Watch your step

I hardly ever watch or listen to the news. I’m happy about this. A few days ago, my son Matt finished up filming for a T.V. show that he works on called, The Deadliest Catch. It’s filmed in Alaska, and I guess they just had a storm that was the biggest one in 40 years. I’m really happy I didn’t know this at the time. I’ve never seen the show that Matt works on, and probably never will. I can keep a detached enthusiasm for his life when I don’t see the scary details…which I can do nothing about anyway.

I try not to watch, read or listen to things that scare me. If something is designed to get my attention by inducing fear (worry and concern are just nice names for fear), then I know it is out of alignment with my higher self, and if I “entertain it”, I will feel like I’m out on the ragged edge all alone, worrying about the next step (or even more futile; worrying about someone else’s next step!) and not paying attention to where I am going.

Worry is not a good energy to attach to anything or anyone. Life has a way of working out perfectly if I focus on what I want, instead of what I fear, on what is going right, instead of what could potentially go wrong.

The next moment is as much beyond our grasp, and as much in God’s care, as that a hundred years away. Care for the next minute is as foolish as care for a day in the next thousand years. In neither can we do anything, in both, God is doing everything.” C. S. Lewis

33 thoughts on “Watch your step”

  1. Good Morning, Mary, and all here gathered at this blog,
    I got up about an hour ago, not intending to stay up, but my husband is ill and I found myself doing some cleaning chores. Then I found myself in the kitchen reheating yesterday’s coffee feeling the need to iPad someone. And I thought, I’ll bet Mary is up right now writng her blog. I turned on Steve Job’s little miracle pad, and, voila. Mary Muncil’s up and at it again. Thanks for your words of wisdom and those of C.S. Lewis.

    p.s. I have family in Alaska. Bill Dorman, a pilot for American Airlines. Maybe he and his wife, Sharyl, watch your son’s show. They live in Anchorage. Bill has been a Bush Pilot since he was 12. He took my son, daughter, & I flying over the blue iceburg’s in his small biplane! Talk about needing to “Let Go” and TRUST….

  2. I whole heartedly agree! I don’t watch the news or read the paper. Don’t ever watch scarey movies! If I do I wake up screaming at two in the morning. Guess I’m just too impressionable. My son once accused Chris and I of living in our own little world. I said “That’s right, in our world we can control the peace, love and joy. We only let into our home what WE want…therefore it’s our peaceful home filled with the Holy Spirit. Isn’t it a great way to live?

  3. Wish you had been able to communicate this to me telepathically at 3:00 this morning. By 4:00 I gave up trying to get back to sleep and now, at 5:00, I am reading what I needed to be told at 3:00. . .

    Why do I have the feeling that this is going to be a very, very long day?

  4. Thanks, Mary, for saying just what I needed to hear this morning. My mom, who is 97, is having a tough time and things have gotten worse in the past week. Everything in me would like to try to control what’s happening, turn the clock back or fix it, but I can’t. So, it’s good to have a reminder to have faith and trust that the outcome will be good if I just focus on what I hope it will be.

    1. Sending you & your mom good wishes for peace of mind & heart, Victoria… Here’s hoping all will be well.

    2. So sorry to hear that you and mom are living some difficult times. Sending love and peace to you. Hope it helps some.

  5. Mary, your blog is always such a gift, helping us to start each day with an uplifting thought… it is *especially* so this morning. Thank you and God bless!

  6. “Worry is interest paid on trouble before it happens.” If I do what I can to get a reasonable outcome, I consider that a good deposit in my “life account.” But then I have to turn over the results and wait for God to show me the return on my investment.

    I don’t think of myself as an “ostrich” with my head in the ground (although I don’t watch much TV of any sort), but I refuse to let myself get sucked into the drama when other people want to complain and worry about just about everything.

    I love your comment about “detached enthusiasm.” I often don’t find it easy to release the results, but when I do I can maintain a much more positive perspective.

  7. jill….for today think of yourself in the center of a white web with all of us on the periphery holding you steady until you can come join us to help another who is in the center. jon katz says that fear is a space to cross. take the step.

