About stress

About stress, psychologist William James said this:

The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.

I sort of stopped by to read a post by J.D. Meier (Sources of Insight). It was an OK piece about dealing

A short walk away from stress

Finding out about stress

with stress. Didn’t make me feel any stress. Since I didn’t feel any, I can’t say that it helped me release any, either.

I can say that it got me to think about stress. Reminded me of the William James quotation I have long admired. Then out of nowhere I realized that stress and rain have 2 things in common.

First, you/I/we cannot prevent either one of them. If it’s meant to, rain or stress it happens. If I am planning to play golf and it rains, both happen.

Second, while you cannot prevent either, you don’t have to hang out with either. Coming in out of the rain is not rocket science. And letting stress go isn’t either.

Some of you are probably thinking that a third commonality between stress and rain is that either one can have positive results, no matter how we feel about it when it happens. Rain grows things and it fills reservoirs. Stress increases our attention to whatever’s causing it, and we feel better when it’s gone. That’s for a later post, maybe.

Back to talking about stress

There are a large number of specific practices to release or relieve stress. Check Google.

I believe all those practices can be placed in 4 anti-stress categories. Avoiding. Denying. Defusing. Dissolving. Having gone so far as naming the categories, I will add that the categories have different rates of success.

Avoiding stress gets the lowest score because avoiding it merely means that it’s still around and may (likely will) return.

Denying stress almost ties with Avoiding for the lowest score simply because denial is not truthful and it’s not healthy.

Defusing stress can be reasonably successful. Allowing distractions or intense concentration or meaningful efforts to work the stress out can be productive.

Dissolving stress is a close but more successful cousin to Defusing. Dissolving stress is seeing it for what it’s worth–usually nothing–and viewing it as morning fog as the sun rises.

So the above was on topic but a little off target. Excuse me for that.

Some knowledge bits about stress

By the way, you may know there are two kinds of stress, one positive (eustress) and one negative (distress). All this is about the latter.

If (when!) you have stress to deal with, it can help to keep in mind that the ubiquitous cause is uncertainty. Think about the last time or the last 20 times you felt stress. Probably really originated from some sort of uncertainty. About getting someplace on time. Whether you would pass the test. If you had enough money in the account. When the guests would arrive.

Uncertainty is not an emotion. Stress isn’t either. Fear is. Uncertainty is a situation and from that situation we react with the emotion of fear. We’re afraid of being late or failing the test or not having the money or if the guests will be late…or not even show up. Stress is the physical reaction to the emotion, fear.

Love is a pushover

Pushing love

Love is an emotion, too. Difference between love and fear is that one IS and the other ISN’T. Love is a truth, a reality, even a presence (a Presence). Fear is the absence of love. When love is not present–better said, when we perceive that love is not present–we generate fear in love’s absence.

So, the simple truth is that love is key to releasing stress. But we need actions to motorize the love, to express the love, to return the love to our consciousness so that fear is ousted.

Some what-to-do actions

May I offer five very simple, easy actions. Don’t be surprised that they have “pray” in common.

And though I would love to take you on a walk, pipe in some music and coloring book a prayer for you here and now, the “reality” of time and space doesn’t let me. So I offer my prayer of thanks for all the ways we can pray the fullness of love.

Thanks for Praying about Stress

Loving Source of Love,
How thankful I am to understand stress
as something natural
and something I can release in many ways
more than the few listed here.
Thank you that communicating with you, with the universe,
with the spirit of All, with your continuing creation
brings my consciousness of love to the beat of my heart
and to the front of my mind.
It doesn’t matter if I pray aloud, with my eyes wide open
or shut, walking through the woods, or sitting in traffic.
The simple, sweet act of praying lets me know love.
Love lights away the darkness that fear brings,
the darkness where stress resides.
Thank you, Spirit that is Love.
And so it is. And so we’re glad it is. Amen.

Love & blessings,
Tim

 

 

25 February 2021

Posted on February 25, 2021 at 9:46 am by Tim · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Inner Peace, Peacefulness, Prayer · Tagged with: ,

Let it go! How do I do that? How does he?

Let it go!

