Friday, July 2, 2010

Mood Altering Substances

Today I was feeling a little down as a took my morning walk around Lake Merritt.  As I was walking, I decided to offer a simple prayer of thanksgiving by naming all the people in my life for whom I am grateful.  This readily filled the hour or so it takes me to get around the lake. 

By the time I got back home, my spirit was soaring.  Movement plus gratitude equals a natural high.  I recommend it the next time you are walking, hiking, swimming, biking, or running (so long as you can do so safely!).  Our moods are largely a function of our thoughts, and our thoughts are subject to the direction of our attention.  Prayer is a form of attention.  Feeling follows focus. 

The substance of our attention is mood altering.  What we pay attention to matters.  I need to remember to pay more attention to the experience of joy, as well as the experience of suffering, in the world.  Both are real, and both are deserving of my energy.

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