Sharing a kind word from a gentleman I met while I was a speaker at the New Life Expo in NY City about a year ago. Luis Montes de Oca says, “I read your book ‘in progress’ and love the concepts and perspectives you offer in it. I love the ‘Peanut Butter & Jelly’ metaphor . The word ‘Moderation’ shifted something in me that I’m no longer the same in the way I go about my daily life. What I mean by experiencing a shift in my life through the concept of moderation, is that I stopped from being compulsive and a perfectionist about my daily activities, including my spiritual practice; and instead being more kind to myself and doing things from the heart and joyfully, having fun. Doing everything with moderation, including Moderation I can go on and on about the benefits of reading your book … All I can say is GRACIAS! THANK YOU! and hope your book which has a lot of potential comes to full fruition.” Many thanks, Luis. And if any friends would like a copy especially during these challenging times, please go to www.pbjreligion.com and connect with me there. Tim
What bitterness are you not letting go of? Why are you dwelling on that annoying person at work who deserves to get fired? If you pray for that person right now, might you find a little peace? If we knew what was really going on in the memories and past roads of other people, we would most likely cease criticizing their actions and beliefs. Remember that it has nothing to do with the other person and everything to do with you.
Forgiving ourselves first is harder than it sounds but it is well worth learning the process. It pays off immediately and in the long run as well. Dr. Amit Sood who is a professor at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota, says that not forgiving is like suffocating yourself emotionally. This bottled-up anger yields anxiety and increases the likelihood of heart attacks. But forgiveness helps us to focus on the positive. Professor Sood refers to this process as freeing up real estate in the brain. This does not mean the other person is right and that you are wrong. Forgiveness allows you to rid yourself of your own resentment. You are in charge and in control of your feelings.
PAUSE Button… that’s what God has pushed. We all get paused in different ways. Some get sick, some become scared ****less. But all of us in the past few days/weeks have been forced to stop and think. We take so much for granted: that our mortgage will get paid, that we will be able to unroll some toilet paper, drink clean water, attend our houses of worship. These are God-given rights in our free country, we say. And then PAUSE says God, don’t be so sure. Pausing does not mean the need to become petrified of living. It means to stop briefly and say, “Okay, here is one more day to work with, to help others in so many supportive ways.” Be not afraid and fear not are messaged to us countless times in numerous parts of the Bible. One way for YOU to be brave is to be heroic to someone else. Everyone is scared. It is the human, inherent condition. Your increase in courage is in direct proportion to how much you become a brave, valiant role model to others. You are stronger than you know. We’ll all get through this together.
How to pray? Just start, beginning is half done. It is not a performance.
It is supposed to be fun. Yes fun! Joy! It gets easier as all good habits do. It does not become routine and mundane unless you make it that way. Don’t just talk converse. Like you’re having coffee with a new friend or business associate you just met. Deals are made because of friendly, healthy and enjoyable dialoging. A positive commentary is I just get a good vibe from him. Of course prayer is not new but we can always turn over a new leaf. Start again, reboot.
Prayer should never be pressured. It can be quick. It has no calories. It’s cheap. But it’s like Boston cream doughnuts, the more you have them, the more you want them. There are thousands of ways to pray, more like seven billion plus.
Just show up! “Okay, here I am!” Then maybe throw in a question like something you want the answer to. You may be shocked if this is new to you. And I chose the work shock carefully and intentionally. We’re talking powerful gear here.
If you we brought up like me, you may still be a scaredey cat… or shall I say a ‘scaredey Catholic?” Most of us don’t go around regularly and say that we’re afraid. But we are. And that is normal and natural. Sure, it’s an effed-up world. And even though many Biblical references advise us not to fear, it’s a human, inherent condition. Maybe these three points will help alleviate a bit of that nervousness. Number 1. God is only Love, it is not possible for God to be otherwise. He is never mean nor does God ever attempt to be scary; pure Love. 2. God forgives everyone and everything. Sometimes it can take a while, but it happens, eventually and unconditionally. Accept everything and everyone with humble forgiveness and God will do the same for you, for us. Number 3. Is a little more challenging with which to cope. That is we are all part of God… yes that includes your SOB boss, your budinski mother-in-law, and the seemingly miserable clerk who butters your roll each morning in the deli. God is in all of them, God is all of them. Now if you are a scaredey-Catholic, you will have trouble with 1 and 2, and especially 3. It may not be your “Grandfather’s Catechism” but it is doctrine and dogma. Read your Bible with a little more closeness in your heart, and listen with a keener ear to what Pope Frances said about forgiveness: “No one is condemned forever.” Them are some strong words. Cling to those words, and you are practicing PBJ Religion, which compliments every other religion; goes with everything like beige. And find true Peace.
Most of us don’t go around regularly and say that life sucks. Life doesn’t really suck. We sort of do it to ourselves. But many of us reflect that sentiment in our daily actions. We complain, compare, and compete. When we perform these three C’s, we reveal that we are not totally happy—because we are not at peace.
