Overcoming Depression – Creating an Attitude of Gratitude Part 4

Gratitude and Attitude are not Challenges; they are Choices Robert BraatheI hope that you have been spending this week like me: concentrating on all that we have to be grateful for.

So many of us want sunshine in our lives and feel that if life is not without it’s storms, then we have been dealt an unfair blow. The truth of the matter is that how we view our world is our choice.

I am reminded of the story in which two new families moved into a small town. The father of the first family asked a long-time member of the community by the name of Bill what kind of town their community was. Bill asked, “What kind of town did you just move from?” The father replied, “It was horrible. No one was kind or courteous. Everyone gossiped and we never felt welcome.” To his dismay, Bill told the father, “Oh, I think you will find this town just about the same.” Then, the father of the second new family approached Bill. He asked Bill the same question. Once again, Bill asked the father, “What kind of town did you just move from?” The second father responded, “Oh, the town we just moved from was wonderful! We loved it there! We made many friends! Everyone was wonderful and friendly!” Bill responded, “Well that’s wonderful! I know you are going to love living here as well!”

The moral of the story was that each father was going to get what they expected. We often are no different. Our expectations (attitude) most often dictate the outcome.

If we want the most amazing outcome possible for our lives, we must practice gratitude – not just as an occasional meandering into the area but as a deliberate way of life.

I love the article I share with you today! I hope you will enjoy and keep practicing that Attitude of Gratitude!:

5 Simple Ways to Develop an “Attitude of Gratitude”

by David A. Christensen

Our attitude is defined by the way we think and feel about life. It all begins with the way we see the world—which triggers a reaction, response, or behavior. Developing an “attitude of gratitude,” or seeing the world in such a way that spawns a thankful heart, produces many positive results.

Studies in what has become known as the “science of gratitude,” show that being grateful helps us feel more alive, promotes better sleep, fortifies our immune system, and even influences our looks. In short, grateful people are friendlier, healthier, happier, and even more attractive.

If you’re having trouble developing this habit in your life, then here are five suggestions to help you master an attitude of gratitude:

Develop the habit of “looking up.”

We live in a world where we look downward while we text on phones, check our email, view iPads, or even when we walk. Much of the news is centered on looking at the downside of life and what’s wrong on this planet. How much better would life be if we remember from time to time to look up, look outward, and look heavenward?

Years ago—before email, text, and Facebook connections—we moved our young family from Arizona to Michigan. My ninth-grader had to leave a lot of her friends, which created quite a bit of stress. When she came home each day from school, she would look down at the table or the desk for snail mail from her friends. I decided this might make a good teaching moment for her.

Since my wife and I were the ones who normally picked up the mail, we placed the letters and cards in high places in our home—a hanging light fixture, a high fireplace mantel, the top of a picture frame on the wall. This helped teach our daughter to “look up”—that’s where we find happy things. Looking heavenward can bring happiness. Heavenly Father wants us to notice His blessings by looking to Him. At our house, “looking up” stuck! It’s helped us be more thankful.

Start a gratitude journal or a tender mercy board in your home.

Anything that helps us to put our busy lives on pause—long and often enough to count and chronicle our blessings—will go a long way in developing an attitude of gratitude. On a daily basis, find a way to pause and take in these blessings.

Writing and remembering blessings every day will make you more aware of His hand in your life. Maybe even try switching up your individual or family prayers, at least for a while. The morning prayer could be focused on asking for blessings that you or the family needs and the evening prayer could be centered on giving thanks.

Have you ever tried to offer a prayer of 100% gratitude? Not asking for anything? It surely makes you think about your long list of blessings, which can often seem overwhelming.

Make a list of all the people you are grateful for.

Take some time and make a list of all the people in your life that have changed your life for the better. As you make the list, write a few notes by their name stating why they are special to you and what they did that qualifies them to be on your list.

Go back as far as you can remember—teachers, friends, advisors, grandparents, parents, siblings, and anyone who touched your life for good. Make it an open list that can grow as you remember more experiences or meet new people.

Make a list of all the enriching experiences in your life.

Let your mind wander from your earliest recollections to what happened in recent days. What experiences, both hard and joyful, have blessed your life? Make a list and add a description of what the experience taught you and how you’ve become a better person for having lived it.

Be sure to include the adversities that made you stronger. Remember those special experiences which magnified your testimony or lifted your self-esteem. These experiences enlighten our view and generate gratitude in our lives.

