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The Enneagram Type that is most likely to have anxiety is called The Loyalist, and its also known as Type Six.
If you are a type six personality, this is what you may experience:
· You have a hard time trusting yourself
· You have a tendency to ask others for advice
· You have a tendency to worry about things that are unlikely to happen
· You experience anxiety
· You quickly get caught up in fear
· You like to fix things before they become a problem
· You want to keep yourself and those you love safe
· You like everyone to follow the rules
· As the names suggests you are loyal to those you love and work with
· You love it when everyone is working well together
· Some Loyalists deal with their anxiety internally, while others push against their fears.
All people experience stress, and as we have all types in us. The suggestions I am about to offer will be helpful for anyone.
Here are eleven ways to reduce anxiety:
Type six personalities are most likely to have anxiety. People with anxiety have overactive minds that need quieting down. People who identify as Loyalist tend to focus more on the past and the future than the present.
Your goal is to learn to live in the moment with all your inner wisdom available to you. When you become free from the past and future, the world no longer feels so scary.
Meditation takes you into the present. There is no wrong or right way to meditate. You can turn a walk or gardening into a time of meditation. Any activity that helps you to quiet your mind will help you to relax.
There are Apps such as “Insight Timer” that is available at both the App Store and Google Play.
Use this reflective time to notice what is going on in your body, in your emotions, and in your mind. Just allow yourself to be present with what you are experiencing without trying to do anything about it.
The more you are able to stay with your sensations, emotions and thoughts the less you will react. The less you react, the more clearly you will be able to make important decisions for yourself.
If you are not breathing, you are dead. This is true. Yes, it doesn’t take any thought to breathe. Yet, when we do this with intention we can become more relaxed and home in our bodies.
The more anxious we get, the more and more we breathe shallowly. When you are not breathing deeply, you are no longer present in your body.
Notice this the next time you get anxious. Just with a minute of intentional deep breathing can bring you back into your body.
The wonderful thing is that you can do this anywhere without others even knowing you are doing it.
All you need to do is to breathe in slowly and slowly let it out. You can do this as many times a day as you need to. Please don’t overdo this breathing as it can cause you to hyperventilate.
This should help you to relax. If it is making you worse you are probably trying too hard.
If you are a type six, you are most likely to have anxiety. Your mind can quickly get out of control. It gets out of control when you focus on things you have no power over. Writing out your fears can help you to let go of them.You can brainstorm onto paper all the things you are worried about. This in itself can help you to quiet your mind.
The next step is to ask yourself if these fears have any validity to them. What is true? What is the kernel of truth? What can you let go of?
For example, you may be worried about your annual job review. Your mind might be getting the best of you, worrying about all sorts of scenarios that are unlikely to happen.
As you calm down with breathing, ask yourself what the kernel of truth is. Maybe it is that your job is important to you. The rest are lies. Your experience at work will probably tell you that you have nothing to worry about.
If the worst-case scenario of being fired comes true, will the world end? The world is not going to end. You will go through a challenging time, but you will find a new job. In the end, all will be well.
Ritual can help you to find inner peace. Ritual, helps you to remember that you are part of something more significant. These daily, weekly, monthly or yearly routines help you to remember that you have a place in this world.
Ritual does not have to be religious. Ritual can include sitting down and having a cup of-of coffee before you go to work. The ritual can involve sitting down with your family for supper every night. Ritual can acknowledge significant occasions in our life such as birth, adolescence, becoming an adult, leaving home, the first job, getting married, having children, college, retirement, and death.
Ritual helps you to know that you are on a journey and you are not alone. It reminds you that you have worth. It tells you that you have a purpose in the world. It reminds you that you have an essential role to play.
5. Naming Your Inner Critic:
You have an inner critic. Any person with an active inner-critic is most like to have anxiety. It is the part of your ego that tries to keep you safe. You could not have survived in your early years of life without it.
It is that negative voice within you that is putting you or others down. It is the ego trying to keep you to what it knows.
When you are stuck in the world of your inner critic, life is going to be very stressful. It limits your response to life and leads you to act in ways that are no longer healthy for you.
For us to get healthier, you need to start becoming aware of how you respond to stress in life. There are many tools available to you to help you become conscious of how you react to the ups and downs of life.
I recommend to you the Enneagram Personality system. It shows you what to watch out for and gives you tools to help you become more attuned to your body, emotions, and mind.
