Please Note: Linda's blog has moved to her new website: LindaKavelinPopov.com
From now on, please visit her new website to enjoy all her upcoming blogs

Cleaning Up Our Act

February 10, 2015

In all the Holy Books of the world's religions, there is a virtue that is named as a stepping stone to Paradise, bringing us "nearer my God to Thee." It seems such a simple one, yet it is the key to our highest good, the secret of a truly successful and happy life. It is one I think of each time I drive around and see the shock of man-made rubbish marring the beauty of our islands. It is one I pray for every morning.

We have all heard: "Cleanliness is next to Godliness". The practice of physical and spiritual cleanliness is mentioned often, including in Leviticus 15 and in Isaiah 1:16: "Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;" I find it so interesting that cleaning up our spiritual act, by stepping out of the trap of evil-doing, is in the same sentence as washing our bodies. They go together. When our house is clean and orderly, it gives us a sense of fresh opportunity, a clean slate for our minds and hearts as well. Purity of heart, mind and intention is the true goal of every spiritual seeker. It is not a path for the faint-hearted.

It takes courage to purify our lives, to cleanse the dust of destructive habits and influences, to dare to refresh our lives with the new, with change, especially in ourselves. "Change is the egg of the phoenix" says author Christina Baldwin. It takes profound courage and purity of intention to change even the smallest ingrained habit, even more so a familiar addiction.

We must dare to step out of our limited versions of ourselves, in order to take firm hold of hope. Never get discouraged by not starting over after a mistake, even a tragic one. I have spent time with "lifers" in prison, those who have committed serious crimes, such as murder. I tell them "You are more than the worst thing you have ever done. You are full of blessings -- full of virtues." Some become virtues facilitators while doing their time, and wash away their hopelessness with service. Inmates in Fiji created the art for the Fijian virtues cards. In the Cook Islands, a gifted artist who is serving time is doing the same, creating exquisite Maori symbols for the Maori language Virtues Cards.

All of us sin. We go off the mark, off track. We lose the plot of why we are here. Desire and greed can steal our lives away if they expand out of control of our self-discipline. Yet, we can always be redeemed by choosing to come back to God, to the good, to ourselves. Every mistake we make has the potential to be our greatest teachable moment. And we are never too young or too old to learn. Just like the prodigal son, we are always welcome to come home.

Island children chant, "clean mind, clean mouth, clean hands." A tall order to think, speak and act with integrity, yet it is a worthy goal. Orderliness and tidiness around us, cleanliness of our bodies has a profound effect on our wellbeing and our health. When our four year old adopted granddaughter comes to play, she knows that before she leaves, the toys we keep for her in a special drawer go back in. "Toys away, toys away, everybody helping, toys away" we sing together.  A yard raked clean not only feels good to us, it inspires others to keep theirs clean. The Baha'i teachings say: "In every aspect of life, purity and holiness, cleanliness and refinement exalt the human condition and further the development of man's inner reality. Even in the physical realm, cleanliness will conduce to spirituality."

Ancient spiritual traditions such as Zoroastrianism teach this as well: "Next to life purity is the greatest good for man." (Vendidad 5:21)  The Gospel of Buddha says, "Cleanse yourselves of evil and sanctify your lives. There is no other way of reaching truth."

Make it your first priority to plan your life by your true priorities. What is your heart's deepest promise? What do you want to do with your precious time and energy? What is stealing your health and draining your energy? Create a space of grace around you to help you set your spiritual house in order as well. Ask for Divine assistance. As the Psalmist said: "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." (Psalm 51:10)

Purity


Author photo
Linda Kavelin-Popov

More Posts:
  • BE THE CHANGE
    (July 23, 2016)

  • Time Management for Spiritual Efficiency
    (July 13, 2016)

  • Virtues are the Keys to Success
    (June 29, 2016)

  • The Gifts of Family
    (June 9, 2016)

  • Family Reunions: Blues or Blessings?
    (June 1, 2016)

  • Mothering
    (May 17, 2016)

  • Learning to Die
    (April 29, 2016)

  • The Power of Presence
    (April 15, 2016)

  • Set Your House in Order
    (March 30, 2016)

  • An Easter Journey
    (March 21, 2016)

  • Living Whole Heartedly
    (March 17, 2016)

  • Determination – the Dream Keeper
    (February 24, 2016)

  • Educating the Whole Child
    (February 3, 2016)

  • Virtues in Paradise
    (January 22, 2016)

  • New Year Hopes for 2016
    (January 12, 2016)

