"When angry, count to ten before you speak. If very angry, a hundred," said Thomas Jefferson. It's good advice.
"Take a deep breath and count to ten," was the guidance my mother gave to me as a child whenever I became angry. I can't say I received her guidance very well in the heat of my angry moments. In fact I resisted almost all guidance whenever I lost my temper, often with hurtful consequences. I don't know how many raging mad episodes I caused, before I weighed the alternatives and actually tried Mom's wisdom, taking a deep breath and counting to ten. I only know when I did follow her guidance, some of my anger dissipated, and I felt more able to think clearly.
According to WebMD.com, "Your breath is a powerful tool to ease stress and make you feel less anxious. Some simple breathing exercises can make a big difference if you make them part of your regular routine." Think of it! With simple attention to breathing in and breathing out, deep breathing exercises practiced on a daily basis, the negative effects of anxieties, worries, and stresses in your life can be lessened.
I'm so grateful to have learned something about anger and stress, in particular, how disciplines of the mind (counting to ten) and body (breathing deeply) help me deal with troubled feelings effectively. So I wonder: What disciplines of the spirit may help me, too? I live in the troubling times of an anxious world. How has, how does, and how will the Spirit of God assist me?
As it turns out, the Cheaha District is offering a workshop to address my questions. "Spirituality in Anxious Times: An Opportunity to Recenter Your Life in Jesus Christ" is planned for Saturday, February 22, 2020, at Camp Lee, near Anniston, Alabama. If you have been asking yourself questions similar to mine, then this workshop may be for you. You are invited to participate, and you will be welcomed.
Click here for a flyer with details of the event.
Click here for a bulletin insert to share with your congregation.
Click here to register.
—Rev. Roger Short