Let it go!
by Jonathan Sebastiao on Unsplash

“Let it go” were words I started saying to myself right after the election November 3. I said “let it go” again the days after January 6. And now that the second impeachment trial is over and done, I am once more encouraging myself to let it go.

It is not easy.

Facebook has become for me a less pleasant activity. Differences of opinion began to arise 5 years ago, have risen and fallen and risen again in the time since then. In the aftermath of yesterday’s vote by the Senate, my difference and disagreement with one person reached a peak.

Someone local, an associate rather than a close friend, and whom I’ve not seen in person during the pandemic, and I came close to name-calling on Facebook. Difference of opinion seems an understatement.

And it’s brought me to several questions. Questions I want to find my answers to.

How do I let it go?

How am I to release the judgement that has become harsher and harsher through all of this? As the political tension increased, I moved from the “he (everyone) has the right to his own opinion” to “how can he have that opinion?” to “what a stupid opinion!” How do I let that go?

I am working on it. That’s meant using all the stress release tactics I’ve learned in the last 5 decades. Now I am looking for more. I welcome your suggestions.

How does he let it go?

This is a question I cannot answer. Even if I could, it would be presumptuous of me to think I have the right answer. And it would not be my right or responsibility to share my answer with him. But I am curious as to how others of either side are working, discovering, succeeding at letting go of their stress regarding whichever is for them “the other side”. I am more than curious. I am sincerely interested in anyone’s answer to how they are going to let it go.

Is letting go a contest?

The partisanship began as a politically caused behavior. Through the last 5 years it moved beyond politics. It’s become a competition from our core. Right/wrong. Win/lose. Convict/acquit. I wonder if the competition will extend to, even taint, its own resolution.

Will we compete as to who lets it go fastest, most completely? Will we be proud that we hold on longest, refusing to let it go?

Can we move back to comfort? How?

Letting go is the essential first step. However, it may be the shortest step in the journey to move back to where we were and what we did despite our differences.

Letting Go by Holding On

Creator of Peace, Reminder of Prayer,
you give us both the peace and the praying to let go
the tension of being different from one another,
the anguish of seeing the same evil as another’s fault,
the frustration of feeling all the other is wrong.
We are grateful for the opportunity
to breathe in our peace embraced and breathe out our comfort shared.
The pleasure of accepting that conflict can end and competition can
be put aside. Although we may have different ways
of getting to the common end–what is good for all and good
for each one of us–we are thankful now to know the joy
of successfully collaborating to reach that end.
And to know that end will really be another beginning
of another chance to know and bless
the harmony we now can know
by letting go of anything that makes it seem impossible.
And so it is. And so we let it go. Amen.

Love & blessings,

Tim

15 February 2021

Posted on February 15, 2021 at 3:23 pm by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Prayer

Myself or My Self? Which Matters More?

My Self is a river

my Self like a river

Myself or my Self? is probably not a question we ask often. It may be a question we’ve never considered. How we answer the question and where our answer takes us, can be an exciting journey.

Lesson #358 of A Course in Miracles is

Let me not forget that myself is nothing, but my Self is all.

My first reading of ACIM, 10 years ago, sent me on the journey to discover what was meant by “my Self”. Google existed 10 years ago and immediately showed me what I’d forgotten from some 100 days before. Lesson #253 says

My Self is the ruler of the universe.

It is impossible that anything should come to me unbidden by myself. Even in this world, it is I who rule my destiny. What happens is what I desire. What does not occur is what I do not want to happen. This must I accept.

Unity Principles and Science of Mind

Consider how thoroughly this aligns with the Unity Principles. That we are created and guided by the perfect Power and Presence…and the creation provides each of us divine Spirit…with which we are able to co-create our reality with Spirit…with whom we have the beautiful, creative joy of communicating…so that we can actively express our unity with Spirit by who we are and what we do.

And here’s another something I (may have) learned 8 years ago when I first enjoyed Ernest Holmes’ Science of Mind 365

Beautiful, uplifting feelings of harmony, peace and love flow through me like a river, elevating my consciousness to a new and higher level of acceptance and unity. (February 7, p.44)

When I read that yesterday morning, I felt it was describing my Self, rather than myself. I decided not to worry whether my Self is me feeling the harmony, peace and love or is the actual river of harmony, peace and love. Either way is a blessing. Both are blessings.

