Minister's Post, Fri May 12

Dear Ones:

"Doomscrolling"? I recently learned this term. The National Institutes of Health's website says "doomscrolling" is "commonly defined as a habit of scrolling through social media and news feeds where users obsessively seek for depressing and negative information."

Sounds like a terrible idea. Still, I can see how one might get sucked into it. Bad news has a way of attracting our attention -- it sells newspapers and is the major driver of social media.

It would be better to limit exposure to such news, and, in particular, to social meadia. Emma Varvaloucas explains, "If you continually focus on everything that’s going wrong, all you’re going to do is gather more evidence for why that’s correct. And then when you do encounter something that actually might be more neutral or even good, it doesn’t even enter your awareness."

If you find yourself doomscrolling, investigate how it happened: what sucked you in? what is it that pulls you further and further along the "scroll"? Then turn away and pay attention to something good!

Yours in the faith we share,

Join a Journey Group: http://cucwp.org/journey-groups

I.C.Y.M.I. (In Case You Missed It)

The May 7 service, "Commensalisty":

The Apr 30 service, "The Transformative Power of Unitarian Universalism":


From Martin Seligman: The What-Went-Well Exercise. Sometimes it makes sense to analyze bad events so you can learn from them and avoid them in the future. However, we tend to spend more time thinking about what is bad in life than is helpful. Worse, this focus on negative events sets us up for anxiety and depression. So get better at thinking about and savoring what went well.

Every night for the next week, set aside ten minutes before you go to sleep. Write down three things that went well today and why they went well. Here are the keys:

One: identify three things that went well – three happy moments – three positive events in your day.They need not be earthshaking in importance ("My spouse picked up my favorite ice cream for dessert on the way home from work today"), but they can be important ("A new and healthy baby was born to my sibling today.”)

Two: identify a cause. For each of your three items, answer the question, "Why did this happen?" For the ice cream, it could be: "because my spouse is really thoughtful sometimes" or maybe it was "because I remembered to call and remind them to stop by the grocery store." For the new baby, it could be: “because the new parents did everything right during the pregnancy,” or maybe you’d say, “because the fates were looking out for them.”

Three: it needs to be written down. Use a journal or use your computer but it is important that you have a record of the three things that went well – and your assessment of one basic cause of each event.

Commit now to doing this for one week. After one week, you may find you feel like continuing to do it every night.

See the full post: The What-Went-Well Exercise.

Here it is, your...
#158: Uphill

Practice does mean a change in habits, and in the very way of habit formation. So it can feel like going against the grain. On the other hand, where your habit has been to go against the grain, practice may feel like learning to go with the flow. First you have to discern the flow.

Wolverine asked, "Do you practice going with the flow?"
Raven asked, "Is that a practice?"
Wolverine asked, "What is practice?"
Raven said, "Going against the grain."
Wolverine asked, "Sounds hard."
Raven said, "Uphill."


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