Busted Halo

Practical tools for your personal spiritual life from Phil Fox Rose.

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June 21st, 2009
Get outdoors this summer and experience God's wondrous creation

Summer is upon us, and the other day when I read Therese Borchard’s post on Beliefnet about how lack of sun exposure has led to a Vitamin D deficiency crisis across this country, it struck me: Our bodies are designed to need sun. Is that a hint or what? We are built to be outside.

As I write this just before Father’s Day, I am reminded that my atheist dad gave me my first spiritual experiences by sharing his love of natural wonders. Despite growing up in New York City, I saw Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon, Banff and the Redwoods, the Smoky Mountains and the Rockies; flash floods in the Western deserts, a hurricane on Cape Hatteras.

I didn’t know it at the time, and my father wouldn’t have thought about it in these terms, but I was being introduced to the wonder of God. While it’s more important to see that of God in the everyday, it helps to be hit over the head every once in a while with the awesomeness of Creation. [...]

June 8th, 2009
Becoming free from alcoholism and addiction requires spiritual help, not self-help

If you are an alcoholic or addict, being spiritually unfit can be fatal. If not literally fatal then, as in my case, a living death — one definition of Hell is being alive and active in this world, feeling separated from God. And I spent years there. But today I live — and have for some time now — free, awake, fully alive, vital.
My earlier What Works column on alcoholism and addiction focused on self-diagnosis, and I could easily explain my own alcoholism by pointing to genetics and circumstances; but the root cause is spiritual — that God-shaped hole, that feeling of brokenness and alienation I was trying to assuage. I’ve met other alcoholics who had no obvious “causes”…

May 27th, 2009
Let your yes mean yes and your no mean no

I always considered myself honest, and I had a lot of pride attached to that. I had a boss once who would stare you in the eye and just flat-out lie — I mean on the level of “The sky is green.” — daring you to challenge him. No one would, and we’d move forward as a company based on the sky being green. I was never that kind of liar.
As a teenager, when my friends snuck out at night or created cover stories of sleepovers and studying, I simply disobeyed my parents and accepted the consequences.
But there are other kinds of lies.
Let’s say you invited me to a dinner party and I had no intention of going. Odds are I’d say, “I’ll try to make it.” You’d get enough…

May 11th, 2009
It's hard to be spiritually fit when you're running on fumes

I was up late but had agreed to an early brunch with friends, so after about five hours of sleep I’m on my way to meet people I love and I am feeling decidedly unloving. In the bustle of the train, I can feel myself getting irritated by every little thing. I don’t love the world right now. Which is another way of saying I’m not in conscious contact with God.
Once, in a discussion group, a minister asked the Dalai Lama how he could be more effective spiritually; the Dalai Lama smiled and said, “Get more sleep.” (He reportedly gets eight to nine hours each night.)
Though few people go to bed early, most agree it’s a good idea. But when it comes to getting enough… sleep, it seems like our nation’s

April 22nd, 2009
Using the economic downturn to reevaluate your life's choices

Nancy’s whole career has been in pharmaceutical communications. After watching round after round of layoffs at her firm over the past two years, her ticket finally came up in February. She went from a high level, lucrative management position to unemployment overnight. Stories like this are playing out across the country by the thousands. Good skilled workers lose their jobs and find strong competition for lesser positions. Seemingly secure financial futures based on real estate and stock investments disappear overnight, leaving uncertainty and worry.
But listen to Nancy:
“Ironically, this may be one of the greatest gifts I have received in my life — not because unemployment is a gift but…

March 30th, 2009
It isn't boring, it isn't non-Christian and you do have the time for it

ww2-meditation-insideThe promise of meditation is not the 20 minutes of refuge from an otherwise insane day, wonderful as that may be. The promise is to gradually cultivate a way of living that is less insane. I’ve noticed over and over: People struggling with anxiety over things they’re powerless to affect rarely have a daily prayer and meditation practice.

March 11th, 2009
Our inaugural What Works column tackles the toughest question some people ever face

“Am I an alcoholic?” “Am I an addict?” At some point, many of us look back on our drinking or using and question it: question whether it’s sustainable; question whether it’s getting in the way of our life; question whether we’re becoming who we want to be. This happened for me at 23. I’d made quite a mess already in ten years. Some come to these questions even younger. Whenever it happens, we become spiritual seekers. We open to deeper questions of meaning that had been obscured. I’ve met countless others over the years who have come up against this or some other crisis and found that, rather than the end, it was the beginning of their journey.
In this new column,…

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