Here is a Daily Lift based on a Christian Science perspective article that I wrote for the Christian Science Monitor:
Overcoming the Monday morning blues
csmonitor.com October 12, 2018
By Michelle Boccanfuso Nanouche
Recently I came across a joke online that said, “It’s Monday. I am refreshed and ready to hate my job.” This reminded me of the 1993 film “Groundhog Day,” which tells the story of a guy stuck repeating the same rotten scenario every time his alarm goes off in the morning. Perpetually waking to the same day, Feb. 2 (observed as Groundhog Day in the United States and Canada), the lead character goes with the miserable flow, trapped in a cycle: His job is a mess. His relationships are a mess. As a result he sinks into despair.
But my favorite part of the film is when this lead character changes his approach. It starts with a mental shift: He decides to take each moment to master something good. Among other things, he tries to be helpful to others and to live more generously. There is progress, with occasional setbacks, but he begins to see in each day new opportunities to express more grace.
I could relate to this situation. I remember when Mondays were dreaded days for me as I prepared to go to what felt like a dead-end job. I changed employers three times, but found that my experience remained miserable. I was so unhappy that my weekends were full of fear of the impending workweek. Something needed to change, and moving to another job clearly hadn’t been the answer.
Trying to think more positively was certainly a possibility, but I’ve found that isn’t enough to effect a radical change and produce stable joy in one’s experience. What had helped me in numerous ways was Christian Science, discovered by Mary Baker Eddy, which has given me a different view of what really brings progress. It teaches that God, as divine Life, is the only true source, maintainer, and motivator of creation, including each one of us as God’s spiritual offspring, and it reveals that this infinite Life is solely good.
Acknowledging Life as the divine Principle of good can open one’s eyes to see God’s blessings all around us, breaking us free from negative thought patterns. Even more, prayer that explores the true nature of creation as the spiritual manifestation, or expression, of Life, God, can uplift our expectations and inspire steady, graceful forward momentum in daily life.
So I began devoting my early mornings before work to searching the Scriptures for insights into the nature of God as Life, to understand more of what God had in store for me. I found this study empowering and strengthening as I learned that God’s will for me (and everyone) includes a truly substantial joy. For instance, after explaining the permanent, nurturing relation of God to His creation, Christ Jesus said, “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” (John 15:11). And I began to carry a Bible verse or hymn to work in my pocket, which I could pull out during the day to remind me that God created and maintained me as joyful.
Not long after I incorporated such prayer into my morning routine, I began to wake up on Mondays eager to get up, because I was looking forward to expressing more of God’s goodness during the day, including at my job. As a result, the days felt more meaningful no matter what tasks I was doing, and the recurring dread did not return. It was a transformative experience and one I will always cherish.
Each of us can break out of a negative cycle in which days seem to replicate themselves as joyless, void of inspiration or the promise of progress. Divine Life provides us with daily opportunities to experience and express good. And seeking clearer views of this Life allows us to expect and experience a more abundant joy and progress.
As described on their web page: "Science, health, and faith – some would suggest that they are deeply connected. On this episode of Friends Talking Faith with The Three Wise Guys we’ll discuss faith, science, health, and prayer. Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the Christian Science movement, argued in her 1875 book “Science and Health” that sickness is an illusion that can be corrected by prayer alone. There can be no doubt that faith often plays a significant role in regard to how people think about both health and science. We’ll look at these issues from our various faith traditions – also, we will be joined by a person who brings expertise in regard to the religious tradition of Christian Science. For many, little is known regarding the beliefs and practices of this 19th-century New England religion. It belongs to the metaphysical family of newer religious movements. We will learn about it from one of their lecturers. We will talk with a member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship, Mrs. Michelle Nanouche, about her faith tradition – that’s coming up on this Friends Talking Faith."
Rabbi Steven Engel – Senior Rabbi, Congregation of Reform Judaism and Past President of the Greater Orlando Board of Rabbis.
