“I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.” – Groucho Marx.
In his book “Your Erroneous Zones” the late Dr. Wayne Dyer talked about how we mix up all of the different things that we’re doing, or allowing our minds to be cluttered with thoughts of what might happen tomorrow. So we no longer enjoy an experience for itself because we allow worries of the past or the future or other things going on in our lives to overwhelm our thoughts.
For example, when you’re at work you’re thinking of about your family, worrying about them, and when you’re with your family, you are thinking about work. Or you spend just about every waking minute focused on tomorrow, not today. You never have a pure experience because you can’t ever be fully present in the moment.
When you live your life this way you never really have a life, and it really lessens your ability to be productive. Study after study in peak performance has shown that worry, and trying to do more than one thing at once, decreases our productivity as well our level of happiness.
So ask yourself these questions. Are you able to put all of your attention into one thing at a time? Are you able to enjoy your family or your friends without distraction? Do you agonize over things you cannot control?
More importantly, what is the solution? Allow me to share this with you…
Make no mistake, meditation and prayer go hand in hand. By the way, I think of meditation as contemplation, which is part of our Judeo-Christian tradition. Prayer or meditation or contemplation are practices which will bring you closer to God, and which can transform every aspect of your life – spiritually, financially, physically, emotionally.
Prayer is about speaking to God while meditation – or contemplation – is about listening to God. Both will bring you a richer life. “Meditate upon these things; give yourself wholly to them; that your profiting may appear to all.” Timothy 4:15
Prayer and meditation have radically changed my life in a way no other disciplines can. You can relieve stress, tension and anxiety. You can energize your mental and physical self. You can be more focused on today, and improve your concentration, creativity and memory.
I start my daily routine by first talking to God. This starts with prayer. After all, He is your friend, and He loves you and understands you more than anyone else can. He wants and knows what’s best for you. “When you pray, go into your room and close the door and pray to your Father who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask.” Matthew 6: 5-8
Then I meditate (or contemplate). This is where I listen to God, where I experience the limitless nature of the mind when it ceases to be dominated by the usual earthly chatter and worry. God has given us this potent tool, it’s called our mind, and we need to tap into its full potential. “The kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:21.
Remember that meditation/contemplation is about quieting the mind. “Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10. When I meditate I don’t have any particular goal in mind. I have no expectations. I’m allowing God to lead me. The purpose of meditation is to deepen your awareness of the basic relationship with your Creator.
Meditation is a personal thing. I have a way of doing it which is good for me. You may have another way. If you’re looking for a good book on meditation, you might want to try “Learn to Meditate” by David Fontana, PhD. It’s a practical guide to meditation, and I’ve given away hundreds of this book to clients and friends who thanked me later.
God bless you.
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