Everyday Inspired – June 17-20

June 17 – Emotions and energy

“Theater is a transmission of energy,” my drama coach taught us in high school. Part of our training was learning to take the energy of our current feelings and focus it into our performance. The scene may not have called for the emotion we were experiencing, but the energy behind that emotion can be transformed and used to express the character’s perspective. As actors use this technique, the audience responds. Each show is a new mix of actors’ energies and audience engagement, making every performance a unique one.
improv-theatreThis technique can be helpful offstage, too. To be mindful of our feelings, and exercise some control over how we respond to others. It’s the difference between reacting and responding. Reacting may have little thought involved, while responding suggests some consideration before taking action. In friendships, family relationships, and with coworkers, often our first reaction may not be our best. Before we respond, let’s practice taking a moment to harness the energy of our feelings and turn it toward the best possible response which will reflect our better selves.
Consider:
What invitation is here for me, today?
Today I am grateful for:
My intention for today is:
My to-do list for today includes:

June 18 – Power source

Today we’ll hit triple-digit heat indices in my part of the world, and I my sister, who’s packing for a trip, just lost power in her building. No blow dryer, no air-conditioning, no washing machine.
electric-power-pylons-during-sunsetThe power of God is like that electric flow. It’s always there, bringing coincidences and little miracles (like the lights coming on with the flick of a switch). But, we don’t notice it. When things go wrong, we wonder why the flow stopped. We long to return to before the crisis happened, when things were working, and we could take it for granted. Sometimes we cry, “God, how could you let this happen to me?” But when all is going well, do we sing, “God, thanks for this blessing in my life?”
There’s a correlation between the flow of energy through electricity, and the flow of God’s love compassion, and mercy that is pouring into our lives. As people of faith, we can trust that the flow is there, and not second-guess it when we angst over circumstances. Today, if you’re in a building that isn’t struggling with a power outage, be grateful for the air-conditioning, and for the light that comes on with the flip of a switch. Trust that that same type of light and power is at work in your life by the love of God.
Consider:
What invitation is here for me, today?
Today I am grateful for:
My intention for today is:
My to-do list for today includes:

June 19 – What to do when you’re overwhelmed and resentful

My husband and I have been involved with our neighborhood association for most of the 20 years we’ve lived in our home. My longest stretch came as editor of the newsletter, a monthly task that I often resented for nearly 10 years. It was always the “one more thing” I had to do, after family, work, and house stuff. If you’ve ever been involved in volunteer work like this, or maybe the PTA or mother’s club, you know what it takes. And, your efforts are subject to lots of opinions from well-intended people, and unfortunately, sometimes conflicts arise. I certainly had my share.
smile_hide_overwhelmedSo, when I passed the project on to a talented neighbor and friend, you’d think I’d be nothing but happy, right? I was relieved, but also strangely sad. There was a hole in my life where that commitment used to be. There were plenty of tasks waiting for my attention, yet I took my time and savored the space. I felt God’s presence through the whole process: the service the newsletter was to our community; my friend’s offer to take it from me; the “found time” I now had; and the opportunities I had to fill that time now that I was freed of that obligation.
When feeling overwhelmed, take a moment and ask God to be with you. Is there a project that’s become too much of a burden? Maybe it’s time to hand it off to someone with new energy and ideas. Perhaps you’re stuck in a resentment rut, thinking no one else will take your place, or do things the way you’d do them? Maybe behind that resentment is fear…fear of what you’d do with all that time, or fear of what others will think if you step down?
In prayer, gently sift through your commitments and priorities, and ask for God’s help. Pay attention to how you feel about each of these, and offer those feelings to God. Given time, new possibilities with emerge, and with God’s grace, you’ll take action to follow God’s way for your life. God’s opinion is all you need.
Consider:
What invitation is here for me, today?
Today I am grateful for:
My intention for today is:
My to-do list for today includes:

June 20 – Heatwave

Summertime heatwaves take their toll on trees. The trees on our street are about 50 years old, with mature root structures that sometimes end up in our plumbing lines, but that’s another story. Usually, such trees can handle a dry spell, but extended drought can threaten even the most stalwart.
One summer, our neighbor’s tree reminded me of de Chardin’s observation. There were bright green leaves, and orange and brown, too. Some limbs were bare, while others were in full bloom. After a few weeks, the leaves began to fall, their shower incongruous with the sweltering heat. The tree had all four seasons on display.

“In a bunch of flowers we would be surprised to find one imperfect or sickly, because each was chosen and assembled. On a tree, by contrast, which has had to fight the internal hazards of its own growth and the external hazards of weather, the bruised and broken have their own rightful place.” Teilhard de Chardin

How like our lives! We pursue perfection, like the florist’s arrangement, as if it is attainable. Yet, all stages of life may be going on at any given moment. We’re constantly in one phase or another of the paschal mystery: life comes from death. Our lives are more like the tree than the bouquet.
Consider:
What invitation is here for me, today?
Today I am grateful for:
My intention for today is:
My to-do list for today includes:

About Maria

Speak Your Mind

*