Today’s column explores how to find spiritual poise, calm, and clarity in the midst of life’s storms.

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I have a wonderful friend whom I call every once in a while to say, “Just calling for a sanity check,” and that’s usually enough to get us both laughing.

Those chats are times to be reminded of what I know is really true – right where the stirrings, swirlings, and information hurtling from all directions seem to be.

They’re a reminder to hang in there, anchor deep from a spiritual vantage point, and listen patiently for the quiet, relentless voice of God, divine Truth, whispering, nudging, and assuring.

Listening then gives way to inner clarity: feeling the peace, comfort, and safety of divine Love; and the certainty that infinite Love alone is the only true source of real thought. If a thought isn’t joyful, kind, or peaceful, it’s not really us, not part of what we truly are as the very spiritual expression of God, whose unending love vanquishes discouragement and anger.

In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, speaks of “the calm, strong currents of true spirituality,” manifested in health and purity, deepening the human experience (p. 99).

O to feel those constant, quiet currents steadying us while the world heaves and swirls! And to discover the present, spiritual poise and calm that helps still any storms – first within, then rippling out into the world.

At a time when I felt as though I was drowning in darkness and depression, a quiet message began to emerge in my thinking, saying, “You are not these thoughts; these thoughts are not you.” And with that message came a deep stillness, a beginning of seeing my way clear. And, ultimately, lasting freedom from that depression.

This poem by Allison Phinney (Christian Science Sentinel, Jan. 19 & 26, 2009) encapsulates this experience perfectly:

I can tell you this …
not my wisdom –
others have told it –
Daniel, the Psalmist,
Jacob, Stephen.

When the darkness comes down
like an Arctic night, the
daylight’s squeezed out,
supposedly nothing to know,
some angel comes, says,
“O man greatly beloved,”
pulls you up from your knees.

You don’t even have to see
a dawn, a change of times or
season, the real
sings again in you – in spite of
reasons – just God’s
light not gone, but there,
and more than ever
everywhere.

Adapted from an article published in the Aug. 2, 2012, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

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