A friend asked how she could apply a calm, meditative state of mind in her otherwise busy agitated life
How could she become a centered, joyful person when she is in the full force of daily living?
I don’t have all the answers, however, I could offer her some ideas of what works for me.
My first suggestion was to spend time with God
Easy enough, however, the old argument starts, “The problem is just that — I don’t have time! How can you ask me to add something to my to-do-list? I don’t have enough time.”
I feel that time is not the real problem.
It is the perceived problem. It is created in the mind and this is where the problem originates. The mind is where that infernal tape keeps repeating, “You don’t have time. You’ll never get that done. Look how much you have to do. You don’t have time. You’ll never get that done. Look how much you have to do. You don’t have time…” And it repeats continually.
Spending time with God settles this voice and eventually it’ll be a mere whisper and finally it’ll be gone. The important thing is to seek God every day. Not on a superficial level or a theoretical level but to connect with Him on a spiritual level. It’s to get in the routine of being with Him.
I’ve developed some habits that help me to do this:
Create a quiet space
This is a place where I can go to be refreshed with no television and no telephone. I brew some hot tea, light a scented candle and play relaxing music. Then I sit quietly. My body is conditioned to relax in response to these stimuli.
What we feed our minds affects our body and our spirit. The Bible is an obvious choice but there are also excellent Christian books and magazines including Bible-in-a-year books, devotionals, and many on-line resources.
This gets me out to enjoy the beauty of the world around me, not just the four walls of my home. On this walk, I tune into my five senses recognizing all that I see, smell, taste, feel and hear.
Then I pray.
I open with praise to God and thank Him for the good in my life. Then I continue on my walk in prayer for others. This takes away the self-centeredness that can become like a destructive tonic. Thinking of others and praying for them is an effective way to stay healthy and focused. The walk need not be more than ten minutes to feel physically challenged and emotionally released.
In my writing, I purposely identify five new things every day for which I’m grateful. This has an amazing impact on my attitude and really helps put things into perspective. It helps to take a step back and see the big picture and not get so entangled in the nitty-gritty details of the day.
Other people meditate.
Still others listen and dance to music.
Use whatever suits your personality as long as it’s the same each day and your body, mind, and spirit connect and you are able to communicate with God.
This may be difficult for some — shift workers, moms with little ones — but just being able to take five minutes should be enough.
Every minute spent with God will help you to be more calm, centered and joyful.
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 NIV).
(excerpt taken from Women of Strength — Habits)