Archive | May 2014

I Can’t See The Mountains But I Know They Are There!

I love my morning run. Lowry Sports Park is a mile from my home. The city built the Westerly Creek dam there and being that this is Colorado, where folks are very into the outdoors, the city made the top of the dam into a running/biking/walk-your-dog path. So I run a mile to the park, run up the hill to the dam and run east for another mile where the path ends and you can turn around. I get all excited to turn around because the view of those Rocky Mountains is breathtaking!!! Here is a picture from last Monday, after it snowed (in May!)

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But today, when I turned around I COULD NOT SEE THE MOUNTAINS!!! It was so overcast (we are spoiled here with 300+ days of sunshine per year) that I could not see ANY mountains at all. My first reaction was sadness. But it was quickly replaced with another thought….Just because I can’t see them, doesn’t mean they are not there!! They ARE there! I know that beyond a shadow of a doubt.  “The Sun’ll Come Out Tomorrow” (actually it is already out but I am not going for another run today!) and I will see them again. This was followed by my next thought…And those of you who know me already know where I am going with this….

GOD is ALWAYS THERE.  Even when I can’t see God.  As sure as I am of the Rocky Mountains being there even when it is overcast, I am sure that God is there too.

If you are not sure….feel free to borrow my belief for now and I encourage you to continue to search. You will find it for it is the Everpresent Inner Resource.

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The iPad Prayer

The 11th step of the 12 steps teaches us to “pause when agitated or doubtful and ask God for the right thought or action.” A friend of mine once called this “the iPad prayer” because the acronym I Pause when Agitated or Doubtful.  Recently, a new Denver friend shared with me an adaptation of a meditation on this idea. I have adapted it further and here it is. Enjoy….

I PAUSE WHEN AGITATED OR DOUBTFUL….

God, grant me the grace…

To find the space between my impulse and my actions,

To let flow a cooling breeze when I would respond with heat,

To interrupt fierceness with gentle peace,

To replace judgment with discernment,

To defer to silence when my tongue would rush to attack or defend.

God, I ask you to help me to watch for every opportunity to turn YOU, for guidance.  I know where to find Your Power – it resides within me, like a clear mountain brook hidden in the hills. It is the ever-present Inner Resource.

-adapted from Daily Reflections,  Jan 20

I Always Charge My Phone

I go to a morning exercise class at the JCC a few times a week that tends to get pretty crowded. I try to get there early in order to secure a space.  So I do my morning prayers in the quiet hallway outside the room where the class is held. Last week a woman asked me what I was doing and I told her that I was praying. She asked if I prayed every day. I shared with her my “I Aways Charge My Phone” philosophy. She loved it and asked me if could teach her abouth the prayers. This morning we began learning together and I thought I would repost the post “I Always Charge My Phone” for anyone who missed it originally or who would like a reminder! Enjoy!

About a year ago I heard a great talk on all of the reasons why busy mothers (aren’t ALL mothers busy!) do not HAVE to set time each day for formal prayer and more importantly why they should not feel guilty for not setting aside time each day for formal prayer. After about 20 minutes of trying to convince us to shed the guilt, Rabbi Nissel proceeded to tell us why we SHOULD set aside time each day for formal prayer.  He listed many of the wonderful benefits; personal, familial, and communal reasons why our prayers are so necessary. Not only that, but he gave us a VERY practical checklist of which prayers were the most important and it could literally take between 10 and 15 minutes a day!  It was very compelling and inspiring, and since then I have started each day with the intention of doing my formal prayers.

Here’s the problem… Most days I heard myself say things like this:  “First I’ll run, then I’ll pray.”  And after running I would say, “I’ll pray after I get the kids off to school.”  A little later, “Wow, its already 10:30. Let me just throw in another load of wash and THEN I’ll pray.”  A few hours later it was “I could pray now, but my coaching client is going to call in 20 minutes and what if I am still in the middle of praying and I miss the call? I’ll do it after the appointment.”   By dinner time I would say “I can’t believe the day is almost over and I still did not pray.  No wonder why my day did not go so well!”  This was happening more days than I would like to admit.

While speaking to a good friend who is one of my “tripod of objectivity sisters” (women I check in with often who know me, support me and love me enough to tell me the truth!)  I was sharing with her my challenge  and she encouraged me to  pray first thing in the morning. She said, “Chaya, the yetzer hara (evil inclination who is also known as “SELF”) does not want you to have time with the Creator of the Universe. It’s so sneaky. It won’t tell you not to pray, because that would be too obvious.  Instead the yetzer hara will give you every excuse possible to push it off.

So since then I made a commitment that I would prayer before I do anything else. Pray before running, swimming, eating, taking kids to school, throwing in a load of laundry, etc.  After a week or so of doing this, and consequently finding that I was handling my days with infinitely more efficiency and serenity, I had a huge “aha moment.”

I ALWAYS plug in my phone before I go to bed at night!  In fact I plug in my phone, my portable phone charger and my blue tooth headset. I NEVER go to bed unless they are plugged in. Why? Because I would NEVER think to go into my day the next morning without my phone charged! I need to be CONNECTED to my family, friends, clients, my calendar!!!  And let’s just say that I fell asleep (in my clothes passed out next to one of my kids!) before plugging them in and woke up with a dead phone?  The FIRST think I would do is plug it in! I wouldn’t say, “Well, I’ll go for my run and THEN I’ll charge my phone” (in fact I NEED my phone when I run to track my mileage and to listen to music or a 12-step meeting).  I would never say, “I’ll get the kids off to school, throw in a load of laundry and THEN I’ll charge my phone.”  I would never say “I’ll take my coaching call first and THEN I’ll charge my phone.” How would I be able to take the coaching call if my phone was dead anyway???

It occurred to me that while I would NEVER go into my day with my phone un-charged, I was going almost every day with my SOUL uncharged!  If I need my phone in order for me to be productive each day, how much more do I need my soul to be charged!  By tapping into the SOURCE of Everything, I am able to avoid power outages during my day and therefore I have a better shot and living my unique purpose in the world (yes, everyone has a unique purpose….perhaps that will be the topic of a future post).

So before you turn on your phone…… perhaps first turn on your SOUL.