We are in the middle of a week of change! In our own lives, if we are following the Irrational Joy Lenten practice, we are replacing unwanted behavior with something new. And around the world many wait anxiously for a new leader for their church. I see opposite ends of the spectrum at work. On the one hand, people are waiting for someone to guide them, feeling uncertain about what direction they should follow, hoping that their new leader will embrace their own values.
On the other hand, people are choosing to follow God as they believe they are led, living in the moment, reflecting on what God stirs within their hearts, changing to better reflect that spirit to the world around them. How easy it is to accept those who believe as we do; how difficult to embrace those who think differently.
The discovery period is over. You should now understand how you want to change your response in the given situations. My guess is you are already using the new response, at least some of the time. I think this is the beauty of being deliberate. The more you become aware of the present moment, the more naturally you respond to it.
And when they say, ‘Time flies,’ I think it flies fastest when you are focused on the moment. You don’t realize or think about time anymore, and thus when you look up, so much time has passed and it has seemed to be nothing. I imagine that’s the way it is when we are reunited with God. We become present to the moment and to our creator, and time loses all meaning.
I think that happened to me this weekend, which is why I missed several posting days. I had read the reflection for the day, but missed posting something here. I look forward to the coming week.
P.S. I was made aware of another prayer site that is excellent, and includes daily prayers, here. I find it very familiar in some cases to my own thinking.
Have you noticed? When your awareness of something improves, you begin to see, before you act or speak, the opportunity for change. I found several yesterday. That’s the key part of the awareness phase – anticipating the situation before it happens – where you now are fully in the present moment.
I remember times when I would say something and then think, “Why did I just do that?” I wasn’t aware before I spoke of the opportunity (to either keep my mouth shut or say something different). If you’re reading the book, it might seem confusing for me to say “Don’t look back,” and then just mention, “When I looked at yesterday.” The key is the purpose. I’m not looking back to judge where I was and compare to where I am. I’m only looking to evaluate the day for you.
And as you remain in the present moment, this looking back becomes only nostalgic (when it’s beyond the ‘just passed’ moment), because when you are aware ‘before it happens’, then you are evaluating in real time. You are examining the situation, your response, right then. To review at night, well, that’s nice, but it no longer becomes necessary.
That’s the beauty of the awareness phase. It helps bring you into the present moment. After all, that’s all we each have.
Awareness, mindfulness. When we become aware of the present moment, so many things open up to us. How often they are missed when we focus on the future, on what we plan on doing, rather than what we are doing. I became aware yesterday of several moments where I could respond differently. Did I? Not necessarily. But I am beginning to understand them, and think to myself, “I am responding this way because…”, which I think will help me discover (phase 3) what I can replace my response with, such that the replacement fits my soul.
Yes. Too often we try to become someone we aren’t, rather than becoming who we are. Yet when we understand and embrace our true self, then the second greatest commandment becomes a habit. Wouldn’t that be incredible? I think we strive to follow the two greatest commandments, failing often and beating ourselves up for that failure, when if we understood how our desire to follow is part of our innate inner being, it would bring a new understanding and open up ways that we might change.
May God shine a light upon your path, chasing away the darkness.
We begin phase two of the RADAR process with Awareness. We now realize what it is we want to change, to shed, to replace, in order to reveal who we really are, and chose yesterday (if you started prior to that). If you’re just starting, do not fear, you can shorten the times in the previous phase and catch up easily.
In this phase we watch and observe how and when we use our targeted behavior. It’s natural to think, ‘If I can recognize when I’m doing it, why not just change immediately?’ I think the danger in this is that it’s too easy to slide back into previous patterns, and thus one quick victory is lost as time drags on and more opportunities are missed. I also think if you don’t become aware of the how and when, you won’t see the best why, and the why is what we are after. Why do we do this? Because then our strategy to replace or drop the behavior (though I think all behaviors, or at least most, must be replaced with something else – almost like a scientific equation: Behavior can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only be replaced by another behavior) will become clear.
In other words, you are always doing something with your time, even if you’re doing nothing. (You’ll find upon deeper examination that you’re not really doing nothing. In this case, nothing, breathing, thinking, meditating, sleeping – is still something.)
May God guide you to become aware of each moment, and fill it with joy,