Archive for August, 2010

the internal plan

August 20th, 2010

This has been a challenging week, and as always, one of great opportunities as well.  Without going into all the detail, I took a nosedive into economic insecurity.  The reason the details don’t really matter is because this is a lifelong pattern for me and possibly a generational pattern in my family.  My parents are “depression babies” and the scarcity mentality has been a generational hand-me-down for all of my generation to absorb.  Yet, I’ve been conscious of this for a long time and most of the time can sustain an abundance mentality and a connection to faith (i.e. a power greater than myself).

For whatever reasons I was more vulnerable this week and the upcoming financial changes hit me like a ton of bricks.  I reached out to several people who I trust and who know me quite well and felt some sense of reassurance, yet I still felt the heaviness of these bricks I was now carrying.  Yesterday I spoke with my therapist/mentor, and we discussed the idea of an “internal plan” or safety net for the next time this happens.  I still haven’t designed this plan but I’m very aware that my connection with a power greater than myself needs to be in the forefront as I continue to grapple with my faith at times like  these.  I feel more hopeful this morning than I might have felt at this point in the past and see myself leaning in the direction of gratitude.

Food for thought:  Is it possible to be in gratitude and self-pity at the same time?

St. Francis

August 14th, 2010

For many years I’ve heard the prayer of St Francis, yet it never seemed to stay with me.  Last Spring I took an 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction class here in Santa Monica at a meditation center called InsightLA.  As a result of practicing every day for 8 weeks, I’ve adopted a morning meditation practice to begin each day before I take the dog out for our ritual stroll.  It’s certainly not a perfect practice, and I’ve learned that there is no such thing, but as a recovering perfectionist I need to remind myself of this fact.

Recently, the St Francis prayer was discussed with me by two people who I highly respect, and the unsolicited conversations resulted in my re-discovering the depth and beauty of this prayer.  It is such a universal reminder for all of us to be of service by being there for others possibly in ways we strive to be there for ourselves.  As I deepen my understanding of the prayer and how it fits in with my recovery, I’ll re-visit this with you, but for now, here it is:

The prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.