Don’t complain. You may have heard the expression that “Eighty percent of the people don’t care… and the other twenty percent are glad you have the problems that you do!” Everyone has some degree of jealously, anxiety and insecurity; it’s the human, inherent condition.
Don’t compare. The Desiderata says, “There will always be greater and lesser persons than yourself.”
Don’t compete. Instead, cooperate and collaborate; at work and at home. YOU are your only competition. It was never any other way.
You hear people describe themselves this way. They choose, and they think. My Mother would have been 102 today, and one of her expressions was, “Put on your thinking cap.” To me that means don’t leave your common sense at the big, old, creaky church doors. Jesus did NOT want us to follow blindly, but to ponder and make the bestest and the mostest out of ourselves. And no church should be political, not in the good ole’ US of A that is. Not political, but personal. Bishop Fulton Sheen said, ” Jesus did not come to change our politics… He came to change our lives.” So brothers and sisters: think. Think deeply. Let your self ponder the mysteries, they are magical and they are delicious. Follow your heart. Dan Fogelberg sang, “Trust isn’t something that’s spoken… and Love’s never wrong when it’s real!”
I have a number of close friends who are members of the clergy, belonging to a few different denominations. I’m not sure how they really feel about PBJ Religion. And some of my dearest friends are practicing Catholics several of whom even work for the Church; and early reviews of my upcoming book tell me they are keeping their distance.
So what is Catholicism anyway? Basically, it was invented by a guy named Jesus. He didn’t deliver rambling sermons but chose His words with precision. He talked about forgiveness. Like we should do it… a bunch. I don’t recall exceptions. PBJ Religion says accept everyone and everything, always and without exception, this is the essence of that forgiveness. Not with a little bit of apprehension or “Okay, I’ll forgive him this time but I’m not going to make it easy on him…” By the way, the Pope had to advise some Priests hearing Confessions to stop prying into peoples’ affairs, to stop asking detailed questions. To me that sounds more like what Jesus was getting at.
A humorous query over the years is, “Is the Pope Catholic?!” as a reply to a silly question which generates an of course “yes” answer. Pope Francis said that no one is condemned forever. You’re right: it’s not your grandfather’s Catechism! Some conservative Bishops think the Pope has some issues… “Not Catholic enough.” Talk about juxtaposition, huh?! He’s not perfect, I’ll admit it. But a real Catholic believes in Infallibility, which Merriam Webster tells us means that he cannot be wrong. So where do any Catholics (including clergy) get off disagreeing with the Pontiff? It’s against the rules. Jesus made the promise to Peter a couple thousand plus years ago that whatever he said for Church decisions would be a “go.” If you’re confused right now, you may be a part of the “Nones,” meaning you are spiritual but with no religious affiliation—in large part because of this confusion… often clouded with an extra dose of judgmental-ness.
As a Catholic myself, I attempt to stay on top of these doctrines, dogmas, and decisions. But it’s a constant challenge. I’m not convinced it’s exactly what the inventor Himself (that would be Jesus) had in mind when I witness some of the political nonsense and other mischief swamping the modern day Christian Churches. But I still attend; for me and for all the brothers and sisters who are trekking through this earth school…just continuing to try to accomplish the next, best, right decision. PBJ Religion encourages us to do just that. Or as the book’s foreword writer and former Executive VP of Disney, Lee Cockerell says, “I recommend we study this book and live the same religion. PBJ Religion works for all of us and you can still practice your own religion, which probably already promotes this kind of thinking and behavior.” It just makes common sense, does it not? Is the Pope Catholic?!
Early Reader Review of
“PBJ Religion… Finding Simple Peace” (potential publication date: April, 2020), from Stephanie Repaci, Campus Director of Student Life at Broward College in Florida…
“The author says right upfront how this will not be traditional text! And it’s not! It’s a transfer to the relatable—with lots of pop culture inserted; kind of like watching a Seinfeld episode. The author breaks down his manuscript into four sections, which resonates with the reader. It cannot really be described as philosophical, but the add-ons give it a rich historical perspective. PBJ Religion goes far beyond Biblical references; Tim McHeffey is truly a twenty-first century writer! The subtitle promises that this book is a path to inner peace. And it is. The Peacemeal Notes to Self help to re-emphasize that… just another nuance making this book an easy read.”
Thank you, Stephanie for your kind and detailed assessment of PBJ Religion! This week I wish to emphasize a few guidelines I continually adopt for my own life—comparing Stephanie’s review to my own life (and perhaps yours as well?).
- We don’t have to be so traditional if it doesn’t work for us. Begin your own fresh and new!
- Life must resonate with us… it must feel right.
- Your life IS YOUR manuscript. Break it down into manageable pieces and sections.
- Make your own Notes to Self. In the end, it’s only you who is responsible for everything in your own life.
- “Life” should be an easy read. We often make it waaay too hard and it does not have to be.