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SCHOOLING THE SELF
December 11, 2008
 
The more often I have to get up to answer the door, the more exercise I will get. This is good to remember on an afternoon such as this one, when I must spend long hours hunched over the computer and the doorbell rings every five minutes.

Spiritually, this has proved my best approach to interruptions so far. Each one is a gift to me, a chance to spend a few calories and move a muscle or two. I can rejoice in being able to climb the stairs. I don't have to swear under my breath about being dislodged from my task. I can just look at it all as a gift to me.

I do this better at some times than at others. Sometimes I forget, and yield to the pressure of stress and frustration that grows in me during the course of a day. But when I do it, I am always nourished. Always.

We are so odd. Why don't we always do the things that so obviously nourish and nurture us? Why do we ever choose to do anything else? Knowing as I do that my interruption-as-workout idea works so well for me, why don't I leap to it every time? Because I don't. Sometimes I just swear under my breath. And sometimes I swear out loud. Sometimes I make a hard situation actively harder by my own reaction to the things that happen. Odd.

But I do know that coaching oneself helps. I do know that we can create new paths to walk on -- we don't have to trudge along the same old ones our whole lives long. We can learn new things, and they can become as habitual as the old ones were. Not that the old ones ever go away -- I'm not sure anything ever goes away. But we're not doomed to do the same thing over and over again. We can school ourselves in new ways. Over time, they can become just as much part of us.
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In the tri-state area of New York City on January 21-23? Don't miss this year's Trinity Institute, "Radical Abundance: A Theology of Sustainability." Majora Carter, McArthur "genius grant" winning founder of Sustainable South Bronx is a keynoter, along with David Korten, Tim Gorringe and Nestor Miguez. Sr. Miriam McGollis is the preacher for the opening Eucharist. Trinity Institute is one of Trinity Wall Street's greatest gifts to the church and to the world. If you're not in New York then, participate in the conference via one of the many downlink sites worldwide. Visit
http://www.trinitywallstreet.org/education/?institute-2009
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