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Simple Pleasures


Expect the most from all aspects of your life

Laura Nicole Garbers has a master’s degree in counseling. She has worked with a range of clients with mental, emotional, behavioral, spiritual and physical wellness concerns, promoting health through counseling and creative therapies, including sensing, expression and movement.

bewell1Hi, Laura,
I’m so frustrated with my religion. It’s hard to admit, but sometimes I can’t stand going to church! I love God and consider myself to be very spiritual, but I don’t know what to do anymore. Sometimes I just sit in the parking lot at church and then drive home, irritated with myself and everyone else. Am I foolish to believe that I should enjoy going to church?

Dear Patrick,
Of course you’re not foolish to believe you should enjoy yourself. If our hearts and minds are in the right place, every moment of every day can be enjoyed. This is simply because we follow what pleases us and brings us joy, and we put positive energy into ourselves and our relationships. If I were you, I would ask myself what it is I expect out of religious services and what I expect to give during church services. If I think back on my own spiritual and religious struggles, I realize that what is spiritual can be religious and what is religious can be spiritual—but that it is not always so. Sometimes our hearts are in the right place, but the priest or minister is not. Sometimes the piano music is simply lovely, but our voices come out sounding harsh. Sometimes the sermon is right on target, but we are too busy or selfish to hear it. Sometimes we really and truly know what God wants from us, but our religious leaders are not in tune. It can be difficult to get all these things in sync. However, if you have patience with yourself and other people, perhaps you will find a balance. Put yourself out there spiritually and allow yourself to receive spiritual gifts. I’m not saying that sticking with your church or your religion is the best thing to do, but neither am I suggesting that you abandon it. You’ve got to figure out what moves your heart and brings you joy, and follow that path with confidence.
Best wishes,

My education was so expensive and now my job is costing me still more money on continuing education, organizations, etc. When will I be educated enough? It’s not easy to want to put money into my career when I feel as if the blood has been—and is being—sucked out me.

Dear Jenny,
The path to a career should be a fulfilling one. If you feel as if you’ve spent too much money in the past and still spend too much on education, then perhaps you need to think about ending some of these obligations or changing your career focus. To remain at the top of your professional career, you may need to learn the latest in your field, but you may be able to supplement your education in other ways, like by reading the textbook but forgoing the expensive class. The professional world is complex, but there are bright paths out there. If you seek the light, I’m sure your feet will take you in the right direction. Some obligations you’ll need to keep, but others may not be so important. Try to feel your way and find which directions work best for you. Because you spend so much of your life at work, it’s important that you enjoy it. Being under financial stress is not a pleasant situation for anyone, so I would focus on how you can lift yourself out of debt and financial insecurity as best as possible. No one wants to experience stress, but if you seek relief with the confidence that a solution can be found, I’m sure you’ll find it. Our hearts beat best to the tune of relative peace and relaxation, so find those calm waters and know that you deserve them in every aspect of your life.
Best wishes,