Well, did you know: “Running is definitely a spiritual exercise!?” Yep, at least according to Arbit in his running blog. That may surprise you. Most of us consider our work-outs strictly physical, maybe even social, but spiritual?
Spirituality can mean different things to different people. Arbit finds his running work-outs not just physical exercise, but a time that uplifts his spirit.
Some forms of working out can certainly provide a time and place for exploring what it means to be spiritual and how our understanding of that impacts our lives. I often find a swim or an early morning walk extremely beneficial to my well-being. I use these times to pray and think deeply about my life. After these work-outs, I feel able to tackle my very busy day.
Like many other people, I see my spirituality as linked to a power that is always present love – divine Love. This is a Love that can be felt and known, as well as expressed through forgiveness, joy, compassion and gratitude. I have found this understanding to be the key to strength and health.
These words of health and spirituality writer Mary Baker Eddy define how I feel after I pray, “Let us feel the divine energy of Spirit, bringing us into newness of life…” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures).
I remember a day when I had acted badly toward a co-worker and was feeling ashamed and stressed. I went for a swim, not for the exercise, but for a quiet place to pray. I prayed for forgiveness and direction in how to be more loving. Within a short time, I felt much calmer. I later apologized, and was able to treat my coworker kindly. The swimming itself might have made my heart stronger, but it couldn’t do anything to help me address the real problem I faced that day. It was the prayer time that “uplifted” my view of who I was and who my coworker was – both connected to Love – and eliminated the shame and stress.
We can all exercise our spirituality each day – and feel the divine energy that brings us “newness of life.”