Tuesday, May 12, 2009

19 Words To Live By in Tough Times

Clutter less
Pray more
Consume less
Give more
Want less
Enjoy more
And always, always, give thanks to God.
These 19 words are from my newest book, Grace on the Go: Powerful Prayers to Ease Money Worries. (Morehouse Press, April,2009, $10.)Here are 3 quick ways to act on the words above.

3 Quick Ways to Clutter Less
1) Track in a notebook for a week how you spend your time and your money. These are two great clues to our real values.
2) Practice mindfulness. Breathe slowly. Pay attention to the present moment. Sometimes the worst clutter is in our minds. We twitter, we text, we link in, we email. I-phones, 24-7. A little silence can be a big thing.But, “…The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest…” (Dietrich Boenhoffer)
3) Clear your work space before beginning your next task. Notice how free you feel when your workspace is clear.

3 Quick Ways to Pray More
1)Begin each day with gratitude. Say aloud, as you get up,
“I rejoice!”
2)Put a spiritual spin on tasks you’re already doing. Morning shower: “May I be cleansed of any lingering resentments.” While filling your car with gas: “Fill me with loving compassion toward everyone I meet today.”
3)Since prayer is a form of thinking, watch how you think. Notice a negative thought? Say out loud, “Stop!” Then insert a positive thought or a quick prayer. “Jesus, have mercy. Christ have mercy” is one I like.

3 Quick Ways to Consume Less
1)Before buying anything, ask the question: “Is this necessary for life or death?”
2)If you bring something new into your life, give away something you already have at the same time.
3)Eat smaller portions. Live in smaller spaces. Say no to meaningless activities that merely pass time.

3 Quick Ways to Give More
1)Giving and receiving are part of a universal energy flow. People in the flow of giving will receive, though not necessarily from the person to whom they give.
2)If you were not raised to be comfortable in giving, start small. Send a small donation to a good cause. Writing a check to another reminds us that we do have more than we need.
3)Lend your time to someone going through a hard patch. Run errands for an invalid. Donate blood. Walk a neighbor’s dog. Build your trust in giving by remembering all you have received.

3 Quick Ways to Want Less
1)Stop comparing with others who appear to have more. Affluence does not protect anyone from the challenges of being human.
2)Appreciate what you already have. A family heirloom. Tulips in your garden. A comfortable bed. Loving relationships.
3)When looking at an ad or at an item on sale, ask: “Do I need this?” Pay attention to the answer. Corollary: Will my life really be less happy without this?

3 Quick Ways to Enjoy More
1)Studies show that positive life experiences gain importance in our memories, while material purchases lose value as time goes on. Pay attention to your life as it's happening now!
2)Choose your attitude. Research shows when we “act-as-if”, our emotions follow our behavior. Up or down.
3)Laugh more. Look for the humor in ordinary life experiences.

And always, always, give thanks to God!Or to the universe or to the Creator or to universal mind…whatever word you use, believe. And ultimately, all shall be well.

The copy above is for your use. Credit should be given to Barbara Bartocci, author,
Grace on the Go: Powerful Prayers to Ease Money Worries,
Morehouse Press, $10, pub date April 2009.

For a review copy of my book,