August 01, 2012

'virtues of a sustainable life'

i am reading "A Pace of Grace:  The Virtues of a Sustainable Life" by Linda Kavelin Popov.  it is the kind of book that you can't put down but you don't want to read it too quickly because you want to slowly absorb all the gems of wisdom that lie within it.

based on the virtues of God, it addresses our overworked, stressful lives that have reached beyond the bounds of moderation.  the author addresses the symptoms of feeling fatigued, overwhelmed and guilty.  it focuses on how to restore one's health and energy by very natural and virtuous methods..
"When we breathe, oxygen purifies our system, releasing toxins and supplying vital nutrients to circulate throughout the body through our blood supply.  A spiritual meaning resides in breathing as well.  By taking time each day for inspiration, for daydreaming, for contemplation, we invite a flow of pure awareness to sustain our souls." (p.64)

i am not in the midst of a health crisis or very stressful situation at the moment, but i do find that i become drained or depleted if i don't take care of myself -- getting enough sleep, eating properly, resting my mind, rejuvenating my inner spirit, and exercising my body.  it is challenging to be both selfless and care for one's own well-being.  selflessness implies sacrifice and dedication to the well-being of others, yet we can be of no help to others if we do not simply take care of ourselves -- similar to how we are encouraged on an airplane to put our own oxygen mask on first before trying to put it on a child's.

it's easy for me to give of myself, my time and energy, in taking care of others and rendering service to others.  as a way of life, this is what gives me the most energy and joy.  this book specifically addresses the importance of caring for one's self in order to continually be able to arise in service to others.  the purpose of having good health is to be able to serve others..

it would be interesting to hear stories of how people have achieved 'a pace of grace' in their lives by balancing and sustaining themselves physically and spiritually..

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