Happiness is a Choice

Happiness is a  choice. Nothing will make you happy until you choose to be Happy   Ralph Marston

It seems a life time ago and yet it seems just yesterday that I was literally fighting for my life. I was severely depressed and in horrible physical pain. I was suffering from migraine headaches 24/7 and the pain and agony that accompanied those headaches were wreaking havoc with my emotional health.

I might have given up had it not been for my near-death experience. After my experience, I understood very well what the ramifications would be if I took my own life. I knew that if I chose to end my life, I would also be choosing to lose God, my family, and all that I loved and gave me happiness.

Upon my return from heaven and my near-death experience, I worked like crazy to overcome my depression. It was an uphill battle all the way – a battle that saved my life and that has brought me enduring happiness.

For me, overcoming depression and choosing happiness was a multi-faceted effort.

I had to be deliberate in the use of my time. My health no longer allowed me to work for pay but I still had to use my time wisely. I spent several hours daily reading scriptures and inspirational materials. I spent several hours a weeks seeing my chiropractor and doing all that I could to improve the structural issues that I suffered from. I spent untold hours reading about health and doing all that was in my power to try to find out the cause of my headaches. None of it was fun and I didn’t “feel” like doing any of it.

But here’s the deal – it was my life and nobody cared about my life and my pain more than I did – not even those amazing people that love and gave support their to me. Therefore, I had to be my very best ally. (We all have to be our very own best ally.)

When we make a choice to be happy – it cannot be conditional. It cannot hinge on if our boss is in a good mood. It cannot be influenced by our pocketbook or our fame. We have to choose to be happy and we have to do all of the necessary internal work.

All personal improvement, including the choice to be happy, comes from within. We choose with our thoughts and our true intents. We can present a fake facade for only so long and then our true colors start to show themselves.

Some of the most important ways we choose happiness is with our efforts to be grateful, the company we keep, the thoughts we choose to think (yes we have a choice), the entertainment we enjoy, the music we listen to, and the efforts we invest in to develop a  relationship with God.

We cannot always choose our circumstances but we can choose the attitude we will have no matter what our circumstances are.

The fight for happiness will not be won in one day or with one small change. It will be won with each day of consistent effort. Some days will be harder than others – but it will all be worth the effort.

I hope that you will choose happiness in your life. I hope that today’s excerpt from the article The Gospel Path to Happiness by Jeffrey R. Holland will further inspire you! I am praying that you will choose to make happiness a part of your life!

Choose Happiness

Second, learn as quickly as you can that so much of your happiness is in your hands, not in events or circumstances or fortune or misfortune. That is part of what the battle for agency was over in the premortal councils of heaven. We have choice, we have volition, we have agency, and we can choose, if not happiness per se, then to live after the manner of it. U.S. president Abraham Lincoln had plenty to be unhappy about in the most difficult administration a president of the United States has ever faced, but even he reflected that “most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”6

Happiness comes first by what comes into your head a long time before it comes into your hand. Joseph Smith was living “after the manner of happiness” in a very unhappy situation when he wrote from Liberty Jail to those on the outside who were also the victims of great injustice and persecution:

“Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God. …

“The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth” (D&C 121:45–46).

“Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly.” That is not only good counsel against the modern plague of pornography, but it is also good counsel for all kinds of gospel thoughts, good thoughts, constructive thoughts, hopeful thoughts. Those faith-filled thoughts will alter how you see life’s problems and how you find resolution to them. “The Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind” (D&C 64:34), the revelation says.

Too often we have thought it was all up to the heart; it is not. God expects a willing mind in the quest for happiness and peace as well. Put your head into this. All of this takes effort. It is a battle but a battle for happiness that is worth waging.

In a popular book a few years ago, the author wrote: “Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and … [look] for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness … to stay afloat on top of it.”7

I love the phrase “participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings.” Don’t be passive. Swim upward. Think and speak and act positively. That is what happy people do; that is one aspect of living after the manner of happiness.

Today’s excerpt from the article The Gospel Path to Happiness by Jeffrey R. Holland is shared from the following website: https://www.lds.org/ensign/2017/09/the-gospel-path-to-happiness?lang=eng

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How Life is Best Measured…

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away

I am all about stewardship – in my mind, that means responsibility to create a meaningful life for myself and to be a meaningful part of the lives of my family, friends, and fellowman.

While that includes being responsible, it does not mean that life has to dull and dreary!

I know that it is hard to comprehend, but heaven is truly amazing and enthralling and worth our very best mortal efforts. Life is not about what’s in it for me, me, me. If it is to be meaningful for the duration – both mortality and eternity – it needs to be about what’s in it for us.

None of us knows how much time the Lord will grant us to live on this earth, but I know that we all inherently sense that this gig (called life) is important and is not to be wasted.

The article I am sharing today takes a few minutes to read, but do it anyway. Your life deserves it! Take a few minutes and contemplate on how you can improve and make your life better! I promise you will be blessed for your efforts! Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

45 Ways To Live Life To The Fullest

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When We Have Health, We Have the Most Important Tool for Success!

