“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, January 1, 2010

Being Mindful

Have you noticed how people complain about being busy, but in reality, it sounds like they are bragging? Being busy and stressed out is worn like a badge of honor. You aren't somebody unless you are going non-stop. Is it any wonder this attitude is so prevalent when Corporate America jokes, "If you aren’t stressed, you must not be working hard enough.” Personally, I am tired of being stressed. A few years back, I developed a workshop called "Taking Care of Yourself.” ( Click here to go to my upcoming training page )The training was just as much for me as it was the participants. While putting the materials together, I began reading more about mindfulness. Being mindful is counter-intuitive to our culture. I discovered a good definition by Jon Kabat-Zinn (1994). He explains, “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally.” I began realizing that I was driving along in automatic missing the wonderful opportunities I could be experiencing. As I see it, being mindful is taking life out of automatic and start driving in manual. When you do this, you have to listen to every hum and acceleration of the RPMs. You begin to be more in tune with your own personal "engine.” Well, enough of my car analogy...you get the idea.

This morning I was reading my devotions and being mindful was the topic- except they called it, "Practice the Presence.” I saw it as taking the concept of mindfulness and moving it up a notch. Practicing the Presence is not only about being mindful of ourselves but also becoming mindful of God's presence in our life. The author of the devotion said, "We need to give God a time slot in our lives every day, but even more than that, God needs to be a presence in our lives all day long, every day" (Ortlund, 1994). The author and her husband began to be "mindful" (my words, not hers) in being present with God. Her husband set his watch to go off every 15 minutes so he'd stop and think of God. She wrote the words "Jesus" on a piece of paper and placed it on the floor by her bed. Every morning when she got up her attention was on Him. Through the process, she began to become more aware of God in her life.

This New Year 2010, I want to be mindful of the moment and most importantly of God's presence in my life. My next step is to consider what I can do to remind myself to rejoice in God's presence all day long. What about you? What will you do?

Consider Psalm 89:15, "Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD" (NIV).

Kabat-Zinn, J. (1994). Wherever you go, there you are: Mindfulness meditation in everyday life (p.4), New York: Hyperion.

Ortlund, A. (1994). Practice the Presence. In Couple's Devotional Bible. (30) Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

1 comment:

  1. Love your post Carissa. Mindfulness takes cultivation and tender loving care just like anything that is important to us. I am recommitting to morning journaling and finding specific times during the day like getting a drink of water to bring myself back to the present. Patricia Eslava Vessey