Get Past the Upset: Praying’s Just One Way

Getting “past the upset” is what we’ve all been trying for quite some time. Like getting through the gate

Photo by Miriam McCarron

with better on the other side. There are several ways to do that, but first it helps to know what really causes the upset.

Chuck Swindoll was convinced that “life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.”

I believe that’s true and with all that is going in these times, it’s a really good truth by which to balance our emotions. Another way of looking at it is this: 9 times as much of what we feel is caused by the attitude we carry as causes out attitude. For sure, there has to be something happening for us to react to, so it’s not really a question of which comes first. But the way in which we choose—consciously or subconsciously—to react to the occurrence is our making, 9 times out of 10. And that just may be an underestimation!

Right now, we are facing four major things that give us cause to react. The presidential campaign. The COVID pandemic. The state of our economy. The transparency of racism. And, of course, none of those is a single event; each is comprised of dozens, if not hundreds, of factors to which we are likely to have reactions. One factor that likely applies to all three: longevity. There may not be a soon or sudden end to any of these stressors. We can choose to have that be an overriding concern. Or not.

So, I’m offering a few attitude uplifters to use as positive contributors to the 90% of the time we react to what’s going on. They’re intended to help us not carry stress around with us.

Note what’s past the upset.

Carry a pocket-sized notebook with you. When something threatens to (make you) push your “reaction button”, write a single sentence of the feeling. Take a deep breath. Write another sentence stating why you choose not have to feel that way. Why do this? Because there’s much evidence that writing things down—by hand rather than on a keyboard—connects our spirit, mind, and body. That plants the thought more deeply and securely. So, the final step to take in your notebook: cross out the first sentence.

Example: Hearing about increasing unemployment, I feel ____. I choose not to feel that because ____.

Find thanks past the upset.

Given the seriousness (if not severity) of all that’s occurring in the world currently, it may be difficult (if not impossible) to feel grateful. However, we likely believe the power of gratitude. We probably hold the belief that as we are more thankful, we experience more to be thankful for. If we look closely, we can discover small rewards coming from the big problems. I’ve heard people say:

Phyllis Cole-Dai wrote 58 one-line prayers for the pandemic. She then comprised a poem of the prayers. I can see each of the “May we…” prayers as a different way of saying, “Thank you that…”.

 

When the negative reaction threatens, take that deep breath and think of something for which you are thankful. Let that be the focus for your heart and mind for a few moments. There is a great deal of scientific verification of the benefits of feeling, showing and sharing gratitude. Here are lists of 4, 7, and 28 such benefits.

Pray past the upset.

I have recently found myself praying in a For-That-Thanks sequence. I’m not sure where it came from, but I find it delightfully fulfilling.

Praying for is praying for the reason, not so much praying to receive.
I am praying for my feelings about the increasing clarity around racism.

Praying that is to affirm the prayer’s manifestation, outcome, results.
My praying affirms that recognizing my racism allows me to counter it, release, and be free of it.

Praying thanks is releasing the prayer to Spirit, giving thanks in advance for its manifestation.
I am thankful for my awareness, my eagerness to free myself of racism, and the forgiving love accompanying.

Prayer for the 90%

Wonderful Spirit,
with unlimited energy and increasing awareness
I bring this prayer forward for the numerous concerns
present now in our world.

The reasons for this prayer are
health and well-being of everyone on earth,
intelligence and harmony among all Americans electing our president,
stability and success concerning our economy, and
perhaps most important the release and disappearance of racism.

And so, Spirit, I affirm that we know and affirm the well-being of our bodies,
the arrival of the best medical solutions, and
the most effective behaviors and restraints by each and all of us.
I affirm these see us through and beyond the corona-virus.
Spirit, I affirm that the election of our president be a true demonstration
of all that’s right and good about our democracy.
I affirm peace and energy, harmony and respect
by every voter for every voter that the outcome
be what is best for our country and accepted by every citizen.
As affirmation I pray that our economy return to successful operation
and that employment become the norm for all who can work
and that financial security is enjoyed by everyone
With sincere heart and intention, I affirm recognition by all
that racism is reality and need not be. And then, I affirm the certainty
that I understand my racism and release myself from its chains.

That I affirm what’s true, I thank you Spirit. I thank you for discovery
and realization. Thank you. And so it is. Amen.

