Inter-Religious Family Prays for Healing
Pray along with the friends of integral optimism inter-religious family and experience the strength, oneness and healing it brings.
Inter-Religious Family Prays for Healing
Pray along with the friends of integral optimism inter-religious family and experience the strength, oneness and healing it brings.
This is a wisdom to understand that facing any challenge as a good willed team of people from different walks of life and religion. The synergie that it produces helps all. In a world of selfish political and business individualistic greed we have to learn this life wisdom of working together as a human family. Spiritual initiatives go beyond ordinary realm of advantages it shapes our heart with a goodness. Good willed people will shape the humanity into a healthy home. So pray, prepare to understand the reality and join hands to respond effectively.
Humanity has a common spiritual opportunity
L’umanità ha un’opportunità spirituale comune
A New Facebook page with Networking Inspiration
For some more Insights:
Do you know your heart’s wisdom?
More insights on it in our Integral Optimism Facebook
Self-Care During the Quarantine with Integral Optimism
In Order to Lift Our Hearts
For the healing of fear and anxiety during this quarantine and lock-down
One of the brothers asked me to take a few moments to help people remain positive while facing the risk of depression, and to help them in lifting up their hearts. This is certainly an inspiration that comes from the grace of God.
The following reflections and exercises I have tried to do with my Capuchin Brothers and Others. You can modify it to fit into your context. You will find the Italian Translation in the link
Building on the fraternal meetings for self care and spiritual integration we’ve initiated in the General Curia, while also respecting the distance (at least 3 meters) between us, we want to share these things with you brothers, so that you can use them for formation, in your ministries, and above all, share them with the needy and the poor. We suggest taking a few minutes to do the following exercises: meditation, engaging in therapies for healing of fear and anxiety, taking time for sharing positive stories and humor, singing hymns and songs; friars could volunteer to lead such activities. We encourage singing songs of hope and joy, engaging in movement exercises such as ‘brain gym’ or dancing. Any of these activities would require no more than 20 minutes, and if you are practicing them around noon, for example, you might follow them up by praying midday prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. Friends belonging to other religion you can have your own prayer practices to connect to God. Also, if it is possible, it’s always beneficial to get out into the sunlight early in the morning or in the evening for 15 minutes in order to retain healthy levels of Vitamin D. Taking time for learning such disciplines can aid in building good habits for total health.
Let’s go back again to nature : All of our countries have available foods and medicines that are all-natural, but some of these are overlooked because of our modern means of producing such basic necessities. There are, however, insightful doctors and researchers (with faith in God our Creator) who say we can go back to continuing some of these practices. This is not to say that modern medicines are useless, but there is a danger that motivated by profit, they could overcome and obscure the simpler, cheaper and more natural options. Today it takes a special effort of fostering integration where modern medicine continues working with natural medicine and local traditions.
As human beings we, could take a positive and pro-active path; encouraging people to come back again to nature and to natural medicines, while always listening to our good doctors and researchers. So, we appreciate the good things in modern medicine, while continuing to take advantage of the benefits of natural medicine – which is God’s gift, as it is Mother Nature’s. One of our researchers from India, namely Dr. T. Umakanthan, said while seeking to produce a vaccine against the current Coronavirus, we should also have recourse to natural medicines and so we can more effectively stop this virus, of course with the help of medical personnel.
Integral and Spiritual Self-Care During Difficult Times
Let us dedicate a few minutes every day for these self-care meditations and exercises.
Placing ourselves in the presence of God ( Jesus) can treat our fear and anxiety in regards to the Coronavirus. I invite you to do these exercises with the help of God our Master and they will bring healing and strength. Let’s start with an exercise for the heart – to strengthen our hearts with love and the power of God.
Exercises for the Heart:
These exercises help to strengthen the heart with love, integral optimism and grace. According to Energy Psychology, there is a flow of vital energy in our body. And our hands could share that positive energy, blessing and love with different parts of the body by touching and meditating, (Prof. Alexander Lyod , Beyond Willpower ) .
