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  • Writer's pictureTracy Spiaggia


For the past 15 years, my family and I have spent a lot of time at Woodloch Pines, a family resort in Pennsylvania. Five years ago, we were extremely blessed with a place of our own, a getaway to which I escape for long periods to recenter and destress. For some, the beach does that. For others, it’s the mountains. But, for me, siting lakeside is divine! This year on one of my morning dog walks, I noticed a nearby homeowner, who had always seemed to suffer water issues on the perimeter of his property, finally decided to address the problem. He had this beautiful drainage installed which reroutes the rainwater away from his front lawn and towards the main drainways in the road. Certainly a much better situation for him. This got me thinking. The conditions of our minds can often be much like my neighbor’s soggy lawn – overrun and saturated. If we consider the rain to be like our thoughts and our minds like the ground, what does your lawn look like? Is it lush and green with just the right proportion of hydration, or is it waterlogged? Do you have a drainage system in place to reroute your excessive “rain?” Certainly some of our thoughts are right, productive, and necessary, but how much of our thoughts are not? Once our minds have reached maximum capacity, how are we rerouting the surplus, most especially those more damaging and flawed sentiments? Do we even have an overflow plan in place or do we allow our minds to be completely overrun to the point of rendering our “lawn” useless? Like my neighbor’s system, we too need to syphon off excessive negative thinking so that the ground of our minds soaks up just the nourishing ideas. There are many ways to do this. Prayer, exercise, time spent outdoors appreciating God’s creation (like my time at the lake), gardening, meditation, practices of expressing daily gratitude, proper nutrition, edifying conversations with friends who are willing to hold us accountable when our thinking derails, quality sleep, intimacy with our spouse, vacation time, decluttering our homes, organizing our schedules, saying NO when overbooked, prioritizing quiet quality time with family and friends, etc. These are all practices that can help “dry out” our minds, making a way for us to think more clearly and behave more logically.  After all, our thoughts become our words which become our actions which become our habits which become our character.  Take time to reflect on the condition of your mind. Is it sopped? Is there no spillway into which the floodwaters can drain because you have not yet installed your own drain trench? If that’s your conclusion, do like my neighbors — pick up your shovel and start digging! You too will soon have a lovely yard for your own neighbors to notice and appreciate!

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