With time and practice, you will catch yourself in the act. What I mean is you will start to notice when you are acting out an old pattern that you know longer want to do.
You will eventually get to the point where you will become aware just before you were going to do it and will then have the opportunity to act in new ways.
6. Be your self:
You are in charge of your own life. When you are online with your three energy centers, you will know how you are meant to live your life.
Your body will let you know what it needs to be healthy. Your heart will let you know how you are to make a difference in the world. Your mind will help you to make your life what you want it to be.
To be yourself you need to listen to the wisdom within you. You will inwardly know the direction you need to go.
Don’t worry what others think of you. If you are on the right path just let go of all the expectations family and friends have of you. In the end, they will respect you for the choices you have made.
7. Seek community and support:
You need people in your life to be healthy. Being real with other can help us to be more at peace.
Seek out friends and family you can trust. Let them know what is going on with you. You can do the same for them. Just speaking what you are experiencing can reduce anxiety significantly.
Go and enjoy activities with friends and family. Having some fun is one of the best ways to overcome anxiety. Find a friend who helps you to laugh. Laughing is therapeutic.Sometimes you will need to get professional help. There is nothing wrong with asking for help. This is a sign of strength and not weakness.
There are many counselors, coaches and healing practitioners out there. Ask friends and family for suggestions. When you go to your first session ask questions to help you discern if they are the right match for you.
8. Celebrate Life:
You are given a short time on the planet earth. Use your time for the best.
What do you want to achieve in life? What experiences do you want to have? Don’t keep putting these off. If you really want to do something whether that is going on a trip, learning something new and/or going back to school, make it happen.
Figure out a way to make your dreams a reality. Don’t be afraid to spend money on your self if that investment will help you to do what you have been called to do.
Make sure you take time to play. If you don’t have children in your immediate family find someone else’s children who can teach you to play again.
Play music, dance, make art, write, garden, cook, enjoy good food and sing. Do this until your heart is overflowing with joy!
9. Love Your Self:
Loving yourself is critical to your wellbeing! There is a big difference between being self-righteous and loving yourself. When you are self-righteous, you are only concerned about yourself. When you love yourself, this is not just for you, but it is also for your friends and family.
A happy, healthy you is the best gift you can give to the world. When you are at your best, you bring your best self to the world.
You love yourself by taking care of your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs. What do you need to do more of? What do you need to do less of?
10.You don’t need to be fixed:
You are perfect just the way you are.
Some of us are more likely to have anxiety. This is part of the human condition.
Instead of finding ways to fix yourself, learn to accept yourself just as you are. Don’t try to hide the emotions, sensations, and thoughts that make you feel uncomfortable.
Allow the sensations and emotions to surface and just be with them. With intentional deep breathing the emotions, sensations, and thoughts become less and less overwhelming.
11.It doesn’t have to be this way!
You may be a person that is more likely to be anxious. All of us face anxiety at some time in our lives. But the good news is that we don’t need to allow anxiety to continue interfering with your life.
If you identify with type six, the Loyalist, you are more likely to experience anxiety. Yet no matter what type we may identify with being anxious is part of the human condition.
If you work through these eleven suggestions, you will be able to tame your anxiety.
There is no magic solution. Healing from anxiety is a long-term process. It may never totally disappear, but you will experience more joy and ease in your life the more you come to terms with it.
You will find some of these suggestions more helpful for you than others. Explore these activities and see what works best for you.
No matter what happens to remember you are not alone. You have friends and family to help you. When you need more help, there are psychiatrist, counselors, coaches and other healing practitioners.
Roland Legge offers life/executive coaching and Enneagram workshops through REL Consultants. For more information, please arrange for a free 30-minute discovery call by phoning Roland at 1 306 620-7478 or book your appointment online Please click on “Discovery Call.”
Originally Published on the REL Consultants Blog
You spend a lot of time at work. Life is short so why don’t you make the best of your time. Being able to enjoy your connections with those you work with makes a world of difference. Here are some of the benefits of good relationships at work.
The Enneagram an Excellent Tool
The Enneagram personality system helps you to get along better with your colleagues. It helps you to get to know yourself and understand others better.
When you come into the world, you naturally are given one of nine different ways to survive in the world. Both your genetic background and early life experiences influence the personality type you receive.
When you know what type you are, you begin to understand why you act the way you do. It also gives you clues as to what makes others tick. All this makes it possible for healthier relationships with your self and others. For more information on the Enneagram, please see last weeks blog.