    1. Thank you so much, Manchester Mary, for these beautiful words and thoughts. I did exactly as you told me! I took a step, and then another, and then another, and everything turned out OK. Isn’t that always the way? Action is the antidote for worry.

  8. “Worry is not a good energy to attach to anything or anyone. Life has a way of working out perfectly if I focus on what I want, instead of what I fear, on what is going right, instead of what could potentially go wrong.”

    Thanks for those words today Mary – I realize my “worry” says a lot more about me (and my faith and respect in the object of my “concern”) than it does about anything else. I was awake and bug eyed last night at around 1 am – my mind playing over and over the worst case scenario of something that has lately concerned me – I willed myself to quit it and try to imagine instead the best case scenario – I actually was able to go back to sleep!

    I am stumbling with this new concept, but these small successes are encouraging. I can’t say enough how grateful I am for your post this morning Mary – it was exactly what I needed.

    1. Hang on, Lynne. Even if you have a day where you can’t shove the boogyman aside, accept it as it is and try again the next day. This is not an easy thing to do, but as you said, you can find encouragement from the small successes and that’s what your foundation will be formed on.

      Here’s to no more sleepless nights!

  9. Very timely post, Mary. It took me 67 of my 69 years to FINALLY give it up…living with the fear of having no control. I just got so tired of trying to make everything work out right that, one day, I decided to put any unpleasant situations to a simple test. I just ask the question, “Can I do anything about this?” If the answer is no, I let it go.

    That’s not to say that I totally broke the habit of worrying, but I am doing it a LOT less. Wish I’d gotten smarter sooner.

    1. Succinct, simple and very effective, Suzanne: “can I do anything about this?” I will be using those words as a litmus test when my ‘monkey mind’ worry machine kicks in. Thank you!

    2. I’ve started doing this, too, Suzanne. When I find myself stewing, I make a list of everything that’s worrying me, and then make two columns: “Can I do anything about this?” (yes/no), and if “yes”, then what exactly I can do. It’s quite helpful and grounding.

  10. A very dear colleague, who is now a Baptist minister, used to have a message as you entered her area that said “If you worry, why pray? If you pray, why worry?” Either we believe or we don’t. I used to tell her that she put that message up just for me! I think I came out of the womb a worrier! But I am better and do better and your post, Mary, reminds me, yet again, the zero value of worry and the toll it can take on us. I think I might have read it here a while ago that worry won’t impact tomorrow but will only serve to zap our strength today. So true.

    While I don’t watch much TV either, I was very interested in seeing Gaby Giffords’ story last night. Not for the politics (I don’t even know what party she is, nor do I care!) but simply for the love and hope and miracle that is her life. I found it very inspiring and her smile at the end was just beautiful. When somehow, with the help of God, we can turn our fear and worry into pure hope and positive thinking, what a gift! Martina McBride has a wonderful song out written for cancer patients called “I’m Gonna Love You Through It”. Last night’s show was a clear example of so many people loving Gaby through it.

  11. Jill, my worry alarm went off at 4:00, we could have been helping each other make it through the night. All rationale seems to flee at that hour. I’m not a church attender but it was a major part of my growing up, and many of those verses have stuck. As I was making coffee, the verse “Perfect love casts out all fear” popped into my head. Need to ponder that.

    1. Sally, even while I’m lying there, sleepless, I know that those are “stupid 3 a.m. thoughts” and that sanity will return in the daylight (and with that first cup of coffee).

  12. I agree, Mary. I stopped watching TV 15 years ago after I changed careers to become a professional artist, and it has made all the difference.

    After a few months of no TV (or newspapers), I noticed is that the thoughts I had were more my own. I’d no longer brainlessly repeat the “sound bytes” I’d hear on television. I could think more critically and I didn’t fall so easily into the negative fear machine.

    I sometimes catch a glimpse of tv from time to time – and I now find it becoming more and more shocking. Extreme weather. Devastating news. Publicity for pharmaceutical products. Reality tv shows.

    Don’t need any of it!

    Others are fearful for me. “But how will you know if there;s an emergency?” My response is: “I’m not worried about that. Someone like you will tell me.”


