Last week, a good friend said the following to me….” Whatever you send out there in the world, is what comes back to you”.
Somehow derivative of of Karma, her words hit me as something more interactive or something like the “to do” list for life. We had been speaking about what was going on with her husband and his life and his job. He was in a bad place at work, and he asked her how to handle it. She told him that they would “pray on it”, and then act on what happens. Wow, that seemed so easy! Pray, think, act. A formula, I liked that.
Not having grown up in a religious home, prayer is something I struggle with. Whenever I need something to happen, BFF and I laugh because it has become commonplace for me to ask her to add my list of needs to her own prayer list. I don’t ask for trivial things. I never ask her to pray that I win the lottery, but I did ask for her assistance when I had been out of work and needed to find a new job that would offer health insurance and a decent wage. I would ask her to pray that my interview would go well. She would say of course, I will, but you have to believe it will, first.
She knows I struggle with the idea of prayer. Who am I to suddenly appear and ask for something?
BFF laughs at me over that one. God doesn’t think that way, silly. Sadly, I really don’t know how to pray, but those words said to me last week made me think that I get it. Maybe I can learn to shift my focus to help what comes my way.
Is this the purpose of prayer? Is this how it works? Is there really a boomerang effect of negativity? Does the act of consciously thinking about and asking for positive, rather than expecting the negative bring about good, or does it merely put you in the correct frame of mind to create and receive good when it comes?
I was always a bit sarcastic, but the past several years have taught me to be a bit negative as well. I have to be honest about this, because I really don’t like it. I never liked negative people. Conversely, challenging the idea that I have “no control” over what happens to me gives me a great deal of hope. Negative people have surrendered hope. I don't want to be that person.
Suddenly very aware of my mood and my aura, I am actively working on what I send out into the world. Life has been very difficult lately. No, really, it has sucked. Tired of breaking down into a teary eyed blob, I am consciously focusing on the vibes that I welcome into my life. Attempting to shift the focus from the unavoidable stress in life, I am practicing prayer, or at least the act of consciously thinking to bring about a positive end. Expecting something to end badly has not worked other than to allow a certain result to happen. If you expect stress to come, somehow, stress always knocks on the door.
So, in consideration, I want to share some very cool ideas that have come my way. Actionable steps make me very, very happy.
- You have to move. End of story. The body has to move. No matter what else happens at the end of the day, I have found it cleansing to use my rowing machine. Gone are the goals that I will be a muscular swim model. The goal is to put on some music that has a beat that I can row in time to. The goal is to work until I sweat. The repetitive motion is soothing, and cleansing to the mind. By the time I am done, I have usually forgotten what upset me in the first place. Sometimes tears flow; I blame the sweat when my kids ask. It's all good I tell them. Never the athlete, I am starting to understand why runners run.
- Back to the Fitbit that I bought some time ago, I upgraded because I wanted the pretty purple one. Once I found out that the device can remind me to move every hour if I have not walked at least 250 steps, I was in heaven. I have gotten used to feeling for that slight vibration. I reminds me to get up, shake the cobwebs off, and just walk around the office. 76 more steps? Sure, I can do that. Thanks for thinking of me, I kindly tell my Fitbit, silently, of course!
- A child of the 70’s, the idea of meditation is something that I have thought about, but never acted upon successfully. Similar to Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love as she sat in that hot ashram in India, in awe of those around her, she was unable to still herself enough to experience the benefits of meditation. Well, I have come across an interesting solution for those of us wanting to learn the benefits of stillness, but who only seem to hear the second hand on the clock ticking. Known as H*nest Meditation, there is an App, and a book. Timed meditations with a bit of “salty” language, are perfect for the naughty thoughts that go through my head during the day such as when I am driving to work, and the driver in the car in front of me is putting on her mascara as she drives. Strange, cool and awesome to bring you back to center.
- Consistent to the theme of meditation, there is another App that I really like. Based on the book, 10% Happier, takes the patchouli out of the meditation (which is a shame, because that was my favorite scent in college) and relies on the science of meditation to bring about some of the physiological benefits of meditation, including lowered blood pressure. If are like me and have difficulty returning to center, and clear thought if you are stressed and upset, this is a very beneficial approach to grounding yourself and bringing about relaxation and clear thought.
- No more news in the car. This is a difficult one for me. I have completely morphed into my mother. I used to go to her room with concern as she would scream at the TV. Mom, they cannot hear you. Calm down. When I first had children, I made a rule. Mommy is driving, so mommy must be happy. Mommy cannot be happy if she is listening to Barney. In that same vein, I cannot be happy listening to crime, war, terrorism or dumb politicians. My commute to, and from work, is for singing. It is for selecting the temperature in the car that makes me happy, without asking others if they are comfortable. Again, it is for singing. I can be Adele in my car. You don’t like it? Change lanes.
Having no results on my less than scientific study, I don’t have much else to add, other than some patchouli oil available on Amazon.com for about $7.