Lifestyle: Enjoyable or Tolerable?

March 11th, 2014

Reading Level: Leisurely

When you look at your life, is your lifestyle one of true enjoyment, solely maintenance, or survivable chaos?

I recently mentioned about the need to “plan for life,” especially when life’s responsibilities appear to be squeezing your dreams out of the picture and life becomes solely a process of maintenance.  However, I have been reminded how easy it is for people to believe their lifestyles are intended to be chaotic to be fulfilling.

My spouse has done business in the past with a couple whose lives are in a constant state of chaos — by choice. The one person’s personality lends to feeling that this state of chaos is necessary for a fulfilling life. Both of them, being in a religious environment, either consciously or subconsciously believe that this state of “chaos” is a matter of religious sacrifice or higher calling. Working in religious fields, I’ve seen this concept too often in religious people, and unknowingly lived by that philosophy myself in my 20’s and 30’s. The effects of this barely tolerable lifestyle are already becoming visible in their kids and in poor business decisions, as time for restful meditation is lacking.

If your lifestyle is not one of true enjoyment, the mental perspective needs to be engrained that a healthy, restful way of life is intended by design and necessary for fulfillment. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Asking “What if…” Can Change Your Life

January 14th, 2014

When is the last time you stopped to write out radically brainstormed possible endings to “What if I did this..”

I’ve recently come across another blog author whose posts I thoroughly enjoy, Jeff McClung.  He is a quality writer.  Jeff wrote a challenging post about hearing the “What if…” challenge at a conference session and how it changed the life of his family.  I wanted to share with you some excerpts from Jeff’s post as well as a youtube clip of the conference session by Donald Miller which inspired him. (See footnotes at end of post for links.)

Inspiration for the “What if” Challenge

Jeff was inspired by a conference session with Donald Miller in which he said that screen writers or novelists use this method when they get stuck in their writing.  They begin asking random questions of “What if…” this happened to this or that character. Miller says the same process works to make progress in life and asks people to take the following “What if…” challenge. 

Have the family brainstorm about 25 “What if” questions and write them on a whiteboard or notebook.  There are no right or wrong answers, but some of the questions will still be in the forefront of your mind days later.  These “What if…” questions are the life changers.

Miller did this challenge with the readers on his blog and people began dreaming, began expressing new goals, their desires to overcome hurts or destructive habits.  Miller says,

Some of the questions you will realize you have to live Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 3

December 20th, 2013

Table of contents for Minimize Holiday Stress

  1. Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 1
  2. Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 2
  3. Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 3

Take advantage of these GREAT tips to reduce common stresses in holiday family gatherings!

(From the archives to help you have a stress-free, enjoyable holiday season!)

[This is Part 3 of a 3 part post.  If you missed Part 1 on tips to deal with “3 types of difficult people,” or Part 2 on “tips to cope with difficult relatives,” you may use the above series link to read them.  The tips in this series are excerpts from 3 different authors. Please use the reference links to read their full articles.]

Dealing with Difficult Relatives for the Holidays by Kate Zabriskie, Business Training Works, Inc., offers these tips to reduce conflicts with your relatives. These are only excerpts. Use the link in the footnotes to read her full article.

1. Whatever the reason is that you are with your holiday crew, you are not obligated to call up feelings you don’t have.

2. Be civil no matter what. The last thing you want is for your negative reaction to overshadow the initial offense.

3. Figure out a couple of ways that you might rein in your reaction ahead of time. [Remember past irritations or confrontations by your relatives and come up with a plan of action or response to keep yourself calm, change the subject, and divert the attention.]

4. Consider journaling [rather than venting your feelings to your friends.]

5. Downtime is the smell of opportunity to difficult relatives. Your holidays will run more smoothly if there are plenty of activities to fill gaps. [games, walks, etc.]

6. Plan an entry and exit time, as well as a date for yourself, if you are going to someone else’s house. Do the same if a group is coming to yours. For example, “Bob and I would like you to come for Thanksgiving. If you could arrive between 11:00 and noon on Thursday that would give us time to get everything ready for you. We’ve also planned a big breakfast for Friday before everyone leaves.

