The living tradition, which we share, draws from many sources:
Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces that create and uphold life.
Words and deeds of prophetic women and men, which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love.
Wisdom from the world's religions, which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life.
Jewish and Christian teachings, which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves.
Humanist teachings, which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.
Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions, which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.
Focusing on Friends and Family
The start of the holiday season can cause many people to struggle - family relationships can leave you feeling depleted and unsure of your next steps. Familial relationships can be some of the most confusing and complicated that we'll ever experience. Difficult relationships can be great teachers, but there comes a time when we just need peace. Peace can look different to all of us depending on our circumstances.
First, know that the "perfect" family doesn't exist - in this age of Internet perfection where many things are faked and photoshopped, don't fall for the belief that perfection exists in every family but your own. In reality, every family can have drama - it's up to US how we respond to it, because we only really have control over our OWN responses.
Learn how to recognize if you're being emotionally sapped by another person and take practical action to protect yourself against people who are not good for you. A favorite meditation can help you stay centered and calm.
Protect yourself from common "control dramas" that arise when people are feeling defensive - recognize the behaviors of the intimidator, the poor me, and the interrogator, and prepare in advance what you want to say to maintain your calm and enjoy the holiday.
Get past denial and distraction and learn the wisdom of forgiveness. Unwind and release the limiting beliefs that aren't true and learn your life and soul lessons with gratitude.
Learning and implementing these skills and the knowledge you'll gain is indeed hard work, but you'll continue to improve your life and shed the old - just in time to start the new month with increased joy, confidence, and strength.
Adapted from Madisyn Taylor, DailyOM
Same Choices, Same Results
“A change in perspective, behavior, or response can do so much more to help us move past issues left unresolved”
- Madisyn Taylor, DailyOM
February 17: Dianne Daniels - Finding and Fulfilling Your Purpose
We’re only a couple of months into the New Year and some people are already feeling that their efforts toward that new lease on life we expected at the beginning of the year is less satisfying than it could be. There’s a nagging feeling that perhaps you and I – we - are meant to be doing something else, but it’s not quite clear what that “something else” is…join us for this sermon and get information and resources to help you live a more authentic life and be the best possible you. Whether you are young in years and experience or more seasoned, it’s not too late to work out what matters, and to find and fulfill your purpose so you can get what you want out of life!
Dianne M. Daniels has been a member of UUCN for over 20 years. She's currently a 3rd-year student at the Starr King School for the Ministry, working toward a Master of Divinity degree and eventual ordination as a Unitarian Universalist Minister. Her community involvement includes serving as the President of the Board of Management at UUCN, past President of the Norwich Branch NAACP, as the current Democratic Registrar of Voters, and she's just started as a Chaplain Intern at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London, CT.
February 10: Suzanne Wingrove-Haugland - Go for the Goat!
Sometimes a journey begins with a single step, and sometimes it begins with a goat. What do we have to learn from the “interdependent web of all existence, of which we are all a part”? Join us for a unique story of transformation, of engaging with the world and letting its lessons change your mind and your heart.
Suzanne Wingrove-Haugland is a priestess of the sacred feminine. She has created many community rituals at her home congregation, All Souls UU in New London, and other sacred communities over the last decades. She is also an award-winning playwright.