I’m getting sick. Who gets a cold in August? And this is after I’ve had a lingering cough for two months after getting a cold in May. Sigh.
I’m tired. I want to go back to bed. Why did I go to bed so late?
I can’t focus. I’m fidgety. How come I can’t simply sit quietly for even a minute?
I’ve thought all of these things today, more than once. My thoughts come unbidden throughout the day, just as they do during meditation. Practicing meditation isn’t changing the thoughts that come to me, but it is making me more aware of them. I’m starting to realize what I profound impact this noticing can have on my daily life.
If I’m mindful and aware of my thoughts I can choose to discard the unhelpful thoughts and focus on the life-giving thoughts that bring joy. For me today that meant focusing on gratitude.
I’m getting a cold and I am so thankful for the strong body God gave me that can easily fight off a cold virus.
I went to bed late because I was working on this blog. How amazing that I can write and reflect and share my experience with others!
I had 20 minutes of uninterrupted time to mediate this morning. What a gift.
Tonight my son was screaming and crying, “I’m hungry!” as I was trying to encourage him to open his mouth so I could floss his teeth. Normally this would grate on my nerves and I would respond impatiently. Tonight I thought about how grateful I am that we have a healthy son and plenty of food and I was able to remain calm.
I patiently told him that I was sorry he was hungry, that we don’t eat right before sleeping and after we’ve brushed our teeth, and that he would be fine and I’d make him a big breakfast in the morning. Then I laid down next to him until the screaming stopped and he let me floss his teeth.
When I choose my thoughts my feelings follow. And my behavior follows my feelings. This has a direct impact on my interactions with other people. God has commanded me to love my neighbor as myself (Matthew 22:39). Meditation is helping me to let go of thoughts that so easily bring me down to a place where it’s hard to love. And it’s enabling me to choose thoughts of love and gratitude and joy so I can be a blessing to others.
My thoughts are not the boss of me. Your thoughts are not the boss of you.