Good Relationships Make a Difference
There are many reasons to have good relationships at work:
Feelings of Well-Being:
1. Building relationships with your colleagues enhance your feelings of well-being. You feel supported not only in your paid work but in your general welfare as a human being. You no longer have to divide your self between your personal and work life. You can be yourself in both places.
The Enneagram personality system helps you to become more present allowing you to be fully open at the moment. When you are open, you are better able to create healthier boundaries. Healthy boundaries enable you to be fully present to another person without having to give up your own needs.
Communication Makes the World Go Around:
2. Excellent communication makes your business more productive. Your ability to communicate with others increases as you build healthy relationships with those at work. The best way to talk with a colleague is by being fully open to their body language, emotions and what they have to say.
Communication is enhanced through working with the Enneagram. When you can see how different you see the world as compared to others, it opens the door to better understanding.
As you get healthier in all nine types, you have an excellent communication toolbox to get your message across in the most helpful way.
So much can get in the way of your people understanding you. The Enneagram shows you the places you tend to get stuck.
You begin to see your blind spots such as overcompensating for your lack of worth by focussing more on the needs of others and/or overly criticizing others for not completing tasks in the exact way you wanted.
A company that uses the Enneagram with staff and management helps your organization to get along with each other. Learning the nine fundamental ways to function in the world helps to create self-awareness. This is the first step to excellent communication.
The Power of Collegiality:
3. Collegiality is fundamental for a company to be productive, not only for staff getting along with each other but in relationships with your customers and clients.
For collegial relationships to be active and healthy, you need to move beyond your personality. The Enneagram points out where you get stuck in your habits. The Enneagram provides you a map to get out of your box.
When you are open to your three energy centers, through, personal development, space opens up in your relationships. Creating space allows for bridges to be built across diverse views. You make this happen by sharing skills, being open about your abilities, and expressing your creativity.
Collegiality at its best is like a dance where everybody knows how to move with each other bringing out your best.
Unmask Your Creativity:
4. Creativity is a misunderstood word. How creative do you believe you are? You and everyone else has an artistic side. Did someone in your life try to silence your artistic side?
The Enneagram points to the creativity in you and everyone else. You are naturally creative when you are open to experiencing the world through our bodies, emotions and quiet mind.
When you have a group of people feeling good and enjoying the comradery of your colleagues, you will have a natural desire and ability to be creative.
You will no longer view the world as dualistic. Problems that seemed insurmountable, you will find a new way to move ahead. You and your colleagues will be free to try new ideas and retry old ideas that in another time didn’t work or given a chance.
You and your company are going to move ahead with greater confidence and ease.
Investing in Mental Health:
5. Your physical, mental and spiritual health are vital to you and your organization. More and more companies are encouraging their employees like you to stay active and fit through providing access to gyms, yoga classes and other forms of group exercise.
Your spiritual well-being is congruent with the worth you connect with the work you do. Doing work that goes against your values will destroy you. You want people in your places of work that believe what you are doing is essential and adds value to the world.
The Enneagram is a great tool to help you find balance in your life. It helps you to see what is missing in your life and what you overindulge. It not only helps you to name what is not, in balance but gives you clues to find balance again.
The Power of Conflict:
6. Do you like conflict? You are probably like many who do not enjoy conflict unless you are one of the few people who thrive on it.
Conflict is prevalent in your life. You have conflict soon as you have a group of people with different points of view. In your diverse world, it is reasonable and healthy to have a difference of opinion.
As the Enneagram welcomes you into a non-dualistic word, many more solutions open up, especially when there are more two ways to resolve a conflict.
The Enneagram helps you to look at each situation with fresh eyes to see what is the best solution for the time.
Resolving conflict becomes a win-win solution which is good news for everyone!
Efficiency Comes from Healthy Relationships:
7. All businesses want to have efficient works. You are going to be the most efficient when you enjoy the benefit of good relationships at work.
If you have a bully for a boss, you might be efficient for a short time because of fearing your boss. But this will not last because unhappy, stressed out workers become less and less productive.
Bullied employees will get sick more often. Bullied employees will take more days off work because of stress and illness. Bullied employees take no pride or responsibility in the operation of the business. You will continually look for new employees as staff continues to leave for better work environments.
