My Soul will be Satisfied

One of my favorite Psalms is Psalm 63. It is a testament of love to God. It is an example of praise that sings a love song to the Lord. In fact, it has been sung in a love song by Shane and Shane.

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You may read the Bible every day as part of your devotions or you may read it like it’s a “can’t put down” novel. I would encourage you to step into the story and let it entrance you like that Number One Bestseller. I can’t help but step into Psalm 63 because it’s so lovely.

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“Oh God my God how I search for you! How I thirst for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. How I long to find you! How I wish I could go into your sanctuary and see you strength and glory, for your love and kindness are better to me than life itself. How I praise you” Psalm 63:1-3

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Aren’t there days when you feel you are empty? Parched from the weariness of life? Or maybe you just don’t know what’s ahead of you. This Psalm can be used as a mindfulness exercise. When we move into purposeful mindfulness with God, we seek Him, search for Him to fill our spirit.

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As we find Him, we lift our hands in prayer, bless Him, and just be with Him.

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“I will bless you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. At last I shall be satisfied; I will praise you with great joy.” Psalm 63:4-5
Oh, to be satisfied right where we are! That is the end result of Mindfulness. What could be better than being satisfied and living in the now as God has created for us?

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“Often at night I lie in bed and remember you, meditating on your greatness till morning smiles through my window. You have been my constant helper; therefore, I sing for joy under the protection of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand reaches down and holds me up.” Psalm 63:6-8

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There are plenty of nights that I can’t sleep and I lay there just ruminating about the things I have to do or the things I did, or sometimes just in hopelessness and grief. I focus on God with my breathing: Breathe in “Praise” breathe out “God.” I count my blessings and gratitude’s until I finally fall asleep under His gentle wings.

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The chapter ends with typical Psalm fashion about how our enemies will go down because of the strength of God. Don’t skip over this. You may not have enemies at your door with arrows, but you may, like me, have thoughts that are self-deprecating or self-destructive. This Psalm tells us that there is no room for that when you’re praising God. In the last verse the Psalm states that the cheaters and deceivers will be silenced.

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Believe me when I tell you that I am my own worst enemy, but this promise from Psalm 63 is like a balm on my negative thoughts. God has me in the palm of His hand. I am under His wings and His hand is at my back. Who am I to tell myself any different?

Smudge Pots

When I was little we used to go to my Auntie Mabel’s house in Sunrise, Minnesota. She and my Uncle Elmer lived on a farm and we towed our sleep-in trailer there a couple weekends of every month. It was glorious. I can still smell the baking rye bread in my mind.

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When we got there my Auntie would have little bags for each of us kids filled with pennies nickels and dimes along with a brightly colored rubber ball. I loved that place! There were flowers everywhere and around the side was a small waterfall. And kittens- oh my goodness! So many kittens roaming the yard. My Auntie would bring out pans of milk and call “Kitty, Kitty” and they would come running.

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At night we would like to sit outside but the mosquitos were in the billions. Maybe you know that Minnesotans call the Mosquito their “state bird.” My Uncle Elmer would set up smudge pots which would smoke around us and keep the mosquitos at bay.

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I have an aromatic diffuser in my office. When a few drops of calming oil is placed in a bit of water a wonderful steamy aroma sprays out. The result is that the aromatics give me a sense of feeling. Their names are “Om”, “Bliss”, “Solace”. This reminded me of the smudge pots, but instead of keeping mosquitos away, the diffuser enhances good mood and therefore chases away bad ones.

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The “smudge pot” in my office helps me when I am trying to be more mindful because I imagine the steam carrying away the emotions that sometimes end up swirling around my brain when I am trying to be closer to Jesus.

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I am trying to build my mastery of mindfulness. In DBT “Building Mastery” is described as planning to do one thing everyday to build a sense of accomplishment. To me that is getting out of ruminating and stepping away from my lack of self-worth. Doing something difficult but not impossible such as a mindfulness exercise. Even if I escape my emotions for a few minutes I consider this a success.

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DBT asks us to gradually increase the difficulty over time and look for a challenge. The most challenging thing for me is to replace my thoughts of unworthiness with thoughts that describe me as Jesus sees me. I am a soul at His disposal open to Him to fill me with my destiny, my purpose.

