The mind is an interesting animal. Mine obviously never read Philippians 4. You know the one — the thing about whatever is true and noble and good and just and righteous, think on these things? Yeah. My mind missed that one.
Because right now, my mind is thinking some very not-so-nice things about a certain third grader who has been bullying my son. And by bullying, I don’t mean calling him a silly name or pinching his arm. I mean the kind of bullying in which he was on top of my son with his hands around his neck, choking him kind of bullying. The kind of bullying that leaves marks on skinny little necks.
You might remember the other day I posted about how life was a little stressful. And that was before this most recent bullying event. Now with this one added to the list, my mind is a veritable bevy of jumbled thoughts, tasks to accomplish, errands to run, appointments to make, police reports to file.
Just yesterday, one kid came home. I ran to pick the other kid up. Came home, dropped him off, she got in the car, and I took her to martial arts. Home again to collect the boy for his next appointment. I loaded him in the car, grabbed my bag with all the essentials: book, phone, pen and notebook just in case. I backed out of the driveway and was halfway down the road when I realized I had no idea where I was supposed to be going.
I was one panicked thought away from announcing to my eight year old, “I am done adulting. You drive,” when my brain, whose processor was obviously running out of RAM*, finally dug through its files and produced a winner. GYMNASTICS!
We were going to gymnastics. Yes. Good. Okay.
My mind had been consumed instead with thoughts that were not so noble. Probably not so just. I was thinking mama bear thoughts. I was thinking thoughts that I should probably not say out loud, because I am a grown up.
Here’s what Philipians 4:8-9 actually says (this is from The Message version):
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
My brain has other ideas.
But here’s the thing — God gets our brains. I mean, if you want an instruction manual for any piece of sophisticated machinery, you want that instruction manual to be written by the one who invented it, right? So I take this scripture to heart.
And what’s so cool is that science is catching up to God, and demonstrating the way mindfulness — the practice of paying attention — can reap all sorts of healthy benefits in our lives. And the world is catching on — Google offers it’s employees mindfulness training and Oprah meditates. As we unpack the mind more and more, we can start to understand the power of mindfulness.
I have the most beautiful person to introduce to you. Her name is Alyssa Snow, her super power is her hugs, and she is an expert on mindfulness. The best news is that she is speaking at The Whole Woman Summit, where she is going to share some of the latest research on mindfulness and how it can positively change your brain. You’ll learn tools and techniques to begin the process to master your mind for greater happiness, compassion and sustained success; whatever that means to you.
For me, that means that I don’t have to fall subject to the angry thoughts my brain is having toward a certain third grader. That means I can just notice those angry thoughts, and carry on with the many tasks I need to accomplish (because, you know, I’ll actually remember what they are). It means that maybe, just maybe, I can contemplate those things that are noble and true and just and righteous….
The best, not the worst.
**For those of you who have an urge to correct my computer reference, I am not a computer aficionado and fully realize I probably used “processor” and “RAM” incorrectly. Please fight the urge to send me messages about how I messed that up. It was a joke. Please and thank you.
Each Friday for the next few weeks, I’ll be writing about one of the amazing women who are speaking at The Whole Woman Summit in March. These are women who are movers and shakers, Christian and not, who are doing very cool things in the world. The summit is all about the things that matter — MIND. BODY. SPIRIT. WORK. RELATIONSHIPS. JUSTICE. The summit is entirely online, and all registrants will receive video recordings of all sessions, so no worries if you miss any.
See you at the summit!
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