October 31: Practice awareness of God

I can remember the moment when I was willing to be truly vulnerable with life again. I was walking around in a beach town, talking to my friend. I was talking about my safe little life back in Stillwater, Minnesota, where I thought I had everything under control. I had avoided living in big cities and thought small town living would be safe. In that small town, working for its daily newspaper, I had found all the potential held in life. I got that big break that put me, an unknown author, on the New York Times best-seller list. And my son had died. Small town life wasn’t as limiting as I feared or as safe as I had hoped.

I told my friend about the time, many years later, I was wandering around the Middle East. I was talking to my daughter on a cell phone. She was on her cell, too, driving through the heart of Los Angeles.

“Aren’t you scared over there?” she asked. “Isn’t your life in danger?”

Just then a man honked at her. I heard him scream through her window, “If you don’t get that car out of the way, I’m going to have you killed.”

“Complete safety is an illusion,” I said to my friend. “Maybe the only time we’re really safe is when we’re willing to acknowledge how vulnerable we really are, no matter what we’re doing, and be okay with that.”

“Ask God to be with me,” I said to an older woman who was my mentor at the time.

“Foolish child,” she said. “You don’t have to ask God to be with you. He’s already there, wherever you are.”

God, help me to feel safe, comfortable, and in your presence wherever I am today.

October 30

When all we can see is what other people are doing wrong to us, it’s time to take the focus off them and put it on ourselves.

Application: Whenever we feel defensive, whenever we find ourselves talking a lot about what others are doing wrong, whenever we’d just as soon not look at ourselves, it’s time to do just that.

OCTOBER 29: The Best Is Yet to Come

Set yourself free from limitations, limitations you have placed on yourself. Sometimes in life we may begin thinking the best part is over. I’ve done my best work, had my best times. What could be left? That kind of thinking limits us. We don’t have to limit ourselves, life or the universe.

You’ve had many great times, visited many interesting places, done excellent work, and had truly memorable experiences. You’ve experienced a lifetime of love— with friends, family members, loved ones. But the best isn’t over. Whether you’re at the end of a particular relationship, task, or part of your journey, the best is not over. It is still to come.

Memories of excellent times are to be cherished. Clinging to them in a way that limits our lives is a different issue. Often, it keeps us from cherishing the present moment and creatively participating in our future.

All endings are inexorably tied to new beginnings . That’s the nature of the journey. It continues to unfold. It builds on itself. It can’t help itself from doing that. Cherish the moments , all of them. You have seen and felt much in life so far. But still, the best is yet to come.

Open to all the journey holds. The universe is abundant. You are ready to be healed, calmed , empowered. You are ready to partake of the banquet of life, again and again. You are ready to take your place in new, creative experiences. There are many places still to see, soul mates yet to meet, lessons to be learned, joys to be experienced.

Transcend your limitations. Open your mind and heart to all that lies ahead. Call it to you often in the quietness of your heart by believing what is true.

The best is yet to come.

Meditation and Prayer: October 28

The Eleventh Step asks us to meditate as a route to improving our conscious contact with God.

Meditation is different than obsessing or worrying. Obsession and worrying are fear connections. Meditation means opening our mind and our spiritual energy to the God connection.

To connect with God, we need to relax as best we can and open our conscious and subconscious mind to a Higher Consciousness—one that is available to each of us.

In the busyness of our day and life, it may seem like a waste of time to slow down, to stop what we’re doing, and take this kind of break. It is no more a waste of time than stopping to put gas in our car when the tank is almost empty. It is necessary, it is beneficial, and it saves time. In fact, meditation can create more time and energy than the moments we take to do it.

Meditation and prayer are powerful recovery behaviors that work. We need to be patient. It is not reasonable to expect immediate answers, insight, or inspiration.

But solutions are coming. They are already on the way, if we have done our part—meditate and pray—and then let the rest go.

Whether we pray and meditate first thing in the morning, during a coffee break, or in the evening is our choice.

When our conscious contact with God improves, our subconscious contact will too. We will find ourselves increasingly tuned in to God’s harmony and will for us. We will find and maintain that soul connection, the God connection.

Today, I will take a moment for meditation and prayer. I will decide when and how long to do it. I am a child and creation of God—a Higher Power who loves to listen and talk to me. God, help me let go of my fears about whether or not You hear and care. Help me know that You are there and that I am able to tap into the spiritual consciousness.

October 27: Be aware of the illusion of control

Remember how it feels when we try to control someone else.

“I was driving down the road one day behind a car that I decided was driving too slowly,” a friend said to me. “I was yelling, raging, and carrying on about the driver in front of me, trying to mentally will him out of my way. I wanted him to move over and let me by.

“While I was driving I observed myself. Then I started to laugh. I wasn’t angry about this driver in front of me. I was angry because I was trying to control something that I couldn’t change.”

Be aware of all your feelings. But also remember to be aware that sometimes it’s not the other person that’s making us crazy. We’re doing it to ourselves.

God, help me be aware of the self-created drama in my life. Help me let go of my need to control. Give me the courage of my feelings. And help me be aware of when my self-will is running riot.

October 26

“Why did you climb those mountains,” someone asked about my trip to China.

“Because they were there,” I said.

Action: There’s a fine line between having enough challenge that you roll up your sleeves and decide to do your best, and having so much pressure that you cave in.

You can use the energy from legitimate challenges to change, grow, and solve problems. Anger, frustration, and fear can be great motivators. Instead of being overwhelmed, maybe you can try to take an active interest in what you’re about to do.

If you are bored, you can create healthy challenges instead of self-sabotaging ones. Set new goals and dreams in relationships, at work, and in your spiritual life. Instead of picking a fight in a relationship, try setting a goal to grow closer to the person you love. Bored at work? Maybe you need to put more of yourself into your job, or learn something new, or change what you’re doing.

Most of us need something to push against. It’s harder when life’s events come out of the blue and push us. It’s one thing to be pushed against. It’s another to be pushed so hard we fall down and stay there. Maybe you could start getting up, just a little? If your problems have knocked you down, turn problems into challenges. Get back up on your feet and take them on.

OCTOBER 25: Replenish Yourself

Some of us don’t know how tired we are until we try to relax. Then we realize we’re exhausted.

We may have lived with exhaustion and stress so long it’s become habitual. That doesn’t mean we’re bad or wrong, or even off track. Many of us are deeply involved in activities, work, projects, and relationships we enjoy. We like our lives and the things we’re doing. But sometimes we’ve pushed too hard or too long. Sometimes we haven’t given our bodies adequate time to relax, to rest, to really let go.

It’s all right to take time out. Relax. Refresh. Regroup. It’s all right to rest even if we’re busy, rest often enough to keep ourselves replenished. Get in touch with your body, then stay in touch with yourself.

Find out how tired you are. Then let your body tell you what it needs to come back to life and love.

Page 1 of 191234510Last »