There are days I feel like a Teddy Bear with the stuffing pulled out. There is always so much to do between family, work, the house, the animals, and endless errands. At times I experience a persistent nag – a feeling that I should be doing more things more skillfully.
I suspect this consciousness applies to many people living in our culture. Many of us get on a treadmill daily and feel like we can barely keep up. Others have little to do, and find a way make that wrong as well.
It is helpful to re-evaluate our measure of accomplishment. It’s not about how much we get done or even how well we do what we do; it’s more about our use of the present moment. If we’re feeling stressed and inadequate, will we use this as an opportunity for self-judgment or will we use it to re-center in love and self-forgiveness?
Cynthia Bourgeault tells a story about this: Father Thomas Keating, a Trappist monk, once taught a Centering Prayer practice to a group of nuns. He instructed them on the basic practice, which is to focus and re-focus on a word that centers one’s self in God.
Father Keating and the nuns practiced Centering Prayer for about 20 minutes.
After the meditation, one of the nuns approached him.
In a shameful voice, she said “I failed. I had 10,000 stray thoughts.”
Father Keating’s response was “That’s wonderful! You had 10,000 opportunities to reconnect with God!”
Your whole life consists of trillions of opportunities to return to God.
What does returning to God mean to you? How can you use your thoughts and activities as opportunities to reconnect with love and forgiveness?