Make a list of people you need to forgive.

Every major religion teaches about the renewing power of forgiving and letting go. The wellspring of gratitude is sometimes dammed in our minds when we cling to unkind feelings for others.

Is there someone in your life that you need to forgive? It could even be something so simple as a sarcastic comment or unintentional slip of someone’s tongue. Let go of those unkind feelings and see what happens to your heart. We become more grateful for those around us when we do as the Savior does. He forgives us and expects us to do the same. Love for life and thankfulness expands in our hearts as we forgive and let go.


5 Simple Ways to Develop an

If you need more help developing a grateful heart, check out more ideas in David A. Christensen’s book, A Thankful Heart: 31 Teachings to Recognize Blessings in Your Life.

Today’s article is shared from the following website: http://www.ldsliving.com/5-Simple-Ways-to-Develop-an-Attitude-of-Gratitude/s/80062

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Make a Difference by Doing Small Things

Ordinary people who consistently and diligently do simple things will produce extraordinary results David A. Bednar

I exercise 30 minutes a day every day but Sunday. It is my sanity time – regardless of what else is going on in my world. I could never explain adequately to you what that time means to me. I’m pretty sure that I don’t even completely understand myself.

I am LDS. (Most people would better recognize me if I called myself a Mormon.)

So many years ago that I can no longer remember, I made a promise to God that I would read at least one chapter of the Book of Mormon a day. I suspect it was sometime during the early days of my headaches. I have been headache free about 10 years now and I had migraine headaches 24/7 for about 15 years – so the math would say that was a long time ago.

I can remember missing one day of reading the Book of Mormon in all of that time. I remember the day well. I was so sick that I could not lift my head. (I think God understood)

By now, both my exercise and scripture reading habit is deeply engrained. I don’t need to go into the specifics but suffice it to say that I plunged into both habits with a certain outcome in mind. Now, these many years later, the reason I cling to those habits has changed. I began exercising for strength and weight loss. I now exercise for sanity. I began my scripture reading for sanity and to receive certain blessings from God. I now read my scriptures for strength and I no longer remember the promise I sought from God.

Both of my daily habits reap amazing benefits for me and I cannot imagine living without either of them. Both habits have blessed my life spiritually, emotionally and physically.

I recently read the following scripture from the Book of Mormon:

1 Nephi 3:7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

In this story, Nephi and his brothers have been assigned a difficult task. Nephi is also facing great opposition from his brothers. Because he has made a habit of seeking the Lord, he understands that the Lord will provide a way for the task to be accomplished.

Because the task that Nephi and his brothers set out to accomplish takes longer than anticipated, Nephi’s mother begins to complain to her husband and becomes convinced that her sons have been killed. She blames her husband and his visions for the loss she believes she has suffered.

However, the sons eventually return and in this verse, this is what she has to say:

1 Nephi 5:8 And she spake, saying: Now I know of a surety that the Lord hath commanded my husband to flee into the wilderness; yea, and I also know of a surety that the Lord hath protected my sons, and delivered them out of the hands of Laban, and given them power whereby they could accomplish the thing which the Lord hath commanded them. And after this manner of language did she speak.

What point does all of this have for you?

The good things that we make a habit of make a difference. In and of themselves, they may seem insignificant. However, as they are practiced, day in and day out, their positive influence in our lives often makes all the difference.

We live in a face-paced world that often tried to convince us that little things don’t matter and that everything has to be accomplished ASAP.

During my near-death experience, I learned that the Lord does not operate at a microwaveable pace. Instead, He knows what He wants to see materialize in the grand scheme of things and He is more interested in the step by step positive progression we make than in how quick we get there. He is interested in transforming each of us into a masterpeice – He is not interested in the “quick fix”.

Nephi’s habit of daily seeking the Lord transforms him into an individual that I think any of us would be proud to emulate. His willingness to exercise faith in the Lord is noteworthy.

For me, his story reminds me of the importance of being consistent in what may seem the small things of life. A morning prayer, a verse of scripture read, the habit of sharing a simple complement; in time, they all compound into something more grand and glorious than we might have anticipated.

Today, I share an inspirational article that echoes my point. I hope you will enjoy!:

Consistency: The Forgotten Skill That Makes All The Difference

Let’s say you were given a choice right now.

