Celebrate

Outside of the window, the sun is shining. If you turn to look at the sky, you will see birds flying, your ears will detect the sounds that each bird makes. If you close your eyes, you can feel the wind flowing around you.

You have made it to another day. You can celebrate another day of living. How do you celebrate another day of living when you know that out there someone is suffering?

That people are hurting, it feels guilty to seek to find joy. Right? Wrong. Look around and pursue contentment and gratitude because it is the right thing to do.

The efforts you make today will encourage another person. Even the most mundane tasks, perhaps those that you don’t look forward to. It could be cleaning a room, changing the oil in the car, wishing someone well, spending time with another person.

I just want to celebrate another day of living. I just want to celebrate another day of life.
How do we celebrate another day of living? By noticing what is around you.

The access you have to experiences, The talents and gifts that you have been blessed with.

The clothes on your back, the food you ate yesterday, and the food you are looking forward to eating tonight.

Thankful for the options you have.

The difficult and hard times will come, and then they will go. You are strong enough to face them, even when you believe you aren’t.

What is your present moment? Even if you don’t want to. Decide that you are going to celebrate another day of living.

Reset

Give yourself 24 hours to allow your body, mind, and soul to recharge.
I usually do this from Friday when work is over until Sunday morning.

Today, for example, I slept in, went to the beach, sat in a chair, drank coffee, and read through the book of 1 Timothy. I set the downtime feature on my phone, which turned off all of the apps and notifications for 12 hours. I went to the comic book store, took a nap, and read some articles that were in the New Yorker magazine.

Now I am writing my daily post. Give yourself the time you need to recharge and reset. It is worth it.

This morning, I read a bible verse that stated that our troubles are light and momentary; what we currently see is temporary. 2 Corinthians 4:17.

Troubles are painful when they occur and feel unending, the truth is this time moves forward.

With or without us.
Time was moving before we arrived, and time will move once we have left.

In the middle, we get to participate in life. All of life. The joy, the pain, the grief, the sorrow.

For example, this morning, I could not remember where I place my glasses. I looked in the normal places, but for some reason, I didn’t see them. It was easy to begin to panic, get frustrated, and consider how much time I was losing.

I found them. It took ten minutes to find them. Now the loss of my glasses was temporary.

I spent the time devoted to looking for them.
It wasn’t what I wanted to do.
It wasn’t what I expected to do.
This is a small and tiny example of the principal. The trouble I had over my glasses was temporary.

I am even tempted to use the loss of my glasses as a predictor of the rest of my day. Oh well, this is a bad start to the day. I lost my glasses. The rest of the day is going to go downhill.

I have a choice. I could say, this morning I found my glasses, I put them on, and I began to write. Just like I do each and every morning.

On Lingering

I woke up this morning thinking about the word Lingering.
My simple and crude definition is this- “ To hang around.” It could be you staying in place for too long; it could be thoughts in your mind that seem to be hanging around.

Stuck is different than Lingering. Stuck and Lingering are cousins.
I do think that stuck, and Lingering are offering us a choice.

Leave or Stay.

If you leave, ask yourself if you are looking for someone or something to fulfill you or a place to contribute?

If you decide to stay, ask yourself, how can your lingering turn to contribution?
Lingering is different than resting.

Resting acknowledges that you will be back; you need to recharge, then you will come back and continue to be useful.

We should be aware of what we are allowing to linger in our lives and in our minds.
I am mindful of my mornings now.

I wake up, meditate, read scripture, then I write and post to my blog.
My soul needs a chance to wake up, to recharge, to come to full strength.

I stopped allowing the news, social media, text messages to be the first bits of information to access my innermost self.

Why? This is why. Those posts, messages, arguments, concerns, exaggerated statements, conflicts that are not mine linger.

Lingering in my mind for far too long. Taking up space without purpose.
So I had to stop.

It began by looking around and seeing what was lingering.

 

 

Allow the journey to unfold.

The meditation I did this morning gave me a good question to reflect on.
It asked, are we holding on to an outcome for the future, or are we letting the journey unfold before us?

The truth is that the journey is going to unfold before us, it does’t matter if  we like it or not.  Goals have outcomes in the future, for example, getting a degree, finishing a book, getting healthy. These require time and effort in the present, day by day, to accomplish. Goals don’t happen overnight. We don’t have access to magic genies or elves who come while we are asleep to finish our work.

The emotional wave of energy that comes when you set a goal soon disappears.
The encouragement from friends and supporters, it lasts only for a short time.
To secure the outcomes you desire, you have to make the daily decision to leave the inside of your head and trust your hands to write to finish the book. Your feet to move, exercise, and mind to coordinate the specific steps needed to take to navigate the course work you need to complete for your degree.

