I have to believe deep in my heart that we shall overcome someday. To do less would be to die before I die.
Create and Attitude of Gratitude All Day Long
The secret to happiness and finding the enduring joy we all seek is Thanksgiving-the simple act of continually giving thanks. To realize wonderful positive outcomes, up to and including seeming miracles, do one thing: Show gratitude all day long. Seeing everything in a new light, through a refreshing prism of love and appreciation, imparts a deep inner well of peace, calm and joy, making us feel more alive.
We can feel that way every day, in every aspect of life, awaking each morning excited to create the day ahead and enthusiastic about each moment and then falling asleep at night embracing a profound feeling of gratitude for all the good we know and have. Happiness is contagious and becomes an upward spiral of joy naturally shared with others.
Start today by launching a daily gratitude journal. This single action, the simplest and quickest way to get results, will foster a habit geared to change everything forever. It fills up our love tank, sparks success and benefits everyone. To embrace better relationships, health, clarity, life and tangible and intangible wealth:
- Set a daily time for journal writing.
- Pick a handful of things that prompt gratitude that day. Perhaps begin with people that support you in some way. Everything counts, from expressions of beauty to basic conveniences. Eventually the daily list will grow, generating the joy of gratitude at ever-higher levels.
- It’s important to write with love and joy, because such feelings create your world. Even if something’s a work in progress, like encouraging steps in a relationship, focus on what makes you feel good and want more of and you’ll start seeing more evidence of them.
- Elaborate in detail about a particular thing that earns extra gratitude. This carries more benefits from intense feelings than creating a list. When we see how blessed we are with what we already have, it creates more of what we are grateful for, generating and endless cycle of gratitude.
- Take notice of the surprises and little miracles that occur, and be sure to make note of them to evoke an even stronger level of awe, and gratitude.
” A major amount of wear-and-tear on the body comes from prolonged unresolved conflict–basically from not letting go, holding grudges and reliving situations over and over in your head,” says Raj Dhasi, a Toronto-based conflict management consultant who specializes in the physiological impacts of conflict. “But if conflict happens and my mindset is: ‘I can handle this. We can work through this,’ that is phenomenally beneficial for the brain and body.”
When we are faced with any conflict–whether it’s an angry boss, disgruntled neighbor, political opponent or untidy teen in the house–our limbic system responds swiftly by igniting a cascade of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol and spiking our heart rate and blood pressure. Meanwhile, our prefrontal cortex–the part of the brain responsible for thinking things through and putting the brakes on emotional, irrational behaviors–begins to slowly light up. The fundamental problem is that in the race to mount a response, the limbic system often wins, prompting us to greet conflict impulsively by raising our voice and saying things we later regret before our rational brain has time to step in.
On the flip side, many of us avoid conflict altogether, harboring discontent in such a way that we feel powerless or even threatened. Making matters worse, our fight-or-flight response never quite goes away, says Gary Harper, author of The Joy of Conflict Resolution: Transforming Victims, Villains and Heroes in the Workplace and at Home. “More people are stressed out by not dealing with a conflict than with dealing with it,” Harper observes. “If you deal with it in the moment, it allows you to let it go.”
Pause, Breathe, Consider
Harper advises that one way to deal with conflict on the spot is to pause and give our more rational side a chance to arrive at a solution. “Before you react, slow down, take a deep breath and listen to your inner dialogue,” he says. “In that deep breath, you might realize that you need five minutes [to consider a response].” If you still remain in attack mode, it might not be the best time to respond.
He adds that while no conflict should be avoided altogether, careful consideration might lead us to conclude that some battles aren’t worth fighting. Ask yourself: How important is this person to me? How important is this issue to me? ” If neither is vital to you, save your energy for a better use. If the issue is not important, but the relationship is, it’s okay to accommodate or give in sometimes,” he says.
Be Direct and Follow-Up
Some conflicts are worth confronting. Then, Barbara Pachter, a business communications consultant and author of The Power of Positive Confrontation, offers what she calls the WAC approach for dealing with most cases of work and family conflict.
W: Ask yourself: What is really bothering me? ” A lot of times, people don’t do this. They just say, ‘This person is a jerk,’ rather than specifying the problem.”
A: Ask them for a solution. “We often complain, but we don’t find a solution,” she says. “Determine what is going to solve the problem for you and ask for it.”
C: Check in. “Turn it over to the other person and ask for their response. Inquire: ‘Is this possible? What do you think?'”
