Lent – Day 11

Another Saturday, and now we are just about ready to close out a week of Awareness. It’s easy to make a change during this week, but without a plan of action, I think it would only be temporary. So I want to leave the Discovery phase for next week. Why? We still have today and tomorrow, and if you work the typical five weekdays, then the opportunities that arise on the weekend may be different. The situations will be different. We’ll take stock tomorrow of all the opportunities experienced this past week, filing them into different folders of situations and triggers, before we work on discovering our alternative action/response.

I don’t know why Christians or other religious have a problem with atheism. Other than never seeing any contributions from them, what’s the threat? And when you think about it, in the end we’ll all know who was right. And if they were, well, they won’t be able to tell you, “I told you so.”

And this Lenten reflections book is usable by anyone, believer or not? If you don’t believe, just skip the Scripture reading.

J

Lent – Day 9

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.

Lent – Day 8

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.

J

Lent – Day 7

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.

J

Lent – Day 6 – Awareness

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,

J

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