Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Another Lesson


“Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words.”

Lydia Maria Child


Yesterday confusion, fear and problems seemed to plague me all day long.  In my mind, there were too many things coming at me too quickly.  Yet I still managed to get a lot done and I even did most of them well.  I trusted my instincts.  There is a scientific explanation for instincts that says it is the warning from our unconscious when we are missing cues from the conscious world.  Instinct says, “You’re missing an important fact.  I’m not going to tell you what it is, but I am going to tell you to change course.”
I believe there’s a spiritual explanation as well.  I believe instincts are the prompting of the Holy Spirit to keep us on the right course and ultimately happier.  This  is a gift from a God who loves us.
As an innocuous example, I had to mail a package yesterday.  I put the correct amount of postage on it, but something was bothering me.  So even though I was busy with about five or six other things, I took the package to the post office to be sure.  It was true.  I hadn’t put enough postage on.  Again, I realize that this was an innocuous example, but by trusting my gut, my instinct, the Holy Spirit, I saved myself time and money.  This also ensured that the package would get to its recipient faster. 
Sometimes I think one of our jobs in life is to reduce stress as often as possible.  The most effective way to do this is manage the thought life.  Things become stressful because I allow them to be.  I can be busy without being stressed.  Perhaps, however, I can also be less busy.  Why do I do the things I do?  I do so many things.  Do I really need to do so much?  And if I do, can I approach things more calmly? 
The first question to answer is, “Why do I do the things I do?”  I give myself the following reasons:
·     I have to make money.
·     I want to make more money.
·     I need to take care of my health.
·     I’m investing in my relationships.

Those are all good reasons, and true.  But I don’t think I’m supposed to approach any of my goals in a way that leaves me stressful and unhappy.  It would be better to have fun, be peaceful, grateful and content.  Yesterday, I felt very little of that.  Yesterday I felt like I was in a tropical forest hacking away at vines and shrubbery in order to reach my destination.  And I wasn’t happy most of the day until two things happened:
1.  I needed to be calm in order to help someone else.
2.  My Muse lovingly reminded me that I needed to write.

However, there was more than one lesson, from yesterday’s craziness.  Despite my stress and worry, I still managed to get things done.
·      I got to inspire a group of people to set goals.
·      I made some money.
·      I got to the bank and the post office.
·      I helped my daughter with her homework.
·      I cleaned the kitchen.
·      I took a nap.
·      I did a load of laundry.
·      I ate breakfast, lunch and dinner.  (I usually skip breakfast and this upsets my Muse because she wants me to take care of myself.  She knows I also work better on a full stomach.)
·      I had a nice conversation with my supervisor.
·      I taught a class to speak, read, write and understand English just a little better.
·      I got to bed at a reasonable hour.
·      I got to see the beauty of a flower.

And it’s true that there were one or two things I didn’t get done, but that doesn’t matter.  Here was the other lesson I learned yesterday. 
·    If stress, fear or worry must be part of my day, I don’t have to let them stop me from my Purpose. 

So yesterday, despite my feelings, I was able to Get Started and Keep Going.  I was lucky enough to remember that feelings are just that:  feelings.  They aren’t facts or physical obstacles.  They are just concepts and ideas from my mind, sometimes caused or exacerbated by hunger, fatigue or stress.  They can, however, be trumped by goals and by doing the things I need and want to do, no matter how I feel.  Yesterday felt like a bad day, but really it was a good day.  Only my mind made it bad.  My resolve and my Muse made it good.