Exercise #1: Remember an image of God that helps you meditate on Her/His love and Her/His loving presence. Put yourself in Her/His presence and look at her/His face for a few minutes, becoming aware of Her/His grace, Her/His life-giving word and the wisdom that inspired you. When you come to an intense moment of God’s love, put your palms one on top of the other, and move them to the area of your heart. Inhale and exhale love and grace upon you. Let it happen as gradually as possible. Become aware of the love of God , which flows through the palms of your hands into your entire being. You could continue to meditate in this way, or while you are doing it you can also add whispers of love. Start repeating some phrases from the Holy Books like Bible or other Sacred Texts that you like, for example: Jesus my Shepherd; God I entrust myself to you, fill me with your love and your strength, Make me Whole etc.,
The variation lies in simply starting with a gentle circular movement, massaging the palm of the hand that touches the heart. The massage is done with the hand that is on the top. This can lead to a greater flow of life energy. You may also remember the love of God for some time and then move on to thinking about a loved one in your life. Keep this memory and the feeling of love you feel on yourself.
In the same way, now place one hand on top of the other, on your forehead and follow the same procedure as mentioned above. Ask God to fill you with Her/His wisdom and Her/His love.
Then move your hands over your head and repeat the procedure as indicated above. Repeat according to the time available .
Exercises #2: Begin by remembering a person who inspires and loves you. Remember her/his face and personality. Admire her/his faith, the kindness, the wisdom, the witness and the sisterly/brotherly love. If you want, remember a beautiful moment that you lived with this person. Bless this person who brings you joy, e.g. “I bless you and I love you. I thank God for you and for your inspiring life and friendship.”
When you come to the most intense moment of this person’s love , put your palms one on top of the other, and move them onto the area of your heart. Inhale and exhale love and grace upon you. Let it happen as gradually as possible. Become aware of the love of God and this person flowing through the palm of your hands in your entire being. You could continue to meditate in this way, or while you are doing it you can also add whispers of love. Eg: I accept and love myself, I am a loving person… I fill my heart with love and affection etc.,
In the same way, now place one hand on top of the other, on your forehead and follow the same procedure as mentioned above. Ask God to fill you with Her/His wisdom and love.
Exercise #3: Then, move your hands over your head and repeat the procedure as indicated above. Repeat according to the time available.
Relax and do this as many times as you want. It can be done before going to bed or during a break. It could also be done when we wake up at night. While doing all these exercises allow the love energy to fill your heart and begin to smile from the bottom of your heart. Stay there for a while and enjoy the happiness and blessing while smiling heartily. It is a way to fill our whole being with the force of love and blessing.
I ask you to tremble a little because by trembling we can vent the frozen emotions within us. For example, birds and dogs tremble for a few moments when they are afraid and afterwards they can be calm. We will do other exercises to strengthen our body and heart with the grace of God.
Initial relaxation : get comfortable – close your eyes slowly – relax
Repeat with the intention: “God, please help me to rebalance my energies and my life. Thank you!”.
ð Start regular breathing. Breathe in and out slowly
ð Begin to feel the divine presence in any way you like … you are in the presence of God … She/He will help you on this internal journey … continue to breathe in and out slowly, gradually …. try to perceive the emotions present within you.
ð Become aware of the difficulties or core-issues you have now (challenges, fear and pain due to coronavirus) … Become aware of them, one after the other … start to understand the emotions and feelings connected with these problems and experiences, but without judging
ð When you are ready, begin to become aware of this experience … perhaps the anxiety of the Coronavirus. The fear and anxiety that you have inside about your health and the future. Become aware of the images, judgments, pain and other emotions associated with this problem … perhaps this is connected with a person who has done you much harm or a loss of a beloved person due to this pandemic … choose freely …
ð Locating in body parts: Slowly become aware of its impact on your body. In which part do you find the influence of this experience or the thought of Coronavirus … in the stomach, hip, chest … where you can locate it? Start listening to the voices that communicate something about it.
