One of my areas of interest in psychology is called positive psychology. Founded by Martin Seligman and his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania, positive psychologists study what makes people happy, what makes life worth living, instead of what makes people dysfunctional. What a concept! One of the basic principles is that of perspective. We can’t always change what is happening in our lives, but we can change the way we look at it. It seems so simple but it took us a long time to start studying it. So I am always on the lookout for writers and speakers who embrace this philosophy.
The other day the television just happened to be on when Megyn Kelly’s (not a fan) show was airing. I wasn’t watching, but just passing through the room when my antenna honed in on her guests, a couple called Marc and Angel. I only caught the end of the interview, but a little internet research led me to their blog pageand their new book, Getting Back to Happy. I subscribed to their daily emails and find them to be inspiring.
I’m guessing Marc and Angel’s worldview is humanist or possibly Buddhist, while mine is decidedly Christian, but truth lines up with truth. I say that to explain why yesterday’s email resonated with me. They shared a morning ritual, meditation, affirmation they use to begin their day. Their belief is that you can determine the kind of day you will have by the way you spend your morning. I’d like to share the meditation here, however I’ve not only changed some of the wording, I’ve changed it from an affirmation to a prayer. Why speak to the universe when you can speak to the God who created the universe? So here is my revised version in italics, with credit to Marc and Angel for the original.
Begin each day with the following meditation (prayer):
May I be happy (holy. I think God is more concerned with my holiness than my happiness. I Peter 1:16).
May I be healthy. (Psalm 103: 2-3).
May I be safe. (Psalm 91).
May I be at ease (be at peace with You. Isaiah 26:3).
May I be loved (May I be aware of your love, and may I know the love of others. May I also be loving. Romans 8: 35-39).
Then you repeat the prayer with someone you love as the subject. For example a spouse, child or parent:
May Jerry be holy.
May Jerry be healthy.
May Jerry be safe.
May Jerry feel be at peace with You.
May Jerry know Your love and the love of others, and may he also be loving.
Now comes the hard part. Use someone you have a difficult relationship with as the subject. Let’s say her name is Jane.
May Jane be holy.
May Jane be healthy.
May Jane be safe.
May Jane be at peace with You.
May Jane know your love and the love of others, and may she also be loving.
How we spend our mornings has a direct impact on the rest of the day. When you start with this prayer, asking for God’s blessing on your life and the lives of others, you are beginning the day with loving-kindness. We cannot always change the situation we are in, but we can decide how we will respond. You are choosing to begin your day with positive thoughts instead of focusing on the challenges the day might bring.