Cleaning Out the Closet of Your Mind
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
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 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,
You can contact Debbie
Friedman, C.Ht. at email@example.com or contact her directly at
(310) 230-0872. Send this newsletter to all your friends, family and
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Copyright ©2003 Debbie
Friedman, C.Ht. except where indicated. All rights reserved