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He helps me see what values are important to me and in mindfulness I am able to identify that value and set some goals to work on related to this value. The value I am working through is taking care of myself. I have not been eating well, either no eating at all or eating junk foods and what I would call nutritionally void foods. I might use alcohol to change my mood instead of exercising my mindfulness muscles. Invariably the alcohol leads to further depression. I can’t escape my thoughts of “What am I here for?”

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When people are depressed they sometimes let go of doing the things they know will keep them healthy- even as simple as eating. The DBT practice of “PLEASE” is taking care of yourself, doing the things that keep your body going even as your mind is ruminating.
“PL”: Treat Physical Illness- See a doctor when needed. Take your medicine and take care of your body.
“E”: Balance eating – Stay away from food that make you overly emotional. Don’t over or under eat, eat mindfully.
“A”: Avoid Mood Altering Substances- Use alcohol in moderation and stay off illicit drugs.
“S”: Balance Sleep- Keep a consistent sleep schedule and aim to 7-9 hours of sleep a night.
“E”: Exercise- Do some form of activity everyday and build up to 20 minutes per day.

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These things may seem so basic, but it’s important to take care of your mind by taking care of your body. People with Depression or other mental illnesses sometimes don’t feel like showering or walking or eating. It’s important to be on schedule with these things.

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Aromatics is one way of being kind to myself. Some small enjoyment. Oftentimes I am stuck in my head and I don’t have then energy to take care of myself. I don’t want to shower, I don’t want to eat, but then I power up my smudge pot and something changes.

Peace

I long for peace against me anxiety. I long for the comfort of Purpose. Many times, I go through my day wondering what purpose I have, what to do that has meaning. What can I possibly give this world of myself?

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Times like these I breathe in and out and consult Wise Mind (God.) Mindfulness is about living in the now-not the future-not the past-not the wonders of purpose, more, the wonders of “being.” I imagine myself surrounded by God’s love. I feel the power as I breathe. I let my mind wander acknowledging the feelings and thoughts as they pass. I am enveloped in love.

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“..The Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in Him.” Psalm 31:10

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We all long for peace, no one wants heartache and worry. Though we may have many trials, we can take a moment and evoke peace through Mindfulness of God. Rumi said, “The wound is where the light enters you.” This remind me of Jesus’ wounds. He gave Himself so that we may have light and, in my mindfulness, I feel that light shining through my wounds.

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In my mindfulness I feel the peace seeping through the scars. Jesus left us with peace. The first thing He said to his disciples after His resurrection was, “Peace be with you.” How many times do we hurry along our day frazzled and tense without evoking this peace?

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It takes focus to be mindful. Do your thoughts wander when you pray? It may be Wise Mind (God) showing you what to pray. Pray about whatever your mind in telling you but be aware that God might just be telling you to stop your mind from wandering and focus! You can watch the thoughts go by and maintain your focus, or you can pray about the thoughts. Nothing is too small for God to hear.

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It all depends on what you are trying to do. Are you emptying your mind so you can accept God’s peace or are you praying in order to be close to God and release your anxious thoughts unto Him?

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If you are emptying your mind, you may want to close your eyes and focus on your breath. Watch the thoughts pass but don’t linger on them and re-focus on your breath. Invite God’s peace into your heart, staying there with it as long as you like. Each time a thought comes into your head, watch it pass. I heard it once described like a train of thoughts. The train goes by but it doesn’t have to stop at a boxcar of thought. You don’t need o board the train- you are just watching it and re-focusing on peace.

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If you are praying to release anxious thoughts, then pray about each thought that comes into your mind. Consider why these thoughts are coming up and pray to be let go of the stress. You must guard your thoughts and not let negative thoughts take root and put limitations on what God wants you to be. Allow Him to water the seeds He’s planted and ignore the seeds your negative thoughts have sown.

Pretend

“Your worst battle is between what you know and what you feel.” I read that on Twitter: Amazing Facts @factsoup. Ain’t it the truth! I’m always battling what I feel. I have a good life but I’m anxious. I watch the beauty of my backyard from my porch but I’m depressed.

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I’m always fighting to be the “ideal.” Smart, funny, honest, well-spoken, in charge, respected, but in reality, I say the wrong things; I’m not always smart and I’m not sure that anyone would respect my handling of this jumbled up life that became mine. I’ve begun to think of that jumble as a patchwork quilt. Some patches have tears, some have smiles, some are black with depression and some have a cartoon bubble of laughs, “Ha ha ha!”

