Sometimes when I do a combination of mindfulness walking and meditative reading just what I am needing seems to pop up and finds a place right away in my life and soul.
This was one of those days.
Recognizing I was worrying too much (and at a loss over just how to pray) about the recent storm (and for loved ones and friends who were or may be in the "path" of Sandy) -- and noticing as well that I was fretting a bit too often about some personal issues, I decided to look up 'fear' in a marvelous book: "Discovering Choices" every single entry was incredibly helpful. I especially loved p. 139 about how someone who'd been terrified of people came to appreciate people and being with them and even wrote: "There is pure joy in being with someone who isn't afraid of growing spiritually" ... Then I turned to another richly helpful book and although I only looked up one page in that one on fear (seemingly by accident) I found this gem which really spoke to me:
I suspect that if I reclaimed all the minutes, hours, and days I've sacrificed to worry and fear, I'd add years to my life. When I succumb to worry, I open a Pandora's box of terrifying pictures, paranoid voices, and relentless self-criticism. The more attention I pay to this mental static, the more I lose my foothold in reality. Then nothing useful can be accomplished.
To break the cycle of worry and fear, I'm learning to focus all my attention on this very moment. I can turn away from destructive thoughts and concentrate instead on the sights and sounds around me: light and shadows, the earth beneath my feet, the pulse of everyday living -- all pieces of the here-and-now. These bits of reality help rescue me from "what ifs" and "should haves" by anchoring me in the present.
Prayer and meditation...are other sources of serenity that bring me back to this moment.
As I shut out the noise, I am more receptive to my Higher Power's will, and therefore much more able to work m way through difficult times.
This day is all I have to work with, and it is all I need. If I am tempted to worry about tomorrow's concerns, I will gently bring my mind back to today.
"The past has flown away. The coming month and year do not exist. Ours only is the present's tiny point." Mahmud Shabistar
Note on Mahkud Shabistari -- he is shockingly contemporary -- yet look him up to be surprised here
(From "Courage to Change" Reading for January 10)
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