Have you heard of the www.thespiritualitysurvey.com? We are looking for answers. Why? Spirituality is one of those complicated fields of study in which there are as many questions as answers; as many charlatans as masters; as many practical dimensions as completely absurdities; and without a doubt, there is potentially as much hurt as help. Why then do we persist? Why does spirituality show up in all cultures since the very origins of humanity? Even in the most austere atheistic laboratory there is typically a cult of information and protocol that rivals the Catholic church in its religiosity and reality defining group worldview... that too (like it or not) is also a form of spirituality.
In a simplistic way, you could see spirituality as very closely aligned with "worldview" - its not just the beliefs and practices you profess or subscribe to - that might be your religion. Spirituality is the essential lens through which you see the world, it's the way you make meaning and how you feel about those universal questions of purpose, connection, and self-concept. Much like your physical nature, like it or not, we all have a spiritual nature. For example, whether you exercise and eat healthfully is your choice, but if you are reading this, then you are still undeniably a physical being as well. Whether you intentionally explore life's questions of meaning and self or not, you still have assumptions about those things that rule your every move. Is your spirituality intentional or reactive? Is it fear based, or purposefully grown? Does it matter to you or not?
Research shows that America has more obese people than any other country in the world and the problem is only getting worse. So we know that there is a neglect of the body. Is there a neglect of the spirit? The problem with a lot of the research, especially polls and surveys, is that they only show the results - a thin snapshot that tell us little to help reshape our assumptions or help us get out of the trouble we may be reporting. In recent years polls have shown that over 90% of Americans believe in some kind of a Higher Power, it also shows that fewer people are self-identifying as religious, and specifically that America is predominantly Christian but declining in numbers every year. Other studies and speculation shows that other traditions such as Islam and Buddhism and practices that may exist outside of traditions, like meditation and yoga, are all on the rise. So, what is truth?
Most interesting to me is the question: are we becoming more spiritual as a nation, driven by the intuitive heart and an inclusive worldview that seeks peace for all; or, are we still mostly a religious nation, bound to our faith, our communities, and our intent to capture and grow only our own piece of the world?
I regularly travel to speak about my book, run workshops, and do private counseling work. I work with thousands of people a year and more often than not when I ask people about their spiritual life, they choke. The first thing I hear is some guilty inventory of their relationship to their church or synagogue. They run through what their parents expect/ed of them (even if they are grandparents themselves) and then... then they tell me what they "really" feel. They often say things like, "I'm Christian, but I don't agree with everything in my church, I actually feel more spiritual than religious." Or they will say, "I'm Jewish" or "Hindu" and "its more of a culture than a religion to me, I read about and explore other traditions and philosophies - they all have something to offer."
Now, I am the first to note that maybe I just have a very refined self-selected group that I encounter. However, it does represent a sample of this nation and of this world. Looking to the media really hasn't been a help either, it seems just as biased a sample that we hear from. It's the extremes of religion and science that always seem to get the most air play, and I just don't think the extremes ever speak for the whole. What do you think?
I have created a simple survey to address the hidden truth about spirituality in America and the world today. It is only 4 questions, takes 1 minute to complete and requires no personal information. It is called "The Spirituality Survey" and you can participate at www.thespiritualitysurvey.com or at my website where there is a link to the survey www.returntothesacred.com - check it out, take part. There is nothing to lose, you might even learn something about yourself. If you like, spread the word, we want to hear from all walks of life. We are only interested in seeing what is true, not in proving an agenda.
What is the true American spirituality? Is there one?
By Jonathan Ellerby
10 ways to control your anger - Professional expert’s advice
I am really emotional and excitable person. I think that there are two types of anger: constructive anger and a destructive one. In order to understand the anger phenomenon I decided to investigate the nature of anger, reasons of its appearing, key factors and anger management.
What does it mean this anger? Anger is a strong indignation feeling of our emotional sphere that is attended by self-control losing. Anger is a signal of our state. Glands produce an array of hormones that have a great and deep effect on all our body. The main participants of this process are adrenaline and cortisol. They activate cardiovascular system and consequently all organs. Adrenalin causes fast heart beating, rising blood pressure. These rich oxygenated blood streams to the places are responsible for reaction. Thus some extra energy is released.
There are 4 basic ways of anger expressions:
1. Straight and immediately (verbally or nonverbally) to show your anger. It gives an opportunity to free from the negative emotions.
2. To express anger in an indirect way. In this case usually suffer persons that are weaker, not dangerous and those ones who “come to hand”, usually they are our family and close relatives. Thus we hurt our dear ones. One of the best ways is to express your anger to the person who is the source of this very anger. If it is impossible- better find some compromise.
3. Restraining anger you “drive” it deep inside. So, negative emotions store will provoke a big stress sooner or later.
4. You may foresee situation of anger feeling, try not to expand this feeling but get to know the reason, understand and solve it. A Roman philosopher Seneca said: “When you are feeling of ascending “volcano”- stand still, not doing anything- not speaking, not moving.”
Anger is a normal and natural human feeling, especially nowadays as life is really fast and we have a huge amount of information to accumulate (in comparison with our previous generations). The range of anger is rather wide: from a slight annoyance to impetuous fury. Anger can be quick and long, lasting for years in form of bitterness, vengeance or hate. Anger can lead to health issues like depression, high blood pressure, hearth diseases, stresses, alcohol dependence and obesity. If you are anger- express it. If you feel discomfort from these “negative splashes”- then we can give some techniques how to manage your emotional anger:
- 1. Take a deep and continuous breath. Count up to 50 or imagine your aggressor just naked, only in socks. This will help you to calm and smile.
- 2. Have a walk. Look at high sky. Continue to breathe deep and easily. So you appraise the situation and calm down.
- 3. Do some physical exercises. When you are angry- your body is very tensed and tough. If you stretch your muscles it will relax your body, as you will spill out all your negative energy into action. Your brains will get more oxygen and it assists to clear your thoughts.
- 4. Write down all your thoughts. Write down that you are mad and why. Avoid being rational, logical or laconic. Write on paper all you are feeling this moment. Try to write all in details. The function of this technique is to shift all your anger out of your head on paper.
- 5. Be grateful. Find someone to thank. Do you not forget about yourself. Thank that you have woken up today, thank that that the Sun is shining for you, that the sky is blue and the grass is green.
- 6. Prayer. Ask God to be with you during this anger moment and lead you.
- 7. Meditation. Close your eyes, look into solar plexus, and be all your anger, breathing deeply.
- 8. Change of places. Move yourself on your enemy’s place. And look at situation from his point of view. Better look at the situation from the ceiling. Focus on details, especially on funny and absurd ones. Strive to forgive your enemy as well as forgive truly yourself.
- 9. Go back to your childhood memories. Recollect state when you were angry. Hug this child and say: “All is ok. I am here. You are good child. I love you and I will not leave you.”
- 10. Your values. What is the most significant thing in your life? Who are the most important people in your life? What kind of person do you want to be? Think and accept that point that you are living your life, and you are living your values. There is a good man inside you that wants to help you. I wish you good luck!
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