My blood pressure was in the 150’s/100’s again. The doctor added a 3rd medication to control my hypertension. I had quit smoking 3 ½ years ago, in the hopes of avoiding the same fate as my father: a heart attack in his 50’s followed by a fatal one in his 60’s. Not smoking has certainly added years to my life, but my health was still at risk. I was about 5 pounds into the obese range for my height. I needed to loose at least 45 pounds. A chronic back condition had made exercising a challenge. I felt I was at a turning point. Something had to be done.
By Cathy Burns, President of Virtues Circle
By Nicole Graham Slaughter, Guest Blogger
Grace is a virtue that stems directly from our connection to the Divine. This implies that we understand that we are loved and provided for in all situations. To extend Grace to others is to make more room for Grace in our own lives.
Start with Yourself
There’s a saying that you cannot love another if you don’t love yourself, and the same is true for showing Grace. Generally, we treat others the way we treat ourselves to some degree. If we are too critical of ourselves, we are oftentimes too critical of others also. This prohibits us from showing true Grace to others. In order to show Grace to those around us, we must believe that it exists for ourselves. The Virtues Project teaches that, “As we connect deeply with Grace, we become the presence of Grace.” In order to connect deeply with Grace, we must continuously foster our connection with the Divine.
By Jessica Scott, Treasurer for the Virtues Circle
I chose to write about Enthusiasm this month, but the irony is that I didn’t feel very enthusiastic when it came time to write. Once I finally sat down to ponder Enthusiasm and put my fingers to the keyboard, I began to feel inspired with the idea of finding joy in the simplest of things. You see, I tend to over-complicate things and if I feel overwhelmed, I hold back, but once I take the initiative to engage with the action I have been putting off, I feel an excitement and go for it wholeheartedly. I begin to realize that the tasks or actions are actually quite simple; the complication was just a manifestation of my thinking.
by Ellen Menna, Treasurer, Virtues Circle
Drinking deeply of the beauty and pleasures life offers, we don't waste a single day.
~ The Vitues Project™ Reflection Cards
The Virtue of Appreciation is one we try to practice continuously here at the Virtues Circle! It encourages us to be thankful for the many gifts we each contribute in sharing our message with our fellows.
What it is
Appreciation is the practice of recognizing the blessings in our life and showing thanks for them. When we are Appreciative, we naturally practice other virtues such as Gratitude, Thoughtfulness, Kindness and Respect.
Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict.
-William Ellery Channing
There are two ways of meeting difficulties: you alter the difficulties, or you alter yourself to meet them.
- Phyllis Battome
Steadfastness is the ability to persevere during difficult times, to stay true to your purpose. It is one of those Virtues that cannot be practiced in the absence of difficulties. Courage is like that too, for there is no Courage without fear. To be Steadfast, one must have a cause to believe in and a challenge to face.
Here at Virtues Circle, we recently faced a challenge, which I admit challenged my own Steadfastness. Two members of our Board of Directors had to step down. The reasons for them were positive – a new job for one and acceptance into graduate school for the other. We wholeheartedly wish them well. However, to loose two such valuable members of our team only a few months into our beginning caused me to wonder about our future. Were we going to make it? Was this a sign of things to come? Should we give up? I was surprised at how quickly I was considering walking away from something I really valued. During this struggle I learned a few things about carrying on in the face of setbacks.
Board members of the Virtues Circle write our weekly blog, along with other guest bloggers.