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selective focus photography of green succulent plantMindfulness is knowing where you are, literally, figuratively, physically and emotionally. If your body is sitting in a chair in the kitchen, but you’re agonizing about an unpaid bill or the broken fence, you’re not fully present. You’re neither here nor there.

Could it be that, when you woke up today, you didn’t realize that this is Everything-Goes-Your-Way Day?

The thing is, if you’re focusing on yesterday’s problems or tomorrow’s uncertainty, you might miss it.

Your mission today, should you choose to accept it, is this: get up, get dressed, and be blessed. As long as you don’t start to think, Okay, what’s the catch? you’ll be the recipient of grace today.

One might think: This is impossible in the time of COVID-19. There are protests going on about police brutality towards people of color. Nothing is normal at all! 

But this is a war on many fronts, and you’ve been through battles before. What did you do when things went haywire? When you lost a loved one or a job? When your child ran away or got hurt? Life doesn’t stop at the catastrophe. It’s where a new path creates itself.

If you’re at home right now and you’ve just had dinner, bask in the blessings. Experience the present. If the neighbor’s kid isn’t practicing the drums tonight? That’s a blessing. If the mail didn’t contain any bills today, bask and breathe. Bad news and big disruptions get enough press. Let’s give our blessings some attention.

Or as Someone said a long time ago: “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Tomorrow will be here soon enough, with whatever the day brings. Just for today, be here, now.

In yoga, we practice mindfulness.  It might be harder to learn what this means in a peaceful yoga studio.  But in a community center it quickly becomes obvious.

Mindfulness doesn’t mean closing out all distractions.  It doesn’t mean never losing focus.  What it does mean is that when you do, you pull yourself back.

This is something we get to practice all the time at the community center.  There were the weeks on end where they were working on the roof and replacing various elements of the heating and cooling systems. There are those moments when busloads of grade school students arrive to use the pool.  Indoor voices?  Pfft!

You can’t control everything in your environment.  But you can learn not to focus on what you can’t control.  Let it go.  Exhale.  And return your focus to your breath, your pose, your inner quiet.

At the end of worship, we are encouraged to take Christ’s love into the world.  Mindfulness makes this so much easier starting in worship.

Kids to pews back making noise?  Inhale.  Exhale.  Return your focus to God.

The customer in line ahead of you can’t get her pin right?   Inhale.  Exhale.  Share a smile.  Who hasn’t forgotten a pin?

Peace, mindfulness and Christ’s love.  Seems like a combination that just might change the world.





Have a Mary Little Christmas

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