Spanish mystic and monk, St. John of the Cross wrote, “A bird, whether it is tied down by a thread or a chain, still cannot fly.”

Those huge appetites that crave things, both good and bad. It may be “just a cigarette” or “just a piece of cake”–but if we allow ourselves to cave to these impulses, we become enslaved to those things and we lose our authentic selves. We lose that work toward our virtues.

What’s tying you down?

Go back to the exercise of growing your virtues and character and you will find that letting go of those things tying us down becomes easier.

As I said yesterday, lack of self-control and caving to impulses is truly one of my greatest vices. I STILL battle with some very bad habits. But, as I’m working on growing my patience, I in turn am growing my self-control. And there is going to be a day when I can finally cut the string (or chain) that is tying me down–and work on truly becoming the best-version-of-myself.

We all have impulses. And they can all too easily become compulsions and addictions. Become a master of your impulses. Whether the impulse is to shop, eat, procrastinate, or agree to attend an event, pause before acting on that impulse.

This is a HUGE challenge for me–but one I will accept with all my heart. Because I am a work in progress, it won’t happen immediately. But I WILL cut those chains and I will fly free–in my authentic life–and there will be much joy.

Best Lent Ever, Day 25



Tim asks, “what is that?” My answer–“I don’t know. It’s just paint. But it makes me happy. So…yeah.”

When I get those brief moments of “Mommy Time” I find myself happiest when I am creating. I may have NO IDEA what I’m creating, but I honestly don’t care. Because I’m in my place and I’m happy.

I’m so thankful that I have not one but two work areas where I get to create. I may paint a bunch of scribbles, or build a couch, or refurbish a chair, or slap some vinyl on some poor unsuspecting object. It’s whatever I’m feeling in THAT moment. And as long as I’m creating, I’m in my place of pure joy, relaxation and contentment.

I challenge each and everyone of you to find that place, if you haven’t already. And work hard to treat yourself to that place at least once a week.

Follow your joy.


Written by Shay Rafferty
I help families shift to living live a life of wellness and abundance by using natural, plant-based products.