Love & Blessings,

Tim

 

 

25 August 2020

Posted on August 25, 2020 at 6:31 am by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Happiness, Life, Oneness, Peace, Prayer, Praying · Tagged with: ,

Peace Is Always at Hand: 5 Ways to Know It

Peace is always at hand. The pandemic is not over. The presidential election is some 90 days away. The economy is fraught with tension.

Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash

Peace, though, is always at hand.

I believe the key to finding peace is simply knowing, believing that peace is always at hand. Peace is always within us. We are peace, each of us. We are the same peace. The peace that is love. That is joy. And that is harmony. Peace that is Spirit.

If we allow ourselves to relax just long enough, we can bring our awareness into contact with that peace. Therefore, if we take a break from all the thinking about what is going wrong. Don’t worry about it going away if you’re not worrying about it. Because, it will be there for your worry when you get back…if you want it to be.

Peace Is Always at Hand

Let me offer you 5 simple practices to make your way to peace. observe, breathe, move, be still, pray. Emphasis on the word “practices”. The more you practice each and all of them, then the more proficient you will become and the more peace you will experience. The more proficient you become, then the more likely that you will make each or all of these your regular practice.

Five Ways to Peace

Observe. Although there is more beauty and more wonder in the physical world than we can experience in all our life., there is not too much to observe for just a few minutes. Select something you will enjoy looking at. For 3-5 minutes simply observe. Observe closely each detail. View broadly  its entire scope. Look at it. Look into it. See how it must have been before. See how it might become after. The more often you practice this, the more ways you will discover and create to observe. Hold what you observe in your memory.

Breathe. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, pay attention to your breath and your breathing. Notice the rhythm of your breathing. Change the rhythm and pay attention to the difference. Play with breathing. Give meaning or metaphor to inhaling and different meaning or metaphor to the exhaling. Don’t rush. Take your time breathing and focusing on breathing, feeling breathing when you concentrate on it.  Hold the calm that breathing brings.

Move. Without any regard for the “right way” to move, just move. Pay attention to what your body parts do and how they work in such wonderful unison. Notice how the movement, the attention to your movement, brings you joy and that the joy is peace. Run. Walk. Swim. Dance. Hop. Stretch. Skip. Roll. Jump. Wave. Sway.

Be Still. This is stillness not of your body only, but of your senses, your thinking. Remove yourself from all distractions. Be mindful of being at rest. Still. At peace. Concentrate on the absence of motion, of doing. Focus on the fact that at this moment you are doing nothing except being. Free yourself from thinking how much work goes into being. The world around you may be moving at the rate of three times hubbub. For these few moments you do not have to. You do not want to. And so you do not. You are still.

Pray. To pray is to communicate with Spirit. That communication happens in an infinite number of ways. It may be spoken but it does not have to be. It may be written but it does not have to be. Praying can be silent or aloud. It can be in motion or at rest. Praying is simply and wonderfully your awareness that you know the presence of Spirit and you know Spirit is aware of you. That is communication with Spirit. To magnify the power of praying to let you know peace may be to make time for praying. To consciously know that as you pray—no matter the focus or the content of your praying—you bring the peace you are to the surface of your being. Consider that the other four ways to peace are praying in themselves.

Praying because Peace Is Always at Hand

Power. Presence. Peace.
How wonderful to know full well You are, I am, We are.
Thank you, Good Friend, from whom I come, with which I am made,
for giving me the power and the presence that come from peace.
I thank you, too, for allowing me to know and to practice
simple joys that pull peace to my surface being,
as I know your peace is always present within me.

With comfort and grace I expect and respect your gentle guidance
in the things I do that I may know
that peace is always at hand. I do this
by observing peace in so many forms,
from breathing the full complement of peace continually,
when moving with peace and through peace and as peace,
by being still in the presence and with the fullness of peace,
thanks to praying from peace and for peace.
Thank you, Spirit, for the peace I am and share and have.
And so it is, and so celebrate the Christ within. Amen.

Love & blessings,
Tim

 

 

17 August 2020

 

 

Posted on August 17, 2020 at 9:30 am by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Beauty, Breath, Inner Peace, Peace, Prayer, Praying · Tagged with: , ,

If only a piece of peace

Reasons for peace

At lease a piece of peace desired

Peace. If only a piece of peace. The threats–or the mere feeling of being threatened–by the chaos (is it?) happening now, all at once, all around. How do we deal with that? How do we make small steps toward peace not just here, now but going forward.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. (Martin Luther King, 8/28/1963)

If we know God is the power and the presence and we call on the Christ Spirit in ourselves to know that really, daily, then why do we doubt that this will end and end well? Why do we doubt that this is Divine Order when it seems anything, everything but divine?

