August 21, 2017
Find tips and resources for self-care, material to assist you in providing pastoral care, and general information to help you in your practice of ministry. Information will be updated every two weeks concurrent with the East Ohio E-news. Archives Here ...
The Gifts of Being
by Mel Williams
A retired Baptist pastor reflects on his time at a monastery and how it helped him shift from nonstop doing to simply being.
Who is this weeping man?
During my first visit to New Camaldoli Hermitage in Big Sur, Calif., I pondered this question as I wept freely amid the rugged hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
What was going on with me? I remembered Bill Coffin, then chaplain at Yale, saying he went on a sabbatical “to pay a visit on myself, to see who’s at home.”
So I wondered: Who is this weeping man?
Was I weeping from stored-up grief? Was I weeping at the raw beauty of the breathtaking coastline? The tears dripped as if they had been stored up, waiting for this time of release. I learned to call it the gift of tears.
The doing of ministry can be harmful to your health. I learned the hard way. After two hospitalizations -- bleeding ulcer and, a few years later, heart arrhythmia -- I knew I had to get serious about moderating my hurry-up-and-rush method of ministry. I had to learn to take care of my health, or I’d soon be no good to the 500 members of my congregation. Physical health and spiritual health are connected, and I needed to attend to both.
Smart Phone, Lazy Brain
by Sharon Begley
We still call them “phones,” but they are seldom used for talking. They have become like a substitute for memory—and other brain functions. Is that good for us in the long run?
Tech Invasion LMGTFY
“Let me Google that for you” may be some of the most damaging words for our brain. Psychologists have theorized that the “Google Effect” causes our memories to weaken due merely to the fact that we know we can look something up, which means we don’t keep pounding away at the pathways that strengthen memory. Meanwhile, research suggests that relying on GPS weakens our age-old ability to navigate our surroundings. And to top it all off, the access to novel info popping up on our phone means that, according to Deloitte, people in the US check their phones an average of 46 times per day—which is more than a little disruptive.Read full article ...
True Self and False Self
by Richard Rohr
Love is what you were made for and love is who you are.
Practice: Drawing Empty Space
It’s difficult to see our True Self because it is so close to us. We overly identify with our false self, our egoic ideas about who we are, missing the forest for the trees, as it were. The True Self is hidden and must be sought out. With practice, we can learn to see differently, to shift our focus. This simple exercise plays with our usual way of perceiving reality and invites an inner change in how we see ourselves, the world, and the Divine.
Sitting at a table with a pencil and a piece of blank, unlined paper, look at a nearby object (for example, a vase of flowers, a chair, a tree outside). Turn your attention to the empty or “negative” space surrounding the object. Rather than focus on the object’s contours, look at the lines and curves of the space butting up against the object, the places in between and around the thing itself. Breathe deeply and begin to draw these nooks and crannies of air and emptiness. Keep your focus on the “negative” space as you draw.
You might draw all of the spaces around the object or spend just a few moments drawing. When your pencil comes to a stop, observe the form and detail of the “nothingness” you’ve drawn. Know that your True Self, though perhaps less visible than ego and persona, is spacious and objective. Let your inner witness quietly observe the “negative space” within yourself. Rest in this abundant emptiness, full of Presence.
Relax into Your Breath,
by Julie Peters
This guided meditation encourages a deep breath through the passive relaxation of the belly. We tend to hold a lot of unconscious tension in our bellies, and allowing this area to relax may help calm the nervous system, slow down the heartbeat, and allow more breath in and out of the lungs as we let go of compression in the belly. This meditation is ideal if you need a pause from your day to slow down and calm down, and you may wish to put it on as you are lying in bed at night preparing to sleep.Listen Now ...
The Program in Pastoral Care and Counseling encourages the spiritual formation of our pastors believing a strong spiritual base is the greatest resource a church leader can possess. It helps us weather the many storms of ministry and deepens the incredible joys ministry provides. Following is a list of Spiritual Directors in our area. We encourage you to take advantage of this rich resource. This listing will appear in each edition of our bi-monthly webpage updates and new names and contact information will be provided as we learn of them and have permission to include them. If you are a director or know of a director that is not included here please let us know.
Debbie Baker - firstname.lastname@example.org
Bruce Batchler-Glader – email@example.com
Harry Finkbone - Finkbone1@gmail.com
Joy Gordon - firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Hollingsworth - email@example.com
Liz Nau – firstname.lastname@example.org
Hazel Partington – lakehavenministries.com
Jennifer Olin-Hitt – email@example.com
Judy Ringler -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharon Seyfarth Garner – email@example.com
Valerie Stultz - firstname.lastname@example.org
Carol Topping - email@example.com
Laura Tradowsky -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Laurie Tucker - email@example.com
Are Dietary Supplements Really Necessary?
by Karolyn A Gazella
Most of us eat too much, and many of us eat healthy, so… Why take extra anything?
I’ve been concerned about the nutritive value of our food supply for quite some time. As a research journalist in the natural health field since 1992, I’ve had the honor of interviewing some incredibly smart doctors and researchers, so I’m quick to ask, “Is it possible to get all of the nutrients we need from diet alone?” While there may not be consensus in medical and research circles, I have heard a consistent chorus: Even those who eat the most pristine diet may still not be getting the nutrients they need.
If you lack sleep in your life, try these methods for help
Upgrade Your Bedroom
Buy fresh pillows, replace a worn-out mattress and kick the TV out of the room you sleep in.
Gone in 60 Seconds
A breathing exercise touted by holistic doc Andrew Weil promises to knock you out in a minute. The “4-7-8” technique is derived from yoga: Inhale for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds and exhale forcefully for eight. Repeat thrice and say good night. With practice, Weil says, you can induce an altered state of consciousness.
Lay Off the Lights
Turning on a lamp (or futzing with your smartphone) when you wake in the middle of the night can reset your internal clock, warns sleep expert Charles Czeisler: You might wake up at the same time the next night.
Embrace the Dark Side
Insomniacs often report that their symptoms disappear during blackouts and camping trips. To mimic the inky blackness of the preindustrial night, aficionados of “paleo sleep” go full caveman in their evening routine — no artificial lighting whatsoever. A long dusk is your brain’s cue to pump up the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.
Set a Schedule
Experts recommend avoiding the temptation to sleep in (or stay up) on the weekend; instead, try to maintain the same sleep-wake pattern all week.
Go for 2
Psychiatrist Thomas Wehr placed volunteers in darkness for 14 hours for a 1992 study and found that they settled into a two-stage sleep cycle, with a mellow period of wakefulness in the middle. This segmented, or biphasic, sleep probably persisted for millennia: Modern segmented sleepers tout its stress-reduction benefits (and bonus opportunity for snuggling).
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