“Inside every silver lining, there’s a dark cloud,” comedian George Carlin used to joke. Some days we all agree with him. Recently I discovered a secular practice called “Find the Silver Lining” that easily adapts to Christian mindfulness.
The practice was from the Greater Good Science Center website. The center is at the University of California Berkeley. It provides research-based tools and training to shift our culture toward a kinder, more compassionate society.
The site has a lot of positive psychology materials:
- An online magazine featuring stories and tips for building social-emotional well-being.
- Free e-newsletters.
- Research-based practices for happiness, resilience, kindness and connection.
- A cool monthly Happiness Calendar with daily tips.
One of the research-based practices is the Find the Silver Lining practice. It can bring new perspective and even some peace of mind to our most difficult experiences. Here’s how to do it as a mindful Christian:
- Go before the Lord to thank him for things you easily appreciate: your health, your church, trees, whatever comes to mind.
- Then write about something that has been negative in your life: an event, person or any life circumstance.
- Look for two or three things that are the silver livings to that negative experience.
- Pray a gratitude prayer for them, and ask the Lord to help you to see silver linings more easily.
The poet Maggie Smith tried the secular version of this practice. You can read about her experience on the center’s website here. More resources for leading your mindful Christian life are found on the Resource Page here.