Best Exercise Ever!

We all know we’re supposed to get physical exercise. Just spend time with older people who eat poorly and never met an exercise they liked, and you should get a glimpse into what you’ll look like in a few years.

Stop The World

When life gets really crazy I’ve been known to say “Stop the world, I want to get off!” But it seems the spin just keeps going. How can we take the time to slow things down and get ourselves “centered” so that we can respond with grace and wisdom rather than reacting to each circumstance? I’ve been practicing a simple discipline called centering prayer or mindfulness meditation. This is an ancient practice used by the mystics and others perhaps growing out of an ancient challenge to, “Be still and know that I am God.” The goal is to ‘still’ our over active mind and emotions, to step off the spinning merry-go-round for a few minutes a day and simply BE.  Sounds peaceful, doesn’t it? There are many techniques used to help stop the spin. The most common is to sit quietly and comfortably and draw all you attention to your breath, breathing in and out in a slow measured pace. I add a simple ‘breath prayer’ or mantra that fits well with one cycle of breathing. Some advocate using something that does not carry deep meaning because our mind will start thinking about the meaning instead of being still, so “ooommm” is often used.  I have chosen “Grace” for my intake breath and “Peace” for my breath out. On a recent episode of his television show, Dr Phil told a guest that if you are feeling anxious, simply taking a few minutes to measure your breaths equally in and out, will calm anxiety. From there (as a beginner to this process) I imagine myself sitting in my happy place, a place of peace and quiet. I try to be fully present in my body. Inevitably my mind wonders to the cares of the day...

Don’t Let Anyone Look Down On You...

I re-read the biblical passage in 1 Timothy 4:12 a few days ago: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”* I live in North America where we celebrate youth. We almost worship them. Advertisers cater to young people, cosmetic giants spend billions developing and selling facial creams and hair dye to make people younger. We even joke about staying 29 forever. This is in sharp contrast to many cultures that value age and experience. Wherever you go, somebody is going to look down on you. Fill in the blank: Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are _____________________________. What is it for you? Old? Black? Oriental? Southerner? Gay? Female? Male? White? Toothless? Uneducated? Educated? Geeky? Technophobe? Unattractive? Fat? Skinny? Tall? Short? Muslim? Manager? Working class? Rich? What might it mean to not  let anyone look down on you? Would wisdom say this is primarily an internal or external response? If it were an external response, it would mean lashing out and fighting back. I might disrespect the other, score some verbal points or look down on others by treating them with contempt. Well those don’t help, now do they? In my college interpersonal class, we’re studying appropriate emotional responses; trying to get even is not one of the principles for successful communication or relationships. I think wisdom says the response is internal. How do you see yourself? Do you look down on yourself? You will live your life by the script in your head. I used to visit the Home Depot improvement store and feel intimidated by all the men. But after years of working on my home AND dealing...

Vulnerability

In addition to sharing thoughts with you, I like to share resources that I find to be helpful. Here is a video on The Power of Vulnerability by Sociologist Brené Brown. It’s 20-minutes, so you’ll need some time. Take it; I think you’ll be glad you...