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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Quiet Thee Mind

They all teach it. Jesus, Deepak Chopra, Martha Beck, Echart Tolle. So I know Oprah believes in the practice.

"Shut up that chatter in your head, or your journey to self-fulfillment will be seriously hampered." Perhaps they are more eloquent, but essentially that's one of their messages.

So here we are in the full-swing of summer break. No dance class. No soccer. No homework. No school programs. We're actually down to one sport -- softball. (Cole didn't meet the age requirement for "real baseball" and didn't want to debase himself by playing one more year of T-Ball. No problem, Kid.) My mind has plenty of reasons to shut down and relax a bit. So why can't I? What is wrong with me? I know, it takes practice.

Every morning, I try to clear my mind's slate by praying or meditating. Going outside would seem to help me since God is so easily disclosed in nature. So, here's a typical morning attempt:

"Our Father...Father's Day! It's just a couple of weeks away. What should I get Doug? What should I get Dad? Speaking of gifts, I wonder when Alex's birthday gift will arrive. I need to line up a cake as well. Ahem. Let's try again.

"Our Father who art in heaven...(I look to the beautiful sky and then down at my lawn.) Looks like Doug forgot to trim around the trees. I wonder what a flower bed on the Northwest corner of the house would look like? Oh, man, did I water my flower pots last night? No, I was doing laundry. I need to get Alex's softball uniform in the dryer after I pray! Pray? Pray! That's what I'm supposed to be doing. Forget dryer. Focus on the Lord's Prayer.

Eventually I get through the entire prayer. And as long as I repeat the prayer at least ten times, some element of spirituality infuses my soul. Of course with the extra chatter working like the Energizer battery's pink bunny, the entire exercise takes way too long. (I know, that's not the point.) But eventually, like the soothing of a crying baby, the chatter subsides and I reach a state of calmness and peace.

Until I see that it's 6:10 AM.

It's about twenty minutes too late to be out of the door and on time for work. Luckily, my mind wakes up quickly the minute I say, "OK. Let's get ready." And like an old friend, the chatter picks right back up again. Sounds good! What are we going to wear? Is it a shave day or not? What should we make the kids for breakfast? Busy day ahead, huh?

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