ð Now you begin to remember the situation of fear and anxiety … from the beginning … who are the people or what are the memories that hurt or have hurt me or create this fear and anxiety? … remember …
ð What are the causes of this fear and anxiety? … begin to see the situation that caused this fear …
ð Begin to feel the emotions … the feelings … the thoughts that arise from this situation … give permission to your body to do this … and step inside this time of fear and anxiety … If you want , you are allowed to tremble … remember the event and tremble. I invite you to move the part that has suffered through this fear and anxiety. It is also okay to move the whole body for a few minutes. God/Jesus, our Eternal Teacher is with us.
ð Slowly begin to tremble … you can shake your whole body with fear … this is the time to exaggerate the situation a little more…
ð And it’s okay to feel this way … . This is the time of healing, and of the grace …
ð Remember all the things that caused this fear and stay with this feeling … crying, trembling, shaking … looking to express all the emotions connected with fear …
ð Remember the event of fear from the beginning and the end as one watches a video … do this with feelings
ð It ‘s nice to rethink all of this and throw negative feelings away
ð Repeat the process of shaking and shivering. Speaking and looking at the situation in front of you…. At the end, offer everything to God/Jesus and throw everything into the sea.
ð When you are satisfied, make a thanksgiving prayer in silence and open your eyes slowly.
Time and again we can invite someone to tell some positive stories and jokes.
We can hear songs and hymns that will help to have joy and hope
These are movement activities that will help you a lot. We would do this in two ways:
The first is to do the warm up , it is done as demonstrated. You can repeat each exercise 3 times slowly.
The second is an exercise of brain gym and dance (one can do it for 5 minutes)
Brain Exercises #3 Easy.wmv
Dear Friends , let’s do some exercises in order to align our bodies, to take more oxygen through the movement of the body, to maintain, more or less, the health of the brain and heart. (We all have a body. But we hope that we all have a heart … the heart will be here (indicate the heart) … I think for those who do have one …).
These movements are done in the opposite direction to that which we normally do. The reverse way we do the exercises helps brain activity. Due to lack of space we will try to do some simple exercises and the rest you can find by connecting to Uncle Google or Aunty Youtube .
Try to follow these exercises gradually. Each exercise should be repeated 3 to 5 times. Do it slowly … gradually with breathing, and after a while, a little faster. Anyone who wants can add a whisper for example: I have good health and still with grace I will have more. I am responsible for my happiness and so on, I will do my little fraternal/friendly part to make this world a little better.
We thank God for all the doctors and volunteers that serve in the hospital and in other places accompanying the sick and the elderly.
Part One: We can take a few minutes each day to send God’s grace to all those who suffer from this pandemic. Close your eyes and begin to feel the presence of God in any way you’d like. You can ask Holy Men and Women dear to your heart to be with you during this meditation. Let God’s love and the Grace/Holy Spirit fill your heart and whole body. Breathe in and out gradually for a few minutes.
The Second Part: Now with open hands, bless all the people who suffer. Send the God’s grace and Her/His strength; transmit that love that you have received from God, so that the world can become a place full of love for others. Remember doctors and the volunteers who serve the sick and bless them . Now remember the abandoned , the elderly , the poor, the dying, the homeless who live alone; send the grace of God to their hearts. Inhale and exhale grace, love, blessing and pray silently.
And if you want, you can bless all the generous people who believe in others and share their goods and remember the heads of state and others who help generously, sent to them also this blessing and the grace which you have received freely from God . Pray that this world becomes sensitive to the needs of others who live in this period and have nothing to eat.
You can do this for 5-10 minutes and connect spiritually with the world that suffers.
You may also pray the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi or a prayer from your Sacred Books.
(Remember like this everyday we can take the time to lift our body and soul with some meditations and positive exercises).
Brother Charles Alphonse OFMCap, Rome
You may like the insights of ‘Franciscan Self-Care to Lift Our Hearts’ found in the below links:
Coronavirus and our Franciscan Response with faith and science
(Thanks to Brothers. Tarcisio Ofm Cap for the translation into Italian and John Russo Ofm Cap for correcting the English texts; Thanks also to Sr. Eliza Louis and Sr. Srijan for sharing the above images )
Together we can handle
Handling the anxiety and depression due to Coronavirus Stress
The Uncertainty and Gloom
The world community now is facing a difficult situation that seems to have no end. The uncertainty that persists with this virus makes people loose hope and get into anxious mood and depression. As the WHO and governments all over the world are trying their best to combat this pandemic each one of us could also do our little part and particularly those of us who have physical and mental health issues can follow some of the following indications and learn to face this challenge realistically.