The crucial work, the daily work, is often done alone. Often without applauds, and the roar of the clouds or the emotional rush of the like, or the comment on a post.
This is what it means to allow the journey to unfold.

Daily work. Step by Step. The outcome is down the road. That should not discourage you. Guess what? Some people are ahead of you, people behind you, and people who haven’t even started yet.

In this moment, avoid the desire to criticize yourself, your effort, your goals. Make adjustments to your plans yes, but leave the exaggerated statements alone. Just start again. Set the timer for 15 minutes and write. Pick aa time period to work up, set a timer and workout. Devote time each day to studying.

You can cheer them on. You can hope for them to be successful. Guess what. There is a space for you too. For me. Especially for me. I just need to keep walking. So do you.

In all Circumstances

the Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

It is important to draw a distinction between giving thanks in the circumstances and not for the circumstances;

Here is an example, I think of one of the worst experiences in my life. I was not thankful for the experience. It was painful, devastating, it hurt, and the hurt still lingers after 15 years; in fact, the hurt will always linger. I am not thankful for that event.

To me, giving thanks in all circumstances means that while I was going through that experience, I could look around, and discover many wonderful things to be thankful for.

Examples include the friends who called and supported us, thankful for the phone calls, text messages, and gifts. This is what thankful in all circumstances means to me. I am not thankful for the circumstances, but I can look for support to help me make it through the circumstances. To help to mourn, grieve, and heal.

In his book, Man’s search for meaning, Victor Frankel,  while in a Nazi Concentration camp, stated that he would not give ownership of his mind to the Germans who held him captive.

There is a lesson in that for us today. Each one of us faces challenging and difficult situations in our day-to-day. Thanks to our phones, TVs, car radios, computers, other people, we are bombarded daily with difficult circumstances.

The author John Eldridge says that our souls aren’t meant to move at the pace of a cell phone. Look around, take some time today, be thankful for one thing outside of your current circumstances. Pause, take in a deep breath, then list five things that you have. Then move forward.

What is important?

Determine what actions are important to yourself each day.
Once you have done that.

Proceed to give your labor towards those tasks.
One by one.

Minute by Minute.
Second by Second.

Keep yourself motivated and driven by your internal energy.
It is possible.

Possible to develop your own vision.
Your own convictions.

But then there is the noise.
What is your noise?

What gets in the way of participating in activities that are beneficial to you and helpful to others?

Is it social media? I fall into that trap.
I will read something that someone wrote and get upset.
Eliminate it.

The pursuit of joy is hard.
It is worth it.

Then ask yourself this question.
Is my spirit getting mature?

A mature spirit produces mature actions.
A spirit traveling to joy produces service.

A joyful spirit may not appear first thing in the morning.
A joyful spirit may not even surface during the day.

But it is worth pursuing.
Ask yourself once again.

What am I pursuing?
What am I doing?

 

Confrontation

When I look around at the new streams online and hear the commentators on TV beaming pictures of disasters and calamities daily, the world seems scary.

Dread, I can feel it in my stomach. It sits there like a brick. A brick that doesn’t move.
Out of that brick comes negative thoughts. Something bad is going to happen to me. Something bad will happen to someone I love.

Over and Over, and it continues until I believe that it is certain to happen. A sure thing.

It feels real. I get scared. Afraid. Worried. I want to make plans. To avoid it.

The truth is. It is not real.

The feelings are real.
Sadness. Anger. Worry.

The thoughts are generated by me.
If this is true. Then we have a chance.

A chance to generate different thoughts.
A chance to sit with the feelings and ask them, what is your purpose?

Why are you here?

Why are you present?
It could be to heal from past hurts.

I listen to my feelings, and I change my thoughts.
The rock begins to weigh less and less.

The circumstances on the outside may or may not change.
The solutions to the problems might come.
Or they might not.

I believe that we will have the strength to face what comes our way when we take the time to cultivate our inner spirit and activate that which is good inside us.

Show up

Set the timer for 10 minutes, and start to write.
That is how I have written 135 posts this year.
My goal is to write and post every day during 2021.
That is how I do it.
Set the timer for 10 minutes.
Write.
Edit the post in Grammarly.
Post to WordPress.
Hit submit.
Done.
On to the next day.
That is the goal.
The goal is to post every day for one year.
I am not getting wealthy.
I don’t have a lot of readers.
I show up and write.
That is what you do if you want to accomplish your goal.
Write down your goal.
Develop a process.
Show up each day.
One day at a time.
Until the job is done.
Even when I am tired.
Even when I am sad.
Even when I am angry.
I show up, and I write.
That is what a writer does.
The writer writes.
It not just for a writer.
What are you trying to accomplish?
Show up each day.