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In DBT we look to change the emotions we do not want. There are skills to look at emotions as just emotions, passing by. We make a choice to be mindful of current emotions, act on them and problem solve or do not act on the emotion urge and consider opposite action.

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I read a novel called “Pretending to Dance” by Diane Chamberlain. In it the father is a psychiatrist that practices “Pretend Therapy” in which you pretend you are happy or that you love something that you hate or are afraid of. Although this is a fiction novel, the premise of pretending seemed like a smart idea to me.

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It’s kind of like my “Be a Word” strategy where I pick a word that encompasses what I want to be and then all day I try to become that word. It’s practicing opposite action where you do the opposite of what you’re feeling like doing when what you feel like doing might be harmful or not the best choice. This is easier said than done and like all DBT skills it takes practice, a practice I have not yet beat.

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But that doesn’t stop me from trying to beat it. It doesn’t stop me from looking at the true facts of my life instead of the feelings. From separating my feelings from me. They do not define me!

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It’s getting a grip on reality by making a choice to put aside those debilitating emotions and embrace the day. Staying happy and enjoying being with God is a choice. God created us with an enormous capacity to enjoy Him. Don’t let things that people say or do rob you of your happiness.

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Start to pretend to see the beauty of something and mindfully allow emotions to come and go. In some of my Mindfulness exercises I take a Bible verse and play it out in my mind, inserting myself into the story. That’s a form of pretending. But it can be so meaningful as you imagine yourself sitting with Jesus or walking on water.

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You may think that true facts and pretending are opposite things, but when your emotions don’t fit the facts of the situation, pretending you feel as the true facts deem you should feel is really embracing reality and fending off those lying thoughts.

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Does your mind always go to the worst conclusion? That’s a negative form of pretending. You are pretending you know the outcome and expecting the worst. Isn’t it easier and more calming to let Jesus take on worrying about your future? We don’t have to pretend that He already knows what’s in store for us because we know He does. His word tells us not to worry about the future. His word tells us that we can be calm in His presence. No need to pretend at that!

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Emotions don’t always fit the facts. The facts are what’s going on right now-not what might happen in the future. My sister Sherri is going through the worst surgery of her life. She has an aggressive tumor and needs to have her jaw removed. She will be in ICU, she will have to have a feeding tube, she will need to learn to swallow and talk all over again. A million things could go wrong, but Sherri is determined to beat the odds. She will beat the timeframe of the feeding tube. She will beat the amount of time she stays in the hospital. She will beat the goals to swallow and talk. She says she is “above average.”

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I guess you could say she is pretending that she will overcome the odds. Pretending can lead to action which leads to reality. Faith is a big part of her life. Sure, she could be wallowing in self-pity and thinking the worst, but the facts are that the worst hasn’t happened and may never happen. With her positive mindset and her faith, the odds are with her.

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“Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart.” Mark, 11:22-23

Mindfully Living This Day

Quiet sharing with God can be a delightful mindfulness experience. Slow down. Quiet your motions. Bask in His glory. What would you become today if you let God control your actions? Would you be more helpful to people? Would opportunities arise beyond your wildest dreams?

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Ask God to show you His true peace as you go about your daily activities slower, contemplating Him. As you mindfully run your errands, bless people along the way. Take time to talk and really listen to those you come in contact with. Pray for them.
Be mindful as you work, opening up your thoughts and actions to the Lord. Always looking for God in your life can open your senses, slow your heart rate and observe your life in a different way. Fully participate in what you are doing.

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DBT goals for Mindfulness are to Reduce suffering and increase happiness; Increase control of your mind; and Experience reality as it is. What would life be like if you had less strain and tension? By trusting God, you give that strain over to Him. Stop letting your mind be in control of you. God tells us to not worry- to not live in the future but live in the present with Him. He tells us to learn from our mistakes but don’t let the past control us.

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Live with your eyes wide open, don’t just go through the motions, live the life God wants you to live, in communion with Him. Experience the reality of your connection to Him, to His essential goodness. Validate your life, take each moment as it comes and feel the blessings in it.

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Mindfulness is living with intention, being aware in the present moment. Accept the simple grace of each event that occurs in your life. Wake up from the rote behaviors that become life. Participate and be present in every moment. And don’t judge! Let go of evaluating everything that you say and do. Instead of suppressing a moment, ask God to help you discern the consequences and make wise choices.

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All you need to do is pay attention to the moment. It can be done anywhere and anytime. Embrace your life with all its ups and downs. Acknowledge the difficulties and don’t avoid them.

