Thursday, October 21, 2010

Happy Places

In moments of crisis or when something happens that total wrecks the direction of your day, it is so difficult to ‘find your happy place.’ Many times you want to say, “Calgon, take me away!”

Somewhere…somehow every individual must have a place deep within, a ‘happy place’ we can go to when life gets difficult. We all have destinations such as the beach, the mountains, and metro cities that we like to get away to…but those physical places are not always available every time when things get rough. There will be times when our happy place must be accessible on the job, at home, or riding down the road.

(Gravel Road)
(Forest Hill, MD)
I came across four things recently that can strengthen our ‘inner’ happy place. 
1. Think.
Stop. Pause. Think before you respond to a circumstance. Think about what makes you happy and go there. It comes down to having God’s Word and promises stored in your heart. Because when the tough stuff shows up unexpectedly, we’ll already know that this too shall pass.

2. Relax.
I know (from experience) that this one is hard to accomplish. Tension reigns in our lives and it can’t help but affect our bodies. This isn’t an excuse to be lazy, but it is a reason to have security knowing that He will never leave us nor forsake us. Relax…He’s in control.

(Inner Harbor)
(Baltimore City)
3. Inhale…then exhale. 
Just breathe. Stethescope in hand, doctors always ask us to take a deep breath in…and let it out. Then repeat the process. I realize they’re listening to our lungs, but I think there’s a good principle here. We can close our eyes and take a deep breath in and let it out…repeat this process and something happens. I have found it to bring a calming effect over us. (Even when kids are screaming! J)

4. Concentrate.
Get rid of the negativity. Clear out the questions. Allow yourself to get lost in the positive that surrounds you and don’t allow the things going wrong to drag you down.

The baseball playoffs in are in full swing (pardon the pun), and the concentration level of the players and fans go to a whole new level. The concentration is at an all-time high because there is more at stake than just a regular season win. They are playing for the World Championship. The ones who win and have success during these intense moments are focused on more than just the crowd noise and are not overcome by the emotional high.

(Josh Hamilton - Texas Rangers)
(Earlier in the year vs the Orioles)
What would happen to us if we ‘played’ everyday as if it were our last? What if we kept our concentration level (our faith) focused on seeing the good about to come? I have to believe that our days, our relationships, and our opportunities would all change.

Take a few moments today and give these four a try. You might find that your happy place is not as far away as you thought.  

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