  13. Love it! So many non-TV watchers here! No wonder there is so much good energy among the flock. Worry and fretting is so useless, like spinning one’s wheels in the mud, the more you spin the deeper entrenched you get, and you are getting nowhere! I love the scripture line, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Peace and serenity to all.

    1. I think the wise decision would be to watch only Deadliest Catch and the other shows I help create. They are a kind of delightful scary.

      Ha, just kidding!

      I love TV and film but many of MY most creative and wonderful friends (and mother) rarely watch TV.

  14. a vital post for me this morning. whenever i feel seduced to watch a newscast i seem to get a gnawing gut response that suppresses my peace and calm.

    mary, because i have watched “the deadliest catch” filmed in alaska, i now can send energy to your matt. seems to be a brutal way to make a living; a lot of adrenaline! prayers to you both.

    thanks everyone for your contribution. i love this wff blog.

  15. Thanks to everyone for sharing, specially you Mary who gets the flow going! It’s easy to say not to worry even when we know it is not productive. My dear mother (who lives with me) watches news from morning til late at night. She loves to scream at the TV. I try to encourage her to positive thoughts and to toss that angry/worry bag out the door but it seems rather useless. She looks at me like I must have been switched at birth. We all have to chose our own path. Love you all! Have a peaceful worry-free day!

  16. Great thought Mary. I’ve quit watching the news too.
    You ought to catch a episode of Deadliest Catch though, amazing film work and the title is a bit misleading. Watching these men do a job that would have most of us wetting our knickers in a calm and accepting way (most of the time) is amazing. The view of the ocean and the task make me really hunger for crab and have no complaints how much it costs seeing what is needed to catch some. You should be really proud of your son, only the bravest and best camera people are on that show.

  17. After watching The Deadliest Catch, I have such a respect for these men that risk their lives to bring us the fish and crab that we take so for granted. The filming is amazing, Matt does a great job! I agree that it is best to avoid the things that make us worry.

  18. Seems many of us have similar temperaments. I, too, am not watching too much TV these days – at least the news programs, gossip programs or scary and bloody shows. Definitely no yelling shows. I have been reading though and one of the things is books and website of Elaine Aron who speaks of “the highly sensitive person.” This is not a negative description. It is a fact some of us are more sensitive to our environment in various ways.

    Another thing I wanted to share was a quote by Eckhart Tolle that seemed to apply to some of the posts today.

    “Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at this moment.”

    Another quote from a movie that was on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday – “Crazy Sexy Cancer” was the title. Here is the quote:

    “Everybody has something..You get to accept or right for your whole life long. Do you want to fight against what’s really happening or do you want to sing into it somehow because there might be something in there.”

    1. Loved your entire comment, Mary S., but especially Oprah’s quote. I “sang into” my experience with breast cancer years ago, and I have never learned more about who I am than I did at that point. What a great description, and I thank you for bringing it to us!

      Here’s to life with “no yelling.”

  19. Hi Mary…I stumbled on your blog quite by accident. I have been reading it for a couple hours now. I’m a bit of a blog addict and follow about fifty. Basically I’m all about the gardening. Then came you. When I am not at home looking after my rescued kitties and gardening…I am at the store. What is fabulous about your blog is that you are saying very beautifully what we get to discuss all day. The authors you quote are the books we carry. It has been amazing to find you. I love what I do so much. I feel blessed everyday. But since Oprah went off the air, I felt a bit lost. I needed to get my fix somewhere. Thank you so much for providing that for me. We all need these little pearls of wisdom and beauty.
    Erin Middlebrooks

  20. Mary, the connection I feel with you and the others here is palpable. I so needed to hear your words today. I’m behind on my reading as moving day looms closer, but took the time this morning and am so glad I did! I love the CS Lewis quote, it reminds me of the wise words of Peter Pan. “All we need is faith and trust, and a little bit of pixie dust.” Love to all.

  21. Well, I still encourage you to watch the show. And don’t worry, it’s not meant to induce fear, it just does.
    I’ll bring some DVDs back for Christmas and we can all be thankful were not floating around in the Bering Sea!


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