A friend of mine was sharing that he is on a negativity fast. This entails checking himself every time he starts to think in a way that brings him down.
One secret to his fast is taking care to avoid news and conversations that feed his mind with sorrow, fear, anger, gossip or distress.
This raises a very important question for each of us: What are you eating these days? You could apply this to your physical diet, but I’m after your soulful one. The music, stories, movies, news and conversations that we take in have a direct impact on how we think and feel. All of this in turn affects our physical well being.
I do find that an occasional “fast” is very good for our souls. That might mean skipping a rather dark movie or show, choosing some gentle music or avoiding newscasts for a couple of days. It also means finding a quiet moment each day to pray or meditate. It’s amazing how a little time to reflect and ponder wil detox us!
Then there are the positive things that build us up: Time with a good friend who encourages us; conversations that spark new ideas; sermons, books and music that inspire.
One of my sisters finds that art refreshes her; another likes books. I like playing and listening to music. A neighbor and I both agree that our gardens are the best “prayer closets.”
What is your preference?
other? (You get the idea, yeah?)
One thing I have learned: Choosing your soulful diet takes as much determination and clarity as choosing your physical diet does. It is at least as important: Wellness is built from the inside out.
I once heard someone say, “A woman is strong in her gentleness; a man is gentle in his strength.”
This seems especially important now, when we are being called to react in anger, aggression and “toughness.” Really, only cowards need to resort to such things.
The greater strength is in love. Do you want to melt the ice of bitterness, fear and shame? Honor others and watch these disappear like fog in bright sunshine.
gentleness will take the flame right out of anger, which needs fuel to burn. If we take the time to listen – truly and sincerely; then give a gentel, reasonable answer, the likelihood of peace goes way up. Argue or push back, however, and the fire will burn hot.
Love, honor, gentleness and strength are available to each of us, like clothes in our closets. They adorn us like beautiful jewelry. We can pick them out and put them on. The result is loveliness and attraction that is beyond words.
Things such as anger, fear, prejudice, greed, self-centeredness and bitterness are within reach, too. They make us pale and fragile in the same way as a long-term disease does.
Perhaps the most wonderful aspect of this is that we have the power to choose. These are inward qualities that cannot be forced on us or taken away from us.
What’s in your closet? Which will you put on? By the way, if you want to throw the ugly “clothes” out, you have the power to do that as well.