And remember that there is nothing that we cannot jointly handle as brothers and sisters of the same world family.
Things to be aware of:
-One of the scientists known to me from India suggests that this virus can be dealt with if we follow proper medical care and also adhere to the already existing natural cure ways and medicine in our own contexts. He is one of the noble persons who is working hard to help the humanity find a good medicine to heal all those who suffer this virus. And the scientists all over the world along with the WHO are also making continued research to come out with the good vaccine. Untill that we could continue to get the local medical help available in time of necessity and follow a healthy natural way.
-According to Dr. Ashwin Vijay we need not fear too much but take care to strengthen our immune system because most of our bodies will be able to combat the infection of this virus with minor manifestations (like slight cold, ordinary fever for one day, diarrhea for few times and so on) except those who have other health concerns who may develop lethal conditions which may need immediate medical help. Even if we get infected our body continues to resist and we need not fear too much but take precautionary measures and get help if needed.
-Listening often to the news, watching videos and reading unscientific materials that create fear could be paid attention. Unless you are a leader it is better to get the objective news from reliable channels once in a day. Repeated watching of the news items about this pandemic itself may increase anxiety.
-Going out unnecessarily during the lockdown indicated days.
-Getting into to unhealthy habits to compensate the fear
-Return to natural food and natural good medicines that are available in your context. Good doctors remind us about those forgotten but very useful ways of integral health.
Integral Attitudes to nurture:
-Talk to an expert or someone who cares about your fear and anxiety. It will help you to handle your fear and will strengthen you.
-Follow some of the suggestions and optimistic ways indicated in the following blogs and websites:
-Plan out your day with healthy integral habits like: Self-care exercises, reading inspirational books and biographies of great and noble people, connecting to caring and loving people over the phone or through social media everyday strengthens the heart.
-Get the sunlight once a day because it has vitamin D which is helpful to strengthen our immune system.
-Count the blessings in your life and find time to do some spiritual exercises and contemplation that lifts up your heart and spirit.
-Help the needy and poor if you are able. Generous gestures will bring blessings to you from God and humanity.
Remember we can together handle this crisis and so network to overcome the challenges.
(If you want to discuss or need further support feel free to contact me in this email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
New Year is a time of hope for many of us. And there are youngsters particularly teenagers who have mental health concerns starting from depression to major mental disorders of various kinds. What is important is that they are helped and accompanied professionally by an expert from the field of psychology and psychiatry along with love and care coming from the beloved persons who live with them.
If proper loving care is given along with the medication and other professional intervention the recovery is faster and consistent. There are persons who just have got medical help and could not get care so they are not able to recover gradually. What I would propose is to follow integrally optimistic ways of self-care and see for yourself its blessings. It is what I witness by accompanying persons from different countries who have mental health concerns. Let us be generous to support such persons, they deserve our love and understanding.
This is a very inspiring article from BBC on Teen Mental Health carrying the reflections of Emma Thomas (Chief Executive of YoungMinds and Sara Hughes, the chief executive of the centre for Mental Health). Get inspired and share with those who are in need.
The above mentioned expressions seem to be the jargons, the modern society, is trying to impose on many people.
Work stress and anxiety about the future leads to uncertainty. On the one hand we may worry too much about being fired in work or with the fear about the future life. Contrary to this we can also respond effectively gathering all the resources available and learn to be innovative. These two BBC articles are inspiring us to go beyond our time and keep doing something to face the challenges that come on our way. They address not only business and work environment but the entire life context.
So try, trust, network, adapt, be flexible, face the challenges and move forward with an integrally optimistic approach. We can ask God to give us the wisdom to shine wherever we are and help others also.