You could either have 3 million wired to your bank account this very second or you could get a single penny that doubles in value every day for the next 31 days.

Which one would you choose?

Perhaps you’ve heard of this scenario before. In that case you know you should go for the penny because that option will generate greater wealth.

Still, it’s intuitively hard to believe the penny will result in more money in the end. Why?

Because it takes so much longer to see the payoff.

The Compounding Penny

Let’s say you decide to choose the 3 million and a friend of yours gets the penny. On day five, your friend will have sixteen cents. Not much compared to your three million.

On day number ten your friend is up to $5,12.

After 20 days the penny has increased to $5,243.

It’s not until now the magic of the invisible compound effect starts to show.

On day 31, the small mathematical growth improvement has turned the penny into no less than $10,737,418.24 – more than three times your 3 million.

The compounding penny is a great example of why consistency over time is so important.

On day 29 you were still ahead of your friend who at that point had about $2,7 million. It isn’t until day 30 that she finally pulls ahead, with $5,3 million.

Very few things are as impressive as the magic of compounding pennies. And what’s more, this force is equally powerful in every area of your life (1).

The Myth of the Quick Fix

Now, lets pretend your friend regretted her decision early on and threw the money away in frustration? $5,12 after 10 days doesn’t seem like much when you compare it to the 3 million, after all.

Now she wouldn’t have gotten to experience the awesome effect of the compounding penny and she would’ve missed out on the maginificent results that were just within her reach.

And yet this is exactly how most of us spend our time. We invest in the gym membership but quit after a month. We buy the guitar and let it collect dust. We switch to a healthy diet for a week. We put away 10 percent of our salary into a savings account… one time. The list goes on and on.

We’ve become so accustomed to immediate results and instant gratification that we’ve come to believe our personal transformation should happen instantaneously, the minute we decide we want it to happen.

Everywhere we look there’s promises of getting rich quick, lotteries that’ll make you an overnight millionaire, fad diets and training programs that’ll transform your appearance in a few weeks.

Fast food, one-hour glasses, thirty-minute photo processing, overnight mail, microwaved food, instant hot water, emails and text messages that are delivered anywhere in the world on seconds notice. These are all things that have made us come to expect instant results to the point that when we don’t get them we get discouraged and quit.

The truth is lasting change doesn’t happen quickly. But if you let the magic of compounding efforts do their thing, over time you can have some truly amazing results in any area of your life. This requires a skill we seem to have forgotten…

The Power of Relentless Consistency

For the most part, the results we’re looking for won’t come quickly. But they don’t take that long either. In my experience, it takes just a little bit longer than we’re comfortable going for.

  • Exercising for one hour three times a week for month will show very little, if any, results.
  • Reading one book in January won’t make much of an impact on your personal growth.
  • Meditating for 10 minutes for a couple of weeks won’t show much of an affect on your mind.

But what if you decided to drop the quick fix mentality and commit for the long haul? What if, instead of obsessing over (and very likely getting discouraged by) the short-term results, you chose to focus on the small steps you need to take each day to get where you want to be?

What if you turned your obsession to the simply daily disciplines that you know will make all the difference, and leave the results to take care of themselves? What if you decided to make a permanent change and stick to it for life?

Ironically, by shifting your focus away from the results you’d see plenty of them. Within a year:

  • You would have 150+ hours of exercise under your belt. More than enough to have a huge impact on your health and appearance.
  • You would have read 10+ books. This means tons of new insights, ideas and concepts to enrich your life.
  • You would have 60+ hours of meditation experience. This translates (among many other benefits) into improved focus, creativity, compassion, memory, less stress and anxiety.

But these estimations aren’t accurate. You see, the effects of positive change tend to compound just like the penny did, and spill over into other areas. Once you get into exercising and start feeling good at it, you’ll want to do it more. And then you’ll naturally become motivated to change your diet. And your sleeping habits.

You’ll get the energy and inspiration to read more books. You’ll learn to read faster and get quicker at understanding the concepts and ideas. Then the ideas from the books you’re reading start spilling over to every area of your life. Soon this ripple effect will showing all kinds of results you weren’t even planning for. And the more consistent you are, the more rapid your personal growth will become.

How to Develop World-Class Consistency

1. Let go of your need for short-term results. The first step to develop game-changing consistency in everything you do is to realize that true, sustainable change doesn’t work the same way that your microwave does.

