I have actually, (I’m finally ready to write that book, Helen!) but that’s not what I want to talk about. I was reading Elder Scott’s talk at the last General Conference tonight and was preparing to make my lists of activities that help improve inspiration and choices that get in the way as I aligned my thoughts for a regular Fast Sunday, when I came to this:
We will live for our appointed life span. However, we can improve both the quality of our service and our well-being by making careful, appropriate choices. It is important that our daily activities do not distract us from listening to the Spirit.
We’ve simplified our lives a great deal in our family, much of that very consciously. We don’t do lessons or sports, partly because I can’t bring myself to become slave to a schedule. I don’t feel any sense of self-righteousness about that and have great respect for others who provide abundant opportunities for their children to grow. I just can’t do it, and they’re not interested enough to push. And despite my pathological need to make charts and talk about “being productive” – I don’t enforce those consistently either, preferring for the people in my life to nurture their own productivities.
So, one plays beautifully by ear, another is a budding artist, another a gymnast, another a researcher, another an incredible homemaker, another a strategist (okay, I admit to owning gaming stuff). Today. Tomorrow it could all change. For the most part, the only thing that could be said about us is that if you call us, we’ll come help you. Not too impressive, but I’m okay with it.
So the part about our daily activities not distracting is important to me because I think the opportunities to go help are closely associated with the opportunities to feel the spirit and both are marginalized by being too busy. However, I screeched to a halt at that life span thing.
You get how long you get. I’m a bit of a health nut, and so I’ve made more than a couple of decades of choices specifically designed to lengthen and strengthen mine and my children’s timespan here. I watched my father, who died at age 68, make abysmal health choices and despite having an incredibly strong constitution, he was almost unable to move by the time a massive stroke took his life. It would have been nice to have enjoyed my Dad a bit longer, but as I chew on Elder Scott’s quote, I realize that I didn’t need longer, I needed better: improvements in both the quality of his life and his well-being.
So, of the list of “practical principles” Elder Scott shares that will improve our receipt of revelation and inspiration (eliminating anger or hurt or defensiveness, a good sense of humor, modesty in sharing inspiration received), good health practices seem very emotionally accessible, not requiring us to throw our entire bundle of bad spiritual habits away at once. Get appropriate exercise, reasonable amounts of sleep, and eat responsibly. Seems pretty straightforward. No superhuman charity required to become more spiritually in-tune.
I’m curious if you have noticed a difference in your sense of personal awareness, spiritual connection, or inspiration while engaging in simple health practices.
Do your daily activities get in the way of or support your quality of life and sense of well-being?
How does improving the quality of your life and your well-being improve your receptiveness?