Life doesn't always go as planned. When the outcome isn't what you expected, you may experience a sense of grief, anger, fear, or loss. Over the next two weeks, Silent Unity will present a question each day to help transform these thoughts into a more positive outlook. As we begin our journey, please join us in affirming: Today I choose a fresh perspective. I see possibility instead of limitation. I see hope instead of despair. I choose thoughts that build a better world.
What If This Could Be Easy and Fun?
By Wendy Craig-Purcell
Excerpted from Ask Yourself This!
What creates more joy, more happiness, more contentment than a simple sense of fun? For many years I enjoyed a deep and rich prayer partnership with another Unity minister, Rev. Richard Rogers. Frequently, when I would share about some difficulty I was going through or about feeling overwhelmed by my work at the church and responsibilities at home, Richard would stop me and ask: “What if you just let this be easy and fun? What if you just stop for a moment and allow this to be a little bit easier, a little bit more fun?” While I wasn’t always successful in doing it, I always appreciated the question because it helped me shift my perspective.
We all have routine tasks to do that we don’t particularly like. Perhaps it’s doing the laundry, washing dishes, shopping for groceries, paying bills, or mowing the lawn. If the tasks are ours to do anyway, why not find a way to make them more enjoyable? This question sparks our creativity and adds joy to our lives.
I love this additional story of Walter Russell, who, when faced with having to mow his very large lawn at his splendid country home, decided to make the task more fun. Instead of mowing the lawn in typical straight rows, he made a game of it. He would mow patterns and designs in the grass as he cut it and then gradually eliminate the patterns until all the grass had been cut. He took a routine task he wasn’t particularly fond of and made it easy and fun!
May Rowland, former director of Silent Unity (Unity’s 24/7 prayer ministry), devoted an entire chapter in her book Dare to Believe! to a similar practice. She suggested that when we feel overwhelmed, burdened, or worried, we should give the situation “the light touch … the touch of light.” She wrote, “Our success lies not so much in how we handle the situation, but in how we handle ourselves. We are able to handle each situation that arises easily, smoothly, and harmoniously—with the light touch—when we learn to control and direct our thinking about each situation. Our strength emerges from our way of thought.”
We will always have to deal with situations in life that are less than pleasant. No matter how long we have been on a spiritual path, no matter what church, synagogue, mosque, or background we’ve come from, life happens. There are always circumstances we hadn’t planned or asked for (at least not consciously) and that we’d rather not have to deal with. Living consciously doesn’t change that. But it does fundamentally shift how we respond to such things. Asking yourself, “What if this could be easy and fun?” is a powerful way to connect with a deeper place of peace and centeredness in your day-to-day living.