Thursday, January 2

Avoiding the White Noise of the Day 1/2/14

   The last couple of days, I regrouped, catching my equilibrium.  I'm adjusting to a new home and rhythm, after a vigorous two days of packing and toting possessions and redistributing them in a new place.  I'm tired, but still have a large portion of the peace and joy that allows me to be the keeper of this inn of gratitude.

    Life is
discombobulating after a move.  It's been interesting observing my psyche adapt to drastic change, as I compare the newer Pablo of the past ten years---the one that knows recovery from codependency---to the former Pablo that once allowed circumstances to dictate my emotional and mental well-being.

     It's appropriate for the new year to reflect and ponder how we can go about our days. The following spiritual disciplines can help us get through the day, especially days that present challenges and stress.

1.  Meditation.

    Meditation slows us down and helps us get away from the frenetic white noise of a busy life.  Meditation stills our mind, allowing us to get perspective.

      Seeking God's will amidst of the turmoil is what we are attempting.  Praying for grace to carry out His will, not ours, is our goal. This is known as Step 11 in recovery.  Spirituality is humbling, is healing, is rare.

     Meditation is connecting with a transcendent God.  Prayer is talking to him.  Meditation is when we stop and listen to what He has to say. I believe we were given one mouth and two ears because we were meant to use them in that proportion.  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.

1 comment:

Carl H said...

Dear Innkeeper,

I'm checking in with you a day late.

As you know, I typically tie my tired, mud-encrusted, ever-trusty steed up outside on Thursday nights, and rest my weary bones over a piping hot bowl of that home-made chicken-tortilla soup and buttered sourdough toast you make so well. You will usually find me sinking like the Titanic into that overstuffed, worn brown leather chair by your crackling, seasoned-oak fireplace, to spin a tale or two of gratitude. Now a day later, I should have even more to be grateful for, yes?

So, on this Friday night, I am grateful for...

1. Kinder, gentler workdays this week where I took time for daily maintenance, and pacing myself with thoughtful follow-up.

2. Meeting an old chef/friend today in S.F. and thus renewing an old business relationship in his new restaurant. He hopes to begin to order next week! Yea!!!

3. Staying in the solution with our 29 year old son as he slowly, but finally chooses to transition into healing and recovery, on his terms.

4. One day at a time, one son's transition; new journey at a time. Once we get one on his way, we will deal in a calm, measured and appropriate manner with the next one.

5. Joining dear friends last night in a circle of fellowship, as we shared our personal stories; magical, moving and mystical experience, strength and hope in dealing with life's daily challenges.

6. Chairing another gathering tonight on Step One; "Admitting that I am POWERLESS over my loved ones (each of us can fill in the blank, as is relevant to our lives...), and that, as a result, my life has become unmanageable."

7. Not getting up (my day off) at 4:15 AM tomorrow to be at work by 5:00 AM; PRICELESS!

8. Reminding myself that "How important is it?" and "One day at a time," or, if not truly urgent... it can wait until tomorrow.

9. The big game on Sunday afternoon...Looking forward to seeing the 49er's (hopefully) beating Green Bay up in frigid (cold-as-sin) Wiscon-SIN. Hope our sunshine-boys can keep moving fast enough to beat the cold, and the Packers!

10. The much anticipated season premiere of Season 4 of (drum-roll please...) Downton Abbey on PBS Sunday night! Millions will be glued to their "tellies." (not to mention their warm scones and Earl Gray!)

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.