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“Join me, everyone! Trust only in God every moment! Tell Him all your troubles and pour out you heart-longings to Him. Believe me when I tell you-He will help you!” Psalm 62:8

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Let the power of continuous prayer help you throughout your day. Allow yourself to experience His constant presence. Engage in spiritual mindfulness practice with a centering prayer, “Lord guide me.” “Stay with me Lord, throughout it all.” “Lord, bless this person.”

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While meditation can also be mindfulness, to really experience your life is the true meaning of the word. Describe the moments to God and implore Him to help you. That is truly living in communion with Him. When worries abound, learn what is real and what is not real by asking God (Wise Mind) to help you acknowledge the worry but give it up to Him.

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Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live each moment as it is without worry about the future or regrets of the past? I am reminded of the story from Jewish history when the Israelites were in the desert and God supplied them with Manna for substance. Just enough Manna was given each day with a whole new batch each morning. We should take our Manna of the moment and trust God to give us just enough to make it through each moment, with no worries of the future and no regrets about the past.

Childlike

I changed the birdseed and now I’m not sure the birds like it as much as the usual type. This new seed has bigger pieces of fruit and nuts and not so many small seeds. I thought they would go bananas for it! But they didn’t. I don’t have the big flock of little birds I used to have. Are the pieces too big?

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And the bigger birds have trouble grasping onto the little ledge that surrounds the feeder so even though they would probably like the bigger pieces, they can’t stand on the ledge and pick at the seed like the smaller birds can.

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These birds have been a big part of my Mindfulness practice as I sit on the swing and watch them fighting each other to get the seed. But now, I just worry. I’ve made a mistake with the seed and they don’t want to come to my bird restaurant anymore.
Mindfulness is being in the Now. It is accepting what Is. I spread some of the new food on the ground, so the bigger birds could enjoy. Now I see a cacophony of birds-all enjoying their new food.

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DBT has three types of Mindfulness: Observe, Describe and Participate. These three things are done separately. You choose which you want to be mindful of during your session.

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When we are mindful we observe without judgement. We let go of distractions as they arise and come back to the moment. It’s like being a guard at the gate of your mind, being aware of the feelings and thought that come into the gate, but not assessing them. Acknowledge and then go back to observing what you are seeing, feeling and doing. Letting the worries slide off like your mind is made of Teflon.

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When we are mindful we describe what is happening as if we are a narrator. Without getting sidetracked by the feeling or worry. You might notice the worry by describing the feeling such as, “My teeth are grinding.” Then let it go. I find the describing part to be the most difficult because I start thinking about the worry and try to solve it instead of just describing it. I have to constantly move my thoughts back to describing. This is a work in progress.

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When we are mindful we participate in what is happening. Just throw yourself into the activity completely forgetting yourself, your worries. You respond with spontaneity, whether you are talking with someone or dancing, just be in the moment. This can be called being “one-mindful” because you only focus on what you’re doing in that moment.

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The purpose of Mindfulness is to enjoy life as it is. Every moment is brand new- it’s never happened before. You are like a child having fun in all you do. I often hear the children in my neighborhood playing in the early evenings. It’s so wonderful! Their voices are always raised and there is excitement in all they are doing. What a great way to live!

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As a child of God, He wants us to have that type of excitement in what He has created for us. Cast your worries aside and give them to Him to carry and play out your life like a child, always expectant of the next fun thing God throws your way.

Consult Wise Mind (God)

God is Wise Mind. Wise Mind is what DBT (Dialectic Behavior Therapy) calls being balanced between Emotion Mind and Reasonable Mind. We need to have this balance to make good decisions, and this is where Jesus comes in.

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The world throws things at us all the time and we get shaken. We worry, we despair and that puts us in Emotion Mind. Jesus can restore the balance if we trust and collaborate with Him.

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Reasonable Mind in its extreme may cause us to question things that we know to be true. Such as the Glory of God that we cannot see, taste or hear. DBT describes it as being task focused, rational, cool while Emotion Mind is described as mood-dependent and emotion focused. Looking at it like this you may think that Reasonable Mind is a smart place to stay, but it doesn’t lead us to be loving and empathetic, as Jesus commands us to be.

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“However as it is written, ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

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It takes trust and faith. To me having faith in Jesus is Wise Mind. If I can just consult Him when I am broken or when I don’t feel compassion for others, He will give me strength and knowledge to do the right thing.