The What of Peace

This post is not to answer why. Just what and how. What I can do and how I can do it. And what I choose not to do. Obviously, it’s time to do, rather than to think about doing.

Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children. (Martin Luther King, 8/28/1963)

First and foremost for me is praying. Praying in ways that affirm my faith in being, which is faith in One Being, which is faith in all of us. Praying that affirms our ability to move beyond seeing fault. That movement is Spirit-given and Spirit-driven. It does not mean failing to see or consciously ignoring. It does mean seeing what must be changed. And choosing to be part of the change from what we see.

Praying to be part of the change begins with the action of forgiving. First, forgiving myself my sight being slow to focus on the human actions and interactions. Then forgiving myself for being judgmental in so many different ways. Forgiving myself for being slow to know in my heart and with my Godmind that all and each of us is Spirit. That forgiving allows me to know that is truth and my knowing that truth imparts the knowing to others. And forgiving myself for even thinking of giving up on that consciousness if I sense it is not taking hold as fast as I want it to.

Affirming Peace

Praying then affirms that the universe knows its truth, finds its grounding, feels and accepts its Oneness. Affirms that we are beginning to remove the anguish and fear that makes us separate our selves much more than mere socially distancing. My praying affirms that such fear and doubt are false, that love is true, removes all fear and doubt from mis-believing minds.

Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness
and hatred….Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
(Martin Luther King, 8/28, 1963)

 

Praying for Forgiveness for Peace

Spirit of Love, Spirit of Life, Spirit of Peace
and Spirit of Forgiveness,
I am eager to forgive myself for all that I have seen
but not truly beheld on this human earth.
Even more, I want now to forgive myself for all the inaction
I’ve allowed for myself.

I thank you, God, for my faith in the power of affirmation,
the faith that what we think, what we put forth to the universe
as fruit of our concentration and commitment is already becoming real.
That faith I affirm and with that faith I affirm peace among and for
all of your children. I affirm that we are individual beings of One Spirit.

Peace among us all, peace without hesitation or question, peace
as our reality is my greatest affirmation. Affirming
that we are beginning to remove the anguish and fear that make us separate
our selves. Affirmations that fear and doubt are false, that love is true.

God of Peace, I am thankful that this prayer is heard.
And so it is. And so I let it be. Amen.

Love & blessings,
Tim

 

 

June 1, 2020

Posted on June 1, 2020 at 5:59 am by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Affirmation, Peace, Prayer, Praying · Tagged with: , , , ,

Do’s and Don’ts for these unusual days

Do’s and don’ts are best learned at the same time. My mom so often told me what not to do followed by what I should (or

Do’s and Don’ts

could…or she’d like it if I would) do. She ultimately told me do’s and don’ts are opposite sides of the same coin.

This morning while writing in my prayer journal I thought of Mom and how she’d deal with the situation these days. (Is it a crisis, a tragedy, a disaster, an ordeal, a problem? Situation satisfies me.) I could clearly imagine Mom pointing out things we should not do and the opposite things we should do instead.

Remember, please, the several ‘do’s’ staying home allows.

Do’s and Don’ts for “these days”

Here are 6 of each:

Don’t think about all you can’t do.
Do think how many things you can do.

Don’t wonder or worry how long this situation will last.
Do be thankful it’s now one day less.

Don’t focus on what you miss.
Do find pleasure–no matter how simple–in what is present.

Don’t watch the news nonstop.
Do watch just enough news to know enough.

Don’t bounce among all the bad stuff.
Do single out and appreciate one good at a time.

Don’t put a cloud over your silver lining.
Do let sun shine wherever you want it to. (It will!)

A prayer for all the things to do, with some attention to things to don’t

Good friend God, the blessing of so much we can do
and the power you give us to choose what we don’t do
are key to successful movement through these times.
For every action we might not perform
there’s an even better one to enjoy.
Each moment of distress we can look beyond
is matched by one that thrills us to the core.
Steering clear of bemoaning what we think we lack
takes us straight to the consciousness of all we have.
Thank you, Good Friend, that we see the great difference
between the 6 we easily don’t
and the 1/2 dozen we are glad we do.
We thank you, God. We thank the Christ Spirit that fills us.
And so it is. And so we say Amen.

Love & Blessings,

Tim

 

 

10 April 2020

Posted on April 10, 2020 at 6:00 am by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Happiness, Inner Peace, Peace, Prayer · Tagged with: , , ,