November/December 2007 Spirituality
It is hard to say whether it is the seeking of external riches that causes us to lose our equilibrium or whether being out of balance provokes us to seek external solutions. Either way we find ourselves on a perpetual treadmill, endlessly running and achieving yet not knowing exactly how to find our way home to a place of rest inside where we can be quiet, satisfied, and serene. The rubies of inner peace and the diamonds of a loving heart can be ours.
One Friday night I found myself "crispy" around the edges - not totally burned out, but sufficiently seared to have a mini-meltdown. I felt tired, edgy and off center. I can always tell when my wisdom walk is slipping. The grounded serenity I feel when I engage in the wisdom practices of the world's spiritual traditions dissipates.
I'd received word from my assistant that my computer system had crashed before every file had been backed up. Reacting from depleted reserves, I felt as if I were taking a fall myself. In a flash, an old part took the driver's seat and, as if it were a sane choice, I dialed the phone to order a pizza.
I have not had pizza in a year since I'd lost 80 pounds. Yet I stood there, one finger in the yellow pages, the other dialing the number. I called two restaurants. One pizza place wouldn't deliver. The other had a phone problem and I couldn't get through even though I dialed the phone several times. It was enough of a time delay to return to another part of myself.
With good inner counsel I took myself to a small gym that is often empty. I pounded out a few rounds on the stationery bike, skipped the treadmill and, after a long, hot shower, went straight to the sauna.
In the dry heat I felt my shoulders drop, my breath slow down and my racing mind switch from work matters to soul nourishment. I began to review the wisdom practices from the world's great spiritual traditions that always bring me sanely back to myself.
In less than an hour, I had reviewed some essentials from the wisdom practices of the world's spiritual traditions, and I felt much better. You can too.
Sage Bennet, Ph.D., an ordained minister who served at the Agape International Center of Truth for eight years, is the author of Wisdom Walk. She offers seminars, retreats, counseling and coaching to those exploring the deeper mysteries on their spiritual journeys. Visit www.sagebennet.com. Printed with permission of New World Library, www.newworldlibrary.com.