One of the most significant comforts all throughout the last five years of my life has been my spiritual connection. As I have coped with aging and all that entails, spirit has been there with me, never preaching, just listening, reminding me I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.  I’ve honed what I consider to be the three main aspects of my spiritual practice.  This is my mirepoix of spiritual growth.

     Mirepoix is a French word meaning the combination of sautéed carrots, onions and celery which become the basis for thousands of tasty meals. It’s a trifecta of melding flavors which supports and enhances the rest of the dish. So too are meditating, exercise and connections with others a trifecta of emotional and spiritual stability on which to grow and change. In addition, this spiritual mirepoix keeps me focused, confident and strong enough to withstand anything thrown at me.

          In the early 1970’s I received instruction in transcendental meditation through the Maharishi  Mahesh Yogi Program in Berkeley. Since that time I’ve maintained a semi-regular meditating practice. I found it to be a powerful tool in aligning where I am at any given time with where I want to be. It helps me focus, it helps me let go (not all the time, but a lot more than I used to!) and it helps me see what is important in my life. It grounds me and provides profound solace when the world around me seems topsy turvy and chaotic. And it costs nothing! You don’t need formal training to meditate. Get a good book on the subject like The Power of Meditation by Edward Viljoen which will inform and guide you into a new level of spiritual growth.

          I list exercise as another of the components of spiritual growth. In no way, however, do you have to be a triathlete in order to expand spiritually. All I mean by exercise in this context is to move your body. Time in front of the computer or TV is best balanced with time walking, yoga, or other more strenuous activities. I’ve spoken before about settling, and I feel for myself when I’ve sat all day, the lower half of my body feels heavier. Moving things around stimulates the mind and soul, as well as the body.

          Finally, active relationships are critical to any kind of growth, including spirituality. If I’ve spent more than two days in isolation either writing or just being alone, I tend to spiral downward. Friends are comfort, that soft place to fall, an anchor when the seas are choppy, a champion to encourage and applaud you. They are your colleagues in fun. Be a good friend to have a good friend. They are gold.

          These are the main elements of how I continue to grow my spirituality. What is your recipe for expanding the comfort of spirit?

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