Tag Archives: meditation

Unload Your Truck!

At my core, I’m just an ole country boy. I love country cooking, country music and riding around country roads in my Dodge Ram pickup truck. I love my truck. It’s not anything fancy and it has a lot of rough miles on it, but it’s mine and it’s paid for. I’m not really sure how it happens, but every so often, I have to take some time to clean out and unload the back of my truck, which us country boys call the “bed” of the truck. Some how, trash, bottles, cans, tools and an assortment of other stuff always seems to accumulate in the bed of my truck and it drives me crazy, until I take the time to clean it out.

I have found that the very same thing happens with my mind. It accumulates thoughts, many of which serve no real purpose, other than taking up space, rattling around and making me crazy. I have learned that every now and then, it is important for me to take time clean out and unload my mind.

It’s not very difficult to figure out how this happens. We think one thought until another thought comes a long and takes it’s place. We don’t really release the first thought, we just throw it in the back with all the other thoughts that we think we have moved on from. The problem we face now is that we have all these thoughts rattling around, making noise, competing for our attention and sometimes this makes it very difficult to get anything accomplished.

So, every now and then, it is very necessary to take some time to unload the truck. The way we unload our truck/mind is by taking and making some time to meditate, pray, practice devotion or sit in solitude. This time allows us to take advantage of the tiny spaces located between our thoughts.

We have no real idea where a thought comes from. What we do know is that it comes out of silence. When we have a thought, there is a very brief moment between the letting go of one thought and grabbing hold of another. This brief moment is a time of silence and space. You can call it whatever you want to call it, the important thing is to realize it exists and offers us an opportunity to exercise some control, so that we might have a little more say about what comes and goes.

There is an old Zen saying that says: “It is the silence between the notes that makes the music.” We train ourselves to listen to the sound and usually ending up missing out on the power of the silence. This is why we need to empty the truck/mind every so often, so we can learn to hear, appreciate and learn from the silence. Music would be impossible without the silence and so life becomes impossible when we allow ourselves to be overtaken by our thoughts and all the noise they produce.

At the very heart of a thought is the act of creativity. The creativity happens in the silence, moment and space between our thoughts. You were created in the image of your Creator and therefore you are a creator yourself. So, I want to encourage you to take some time to get still, to find comfort in silence and discover your place of creation. Once you are there try to do these three things:

– Unload and clean out your heart, mind and spirit!

This does not have to be complicated. I like to use a journal, there is just something about pen and paper that help me to get my thoughts out and organized. It makes it easier to know what to hold onto and let go of. The important thing is to take the time on a regular basis to do the work. A little work every so often, saves you from a lot of work and usually some pain later on.

– Learn to enjoy solitude and silence!

For most people, taking time to get away from all the distractions and sit in silence is a challenging task. It’s not easy, but with a little practice, consistency and discipline, you can do it and you will be glad you did. Start with just five minutes a day, focus on your breathing and practice letting go of your thoughts by every time one comes into your head for attention, shifting focus off of the thought and back onto your breathing.

– Embrace your creativity and have some fun with it!

Once you begin to start unloading your truck/mind, you will discover what a difference it makes in all aspects of your life and you will look forward to the time and the creativity that it unlocks to flow from your life. You may want to use this time to write, draw, color, paint, work on some kind of craft or whatever? Just find some sort of output that allows you to express the creativity that has been freed up, because you will be amazed at how this will grow into a blessing for you and others.

The Bottom Line: This is your life, do what you have to do, what you want to do to enjoy it, because you were created for so much more…

Sacred Spaces And Reflection Places…

The Not So Secret Secret!

One of my favorite ways to begin the day is outside. And I always try to begin my day with some time spent in meditation and prayer. This combination of some quiet time out in nature allows me to do the inside work that is so important to helping me not totally cave in or explode completely apart. It is often a fine line and time in meditation, contemplation, prayer and reflection is a vital part of my daily process that allows me to keep on keeping on, even and especially when I don’t want to.

This morning I headed out to one of my special spots that I call my prayer rock. On my way, I decided that in this new year, I wanted to use my physical copy of the scriptures during this time, rather than my electronic device. I love my iPhone and am very blessed with my iPad. They help me to research, write and share in incredible and amazing ways. They are tools which make tasks quick, efficient and a lot easier. I just thought it would be nice in the new year to go “old school” and actually hold “THE BOOK”, flip the pages, look up the scriptures and feel it as I allow it to fill me with His presence and power.

Now, I’m not looking to get into a debate about which is better, because I think that our Creator is more than capable of communication through whatever and however He chooses. This is just about me, what I like and taking some steps back to something very familiar, healing and encouraging to me. To each his own and my Grandaddy taught me: “There is more than one way to skin a cat!”, but that is another blog for another time.

