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Archive for September, 2012

“Music & rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul,” Plato.

 

All of us have our favorite music. We will choose songs to listen to that will either calm us or energize us when we want to center or need a lift. But often we don’t take the time to really hear the music and let it soak into our hearts and minds. This is such a wonderful practice to be in the moment and sense how the actual sounds affect us.

So sit down and listen to a half-hour of your favorite melodies and really follow the notes, the rhythms, and the feelings that this evokes in you. Then write about being immersed in this experience and how your senses were awakened.

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“Because gratitude is the key to happiness, anything that undermines gratitude must undermine happiness,”Dennis Prager.

One of the most important concepts that many of the psychologists are bringing to the discussion about happiness is how to keep connected to our inner resources of gratitude. Happiness is not about amassing more possessions and accomplishments. Though having more clothes, nicer homes, and better jobs can play a big part of our cultural norms for happiness; they are not the answers to our inner joy. Happiness can be as easy to find as enjoying an evening with your girlfriends cooking a pot of spaghetti.

So turn your focus on one source of happiness, your sense of appreciation for what makes you shine from within. Highlight something that is a bedrock in your life that gives you a true sense of purpose and passion–without which your life would be less fulfilled. For me, this is about supporting others as they find their innate sense of creativity and joy. So, now it’s your turn. Write about what really fires you up and ignites your inner sense of gratitude for life!

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“Don’t find fault, find a remedy,” Henry Ford.

The maker of the Ford motor car had tenacity. Over his lifetime, he designed and implemented many technical innovations to develop affordable cars for the general public. He took on his issues, using his talents and skills, with the resolve to do something better and faster.

So today, think of yourself as a strong problem solver who doesn’t let difficulties stop you. Look at mustering your talents to handle a challenging situation–whether changing jobs or finding more of yourself in your daily life.  List five of your strongest talents on a 3 X 5 card and keep it by you. Whenever you feel indecisive, look at the card and see if you can use at least one of your talents to help you resolve your problem. Go to your journal and write about how this works for you.

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“If you’re a finished product, all tied up & put away, you’ve stopped growing,” Wayne Dyer.

Wayne Dyer catches me every time when I find myself stubbornly holding onto my comfort zone. I don’t know about you, but for me this situation is often about my fear of looking stupid when I want to do something new. It’s hard for most of us to step up to the plate, at that moment of decision, and do something that requires courage and gutsiness. Even with that queasy feeling of indecisiveness, most of us know intuitively that if we just inched out and tried to do this wonderful thing, that we might grow and live a happier life.

So, for your journaling today, explore one of these self-imposed boundaries. Look at a wish or goal that inspires you, one that helps you to grow in a way that is fresh and new. Lighten up with any criticism if you think you might look silly or fail. Notice how you criticize yourself and fight back with your inner appreciator. Next, go back and highlight any steps that you uncovered that might help you move forward in your desires. Put these action steps in your planner today!

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“Your joy is divine & so is your suffering. There’s so much to be learned from both,” Wayne Dyer.

To hold both sides of a difficult problem before us, choosing to look at the opposing aspect of suffering that is joy, often seems impossible. We usually see only one side, just like we do the head or tail of a coin. During our ruminations, we forget that there are two sides to a situation, plus the part in the middle, and the edges that make up the whole.

Write about one of your biggest conundrums that you see from only one angle. This time, examine it as if it had more body, like a whole coin, with all of its properties before you. Explore what comes up as you take on this viewpoint. Then write for a couple of minutes about how changing your perspective helped you think more fluidly.

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“Anyone who is truly kind can never be unhappy,” Confucius

For most of us, feeling in the flow of kindness 24/7 is a challenge. We often bring much of the stress from our days into our being. Then we become crabby.

Today, take a crabby break. Write about what moves you into a happier mindset. See how this improves your mood and your take on life.

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“Our life’s work is to use what we have been given to wake up,” Pema Chodron.

Before you go any farther today, breathe in fully and see how the air fills your lungs and elevates and widens your chest. Notice how the life force in your body fills and empowers you from head to toe. You are becoming rooted from within.

Now bring some examples of your heart’s purpose into your empowered state. Feel the hum of passion awakening you to what only you can bring to life. Today, take one action step that would move you forward in this purpose. Before bed, write for five minutes about this process. Relish the feeling of giving from the heart!

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