Week 4 Review

This is going to be a quick review; I’ve got a fevered baby who’s sleeping right now, but I know I could be called to duty at any moment.

Two things stand out as I look back on this week. First, I really think I’ve made breathing and recognizing judgmental thoughts a habit. I still have to remind myself from time to time, but it’s much more automatic than it was at first. Second, I’ve been wanting to incorporate into my Happiness Project teachings from other religious traditions in addition to Buddhism, but I wasn’t at all sure where to start. The task felt extremely daunting until Paul and Cindy left their comments on my “Not so Fast” post the other day. Isaiah 58 has given me a great deal to ponder, especially the part of verse 9 to verse 10 that reads:

“If you take away from the midst of you the yoke, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.”

This statement seems to cover much of what I hope to address with my Happiness Project. As Cindy commented, “we can fast from anything that distracts us from our goals or draws us into unhealthful patterns.” This seems like a good definition of “the yoke.” I realize, too, that I’ve already incorporated “fasting” into many of my resolutions. This month, although the resolution was just about bringing awareness to judgmental thoughts, the effect is that I avoid judgmental thoughts, something of an unintentional judgment fast. I have several intentional fasts in the coming months, too.

I now have a better idea of fasting and how it fits into my Happiness Project, and an idea of how to start exploring ideas from other religious traditions of mindfulness and releasing one’s light.

I love how I start to lose a bit of steam and then something piques my interest and gives me a nice little push again. I love the energy this gives to the last couple of days of August and the transition into my new focus in September!

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