The Enneagram can help you, and your colleagues find ways to honor, support and respect each other. It will help you bring out the best in yourself and the rest of the staff and management.
The benefits of good relationships at work are many. A happy, meaningful and respectful work environment encourages healthy relationships between you and your colleagues.
When you are getting your needs met, you are going to be more relaxed, committed, creative and hard working.
If you see the value of the work you put into your job, you will treat your post as much more than a task to make money. If you are passionate about what you do you are going to work with high energy and dedication.
With the experience of knowing that conflict is positive, you will experience diverse opinions as a strength more than a curse.
You will find freedom in fully expressing your opinions, thoughts, theories, and ideas to your organization knowing they will be heard. There is no longer need to pick only one winner. The team becomes more important than the individual.
Most of all, you will enjoy being with the people who work with you. Going to work will no longer be drudgery, but something you look forward to each day. Going to work becomes fun and empowering.
Roland Legge offers Life Coaching through REL Consultants for individuals, and Executives to help them to be the best they can be. For more information, please arrange for a free 30-minute discovery call by phoning Roland at 1 306 620-7478 or book your appointment online Please click on “Discovery Call.”
Originally Posted at REL Consultants http://www.relconsultants.com
You live in chaotic times. With electronic media, you are overwhelmed with news from around the world twenty-four hours a day. Most news is negative, full of fear, violence and despair. You feel weighted down by negativity. You want to experience joy without having to put your head in the sand. Here are seven ways to stay grounded despite all this and enjoy life.
Practicing mindfulness is a great place to start. Mindfulness is a meditation practice to help you to live in the moment. The good news is that living in the moment does not require you to silence the mind. It is normal for your mind to think just as it is for your heart to beat.
Mindfulness can help you to quiet the mind through not getting overly attached to your thoughts. If you have not done this before you will need lots of practise just because you are starting a new habit. Start small with a goal you can achieve. So, you might want to start meditating for only five minutes each day.
Your daily practise can help you to reconnect with your highest self leading to a more meaningful life. You are at your best when you are open to your three energy centers. The three centers are body (physical), heart, (emotions) and head (thoughts). You will discover an inner knowing that you will grow to trust. Over time you will find your inner peace that will help you to live with hope, joy and purpose.
- You are what you eat
You have probably heard this statement before “You are what you eat”. When you are grounded you pay more attention to how your physical and emotional self responds to different types of food. Your body will let you know what it needs.
Your body will also let you know what type of exercise it needs. Have you heard that you should exercise until it hurts? You can seriously hurt yourself if you don’t pay attention to the wisdom of your body. If your body is hurting you probably have pushed yourself to far.
Your body is unique to you. What others need does not necessarily mean you need the same thing. If you have tried, unsuccessfully, many exercise and diet programs do not despair. The more you practice mindfulness the better you will be with giving your body what it needs.
Spending time in person with good friends can brighten your day. Have you noticed the difference between messaging, texting, talking on the phone and visiting in person? Meeting in person is always the most powerful way to connect with another person.
Most importantly you communicate not only with your words, but with your whole body. There is much you miss when you can not see the other person face to face, body to body. When you are grounded, you can learn a lot about another person by how you feel inside yourself. You simply need to be open, to fully experiencing another person and be willing to go deep within yourself.
Have you noticed that you treat and are treated better when you are in person because there is no place to hide? There is much hatred and intolerance on social media because people don’t have to take ownership for what they say.
- Music therapy
Listen to music/songs that inspire you. What is your favourite song? Have you ever noticed what you experience on hearing different types of music and songs? Many of us are oblivious to how music impacts us.
Music and songs can touch as at a deep level. Some music gets us angry. Some music brings us feelings of peace. Some music is very disturbing. Have you ever reflected on how screen writers use music and song to heighten the emotions in a movie?
What music calms your mind? What are the songs that help you to cry? What songs bring out the courage in you? Just remember what brings out these emotions in you won’t necessarily bring it out the same way in another person.
- Random acts of kindness
Practising random acts of kindness not only helps others, it changes the way you experience the world. Have you noticed how good you feel after doing something positive for another person, an animal and/or for the environment? Acting with love changes the way you experience the world.
When you act with compassion your own energy is transformed. The energy of compassion permeates your whole being. You may not always be aware of it, but the people you meet are impacted by the emotional, spiritual and physical energy that emanates from you.
