Paying Attention to Soul and Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, June 2, 2015

birds silhouette sunset

Paying Attention to Soul and Prayer

I love the book I am using as a guide in the month of June. I really do. But, you all don’t know quite what kind of book it is. So, Handbook for the Soul is a compilation, a complete change of pace. This new book traces different ways of relating to our souls. Today’s author lifted up paying attention.

Robert Fulghum wrote this message, for today’s chapter. Did anyone pay attention to what I wrote as I write this post?

Here is a pertinent paragraph: “Sometimes during the day, I consciously focus on some ordinary object and allow myself a momentary ‘paying-attention.’ This paying-attention gives meaning to my life. I don’t know who it was, but someone said that careful attention paid to anything is a window into the universe.” [1]

Fulghum then mentions, step by step, a typical day in his life. A day when he is allowed to nurture his soul, and find beautiful and satisfying things to do and say. Of course, he is not able to do all these things–to check them off an internal list every single day. It is then that his life might go off-track, mentally, emotionally and spiritually speaking. But—that’s okay. Sometimes those things happen.

I need to ask myself: do I pay attention to others? To myself? About what aspects of my work, my life, my very being? About which subjects should I say nothing?

Again, I mention something Fulghum wrote, at the end of this chapter: “I don’t expect that anyone’s life will be lived exactly according to plan. But I do expect that life will go well if I simply pay attention to the positives, as well as to the negatives, of the mixture that is in me and is in the rest of the world.” [2] Hopeful, positive words, indeed.

These are words that can nourish the soul, words of gentleness, encouragement and comfort. I think practically everyone deserves a little of this way of thinking (and acting!) each day. God willing, I might be able to be that kind of person.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

[1] Handbook of the Soul, Richard Carlson and Benjamin Shield, editors. (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1995), 12.

[2] Ibid, 16-17.

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