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Coming next: Rituals, Holidays and Spiritual Disciplines

Last Sunday eight people met with me to begin the discussion of Michelle Richard's book "Tending the Flame". We began our discussion by talking about the care values that we believe are important enough that we want to share them with our children. These included fairness, compassion and empathy, self wisdom and control, acceptance of differences and equality, being part of a greater whole, generosity, openness, honesty, and permission to change.

We talked about whether these values came to us from our families of origin and if so were they explicitly taught, or did we in some way absorb them from the family culture, and by watching our parents. Some of us felt that we were explicitly taught, but a majority learned these things more implicitly. Some times the values were taught through the stories that were told in the family. We also had the conversation about feeling at an early age that there was something not right about the values being lived out in our families of origin and how sometimes it requires an intentional decision to change that way of being in the world.

Our conversation could have gone on much longer. One of the topics we only touched on was the need for parents to work out what they personally believe in order to be able to pass those beliefs on to their children, or to answer some of their questions. I passed out a long list of questions developed by Michelle Richards to help parents work through their beliefs. If you would like a copy of the questions, please let me know.

The assignment for July 18 will be pages 19 - 64. These pages deal with the topics of Family Rituals, Holidays, and Spiritual Disciplines. The questions we will discuss in our time together are:

  • What traditions and/or rituals stick in your mind from your childhood?
  • Where in your family life do you sense a need for ritual?
  • Have you created new rituals for your current family? Have some of these rituals and traditions naturally evolved, or were they intentionally created?
  • What holiday traditions have you brought from your childhood? How have they changed and why? Is the meaning the same for you today?
  • What are your challenges around the holidays?
  • How do you connect with your soul, your inner spark, the deepest part of who you are? In what way is this connection a spiritual discipline for you? How can you share this with your children?

Please feel free to comment here. We know not everyone can attend the book discussion.



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