Inspired by Life

Monday, August 31, 2009

Antidote to Lack of Consistency...

...Checklists!!! I am a list person and have been one since I first learned how to write. My mom says I gave myself a chore-list and took great pains to write them all down neatly on a piece of paper and taped it up where I could see it. She also says, that if I only remembered to do all the things on my list, it would have been more effective - but c'mon, I was 8 years old! At least, I made a list!

I have gotten a whole lot better about it as I grew older and working at Franklin Covey in the past has solidified in me the need to get things on my checklist and take care of the urgent and important and work my way down.

So, I am making a list of things that I would like to blog about this week, not in any particular order, apart from any random things that could happen to me during this week:

1. Farmers Market - Thursday Nights - DONE !
2. HalfPrice Books - LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS PLACE
3. Yogurtland
4. Moving - To keep or not to keep!!! - DONE!
5. Ethnic Foods & more...
6. Compare & Contrast - life in India vs. life in America - this could be an ongoing thing on my blog.
a) Banking systems
b) Cell phones, internet and all things techie
c) Post offices
d) Shopping
e) Pets?
f) Education - elementary through college
g)Religion and its various places of worship
h)"...it don't matter if you're black or white" MJ was a bit wrong - in India, "it do"
i) Music and its powerful influence
j) Born mixed - Anglo roots in a Hindu world
k)Power vs. Poverty - The Political Saga
l) "Is your name really David?" - Call centers & customer service with an accent
m) Public Utilities - a privilege and a curse
n) Red Tape - faded to a light-ish pink while waiting for govt agencies to respond to requests
o) Global Village - in India, the second word is very literal
p) Art & architecture - still alive??

(OK. I could really go on with this list - but this is quite enough for several blogs!)

7. Comment on all my friends blogs ( hint, hint) - DONE and will keep doing so!
8. Add some more blogs to my list of blogs to read (another shameless hint) DONE!
9. Lists!!!! YAY!
10. Baking for the first time in my life
11. The Dentist.. and I survived!

Well, well! What an impressive list of topics to write about and I hope that I can dust off the cobwebs and become more consistent in my blogging. Let's see what emerges through this experience. Wish me luck!

Countdown & Conflict ....

The title merely reflects the state of my mind and my body that seem to be at war with each other as I type - the countdown, refers to the inability of my eye lids to stay open any longer, and the conflict, refers to the thoughts of the day that seem to collide with each other in my mind, yearning to get out of their prison.

So, here is my attempt to note some highlights of the day, knowing I might have to elaborate in the future, the full version of these happenings. It was a day of deep reflection and pondering, as all Sundays should be :) Church meetings were at their best today and it almost seemed like each meeting was vying for my attention more than the previous one. But they didn't have to try really hard, I was there - fully there and engaged.

What impressed me most was the Sunday School lesson and the teacher that taught it. It was a topic that she had picked and decided that she would share her thoughts on and it was on FAITH. Now we have all heard a million versions of talks and discussions on this topic, that one could be very tempted to be distracted. However, this was a very different class. It was to be a discussion of one's LACK OF FAITH in three distinct things and somehow they all tied together. This was how it was divided: Lack of faith in 1. Myself, 2. Principles/Doctrines and 3. Jesus Christ.

It was one of the most open, honest discussions where one brilliantly raw and real comment sparked another and yet another, like words were combustible and tiny explosions were happening everywhere. The teacher shared her struggles with having faith in herself and the class shared comments about times they have felt the same way: feelings of low self-esteem, lack of confidence in our abilities to succeed, fear that prevents us from moving forward and believing in ourselves, fear of being rejected at the onset of an attempt to succeed, inadequacy to maintain consistent good habits, sinning and feeling unworthy and allowing that to handicap our progression, and a bit controversial - fear of actually succeeding, and then what? - having to come to terms with the fact that we just proved ourselves wrong and having to deal with greater responsibilities due to the fact that we have succeeded at something?, being starkly aware of our weaknesses and then being paralyzed by them as they are repeated in a very similar fashion each time and lead us again to the depths of misery and a lack of faith in ourselves.

What about a lack of faith in a certain doctrine of principle? The comments flowed about how when things are difficult to follow or someone struggles with a certain weakness, then the corresponding principle or doctrine does not really ring true to them - "it may work well for her/him but it does not work for me." We also talked about how our struggles with having faith in the principles change according the the stage of life we are in, we willing to pin our lack of faith on the doctrine we are most likely to be battling with at the time - for some, the word of wisdom; for others - love one another and do good to those that hate you, etc. This led to a discussion about trials and how we often feel that we would much sooner bear another's burdens than our own; how we could deal a bit more easily with that person's trial than with the one that we struggle with, how quickly and readily we are willing to pass on our trials to someone else and in doing so, may be blind to the blessings that come from our own individual trials are uniquely designed to teach us something.

And finally, a lack of faith in Jesus Christ himself. The class shared their feelings of how we should each strive on our own to come closer to Christ and to really get to know him, we need to read our scriptures daily. A lack of faith in Christ, can make a skeptic of us and lead us to not believe in His principles and doctrines - faith, love, hope, charity, etc and also tends to lead to a lack of belief and faith in ourselves. And we could find ourselves trapped in this vicious cycle, unable to get out unless we do something about it - TEST IT!!!

" But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words." - Alma 32:27.

Try it. Believe in Christ. Believe in His principles and doctrines. You will start to believe in yourself. Christ and the teacher of the class challenged us all to EXPERIMENT. Just try and see if it works. Pick a principle/teaching and try to really live it - fully and to the best of your ability. Line upon line and principle upon principle and it could just start changing your life and the way you experience faith.

I left church today, my mind flooded with thoughts about my life and the things that shape me and where on the scale of 1 to 10 was the level of my Faith. I find that my lack of consistency for the past few months has certainly led to me sliding down on that scale of Faith and today's class re-energized me. I look forward to a week of experimenting and proving to myself that I can rid myself of those inconsistencies.

As mentioned earlier about future elaboration of thoughts, I think I have eliminated that option and just elaborated them in this post. Now, I am wide awake and know that I should have been in bed 2 hours ago at least, if not earlier, and itching to write some more, since I have not really posted anything in 3 months!!! ( Lack of consistency ;) ). Will be better about this tomorrow, actually today since it is 1:00 AM, in which case, I am getting better at it already :D