Imam Muhammad Musri – Senior Imam, The Islamic Society of Central Florida and President of Islam, Inc.
the Rev. Bryan Fulwider – A Pastor in Congregations for over 25 years and Founding President of Building US
“Friends Talking Faith with The Three Wise Guys” airs weekly on Tuesday at 6:30 PM (Eastern Time) on 90.7 WMFE Orlando.
This interview aired the morning of my lecture for Stroud, Gloucester, UK. While the interview was conducted as a QA, it was edited to include my responses only, which maximized the content in the alloted time.
When one encounters injustice or something else just plain wrong, it can stir a protest from deep within. To take exception to and challenge evil is a normal response, but are some methods of protest more effective than others?
I have found that an approach based on Christ Jesus’ teachings can help move protest beyond mere outcry to a fruitful healing stand that supports and even impels positive change.
Years ago at work I encountered a policy that I felt could negatively impact clients. I brought the problem to the attention of my superiors, but to no avail. The policy remained. Undeterred, I decided to raise these concerns with my colleagues, hoping that a collective protest among us could force management’s hand and lead to course correction. But this only resulted in the censuring of my colleagues. After all this, I stood alone in my protest.
Frustrated and disheartened, I reached out to a friend who was a Christian Science practitioner to help me know what to do next. Christian Science practitioners don’t offer advice, but they do encourage and support one’s prayers to find spiritual solutions to problems. This practitioner pointed out to me the emphasis that Christian Science places on the power of unspoken thoughts. Monitor founder and Christian Science discoverer Mary Baker Eddy wrote: “Thoughts unspoken are not unknown to the divine Mind. Desire is prayer; and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and in deeds” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 1).
I began to realize that while I had been resting all my expectations of change on whether or not my perspective was being heard and accepted by other people, God always hears the sincere heart’s desire. This realization enables us to elevate our concept of “protest” from a mere argument to a deeper understanding of and trust in God – the one true Mind of His creation, including each of us – as good.
I saw that a more Christly, prayerful approach to protest could bring the needed healing to the situation. Jesus’ teachings helped me see that in the attempt to solve problems it is important to pray for oneself, not just for the desired outcome, because what we perceive as another person’s (or an organization’s) problem may be a “mote” or speck of dust compared to an enormous “beam” that is impeding our own clear vision (see Matthew 7:3-5).
I recognized that the “beam” in my eye was the fear that a bad policy had more power than God did. I realized that I could protest against that fear rather than the policy. I didn’t want to ignore the policy, but for the moment this seemed the more pressing need. So I prayed to more fully understand God’s presence and power to care for His creation.
I found peace as I realized that everyone’s safety and security, including that of the company’s clients, rests in our inviolable relation to God, who cares for all the conditions requisite for our well-being. I further recognized that the company’s management was also safely cared for by the one divine Mind. This Mind sends inspiration to each one of us in a way we can understand.
Soon a client found a workaround that completely exempted her from the effects of that particular policy. Other clients followed her lead – a fact observed by management, precipitating a change in policy that ultimately benefited the company and clients alike.
Prayer isn’t a sidestep to protest. It isn’t a cop-out or a backup move when actions don’t seem to be producing the change we would like. Devoted, heartfelt prayer that opens one’s heart to God’s good governance and care of His creation is a unique, powerful, and Christly form of protest. It can lift us out of an excessive focus on problems, bringing the inspiration that comes from a greater awareness of Mind, God, as the source of right and just solutions.
This article was published February 11, 2019 on csmonitor.com
Dear Blog readers, you did a wonderful job sharing this web lecture. Word spread quickly and many, many people joined in live. Thank you! Here is a link to the replay on YouTube if you would like to see it again or share it with others. It will be online until April 10, 2019.
I have practiced Christian Science professionally in
some form since 1979.
But my journey with
Christian Science started
in a Sunday school
where as a young child
I was taught the Scriptures and some simple basics
of Jesus' method of
scientific Christian healing.
A significant experience
at the age of twelve
opened my eyes to
the great potential
of this practice.
After impaling my foot
on a nail,
I prayed the way I had learned
in Sunday school.
the pain stopped
and healing began.
By the next morning the wound had disappeared completely.
the great potential
of Christian Science,
there would be no