by time spent in worship, study, meditation or prayer. Through that, we discover that all our feelings of connectedness to other people and to the world are affirmed. InSpiritry is the practice of using our spiritual awareness to lead us on a inspired life journey and to encourage others to do the same. InSpiritry begins with a focus on The Greater Good and A Greater God.
Who are you? As we affirm the importance of Spirituality and enjoy the Community of relationships with others, we can also develop a sense of who we are ourselves. In fact, the open-heartedness that allows for faith or friendship begins with a strong, healthy sense of Self. That takes time and effort, so just as we need to Commune with God, we need to also Commune with Self. That can often be done best in solitude, though, by neccesity many of us have to find a kind of emotional solitude even in the midst of crowds. Wherever it takes place, it is important to create sanctuaries of time and place for self reflection. Alone with our thoughts, we can be honest about our strengths and weaknesses. We can begin to see the difference between self-interest and self-development, and our time alone can be used to replenish our heartsprings of goodness rather than affirm our selfish motives. InSpiritry leads us to commune with our inner Self and allows the confidence, peace, optimism, honesty, generosity and humility that we need to journey towards the Greater Good.
Who is a part of your Community? Greater Good Thinking leads us to see, "It's not just about me!" And rightly so! The world is full of people like us, all of whom have needs and desires and ideas and stories. We are social creatures -- we live in families and thrive in groups. Given a chance, we organize ourselves in tribes, villages, clubs, parties, companies and nations: Communities. It has been within this framework that we humans have accomplished so much. Even so, our very group-ness can cause us trouble, when we are tempted to divide our world into Us-and-Them. InSpiritry calls us to live as members of the ultimate group: Humanity, that universal Community that includes all of us!
How Natural are you? Being in Community is with our Natural World is the version of belonging that we have perhaps ignored in modern times, but one that is just as valid as Spirituality, Self and Humanity. Greater Good Thinking means we see Nature as more than a set of inanimate resources intended for the enjoyment of man. Plants, Animals, Earth--and our larger environment, Space--are, in fact, the context for all of existence. If we are to survive as a species, it will be because we our concept of Nature is the community we live in. To do that, we must stay connected to our natural surroundings and balance the needs of the Earth with our own. Mindfulness -- dwelling in the moment -- can help, as can meditation and simply spending time in natural surroundings. InSpiritry means seeing Nature with its myriad ecosystems and adaptive behaviors as a source of lessons on how to thrive in Community!
When you practice InSpiritry, you are connected with your Spiritual Self, your Intellectual Self, your Physical Self and Your Natural Self.
Here are some suggestions for developing your own InSpiritry Practices:
Spend time in solitude, listen to your soul, take a Sabbath.
Find a church, temple, synagogue, mosque or faith group that fits you.
Commune spiritually: pray, meditate, share, read, study, share, praise.
Seek Enlightenment. Investigate your faith questions. Follow your heart.
Feed your spirit with places, people, music, words that inspire you.
Spend your time alone well; solitude is the best place to find yourself.
Reflect on your experiences; examine your life for lessons.
Make personal health a priority; take care of you.
Speak your heart: keep a journal, write songs or poetry, host a blog.
Celebrate who you are; give yourself the gift of acceptance.
Widen your sense of community to take a global God's Eye View.
Embrace Peace as a Personal Practice.
See yourself as just one of the many; balance others with Self.
Reach out. Enjoy conversation. Love deeply. Laugh together.
Spend time in community; we are meant to share this life with others.
Embrace the natural world around you; listen, smell, touch, taste, feel.
Befriend the environment; take care of the earth; celebrate life.
Get outside; the ultimate source of energy and goodness is Sunlight.
See Science as an investigation of God's expression in the natural world.
Balance your own financial needs with the future of the planet.
Be still and know that I am God. The Bible, Psalms 46:10
We need a new system of values, a system of the organic unity between humankind and nature and the ethic of global responsibility. Mikhail Gorbachev
I am in love with every church and mosque and temple and any kind of shrine because I know it is there than poeple say the different names of God. Hafiz
We need a more peaceful world, growing out of more peaceful families and neighborhoods and communities. To secure and cultivate such peace, we must love others, even our enemies as well as our friends. Howard W. Hunter
Encourage one another. Find the time. Keep a promise. Forgive a grudge. Listen carefully. Think first of others. Laugh a little. Take pleasure in the earth. Speak your love. Speak it once again. Isabel McCrady