Living Life One Step At a Time

“There is only one world, the world pressing against you at this minute. There is only one minute in which you are alive, this minute here and now. The only way to live is by accepting each minute as an unrepeatable miracle.” ~Anonymous

Reading this quote had a deep impact on me.

There is only one minute in which you are alive, this minute here and now. How very true, yet easily forgotten.

Most of our lives we spend worrying or planning for the future, or looking back at past hurts or mistakes. “If only certain events hadn’t of happened. If only I had made this decision or that, how my life would be different?”

I have spoken to people that still have not forgiven someone that hurt them 40 years ago. And if you talk about forgiveness, they will say, “but you don’t know what they did to me.” And their right i don’t. But to allow someone to affect your thinking after 40 years?

This is not a piece on forgiveness so I will leave it there. You can find more on forgiveness here.

This is a piece on accepting each minute as an unrepeatable miracle.

Before my brother moved house I used to visit him several times a week. He is a graphic designer which means being on his laptop. But when I was there he would be checking his phone while watching the tv.

In the beginning I would mention it as personally I could not work with that much distraction, but thats how he had always worked, and who was I to judge.

Have we got so used to distractions that we don’t know a world without them?

In my own life I have found that if I’m stressed or anxious, a walk in a forest or along a stream, or in nature in general has a calming effect on my mind. I never gave it much thought before now, why this was the case but in reflection I come to the conclusion that, for me a walk in nature connects me to the present moment.

While walking in the forest (my favourite place to walk) my mind has so much new information to process. As each step below my feet is different, meaning I need to use my arms for balance. Then depending on the weather there could be several puddles of water on my path that I have to avoid.

The air within the trees is at its purest which is instantly noticeable as it almost feels lighter, a strange feeling which has to be experienced, hard to put into words. On top of all that trees have a way of blocking the sounds from nearby motorways and amplifying the sounds within the forest itself.

All of this influx of sensory stimulation has my mind on overdrive and thoughts of worry or anxiety fade away, and a new web of thoughts are born. Thoughts of connection, thoughts of nature, thoughts about how magnificent our creator is.

Very often after my walk the negative thoughts return but compared to the powerful thoughts I experienced in the forest they seem so insignificant.

Noticing Your Cycle

When I’m going about my week, my days are fully booked, I write a list first thing in the morning. My plan for the day, all the things I would like to achieve.

Then on top of that there is distractions, I get an email I must reply too, or somewhere I have to go that I hadn’t planned. Or a news story catch’s my attention that changes my mood.

Without a break from this information overload the worries and anxious thoughts build up. Resulting in me not being as patient as usual, not as focused on my work, haven’t got the same drive or energy.

Over the years I have become better at spotting when I need a break and connect with nature. Just that connection to something that makes me realise just how insignificant my problems are in the grand scheme of things.

For me its walking in a forest, for you it could be climbing a mountain or swimming in the sea.

It’s all about finding that one activity that engages the senses and connects you to nature. That helps you to live life one step at a time rather that in fast forward.

Thanks for reading.

“There is only one world, the world pressing against you at this minute. There is only one minute in which you are alive, this minute here and now. The only way to live is by accepting each minute as an unrepeatable miracle.” ~Anonymous

Read this quote at this excellent blog with helpful advice from Dr. Eric Perry.

Do You Want to Feel More Peace Love and Happiness, and Have a Healthy Life?

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Christmas is a happy time but also a sad time for many. It’s about family, and when that family bond has cracks, then it can be hard.

My dad recently passed away, so this Christmas has not been that great. I never mentioned it before; I guess I didn’t want to write it down or speak it aloud.

It was never an easy relationship as my parent split up 20 years ago, another subject I rarely talk about but I have decided that its time to stop holding onto things and release them in 2019.

I hold too many feelings within, if I had a flaw that would be it. I think of others before myself, putting me at the back of the line.

The problem with that is the fact that over time it wears you down until it gets to the point you lose yourself, and once that happens, it’s tough to find yourself again.

My dad was a deeply religious man, but he held a lot of un-forgiveness in his heart. I tried for years to advise him to change and to see things from my perspective, but he never did.

I have no regrets; I stuck with him through thick and thin. No matter how much he hurt me I never walked away.

I saw a man in pain; I saw a man that lost his way, I saw a man that had thrown everything away. I saw first hand what holding onto un-forgiveness’ can do to a person.

