We learned about the energy present in commitment and its importance, which is putting that energy into action. Compassion comes from Latin words meaning “suffer with.” The 2nd UU principle invites us to “Justice, equity and compassion in human relations.” Compassion for others points us to our larger community. Compassion guides us to freeing others from suffering by putting our love into action. So, what’s one of the ways our faith guides us into becoming a people of commitment? It tells us “Commit to treating the struggles of others as your own.
Superhero Senses or Mindful Moments with Lea
Consider these thoughts by Bell Hooks ~ “ The heart of justice is truth telling, seeing ourselves and the world the way it is rather than the way we want it to be. More than ever before we, as a society, need to renew a commitment to truth telling.”
Listen to: Good Job by Alicia Keys and the One Voice Children’s Choir
Weekly Chalice Lighting
Each time we light the chalice
we renew our commitment to our Unitarian Universalist faith.
With the spark of a match, we make it new again –
as fresh and surprising as the first day
we encountered this spiritual community
and realized we were home.
~Rev. Suzelle Lynch
Discuss: If your family had an extra day or two every month to commit to being of service to others, what would you do with that time?
Read: I am Enough by Grace Byers
Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller
A Family Sign: Writing Your Own Name on Your Heart
New science on self-talk shows that when you harness the power of your inner voice, and maybe especially if you consciously use your own name as you do so (in the 3rd person), your neural pathways seem to interpret your statements and assessments as challenges to rise to.**
This month, let’s test these new ideas out by committing to loving self-talk for the whole of the month.
- Set a timer on your phone, or decide on a time of day that works for the whole family.
- Gather together, and either out loud or silently to ourselves, in the too-often unfriendly space of our own minds, say “(Your own name), you are beloved. Write it on your heart.”
- When you get to the heart part, everybody write their own name with their finger across their heart, or if they are very young, draw a heart over their own heart.
Why are we doing this? Because our commitments are rooted in love. And all love begins with self-love. But humans are not so consistent, so even if you have loved yourself in the past, or love yourself easily in some areas of your life, we could all use the boost and reminder that we are beloved.
Last month, we explored Beloved Community together. Beloved community and commitment are intertwined. So this practice and movement is also a way to remind us of the greater good we are working for when we put this effort into self-love. If we believe and are willing to commit to the manifestation of a beloved community for all, then we have to acknowledge that we belong there, too. Love isn’t just for other people. It’s for us, too, whether or not we believe in any particular moment that we’re worthy of it.
Throughout the month, if someone in your family seems down on themselves, or as if they could use a reminder of their divine nature, you might consider making eye contact across a room and wordlessly drawing a heart over your own heart. Especially after doing the above ritual together a few times, the meaning will be clear: You are made of and for love; I see you.
**Kross, Ethan. Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why it Matters, and How to Harness It.
New York: Crown Publishers, 2021.
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.