At the same time, I am hugely turned off by Jesus Saves billboards and people saying "Praise the Lord" and "God Bless You" or telling me to say a certain prayer, in a certain way, to ensure my salvation. My faith is an intensely private thing.
This connectedness belief shapes how I treat people. I tend to be accepting and tolerant of others - since we are all connected. One of the exceptions is people who mistreat their animals, children or spouses. Abuse is hard for me to tolerate or understand. Abuse to anyone or anything breaks the connection, breaks the person or animal, and breaks all of us.
I went through formation and training to be a spiritual director a number of years ago at the suggestion and encouragement of my own spiritual director. Although I am not formally directing anyone at the moment, the formation itself and the way it changed how I look at relationship was, and is, transformative. I provided spiritual direction to a woman in prison until her release and that brought relationship, forgiveness, and connectedness together in a unique and powerful way. Sometimes I miss that ministry but right now it's all I can do to keep up with work in the office and work in the barn. My ministry is to my family and the animals.
That may seem weird to you. Ministry to our animals, I mean. I'm not a totally holistic person in the sense that I use only herbal remedies and such. But I do believe in listening to our animals. I listen by tuning into their behavior, their eyes, their sighs, and their needs. I connect to them and they connect to me. I keep our ranch organic as much as possible (Brett does use weed killer from time to time, he thinks I carry this organic thing too far at times), I support our local organic farm, and I buy from like minded businesses as much as possible.