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Cleaning Out the Closet of Your Mind Newsletter

Issue Date: December 15, 2002

Inside this issue:

> JOY, PEACE, AND LOVE


JOY, PEACE, AND LOVE

This year that is drawing to an end has been an amazing year filled with a lot of transitions, increased awareness, and a new consciousness. As time has seemed to accelerate, so many of us have been awakening to new understandings, visions, and dreams for our lives; many people, in fact, have felt catapulted into a new dimension.

This is a time of great change on many levels. And yet, as we approach this season, it is a time to remember what has served as so well in the past, and to look forward to the future with anticipation and excitement. As we approach a new year, a new beginning, it is time to let go at even deeper levels of anything that has held us back from being the best we can be ­ loving, kind, happy, patient, tolerant, compassionate, caring, trustworthy, and passionate. We so often think of the material gifts we share in the world and often forget what is really essential ­ the gifts that stay behind throughout the years to come. The loving gesture, the thoughtful phone call to show we care, the opening of a door, a friendly non-judgmental ear, a quiet moment spent sharing the beauty of nature ­ the gifts that are truly priceless.

In other words, sharing our presence, not our presents. This is one of the most beautiful gifts we can offer. Most important, too, it's one of the most loving gifts we can give to ourselves. As we are more present in the present, we are not caught in the past or the future. We are more fully capable of creating the life we choose each day, building the legacy we know is ours to pass on.

As we move into the holidays, this is a wonderful opportunity to choose to spread joy, peace, and love throughout our world.

BEGIN WITH JOY:

One of the most effective ways to be really happy in life is to help other people be happy. This is one of the greatest gifts we can share with others and one of the most profound we can give to ourselves. I generally suggest reaching out to help make each day a good one for at least three people. Put an anonymous card at someone's desk, offer to help them out, open a door, speak a kind word, acknowledge someone's special efforts, or call someone and just tell them you're thinking of them. This is a really powerful way to bring yourself into a positive mindset. As you think of what you can do each day to make a difference, begin to plan out what you'll do and visualize yourself doing it. Each night before you go to sleep, make a list of three people you will reach out to the next day. You might find yourself planning ahead with a special treat, a joyful note, a special picture, or a special smile. Visualize how wonderful you'll feel making a difference in someone's day, perhaps in someone's life.

As I've mentioned before, your thoughts create your emotions, your emotions create your actions, and your actions create your reality. Choosing to think positive thoughts creates positive emotions (not to mention the helpful biochemical effects!) which propels you into positive actions. Best of all, we begin to experience positive results in our lives, which gives us a powerful internal urging to continue thinking positive thoughts that will recreate the cycle!

So many people in the world are feeling isolated or alone, trapped by the rapid pace of life and what feels like very heavy demands on their time, energy and resources. Certainly, these feelings and experiences may be even greater during the holidays when so many are feeling the added pressure of gift giving, expectations, family gatherings, social events, or maneuvering through the crowds.

It's particularly important that we take time to feel the joy of life and living. Pause as you go through your day to savor the sunrise, a gentle smile between strangers, the holiday lights, a friendly animal, or kindnesses (even in traffic!). Be on the lookout for joyful things to experience and you are bound to find them (or they'll find you!).

Gratitude is one of the most important ingredients in manifesting what we want in our lives. Express gratitude for what you have and keep your eyes off of what you think you're lacking. What we focus on increases and expands, while what we ignore fades away from lack of attention. Wake up in the morning grateful to be alive, that the air you breathe is available to you in an endless supply, that you have the chance to have an adventure throughout the new day! Be grateful for the wonderful miracles you'll be delighted with and you won't be disappointed.

CREATE PEACE:

Create peace in your own life by reducing as much stress as possible. Make sure you are taking care of the basics: eating healthy foods that will support you, taking in enough protein to stabilize your blood sugar levels, avoiding negative people, limiting your exposure to the news, focusing your mind on positive thoughts, and getting enough rest or at least suggesting to yourself before you go to sleep that you will have enough REM sleep so that you will wake up alert, well-rested, and excited about the new day ahead.

Spending time in meditation or prayer is an invaluable way to reduce your own stress levels. Scientific research now documents the psychological and physical benefits. Meditation and prayer are also important tools to carry in your toolbox when you need to ask for help, healing, right action, compassion, or a new perspective on a situation that might be troubling you.

Physical activity is always another good way to release the energy of stressful emotions. Perhaps you might find it peaceful to spend time in nature or to sit in front of a fire with a good book. Take the time to create peace for yourself. You deserve it.

If you find yourself becoming "stressed", however, pause to take a moment to take back control. Often, we just need to take a moment to listen to ourselves to find out what we can do to relieve the feelings of stress. Sometimes you may need to take a short walk, take a break, take a nap, or eat something. One of my favorite techniques for de-stressing in the moment is to take 21 deep breaths. Make these breaths deep enough to extend your belly, hold the breath for as long as you comfortably can, and then release the breath through your mouth. As you breathe in, breathe in the feelings of peace and relaxation. As you exhale, release any tension, stress, worry, doubts, or fears.

AND THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL IS LOVE:

Small wonder that love is considered the most powerful human emotion. Love has the ability to transform any situation, even if it's not directly expressed.

Send thoughts and feelings of love to everyone around you, particularly if they aren't acting very lovable in the moment. It's easy to love people who are kind and loving. The real challenge and mark of growth for us can be in loving those who aren't acting very nice. Remember that the people who aren't acting very loving are the ones who need love the most.

Let people know how much they mean to you and that you love them. Tell those special people in your life that you love them, write them a special note or card, give them a hug, take them out for coffee, invite them for dinner or simply call them on the phone.

While you're spreading love around, don't forget to give yourself the gift of love ­ loving yourself. I suggest that we make a list of three things each day that would make us feel good about ourselves ­ three things that would really please us, that would really make us happy. These don't have to be expensive or time-consuming things. It may be as simple as stopping to get a favorite coffee, walking through the park, taking five minutes to call a friend, or sitting down to read a magazine. It may be a warm, cozy bath, a game of ball with the boys, starting a puzzle, or buying a new plant for your office. Appreciate, honor, nurture, and love yourself so you have those same gifts to share with others.

Sometimes we can't get our thoughts and emotions to create the actions that we'd like, so we have to take the actions first. At those times, we simply have to "act as if". In those moments we act our way into right thinking, we don't think our way into right actions. If we waited until we felt like doing something, so much would never be done. Take the right actions that you choose to take and inevitably your mind and your heart will follow.

Choose to bring joy, peace, and love with you everywhere you go throughout this season and on into the new year. Choose to look for what's right and beautiful and wonderful in the world, instead of focusing on what doesn't quite measure up. Look for all of the gifts that you already receive in your life on a daily basis and be grateful for them.

We have the chance to live a rich, abundant, wonderful life. Today IS the day of your amazing good fortune if you choose to make it so.

With warm wishes to you all for a joyous, peaceful, and loving holiday season,

Debbie

You can contact Debbie Friedman, C.Ht. at info@cleaningoutthecloset.com or contact her directly at (310) 230-0872. Send this newsletter to all your friends, family and associates! Your friends can subscribe to the Cleaning Out the Closet of Your Mind newsletter by visiting www.cleaningoutthecloset.com. Your subscription email address will be kept in the strictest confidence. We do not release or share information to any third parties. The contents of this newsletter may be copied, reproduced, or freely distributed for all non-profit purposes without the consent of the author as long as the author's name and contact information are included. All contents

Copyright ©2003 Debbie Friedman, C.Ht. except where indicated. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

 

© 2004 Debbie Friedman, C.Ht., All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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