Recently I read an article from TIME magazine (26 Feb, 2018) on religious or spiritual people living longer if they regularly attended church or met with a like-minded community.
It was agreed, following several recent studies, that this was linked to reductions in the body’s stress responses, due to experiencing a network of social support, an optimistic attitude, better self control and a sense of purpose in life.
It was also recognised that values drawn from religious or spiritual traditions – respect, compassion, gratitude, charity, humility, harmony, meditation and preservation of health – also had a major impact.
I have witnessed in myself, that being part of Unity and serving in this community, has had a huge impact on me. A regular prayer and meditation practice, acting with compassion and understanding, and looking for the good where sometimes none is obviously found, as well as sharing deep and strong relationships with the people who meet in Unity, has over the years changed me. I have realised that my old habit of worrying has really diminished and when I find myself in this non-trust position can soon find my way through it.
This is why we offer so many ways in which people can stay in touch with Unity and make our potentially life changing practices and principles ones to live by. And now, according to this article, it has been proved that we are more likely to live longer! This must be a good thing.
Part of reducing stress is learning to respond with calm, poise and peace to events in which we find ourselves. This asks us to respond in new ways; to see ourselves in a new light. Our May spring retreat, experienced in the nurturing environment of the Kairos Retreat Centre, focuses on moving through conflict to peace with others of like mind who look to experience the same thing.
Through Lent we are focusing on the God-power within us, guided by the daily readings in our Lent booklet and taking quiet times of reflection and meditation. We are led to recognise, through the resurrection that Jesus experienced, that life is eternal and the eternal life of God is ours right now. There is such peace in this knowing.
And of course, we offer online opportunities to join us in prayer and meditation. We are developing a real spiritual on-line community, supporting each of us not only in our quiet times together but as we interact with others out in the world.
There are so many ways in which you can join us, feel the connection we share with each other in spiritual community, and discover that peace, eternal life and a deepening sense of purpose and meaning to life truly can reduce stress and impact your life in a profound way.
Wherever you are, as you read Daily Word, join us in prayer and meditation, take part in our activities, or simply read this newsletter or our Thought for the Week, you are part of a world-wide spiritual community. Take heart in this – according to this article, you are more likely to live longer and experience a happier, healthier life. Join in, be part of our spiritual community and perhaps even tell your friends!