Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Something I did not succeed at this year

Looking back on the last year, I've accomplished many things that I wanted to get done. Buying a house is probably the most significant accomplishment. Building a pull-up bar in the garage is another. I read several (but not all) of the books I intended to read in 2014.

However, looking back at the year on my blog there is at least one major thing I didn't get done:

Two of the first books I reviewed this year were Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline and Dallas Willard's Spirit of the Disciplines. Both included chapters on Christian meditation, on Scripture and in prayer. I also linked to a Tim Ferriss interview in May mentioning that meditation is usually listed in the daily habits of the successful people Ferriss interviews. I struggled with this goal and it didn't really hit me until I saw the 60 Minutes piece on the mindfulness movement last Sunday. The secular world gets this-- you need to unplug from your iPhone, focus on breathing, focus on gratitude, and be in the present moment-- better than the Christian world. And this is a shame because it's historically Christians who have pioneered this stuff. I recommend yoga at least once a week but fell out of that habit sometime in the summer.

I've taken a tip from the mindfulness guru in the 60 Minutes piece (including Google's on-call guy) to consciously focus on my posture and breathing throughout the day (and commutes). To not just blow through my lunch and multitasking by reading an article while I eat, but to focus on the chewing-- be in that activity alone. (That keeps you satisfied longer so you don't snack later.) To spend a moment breathing and consciously giving thanks even just for life when I first wake up, rather than rush to accomplish everything on my to-do list for the morning.

This is hard, it's a discipline for a reason. Here's to 2015.

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