August 20: Stop Defending Yourself

Do you walk around wearing a suit of armor? Often, if we were hurt as children or hurt frequently as adults, we put on a suit of emotional armor to protect us from being hurt more. We lower our visor to avoid seeing the pain and block out all hurtful sights. We pick up weapons, sharp words, manipulative behaviors, acting out –anything to help us defend ours elves against those who would hurt us again. We get used to being in battle and soon all of life is a struggle.

Stop fighting. Yes, you have been hurt. Many of us have. But when you project the characteristics of one person onto everyone you know, you don’t allow their true selves to shine through. All you can see is the limited view from your visor.

You are growing and gaining strength every day. You’re safe now. Why not put down the weapons for a little while, lift the visor on your suit of armor, and see the people around you for who they are—mostly kind, good-hearted ordinary people just like you. They have been hurt and healed; they have won and lost. They laugh and they cry. Open up to them, and allow the sharing to begin to heal you and your heart.

God, help me to lower my defenses today, to be open to the good in the people around me and to the good that I have to offer them.

August 19: Let go of the Tension

In Find and Use Your Inner Power, author Emmet Fox used the metaphor of trying to force a key into the lock to unlock the door. When we’re tense and afraid, Fox explained, we fumble. Sometimes the very key that is the right key doesn’t work because we’re trying to force it, because we’re so tense and uptight.

Relax. See! The less control and force you use, the better.

Maybe the key you’ve been trying to use all along is the right one. Maybe it was your fear and panic that was keeping you from unlocking the door. Maybe you were trying to force it, after all.

See how easily and naturally things work out when you just simply relax and let go. You will tap into your true power and the power of the universe when you move, love, work, and play from a place of relaxed and calm inner peace.

Move from your center. Let things work out.

God, help me stay serene, confident, and joyful as I go through my day.

August 18: Manifest Your Life

Today, try this activity: Go down to the local hardware store and buy a patio stone. Get one of the nice flat round ones, one that will fit into your briefcase or backpack. Take that patio stone home and look at it.

Then take out a marker and start to think about one of your goals that you wrote on the list at the start of the year. Think about all that is keeping you from reaching that goal - all your fears, excuses, and prerequisites. Each time you think of a reason why you are not walking down that path, write it on the stone in marker. Keep writing until you can’t think of another reason.

Then carry the stone with you. You did write down a fear of looking ridiculous, didn’t you? Carry the stone to dinner

hold it on your lap while you eat. Hold it while you watch TV, while you go to the bathroom, in the shower, and even to bed this evening. Tomorrow, spend the day with your stone. Let it be a reminder of both your dream and your fear. Feel how rough, heavy, and cumbersome it is. Makes it kind of difficult to get anything done, doesn’t it? Now, at the end of the day, sit down again with your stone. Look at all of your excuses written there. Make a conscious decision to let them go.

Put down the stone—put it right next to the front door. Feel how much lighter your step is, how much easier it is to do things. Now, as you leave for your day each morning, look at the stone sitting there on the step heavy, rough, cumbersome—and leave it there. Let life and the elements wear your fears away.

You have dreams, hopes, ambitions. All of your fears and excuses are stones, which fill your hands and weigh you down. Leave them behind. Start to manifest your dreams in your life.

God, help me let go of everything that is blocking me from fully and joyfully living my life today.

August 17: Let Go of Judgements

We can’t relax when we’re being judgmental. As soon as we decide that a thing or situation is either good or bad, we place ourselves in the situation of having to do something about it. For example, if someone is good, we begin to comp are ourselves to that person: Am I better or worse? What can I do to improve? If we decide that a thing is bad, then our com science tells us that we must try to get rid of it.

Either way, we get so busy thinking about our judgments and allowing our minds to create scenarios that we cannot relax and enjoy things the way they are.

Drop your judgmental mind today and relax. If blessings or good people have come into your life, let them be. You do not have to be better or worse than they are.

If a thing is damaging or hurtful to you, you wifi know that and you can deal with it when the time comes.
Be aware of the people and things in your life. Relax and enjoy them without passing judgment on them.