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There is a time and place for both Reasonable and Emotion Minds. It’s when either of these get us to be thinking ineffectively that we need to consult Wise Mind which is described as Intuitive, The Middle Path, and I describe as God.

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Praying or Mindfulness in God is how I consult my Wise Mind. I just ask Him to lead me and I put my entire faith in Him and not people or things. Circumstances are unknowable. But God knows them. God knows where our lives will lead. You never know when you might be in an accident and hit your head on a rock, or be diagnosed with Leukemia or some other disease, but God knows what’s in store for you. That’s why consulting with Him is the wise path.

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It’s faith that God does all things for our good. I didn’t know I had Leukemia when my son died, and I’m glad I didn’t. God hid that from me until I was strong enough to deal with it. I bet you have these miracles in your life too. Things you can look back on and say, “That was God.” Don’t forget about those things but call them up when your faith needs to be renewed. Call them up in circumstances that you feel helpless.

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DBT states that Wise Mind is almost “always quiet, like a ‘still point’ within. It has a certain peace. It is the part of you that knows and experiences truth.” I feel that way when I pray, when I collaborate with God.

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When we look at things from God’s perspective, we can get a tiny glimpse of the future, a future in which God loves us and comforts us. A future of being in Heaven with Him that will make all of these trials here on Earth seem trivial.

Do What Works

Part of being Mindful is to focus on what works for you. Do what needs to be done in each situation and don’t judge yourself. For instance, when you get angry with someone ask yourself, “Is this effective?” When you want to climb into bed and forget the world ask yourself that same question.

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It may be a horrible day, things aren’t going my way, I feel anxious and disturbed. I have found that one of the most effective ways to be mindful is giving thanks. Being grateful. How many times can I thank God for what He’s given me today? It changes my perspective.

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It can be especially difficult to be thankful when you’re having a bad day. But mindfulness to me is seeing what is in the emotion and what is outside of it. If I am angry, it may be an opportunity to set something straight. I can be mindful of my feelings and explore what it is that is making me angry and then I can consult Wise Mind (God) on how to deal with it effectively.

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Being mindful is not acting out on those anger urges but exploring them in our minds. Being thankful and being angry cannot exist together at the same time. If I explore what I am thankful for while angry I can usually come up with a way to talk to the person I am angry with in a loving way. If I am angry about a situation I can usually change my mind to the things for which I am grateful in spite of the situation.

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“Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

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I read in Jesus Calling July 24 the following:
“Thankfulness opens the door to my Presence. I have gone to great measures to preserve your freedom of choice. I have placed a door between you and me and I have empowered you to open or close that door. There are many ways to open it but a grateful attitude is one of the most effective.”

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DBT (Dialectic Behavior Therapy) says to let go of vengeance, useless anger, and righteousness that hurts you and simply doesn’t work. I understand that can be easier said than done when you are in the heat of the moment, but mindfully looking outside of these emotions and focusing on gratefulness may be the answer for you as it is for me.
How many things can you be thankful for today? Really thankful? Focus on those things mindfully and you will see your perspective change.

The Magic of Mindfulness

I was at a crossroads-stuck on Earth but wanting to be in Heaven with my son. I tried to get there on my own a couple times, and for a long time I hoped God would just take me there. When I first tried to commit suicide, I was forlorn that it hadn’t “worked.” And for months afterwards, I didn’t care if I lived.

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I had such a distorted outlook that I didn’t see the pain I was causing my husband- my kids. I was blinded by death and I couldn’t see a life for myself. God entrusted some knowledgeable professionals and armed me with His word to make me see the error in my thinking. And I was selfish. All I could think about was being in Heaven and seeing my son again. And being with Jesus where He would put a balm on my wounds. There would be a reunion with all of my deceased family and I would live for eternity in the arms of the Father.

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I didn’t know that there could be Heaven on Earth with Jesus- not real Heaven, but Jesus can take our sorrows and turn them to joy. I had yet to know that Jesus can do that anytime, here on Earth, if I just ask. He can put me in touch with people who are meant to help me, he can show me how much my family needs me here.

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This is what the Lord says, “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest in your souls.”         Jeremiah 6:16

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I learned that Mindfulness is a way to be in Jesus right where I am. I learned to look at my surroundings and participate in them, completely forgetting myself. That by doing this with God, I can change the urge to do something harmful. I can rejoice in what IS, right now.