All the while, stay curious about the other person’s perspective, suggests Harper. “We tend to see ourselves as the innocent victim, or we go into hero mode and tend to see the other person as the villain,” he says. “Of course, the other person is doing the same thing, and that makes collaboration tough.” Instead, ask sincere questions–and really listen.
Agree to Disagree
Terrie McCants, coordinator of the conflict resolution program at Kansas State University, notes that in some cases, especially when deeply held values such as politics or faith are involved, resolving conflict isn’t necessarily about reaching an agreement. “You cannot negotiate people’s values. Sometimes, these are things that people are willing to lie down and die for,” she says. “Instead, sometimes you might need to agree to disagree.”
In the end, whether the conflict is a minor disagreement at home, a workplace quarrel or a complicated political dispute, the process of properly working through it can leave both parties feeling stronger and improve their communities. “Conflict forces you to problem-solve collaboratively and come up with options and elegant solutions,” she explains. “If handled well, it can add brilliant things to your life.”
After reading this article, I decided to share because I think it has really good points. Especially the way today’s economy is going, we all some form of stress and frustration and may sometimes say things we don’t really mean.
So, if you have those moments when you are so angry and maybe don’t know why, stop and close your eyes, take a breath and walk somewhere by yourself to slow down and calm your mind before returning to life’s space.
Contents of this article provided by Lisa Shumate, a freelance writer in Boulder, CO.
A renowned leader of the self-help movement from its early days, Louise Hay is celebrated world wide for teaching—-by personal example and through her bestselling book, You Can Heal Your Life—how each of us can transform our mind, body and spirit by changing the way we think. Her positive philosophy has sparked an industry and her Hay House publishing group.
Nourishing mind and body, loving life, learning and growing, giving back and moving ahead—these comprise Hay’s program for creating health, happiness and longevity. At 88, she continues to travel for business and pleasure, embracing vital, joy-filled days with a thankful smile. Her new book, Loving Yourself to Great Health, co-authored with Ahlea Khadro and Heather Dane, explains how she’s taking all she knows to the next level.
Why does first applying love and forgiveness to yourself make a happy, healthy and long life possible?
Loving yourself is the foundation for living the life you want. A healthy and happy life is rooted in self-love, and forgiveness is an act of self-love. It all comes down to how you think and treat yourself. What we give out we get back, so it all starts with us. Remember, no matter what the problem is, there is only one answer: loving yourself. Start with small steps and be gentle. If you start there, magical things will happen.
How do you manage to engage in a stream of loving affirmations 24/7?
Practice, practice, practice! Slowly, bit-by-bit, start each day with a loving act towards yourself. Loving affirmations and worrying about things take up the same amount of time; you still get the same things done along the way, but worrying creates stress, while affirmations will brighten your life. It can be exhausting if you fight the shift and make it difficult. If you make kindness to yourself and others a simple part of everyday life, it isn’t exhausting at all.
What are some key elements to crafting a life experience that supports and nourishes ageless being?
Choose thoughts that bring love into your life and laugh a lot. Say yes to life and the magic it brings. I trust that life will bring me exactly what I need, and part of that is realizing that I don’t need to know everything, because life brings me people like Ahlea and Heather.
A third of our life is spent eating, and it’s essential that we know the best way to do this. Start your day with water and an act of self-love. Eat real food; seasonal, organic, natural foods are a positive affirmation to your body. Poop every day, figuratively and literally. Learn to listen to your body and its wisdom. Choose exercise that you love and that makes you feel good.
Also, go on a media diet. Filter out from your consciousness any messages that say you are not good enough or that separate you from the beautiful and lovable person you are. Surround yourself with like-minded people that share good news and love to laugh.
The core belief founding your lifework is that every thought we have is creating our future. Is scientific research now supporting that?
When I began teaching people about affirmations, there wasn’t any science to support it, but we knew it worked, and now studies verify that. I particularly love Bruce Lipton’s scientific research showing that we are not controlled by our genes because the genetic blueprint can be altered through positive changes in our beliefs.
I hear reports every day of how people are healing their lives by changing their thoughts through cultivating self-love and personal affirmations. They are seeing healing of autoimmune diseases, obesity, addictions, post-traumatic stress and many other so-called incurable illnesses. It’s amazing what happens when you are kind and loving to yourself.
What is your secret to aging gracefully through the years?
