Journey to Stewardship

Stewardship a state of consciousness.  We cultivate stewardship when we care for and responsibly manage the resources that have been entrusted to us.  That means not being self-indulgent or short sighted in the way that we spend our money or our time.  Gambling away last week’s pay is not good stewardship.  Running up huge debt on our credit cards or going on a shopping spree is not good stewardship.  Good stewards are responsible for themselves and for the people who depend on them.  They are also responsible for the care and protection of the community and the environment.

Opposite States of Consciousness:  Exploitation of others and the environment, careless management of resources, recklessness, greed, waste, expediency, lack of responsibility, inability to pay one’s debts, squandering resources that are needed by our dependents or the next generation, ignoring our fiduciary duties, stealing or defrauding others, preying upon the young, the elderly or others who are innocent and cannot defend themselves.

The Teaching

Each of us is responsible for ourselves.  We must start with that.  We must take care of our health, work for a living if we can, pay our bills, and spend our money wisely.  We must understand and provide for our physical and emotional needs so that we thrive and can be happy.  If we can do that then we may be able to do the same for our family. 
     As the Taoist sages knew, a healthy family requires a healthy individual.  A healthy community requires healthy families.  A healthy country requires healthy communities.  Resources must be used wisely from the bottom up.  If you are not responsible in your own life, then you can undermine the health of your family and your community.  Everything starts with you.  Be at peace and peace begins its journey of manifestation in the world.  
     Prosperity begins in your own heart and mind.   Walk your talk and do not make promises that you cannot keep.  Do not spend money impulsively.  Do not gamble or squander your resources to feed your additions.  Live a measured and moderate life.
     Don’t waste your time defending your honor or complaining about the actions of others.  Don’t be a victim.  Live an empowered life. Know that your success is up to you, not to anyone else.
     A good steward earns the respect and the trust of his family and his community.  He creates stability and safety around him.  He feeds, houses and protects his loved ones.  He helps others in the community that need his assistance and his encouragement.  He contributes to the greater good.
     A good steward fulfills his fiduciary duties.  He is accountable for his actions.  He does not lie, cheat, steal or seek to defraud others.  He treats others the way he wants to be treated.  He lives by the golden rule.
    A good steward works to ensure that his business is sound and that the organizations that serve his community are financially solid.    He does his part to make sure that the needy are fed and the streets are safe. 
      He cares for nature and the health of the planet.  He stands up against exploitation of the environment.  He opposes short sighted development that is fed by corporate greed.  
     He holds companies responsible when they pollute the air, the water or the earth and he opposes government agencies and political parties that refuse to protect our right to clean air, clean water, and an earth that can feed our people.   
     A good steward understands that the pollution and pillaging of the planet leads not just to global warming, with its terrible fires and floods, but to the extinction of many species that contribute to our long-term health and well-being.  He knows that bio-diversity is necessary for our planet and engages in efforts to save endangered species.
     A good steward is personally and socially responsible.  He is a protector and a guardian of his loved ones, the citizens of his community, and the inhabitants of the planet. His arc of responsibility starts in his heart and reaches out through his words and actions to encircle the earth. 

The Practice 

Today, be responsible in your words and your actions.  Take care of your own needs and the needs of your family.  Let your care extend to those who are less fortunate in your community.  Be an advocate for them too.
     Today be a good steward.  Do not squander your resources. Use them wisely.  Do not create debts you cannot repay.  Do not gamble or make impulsive purchases.  Do not waste your time and your energy.  Do not overconsume , take more than you need, or feed your addictions .   Be moderate.  Be proportional.  Be measured.  Make good, sustainable choices that support your well-being and that of others.
    Today, care for the earth on which you live.  Recycle, repair what you can so that you do not have to trash it and replace it with new products.  Try not to support the throw away culture that pollutes the air and the water and contaminates the earth on which you live.
     Today, give a gift to a stranger in need.  Assist someone out who needs a helping hand or a little support and encouragement.   Help to create safety and stability in your family and your community.
     If you get confused or stressed out, take a stroll in the park.  Walk by the river or on the beach.  Climb a mountain path to a beautiful vista.  Experience the beauty of the waters, the sky and the trees.  Sit on a rock and get quiet.  Take a moment to pray for the good of all the people who share your life.   Let yourself by calmed and renewed by nature and remember that without her, life would wither and die. 
    Today be a friend to Mother Earth and all her people.  Celebrate her beauty around you and do everything you can to protect and sustain it.  Today, do what you can to conserve her resources so that you can pass them on intact to the next generation.   

Journaling Questions

Are you taking good care of the resources that have been entrusted to you so that you can pass them on to the next generation? If not, how can you take better care of those resources?

Audio Recording: click on the link to download the audio only file: | download audio |

Spiritual Mastery Prayer
by Paul Ferrini


Father/Mother God:

Help me to feel my oneness with you
and my equality with my brothers and sisters.

Help me to recognize my judgments
and to look within for correction.

Help me to give up shame and blame
and to learn from my errors
so that I do not repeat them.

Help me to care for my body, my family,
my community and my planet.

Help me to create what is for my highest good
and for the highest good of others.

Help me to be responsible for my creations.

Help me give up victim consciousness
and realize that I am a powerful person
with many creative choices.

Help me to stand up for myself in a loving way
without attacking others or seeking to influence
the choices they need to make.

Help me offer freedom to others
so that I may receive it in return.

Help me reach out with compassion to those in pain,
in grief, under stress, or in limitation of any kind
and offer them hope and encouragement.

Allow my heart to open to them.
Allow my eyes to see beyond the behavior
that is motivated by fear and unworthiness.

May I offer to others and to myself
the unconditional love and acceptance you offer to me.

Help me to master my skills and talents
so that I may place them in your service
and fulfill my purpose here.

Help me to step into the role you would have me play
in inspiring, empowering and uplifting others

Help me to trust my gifts and give them
without expectation of return
whenever the opportunity arises.

Help me to give freely and love freely
surrendering the outcome to you.

Help me surrender the need to control
so that I can live spontaneously
and with your grace.

Help me to understand and heal my wounds
so that I don’t push love away
or block its presence in my heart
and in my relationships.

Help me soften and become vulnerable.
Help me learn to ask for help
and trust the help that you offer me.

Allow me to heal the past
so that I can enter the present fully.

Allow me to become a doorway
for the healing of others
and let me walk courageously through the door
that has been opened for me.

Help me surrender what is false
and establish in what is true
firmly and with conviction.

Help me to walk my talk, listen deeply,
and speak only when I have something helpful to say.

Help me to understand that the Friend
is always with me
and my only purpose is to be a Friend to others.

Help me detach from name and fame
and surrender all forms of external authority
so that I can be guided by the authority within.

Allow me to know at all times and in all places
that the highest good of others
is and will always be my highest good.

Let all that separates me from others fall away
so that I may recognize the One Self in all beings.

Allow me to complete my work on earth
with care and humility
and return to you when my work here is done.

May all veils and barriers that separate us dissolve
so that I may dwell fully and completely
in the heart of your love.

Amen 

Audio Recording: click on the link to download the audio only file: | download audio |