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

An Easter Journey

March 21, 2016

Easter is coming, a holy season for many Faiths. Every spring is a season of hope, and Easter is the very symbol of hope. It is often preceded by days of fasting and prayer. A Seventh Day Adventist friend of mine jokingly told me his knees were getting sore during lent. Members of the Baha'i Faith are just ending their 19 day fasting period and celebrating a new year on March 21st, the Spring Equinox. Whatever our beliefs may be, this is a good time to take the gifts of this season to heart - to step back from the normal world of things and activities and reflect on our lives. The Book of Mormon speaks of the power of agency, one of God's greatest gifts to us. It is the ability and privilege God gives people to choose and act for themselves. Even if we believe in free will, we usually don't tap its full power. Here are some ways to energize that important virtue.

First, think about a change that would enrich your life. Set your intention. Do you want to have more love and unity in a relationship? Do you want to express your creativity? Grow a new garden? Give up stress and anxiety?

Then, make a sacrifice. Lent or fasting reminds us to ask, what am I ready and willing to give up to live a true spiritual life, to be genuinely happy? For some it is lazy self-indulgence in habits that do not serve us, whether watching too much TV or self-medicating with harmful substances, from sugar to alcohol. For others it is overdoing, taking on so much that we never give ourselves a chance to enjoy the beauty around us or really enjoy life. Some need to give up the habit of self-pity and habitual disappointment with what life brings. For others, it is constant criticism and negativity toward others for their failings, especially the people we are closest to. Sacrifice means giving up the important for something more important. I have found it is nearly impossible to stop doing something, even when I really want to give it up. It is much better to start doing do something new to replace the old habit.

Researchers tell us that it takes 21 to 66 days to establish a new habit. Say, you wanted to give up arguing with your spouse. Your new habit might be simply zipping your lip when a negative reaction starts to come. I think it's better to ask a question. Don't get furious, get curious. "What gives you that idea?" or "Tell me more." If your goal is to add more love and gentleness to your relationship, stop making demands and make simple, positive requests. "Would you be willing to…?" If a home is filled with words like "lazy", "stupid", "useless", or curse words, that is the behavior we are supporting. Replace those words with words of appreciation. Asking for respect, helpfulness, or kindness is a magnet attracting that behavior. Threats carry little weight, especially since they are rarely carried out, but requests appealing to a child's or adult's better nature often hit the mark. Instead of gossiping in a judgmental, negative way about people, find good things to say about them. If you can't say anything good, don't say anything at all.

The Baha'i Writings says, "I charge you all that each one of you concentrate all the thoughts of your heart on love and unity. When a thought of war comes, oppose it by a stronger thought of peace. A thought of hatred must be destroyed by a more powerful thought of love."  1 John 4:18 says, "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear." What an amazing idea, that as we let in the awareness that we are perfectly loved, fear cannot remain.

Choosing is the soul work you came here to do. This Easter, focus on hope that you can create a better life. You have the wings to soar, so don't be grounded by old habits. Have the courage to lift yourself up, and trust the winds of Grace.


Author photo
Linda Kavelin-Popov

More Posts:
    (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)

  • 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)

    (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)

  • Cleaning Up Our Act
    (February 10, 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)

    (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)

    (January 22, 2014)

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

    (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)