Testing the Power of Prayer

I’m remembering part of a story, the important part, which I’d like to pass on. A major attack had just occurred on a people. An eminent peace leader had been giving a talk when they were interrupted with the news about the attack. The leader asked everyone in the room to pray for the people—the attackers!

I thought of this story recently when a friend wrote to me about a tragedy that had just taken place in her small town. An eighth-grade boy was showing the dad’s gun to his older brother, a high school senior, who was accidentally shot and killed. A few days earlier, another friend shared with me the recent suicide of her friend’s fiancé. These events taking place before the holidays were heavy in my heart.

My intention is not to re-traumatize. My only purpose in writing about these events is to remind myself of the power of prayer this holiday season. It doesn’t take much effort to send a prayer to victims and family members of those whom we feel compassion. However, it can take serious conscious effort to send a prayer to the perpetrator of any event.

Lighten Up!

I noticed the other day that one of my mentors wrote a newsletter this month with the same title. Is this a coincidence? I considered coming up with a new topic and title. Wait, I told myself, maybe it’s an important enough message to be told in more than one way.

I got the idea to write about the topic after my husband heard my last interview of “Regular Folks With a Noteworthy Story” and told me that I sounded too serious and needed to “lighten up.” My interpretation is that I need to laugh more, I could use more fun in my life, and I ought to mellow out. Yes, I had to admit that “lighten up” was good advice.

How can I lighten up?

Here comes full disclosure… On more than one occasion, even prior to my husband’s recommendation, I’ve questioned on the CalmUp® Journey how I could lighten up a bit. Here are a handful of suggestions I’ve integrated:

•    Schedule fun first
•    Spend more time in the hot tub
•    Take more naps
•    Bake
•    When your kid asks you to go sledding, say yes

The Pressures of the Holidays

A lot of people this year are experiencing economic difficulties that can lead to feelings of hopelessness. People with health challenges often lack the energy to get involved in holiday festivities. Can you make the holidays more enjoyable?

Yes. In the same way that there’s no limit to the quality of your day, there’s also no limit to the quality of the holidays. The paradox, however, is that improving your own holiday involves serving others. As I wrote in CalmUp® Journey: Your Daily Ascending Tool for Better Days, true self-help is really about “other-help.”

That’s easy to say and much harder to do, especially around the holidays. With the end of the year, you may be working on accomplishing tasks, not to mention heading out to buy gifts. In looking more closely at my own pressures this holiday season, I realize my son and I have been quarreling over asking each other to do stuff for one another. “When you empty the dryer of your clothes, would you mind throwing in the load that’s in the washing machine?” “Mom, can you come outside and give me a hand with the ladder?”