“Joy is a practice we build in a world where we feel pain.”
Eric Greitins wrote this one line in his book, Resilience, and it really jumped out at me. I have it written and taped to the cup that holds my pens. I think a lot about this sentence when I sit at my desk. I added, for my sake, “Joy and Peace is a practice we build in a world where we feel pain.” So slowly, as I have practiced my daily morning ritual , I want you to think about maybe creating one for yourself.
Why? Why would you add one more thing to your day for you to worry about?
To stop the craziness of living in 2019. There is too much of everything. Life has gotten more complicated and uncertain than ever. We can choose peace. We can be proactive instead of reactive.
I call my morning ritual, my Peace Practice. I feel so content and full as I run through these habits every morning, some small–atomic habits, and my larger Keystone Habits, that Charles Duhigg says are the ones that really affect our daily lives. Today I want to specifically touch on my scripture studying habit, which is a huge keystone habit for me.
In this post I am only talking about part of what I do, part 1, of scripture studying. In my next post I will finish the second half.
I am suggesting that you figure out your best time of day and consistently have “spiritual manners” as Elder Neal A Maxwell says:
“Those who live “after the manner of happiness” (2 Ne. 5:27) also wisely develop protective, spiritual manners.”
When we set aside time to focus on the
Mental parts of our life,
that time and focus is a Peace practice.
Eric Grietens says we build it.
Think of a an accountant, lawyer or doctor that labor for years building their practices. Their “”practice” becomes an asset that they can sell at the end of their professional lives to help with their retirement. These professionals are essentially saying, “Here is a list of hundreds of patients/clients, their records with my previous work of years of working with these patients/clients shown and recorded. Here is a building, office equipment and employees that are trained. This is my life’s work!” Except your Peace practice is inside of you, years and years of working on the spiritual, mental, emotional/social and physical parts of you that you can slowly improve on every day. This Peace Practice, your years of investing in yourself, can harvest gratitude, peacefulness, contentedness, and fulfillment that can help you in all of your different roles. I know, it has for me.
Stephen Covey calls this time alone, your private victory and sharpening the saw. He says,
“Suppose you were to come upon someone in the woods working feverishly to saw down a tree.
“What are you doing?” you ask.
“Can’t you see?” comes the impatient reply. “I’m sawing down this tree.”
“You look exhausted!” you exclaim. “How long have you been at it?”
“Over five hours,” he returns, “and I’m beat! This is hard work.”
“Well, why don’t you take a break for a few minutes and sharpen that saw?” you inquire. “I’m sure it would go a lot faster.”
“I don’t have time to sharpen the saw,” the man says emphatically. “I’m too busy sawing!”
Classic. As in “I am too busy to renew, replenish and be the one in charge of my day.”
I LOVE what Seth Godin says about being busy..
There’s a common safe place: Being busy.
We’re supposed to give you a pass because you were full on, all day. Frantically moving from one thing to the other, never pausing to catch your breath, and now you’re exhausted.
No points for busy.
Points for successful prioritization. Points for efficiency and productivity. Points for doing work that matters.
No points for busy.
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” —Abraham Lincoln
That, my friends, is a Peace Practice. Everyday you are sharpening your saw/axe before the tumult comes upon you.
We are the only ones who can build a Peace Practice for ourselves. We can’t blame our husbands or our parents or our children if we don’t have time to sharpen our saw with these spiritual, emotional/ social, physical and mental habits. Everything we do everyday is a choice. Choose peace!
President Nelson said on in April 2019 General Conference: “Feed Your Spirit.”
I am here to ask you to look with your new essentialism glasses and think about President Nelson’s plea. Feed your spirits! Think of the few vital things that you can do for yourself that will have an impact on your day.
This is the time to nourish ourselves, to be ahead of the game and to be intentional about the next 12 hours.
My private victory, or my Peace Practice includes scripture study. I talked about the beginning of my Peace Practice in my last post on prayer. These are both Keystone Habits for me.
One of the vital things we can do every day is to connect with Jesus Christ as our only source for lasting peace. We connect with our Savior so we can be healed everyday from our woundedness—
Terryl and Fiona Givens, in A God Who Weeps, said, “Heavenly Father and Christ knew that mortality would create a state of woundedness — the original word used for “blindedness” in 1 Nephi 13:32 (in the 1830 version of the Book of Mormon) — and Christ was sent as a healer to help God’s children.” Every morning we can talk about our woundedness to the Savior. That’s what He wants us to do. It can be our own sin, or something someone has done to us, or our own weakness and frailties that we can bring to him for help.
There are many ways we can connect with God and His Son. My sister-in law Jeannie Hamblin said, “We can connect through meditating, we can connect through music, we can have small study groups with the new “Come Follow Me” curriculum.” Another friend in my ward can’t comprehend what she is reading very well. She said if she listens to the scriptures while she is reading them, that helps. Another sister in our ward with dyslexia said she reads with a peach colored overlay, and that helps her brain read better. I also love pondering on just one scripture a day. We are reading ancient writings so we are meant to struggle over it. And we have a lifetime to get better at it.
One young mother said that she loves to be outside and in the mountains for her spiritual practice. I too, love, being outside and communing with nature. We need to involve the scriptures though, in our communing, because we need God’s words written on our hearts. We need to connect with him so we can be strengthened and helped by Him. Remember when Nephi separated from Laman and Lemuel—the Lord told him to take the scriptures with him among other things, in order to prosper as a civilization.
I read my scriptures as a young mother. I was diligent. Sometimes I would read a chapter at a time. I felt like I had checked off the list– but I didn’t study, I didn’t pause and wonder, I didn’t listen, I didn’t savor. I got swept up into the busy, into the day. I didn’t know how to “harness that heavenly power.” I didn’t know what I was missing.
This is what I was missing. I have already written about this talk here given in January at BYU by Lawrence Corbridge:
“Conversely, the best of all human conditions in this life is not wealth, fame, prestige, good health, the honors of men, security, or even—dare I say it—good grades. As wonderful as some of those things are, the best of all human conditions is to be endowed with heavenly power;’
“Pay whatever price you must pay, bear whatever burden you must bear, and make whatever sacrifice you must make to get and keep in your life the spirit and power of the Holy Ghost. Every good thing depends on getting and keeping the power of the Holy Ghost in your life. Everything depends on that.”
How did I learn immerse myself in the scriptures and invite this heavenly power into my life?
See my next post which will finish telling you how I learned and something I started doing for my children that increased my diligence in scripture study.
What helps you to drink deeply from the scriptures?