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    Gary Crandall sent me home with much 'food for thought.' As a result of his discussion with us, I will be able to exercise more effectively and efficiently. My motivation to push myself intelligently got a boost. My husband came home feeling more equipped to focus on his self-care and well-being for which I'm deeply appreciative.

    Julie H., JUMPSTART Program Participant
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    by Lisa Redfearn, MSW, LCSW, Can Do MS Programs Consultant

    Many of you have heard of spirituality or have experienced spirituality.  Even if you have heard of it, you may wonder what it really means or how you practice spirituality.   Consider the following definition developed at the National Consensus Conference and published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine, October, 2009:

    “Spirituality is the aspect of humanity that refers to the way individuals seek and express meaning and purpose and the way they experience their connectedness to the moment, to self, to others, to nature, and to the significant or sacred”.

    In consideration of this definition, let’s look at the practical application of spirituality.  For example how might you seek and express meaning?  Spirituality can be expressed through prayer, meditation, religion, yoga, singing, etc.  In participating in one of these spiritual activities we may appreciate and recognize meaning and purpose in our lives.

    Where would you connect to nature, to others or the significant or sacred?  You may find yourself connecting in places of worship, such as churches or synagogues.  You may also experience this connectedness in your homes, the mountains, clinics, or hospitals.  There are many possibilities for where you might seek this connection.

    All people want to connect to others in some way, and it gives our lives meaning when we do feel this connection to self, others the significant or sacred.   Why?   We all want the…..“The Four L’s”.   As we face our lives including the difficulties, we all want to feel love, live in the moment, laugh, and let go

    Love opens our hearts where we feel peace, compassion and the connection to others or spirituality. 

    Living in the moment allows our conscious connection to that moment, others, nature or the sacred in our lives. 

    Laughing elicits that connection to joy, which is at the center of many spiritual teachings.  Mother Teresa said, “The sound of laughter is the strongest force toward health, productivity, strength, and spirituality.” 

    Letting go is the action.  We allow our minds and bodies to relax and let go of stress or worries.  In this process of letting go we can achieve the connection “to the moment, to self, to others, to nature, and to the significant or sacred”.   We are all on a journey to attain the meaning and higher purpose of life by discovering who and what is important to us.

    “And remember, we all stumble, every one of us.  That’s why it’s a comfort to go hand in hand.”

    -E.K. Brough

     For more information on Practical Spirituality, please view the archived webinar: http://www.mscando.org/multiple-sclerosis-programs/webinar-series/

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