The Garden: Glows and Grows

Spiritual Practices come and go in and out of our lives all the time.  They begin when we are just children. At some point we decide to take them on for ourselves and go from there.

I teach at an elementary school. Every year we work very hard to maintain a community that is safe, caring, and accepting for our children.

We also want to extend their learning beyond the state mandated curriculum to include those skills and practices that will build integrity and character so they will  know how to share justice and compassion in the world they are about to face.

To this end we have several procedures in place that enable us to provide an environment that nurtures and cares for each student enrolled. We use encouragement, praise, special time with staff and peers, certificates and awards to encourage and reinforce those behaviors that we feel will help them become contributing citizens in society.

I wonder sometimes if our reward systems really work or if they are an outside stamp of approval for a very inside process. At some point the process should be reward enough.

This is the way it is with spiritual practices. I used to think that I needed to find ‘the’ one practice that would provide all of the answers to all of life’s questions. Doesn’t exist.

My spirituality is  more of a tending to my practice kind of journey. Some truths are non- negotiable. Many others are just tiny seeds of thought that will take me many many years to nurture into something that I “show up for” every day.

I believe that each and every one of us has a spiritual practice – named or unnamed. I think that naming it – at some point – is a good thing.

What are you learning? What are you teaching others? Are you the master or the apprentice?  What are your loves studying about? Do you know why?  What are you hearing in the depths of your soul that you are responding to on a daily basis?

Let it be guided by love, as you are apprenticed in your journey take a few moments to look around and see if there is someone around you who needs a shout out along the path

When your soul calls out to you – listen.

Lydia Patrick

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