I have always loved The Wizard of Oz. Once I got past the scary monkeys, the message about the power within and our desire to be home rang loud and clear. This message still resonates with me today and keeps my perspective on what is important. Our world is a constant encounter with information based on scarcity and fear, it takes real effort and a lot of grace to keep focused on abundance and the possibilities. Additionally, it takes a lot of faith to truly believe God is in the middle of all this.
As a recovering worrier, it is easy for me at times to go into “stinking thinking “mode. Therefore, I can say with authority that so much of life is about the self-discipline and training of our mind. I have found the practice of writing down things for which I am grateful is a powerful tool to keep me focused on the blessings and gifts I have in my life. In her book Ten Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp does a nice job sharing her journey of acceptance and peace through the gift of gratitude. Do not underestimate this simple and powerful exercise, the shift is palpable.
In the last post, I oriented us to our why and living how God wants us to live, in love. The saints can serve as role models and as a source of inspiration in our journey to goodness.
Simplicity works for me. As my yoga instructor teaches, small daily actions lead to big dividends. It is the repetitive nature and small incremental changes that yield big results. This philosophy applies to my spirit as well as my body and mind. Several years ago, I was feeling off balance, less centered and living with too much noise in my head. During lent, rather than giving up wine or chocolate, I was called to add more listening to my life. Listen was a simple take away after spending time at the Abbey of Monte Cassino, the first house of the Benedictine Order established by Benedict of Nursia. There is power in his words, “Listen and attend with the ear of your heart”. Each morning as I fastened my St. Benedict medal necklace or put on my bracelet, I would offer the intention of my heart to “listen.” After forty days of this exercise, I felt my heart open and shift toward God’s divine love.
Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.Focus on His truth, Romans 12:2
Not only can I look to the known saints for wisdom, I believe they surround me in my life today. From my father who pointed me to the goodness and truth of the catholic faith. To my son, who prompted me to dive into the bible to begin nourishing myself with the truth. And my daughter who challenged me to “pray and not worry.” Goodness and the divine Spirit is working through them.
Whether its practicing gratitude or setting intentions, the thoughts we tell ourselves become our destiny. We cannot necessarily control the thoughts that come into our mind, but we can control how much time we spend on particular thoughts.
I leave you with these words from The 12 Step Prayer Book to wind down our Monday:
Watch your thoughts, they become your words.
Watch your words, they become your actions.
Watch your actions, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.