September 29, 2011

Think on These Things

Finally, brothers and sisters, 
whatever is true, 
whatever is noble, 
whatever is right, 
whatever is pure, 
whatever is lovely, 
whatever is admirable
—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—
think about such things. 
-- Philippians 4:8

My head has been in that bad space where every thought turns negative, I'm sour, I'm anxious, I'm not the person I want to be.  Sure there's a whole list of things I wish would change in my life and I think if these "things" change, I will be happier, more positive, more....

But I've lived long enough to know that's not how it goes.  You must start from the inside out.  I must choose where my mind lands and where my thoughts go when life isn't going according to my plans and people don't behave in kindness.  It's so hard.  That's why this verse from the Bible is great, mostly because it's true.  Because what you think really can change your outlook and your person and just maybe your circumstance.

Sometimes it's hard for me to conjure up good thoughts when I'm in the midst of ruminating.  So I created this "Think Good Things" spot that is a visual push for me to get out of my negative mindset.

This little corner in my dining room is a little visual sampler of the Philippians Bible verse.  From there I can turn my thoughts on things that are true, honest, noble, praiseworthy and lovely.

September 20, 2011

Master Gardener

"Just as a gardener cultivates his plot, keeping it free from weeds, growing the flowers and fruits, which he requires,
so may a man tend the garden of his mind,
weeding out all the wrong, useless and impure thoughts, and cultivating toward perfection the flowers and fruits of the right, useful, and pure thoughts. 

By pursuing this process, a man sooner or later discovers that he is the master gardener of his soul, the director of his life. 

He also reveals, within himself, the laws of thought, and understands, with ever-increasing accuracy,
how the thought-forces and mind-elements operate in the shaping of his character, circumstance, and destiny." 
 – James Allen As A Man Thinketh

September 13, 2011

Beautiful Garden

A friend called me the other night, in tears and with enough despair and hopeless in her voice that I wanted to cry with her and I did. I have watched my friend suffer from the temper and emotional instability of an extremely ill-equipped manager for the past three years. Her efforts and successes being award her with “you could do better” and there is a constant undertow of threats of being fired. This is a boss that rules with fear and is using the economic downturn to treat her employees with little to no respect. It breaks my heart. She fights the good fight, with head held high most days, but today was one of those days.

I try to help her gain perspective. We recently read and watched The Help together and we were grateful that a bad day at work didn’t mean physical harm like it did for so many African Americans living in the south only 50 years ago. I reminded her that she had more opportunity than most of the world, that she was lucky. She could see she had something to be thankful for… barely. And I felt like such a crummy friend pulling the whole world into her situation. I hate when people do that to me, and I apologized.

All I could do was be sad with her and tell her she really did work for the sickest most damaged woman living in the United States, well, at least in the mid-west. I listened and did so without trying to fix it. I wish I could have fixed it though. Then when she was finished and the tears became just sniffles I told her things I wanted her to hear. And it’s important to wait for the tears to finish, the words of pain to stop spewing and the expletives to disappear before you say anything. No one can hear during that time. It’s like trying to get someone who is puking to eat… sorry to be so growce.

I reminded my friend of who she is and always will be and it went something like this…

You are kind. You make good cookies. You make me laugh everyday. You bring value to my world and anyone who knows you. Basically you have a garden with lots of flowers! All kinds of flowers are in your garden, it is full of color and beauty and there’s no better place.

Here’s to my friend. Your garden is beautiful and no one can change that, not even a crummy boss.


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