With God, all things are possible.
I had a choice to make when I woke up this morning. I could panic about my current problems or I could choose to focus on positive action. It’s easy to panic, especially in times like these. It seems all the headlines of fear and calamity are not only screaming at you, they are also being amplified by the voice in your head. I don’t know about you, but that scary voice in my head can quickly drown out common sense, dragging me down to being a whimpering child trying to hide her head under the covers. Being naturally prone to drama (especially in my mental movie theater!) I can get pretty creative with worst-case scenarios. That kind of drama belongs in the pages of a novel or on the silver screen, not in my life. What I need most in times like these is a more positive approach. Worry only makes me freeze in fear or want to run away and hide.
So what do I do on those days when fear, doubt, and worry are ready to overwhelm me? I change my patterns of thought. Instead of wasting energy on imagining how bad it can get, I go to the Source. I go to God. I pray affirmative prayers. I quiet my mind and reconnect with my true spiritual essence. I remember that I am one with God, and that the Divine within is greater than any problem or challenge I face. I feed my spirit with helpful reading. I pray for others on a regular basis. I write in my morning pages journal to process my thoughts, feelings, and get the negatives out of my system. I practice gratitude for the blessings I already have and thank God for the blessings to come. And then I take action.
Today it was the simple action of vacuuming the dust bunnies out from under my bed. I’ve let cleaning go lately, and now the dust bunnies are starting to have baby dust bunnies. It’s a dust bunny population explosion! As I clean my house, I also feel like I’m clearing dust bunnies from my mind. A simple action like cleaning, sorting, or straightening can make you feel better. It reminds you that you are not helpless, but can make choices to make life better in small yet concrete ways.
And my next choice is to work on a project instead of delaying it. The project needs to be done. Becoming absorbed in useful work is good medicine in itself. When the work is done, you have a finished product that you can take pride in.
I may also choose to gather with like-minded people and connect to a spiritual community. I normally take a spiritual growth class at my church, Nashville Center for Spiritual Living. I have sought out the mutual encouragement of songwriter nights. It was an essential way to become part of the music community when I first moved to Nashville. I met extraordinary friends and co-writers at writer's events. Though I don't go to as many writer's nights as I once did, I still like to see friends perform when I can.
It’s vitally important to find a mutual encouragement society, whether it is a church, a class, a support group, or a circle of friends. I meet regularly with my prayer partners, and I value a weekly lunch date with a wise and encouraging friend. Spiritual progress may begin with an individual inner choice, but it’s not a Lone Ranger path. You need to find fellow pilgrims who can share the journey. It’s not only a way to receive, it’s a way to give back.
Finally, because this day is one where I feel the temptation to go down the worry hole more strongly, I’m saying an affirmative prayer aloud. It’s a prayer that reminds me of who I am and the many ways the Divine Presence is with me; working in, through, and for me, guiding me into greater good than I can yet imagine.
On days when I don’t have specific solutions to my problems, or am waiting for results to come from work I’ve already done, I open my heart and mind to the possibility that God can do something new—knowing I am not limited by past experience or bound by fears of the future. Right here, right now, I can choose my response to life. I choose wholeness over fear, faith over doubt. I can choose to trust that in this period of quiet gestation, miracles are getting ready to be born.
This is a prayer treatment by Ernest Holmes that I am using right now to help me remember that God is my Source. With God, anything is possible! My minister, Dr. Mitch Johnson, says that this prayer has been helpful to him during difficult times. Say it aloud several times a day. It’s one way to focus your mind on possibilities instead of dwelling on problems and impossibilities.
I Have Great Expectations
by Dr. Ernest Holmes
Knowing that there is a creative principle that reacts to that which I entertain in thought, I now establish in my thinking an attitude of expectancy of good things. I let go of the limitations of the past and live with an enthusiastic expectancy of the good that I will encounter today. I know that nothing is too good to be true and that nothing is too much for the power that can do anything. I expect the unexpected to happen and believe in a greater good than I have yet experienced. I keep my mind open to divine intuition, which is the wisdom that guides me. I have every right to expect the unexpected. New ideas are coming to me, new ways of doing things. I am meeting new and wonderful friends, new situations. Joyous things are happening to me. Divine Intelligence knows exactly what to do, when to do it, and fulfills my life in magnificent and creative ways effortlessly through grace.
Thank you God that this is so.
And so it is.
Introducing an inspiring friend:
I recently attended a wonderful workshop. Dr. Dennis Merritt Jones definitely knows how to practice the art of abundance and he showed us fresh ways to become aware of God at work in our lives right here and now. He led us through creative mindfulness exercises during the afternoon, encouraging us to understand and experience the sacredness of life. One of my favorite exercises helped us become aware of the sensuous interconnectedness of all things. By simply peeling and slowly savoring an orange, you are connecting to all the people who brought this fruit to you: the farmer, the worker who picked the orange, the trucker who transported it to the store where you bought it, the clerk who sold it to you, and so on. Not only that, but the orange your are eating today connects you to a history of ideas and generations, often going back over a hundred years to the idea in the mind of the landowner who planted the first orange trees long before you were born. Someone who lived before you had a positive idea that is still affecting lives today. What creative idea or service can you contribute to making the world a better place?
I highly recommend his book, The Art of Being. Dennis says, “Each of the writings in The Art of Being are supported with Mindfulness Practices, offering action steps to implement the essence taught within the writing, turning ideas into action and every moment into a sacred experience. Ultimately, the understanding at which the reader will arrive is that spiritually, the art of being is actually a lifestyle, practiced daily. It is a way of walking our sacred earth every day.”
You can purchase his book at your local bookstore: The Art of Being: 101 Ways to Practice Purpose in Your Life by Dennis Merritt Jones (©2008 Tarcher/Putnam) or at Amazon.com and other retailers.
Visit his website: http://www.dennismerrittjones.com/
With God, all things are possible.