Friday, August 14, 2009

Conscious Living

When we savor the present moment, we find peace. As we express gratitude for the past and trust that God for future, we can enjoy the journey. As children of God, we have the power to live happily even when we are experiencing trials. Remember Christ’s amazing promise, “These things I have spoken to you, that in me ye may have peace. In the world ye will have tribulation, but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world.

For years I lived unconsciously. I brooded about past problems and worried about future ones (most of which never happened.) I was anxious and depressed a lot of the time because I wasn’t allowing myself to enjoy present happiness. Now, I’m not blaming myself. I did not know about the power of conscious living, but I do now, and my life is so much better.

Since I tend to be an over-achiever, in the past I took on way too many projects. I wanted to be the perfect wife, mother, daughter, homemaker, teacher, and volunteer and wore myself out trying to do everything perfectly. Today I try to be good rather than perfect—it’s such a big difference. I focus on loving relationships, which begins with loving myself. Some put themselves last on their to-do lists, yet if we aren’t nurturing and loving ourselves, we may lack the energy to love thers well.

Gay Hendricks in his book Conscious Living says we must answer two questions if we are to make the most of our gift of life: How do I live at peace with myself? And, how do I live in harmony with people around me? I’ve just started reading the book so I don’t know his conclusions, but know that living in peace with ourselves and in harmony with others creates personal power. God uses us in amazing ways when we align ourselves with His Spirit and His love.

Last week my friend who is on our city council asked me to speak at a large meeting in behalf of the children and taxpayers in our community. I did a lot of research and signed up to speak at the Truth in Taxation meeting. Since over two hundred people signed up to speak, I assumed my comments would go unnoticed. Not so! I appeared on the news, radio, Internet, and newspaper for days. My picture and words were all over the place. My friends say they heard my comments over and over on television and radio news reports for several days.

Now, I’m just an ordinary woman, but I was speaking up for children, teachers, parents, those on fixed incomes, and those who have lost jobs or are underemployed. Our school board was proposing a 40% tax increase, and I discovered that most of the money was going to a bloated bureaucracy. I spoke up respectfully but firmly, and people listened.

When we live in the present moment, God can use us to help others in the most unexpected ways. I care deeply about children and the poor, and God used me to speak up for both that night. The tax increase has been cut in half, and although that is still too high, my friends have thanked me for speaking up for them, and I am amazed that such a small speech made such a big difference.

As children of God, each of us can do great things by small acts of kindness and service. When we live in the present moment, we become instruments of peace and love, and God uses us to bless others. Conscious living allows us to make the most of our gift of life, to savor the moment, and to serve others well. It allows us to be still, and know that God loves us, that He is in control of the universe, and that He will make weak things become strong as we trust in Him.

© Carol Brown

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