I watched my dad’s health erode over the years and in the end, COPD take him from a 14 stone (200 pounds) energetic, vibrant man to a seven stone (100 pounds) skeleton in the matter of a year.

It’s hard for me to write this, but if my words help one person, then they have fulfilled their purpose. Holding negativity on the inside of you for most of your life will kill your spirit, and rob you of your happiness. You can lose family, friends and most importantly, your peace of mind.

When you talk about forgiveness most people look the other way, it’s something that no one wants to face.

But forgive we must if we are to see a brighter tomorrow.

Take a walk outside and close your eyes. Feel the wind cleanse your spirit, making you brand new.

From today only let love flow through your heart, and I promise you peace joy and happiness will enter your life.

Wishing you, family and friends the most amazing year of your life.

The Mighty Power of Gods Grace

I once read about a young college student who burnt out the engine of her dad’s car. It was the end of the semester break, and she was going to head back on the coach, a 5 hours journey with a lot of stops along the way.

Amy had been given a lot of Christmas gifts, which included a laptop, a printer, and some exercise equipment. Her dad rather than have her deal with the entire luggage decided to lend her his car as he could use her mothers.

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He told her that she could leave it back in a few weeks. Amy was overjoyed; it felt like he had given her another present. The trip back took less than half the time and was so much more comfortable. Amy made sure to park in a safe place, planning not to use it until driving back at the end of the month.

Now and then she would take short trips to the mall and back. Pretty soon, she was taking her friends for shopping trips and nights out to nearby cities.

Then her best friend needed a lift home, which was over a two-hour drive. On the way back she noticed a red light flashing on the dashboard but as her dad took such good care of the car, she didn’t think it was anything serious.

Just to be on the safe side, she didn’t drive it again until heading home. Just after setting off, Amy noticed smoke coming out of the hood and decided to get off the motorway and find a garage. Next came a few loud sputters, and then the engine died.

When the tow truck driver arrived, it didn’t take him very long to figure out the problem. The red light on the dash was the oil indicator. Amy had neglected to check the light; now the engine was beyond repair.

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A few hours later, her dad arrived at the garage where the car had been towed. Amy was terrified. She had abused her privilege and ignored a simple warning. There was no excuse for her mistake as she had been told on many occasion to ring if anything unusual happened to the car.

She knew he would be furious and there was no defence for her behaviour.

Amy told her father how sorry she was for her carelessness, but he just told her to sit in the car while he assessed the damage. After learning that the car was worthless, Amy’s dad arranged for the garage to dispose of it.

Now it was time for Amy to face his wrath.

As they drove away from the trashed car, her father asked Amy, “where is the best restaurant in town?” That was the last thing that she was expecting to hear, but she directed him to it.

Menu,,

As they sat at the table looking at the menu, Amy couldn’t even think about food. Fortunately, her father ordered for both of them: boiled trout almondine. They sat in silence while they waited for their food, every minute felt like an hour.

When the trout arrived, Amy’s father said to her, “Now I am going to teach you a lesson you will never forget.” She knew she deserved whatever she got. Would he make her pay for a whole new car? That would take forever and mean cancelling her summer plans. Maybe he would just tell her how much of a disappointment she was. In some ways that would be a worse, knowing she didn’t live up to his expectations.

Her mind was racing about what was going to come next.

Then he took the knife and fork in his hand and said, “I’m going to teach you how to remove the skeleton from cooked trout.” Not a word was said about the car at the meal— or ever.

Amy’s dad was probably furious about the car, who wouldn’t be? But he knew that she had learned her lesson without a telling off from him.

Amy lived well into her sixties but never forgot her father’s act of forgiveness. His grace made a more significant impact on her than any punishment ever would have.

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This story symbolizes Gods level of forgiveness. Whenever we ask for forgiveness, we are forgiven. All we need to do is believe it. Ask and receive that your joy may be full. (John 16:24)

Just as God forgives us, we also need to show that forgiveness to others. Many times people hurt us and we do not forgive them as our minds are clouded with anger.

It would be very hard not to say; ‘how could you be so stupid not to check the oil, everyone knows a red light means danger— alert— stop.’

But if we take this approach, relationships can be damaged. When we are angry we can say and do things we can regret; comments can be made that can not be taken back.

When a person is genuinely sorry, sometimes the best approach is just to do what Amy’s father did and say nothing.

This is not easy to do by any means, but when a person is expecting you to go off the handle and you don’t, your act of grace can have a more profound impact than any telling off could.

Have a good week.
Rev J Martin

 

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