7. Think about inviting more people to your holiday. When there are fifty people in attendance, it is much more difficult for a diva to be a diva.

8. Focus on the kids. Babies and little kids don’t fully understand weird family dynamics. Most of the time, discussions about babies are usually fairly benign.

9. Focus on the less fortunate. If, for example, at Thanksgiving everyone brings a gift for Toys for Tots or some other charity group, part of your discussion will naturally revolve around that.

Use the link to read the full article by this author:

Dealing with Difficult Relatives for the Holidays, Kate Zabriskie, Business Training Works, Inc.

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Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 2

December 17th, 2013

Table of contents for Minimize Holiday Stress

  1. Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 1
  2. Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 2
  3. Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 3

Take advantage of these GREAT tips to reduce common stresses in holiday family gatherings!

(From the archives to help you have a stress-free, enjoyable holiday season!)

[This is Part 2 of a 3 part post.  If you missed Part 1 on tips to deal with “3 types of difficult people,” you may use the above series link to read it.  The tips in this series are excerpts from 3 different authors. Please use the reference links to read their full articles.]

These tips to minimize your stress while spending holidays with the relatives are excerpts from E.K. Tirado’s article, Three Ways to Cope with Difficult Relatives During the Holidays. Use the link in the footnotes to read the full article.

1) Change what you can, and do not fret about what you can’t change. Too many times the cause of our stress derives from our need to change people. Accept the fact that you cannot control other peoples’ actions, but you can control how you react to them. Don’t come to any event with unrealistic expectations.

2) Stay close to the “normal” family member. There is often one family member who you can actually hold an intelligent conversation with…someone you feel pretty good being around. My advice: Hang around with this family member…..often. Finds ways to spend time with that person whether it’s taking a post-meal walk around the neighborhood, or playing a game (or two or three) of checkers. If you have absolutely NO “normal” family members, then invite a “normal” person to attend an occasion with you.

3) Give yourself an important job. “Remove” yourself from the situation by giving yourself an important job. For example,decide that this year you will be the official family photographer. If you’re not much of a photographer, then give yourself another important job like tending to the turkey, making fancy swans with the table napkins, running to the store for last minute food items, Do whatever it is you have to do to keep busy, while still continuing to interact with family.

Lastly, you simply have to accept the fact that you don’t have the ability to change people, they must change themselves. The one person you can change is yourself. You can change how you react to things, how you view things and how you ultimately deal with things.

In Part 3, we’ll post more tips for dealing with difficult relatives!

Use this link to read the full article:

Three Ways to Cope with Difficult Relatives During the Holidays, E.K. Tirado

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Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 1

December 13th, 2013

Table of contents for Minimize Holiday Stress

  1. Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 1
  2. Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 2
  3. Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 3

Take advantage of these GREAT tips to reduce common stresses in holiday family gatherings!

[(From the archives to help you have a stress-free, enjoyable holiday season!)

Since the holiday season is so busy, I’m dividing these excerpts of tips for reducing stress at family gatherings from 3 different authors into 3 brief posts.  “Stay tuned” for Parts 2 and 3!]

These tips by Connie Ragen Green are excerpts from her holiday stress article, Dealing With The Three Types of Difficult People. Use the link in the footnotes to read her full article.

  • The person who won’t stop talking -The best thing you can do for this person is to just listen. See i there are others who will share this listening with you. Try asking them about something that you are also interested in.
  • The person who has to be right -The best way to handle this person is to praise them. They will beam like a young child when you compliment them.
  • The person who has to be the center of attention – Ask their opinion on something. They will enjoy the chance to tell you what they think and may even have some great ideas.

In Part 2, we’ll post tips for coping with those unusually difficult relatives!

Use this link to read the full article:

Dealing with 3 Types of Difficult People at Holiday Time, Connie Ragen Green

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8 Quick Tips to Reclaim Your Christmas Spirit

December 10th, 2013

(From the archives to help you have a stress-free, enjoyable holiday season!)

