Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What Happened to Our Sabbaths?

Just a few Sundays ago I woke up with this question on my mind. "What happened to our Sabbaths? When did we give them up? How did we lose them? What do you think happened?"

First let me share with you my understanding of Sabbath. It is an intentional step away from all the busy activities that we feel we must do during our normal weekdays and workdays. A sabbath is an opportunity to focus on those spiritual attributes that nurture and sustain us. Spiritual attributes like love, peace, truth, and of course, joy.

During a sabbath is a time of rest, relaxation, rejuvenation, and renewal. What does that mean? Well, how about we turn off our cell phones, refrain from checking emails and voice messages, and for heavens sake no faxing! Do you think you can step away from the video games,the laptops, and yes, the television for one day of rest?

You must first create your own sabbath and allow your actions to be a model for your friends and family. How do you do that? I suggest you start with setting a few hours aside on your chosen day. Begin setting your intentions for this rest time by taking several deep breaths. Give yourself permission to be free from all the chatter and busy work. This is a gift you are giving yourself!

Try spiritual affirmations such as: " I begin this day of rest with peace and joy in my heart. This is a time of renewal for my mind, body, and spirit." Or, "As I breathe in and out I focus my attention on thoughts that nurture me. Love, Peace, and Joy!"

Now that you have set your intentions, nourish your body with healthy foods and plenty of water. If you must read, try things that are spiritually uplifting and soul soothing. You may want to go back to classical music or some soft meditative sounds. Remember, you have given yourself permission to relax. As you open yourself up to what you need to make it your perfect sabbath, you will find that your activities for that special day will become a pleasant surprise.

Allow yourself to flow into the surprise. You may find yourself cooking gourmet meals or learning how to paint! Maybe you will actually spend time on that fabulous deck or find some time to rock in that antique rocker you love so much! Imagine what you would do if you had no phone, television, or perhaps microwave oven.

Do you see where I am going? Strip away all those conveniences that have made our lives so inconvenient for spiritual growth.

Now is the time to include everyone, if you have family. Take this time to explain to everyone what a sabbath is and why it is important. Once you have agreed upon a day, set a time frame for no outside interruptions. Have fun suggesting family activities that can replace those that are technologically isolating. You may have to wrestle some technology out of your family members' hands but it is worth the effort. And remember to do it in a loving way. Sabbath is about loving intentions. When you know that it is about love, the transition becomes so much easier.

Oh, and remember that Sunday that this Sabbath question popped into my mind? Well it was my sabbath and I couldn't do any blogging!
Do you celebrate a Sabbath? How do you celebrate? Do you think it is important to have a Sabbath?

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