If you want to transform your health, physical appearance, finances, relationships or some other area of your life you need to ignore the mainstream advice for getting rich quick and building rock hard abs in three weeks. You cannot change your situation overnight, but you can change the direction you’re heading in. And that’s enough.

  • Take a look at you long-term goals. What small action do you need to do every day to get you there? Remember, ”small” is the key word here. A five minute walk. Veggies on your dinner plate. 2 pages in a book. 1 minute of meditating. Start so small that it’s impossible for you to say no and let the magic of the compound effect start working for you.

2. Commit to your habits, not your goals. Goals can give you a burning motivation… and they can get you completely stuck. The problem with focusing too much on your goals is that they remind you of how far you have yet to go which can lead to overwhelm and in worst case complete stagnation.

If you have 40 pounds to loose, and your scale keeps showing nothing but status quo or minuscule improvements it can be disheartening. But if you decide to measure only how many healthy behaviours you manage to pull off every day, suddenly you’re completely in control of the outcome. As you keep sticking to your daily habits, the more you’ll get addicted to them, and you’ll start to build some serious momentum.

  • Start tracking your habits. Create a list of your habits and check them off every time you complete them. Be proud of your small wins and you’ll soon start building some great momentum. Apps like coach.me is great for this.

3. Review your progress. No matter how good your intentions are you will slip up from time to time, especially when you’re just starting a new habit. That’s why it’s crucial to go back and review your progress continuously. Schedule fifteen minutes once a week to:

  • Celebrate what you did well. If you’ve pulled off a great streak in your habit formations, acknowledge it! Reinforce your habits by patting yourself on the back and being proud of what you’ve accomplished. Also examine what went wrong. If a habit for some reason didn’t get done, have a close look at the reasons why and then adjust your game plan accordingly. Perhaps you fell victim for the planning fallacy and need to reschedule. Maybe you keep forgetting your habits and need to attach them to implementation intentions. Perhaps you need to change your environment a bit to promote your habit. Maybe you need to raise the stakes. Feel free to shoot me a message if you get stuck.

Fall in Love With the Process

In the gym, people tend to be most impressed with the people who are the most fit. Not me. I’m most impressed with the people who are out of shape and still keep showing up.

Why? Because those fit people already got this stuff down. At least when it comes to their exercise. They’ve fallen in love with process. And when you’re in love with the process is no longer hard work to show up at the gym. It’s just something you do. It’s part of your lifestyle and your identity. You don’t need to muster up a bunch of willpower to go to the gym. You just go because that’s what you do and you’d feel worse if you didn’t.

The out of shape person doesn’t have this luxury. He or she is in the thick of it, working hard to getting the habit working, fighting to form a new identity of an active person. To me, that’s way more impressive.

The good news is anyone can fall in love with the process. Every expert was once an amateur and every master was first a beginner. What separates them from the crowd is their relentless consistency in showing up and doing the work.

Drop your need for immediate results, focus on your daily habits and keep adjusting as you go. The results are always within reach, just slightly beyond where most people are willing to go.

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap,
but by the seeds that you plant.”

Robert Louis Stevenson

Sources

1. The story about the compounding penny is borrowed from Darren Hardy’s awesome book The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success

Today’s inspiring articles was written by Patrik and is shared from the following website: http://www.selfication.com/mindset/consistency/

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Gratitude is a Short Cut to Happiness

Happiness will never come to those who don’t appreciate what they already have Zig Ziglar

I have so much to be grateful for…so do you! Even in the hurtful, unfair and painful moments in life, we are blessed with abundance! All we have to do is look – there is goodness and kindness and inspiration everywhere if we are willing to look!

Today, in addition to a wonderful, inspirational article, I wanted to share a video clip of The Tenors. I love to listen to them and feel the inspiration of their music and I want to share a little of their musical inspiration with you, as well! Please be sure to listen to them and then read today’s inspirational message!:

Farewell, Grudge: 10 Reasons Gratitude is Essential

Gratitude can turn your life into an endless road of happiness. It can turn work into pleasure, difficulties into opportunities and challenges into adventures. Being grateful is more important than most of us think. If you want to be successful, you should learn how to be grateful for everything you have in life. If you can`t do that, you will never realize how happy you are. Here are a few indisputable facts that prove gratitude is a necessary thing to have in your life.

