Brain clarity – bring focus and presence to your day.

You swing best when you have the fewest things to think about.  ~Bobby Jones

It’s easy not to notice the mind and emotional fog.  It sneaks up on you.

The atmosphere, not the weather or oxygen, but the atmosphere of click bate, deadlines, social media distractions, binge tv, binge drinking, dieting, shopping, traffic, getting ahead…STOP!!

We need clarity.  What can we do to slowly but surely bring clarity back into our daily deal.

James Clear   It’s funny how peoples names often coincide with what they do – that’s another post.   James has made it his mission to recognize and help bring clarity and focus back into our lives.  He’s onto something – check him out.

Event without reading Mr. Clear, the following can be good first steps:

  • Pick a day a week to donate or trash something you haven’t used in last year.  And get rid of it – instant feel good.
  • REMOVE Facebook from your phone.  Just your phone – you will not miss it.
  • Create a repeatable morning routine – what ever that is for you that sets you off on the right foot.  This takes some trial and error.  It’s worth it.
  • Sleep – ideally, go to bed early enough so that you don’t need an alarm clock- May not be possible, but if you can, it will be a huge payoff to your clarity.   At least, figure out how to average 7 hours minimum.
  • Practice Saying NO!  Say NO to anything that doesn’t fit into your goals and current purpose, direction.   Say No – it’s ok.
  • Drink Less Alcohol – this can be really difficult at first, it may change who you hang out with – after 30 days, you mind will be clearer and you will feel better and your friendships may be about more than drinking.

Simplify where ever you can and practice being present and clear.  Become aware of what that feels like and remove that in your life that disrupts it.

Daily prompt -Saintly Strength

As a boy I never thought of Saints as strong men.   From my perspective they were odd,  usually poor,  meek, they didn’t care about power, physical strength, wealth, fame.   These were all the things I DID care about.

Even though I had a strong attraction to God and spiritual concepts I gradually moved closer to things of this world.  Saints were not something that interested me other than to acknowledge that they were Saints; some unachievable status granted by the Church.

Then, the world turned on me, as it usually does.  In very difficult circumstances, I realized what friendship really meant.  I realized that this world is temporary, not just in the life or death sense, but even more so.  It is temporary by circumstance.  One day you are healthy and successful, interesting and sought after – and overnight you find yourself very sick, weak, unable to defend, so you are taken advantage of, betrayed and in need of Mercy.

Saints, of which I am certainly far from, have a different, permanent strength.   They are there when the world turns on us.   They can be called on for Mercy.  They love us unconditionally, no matter our circumstances.  They can be beaten, tortured, burned alive and they do not change.

Saintly Strength is true Strength.   This Strength is offered to us.  It is not easy to receive but it’s there when we needed it – all we need to do is humbly ask.

 Saintly   

Please let me know your thoughts…

Stress killer – what’s yours?

We have fun ways to escape stress.  The bar, or any reason to have a few with “friends” is clearly popular.   Food and TV – that’s a good standby or how about Food, TV and Wine.  A healthier version is to knock yourself out at the gym.

These are short-term escapes and some come with baggage.

Usually, escapes don’t kill stress.  They just move it out-of-the-way for a little bit.  Whatever is the cause will certainly materialize again.  It’s the people in your life;  your kids, your spouse, parent expectations, the boss that give your stress staying power.   We don’t want to let them down.  We don’t want to fail in their eyes.

It’s in times of extreme unbearable stress that we look for a higher power.  We want to be saved, we want hope of a future, we want redemption, we want forgiveness.

And, it is possible.  Stress is ultimately created through desire and attachment to the things in this world.  You DO Not have to become a cloistered monk – and even they are not immune.

Do your work the best you possibly can and at the same time practice detachment. Do not define yourself through your work – rather honor God with it.

Fill your bowl to the brim
and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife
and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security
and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people’s approval
and you will be their prisoner.

Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.  ~ Tao Te Ching 9

Who doesn’t want a life full of wealth, independence and joy.  We strive to achieve this and provide security and opportunity for our families.

The secret to killing stress is to learn to detach from these pursuits. Continue doing them; don’t let them define your value.  You are Loved regardless of your status, wealth, or independence; embracing this, believing it, kills stress and provides joy.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.anointest: Heb. makest fat
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Psalm 23

When you reach the point where you can fight no longer, there is no way out – stop and surrender your Self and your Desires to the Lord.

Do your work do your best and then step back.  It’s all you can do and you are Loved for it.

Learning

Our best teachers  start a fire inside us. The fire will last a life time if you tend to it.

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” – Henry Ford

Watch this Amazing 103 year old women –  still loving the life long learning of Dance

Learning, unlike a degree,  is life long and makes life long.  The more you learn the more each minute is lived.  Each scene, each emotion, each relationship is enhanced through your leaning.

Learning keeps you young.  Tending to that fire of curiosity keeps our mind and spirit active.

Learning is the path to the gift of the Holy Spirit – Wisdom.  Wisdom is within-accessible to all of us; is a gift to us.  This spirit becomes more accessible if we humble ourselves and seek to learn.

The curiosity to learn a new skill, sport, discipline, hobby – keeps you alert, on on the right path and away from the stress and damage of pride and arrogance.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. – Matthew 11:29

What’s your one rep max?

Your adrenaline spikes, you complete the rep, you ring the bell, get some high fives. In Crossfit gyms around the world this is the sign of a good day. Short term awesome. This achievement requires things like:

  • Force
  • Power
  • Speed

The long term requires things like:

  • Patience
  • Simplicity
  • Gratitude

The different energies and perspective combine, integrate and compliment.

Physical, Mental and Spiritual – the important things in our lives all have two integral sides.

To reach your potential you have to learn both.

Getting through “The Low”

It comes without reason.  At first, I don’t recognize it.  I mistake it for being tired or maybe just a bit worn down from the day to day stuff.

Afterwords, I realize it was The Low.   Not depression, I don’t think, it never lasts very long.

During The Low I am unable to follow my routine.  I lose things, forget stuff.  I am unmotivated.  I drink more and have less discipline.  I don’t sleep well but I want to sleep all the time.

The Low is a mental and spiritual suck.  Inspiration is gone.  I wonder if I am sick.  I am not.

What is this?  What causes it?  What can I do to prevent it?

I think it’s just life – do you experience The Low?

Getting through is like getting through a storm. Hunker down and know that it will pass.

I always know when it leaves.  its like a clearing, I am back and feel ready, my routine, my work, my curiosity, my Spirit is back.