Holiness is really important. It’s really important for learning Supreme Love in Self. It’s equally important for learning Supreme Love for Others and Community. Practicing holiness means connecting to our Creator. It means grounding oneself in Love, Faith, Peace, Hope, and Truth in the course of everyday life, someday situations, and anyday nightmares. These Fruits of the Spirit are heaven sent and abundance of Grace. They are Divine coping mechanisms, situational clarifiers, and orientation tools. We need holiness a lot. A whole lot.
So, how does one get in touch with holiness everyday? That’s the question.
There are a bunch of ways. I’m sure you’ve heard them before. I’ve included a short list of a few below, to remind you. They represent one path. If you want to try this path to getting in touch with holiness, set some simple parameters to help the process. Close your eyes and maybe try the practice for 5 minutes. That’s a good place to start. Here goes:
- Be still. Stop moving. Among other things, holiness gets us in touch with the fundamental nature of beginnings and endings. In the beginning there was stillness. so, go back to stillness.
- Be silent. Be quiet. There was also no noise in the beginning and there won’t be any in the end, either. Stop talking when you stop moving. Listen. Don’t be afraid of what you hear (I will teach you how to not fear, later).
- Be sensitive. In the stillness and the silence, heighten your senses. Let your hands feel the air. Or, feel the seat or ground beneath your bottom. Hear the wind circling your ears or the rain making rhythm on trees or pavement. Experience what is through your body by taking your awareness to what is around you. Enjoy it.
- Be serious. Take the time to experience the embarrassment you may feel while you’re doing all this. Let it rise up and settle down. It’s Ok to feel embarrassed. For a moment, let it wash over you while you stay committed to seriousness. Be still, silent, sensitive, and a little grave. Embrace the magnitude of what is happening. Honor the happenings as very serious matters.
- Be silly. Before or after being seriousness, let yourself giggle through what you feel. Laugh at your positioning, if you want to.
- Be suggestive. When judgment comes into your awareness (“I’m not good at this. This is stupid. What’s the point of this? Am I doing this right? Maybe this isn’t for me.”) observe the judgment and resist the urge to engage with it. If you must respond, make a suggestion instead of a counterargument. Try saying some of these statements and questions, to the fragments of yourself that are speaking: What if I’m doing this right? Maybe this will help save my soul. I wonder if this is exactly what I need to feel peace. What beautiful things will happen when I do this everyday? If you don’t want to respond, just observe, and let the chatter pass.
- Be suffering. In the moments when you’re practicing holiness and you want to cry, go ahead and cry. Sob, weep, and bawl. Do it. Don’t hold back. Imagine the pain of what you remember or what you imagine. Become acquainted with suffering. Call it beautiful.
- Be sensuous. Feel the itch on your skin and don’t scratch it. Bear through it. Experience the itch. Let the fly land on your nose or your hair and don’t swat at it. Be with the fly. Let the phone ring or beep or buzz and don’t look at it. Don’t reach for it. Stay with the sound breaking through. Learn its contours. Taste the thickness of your tongue and don’t part your lips or let slack your jaw. Move your tongue. Taste it. Remember the flavor of your mouth. Bless it all.
- Be steadfast. Don’t give up. If you’ve committed to this practice of holiness for 5 minutes. Stay with the practice for 5 minutes. Use a timer. Keep going. Resist judging how it’s happening or how you’re doing it. The point is that you’re doing it. Right now, in the moment, that’s all that matters. You’re getting in touch with holiness.
- Be surrounded. Engage with the idea that you are right now, in this moment absolutely and totally surrounded with every single solitary thing you need to encounter and re-build your connection to holiness. Take your awareness (whether your eyes are closed or, eventually, opened) to your surroundings and bless all that you see (whether it is your stuff or not) with this belief: I AM here, breathing in. I AM here, breathing out. I see all things as Divine. I AM all things. Complete…devout.
Let yourSelf get to know yourself like this. Let yourSelf be changed through this anchored ascendency → getting grounded and going higher at once. After these five minutes, go on with your day. Notice what changes for you, both inside and out.
And get in touch with me to let me know how you’re doing. Practicing holiness is a core principle of practicing Supreme Love. When you do it, you’re on your way to it.
Jeanine Staples is Associate Professor of Literacy and Language & African American Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. Her book, The Revelations of Asher: Toward Supreme Love in Self, is an endarkened, feminist, new literacies event (Peter Lang, spring 2016). In it, she explores Black women’s terror in love. She produces research-based courses and methodologies that enable marginalized girls and women to realize internal revelations that fuel external revolutions.
Dr. Staples’ next book details the evolution of her acclaimed undergraduate course, The Philadelphia Urban Seminar. In it, she explores Supreme Love in schools. She shows how she generates curriculum and methodologies that incite anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-ableist pedagogical stances among teachers interested in urban education and equity for all people in schools and society.