A Spiritual Walk for Veterans and First Responders

By Linda La Croix

A few years ago, I held a Veteran’s Walk after church. One of our veteran members was very happy that we would do something special for veterans. He encouraged me to watch for the right person to lead something where veterans could come into the church and have the opportunity to talk with each other. It was not to be a church service, but a time and space to enjoy conversation with “like minds” or something that could make them feel stronger in body, mind and spirit.

I thought it was a great idea, but as you have probably experienced yourself, sometimes we have great ideas and have no way to facilitate them. When this happens there is no point in getting disappointed or frustrated: instead, we must gather patience and wait for the timing to be right.

The right time is always God’s time.

While waiting, there is no work for us to do to make it happen. When we have an idea and decide to act right now, without meditating on it, without thinking on it, we step out of the process of working for the best and highest good. It now becomes in your time, not God’s time. You can tell the difference between your time and God’s time because your time takes more work and more effort from you.

Our job is to know when the time is right; God will always put the idea together for us and, once you begin, everything just flows. If it doesn’t, then you know to step back as the timing is not right. In the meantime, while we wait, we can hold everything in prayer, and in our mind’s eye, we can keep seeing the end result as being good.

Because our thoughts are things, I encourage you to just think on your ideas and bless them. In my instance, from time to time, I would affirm God was creating something for veterans and I am grateful I need do nothing.

We have a lot of events at Unity for the community to enjoy that are not part of the church activities. During a folk music night, I had the opportunity to speak to a veteran who shared his personal story with me. I blessed him, his story and my idea again. In meditating on our conversation, I knew the idea was coming closer to fruition.

The idea came shaped into a class for life energy work and renewal. Facilitating the class is J.T. Ramelis, a Vietnam Veteran and experienced First Responder.

We are opening this class to provide personal development through Qi Gong. J.T. says it is a moving meditation. In Chinese, Qi means ‘life energy’ and Gong means ‘work.’

The series of movements are designed to increase your life energy and stimulate your various organs, as well as stretch your muscles, making you more flexible. Studies show that with the regular use of meditation, it is possible to reduce stress hormones and inflammation, and it may help with high blood pressure!

Medical research has determined that meditation, both seated and moving, can help elicit a physiological state that is the opposite of stress, helping with the “flight or fight” mode that Combat Veterans and First Responders often find themselves in.

First Responders and their spouses are also invited to join in on these classes. These free classes start at 4 p.m. on Aug. 14 at Unity of Lake Orion. You are encouraged to stay for both classes, but it is not required, and you can enter or leave the class at any time.

The class is not about church or religion; no religious thoughts will be shared unless you ask to connect with us at Unity.

This is an opportunity to rebuild your body, mind and spirit with someone who has walked in your shoes and has the desire in his heart to support you in ways that can uplift your life. If you are experiencing anxiety or your past keeps showing itself to you, consider coming in. J.T. has used these practices for over 40 years with great success.

A Spiritual Walk is for enlightening ourselves to how great God can be when we step out of the way and let the creation flow.

I remain grateful to work with God, our Source of All Creation, in God time, bringing ideas to fruition.

And, who knows, November’s Veterans Day just may bring around another Veterans Day Walk. Hmmm, life is good!

Many blessings,

Linda La Croix

Unity Director and Prayer Chaplain at Unity

of Lake Orion. Find more on her Facebook page – A Spiritual Walk

*J.T. Ramelis is presently a peer volunteer instructor in the Whole Health Program at the Flint Veterans Administration clinic where he teaches Qi Gong and Mindfulness Meditation to the veterans and their spouses. Being experienced as both a Veteran and First Responder, he is aware of the stress that can be associated with both of these careers and their spouses. For this reason he has opened the class to First Responders and their spouses as well. Additional comments by J.T. is available on our website under community connections.