God, help me learn to enjoy the people and experiences in my life.

August 16: All the Time You Need

If we believe our relationships or jobs are finite situations, then it becomes easy to feel stressed if things don’t go the way we planned in the time frame that we expected. The promotion doesn’t come in time, and now our careful career plan is off track. And relationship problems become huge, dramatic monsters a series of issues- that eat away every spare minute.

But if we believe that we are living in an infinite time frame, stress begins to dissipate. if I don’t get the promotion this week, maybe it wifi come next month and who knows, I may not even want it by then. Some of those big, monstrous relationship issues just sort themselves out if they’re not constantly held under a magnifying glass. And the moments spent with our loved ones become more enjoyable because we’re not continually working on the relationship.

When we behave on a finite scale, we can get so wrapped up in the details of a few moments that we cannot free ourselves to enjoy the next moment. When we start living on an infinite plane, it is easier to relax and let the universe carry us down the river, bringing us to all the lessons and joy that we need.

God, help me relax and know that if a situation doesn’t come to pass today, eventually it will work itself out. And I’ve got all the time I need.

August 15: Easy on the Controls

“Hey Killer, how about relaxing the old death grip there.” Why did he always say that? Probably because I always got nervous and held the yoke too tightly. Rob, my flight instructor, was teaching me basic maneuvers in the little Cessna 172 trainer again. He wanted me to put the plane into a steep turn. The only problem was that every time I tried, I felt as though the little plane would fall out of the sky. I know. It’s crazy. But knowing didn’t help my feeling very much.

“Here, watch this. I have the controls,” Rob said. And taking the controls, my instructor put the plane into a sharply banked turn. Then he let go of the yoke. “Aaaaah!” I yelled. Nothing happened. The little airplane kept turning with no further input from anyone. “You see,” Rob explained, “when you have the trim settings adjusted right, the airplane wifi do what you tell it to do. There’s no need to force it. Now relax and try again.”

I did, and the turn was better this time. Maybe the plane wouldn’t fall out of the sky after all. And another small piece of the puzzle got filled in.

There are many things that we can do to keep our lives on course. We can talk to our mentors and sponsors, read positive books, attend support groups, listen to positive music, pray, meditate, work a recovery program if we’re in one, and grow. We don’t want to become complacent. Safety cons ciousness is important. But once we have set ourselves on course, it isn’t necessary to constantly be worried about falling out of the sky.

Set your plan in motion. Get on the right track. But remember that if saving your life is important, it is also important to have a life worth saving. Relax a little. The plane will keep on flying as long as you give it the right input.

God, grant me the grace to relax, to let go of worry and self-doubt, and to let myself enjoy life? and the experiences that it has to offer.

August 14: let go of Timing

“Melody, it just isn’t time yet,” my friend Virginia said to me one day. “You wouldn’t be out on your lawn trying to pull the blades of the grass up, forcing them to grow.”

“Yes, I would,” I said, “if I thought it would help.” Persistence, determination, clarity, and commitment can be our greatest assets. We gather energy we use our determination to get things done—whether it’s cleaning our house, visiting a therapist for help with an issue that’s become more than we can handle alone, looking for a new job, or beginning a relationship.

Goals are good. Setting our sights on the task ahead is helpful.

So is letting go, and working with the seasons of our lives. We are one with everything that is. The same energy and spirit that permeates the ocean, the mountains, the forest, and the creatures also permeates us. Who are we to think that we don’t have our rhythms, seasons, and cycles?

Who are we not to trust the rhythms of life?

Plant the seeds. Water them, if there’s a drought. But let it go. The grass will grow itself.

God, help me let go of impatience. Help me align myself with the natural cycles of my life. Help me trust your timing in my life.

Activity: Pick one segment of nature and study it. Maybe you’ll choose the sunrise and the sunset. Or choose a favorite park. Or the ocean. Even a lake will do. Don’t just think about it. Actually do it, for your meditation time today. Spend ten minutes to half an hour just sitting with and contemplating a segment of nature that speaks to you.