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At my brother’s house in Wisconsin, he has loads of bird feeders on his deck right outside a big picture window. When I was recuperating, I spent some time with him and his wife and I would marvel at the birds and squirrels outside that window. This Summer we decided to get a bird feeder for our backyard, nothing as elaborate as my brother’s, but a nice one just the same.

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Have you ever seen a cardinal? How perfectly red they are? The cardinal is our state bird in Ohio and we have a pair of them that like to feed on our birdfeeder. They seem a bit shy, not afraid of the other birds but they don’t linger with them once they’ve got their seeds.

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Recently I was feeling very restless as I sat on my deck swing. I had a magazine called “Mindfulness” that I was paging through. Just reading about mindfulness calmed me. I began to see the backyard and all that was happening out there. I began to participate in the goings-on, laughing at the birds, watching the squirrels walk the tightrope of cables in the sky. These are things I saw every day, but today, I was in it with them.

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I saw the trees in their Summer glory with the years old trunks and their thick leaves. And I saw the grass that needed watering from the past over- ninety degree dry heat.

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That’s what mindfulness can do. It can slow your heartbeat, help you to appreciate the NOW. Participating in my backyard helped me see how God takes care of all that is on the Earth and I am part of that. He feeds the birds and squirrels, allows them to build their homes and sleep soundly. Every summer He brings leaves and grass and every winter He brings rain to soak the ground. I am part of that as He feeds me with His word and calms me when I am struggling.

I don’t want to die too early. I want to take the ancient path and see what God has in store for me today and every day.

Praying Mindfully

It was the perfect morning. “Why not thank God for this?” I thought. I closed my eyes and sat in the deck swing feeling the sun on my skin, smelling the Summer- tasting it, listening to the birds, the bugs, the trucks on the street and I thanked God.

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I imagined myself in His presence with all of His glory around me. As thoughts came into my mind I prayed about them and let them go. Back to God’s glory. The slow rock of the swing, the smell of the grass (I’m allergic to it but I can still marvel in it.) I praised God for being God and kept myself open and ready to practice unity with Him.

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As emotions came forward- as they always do in a mindfulness state- I acknowledged them, prayed about them and let them go back to the God who gave me emotions.

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True peace can be found in Jesus.

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I prayed purposefully for each person who came to mind, asking God to bless them and help them with their troubles. I prayed deeply for each of them and asked as if I was asking for myself.

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A person came to mind who I have been judging. I haven’t talked with her in a long while, I am angry with her. God weighed on my heart to forgive her and I saw my judgey mind balking at that. He showed me that praying for an offender could open my heart to empathy. I felt my heart soften just a bit.

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Forgiving someone can feel like we’re giving them a gift, but research shows that when we forgive we feel a decrease in depression, and in those unwanted emotions like hostility and anxiety. We feel an increase in hope and self-esteem, which sounds to me like when I forgive, I give myself some gifts too.

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So, I asked God to help me through my feelings of anger and disappointment. I don’t need to be a friend to her, I just need to forgive and move on.

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In praying mindfully, we go with the flow, open our hearts to what Wise Mind (God) wants us to hear. We sit at the foot of the Father and let Him lead us in prayer. I wasn’t even thinking about that girl who I could not forgive, but God decided to let me see it.
Jesus tells us to love our enemies but to hate evil, while not judging, but praying for those who do wrong. Practice lovingkindness.

“bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:28

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Being mindfully loving kind, according the DBT (Dialectic Behavior Therapy) is “saying a prayer for yourself or someone else… You actively send loving and kind wishes, and recite in your mind words and phrases that express good will toward yourself and others.”

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On my deck swing, I ask for forgiveness and accept it. In my prayers I used to search my soul for everything I did wrong, so I could ask for forgiveness for my sins. In praying mindfully, we commune with God and rather than going through a laundry list, we allow Him to show us things about ourselves. We contemplate what He shows us and appeal to His mercy, then we accept His forgiveness and move forward. We put the thing to rest because the God of all glory has forgiven us- it’s His promise in Christ Jesus.

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I look at myself, in this mindful prayer, the way God sees me. I am a joy to Him. He loves me unconditionally and I end my mindful prayer thanking Him for it.

“He reached down His hand from above me and held me.” Psalm 18:16
“He set me down in a safe place; He saved me to His delight; He took joy in me.” Psalm 18:19