The Friday News Minute!
A weekly gem of information you will be using on Monday!
Published by Andrew Sanderbeck
Managing Partner of The People~Connect Institute
Success Begins when People~Connect!
This week in my Friday News Minute, I have an article to share with you titled "Making Each Day a Prayer. This article by Helene Ciaravino especially touched me as I read it and thought about my life and the many things I am thankful for. I really connected with the information in the paragraph of this article on communicating with the spiritual life around you. Here's to this moment!! Enjoy! - Andrew
by Helene Ciaravino
The first step in making each day a prayer is to recognize that each hour, each moment is an opportunity for learning and loving. Every experience is a step that you can use to climb toward the greater development of your soul—or a step that you can use to avoid that growth. In order to live life to its potential, you have to train yourself to become aware of the present. Unfortunately, humans have a tendency to be more comfortable living in everything but the moment.
In his book Lift Up Your Heart: A Guide to Spiritual Peace, Fulton Sheen discusses the tragedy of how human beings waste the now, while obsessing over the past and future. He explains that by using memory and imagination, the human mind can unite the past and the future with the present. As a result, we grow distracted, anxious, angry, and even compulsive. It is much healthier to “sanctify the moment,” realizing how precious and powerful each instant is. We don’t know when things will change, or how things will end. All we truly have is the opportunity at hand—right now. And we have the power to grace the now with peaceful intentions. That way, we will make ourselves, as well as others, happier.
Sheen asserts that God sends us personal messages within each moment. Our thoughts, our inclinations, our instincts, and our feelings are avenues through which God can work. In addition, God might send instant messages through a stranger’s words, a child’s smile, even the wag of a passing dog’s tail. But if we are not in the moment, aware of the little things around us, how can we recognize these messages? And won’t life be a more pleasant experience if we look for the divine in each occasion? Sheen continues, “Those who sanctify the moment and offer it up in union with God’s will never become frustrated—never grumble or complain. They overcome all obstacles by making them occasions of prayer and channels of merit.”
Similarly, Leslie Marmon Silko captures the human condition of resistance to the now in her novel Ceremony. One of the characters in this work discusses how human beings are the only creatures who resist nature and the demands of the moment, sacrificing the present to the past and the future. The character explains that we can learn a lot by watching animals grazing in the fields. They move with the direction of the wind, and to wherever they are likely to find food and safety. It’s a simple approach to existence—no resistance, just acceptance and action. Only humans ignore the vibrant power of the moment to wage futile battles against what happened long ago and what might occur in the future.
Try evaluating yourself in light of this perspective. Are you spending many of your moments living in the past or future? If so, be aware that you have the capability to change. When you concentrate on the time at hand and its potential for greater good, you live a prayer. You become aware of the divine aspects of each instant. You also become a far healthier and kinder person. Enhancing your awareness of the moment will lead you to a more sacred understanding of people, other creatures, nature, and daily activities. In fact, sanctifying the moment is the secret to life! Once you find the moment, work becomes a prayer, laughter becomes a prayer, and conversation becomes a prayer, because it is all done in love and gratitude. Fear no longer plays a dominant role because you trust that you are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing.
Appreciation of the present keeps us in constant contact with God. Consider the traditional lifestyle of the Mohawk tribe, as described by Chief Tom Porter in “Why We’re Here Today,” an essay in the magazine Parabola. Porter defines prayer as, “When you take a moment to communicate with the spiritual life that surrounds you.” He explains that upon rising in the morning, a person should greet the Creator, then brother sun, then parents, then neighbors. Throughout the day, little “hellos” should be said to keep us in touch with the Oneness that we all share. This extends to livestock, wild animals, even flowers and trees. He warns that if we do not communicate with the spiritual lives around us, we become “imbalanced, unhappy, and ungrateful.” That’s no way to live! So prayer is not limited to formal recitations, or even quiet time alone. It has to do with daily functioning, from the moment of rising until the moment of sleep. It has to do with the now.
2008 - 2009 Eureka! Leadership Series in California (Last chances!)
Andrew is excited to be returning to California to present his program on Leading Teams for Infopeople in November! Here are the dates that are confirmed:
November 19th - Encinitas Branch Library (San Diego area)
November 20th - Buena Park Library District
November 21st - Los Angeles Public Library
To sign-up for any of the workshops listed above, follow this link to the Infopeople website: http://infopeople.org/workshop/394
Be a lifelong learner...everyday!