1. Gratitude includes everything

Every day is wonderful. No matter if it`s a bad or a great one. Great days bring us happiness. Bad days bring us wisdom that`s also a kind of happiness. Therefore, every day deserves to be thankful for. Same goes to people. Every relationship you have in life is a valuable lesson for you and every person you meet can be your teacher if you let them teach you.

2. Never wait for more but accept what you already have

There`s no need to ask for more because you already have everything to be happy. The best pray is gratitude. Don`t wait for more and you`ll get it. If you encounter a situation with hundred negative moments, point out at least one that`s positive and focus on it. This way, you`ll always see something to be grateful for.

3. The more you give, the more you get

Give thanks to the whole world and it`ll thank you in return. The more you give, the more you get. It`s all about gratitude. This feeling comes back to you all the time so if you feel like people don`t treat your help the way you deserve, maybe you weren`t grateful enough yourself in past. Say ‘thank you’ to anyone who helps you as it`s so easy in fact.

4. Life is changing

Life changes all the time. Be grateful for everything you have now as tomorrow it`ll be what you had. We don`t know what may happen the next day. It makes every moment unique and exciting that`s worth your gratitude. Just imagine how powerful people are indeed. We can do anything we want whenever we want it but we`re weak at the same time because we can`t get any moment of our life back. This dilemma is all about our unbelievable life that`s amazing and pitiful.

5. Gratitude helps you forgive

A grateful person never regrets about any difficulty in their life because they regard it as a useful lesson. They feel gratitude for all changes and stressing situations because they know it makes them better. You`ll never hold a grudge after a fight with someone if you`re a grateful person as you know that this experience will help you in future.

6. Happiness and gratitude

The connection between happiness and gratitude is fantastic. You may be happy but not grateful. But you can`t be grateful and not happy. When you realize that things you have really deserve your gratitude and mean a lot to you, it becomes impossible to be sad. Happiness is the state of mind that always includes gratitude. Thus try to see as much positive moments in your life as possible.

7. Gratitude means giving back

Gratitude means giving something in return. Compare everything you give to everything you get from others. We mostly get more than we give but we usually pay attention to our achievements and kind gestures. We like to praise ourselves for every trifle we do for others and we often miss the most important things people do for us. Give more and be thankful for what you get from others.

8. Don`t suffer from what has ended

We usually regret about some pleasant things that ended quickly. We want them to come back again and we want to be able to enjoy every blessing all the time. It doesn`t always happen so but it`s not a reason to feel miserable. Be grateful for everything great you have even if it ends quickly. Something amazing happens so why not be happy to enjoy all fun it brings you?

9. Gratitude never lets you take anything for granted

Never take anything for granted. What you don`t care about today may turn to be the only thing you need tomorrow and that`s true. You have caring parents, lovely friends, an interesting job and many other great things in your life. But do you often think how really happy you`re with all those advantages of yours? It`s better to bless them as often as you can until you have such a possibility.

10. Words aren`t enough for a true gratitude

Words aren`t enough to express gratitude in a correct way. Gratitude is something you show, but not only talk about. It`s something you prove, but not only promise. Words are nothing, in fact. They have a meaning but it`s something theoretical. You wouldn`t like to be theoretically happy, right? Thus try to show your gratitude on a daily basis.

It`s always better to live a life with a little more gratitude. It`s the thing that makes people happy and healthy. Some people say that we have everything for true happiness from the birth. The problem is that we can`t realize it because of the lack of gratitude. Our biggest mistake is that we always want more. What we have is never enough for us. Looking for more success and happiness is motivating – that`s useful – but on the other hand, it sometimes just makes us forget about a simple ‘thank you.’ Look around and realize that there are so many things to be thankful for in your everyday life. What other positive benefits of gratitude do you see?

Today’s inspiring article was written by Jennifer Houston and is shared from the following website: http://womanitely.com/farewell-grudge-reasons-gratitude-essential/

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Finding Happiness by Losing Our Self and Finding Our True Identity

No wonder we are instructed to lose ourselves (Luke 9:24) He is only asking us to lose the old self in order to find the new self. It is not a question of one’s losing identity but finding his True Identity Neal A. Maxwell

I have to make a confession. I have struggled with the concept of losing myself to find myself. Even after my near-death experience, I struggled. I have to give all credit to my ego in this struggle. For reasons I don’t even understand, I had a fear of losing the me that I knew and was (at least for the moment) happy with.

