This Week's Sunday Message

The Spirit of Mothering

Reverend Arlyn Macdonald Picture

All humans, both female and male, already know about the Spirit of Mothering. We know how to comfort, to support, and to take care of each other. The Divine Spirit gave us these gifts, among others, when we were created. They are as much a part of us as our very breath.

The Creator gave us these gifts, but our mothers helped us learn how to use them. These nurturing gifts are the Spirit of Mothering and they include the higher ideals of Love, Joy and Peace. When we use these gifts as we are meant to, we are happy and healthy.

A few years ago, a group of scientists interested in what makes people live longer received a grant from the National Geographic Society to study different cultures. They discovered five places around the world that had the longest living residents, which they called the Blue Zones. Surprisingly, they also discovered these people were also the happiest people on earth.

The Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica is one of those Blue Zones. Another surprising discovery among Blue Zone people is that "family" is the foundation for happiness and health. It is the Spirit of Mothering that creates the kinds of families that bring happiness.

Dan Buettner, the director of the Blue Zone Project, says that "religion, family and social interactions are the main values in Costa Rica."

Who teaches us about our spiritual life? Our mothers. Who teaches us how to live in our immediate family and the greater family of life? Our mothers. Who shows us the proper way to respect others in social situations? Our mothers. Who shows us how to care for each other? Our mothers. If we pay attention to our mothers, we can expect to live longer, healthier lives and be happy too!

In Costa Rica, multiple generations live together in one house. If families don't live in the same home, they live very close to each other. In America, our family members separate, often moving across the continent or across the world.

I can remember a time when my family lived in the same town, perhaps you can too. Holidays were always joyous occasions with all the relatives coming together to celebrate, eat, and play games. And you didn't have to hire anyone to move you, when you lived close to family. They were always ready to help each other. Those are what I remember as happy times.

In reading about Costa Rica and the happiness of the people, I also came across their 8 secrets for living healthy and happy lives. I was not surprised to find these were the same lessons our mothers tried to teach us.

1. Eat healthy foods and stay out of stressful situations.
2. Drink plenty of water.
3. Focus on your family. Live, work and play together.
4. Eat lightly in the evening. It's better for you.
5. Live in a dry climate. It's good for your health. We are lucky to be living in the dry climate of Colorado.
6. Develop a good social network. This doesn't mean social media. This means face-to-face visits with people every day.
7. Work. Work is important to our health no matter how much we hated chores as children. As adults we get to do all the chores and more. But work keeps us healthy and if it is the kind of work we enjoy, it keeps us happy. Costa Ricans work up into their nineties.
8. Have a Plan de Vida. This is discovering your life's purpose and working it to help create the greater good for everyone.

You probably didn't realize that all those lessons your mother tried to teach you really are important for your health and happiness. Of course, these are not all the lessons our mothers teach us.

The most important lesson, I believe, is what our mothers taught us about our connection to the Divine Spirit. No matter if our mothers were very religious or not, they still taught us about our spiritual connection. If we look closely at our lives, we can see this important lesson. The Spirit of Mothering is all about looking at life from the spiritual level, in order to find the best way to live here on earth.

We are so grateful for all the lessons of our mothers and our grandmothers. We are proud of the strength and perseverance of all our maternal ancestors, for without them, we would not be here. Thank you, mothers and thank you, Divine Spirit for giving us the gift of mothers. Namaste.