Feeling like Ebenezer Scrooge? It’s time to take in a few tips and reclaim your Christmas Spirit!

I came across some good, brief tips to de-stress your holiday from an article by blog author Sara Ananya Shah. These are only summaries. Please use the link below to read her full article.  (This is one of the classic holiday “help” articles– a good reminder for each of us each Christmas/New Year’s season.)

1. Shop at home – Shop online as much as possible. The selection is better and many retailers offer free shipping for the holidays.

2. Shop with friends – If you must go out shopping, take a friend along and then relax together afterward with a cup of coffee or cocoa.

3. Have friends and relatives – If you have a dinner with relatives that you dread, invite a friend along, or a specific friendlier relative.

4. Break down chores – For example, don’t do Christmas dinner all at once. [Freeze ahead or] Do as much as possible the day before. If you write out Christmas cards, do a few each night at bedtime.

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5. Make due dates – Plan to get your goals done by December 22nd so you can have some time to relax.

6. Exercise – A 20 minute walk will immediately lift your mood and reduce stress hormones.

7. Don’t overeat – You’ll feel happier and healthier.

8. Get “ME” time – Take at least 15 minutes a day to listen to relaxing music, walk, or something else that will make you happy.

Click here to read the full article by Sara Ananya Shah, Holiday Stress Relief: Tips to Reclaim Your Christmas Spirit. Ms. Shah is author of the parenting blog, Loving Your Child.

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Healing as Near as Your Pillow

November 29th, 2013

A good beginning to resolve many physical health issues is an near as your pillow.

“An estimated 50 to 70 million [people in the US] live on the brink of mental and physical collapse because of a lack of sleep,” as stated in Dr. Don Colbert’s book, “The Seven Pillars of Health (1).” A lack of sleep affects one’s job performance, driving ability, family/friend relationships, creativeness, decision-making as well as contributes to a host of chronic diseases.

Let’s look at a great illustration from nature related to our need for rest.

Dr. Colbert relates the following illustration in his book.  The soil in which our food is grown needs to have regular periods of rest. If crops are not rotated and the soil given a year of rest every so many years, the food grown there, even if organically grown, is devoid of many of the nutrients necessary for life. According to the 1992 Earth Summit, North America has the worst soil in the world-85 percent of the vital minerals depleted from it (2). Data from a USDA handbook from 1972 was compared to USDA food tables in 2001 and found that many vegetables had almost a 50 percent loss in nutrient content during that period of time (3). In scripture, God told people to give the soil a year’s rest every seventh year so that the nutrients could be naturally restored to the soil, and hence, to our food (Lev. 25:1-7). We came from the earth. The earth or soil needs regular rest or it will become devoid of everything of value. The parallel is obvious: if we do not take time to rest, our lives will become devoid of everything of value.

If you are sleep deprived, take a quick inventory of the things of value in your life.

If you have been sleep deprived, you can now quickly see that everything of value in your life-your career, your relationships, your creativity, Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Restoring Joy to Giving

November 26th, 2013

[With the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday here in the US, I thought it would be good to re-focus on giving and gratitude in the articles over this next week.]

People with religious tendencies are often profuse givers. Depending on your personality, the desire to give can be so compelling that it easily gets out of balance, causing feelings of resentment when receivers respond with a lack of gratitude.

Many of us are easily moved with compassion for people in need, desiring to respond with help in whatever way possible. When you are a personality type that is easily compelled to give, it is not uncommon for this desire get out of balance, causing feelings of resentment when receivers respond with a lack of gratitude. These feelings of resentment are compounded when you still feel compelled to give though you yourself have come to a point of being in need, from either stressful and exhausting circumstances or the void that has developed from those you give to rarely giving in return.

Compulsive givers frequently feel guilty when they try to back out of getting involved even though their own exhaustion is necessitating it, or when they allow someone to help them with their own needs. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Getting Back to a Self Help Priority

November 22nd, 2013

[With the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday here in the US, I thought it would be good to re-focus on giving and gratitude in the articles over this next week.]

