Dear Why Team member,
I hope this week’s message finds you encouraged, interested and open in this present moment.
Consider placing a physical demand on your body right now to lift a heavy box of books. Of course your physical condition will influence outcome; good physical condition and attention to your lifting form: bending your legs- back straight- will help assure a painless mission accomplished. Then, consider poor physical condition and improper lifting form: not bending legs- leaning over- sharp lower back pain and now incapacitated on the couch. Ask the one on the couch why they’re incapacitated and their answer will likely be “I was lifting a heavy box and my back went out”.
Is that the entire story? How likely is it that the one on the couch will disconsider their poor physical condition and/or lack of attention to how they lifted the box? Of course, we can also be in great physical shape, attend to our lifting form and still have our back go out, but the odds are more in our favor when we attend to our conditioning and positioning when facing life’s challenges.
A couple of days ago I heard a story about a pastor being invited for dinner at one of his parishioner’s farm. Prior to dinner, the parishioner showed him his most prideful possession, a purebred Arabian horse. ‘The horse is beautifully groomed, how long do you typically tend to it?’ asked the pastor. ‘At least two hours a day’, replied the farmer. ‘How about your soul, how much do you tend to it in a day?’ asked the pastor again. Embarrassed, the farmer responds ‘I say my daily prayers and I go to church on Sundays’. ‘Well, if I had to choose, I’d rather be your horse than your soul’ concluded the pastor.
I share this story with you because last week we considered the very important practice of tending to our thinking and observing what we think about; developing metacognition so as to be more the observer of our thoughts rather than be run around by them. Too many times do we allow our busy days to distract us from fully taking care of ourselves.
Most everyone can appreciate the importance of physical conditioning, whether they do it or not, but the idea of mental conditioning is rarely appreciated. Our minds are conditioned by our environment: by what we see, hear and read - often with very little awareness on our part. Many people today have minds at times that leave them incapacitated on the couch and not knowing why; oh sure the mind can come up with reasons, often the blaming kind: he did, she did, they did something and now I’m a victim on this couch. Just like a muscle, the lack of conditioning leads to atrophy-an atrophy in reasoning.
When we awaken to how thoughts think us more than we think them - we begin to awaken all the more to the important responsibility of attending to the source of our thoughts.
My good friend and coach Dr. Roger Hall often shares that meat takes on the flavor and quality of the marinade. Consider the current marinade in which you find your mind? Do you like or dislike the quality of your minds current thinking? Have you been more positive or negative lately?
Thinking about what we think about helps us examine the quality of our marinade and take positive action to improve it.
Thoughts fuel emotion and emotion drives action. To improve the quality of our actions, we get at the thoughts and emotions that precede them.
Meditate daily to notice your thoughts. Step 2:
Observe your environment - how positive or negative is your marinade? Step 3:
Choose more intentionally what you See, Read and Hear; tending less to your horse and more to your thinking.
Improve your marinade and your marinade will improve you.
Make it a great week!