Procrastination? Praycrastination instead!

Procrastination? Praycrastination!

Procrastination? Praycrastination!

Procrastination is putting off doing something. Most of the time it is an escape or an avoidance of something we do not want to do.

But that’s not entirely to the mark. It’s not exactly that we don’t want to do what we’re pushing away. More often, say psychologists and behavior researchers, our procrastination results from our not wanting the side effects of the doing.

There is also a negative spiral in this. Not feeling especially good about ourselves can cause procrastination. When we avoid doing something we create one more reason not to feel good about ourself. A study in 2012 by Fuscia Sirois made these two findings

To the several self-help actions recommended (here, here, and here), I add the one that works best for me: praycrastination.

From its Latin origins, “procrastination means “belonging to tomorrow” or “deferred until tomorrow”. I sort of stretch “praycrastination” to mean “pray tomorrow right now. Don’t wait. Right now.”

Spelled out, here’s why praycrastination works:

Here are several ways to let praycrastination work for you:

The Praycrastination Prayer

Dear God of Doing,
I am grateful you give me the power
and the ability to do.
It feels good and makes me glad
that I get things done.
I know relief when I let go of anything
I have put off doing
and when I look forward to the next chance
to do.
Thank you, God, I am that I may do.
And so it is. Amen.

Love and blessings,
Tim

16 August 2017

Posted on August 16, 2017 at 5:40 am by Tim · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Prayer

Understanding God. Impossible.

Understanding God is impossible.

When I first read that, I was bummed. Thomas Keating‘s actual statement is: “God isn’t something you can understand.”

I have spent a whole lot of time and energy trying to figure out the what, how, and so many why’s about God. That bummed. Hard to accept that I can’t understand God. I didn’t want all my effort to seem like a waste. My human mind wanted to understand my relationship with God. My ego thought I needed to understand logically, rationally that we are Oneness rather than a two-party partnership. That same ego didn’t take kindly to the announcement that understanding God is impossible.

At the same time, my heart (I think) felt pretty relieved. It is sort of like when the teacher says you have to read the lesson but there won’t be any test. I enjoy the reading and the pondering and the questioning, all those efforts. However, they haven’t turned up answers that make much sense to my human-being-logical-mind-and-ego. Keating’s statement gave me some freedom. The freedom of trying to make it all make sense in and to my human mind/ego. The freedom of no test.

Understanding God...impossible

Understanding sanderling

Cindy and I recently spent 4 beautiful days on the Texas Gulf Coast. Once beach-ensconced, I easily allowed myself to let go completely of my work responsibilities. I knew the power of my e-mail auto-response. It informed workmates I’d not read their messages until my return on Monday. I loved the freedom of non-worry about tasks to be completed, reports to be prepared, meetings to be scheduled. That would happen as it should when I got back to work.

I was experiencing the power of letting go. The more I watched children dig in the sand for no purpose other than to dig, the more fully I let go. The more I saw sanderlings scurry along the waterline with endless energy, the more easily I released. And as I heard the waves spilling on top of one another, the more I realized the “humanness” and the limitations of striving to understand.

I realized the freedom of not needing to understand the waves or the birds or the children. Or God. The more I am working to understand, the more dualism, separation I am insisting upon.

It seems a bit ironic that allowing myself to not understand God makes faith much easier to understand. Faith is holding true to that which is beyond understanding and for which we need not achieve understanding. Ironic and wonderfully fulfilling.

A Prayer That We Not Understand

God beyond Understanding,
that’s tough to take at first.
Our love of all the beauty and majesty and miracle
of your creation spurs our curiosity of everything
that makes it possible.
The human mind, so logical, wants to know
your what and how and especially your why’s.
The answer is allowing thoughts to release and let go of asking.
The satisfaction is to savor the beauty, the power, and the glory
of all that is from you, is you.
It is enough to know you are and thus are we.
It is enough to know our Oneness.
And so it is. And so we let it be. Amen.

Love and blessings,
Tim

11 August 2017

Posted on August 14, 2017 at 4:47 am by Tim · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Authenticity, Faith, God, Power, Prayer · Tagged with: ,

Belief. Faith. Any Difference? Does it Matter?

Belief. Faith.

Belief. Faith.

“Belief. Faith.” was last night’s topic at the Men’s Network session I attend most Mondays. Since I would spend today surrounded by Cindy’s colon surgery, I showed up early last night. I showed up eager to enjoy both my belief and my faith.

There are differences between belief and faith. Actually, they’re the sort of words that take on special, personal meanings. And so they’re words for which everyone has his own unique meaning. Such was the case among the 17 men around the circle last night.

I came away thinking that if you listened carefully–and hopefully I listened carefully–you heard the same core to what every man said.