One Of My Prayer And Meditation Rocks

The important a thing to grasp here is that we: 1.) Take Some Time To Do The Inward Work Of Thinking and Thanking. 2.) Discover & Utilize Special Places Of Peace, Relection And Meditation. 3.) Embrace What Is Special To You And Keep It Special. Below are three ideas with some of what works for me:

TAKE SOME TIME TO DO THE INWARD WORK OF THINKING AND THANKING! You can do this anytime you want, but I want to encourage you to take time everyday to: 1.) Spend a little time in the inspirational and encouraging scriptures found in our Bibles. God’s Word is powerful and once it is taken inside of our mind and life, it begins a work that stays with us for all eternity. I try to write at least one verse or passage in my journal everyday that I am considering and thinking through… 2.) Think about all you have to be grateful for and express that gratitude in some “out loud” way. I do this by saying “THANK YOU”, writing at least three things I am thankful for in my journal everyday and practicing a gratitude meditation where I just basically take time to speak thank your out loud for many of my blessings by making them.

Special Place Not To Far From Home!

DISCOVER AND UTILIZE SPECIAL PLACES OF PEACE, REFLECTION AND MEDITATION! I have places inside and outside. I have places at home and away from home. I am discovering new places all the time. Everyone needs a place to escape to. It may be a special room in your house. It may be somewhere in the backyard. It could be a special chair on your porch. It can be a bench in the park, a blanket on the ground or even the quietness of just sitting in your car. Just find you a place and use it as a sacred space for you to spend time with your SPIRIT to find peace as you reflect and meditate on what really matters.

EMBRACE WHAT IS SPECIAL TO YOU AND KEEP IT SPECIAL! This is one of the big secrets: Once you have figured out what, how, where, who and when is special and sacred, then make sure to protect it and utilize it. We have such wonderful, amazing and supernatural tools that our Creator has put at our disposal, but we often leave the tools in the box, the books on the shelf, the ink in the pin and the pages in the journal… Make sure that you use it, so you don’t lose it!

Scripture!

It really is the simple things that have the potential to have the biggest impact on our lives and living, so I encourage you to invest a little time to rediscover the simple things that are so special to you and you know what? I bet, you’ll be glad you did!

When Empty Living Is Not A Bad Thing!

When I am driving down the road and I hear that little bell go off to remind me that my gas tank is on empty, I know that I have to do something about it, and so I head to the gas station to put gas in, so that I can get rid of the “E”.   When I have not had a chance to eat, my stomach will begin to growl and remind me that it is empty, and I will look for something to eat, so that I might fill that void.

We have been taught that when something is empty, we need to fill it. We walk into a room that has nothing in it and almost immediately our mind goes to the place of filling it with this and that.  I think all of this focus on filling, causes us to miss the value of emptiness.  Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Ching gives us the idea that “The usefulness of what is, depends on what is not.”  In everything, there is an emptiness, a missing something, but that missing something is something, not nothing and this is the challenge of our thinking.

Our lives are full of work and living, but that is not what really makes our lives meaningful.  It is often the spaces of our life that we perceive as empty that actually give us meaning and purpose.  Since all of life around us seems to work by filling the empty void with whatever, we spend most of our energy trying to fill things back up and miss the joy of the emptiness.

We try to fill our lives up with work, activities, events, hobbies and almost anything we can think of and the result is still a gnawing emptiness, a void that we just can’t seem to fill, at least in a way that brings us satisfaction.  This hole, void, emptiness is not a bad thing. In fact it has a purpose and it’s purpose is to help us to discover who we are and what we are about.  It’s purpose it to teach us that rather than spending all of our effort and energy on trying, that we should invest ourselves instead on simply allowing.  When we learn to allow what will be to be, we begin to enjoy the flow of life.

When you allow yourself to breathe. The breath comes in and it goes out, quiet naturally, until you decide to start messing with it. This is the best way to live life.  Rather than trying to force and make things happen, just allow yourself in your living to breathe.

Most people cannot stand silence. Why? Because it is emptiness.  Emptiness that we feel needs to be filled.  As soon as we get in our cars, we power up the radio.  As soon as we walk in the door of our home, we turn on our televisions.  When we have a moment to sit and do nothing, we are on our smart phones trying to fill the void.  And the result of all of this, is that we miss the power and blessing that the emptiness is there to bring.

At some point today, take a few moments to practice silence.  I try to spend at least 10 minustes everyday in silent meditation.  I try during this time, to go into that empty space and enjoy what my Creator has given me.  I have discovered that it is from this place that some of my most amazing and beneficial thoughts begin, grow and flow.

It is in this place that I meet the essence of who I am and as I learn to allow that essence to flow, the real me begins to reveal itself to the rest of the world.  Philippians 2:5-9 teaches us that this is what Jesus did when it says: “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name.”

Let go of everything – who you are, what you do, where you go, how you think, when you’ve got to be finished and learn to exist in the empty space of this moment.  Appreciate this moment and the space of what it is allowing you and let it to do what it desires. You will be glad you did, because you will live blessed.