It’s simple. It’s about getting your thoughts and food right and having fun along the way. If you are thinking positive thoughts but feeding yourself processed, unnatural or sugary foods, you are sending yourself mixed messages. Feed yourself nourishing food and think loving thoughts. Any time you don’t know what else to do, focus on love. Loving yourself makes you feel good, and good health comes from feeling good.
Article by S. Alison Chabonais, national content editor for Natural Awakenings magazines.
In counting our daily blessings, we find that even uneventful or difficult days possess precious gifts. Consider all the contributions that make it possible for family members to gather for the holidays–the workers that helped construct and keep up the vehicles that brought us here, the house where we come together and the trees that light the fireplace. Consider the food that nourishes us, thanks to the Sun’s energy, Earth’s minerals and rain and the labor of the farmers, processors, truckers, retailers and cooks. Whether or not the holidays fulfill our expectations, we have much for which to be grateful.
As the Buddhist monk THich Nhat Hanh points out, every blessing is the gift of the universe. When we stop and really look, we see that we are supported continuously in countless ways.
Author Roger L’Estrange noted in the 17th century how humans tended to “mistake the gratuitous blessings of heaven for the fruits of our own industry.” We awaken when the alarm goes off due to the skill of the technology’s engineers, designers, assembly workers, distributors and salespeople. We can turn on the light because power company workers are supplying the electricity. Our morning spiritual practice is the gift of generations of teachers and writers that observed the truth and shared what they learned. It feels good to be bowled over by each moment of grace and the simplest act of kindness.
Such gratitude flows when we break out of a petty point of view–with its self-centered expectations and demands–to appreciate that through the labors, intentions and existence of an inconceivably large number of other people, life forms and elements, we have been given the miracle of life, with all its present goodness. This heightened awareness of our connection spontaneously fills us with a joy and gratitude that transforms our experience. Thankfully, gratitude can be cultivated. It simply takes practice in being present to what is being given.
It helps to stay aware of some of the most pernicious obstacles to thankfulness, and one of the most obvious is the failure to notice what we have, including a roof over our head and someone to love. As Joni Mitchell sang, “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” So the first step is to start paying attention to gifts that have always been there, but until now went unnoticed and unappreciated.
We are rich in what counts and never truly alone, because we are always supported by the universe. The 13th-century mystic Meister Eckhart counseled, “If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘Thank you,’ that would suffice.”
Frank Jude Boccio is the author of Mindfulness Yoga (MindfulnessYoga.net).
FIVE POWERFUL LESSONS
“You may have occasion to possess or use material things, but the secret of life lies in never missing them.”~Mohandas Gandhi
Political and spiritual leader Mohandas Gandhi practiced total simplicity and minimalism, leaving and admirable legacy of how to live. Born into a prosperous family, he enjoyed a privileged upbringing and studied law at University College, London, in England. When he left Earth, he had fewer than 10 possessions.
In contrast, most of us tend to spend a lot of time and energy accumulating and looking after possessions; by having less, life naturally becomes simpler. We can take up author Dave Bruno’s The 100 Thing Challenge and start cutting down to bare basics by recycling, refusing to accept more stuff and giving away or selling unwanted possessions.
Accumulate little. Gandhi believed in possessing only the clothes, sandals, watch and spectacles he wore and some cooking and eating utensils. He would give away or auction any gift he received.
Eat simple food. Gandhi never had a problem being overweight. He followed a strict vegetarian diet and often cooked his own simple, locally produced foods. He ate from a small bowl, a reminder to eat moderately and mindfully, often accompanied by prayers.
Dress simply. Gandhi wore simple clothes, often just a wraparound cloth, for modesty and comfort. A simple hairstyle can shorten daily grooming. Gandhi shaved off his hair.
Lead a simple, stress-free life. Gandhi meditated daily and spent hours in reflection and prayer. Though he was a revered world leader, he led a simple life with few distractions and commitments and would interrupt political meetings to play with children. Gandhi insisted on doing his own simple tasks. He advocated self-sufficiency and simple work.
Let your life be your message. A prolific, concise writer and powerful speaker in public; in private, Gandhi spoke quietly and only when necessary. He preferred to let his life talk to him.
By living a simple life, Gandhi was able to devote himself to his chosen higher purpose and focus on his commitment to his people and the world. Accordingly, consistent focus determines anyone’s success and the potential for leaving one’s own inspiring legacy.
Arvind Devalia is the author of the bestselling Get the Life You Love, and inspirational coach and prolific blogger.
Connect at ArvindDevalia.com/blog.