We all pretty much defined ‘belief’ as what our head learns that makes us secure in what we understand and what we do and why we do it. We all pretty much defined ‘faith’ as what our heart cherishes that makes us secure even not understanding every ‘why’. Faith gives us confidence in what we do and that we do it because faith as the only ‘why’ we need.

I don’t recall anyone making the distinction that ‘belief’ applied to all sorts of life’s facts and phenomena and that ‘faith’ applied to God. But that did seem how our conversation leaned. For me, belief may be enjoyment that I can sit and watch the Lake Georgetown beauty.  And for me, faith envelopes that enjoyment in the ongoing, eternal creation that makes it so.

I like these two statements from Dr. David Benner’s interview:

Beliefs form as we try to make sense of life.
…they might start as assumptions……and finally emerge as certainties. 

[Faith] is not something that I hold; it is that which holds me.

Surely I believe in God, believe there is a God, believe God is the creator. Much more than that is my faith that comes from God, my faith that is God’s assurance and replaces need for ‘why’.

And so I share the beautiful Hafiz poem quoted by Dr. Benner in his interview by Dr. Jackie Stinton:

I have a thousand brilliant lies for the question: How are you?
I have a thousand brilliant lies for the question: What is God?
If you think that the Truth can be known from words
If you think that the Sun and the Ocean can pass through that tiny opening
Called the mouth,
O someone should start laughing!
Someone should start wildly laughing – Now!

Beliefs answer the why. Faith laughs at the need to question.

Thankful for Belief, for Faith, and for the Difference

Wonderful Friend,
the need to know why, the need to understand how,
the need to have confidence
that what I believe will happen
will happen
are why I hold beliefs.
The assurance my open heart receives,
the resolve with which I know your presence,
the love and peace and joy that are my being
are how I enjoy the faith that removes all fear.
I thank you, God, for belief and faith
and for the difference I find between them,
living as spirit in human costume.
And so it is. And so I let it be.
Amen.

Love and blessings,

Tim

 

19 July 2017

Posted on July 19, 2017 at 5:37 am by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Belief, Faith, Prayer, Praying, Strength · Tagged with: ,

Prescription change? For the better.

Rx Change

Prescription Change

A prescription change happened with my latest optometry appointment. Nothing major but a slight improvement for my near-sighted vision.

The new prescription made me consider replacing the lenses in my two favorite frames: the ones I’d bought “on special” for $76 a year ago. That was $76 for the frames and the lenses: a progressive prescription. $76 total.

I went back to Eyemart Express and asked the gentlemen to calculate the price of new lenses for the old frames. I waited and watched his nimble fingers on the calculator. ultimately, he smiled and announced: “Replacing those lenses will cost $129 per pair or $258 total.”

“Is that before or after you subtract the insurance?”

“Because we’re out of network, your insurance applies only for frames and lenses bought together, not one or the other.”

“Hmmmm.”

“Hold on a minute. We have frames that match those you have now. Our special is still in effect. If you’d like, you can buy 2 new pairs of glasses–frames like your old ones with the prescription change–for” (he did pause for dramatic effect) “…$76.”

How easy (or difficult) is it to take a new look at something familiar, comfortable and accept change? The way business works at Eyemart, my change was visible to my eyes only, thanks to the stronger prescription. I get the benefit of the new prescription. I keep the benefit of frames that serve me well.

Similar comfort is from my morning prayer. It began for me more than 20 years ago, during my morning runs in S. Massapequa, Long Island, NY. I added to it and changed some things over the years. For those 20 years it was as comfortable as my “on special” frames.

It still is comfortable. Yet as my comfort and confidence with Spirit have grown, my prayer prescription has somewhat changed. Centering prayer, my Prayer Box, and writing in my Prayer Conversations journal are the newer prescriptions. As I may slip on one of the older pairs of glasses to see the difference, I consciously revisit and enjoy my good friend morning prayer.

Morning Prayer: Original Rx

Living loving God, thank you for life
and for life’s blessings.
Thank you for the love, the joy, the people
of my life.
Thank you for all I am and all I am becoming.
Thank you that who I am is the possibility
for compassion and creativity and energy and humor
to make a difference for others.
And that is who I am.
Thank you for blessing me indeed
and enlarging my territory.
Thank you that your hand is with me
and keeps me from evil that I may not cause pain.
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart
be acceptable in thy sight, O God, my friend and my protector.
Thank you for this moment
and for this moment’s blessings.
Amen.

Love and blessings,

Tim

 

July 10, 2017

PS. Yes, the Prayer for Jabez is part of my morning prayer. You may also recognize Psalm 19:14 paraphrased.

Posted on July 10, 2017 at 5:04 am by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Change, God, Grounded, Joy, Life, Love, Oneness, Prayer · Tagged with: , , ,