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My friend, Jan Phillips, wrote a book (one of several) entitled No Ordinary Time: The Rise of Spiritual Intelligence and Evolutionary Creativity. It is described as “a Book of Hours for a Prophetic Age,” different from any traditional monastic Book of Hours but very powerful in calling readers to a deeper way of thinking and being. Thinking of Jan herself this morning, I picked up the book which opened without my choosing to what seemed a strange narrative but turned out to be very wise advice. I share it here as I send out a blessing of gratitude for Jan and all the light she continues to shed in the world.

I once noticed in the credits to a film that someone had a job called “fly wrangler.” There was a scene where a body had been dead a long time and there were hundreds of flies swarming around. The fly wrangler had to see to it that those flies behaved well and did their part. As you begin to pay attention to your thoughts and words, you’re going to start noticing others’ speaking as well, and you can take on the role of “conversation wrangler.”

If you’re with someone or a group of people who are being critical or negative, you can wrangle that conversation right around to something positive. Think of it as a creative challenge. How can you kindly, compassionately redirect the energy toward the light? How can you reframe the issue so people can focus on what they want, instead of what they don’t want?