  • Reflections on a Year of Humility
    (December 31, 2015)

  • Home is where the heart is
    (December 15, 2015)

  • Coming Full Circle
    (November 24, 2015)

  • END OF LIFE WISHES
    (November 14, 2015)

  • Gathering for Gratitude
    Global Mentorship Canada 2015

    (October 30, 2015)

  • Raising the Virtuous
    (October 6, 2015)

  • Too Blessed to be Stressed
    (September 21, 2015)

  • Balance Your Virtues
    (September 8, 2015)

  • Whatever You Do
    (August 30, 2015)

  • Recognising Teachable Moments
    (August 7, 2015)

  • Celebrate Life
    (July 27, 2015)

  • Tap the Power of Thought
    (July 2, 2015)

  • Hope
    (June 17, 2015)

  • Call on your A Team
    (June 6, 2015)

  • From Violence to Virtues
    (May 24, 2015)

  • Banking on Virtues
    (May 18, 2015)

  • A Mother’s Virtues
    (May 9, 2015)

  • Virtues Shine
    – in a South Pacific College

    (April 28, 2015)

  • Being a Good Spiritual Accountant
    (April 23, 2015)

  • Bullying in the Workplace
    (April 13, 2015)

  • Easter
    (April 2, 2015)

  • The Best Present
    (March 13, 2015)

  • A Virtues Valentine
    (February 14, 2015)

  • A Pace of Grace for 2015
    (January 18, 2015)

  • Choosing Your Best Life in 2015
    (January 2, 2015)

  • Gifts from the Heart
    (December 22, 2014)

  • Transform Holiday Stressing to Holy Day Blessing
    (December 6, 2014)

  • An Attitude of Gratitude
    (November 27, 2014)

  • Simple Ways to Bring Joy to Children
    (October 25, 2014)

  • A Perfect Day
    (October 8, 2014)

  • Let Peace Begin with Me
    (September 18, 2014)

  • Islands of Love
    (September 4, 2014)

  • Keeping Love Alive
    (August 16, 2014)

  • Integrity: Taking the High Road
    (July 27, 2014)

  • Parenting in Paradise
    (July 18, 2014)

  • GIVE YOURSELF A DAY OF GRACE
    (July 6, 2014)

  • Help Strikes Again
    (June 24, 2014)

  • Help for Troubled Souls
    (June 13, 2014)

  • Tapping the Power of Wisdom
    (June 1, 2014)

  • Path Finder
    (May 9, 2014)

  • Discover Your Joy Quotient
    (April 17, 2014)

  • Trustworthiness: Lemon with a Twist
    (April 3, 2014)

  • Spring Forward
    (March 20, 2014)

  • Appreciation
    (March 7, 2014)

  • HOLY GROUND
    (January 22, 2014)

  • Virtues Path for a New Year
    (December 31, 2013)

  • HOLIDAY BURNOUT OR BLESSING?
    (December 17, 2013)

  • Thanksgiving is Conducive to Bounty
    (November 28, 2013)

  • Flow
    (November 11, 2013)

  • SUCCESS-ion Planning
    (October 23, 2013)

  • In the Moment
    (September 22, 2013)

  • Be Here Now
    (September 17, 2013)

  • Grace in Our Tests
    (August 19, 2013)

  • A Pace of Grace Revisited
    (August 5, 2013)

  • Only Us
    (May 29, 2013)

  • Barbecues and Blessings
    (May 8, 2013)

  • Decisions in Paradise
    (April 23, 2013)

  • Daffodil Memorial
    (April 14, 2013)

  • How Full is Your Fruit Bowl?
    (March 20, 2013)

  • Rediscovering Joy
    (March 12, 2013)

  • Planning Your One Wild and Precious Life
    (January 30, 2013)

  • The Power of Intention
    (January 4, 2013)

  • From Violence to Virtues
    (December 21, 2012)

  • What can we do – before and after a tragedy?
    (December 15, 2012)

  • The Presence of Light
    (November 30, 2012)

  • Circles of Compassion
    (November 21, 2012)

  • Dare to Stop Postponing Joy
    (November 5, 2012)

  • The Rain of Grief
    (October 27, 2012)

  • Opening to Gratitude
    (October 18, 2012)

  • The Power of Gratitude
    (October 8, 2012)

  • Time to Celebrate
    (September 22, 2012)

  • The Gifts of Waiting
    (September 13, 2012)

  • Linda’s First Post
    (September 1, 2012)