You attract the people with the same type of energy you have. Compassion attracts people with compassion. Calm attracts people who are calm. Contentment attracts people who are content. You will also attract those who desire to change. You can be a shining light for those caught in the storms of life.
- Joy of playing
Do you remember the joy of playing when you were a child? Playing helps you to find the inner child within you. A way of being when you are open, free and non-judgemental allowing you to experience the world through the lens of wonder and simplicity.
Growing up you have had to put on armour to protect you from all that all life throws at you. This is your ego at work. You could not survive without your ego, but as an adult it can hamper your growth. The good news is that with play you can rekindle that same spirit in you again.
Finding your true self can begin along journey for transformation. When you can begin to reside in this place of openness, wisdom and love suddenly the impossible is possible.
Volunteer for an awesome non-profit organization is a great way to find hope, meaning and joy in life. What are your favourite non-profits? How would you like to make a difference in the world? What skills do you have to offer?
There are so many ways to volunteer in the world. Do you like to work in teams or do you work best work alone? Maybe this will even lead to a job of your dreams.
Volunteering with a group that fits your values can change the way you see the world. When you feel good about what you do; you can change your emotions, your body chemistry and the lens which you see the world. The world will start to look a lot friendlier. You can choose to move from despair to hope. You will be a light to the world.
With intention, you can stay grounded no matter what is happening in the world. Stay grounded through caring for your body, emotions and thoughts. Meditation helps you to stay in touch with your inner self. Caring for your body through exercise and eating well is life giving. Connecting with friends helps you to stay connected. Music and songs uplifts your spirit. Playing, like a child, opens your heart to experiencing the world with openness. Last and not least, volunteer for an organization that fits your values which helps you to radiate hope wherever you go.
Roland Legge offers life coaching through REL Consultants for individuals, couples, families and executives to help them to be the best they can be. For more information please arrange for a free 30-minute discovery call by phoning Roland at 1 306 620-7478 or book your appointment online at https://www.relconsultants.com/calendar/ . Please click on “Discovery Call”.
Wholeness and Relationship
Have you ever referred to your partner as your better half? Does this accurately describe who you are? It does not describe me. You know you are not half a person! You are a whole human being. When two people come together it takes two whole people to make a healthy relationship. Sadly, two many of do not bring our whole selves to our relationship because we are not aware of what we are capable of being. In this article, I seek to explore three ways to get in touch with our best self.
Wisdom of the Body
Your body is full of wisdom. One way you can learn more about yourself and world is through paying attention to your body. You have most likely experienced a gut feeling about something happening or about to happen in your life. Your body will let you know about whether a path in life is the best for you. If you are not sure slow down and take some time to ground yourself through some form of meditation that will quiet your mind, open your heart and help you to focus on your body.
You might a feel muscles tightening up in your gut, chest, throat or hands. Each of us have certain parts of our body that are more susceptible to stress in our life. What is that for you? Maybe your shoulders feel like they are trying to hold up the world. Take a deep breath, breathing into the parts of your body that are feeling uncomfortable and as you blow out notice the stress leaving your body.
It feels like I am going crazy
I know this can feel overwhelming at first because of sensations, emotions and thought that have been repressed for years. It might even feel like you are going crazy but I assure you, you are not! Try to be gentle with yourself. Allowing and accepting these intense sensations, emotion and thoughts takes time. The only way is to go through it. Just remember it is best to not do this alone. Find a close friend, family member or professional you can be honest with.
Over time you will get to know the difference between what you are frightened of trying and that which is not in your highest interest. Have you experienced times in your life when you felt ready to try something new in your life and yet feel a little scared? I have had those times and yet somehow, I new that what I was choosing to do whether that be school, a new job or a new relationship that it was in my best interest. I have also experienced times when my body has made it clear that I need to avoid a particular, path. I do well when I pay attention to my body.
Make a practice of daily of checking in with your body to discover what wisdom it can offer you. The more you do it the easier it will be. You will be so thankful for the wisdom of your body. Your body will help you to discover your higher self.
Wisdom of the Heart
Are you in touch with your emotions?
Are you an emotional person? How easy do you find it to get in touch with your emotions? Is it easy for you to cry? Does this embarrass you? You have nothing to be ashamed of! It is gift to have a heart that is open, unless your over sensitivity is getting in the way of you living your life. It is all about balance.
