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By Judi Harris

Webster's Dictionary has one definition of a steward as a person put in charge of the domestic affairs of an establishment. So what does this mean in terms of living our lives to the fullest? For the Universe to give to us in the fullest measure, we must take good care of what we already have. Many of us may have heard the term stewardship in connection with a religious organization where it is often connected with tithing or the making of regular contributions for the good works of the organization.

I believe there is a much broader meaning to the word stewardship. First, there is being a good steward of the body and health we have been given. Many of us have pain, illness, and other complaints about our health. What kind of care have you taken of the gift you have been given? Have you fed yourself with nourishing foods and plenty of fresh water? Or have you filled it up with the first thing handy without regard to the nourishment of the body?

We feel as good as that which we put into our bodies. It is all about choices. We can choose sugars and fats, alcohol and drugs, and we will end up with exactly what we have earned much less than perfect health. Or we can carefully choose what is best for our own particular body and get back the results we are looking for. Are you a good steward of what goes into your body?

How about how we treat our bodies. Do you get regular exercise of some sort? Do you always wear a safety belt in the car? Do you stretch like a cat to limber up? Do you protect yourself from the sun? How about rest? Do you know how much your body needs, and do you get it most of the time? What ways are you a good steward of your body?

There are many things in our lives for which we would be wise to be grateful for, such as our shelter, car, and other the things we have worked so hard for. What kind of steward are you of the things that have been provided in your life? These, too, are gifts to be grateful for. There is a universal law that in essence says you can only receive the gifts you desire when you have shown you are a good steward of what you already have. A car well maintained will last a long time. A home that is well maintained actually requires fewer repairs, and will shelter you a long, long time. What kind of care are you taking of all that is yours in this human experience?

Relationships also require stewardship. Loving, lasting friendships and relationships do not happen without the work to make them happen. So often we take those in our lives for granted, think that no special work is required to maintain a friendship that your parents or children will automatically be there for you, that your relationship will just go on forever. How often do you tell these people how grateful you are that they are in your life? Do you go out of your way to build these relationships even when there is no crisis or special event? Are you a good steward of the relationships that are important to you?

What about your vocation? Not just your job, but that gift you bring to the human world. Do you know what your gift is? Are you cultivating it, sharing it, and allowing it to grow? Or have you ignored your true gifts in favor of the quick money, only to find the money doesn't come? We all have special gifts that we bring into this world. It is not always easy to follow the path of our gift, to truly live our life on purpose. A good steward of his or her gift cultivates it, feeds it, allows it to grow and develop, and shares it with the world. It may be an art or a talent for repairing cars, that of music, or a gift for doing business. All gifts are needed, that's why we all have our unique gifts. Are you a good steward of your gifts?

There are many other areas that may require your stewardship: emotional health, spiritual connection, your relationship with and the health of your pet, your community, and I am sure you can think of more. If you feel that rewards in this life have been lacking for you, take a look at what you have been putting in, at what kind of steward you have been. Do complete work, put your best into whatever you do, take care of the gifts of your perfect present, and the universe will take care of you.

Judi Harris is a Performance Consultant and Personal Coach in Georgia. She can be reached at, or at (770) 982-1118.

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