I am grateful that the Lord is always willing to work with us layer by layer. That has been the process with me. Layer by layer the Lord and removed the part of me that has held me back. It is still an ongoing process.

What I have learned in the process is that the Lord does not want to camouflage us or eliminate our importance. We are all important to Him. What he does want is to take the parts of us that interfere with our happiness and ability to receive of abundance. He wants to take the parts of “me” that I too determinedly hang onto and replace them with better parts. Think rusted parts found in a salvage yard (that I am mysteriously attached to) replaced with celestial parts created and manufactured in heaven.

As I have allowed the Lord to do His work with me, I have been the true beneficiary. I have discovered talents and joys that I otherwise would have forfeited. I have found a deeper and more satisfying inner peace. I have been enabled to understand concepts and nuggets of truth that previously evaded me. I have been endowed with greater joy and happiness and life has been made easier.

Life holds a different story for each of us. However, we are each meant to find happiness and joy. It is within our reach and it is ours for the choosing. I hope you have happiness and joy in your life. If not, seek the Lord in prayer and ask Him to help you find it – and then open your heart to the changes He will bring into your life.

Today’s article shares some wonderful thoughts – I hope you will enjoy!:

FINDING INNER PEACE (AND HAPPINESS)

“Lose yourself to find yourself”.  What does this phrase really mean?

The self that is being lost is the self-image your mind has made.  Any false identification with thoughts, emotions, forms, or anything you can perceive.  This is often referred to as “ego”.

The self that is being gained is the deeper awareness that can perceive the self image.  The true self beneath the illusions of the mind.  Pure consciousness, free from false identity.

Lose yourself to find yourself means to let go of what is not real about you, so only the real can remain.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE ANYBODY

We are brought up to believe that we have to “be someone”, that life will be far better and more satisfying if we have a strong personality, can influence others and “make a difference” in the world.  This is a lot of effort, and in my own experience can create unnecessary pressure to be “something” or “someone” when it is not necessary.

Whatever work you do or contributions you make to the world, you do not have to identify with.  You actually serve and act more effectively when you are no longer acting to strengthen or maintain a false self-image.  What you do then becomes selfless and takes on a far greater power.  Then if you go through a period of inactivity, you are not dependent on activity for your sense of self anymore, so you will still be at peace and happy.

INTERACTING WITH OTHERS

The same goes for interactions with other people.  When you drop or at least begin to transcend your self-image, everything becomes easier.  You are not struggling to defend your self-image or who you think you are.  Instead you are simply there, fully present, from which any useful action, if required, arises.

Of course the ego in most of us often measures who we are or how good we are by judging the reactions of other people to us.  Most of us unconsciously believe that if we are more liked by people or people give us more positive feedback about ourselves, then this must mean we are better as people, or this gives us a right to be happy or satisfied.

If people do not like us or react negatively to us, there is often something inside that does not like it, that seems to take the opinions or responses of others as direct measurements of our sense of selves.

See what happens, if even for a moment, you can completely give up trying to be anything or anyone.  What happens when you can accept being nobody?  Being “nobody” is not a bad or a weak thing.  It is liberating.  It is just giving up your false sense of self.

It would be more accurate to say to “stop being anything” rather than “accept being nobody”.

When interacting with others, have no expectations of yourself.  You do not have to prove anything or do anything to make the other person happy or more comfortable.  Experiment with this.

You may well find, that then you behave in a totally natural and useful way.  When you give up your need to be someone or act a certain way to uphold an illusory self concept, or to gain any external (or internal) approval, suddenly you are freed from all anxiety or fear.  You become completely real and authentic.

From this place your natural state of peace and relaxed joy flows into your interaction, so you benefit the situation without even trying.  A greater power begins to work through you, but can only do this once you let down all of your walls and attempts to be someone.

THE REAL BENEATH THE UNREAL

When you are comfortable with being “no one”, what is left is your true nature – awareness, from which all “good” things come.  This is what is meant by “lose yourself to find yourself”.  There is no longer any fake ego covering up who you actually are.  Then you are far less likely to be disturbed by external factors, since they do not effect your sense of self – which is now pure awareness.

Do not identify with any self-image that your mind has created.  You are the awareness of the self image, unattached.

All actions that your body takes and all thoughts your mind produces occur within your own eternal awareness, the untouched presence.

