Serenity and Health emphasizes the mind-body-spirit interactions. Each of us is made up of a mind, body, and spirit. The interactions of these three parts profoundly influence our mental and physical health in either positive or negative ways. As I travel on my own journey of life I have had repeated experiences validating the power of these interactions. Let me share one example. Fifteen years ago I came up with a simple morning prayer. I enjoyed saying it so much that I still say it every morning. Here it is:
“Dear God, today help me to Stand up tall, Smile, and Listen. Amen.”
This prayer makes me feel better each time I say it. As I say the words, I automatically sit up tall, take a deep breath, gaze upwards, and smile. Saying the words and making the changes in my posture, breathing, and facial expression bring about automatic changes in my mind. I feel more positive, confident, encouraged, peaceful and ready to try to listen to God and all the people in my life. I am not imagining these changes. There is considerable research on how our posture, breathing, and facial expressions directly influence our attitudes and thinking. The words, the thoughts and feelings come from the Mind; the actions are of the Body; and the prayer and peace connects us with our God. But, of course, we are all interconnected as one being, one "Body of Christ."
One day several years ago I was sitting in Church when my Stand, Smile, and Listen prayer came to mind. I was flabbergasted to realize that this prayer was indeed a gift in a way I had not comprehended. At that moment I realized that this prayer, my Stand, Smile, and Listen prayer, must have been conceived deep in my heart from the love I have for my three dear daughters, Sheila, Sara and Lisa. I cried when I realized that their initials, S, S and L, are the initials of my Stand, Smile, and Listen prayer.
To summarize, God graced me with this simple prayer as a gift. The prayer takes advantage of mind-body-spirit interactions to help me grow towards serenity and health and closeness to God. I believe that commitment to something so simple as this prayer can help each of us and our hurting world move toward health and peace.
1. Try this Stand, Smile, and Listen prayer (S, S and L prayer) or make up your own prayer to experience first hand these mind, body, spirit interactions. See my prior blog PRAYING WITH YOUR BODY for another example.
2. Remember -- if you want to see a positive change in your thinking, how you feel, your body, or your relationship to God, you need to take a new or different step. Then watch for the miracle! Because of the interactions of mind, body and spirit you may notice unexpected changes, e.g. your body starting to sleep better as you work on positive thinking or meditation, or your overactive brain calming down as you start a walking routine. The key is that you won’t see a change until you make a change! That change may involve your thinking, eating, exercise, smoking or any of your habitsl. How will you start? Commiting to daily prayer or a walking routine are two time tested ways to begin.
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