As you move through life it is learning to accept where we are at, in each moment of life. This is so we do not get stuck in our own insecurity. When our heart is open, we have the capacity to be gentle and forgiving of ourselves. When we can forgive, ourselves we can forgive others.
Your heart is a window into your inner world. Does it feel open? If your chest is feeling warm with energy moving around, your heart is open. If it is feeling cold and dead then you are shut off from this great wisdom. It might feel like you are short circuiting. There is no shame in this. It just means that your heart shut down to help you to survive. But in the long run you will miss so much in life if you allow it to stay closed. How familiar are you with this experience?
Being true to your Heart
Your heart energy is there and just waiting for you to create an environment where it can risk expressing itself. When our hearts are open we not only feel connected to ourselves but also to those around us.
Opening our heart is risky business because we can get hurt or unintentionally hurt another person. But the gift of truly loving another person and being loved out weighs any downside of being hurt. All aspects of the heart are part of the human condition. They are neither good or bad. They simply are.
Connection to the whole World
You are connected to the whole earth and its inhabitants through your heart. We can feel the joy and pain in the people we meet besides our own. An open heart helps us to be open to the needs of others while still caring for ourselves. Our heart reminds us of our humanity repeatedly.
Playing and Working Together
With an open heart, we can find ways of working and playing together in relationship that is beneficial for both. It opens the door for us to show our love for the people in our life through encouraging them to be all they can be. We no longer get confused thinking we want the best for our partner when we really are doing it out of our own insecurity. Our open hearts creates space for you to be your best self.
Wisdom of the Head
Is your head your enemy?
Does your head feel like it is your enemy sometimes? If you feel this way, remember you have the capacity to befriend it.
Releasing my mind from the chatter
When you quiet your mind, you have access to the wisdom of our head. But you ask, how do I quiet my mind. Most of us find it hard to slow the chatter in our heads. When we have, conversations going on in our heads it is hard for us to pay attention to what is going on in the moment. Most of us can not imagine a quiet mind because we can never remember a time when our mind was calm.
The good news is that you can quiet your mind with practice. There are many ways to do this from meditation, listening to music, singing, creating art and much more. This does not mean that you get to the point of emptying your thoughts, but to a place where you do not get stuck in your fears and insecurities.
Have you ever just woken up one morning and new what you needed to do. You somehow just know this is the next step you need to take. Trust this wisdom, because it is a gift to be embraced. Do not bother trying to justify your decision. If you know it is the write thing to do go for it. I have experienced breakthroughs like this when I am so tired my mind can no longer can try to control things. What has been your experience?
On the path to transforming Relationships
Synergy in Three
When your three energy centers are in harmony with each other you will be on the path to being your best self; a blessing to yourself and those you choose to be in relationship with you. Life will still have its challenges, but there will be a gentler flow and energy because you will be present in each moment to make the best decisions for you and those you love.
Freedom to be me
You will attract people with the same level of health. Relationships will no longer be a struggle because you are being fully open to yourself and your partner. There will no longer be manipulation by ether party. Each of you will be honest and want to make choices that will be beneficial to you both.
Joy in being with your own company
But even in times when you find yourself single you will be able to enjoy this time in life whether it short term or permanent because you will find ways to meet your own needs. You will have the blessing of great friendships that will bring out the best in you.
Finding your soulmate
If you do find your soulmate, there will be a synergy that creates the best type of relationship that grows from two healthy people. When two people come together in mutual love and respect the two create something even greater than two people could do individually. They create a beautiful mosaic that not only enhances, both, but the whole world.
Roland Legge is a coach and founder of REL Consultants offering to help individuals, couples, families and executives to discover the wisdom that is already within them. Call Roland today at 1 306 620-7478 to arrange for a free 30-minute discovery call or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org for a private discussion about how he can help.
Exploring the Word:
Sermon – May 4th 2014
2nd Sunday after Easter
By Roland Legge
Acts 2:14a, 36-41
Imagine you are traveling on the Road to Emmaus just after the death of your beloved friend Jesus. You are sad, disappointed, angry and hurting because the One you believed, who would free your people from the Roman oppressors, is dead.
You and your friend just had to get out of town to get away from everything so you could think straight again. You keep asking yourself, how the Messiah could be killed on a Cross just like a crook. You begin to wonder if Jesus was really great. Were you taken advantage of? Your mind is a mess. You just need some quiet time to talk with a friend. You want to run away from your problems.
