Sunday, June 5, 2016

Spiritual Sunday - Striving For Serenity

The following is a passage from Around The Year With Emmet Fox: A Book of Daily Readings by (you guessed it) Emmet Fox.

"Take therefore no thought for the morrow for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.  Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (Matthew 6:34)

Always remember that the only thought that you need to concern yourself with is the present time.  The thoughts of yesterday or of last year do not matter now, because if you can get the present thought right, it will make everything else right here and now.  The best way to prepare for tomorrow is to make today's consciousness serene and harmonious.

Never go delving in your mind to look for troubles to pray about.  Deal faithfully with those that bring themselves to your attention, and hidden things will be taken care of."

Training yourself not to worry takes practice - a lot of practice.  I know, because my dad was a world class worrier and he came from a long line of worriers.  Growing up, I learned to worry about everything from the weather to missing an exit on the freeway to flat tires to paying bills to health issues (minor to major).  Every day, we would find things to worry about.  My mom, the spiritual/religious one in the family, spent equal amounts of time praying to overcome the effects of all that worrying and telling us all just to relax.  If she were alive today, her phrase would be "Let go and let God."

Fear and faith are opposites ends of the spectrum.  I don't know why fear is so much easier than faith. I think most spiritual teachers, pastors, priests, and counselors would agree that faith and trust in the inherent good in all takes training and practice.  Just as we have to exercise our muscles to become strong, we must exercise/train our mind to respond to fear based thoughts in a positive and healthy manner.  As it is said, the first step to recovery is recognizing/acknowledging that you have a problem.  When you find yourself worrying, recognize/acknowledge that it is just a thought and you can change it.  One of the fears I used to deal with (okay - it still concerns me from time to time) was about getting a flat tire.  Why this was such a big deal to me, I'm not sure, but it was.  I made a deal with myself that I would no longer worry about the possibility of a flat tire, and I would save all that anxiety and allow it to come forth when and if a flat tire occurred.  When we were having financial challenges, I would have trouble sleeping because my mind was so busy worrying about how to pay the bills.  I finally made an agreement with myself that I could only worry about money when it was actually time to get the checkbook out and be paying those bills.

Nature abhors a vacuum.  Therefore, when you consciously decide to cast aside, delete, change, clear, cancel, squash - whatever term you use - those fear based thoughts, you need something to replace them.  This is where affirmations come in handy.

When I find myself all wrapped in worry, I think or say "Stop!" and then I replace that worry thought with a positive one.  Here are some of my favorites:

I am prosperous.
I am a healthy, wealthy child of God.
Out of this situation, only good can come.
God's will for me is health and harmony.
I trust in the wisdom and goodness of life.

Like a mantra, I will repeat the affirmation over and over and over until I feel in control and have calmed down.  And here's an interesting tidbit - the affirmation or positive thought does not have to match the worry.  It just needs to replace it.  I use "I am prosperous" quite often.  It is simple to remember, and leads to some fun day dreams.  Being prosperous, I might just find myself in Tuscany, biking around the rolling hills.....Okay, reality check, I don't bike, but I might be sitting in a garden sampling wine from the area.  You get the idea.

Worrying is a waste of energy.  It accomplishes nothing except to cause you to be anxious, tense, sick to your stomach, etc.  Affirming something positive feels much better.

For more information on the process of shifting from fear to faith, negativity to positivity, worry to peace, check out books by New Thought teachers such as Catherine Ponder, Florence Scovel Shinn, Napoleon Hill, Emmet Fox, Louise Hay and more.

In the meantime, join me in affirming "I strive for serenity in all situations."

Wishing you a blessed and beautiful day!