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything Arabian Proverb

There once was a time when I was sick – 24/7. Each day, for approximately 15 years, was  spent coping with a migraine headache that never ended. Due to the incessant pain, the last 5 of those years included severe depression.

I look back on those years now with gratitude. I am so very grateful for the healing that I was allowed to experience. Even more, I am grateful for the strength that I was granted by the Lord during those grueling years.

During some of those years, I dealt with a busy household of 6 children – 4 of them being teenagers. Along with that busy household, my husband and I ran two businesses.

There eventually came a time when I could no longer cope but the fact that I was able to function as well as I did for so many years is nothing short of a miracle.

As a result of those experiences, I have gained a passion for health that is rarely gained by being healthy. My eyes and heart have been opened to effectiveness of many alternative therapies and relying on the Lord’s guidance. I have also seen the pervasive failures found within the walls of western medicine’s sick care. Additionally, my near-death experience has taught me the priceless gift that life is for each of us.

There is so much more to being healthy than popping prescription pills! Our thoughts, our mindset, our attitude, our movement (or lack of), the foods we eat and the company we keep all contribute their important part to our health! Stay tuned…I am going to be sharing more in the future about my journey back to health.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Be sure today’s inspiring stories about two wonderful people who found health and healing in their lives!

Stamatis Moraitis

Stamatis Moraitis was a Greek war veteran who was living in the United States when he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and told he had only 9 months to live. He was offered aggressive treatment, but after 9 doctors apparently assured him that it wouldn’t save his life, he decided to save his money, decline treatment, and move with his wife back to his native Ikaria, a Greek island where he could be buried with his ancestors in a graveyard overlooking the Aegean Sea.

He and his wife moved into a small house on a vineyard with his elderly parents, where he reconnected with his faith and started going to his old church. When his friends got wind of the fact that Stamatis was back home, they showed up with bottles of wine, books, and board games to entertain him and keep him company. He planted vegetables in a garden, basked in sunshine, savored the salty air, and relished in his love for his wife.

Six months passed, and not only did he not die, he was actually feeling better than ever. He started working in the untended vineyard during the day, making himself useful, and in the evenings, he’d play dominos with friends. He took a lot of naps, rarely looked at a watch, and spent a lot of time outdoors. At one point, 25 years after his diagnosis, Stamatis went back to the United States to ask his doctors what had happened. Apparently, the doctors were all dead. Stamatis finally died this year in Ikaria. He was 102 years old.

Anita Moorjani

In her book Dying To Be Me, Anita Moorjani tells the story of how she was dying of end stage Stage 4 lymphoma when she experienced the classic “white light” near death experience many have described. As she traveled to the other side, she was able to look down upon her loved ones, even though some of them were not in the same room with her. Her heart was filled with a feeling of profound unconditional love, and she was happy to be free of her dying, tumor-riddled body.

Then she was told that she had a choice. She could stay in the white light and die, or she could go back and share her story with others. She didn’t want to come back. Her body had been in so much pain, and her soul had been suffering. But she was told that if she came back, her cancer would be cured. She believed what she was told, and felt called to come back so she could share her experience.

Anita’s cancer was gone within several weeks. This all happened under the care of her bewildered doctors, who documented her spontaneous remission. Anita is now on the Hay House speaking circuit with me, spreading the message that death is nothing to fear.

Today’s inspiring stories of restored health are shared from the following website: http://lissarankin.com/6-stories-that-will-make-you-believe-in-the-power-of-your-mind-to-heal-you

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We are Capable of the Impossible!

“It’s impossible,” said Pride “It’s risky,” said Experience “It’s Pointless,” said Reason “Give it a try,” said the Heart ¨Unknown

Do you have accomplishing the “Impossible” burning in your heart? Do people tell you that your dreams are impossible and that they will never happen?

There is a secret to accomplishing impossible tasks – YOU have to believe that they are possible! Not just on a conscious level but on a subconscious level as well.

We all have an important contribution to make to the world – what is yours?

As you dream over this holiday weekend, I hope that you will be inspired by the following fun facts!:

Fun Facts about Great Accomplishments

All the world’s greats would never have been great if they had listened to the opinion of even their closest friends.

Caruso, the world’s greatest tenor, was told his voice sounded like a tin can.

Thomas Edison, the inventor of motion pictures, was advised that no-one would pay to listen to sound coming from a screen.

Edison told Henry Ford to give up making cars and work for him instead and make millions.

Marie Curie was told to forget about radium.

Laurence Olivier was told by friends to give up acting.

Benjamin Franklin was told to stop fiddling with lightning.

People told Johnny Weissmuller (Tarzan) that no-one would ever beat his fifty swimming records. His 1936 world record was the qualifying time for the 1972 Olympics! Attitudes of the time said his records could never be beaten. Now 12 year old girls regularly beat his times.

Christopher Columbus took 14 years to raise funding for his ships and crew before setting out on his explorations. The science and culture of the day had said that the world was flat. However, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain had faith in Columbus. With that faith and money behind him, Columbus took just six months to discover the New World.

