Spirituality Spiritual Calm
Another hot dry summer week ended with a note from a friend summing up the world’s mistakes, economic mishaps, and warning against personal moves or taking on new projects in the coming month. Obviously, my friend checks the stars’ alignment before starting her day. Although I’m not influenced by astrology too much, I had to agree, something must have been going on with the planets these past few days. Three days ago, my gas oven burner blew out and then nobody showed up at the teleconference scheduled to meet that evening. Two days ago, the overhead lights dimmed for no reason at all and the computer suddenly went out. With these electrical changes, oddly enough the kitchen lights stayed on without a flicker. After checking the circuit breaker and trying to reach an electrician, all the power went out. That’s when my son Isaac called my cellular phone and said people came streaming into the Emergency Room all night under the full moon sky.
Taking Note of Omens
Today, I took all these omens in stride because besides one appointment, there were no obligations the entire afternoon. I could search for a new oven and also get a bunch of errands accomplished, including dropping off a boxful of ‘Time’ magazines at the library’s “free share” section. That’s how I ended up at the local library as the first drops of rain fell from the skies. The little drizzle felt good after three months of drought. Kneeling down, I neatly stacked and organized all the magazines on the rack. I stood up, looked around and smelled the air. Pleasantly quiet, cool and brightly lit the books began to call me. Meandering through the aisles I touched a book here or there and skimmed through a few on topics of interest, all the while, having a little conversation with my self about the other things on my ‘to-do’ list.
Just Five Good Minutes Will Do
Suddenly, I found myself sitting on the floor gazing at a few quotes that were directed at me and you. Sit beside me in the library as we hear the voice of Ram Dass’s 1971 best seller “Be Here Now.” As you read intently to this story you have allowed the outside world to be swept away as you take in the rhythm of the words. Listening becomes a meditation, just as reading a book takes you to a new place, guiding and directing your thoughts. The book opened before us provides ideas for creating just “Five Good Minutes” each morning. The author suggests performing five minutes as a ritual practice that will help us stay calm and focused all day long. Each person finds his or her own way. Maybe you lie in bed an extra five minutes listening to yourself breathe before rushing off to school or work. Perhaps you say prayers, write your day’s intention on an index card, read an old journal notation, or linger over a cup of hot coffee. Doing something for yourself with complete attention and mindfulness creates meaning, purpose and focus in our lives. No matter what you do, take the time to be really present, to set a clear intention for yourself, that way you’ll prepared for what ever may cross your path.
Be Here Now - Ray LaMontagne
Don't let your mind get weary and confused..
your will be still; don't try.
Don't let your heart get heavy, child;
inside you there's a strength that lies.
Don't let your soul get lonely, child..
it's only time; it will go by.
Don't look for love in faces, places —
it's in you; that's where you'll find kindness.
Be here.. be here now.. be here now..
be.. be here now.. be here now...
Don't lose your faith in me,
and I will try not to lose faith in you.
Don't put your trust in walls,
'cause walls will only crush you when they fall.
Be...be here now... be here now.
Be...be here now...be here now.
FIVE GOOD MINUTES
The book provides guided imagery, relaxation, mindfulness, and meditation practices-fun activities that relieve stress and create meaning and purpose in the reader's day. These practices help readers feel good, get motivated, and become inspired to change their lives for the better.
"Fish for Life"
After flipping through the stack of 100 meditative ideas from ‘Five Good Minutes”, a colorful book catches our attention. As if offering a metaphor for today’s theme, this book entitled, “FISH! For Life” by Stephen C. Lundin reiterates the notion of today and every day. We open to a random page in the book and start reading a story about a girl and her grandmother who find creative ways to practice a mindfulness exercise in communication. The grandmother chooses to write down her intention on a card. It says, “FISH! Practices. Be There.” She deliberately decides to spend time with her granddaughter and connect in an influential way. In her own words, she explains, “To ‘be there’ for another person has a powerful effect. Think about how good it feels when someone gives you her or his undivided attention, focusing on your needs and feelings. Now think about how it feels when someone with whom you are ‘interacting’ barely looks at you.
Calming Your Anxious Mind
The Gift of Listening
Listening is a big part of being there, but it's more than that. Too often we listen like we are in a debate: Our minds are focused only on gathering information for the brilliant comeback we are determined to make. But it's difficult to hear what another person is saying if our minds are stuck on what we want to hear. Being truly present means suspending judgment while you're listening.
Calming Your Anxious Mind
Use this encouraging, step-by-step program to:
· Learn about the mechanism of anxiety and the body's fear system
· Develop a healing mindfulness practice--one breath at a time
· Start on the path to presence, stillness, compassion, and loving kindness
· Practice acceptance during mindfulness meditation
· Feel safe while opening up to fearful and anxious feelings
Be Here Now Video Story
Life's Little Distractions
What's more, given all of life's distractions, to ‘be there’ can be a challenge. Cell phones ringing, e-mails coming in, many people vying for your attention. But, there are many costs when you aren't fully present: You're likely to miss important moments if you're not ‘there’ for your friends, family, coworkers and students. You may be physically present, but you're emotionally absent. Relationships start to feel empty and people seem like temporary stops on your way to some other destination.” The present becomes the link in the chain between repairing the past and creating the eternity that lies ahead. The young girl and her grandmother resolve to spend time with each other, even just beginning a discussion of how to improve their relationship makes their hope a reality. By speaking openly and doing fun activities together, they create the structure for a loving relationship. Giving the gift of time as a treasure that only comes around once solidifies their bond.
Take a Mini Vacation
Our little excursion to the library unexpectedly became a fruitful and relaxing experience, one filled with blessings that spilled off the shelf into our laps. We took time out from a busy day to be open to messages from the universe. With that intention set, a description of mindful living came effortlessly in both thoughts and active exercise. Along with our five minute morning practice we can take steps to eliminate distracting thoughts when they surface. When having that inner conversation, choose to let go of messages that would interfere with efforts to make our world more beautiful. Nurture the positive thoughts by saying them aloud to yourself or to a friend. The power is within all of us to be ‘Where your thoughts are. Mind, body and soul at peace, one.”
- copyright Debby Bruck
Prayer for Healing
Let’s take the next few moments to listen attentively to the words of Psalms Chapter 65 lines 10 – 14 as we remember to count our blessings. Close your eyes and breathe deeply…
Just Five Minutes
What's Your Favorite Way to Spend Five Minutes for Healing?See results without voting
Five Good Minutes: 100 Morning Practices To Help You Stay Calm & Focused All Day Long by Jeffrey, M.D. Brantley, Wendy Millstine, and Wendy-O Matik. www.fivegoodminutes.com
FISH! is a life-long philosophy offering fresh inspiration through our blend of films, books, speakers, curriculum and consulting to help us all feel more alive and engaged in the work we do. www.fishphilosophy.com
Psalms is a very powerful prayer medium. Every chapter is appropriate for whatever one wishes. Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch (1789-1866) once said that if we only knew the power of Psalms, how its words breaks through all barriers and ascend unimpeded to the Heavenly Throne, we would be saying Psalms all day!
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