We learned that committing to conscience is a way to tell right from wrong. Our 5th UU principle inspires us towards democracy: all people should have a vote about things that concern them. Instead of turning to one person for all the answers, we believe that every single person has wisdom inside that needs to be listened to. The still, inner voice that we call conscience is a way to guide us on our journeys. Making commitments can help us focus and help keep us on the paths we choose to travel.
Superhero Senses or Mindful Moments with Lea
Consider these thoughts by David Brooks ~ “Most of life is choosing what you already chose. Our lives are stories of recommitment.”
Listen to: Everyday People by Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, Keb’ Mo, et al (Playing for Change)
Weekly Chalice Lighting:
Enriched by our differences,
And joined together in our search for meaning,
We covenant with ourselves and each other:
To seek truth in a spirit of love;
To strive for justice; and
To serve others with a joyful heart
~Rev. Peter Friedrichs
Discuss: What is one of the hardest commitments you’ve ever made?
Read: We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom
The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander
Following Through on a Commitment to Gratitude with a Gratitude Paper Chain
What do we need to make good on our commitments? We need follow-through… and through… and through… and through! This activity is more playful than game-like, and while it can be competitive, it can also be done cooperatively.
You’ll need a lot of strips of paper. Like, a lot. Old calendars work well. Construction paper, too. Scrap office paper does the job, also.
Your commitment for whatever amount of time your family determines (a week, a month) is for each person in the family to write down on a strip something they are grateful for: strawberry milkshakes, Ms. Williams, sunny days, roller skates, vaccines. Gratitude practices fuel our spirit for the work of commitment; they increase positive emotions, improve health, boost our resilience in trying times, and help us build stronger relationships.*
You might keep the blank strips and a marker in one jar, and put an empty jar next to it for finished strips.
At the end of the time period, you’ll make a paper chain to hang in your home or another place that reminds you of your commitment.
Blessing of COMMITMENT
Set your course with intention, friends: we make our promises, and our promises make us. It’s a journey through deep and unknown waters.
Whatever your north star – causes, people, practices, hopes, futures, dreams, or all of these arching overhead in great swaths we might call love or justice – may this and your reading of the winds lead you home.
May your commitment beckon and steady you in fair weather, and be a port in which to dock the boat of your becoming when conditions are unfriendly.
We are a fleet of the faithful, beloveds; steady as we go.
-Teresa Honey Youngblood
Being committed means you pay attention like a superhero would to what is around you. Heighten your senses for this mindful moment.
- Let’s now get into our meditation positions.
- Sit comfortably in your chair or on the floor.
- Put your hands on your lap or on your knees.
- Sit up nice and tall.
- Focus your eyes in front of you.
- Find your breath moving in your body by taking in one breath through your nose and then slowly breathing it out through your mouth.
How can you be mindful of what is around you?
Try switching your senses up to a superpower level, just like Spiderman, Wonderwoman, Black Panther and Superman. Imagine that you can sense the tiniest things and the biggest things around you. If you are curious about something, you can focus your senses to discover what is going on.
In this moment, open up your superpower senses to be curious about everything around you.
I invite you to be mindful and curious in silence for a while.
Enter into mindful silence…[PAUSE]
Now….I am going to focus on each sense. Answer each sensing question after I ask it.
– Imagine your ears are super powered. What can you hear?
– Imagine your eyes are super powered. What can you see?
– Imagine your tongue is super powered. What can you taste?
– Imagine your nose is super powered. What can you smell?
– Imagine your fingertips and skin are superpowered.
Remain in this superpower state for a few more moments, thinking about how it feels to be committed, or dedicated to something.
Mindful Moments with Lea COMMITMENT
- Remind the children about the importance of calming ourselves so we can better focus on each other and our time together.
- Tell them that a special friend named Lea has written a song for us to learn and it is a song that teaches us about the importance of this month’s theme: Commitment.
- Center the children before playing the video.
- After the video, talk and listen with your child to discover all the things you heard together.