Who Is My Self?

While both are blessings, I feel that by distinguishing one from the other, I increase my ability, eagerness, and my ease in actively listening for the special direction my Self receives, and that myself may too often overlook.

I believe myself is accurately defined by the Oxford Language dictionary that says

I or me personally (used to emphasize the speaker).

ACIM must give “myself” the same meaning with the added clarification that it’s fueled by my ego.

I am comforted knowing my Self as my conscious awareness of Spirit’s universal power and presence and Its power and presence in me. I appreciate that my Self identifies the divine Spirit with which I am blessed fully. It acts from the faith that my concentration of the Godmind creates my reality. Praying, I love the unity with Spirit with whatever medium we are conversing. It is my Self that takes direction from Spirit and messages to my mind, to my body, however, I express our unity.

I welcome your sharing your Self-perceptions. Feel free to leave a comment.

Giving Thanks for My Self

Living, loving Spirit,
I believe that you created my Self
and that you gave me freedom to create myself.
I thank you that you did the good part.
More than that, I am grateful that you continually help me
realize – more and more – the identify of my Self.
And that identity is united with you, is part of the Oneness
of your creation, is tuned in and readily receiving
your plain and simple, powerful and supporting message:
Love. Peace. Joy. Harmony. Grace. Forgiveness.
My Self thanks you, Spirit.
So does myself.
And so it is that I am glad I am. Amen.

Love & blessings,

Tim

 

 

7 February 2021

 

 

Posted on February 8, 2021 at 5:34 pm by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Grace, Joy, Love, Peace, Praying · Tagged with: 

Praying: Scheduled or Spontaneous?

Praying Scheduled or Spontaneous?

Should praying be scheduled or spontaneous?  That question probably doesn’t occur to many people. In fact, I’d wager that all the people who pray with any frequency, which is more than once a month, fall pretty equally into thirds:

So, should praying be scheduled or should it be spontaneous? I answer that question with two questions:

Need praying be one or the other?     Can’t praying be both?

Or more simple perhaps is this: Does it matter?

As I believe there are infinite ways to pray and all of them are right: some are right for some people, others are right for other people. And none of them is wrong.

It’s like that with scheduled praying and with spontaneous praying. I won’t take a stand in favor of either because I fall into that one-third that does both described above. My praying includes a cadre of prayers that are definitely scheduled (not just by time). I also follow the active tendency to pray at the drop of a hat. Or the wink of an eye. Or a whisper of the wind. Quite often I pray about those things, just because they let me want to.

Here’s my point. Whatever praying works for you, works for you. Keep at it.

I also offer this point. It may be a treat to try something different. Praying variety has a lot going for it. Freshness. Surprise. Discovery. Excitement. Release. Relief.

Scheduled Praying

Here are some of ways I apply schedule to my praying.

I tell you these praying practices just to make clear what I mean by scheduled praying, not to encourage you to take any of them on. They work for me. You already know what works for you. And if you’re looking for something new that will work, you’ll find it.

Spontaneous Praying

And for exactly the same reasons, I offer you these examples of my spontaneous praying. By the way, there’s a comment click at the bottom if you want to share your scheduled and/or spontaneous practices.

And for a great read on spontaneous praying: Edward Hays’ Pray All Ways.

Shall We Schedule Our Spontaneous Praying?

Good Friend God,
there is beauty and joy in being able to consider
whether we shall schedule our praying
or let it flow with spontaneous freedom.
We are grateful that we have the choice.
And our thanks, too, that we have freedom
to make a choice; we can choose
the grace of praying what we know and repeat
in certain ways at certain times
and of praying when the emotion or the idea
springs into our heart or pops into our head.

A prayer that we have said for years and know by heart
and the prayer that flows from our being in an instant
are so different and no different in their grace and beauty.

Thank you, Good Friend, that we may have praying both ways.

And so it is. And so we let it be with joy. Amen.

Love & blessings,
Tim

 

 

2 February 2021

 

Posted on February 2, 2021 at 7:45 am by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Prayer, Praying · Tagged with: , ,