If you are a giver and your giving has left yourself in need, it is time to re-prioritize.

In actuality, all the people you love, those that you have expended yourself to help and sacrificed your own well-being, will be better off after you re-focus on self help! This article by fellow SelfGrowth.com professional, Lori Snyder, covers 10 basic steps for getting back to daily care for yourself.

Lori admits that she herself was so busy with everyone else’s needs that she sidelined her own needs, only to discover that the reality was, by neglecting her own needs and not meeting them first, she was not able to give her best to those she loves. These are brief excerpts from Ms. Snyder’s article. Use the link in the footnote below to read the full article.

1. Start each day filled with gratitude for all that you are…Appreciate the beauty all around you. [I would suggest, at the beginning, to make a list of self appreciation points. If you’ve neglected yourself for a long time, it will be difficult at the beginning to really focus on your own value.]

2. Count your blessings for the people who you love and who love you…They all come, and some go, for a reason.

3. Take a moment of silence for yourself to meditate, and think about what your needs of the day are, and what you would like to accomplish.

4. Be mindful of your health, and incorporate a wellness schedule into your week. Exercise, eat healthy, get enough rest.

5. Look at your goals sheet quickly each week, and evaluate how you are doing with them. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Kindness: Have You Considered Committing a Random Act?

November 12th, 2013

When is the last time you committed the random act of kindness which we all value so dearly?

Gifting someone else’s life with an unexpected, and even undeserved, kindness is living at the peak of human character, achieving one of the most perfect elements of the human spirit. While most anyone believes that random acts of kindness are a part of the ultimate lifestyle and a thing a beauty in life, stress and busyness can prevent you from consistently thinking creatively enough to live out such acts in your own life.

People of great admiration throughout history have challenged us to each live a lifestyle of random acts of kindness.

I’m pasting a few quotes here from both secular and religious authors challenging us to commit random acts of kindness, with links to 2 sites of quotes which you will probably enjoy reading as well.

Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless. Mother Teresa

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profundity. Kindness in giving creates love. Lao-Tse

Remember there’s no such thing as a Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Is Your Focus on the Goal or the Obstacles? Pt. 2

October 29th, 2013

Table of contents for Goals: Where is Your Focus?

  1. Is Your Focus on the Goal or the Obstacles? Pt. 1
  2. Is Your Focus on the Goal or the Obstacles? Pt. 2

A main principle of success to focus more on your goal than the obstacles that come against you, or even the steps to achieve it. 

(This is Part 2 of a two part post in which we’ll share quotes from historical figures on goal focus, as well as how  focus affects your spiritual goals.  Part 1 of this post covered reasons, results, and benefits of focusing on your goal. If you missed Part 1 of this post, please click here to read Part 1 now.)

For generations, famous literary authors have encouraged people to “focus on the goal.”

Though Ralph Waldo Emerson is well-known for his quote, “Life is a journey, not a destination,” encouraging people to enjoy each day of life as opposed to only allowing oneself to enjoy achievements, he also promoted keeping one’s destination in view.

To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Orison Swett Marden, known for his philosophies on one’s thoughts influencing  life and circumstances, pointed out the determining factor in the success of focusing on the goal:

We advance on our journey only when we face our goal, when we are Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Is Your Focus on the Goal or the Obstacles? Pt. 1

October 25th, 2013

Table of contents for Goals: Where is Your Focus?

  1. Is Your Focus on the Goal or the Obstacles? Pt. 1
  2. Is Your Focus on the Goal or the Obstacles? Pt. 2

A main principle of success is to stay more focused on the goal than your present obstacles, or even the steps to reaching it.