In the same way, a “flat-world mind-set” can limit our thinking and lead to mediocrity. In the same way that you can train fleas to jump a certain height in a bowl, when you take away the bowl, they still do not jump higher than the learned height.

Our mind can tie us down and limit us, so that mediocrity becomes our destiny. Negative attitudes get cemented in concrete.

Abraham Lincoln grew up in a very difficult environment. He had less than one year of formal schooling. He experienced defeat and failure year after year, but is one of the greatest success stories of all time. In spite of everything, he had the right attitude to achieve success.

Today’s fun facts shared from the following website: http://fortunefavours.blogspot.com/2007/07/people-who-achieved-impossible-with_12.html

 

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Adversity Can Grow Us into Better People

Strength doesn’t come from doing what you Can Do It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you Couldn’tToday’s story has reminded me of how very much I have to be thankful for. I live in a country where clean water is often taken for granted. I don’t have to wonder if I will have food to eat, all I have to wonder about is what will I eat. If I need to go somewhere, I get in my car and turn the key.

Life hands each of us a different story…but no matter what our circumstances, we all have the ability to choose. We choose our attitude. We choose how we will use our resources. We choose how we will treat others. We choose how or if we will use the gifts that God has blessed us with.

What kind of choices are you making? I hope that today’s story will inspire you to be the very best that you can be!

Meet the Wonder Women of Indonesia

Battling the darkness of poverty with lamps, filters and stoves one at a time.

I came to know Rovina Surat, one of our Wonder Women in late 2014.

Living in the driest part of Lembata Island, in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, is already tough to begin with, but the challenge for Ibu Rovina goes beyond the dry well and months of failed harvest.

She is a single mother of two, and had been living in her brother’s living room since her then-husband left for Malaysia in 2012, and never returned. She said that this was rock bottom.

Left to care for her daughters alone, she made ends meet through various creative ways: from renting out her old motorcycle to neighbours, to gathering honey from the forest, to skilfully using a traditional harpoon to hunt squid and sea cucumbers.

Simple dream

In 2014, she joined Kopernik’s Wonder Women program in the hope of realizing one simple dream: to build a home for her children.

At every opportunity, she enthusiastically talked about the d.light S300 solar light, which she always carried with her when hunting for squid before dawn.

This demonstration of simple technology in action worked better than any big budget advertising campaign, and Rovina began to sell more and more technologies.

Within a year and a half, she had saved enough money to start building her house, and in June 2015, she finished.

It is a simple house made of bricks and bamboo, but up on a hill with a million dollar view overlooking the beautiful Flores Sea, mountains, and breath-taking sunset.

To see Rovina standing in front of her house during sunset made me smile – and still makes me smile each time I remember it.

She is such an inspiration.

One villager in her community said: “I’m so proud to see Rovina now. She has transformed from a weeping widow without a house to an inspiring woman in our village.”

“Thanks to her, the whole village doesn’t have to live in complete darkness anymore.”

When asked her what her next dream was, she said she wanted to open her own small kiosk selling everyday goods.

“I used to keep all of my money in a soap tin and bury it in the ground. Now I’m starting to open my own bank account, so I can save more and make this dream come true.”

To see her grow through the journey she’s gone through, and transform from a woman to a “wonder woman”, is one of the most inspiring things about Kopernik’s Ibu Inspirasi programme.

Micro-social-entrepreneurs

Rovina is one of hundreds of “wonder women” in the initiative that has empowered women to become clean energy micro-social-entrepreneurs, connecting life-changing solar lights, clean cookstoves, and water filters with last mile communities in some of Indonesia’s poorest provinces.

More than 80 million people live without any electricity in Indonesia, and many more live with unreliable access to electricity.

Almost 100 million people rely on smoky, fuel-hungry three-stone fires for cooking.

And clean drinking water is often a costly luxury.

There is great demand for affordable, clean energy technologies, especially in the poorest provinces of eastern Indonesia, but geography and demography make energy access a huge challenge.

This is where Kopernik’s Wonder Women Eastern Indonesia initiative comes in.

Equipping women with the skills and resources to become clean energy micro-social entrepreneurs is a viable, sustainable way of connecting these technologies with the people who need them the most.

It creates access to clean energy technologies for last mile communities, allowing people to save money and time spent collecting firewood, buying costly kerosene, boiling water, or buying costly drinking water. It allows them to enjoy improved health and safety.

Not only that, the wonder women like Rovina and Ibu Bekti, get training on financial management, sales and marketing, public speaking, technology use and maintenance, as well as mentoring to motivate them to expand their businesses.

They also get the clean energy technologies on consignment, so they can start their own business without going into debt, and they earn something from every sale.

These women’s determination to help their families and villages, along with their smiles and laughter often seen amid challenging situations, make them truly some of the most inspiring people you’ll ever meet.


Today’s inspiring story is shared from the following website: https://www.ourbetterworld.org/en/story/kopernik-indonesia-wonder-women

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