Mid-week in our first week of taking action, where we’re taking it slowly, sometimes still observing our old behavior while we evaluate what we should be doing instead; and sometimes taking action. It’s funny how when you think about it you can easily choose the right response, but when the heart becomes engaged, another part of you takes over. Don’t fret. It takes longer for the heart to follow and get with the program.
I had a dream last night, and in it an old friend was asking about whether a task could be automated, and said they understood if I wouldn’t or couldn’t do it, since I didn’t attend their church anymore. I said I could do it–it had nothing to do with attending their church; and I mentioned that the church was like any other club, it had monthly dues, too. She said, ‘Yeah, but these dues are much higher!’
I think however you express your faith, that is up to you, and as you move this Lent toward a new behavior, you’ll see others respond to you differently. I hope each day is a new day for you, full of promise and fulfillment.
Discovery, the third phase of the RADAR change process, is twofold in its purpose. It is about discovering what you might do differently from what you are doing now. And it is about discovering the deep-rooted cause of the unwanted behavior. In this way, we can see discovery through the first three phases, semantically speaking; but then, DDDAR would sound like someone with a stuttering issue.
One might consider that we are moving too slowly. Again, resist the urge to accelerate, but at the same time, if you discover something and want to use it, go ahead. What I find interesting is that if you take the time, you’ll find yourself making changes almost effortlessly as the momentum of the process takes over. You’ll find that instead of thinking about what you want to do, you’ll just start doing it.
This week is about discovery: What could I do differently, naturally, to replace my unwanted behavior? Take time to discover, because over time you might find that the first idea is not the one you end up using.
Okay, I guess I missed Friday when some new windows were being installed. I went back and corrected the day number on yesterday’s post.
Last night I attended a Buddhist prayer meeting, I believe it was to honor someone’s passing, the father of a family, grandfather, and possibly great-grandfather. So we sat in back and prayed with them. The chants/prayers were in two different languages. I believe the first was Thai, although my wife said the monk had mentioned Bali. The second was Vietnamese. As I prayed and listened, it struck me how familiar the feeling was to one experienced when saying a rosary in a group. And how similar to an Indian dharma prayer meeting I had attended as well.
I thought of the commonality of humanity and wondered again why we spend so much time trying to differentiate ourselves and despise those unlike us, when at the core we are all the same: human beings.
This week wraps up the Awareness phase of the RADAR system, and we consider and reflect on how aware we have become to when our response is triggered. By now I would not be surprised if you can anticipate the opportunities for change before or as they are occurring. I’ve reached that awareness at times, and can sense a change in me even when I’m not purposefully doing anything different.
Do you feel a change in the level of peace in your life?
Awareness. Did you experience it yesterday? I found several instances where I had an opportunity. Did I take it? Not yet. I’m still trying to understand the what’s underneath. In this race-about world, it’s easy to jump to the first conclusion, take the first fork in the road, without considering just is going on. When you slow down, (and some may accuse me of virtually standing still), you let God work inside you, revealing your true spirit, your true soul.
You uncover the truth, and begin to realize that maybe what you thought you should do wouldn’t fix anything, wouldn’t change anything, wouldn’t put you on a path of love, but rather one of deception.
Kind of like dieting. We eat ridiculously small amounts of food, or special foods we wouldn’t normally buy (because they are so overpriced), and then expect once we’ve reached our goal we can just go back to what we were doing. Nothing really changed. It was just an exercise. Is Lent merely an exercise for you? Or are you hoping it helps you grow into who you are, even if it only brings you one step closer.
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,