Losing your false sense of self can seem scary, but it is only scary to the ego.  You can only lose what is not real about you.  The thing that does not want to disappear is the ego itself.

If you are identified with ego, you may believe you are afraid to let go of a part of your self image, or any thoughts or emotions you previously identified with.  The fear is of the ego, not of yourself. All it does is cover the truth and temporarily prevent you from realising it.

When you stop identifying with thoughts, emotions and self-image, you remain as awareness.  Lose yourself to find yourself.

Today’s article was written by Adam Oakley and is shared from the following website: https://www.innerpeacenow.com/inner-peace-blog/lose-yourself-to-find-yourself

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To Be Happy…Be Kind and Pleasant

Happiness cannot be traveled to,  owned, earned, worn  or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every miniute with Love, Grace, and Gratitude   Denis Waitley

Kindness and Happiness go hand in hand. After all, how could we be truly content and happy by making others miserable?

I have lived long enough to observe many “before and after” stories. My observations have shown that those who are self-absorbed, mean and cranky always get a healthy dose of their own medicine. It doesn’t always come right away, but come it does.

I know of nothing that makes me happier than to see another smile and know that I, in some way, contributed to that smile.

We have been talking about obtaining happiness all week. The best way I know of to make sure that we are not happy is to mope, complain, and hold onto bitterness. The best way I know of being happy is to work for it and to try to make others happy.

When I talk about making others happy, I’m not talking about enabling unhealthy behaviors, I am talking about doing kind things. Sharing a compliment, sharing a treat, a smile, or helping another out are easy and simple ways to be kind.

As I observed heaven during my near-death experience, it was such an aha moment for me to see and witness how prevalent our kindness, love, and honor was for each other. We didn’t share false compliments – we genuinely gloried in lifting each other up and praising each other for our talents and goodness. (Our world could really take a lesson from heaven!) We didn’t care that someone else had greater knowledge or talents, we were overwhelmingly grateful for all of the talents, abilities, and knowledge that God had blessed us with and we felt the same gratitude for all that others had received from God as well.

As you read today’s excerpt from the article by Jeffrey R. Holland entitled The Gospel Path to Happiness, I hope you will think about how you can bring greater happiness into your own life. I know that the Lord wants you and me and all of His children to be happy! I know  that He loves each and every one of us and wants nothing but the best for us! We just have to consent to His efforts to help us and be willing to work alongside of Him!

Be Kind and Pleasant

Here is another. In preparing this message, I sat in my study for a long time trying to think if I had ever known a happy person who was unkind or unpleasant to be with. And guess what? I couldn’t think of one—not a single, solitary one. So learn this great truth early in life: You can never build your happiness on someone else’s unhappiness.

Sometimes, maybe especially when we are young and insecure and trying to make our way up in the world, we think if we can tear someone else down a little, it will somehow miraculously lift us up. That is what bullying is. That is what catty remarks are. That is what arrogance and superficiality and exclusiveness are. Perhaps we think if we are negative enough or cynical enough or just plain mean enough, then expectations won’t be too high; we can keep everyone down to a flaw-filled level, and therefore our flaws won’t be so glaring.

Happy people aren’t negative or cynical or mean, so don’t plan on that being part of the “manner of happiness.” If my life has taught me anything, it is that kindness and pleasantness and faith-based optimism are characteristics of happy people. In the words of Mother Teresa, “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness—kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.”8

A related step along the path toward happiness is to avoid animosity, contention, and anger in your life. Remember, it is Lucifer, Satan, the adversary of us all, who loves anger. He “is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another” (3 Nephi 11:29).

After quoting that verse in general conference a few years ago, Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Seventy said, “The verb stir sounds like a recipe for disaster: Put tempers on medium heat, stir in a few choice words, and bring to a boil; continue stirring until thick; cool off; let feelings chill for several days; serve cold; lots of leftovers.”9 Lots of leftovers indeed.

Anger damages or destroys almost everything it touches. As someone has said, to harbor anger is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. It is a vicious acid that will destroy the container long before it does damage to the intended object. There is nothing in it or its cousinly vices—violence, rage, bitterness, and hate—that has anything to do with living the gospel or the pursuit of happiness. I do not think anger can exist—or at least be fostered and entertained and indulged in—in a life being lived “after the manner of happiness.”

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

 

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