How can I release regrets in my life? Try this spiritual exercise.

NOTE: I have a bunch of these spiritual exercises in River of Grace called Flow Lessons and I thought I would share them with you. Give it a try and see what happens!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

flow lesson logo-640

Materials needed: pen or pencil and paper; a large sink or bathtub; a small, empty Tupperware; various small objects that will not be harmed should they get wet


Note: If you belong to a faith tradition that practices the sacraments (such as the Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Episcopal or Orthodox faiths), making use of the Sacrament of  Reconciliation/Confession/Absolution is the best place to start when dealing with regrets. The kind counsel of the priest coupled with the reception of sanctifying grace provides true spiritual healing. The value of this exercise is for any leftover regrets you were unable to release after reception of the sacrament.

Be still

This may be a difficult exercise so you will want to take some extra time to be in the presence of God. Use previous practices such as slow breathing, birds flying away from a tree or placing objects in a bag to clear your mind of cares and anxieties. Continue reading “How can I release regrets in my life? Try this spiritual exercise.”

Advertisements

Diving deep into River of Grace with Elizabeth Reardon, host of “An Engaging Faith”

ad radio

In this in-depth hour-long interview: we dive deep into River of Grace – gratitude in the midst of difficult times – obedience as a joyful “yes” to new adventures, new life after loss and restoring the joy of living, life metaphors for grace … Also, a quick sneak peak at Louisa May Alcott: Illuminated by The Message! Elizabeth Reardon really did her homework! Check it out.

Visit An Engaging Faith on Facebook.

00 twitter profile 400x400both books river first-640Join my Email List (special surprises just for you!)
to subscribe to this blog.
Keep up with news and free giveaways regarding Susan’s new books, River of Grace
and Louisa May Alcott: Iluminated by The Message!
Susan Bailey, Author, Speaker, Musician on Facebook and Twitter
Read Susan’s blog, Louisa May Alcott is My Passion

Find Susan’s books here on AmazonPurchase Susan’s CD.

A Spiritual Exercise Using . . . Spaghetti!

This is from my book, River of Grace – give it a try!

bending and breaking

This is one of the many Flow Lessons in River of Grace – here are more to try …

00 twitter profile 400x400both books river firstJoin my Email List (special surprises just for you!)
to subscribe to this blog.
Keep up with news and free giveaways regarding Susan’s new books, River of Grace
and Louisa May Alcott: Iluminated by The Message!
Susan Bailey, Author, Speaker, Musician on Facebook and Twitter
Read Susan’s blog, Louisa May Alcott is My Passion

Find Susan’s books here on AmazonPurchase Susan’s CD.

Wonderful review of River of Grace!

InTheBookcaseA dear friend from my Louisa May Alcott is My Passion blog wrote a wonderful review of River of Grace! This is a really comprehensive review; if you’re wondering what this book is about, Tarissa (the reviewer) summed it up beautifully! Here’s a portion of it:

Susan Bailey shares about the trials and triumphs in her life in her new book River of Grace. She tells how God’s mercy has shown her a greater kind of essence, once she let herself glide along with His unending grace.

A running theme that you learn all throughout this book is how creativity and spirituality go together, hand in hand. Susan illustrates this time and again. Susan pauses to personalize the reading and ask you how you can create new life in your surroundings as you allow the river of grace to run through you. In each chapter, she takes time (and allows you to take time) to reflect and focus on your emotions, thoughts, and defining events in your own life. If you take a few moments to perform the suggested activities, and allow creativity to lead the way, you will be blessed with fresh insight and positivity.

For people struggling with grief, this book shows that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Freely, the author doles out the pain she encountered on the deaths of her parents, and how greatly her life changed under those circumstances. She then dispenses the successful tools and mental thought process behind obtaining victory over death. Triumph is available to anyone! This is not a story of how to get over grief fast — but how to deal with it and give your afflictions to the Almighty. You will get through your time of sorrow, and when the grief cycle has ran its course, you will become a more complete person.

You can read the rest of the review here. Be sure and treat yourself to the rest of her blog for reviews and other interesting posts.

Thank you Tarissa!

You can pick up your copy of River of Grace here.

00 twitter profile 400x400both books river firstJoin my Email List (special surprises just for you!)
to subscribe to this blog.
Keep up with news and free giveaways regarding Susan’s new books, River of Grace
and Louisa May Alcott: Iluminated by The Message!
Susan Bailey, Author, Speaker, Musician on Facebook and Twitter
Read Susan’s blog, Louisa May Alcott is My Passion

What is Your Spiritual Catalyst? Try this Flow Lesson to discover yours!

We all have experienced “triggers” – things or events that causes us to remember something. These memories can be pleasant or unpleasant, and often we are not even aware of what is triggering a memory.

Sometimes we intentionally create these triggers so that we will remember to do something. Before we had Google Calendar and smart phones to remind us, we’d write notes on our hands, tie a string around a finger or create a little ritual that will trigger the reminder to do what we want to do.

This same idea can be applied to the spiritual life. Imagine having something that would instantly place you in the “zone,” that place where you can give yourself over to God. That place where peace reigns within and you meet your Beloved.

Here’s a flow lesson that helps you discover your spiritual catalysts – those triggers that bring you close to God. Try it out and then share in the comments about your spiritual catalysts and how they help you come closer to God.

flow lesson logo-640
Materials needed: pen or pencil and paper, and your memories

Pick a quiet place in your home to do this exercise and make sure you can sit still comfortably for several minutes.

Be still

Take a moment to be still with God, taking several long and deep breaths and listening as you breathe. In and out, in and out. Be conscious of the rhythm of the breathing. As you breathe in, whisper the name of Jesus; as you breathe out whisper, “Be with me.” Do this for several moments until you feel quiet and still.