I was reminded of this principle while working toward the completion of all the necessary seasonal responsibilities in my garden. I have quite extensive gardens with a large variety of plants, including over 30 antique rose bushes. Though I have always enjoyed gardening, this time of year’s seasonal requirements get very overwhelming as it takes about 3 months to complete due to other life responsibilities. The care and upkeep is probably too extensive for this time in life, but, when we designed and planted it 15 years ago, it was not possible to foresee the changes in career, family responsibilities, and physical energy that would take place in the future. It is a temptation to cause myself continual displeasure by solely viewing all the tasks yet undone rather than staying focused on the end result, or enjoying the present pleasures in my garden during the process of the oiling, fertilizing, pruning, and mulching to reach the goal; my garden will become a healthy, lush one that is a delight to the eyes and a joy to share with friends and family.

Here are some results of staying more focused on the end goal than the present obstacles or process:

1. You will maintain more steady levels of joy and fulfillment, knowing the end of the process will come; you will live the joy of the goal’s future fulfillment.

2. By having a clearer focus of your future goals/objectives, you will be more effective in Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Improving the Quality of Your Decisions

October 18th, 2013

Think of your future…What emotions are you experiencing at the thought of your future?

Take a look at this self-evaluation quote:

Picture your life twenty years from now. Have you ever wondered what your purpose in life is and what your future holds?… Does your current lifestyle predict that you will be happy and fulfilled, or disappointed and frustrated? Think about it. What does your bank account look like? How much retirement money have you set aside? How much debt do you owe? What are you doing to improve your health and well-being? How is your family really doing? The answers to these questions may be an indication that a few changes need to be made.(1- see below “8 Steps to Create the Life You Want”)

Were the emotions you experienced from reading these questions positive or negative? Emotions result from the thoughts you’ve been thinking. As a result, those emotions dramatically impact your decisions.

To improve the quality of your decisions, you must first improve the quality of the words you speak and think about your life.

Controlling the words that you speak and think about your life is a foundational Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Laughter: A Healing Power

October 11th, 2013

Laughter  –  We all enjoying hearing it, we all enjoy doing it.  Laughter has natural healing powers.  It’s time to laugh more for your health!  Here’s why… 

For over a thousand years, long before the realm of modern science, age old proverbs reminded people of the healing power of laughter, 

A rejoicing heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Prov. 17:22

Dr. Don Colbert shares that laughter is one of his prescriptions to patients who come to be placed on nutritional programs. He has discovered that when he asks patients how often they laugh, most cancer patients respond, “I never laugh.” He prescribes 10 belly laughs a day for his patients. (1)

Research has shown a wide variety of healing aspects from laughter:

Pain Relief – A study of patients recovering from surgery showed that the group which was allowed to choose the humorous movies they saw benefited the most from the laughter therapy and required fewer pain-killers compared with a control group that saw none at all. (2) Other research has also shown laughter to increase one’s pain threshold. (4)

Lower Blood Pressure – Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones such as cortisol, Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Personal Power: Good or Evil Part 2

October 3rd, 2013

Table of contents for Personal Power

  1. Personal Power: Good or Evil Part 1
  2. Personal Power: Good or Evil Part 2

(In Part 1, we discussed the motivation, validity, and purpose of power. In this post, we’ll cover pure power and power’s ultimate safeguard.)

The Proof of Pure Power

What then is the proof that someone is using power in a pure way, as opposed to a corrupt way? The proof is, first, in their lifestyle and, second, in the consistency of it. Is the person’s lifestyle replicating or reproducing the positive effects on humanity that the power of Jesus did? If so, is the person doing good with consistency as Jesus did?

Jesus made an outstanding statement regarding the opportunity for His power to work through us, but it is conditional.

I will do for you whatever you shall ask in My Name. If you really love Me, you will obey My commands. Jn. 14:14,15

God is willing to let His resurrection power work through us, doing whatever good we ask, as long as we truly love Him, which is shown by living in obedience to His commands. God’s commands are intended for the provision and protection of a happy, fulfilling, and effective life for each of mankind. Any desire, thought, or action that would violate an “abundant” life for yourself or another person would be in violation of God’s commands. Limitless power is not safe in the hands of someone who violates God’s principles; therefore, God makes the stipulation that His willingness to do whatever we ask is based on Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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