Imagine the story through the disciples’ eyes. We are out on the Road to Emmaus. We come across this fellow and we begin to talk with him. We can’t believe it but he doesn’t seem to know anything about what happened in Jerusalem. So we explain to him what has happened and how shocked and upset we are. But then to our surprise he goes on to explain through the Scripture why this would have happened. We are astounded by what he says. He is about to go when we invite him to join us for a meal. Then as we share a meal together we suddenly realize it was Jesus we were talking to. The moment we realize this he disappears. By this time our hearts are on fire and we get back to Jerusalem as quickly as possible to tell our Good News. Yes, Jesus has risen and the movement for social change is once again on the move.
Many of us, when we get down, get stuck in our distress just like the two people on the Road to Emmaus. It often takes something shocking to wake us up into seeing the situation as it really is. For the travelers this was the realization they were talking to Jesus. Not only did they get stuck in their distress, but they wanted to run away from their problems and from their pain. They wanted to get as far away from Jerusalem as possible.
There is so much to run away from today. We face violence, environmental degradation, racism, homophobia, greed, wars, materialism and more and it is so tempting to run away from all our problems, often through getting caught in addictions. Addictions such as alcohol, drugs both legal and illegal that briefly hide our pain and fear. Addictions such as consumption that feed our endless hunger for more. But Jesus offers us another way to live in the world.
Jesus reminds us over and over again how we are not alone. The holy is never far away and can be found in in our bodies, minds, and hearts and in the whole creation. The only way I can express this is through a metaphor.
I like the image of a tree as a powerful metaphor. The tree is solid, yet flexible, its roots reach into the earth for its nurturing, and its leaves soak up the solar rays that are synthesized into food for the trees and oxygen for us to breathe. The tree when it is healthy provides shelter for animals and birds and people. The tree when it is healthy produces fruit that gives life for many creatures including ourselves. I believe this is how God intended for us to live on planet earth with each other. God is like a great conductor or coach who guides is into living in harmony with each other so we can all be at our best.
Do you have strong roots into the earth that keeps you grounded and self-aware? Are you connected to the longings of your heart? Can you feel the radiance of the sun on your head? Can you feel the wisdom of the holy throughout your body, mind and heart? Can you feel the wisdom of Jesus in the earth and in the heavens? When you experience this kind of union with the divine our addictions begin to disappear.
All we need to live is all accessible to each of us. All we need to do is to be open to the Spirit and feel it, catch it, ask for it, and/or mediate on it. All we need to do is to live in community, just like we do at Foam Lake United Church; to be there to support, encourage and challenge each other into being all we can be. The Spirit is so present when we intentionally manifest the Kindom of God. How do you manifest the Kingdom of God?
I invite each of us to look for Jesus in every person we meet. Each of us are beautiful human beings. Each of us are blessed with Divine gifts which we are called to share with the world. Often this comes as a surprise to us because too often we are own greatest critique. While I know at some level I am a good minister. While I realize that my sermons might be meaningful to people I still was surprised that people who, had never met me in person, expressed appreciation for the sermons they read on my personal blog. I was astounded that people from a diverse background were finding my messages helpful and life giving. Maybe you feel that way sometimes. Others are often better able to see our gifts than we can ourselves.
Too often we undervalue what we can offer the world. Know that you are precious! Know that God loves you for who you are. Know that Jesus will walk with you for the rest of your lives and into the next the realm.
Often we find Jesus in the least expected places. We are surprised to find Jesus in people that we don’t feel comfortable with. Who are the people you have experienced Jesus in? I have met Jesus in Gay, Straight, Bi-Sexual, Trans-gendered and Two Spirited people. I have met Jesus in many different races, nationalities and religious groups. I have met Jesus in people who I totally disagree with.
I have found the best way to recognize Jesus in those I meet is over a meal, just like Jesus did with these travelers. Often at a meal we are more relaxed, we take time to get to know each other, and we look into each other’s eyes. It becomes a holy and sacred time. Some of my best memories are at meals with people whether I know them or not. Take a moment to recall some of those meals that were sacred for you.
As well, when we shared the Peace of Christ with each other today, we were recognizing that of Jesus in each of us. For me the sanctuary is bubbling with love when we take the time to acknowledge the sacredness of each person.
I end with this challenge to find Jesus in every person we meet with this week. Don’t rush through your meals. Take the time to open up with each other. You will be blessed! The world will never look the same again.