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Spiritual Friday: Cleaning Up Our Thoughts

Charlene Wilkinson, a spiritual leader and teacher of Eastern Philosophy, facilitated last week’s Spiritual Friday and chose the topic of cleaning up our thoughts. The discussions focused around the idea that our thoughts create our lives and that when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

“It’s not the situation that’s causing your stress, it’s your thoughts. You can change that right here and now. You can choose to be peaceful right here and now. Peace is a choice and it has nothing to do with what other people do or think.” -Geral Jampolsky, MD

“We should start choosing our thoughts like we choose our clothes for the day.” -Farnoosh Brock

The patients discussed some questions in smaller groups:

What practices can you use to change your thoughts?

  • “Journaling. Sometimes I go back and read what I’ve written and if it’s negative, I change it.”
  • “Sometimes when I’m talking to another patient, I actually hear myself and my negative attitude. Hearing myself helps me change it.”

How have you recently changed your negative self-talk?

  • I told myself, “I never want to leave treatment again. I need this, for me and my family.”

One patient shared that their attitude often changed just venting with roommates after a painfully difficult day. Charlene suggested they consider venting as a spiritual practice, a way of letting go and letting G-d. I really like that!

The song “Be Here Now” by Ray LaMontagne was played before meditation, which was a beautiful and appropriate piece for our topic.

“Don’t let your mind get weary and confused
Your will be still, don’t try
Don’t let your heart get heavy child
Inside you there’s a strength that lies
Be here now, be here now…”

One of the favorite “If” Questions was asked on Friday:

“If you could have G-d whisper something in your ear every day, what would you like to hear?”
A patient answered, “I’m with you and everything will be alright.”

I’ve noticed that this is something the patients really want to hear; it’s a very common answer.

Beautiful. I’m so grateful to be sharing this work with you.

Blessed day to you all.

Reverend Laurie Durgan