Saturday, March 26

Getting Through the Day (Staying intact & refreshed, while under pressure) .......... ...................3/26/11

    The following spiritual disciplines help us get through the day, especially those days with challenges and stress.

1.  Meditation.

    This exercise slows us down.  It helps us get away from the frenetic white noise of a busy life.  Meditation stills our mind.  It allows us to get perspective about the events transpiring in our day, the past week or month.

      Seeking God's will in the midst of all that confronts us, is what we attempt.  Praying for God's grace to carry out His will, not ours, our goal. This is Step 11 in recovery.  Spirituality is humbling, is healing, is rare.

     Meditating is connecting with a transcendent God.  Prayer is talking to Him.  Meditation is when we stop and listen to Him.  We were given one mouth and two ears because we were meant to use them in that proportion.  When we speak we only say what we know.  When we listen, we may learn something we didn't know before.  Listening requires humility.   When we open the ears of our heart we find direction.
"The mind of man plans his ways but the Lord directs his steps."  Proverbs 16:9
      Nothing is as satisfying as having a relationship with a loving, nurturing and gracious God.  For those who may not know He is forgiving and kind, I have two words: He is.

2. Prayer.

    "Prayer is," Victor Hugo said, "no matter what position our body is in, our soul is on its knees."  This means we can pray while driving and keep our eyes open. (A good thing.)  We are as strong spiritually as we are in our prayer.

     If we are weak here, we will also be feeble spiritually.  It's best if we don't worry about the words used.  We just want to be real like Tevye, in Fiddler On the Roof. 

3.  Palms down exercise.

     Try sitting, with our forearms resting on our thighs, our hands extended beyond our knees, facing downwards. Releasing to God whatever concerns us, is our focus.  It can go something like this:
         Lord, I release to you my worries, my anxiety, my pain, be it mental, physical, emotional or in any other form. I give to you my past history and the pain it contains.  Father, I release my resentments, fears,  and doubts to You.  You can do for me what I can't do for myself.  I turn these issues over into your loving care.
 You will feel the tension release from your body and soul. Try it.

4.  Palms up exercise.  It looks like this:
Two hands, palms up Stock Photo - 2109122
With your hands cupped upwards, receive from your Higher Power the gifts He wants to offer you. You might want to use a prayer similar to the following:
        Dear God, I receive from You your power, strength, perseverance, poise, peace and prosperity. I receive the emotional safety, tranquility, hope, and harmony that you alone provide. I receive the joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control you want me to enjoy. I receive the fantastic community, fellowship and celebration of life I enjoy with my family, loved ones and friends, your hope and abundance. 
    You get the idea. We give thanks for knowing a God greater than ourselves.  He can restore us when we're frazzled. The sanity and serenity we seek is available, when we draw close to Him.  There is only one God and we are not it. 

5.  Reading inspiring literature helps.  Yes, I believe in God.   I've also found positive, uplifting books are an additional power greater than myself.  Our best thinking and actions brought us the problems we face today.  We overcome frustration, anger, anxiety and resentment, when we exercise restorative principles above those weak areas in our personality.

     We can exercise instead of stewing in our depression. We can call a good friend instead of isolating. We can watch a funny movie when we're in the dumps. Applying constructive alternatives allow us to surmount the unpleasant challenges we face, including anger, being overwhelmed and fear.  And good books unlocks doors, helping us consider options for overcoming life's challenges.

     Applying healthy principles assists us in becoming emotionally mature, where responding---and not reacting---to the drama life throws at us becomes more of a reality, and not a dream.  Literature can be a power greater than ourselves.

6.  Friends.

      Our  needs are God's way of extruding us into relationship with emotionally healthy and discerning others.  Using character discernment allows us to invite others into our life who help us become better persons by their presence. For more about this, you can read here.

     Though not perfect, safe friends are "good enough" in  their own character that the net effect of their presence in my life is positive.  They are accepting, honest, and present, and they help me to bear good fruit in my life.  (Thoughts taken from Henry Cloud's and John Townsend's, Safe People.)

     Calling a friend when we are at wit's end can be a sanity saver. It's good knowing that, "two are better than one, for they have a rich reward for their labor."   Ecclesiastes 4:9

7. Gratitudes.
     I have a hard copy of my gratitudes. I use one of those marbled, spreckly composition books with a black spine. I keep my daily record of thanks in it. I try writing at least three.  At last count I have over 41,000 gratitudes in the several notebooks I've filled up. They help change the direction of my thinking.

               The optimist sees the opportunity in every problem.  
               The pessimist sees the problem in every opportunity. 
               It is only the optimist who soars and it is the pessi-
               mist who will try to clip his wings, to prevent him
                from flying.

   There are several other things I do that help me to get through the day.  I'll have to share them later.

How About You?
What helps you get through the day? I'd love hearing your ideas.

5 comments:

Kelly said...

I like the quote about the optimist and the pessimist. Is that your own?

That is a lot of gratitudes. It is actually really neat, the idea that you have a stack of thousands of professions of your gratefulness.

Paul NorthernCal said...

Kelly,

Good to see you back again. The quote is by J. Oswald Sanders, it's found in his book "Spiritual Leadership."

Any luck finding positive alternatives to your present emotional state?

Becky said...

I am so grateful for prayer. Today I reached out to a friend and we were going through similiear things. Today I asked God to hold my hand tight and I was able to stay in the optimism rather than the pessimism. I am grateful for the company of God and his loving compassion.

Pablo said...

Welcome back, Becky,

Good to see you! Prayer is a fantastic resource. I wouldn't be who I am without it. Nor would I have the serenity and joy I experience, even when in the midst of turmoil.

It's good reading you have a relationship with God. Remember you are not alone. Not only do you have the Almighty, you also have friends who are rooting for you, too, including this innkeeper.

Hope to hear from you again.

You might want to read a post listed on the sidebar to your right:
"Calmness in the Eye of the Emotional Storm."

Another helpful post might be:

Acceptance Does Not Mean Acceptance As We Normally Know This Word. Here's the link.

http://theattitudeofgratitudeinn.blogspot.com/2011/04/well-other-place-where-many-of-us-got.html

You'll have to cut and paste it or use the Alphabetical Inndex above, find the title and click on the link.

Wishing you a week with God's strength, and that of your supportive friends,

The Innkeeper

Doña said...

I have allowed much resentment to build up in relationship with one person. Finally, finally, I have learned to stand up for myself. The emotions, though, are sometimes like waters being released from a dam. My standing up for myself is not concomitant with enough understanding, I think. I like the prayers that go with the palms down and palms up exercise. I think I'm post them in a place I can see daily.

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.

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