Shawn Rossi Breathe
Shawn Rossi Breathe, Flickr Creative Commons

Recalling a happy memory

Take a piece of paper and fold it vertically in half so that you have two columns. Next recall one memory, object or smell that makes you feel especially good. In thinking of it, what words pop into your mind? Write them down in the left hand column. What feelings come to mind? Why do you feel that way? Write those down too in the same column.

Brainstorm with these ideas:

Look at your list. Are there any words on that list that you could equate with your relationship with God? Can you match up any of those impressions with how you feel when you spend time with God, either in a formal setting, such as attending Mass or a worship service, or on your own, praying for yourself or others, or simply meditating? In the right hand column, write down any words that pop into your head when you think of your experience with God.

Once your list is done, see if there are any similarities between the list in the left hand column and the list in the right. If you see similarities, draw a line from the word or words in the left hand column to the one in the right. Is there a possibility that in the future, your favorite memory, object, or aroma could prompt a pleasant memory about attending church or simply being in the presence of God?

Matthew Doyle Incense and Sunlight
Matthew Doyle Incense and Sunlight, Flickr Creative Commons

Pray and Ponder …

Do not be disturbed if you can’t see an immediate connection; it can take some practice. Ask God to reveal it to you over the course of several days and then look at your notes again to see if a connection becomes more evident.

00 cover drop shadowcopyright 2015 Susan W. Bailey;
from Chapter 1 of River of Grace: Creative Passages Through Difficult Times,
published by Ave Maria Press
Visit the Flow Lesson Pages for more of these prayerful exercises.

Introducing Flow Lessons from my book, River of Grace – prayerful exercises connecting practical every day life with the Divine

One of the unique features of my upcoming book, River of Grace: Creative Passages Through Difficult Times are its Flow Lessons: prayerful exercises using concrete elements from our every day lives to reveal spiritual truths. They combine prayer with action, creating a practical life application.

Here is the first Flow Lesson from the introduction to my book. Did this exercise change the way you look at receiving the Eucharist? Please share in the comments section.

I hope this blesses you. I did it a couple of weeks ago when I received communion and it made for a wonderful, lingering meditation that lasted long after mass was over.

 

flow lesson logo-640

Materials needed: pen or pencil and paper, food, and your imagination.

 

 

Pick a quiet place in your home to do this exercise and make sure you can sit still comfortably for several minutes.

Be still

To begin, take a moment to be still with God. If you are having trouble with noise in your mind from the cares of the day, close your eyes and imagine a tree in winter filled with screeching birds. The tree is dense with these birds and the noise is unbearable. Now watch as each bird flies away. Attach a thought or care to that flying bird and bid it adieu. Do this until the tree is entirely empty of birds and it is quiet.

Bo Insogna, TheLightningMan.com "Bird Land," Flickr Creative Commons
Bo Insogna, TheLightningMan.com “Bird Land,” Flickr Creative Commons

Choosing some food

After a few moments of quiet, go to the kitchen and fix yourself something to eat that is both nutritious and something you really like. As you prepare your food, say a prayer of thanksgiving to God for that food and for the privilege of eating it in his presence.

Describe your food

Return with your food to the place you had designated for this exercise and examine it carefully. Write down a few descriptive phrases about the food, noting its color, smell and texture. Now take a bite and chew slowly, thinking about how the food tastes, what it feels like in your mouth and what you enjoy about that food. Write down phrases that pop into your mind.

Michael Stern Wall_Food_10171, Flickr Creative Commons
Michael Stern Wall_Food_10171, Flickr Creative Commons

Think about where your food is going

When you finish your meal, think about where food goes after you eat it, how it goes to your stomach, is digested and then circulated throughout your body via your bloodstream. As you are thinking about that, consider how you are feeling: do you feel energized and satisfied after eating? Does it give you what you need to carry on with your day?

Meditate

Write down your impressions and then put your piece of paper in a prominent place so you will remember to take it with you the next time you go to mass. Ask God to take what you have written and plant it on your heart for when you receive communion.

Receive …

Episcopal Diocese Common-wafers
Episcopal Diocese Common-wafers, Flickr Creative Commons

During mass take out that piece of paper and read it before you receive the Eucharist. Now consider the Eucharist in the same way you considered the food you ate during your meditation. Be mindful of the texture of the wafer as you receive it and notice how you eat it:

  • Do you chew it or let it dissolve?
  • Think about why you eat it in that way and how it makes you feel. If you also receive the wine, do you hold the wafer in your mouth and wait to consume it until you drink the wine?
  • How does the wine add to the experience?

Pray and Ponder …

When you get back to your place, think about the wafer and the wine being digested, soon to be coursing through your veins.

  • What symbols come to mind, if any?
  • How will the Eucharist nourish you, both spiritually and physically?
  • Thinking about the Eucharist being the body and blood of Christ, how does it make you feel to know it is now present within your body?

When you get home from mass, take a few moments and write down your impressions of receiving communion on your piece of paper and compare notes. Ask God to continue to offer insight, opening the eyes of your mind to new ideas and possibilities.

00 cover drop shadowcopyright 2015 Susan W. Bailey;
from the preface of River of Grace: Creative Passages Through Difficult Times,
published by Ave Maria Press
You can read the back story of this exercise in the preface of River of Grace by subscribing to my email list.

 

00 twitter profile 400x400Join my Email List (special surprises just for you!)
to subscribe to this blog.
Keep up with news and free giveaways regarding Susan’s new book, River of Grace!
Susan Bailey, Author, Speaker, Musician on Facebook and Twitter
Read Susan’s blog, Louisa May Alcott is My Passion