Today, feel your emotions. Don't deny or criticize or fight or try to "fix" them. Let your sorrow or grief or regret or joy be - they exist for a reason. At the same time, feel Love present with your emotions, holding them, and--if the feelings are difficult--soothing you. Love is a container for your feelings. Love holds them with respect and compassion.
Today, feel the presence of integrity, not as something you create, but as a divine power. Acknowledge the power and presence of integrity. Integrity helps you live in accord with your own values. It helps you be honest with yourself and with others. It helps you make decisions that support health and wellness. It gives you courage to make difficult, right decisions in which you may have to sacrifice something or disappoint someone. It gives you discernment to recognize when others are not behaving in your best interest and the courage to change those relationships. Integrity supports a sense of your wholeness and completeness.
One of my favorite lines from the Bible is "God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
Today, use this phrase to address anything uncomfortable that arises for you
Worried about social issues: children in foster care, the failures of our prison systems, the suffering of refugees, the corruption in the financial system, environmental issues? "God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." Worried about health issues? "God hath not give us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." Worried about financial issues for yourself or others? "God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." Worried about relationship tension, work politics, addiction, or anything else your mind obsessively circles around? "God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
Today, you don't need to solve your problem. Today, you need to feel Love holding your fears. You need to feel Love's authority in handling the world's suffering. You need to feel that you reflect that authority, that power. Feel Love purifying your motives and wrapping you in unconditional acceptance. Feel Love governing your thoughts, stopping the grief and spinning and confusion and hopelessness, that leads you away from insightful solutions. Love gives you a sound mind. Today, begin there. Answers will come naturally and effectively when you begin with this foundation.
Today, recognize that although you are intelligent and intuitive, your human mind is limited. It has a narrow point of view and often partial or inaccurate understanding. It is a useful and necessary tool, but can lead you astray. Today, be grateful for the gifts your mind gives you, but don't believe everything you think or feel. Turn your thoughts, questions, conclusions, and opinions over to Love, to the Divine Mind, who is ever-present, ever-loving, wise Consciousness. Let your thoughts be held in that Consciousness, where they might dissolve or be refined and expanded.
Planning is an important skill, necessary to organize our days and accomplish worthy goals. However, some us become so habituated to the process of planning that we do more planning than living. The majority of our mental activity is devoted to anticipating future events and formulating the steps to get there. Planning offers us a high - a sense of empowerment as we take control of our days - often followed by anxiety as we begin to feel personally responsible and ask more of ourselves than we can reasonably accomplish. When so much of our thought is devoted to planning, we miss the wonder of now, the richness of unplanned surprises, the divine nudges that perhaps we might take another path than the one we had anticipated.
To counter the obsessive nature of the planning mind, take moments throughout the day to pause and feel Love present with you - like a long lost-love, the Beloved, come to visit. In those moments, nothing else matters but that you are together and delighting in your reunion.
Yes, it is important to be discerning about others to protect from abuse or manipulation, but in general, most of our judgments of others are just distractions that take up an inordinate amount of space in our mind. Today, notice when judgments arise about another's choices, appearance, behaviors, quirks, habits, etc. Then feel the very presence of Love enveloping that person. You don't have to let go of the judgment or excuse the person's behavior or justify your opinion. You don't need to judge yourself for having judgments. Just use the moment as an opportunity to feel the active power of Love in someone's Life, that holds them and speaks to them in the deepest and most hidden places of their heart. Likewise, when you judge yourself, answer with the awareness of the presence of Love.
Today, pay attention to joy when it arrives. Accept it. Savor it. Rest in it. Do not push it way with habitual feelings of guilt - for all that you have not done or achieved - or out of a sense of solidarity for all the suffering in the world, both near and far. You are neither betraying yourself nor anyone else for accepting the gift of joy, that may arrive for big reasons ( a large accomplishment), or small (a walk, a dog, a flower, a conversation, a meal, music, laughter), or for no reason at all. Accept joy.
Nourishing food satisfies our body's needs for essential nutrients--and our longing for flavor and a meaningful emotional experience; nourishing food satisfies the body and heart.
Today, make nourishing choices, not just in what you eat, but in what you read or watch and in your topics of conversation. Make choices that support your need for depth, meaning, love, courage, etc. Nourish yourself in the tone and words you use to speak to yourself and in honoring your needs for rest, connection, or play.
From Jon Kabat-Zinn's Wherever You Go There You Are:
"The impulse frequently arises in me to squeeze another this or another that into the moment. Just this phone call, just stopping off here on my way there. Never mind that it might be in the opposite direction.
I've learned to identify this impulse and distrust it. I work hard at saying no to it. . . . Voluntary simplicity means going fewer places in a day rather than more, seeing less so I can see more, acquiring less so I can have more. . . . Slowing down everything is a big part of this. Telling my mind and body to stay put with my daughter rather than answering the phone, not reacting to the inner impulse to call someone who "needs calling" right in that moment, choosing not to acquire new things on impulse, or even automatically answer the siren all of magazines or televisions or movies on the first ring are all ways to simplify one's life a little."
Today, trust more. Trust your own instincts and strengths, and skills. Trust the structures in your life. Trust that Love itself is holding you in a divine pattern and purpose. Trust that Love is holding you with delight and affection.
When you hear about suffering of others, acknowledge that they too can trust in their strengths and feel Love embracing and guiding them, whatever their circumstances.
Partially inspired by passages by Jon Kabat-Zinn in his book Wherever You Go There You Are.
Tarn Wilson is the author of the memoir The Slow Farm and numerous essays. You may read more of her work at tarnwilson.com.