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Archive for the ‘Happiness’ Category


Sometimes even the best medicine and healthcare is not enough for a full recovery. For patients struggling with illness or dealing with a major life change, these positive thinking exercises can mean all the difference. Here are 100 that we’ve compiled to help you channel your negative or angry thoughts into a happier and more productive positive outlook.

General

Practice these simple exercises and suggestions to keep your thoughts on the positive side.

1.Only use positive words when talking. If you’re constantly telling yourself “I can’t” you may convince yourself that’s the truth. Replace these negative words with positive ones instead. Tell yourself you will do your best or that you will try your hardest instead.
2.Push out all feelings that aren’t positive. Don’t let negative thoughts and feelings overwhelm you when you’re feeling down. Even if it’s only for a few hours a day, push your negativity aside and only focus on the good things in your life.
3.Use words that evoke strength and success. Try filling your thoughts with words that make you feel strong, happy and in control of your life. Make a concentrated effort to focus on these words rather than those that make you feel like you are failing or incompetent.
4.Practice positive affirmation. One of the most popular positive thinking exercises is positive affirmation. This means you repeat a positive phrase to yourself on a regular basis like “I deserve to be happy” or “I am worthy of love”. Believing that these things are true, and reminding yourself of it can help give you a more positive outlook on life.
5.Direct your thoughts. This technique, used by psychotherapists, can help you to control your thoughts when you start to feel down or anxious. Create a happy thought, a positive image, or give yourself positive feedback to keep bad feelings in check.
6.Believe you will succeed. There is nothing like believing in yourself to create a successful reality. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt and believe that you will succeed at fulfilling your goals.
7.Analyze what went wrong. Thinking positively doesn’t mean denying that there is anything wrong. Instead, give yourself some time to think about the things that led up to your current situation so you can avoid future mistakes and look toward a more positive tomorrow.
8.Give yourself credit. Often when we feel frustrated or upset we only concentrate on the bad things or the mistakes we’ve made instead of giving ourselves credit for what we do right. Allow yourself to feel confident about the things you have accomplished, even if you’ve messed up in other areas.
9.Forgive yourself. Constantly beating yourself up about things that have gone wrong won’t change them. Tell yourself that you’re forgiven for your mistakes and allow yourself to move on.
10.Learn from the past. The past is behind you and no matter how badly things went there is nothing you can do to change them. Whenever you feel negative thoughts about the past come up, replace them with positive thoughts about the future.
11.Remember things could be worse. No matter how bad things get remember that they could be worse and be grateful for all the good things that are in your life, even when it seems there’s more bad than good.
12.Think of it as an opportunity. Sometimes even the seemingly negative things in our lives present us with opportunities we wouldn’t have been strong enough to pursue otherwise. Maybe losing your job is just the chance you need to start your own business or go back to school.
13.Come up with ideas of how to turn negative thoughts into positive ones. If you find yourself thinking you should have done this or that differently, try changing your thoughts around. Instead give yourself credit for what you did do, remember that you are not perfect or that you can do better next time.
14.Work on visualization. Picturing what you want to accomplish or the person you’d like to be can be a great motivator to getting you there and helping you feel more positive about the distance you have to go yet.
15.Think of ways to turn visualization into action. The next natural step of this is to think of just how you’re going to get to where you see yourself. Just picturing it isn’t going to make it happen, so create a plan to take it one step at a time until you’ve made it.
16.Practice self-hypnosis. Self-hypnosis brings about a highly conscious state of mind that is willing to follow instructions. This means you’ll be more open to positive suggestions that will allow you to be happier and hopefully healthier in your life.
17.List the reasons you will get what you want. If you are having trouble believing that you’ll get that big promotion or that your book will get published try sitting down and coming up with a list of reasons that you will get what you want rather than focusing on the reasons you might not.
At Work

Work can be a stressful place but use these techniques and ideas to keep yourself looking on the bright side.

18.Be constructive. Giving yourself cruel and unwarranted criticisms will not only put you in a bad mood it surely won’t help you improve either. Be constructive in your criticisms of yourself so you can grow and learn.
19.Visualize a successful outcome. Sometimes it can be helpful to picture yourself completing a project successfully or getting the promotion you desire. This can encourage you and make you feel better about the situation.
20.Sit up straight. Slouching down in your chair isn’t going to make you feel any better about anything that’s bothering you. Sit up straight in your chair and see if it improves your thinking.
21.Surround yourself with positive images. Make your desk your own private happy getaway. Put up pictures of things that make you happy or that remind you of your goals to create a calming and positive environment.
22.Relax and let things happen. Sometimes the best way to deal with problems is to relax and let them take their course. Things can often appear to be a bigger deal than they really are and reminding yourself of this can help you to relax and not feel so stressed.
23.See it from another point of view. Change your pattern of thought by trying to see things from another point of view, whether it’s your coworkers, your bosses or just someone impartial. It can help you see where you went wrong and understand why others might be upset.
24.Keep track of your thoughts.When you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts, try jotting them down. You may find a pattern and figure out some ways to reverse how you’re seeing yourself or negative situations.
25.Don’t dwell. So you made a mistake. It happens to everyone. Don’t dwell on your mistakes. Make peace with yourself and move on to other projects.
26.Stop being your own worst critic. There’s no one else who knows just how to make you feel terrible like you can. Lay off on the harsh criticism and think good things about yourself when you feel you’re at your worst.
27.Look at yourself rationally. It’s easy to get down on yourself for messing up at work, even on the little things. But try taking a step back and looking at the situation. You may find that what you thought was a big deal really doesn’t matter that much.
28.Believe in yourself. Want that promotion? Hoping to get that huge account? Believe that you can do it and it just might come true.
29.Avoid negative coworkers. Nothing can ruin a positive attitude like coworkers who bring out the negatives in everything. Avoid talking to those you know will only make you feel worse.
30.Truly believe you are the best at your job. If you’re constantly looking for failures in your work and put on a sour attitude you’re much more likely to actually be putting in a poor performance. If you think that you’re good at your job you’re much more likely to put in the effort and performance that will make you good.
31.Look for opportunity. In every failure there’s an opportunity to improve. Spend time thinking of ways you can turn your setbacks at work into ways you can get ahead in the future.
Family and Personal Life

Whether you’re struggling with keeping a positive attitude about yourself or about issues within your family, try these positive thinking techniques.

32.Associate yourself with those who think positively. Positivity is contagious, so find friends and family members who look on the bright side to surround yourself with.
33.Be glad your life isn’t boring. If nothing good or bad ever happened to you, likely you’d start to get pretty bored with your life. Take everything that is coming to you as a challenge and a way to keep yourself busy and interested in your life.
34.Look at the big picture. Is that parking ticket you got a bummer? Of course. Will you still feel bad about it later this week? This month? Learn to let go of the things that don’t really matter.
35.Let go of the past. It does not determine your future so why focus on it? If you feel yourself ruminating on the past make a conscious effort to take your thoughts in another direction.
36.Benefit from the attitudes of others. Have a friend that always knows just what to say to make you feel like things will be alright? Take comfort in those around you that have positive attitudes and can make you feel better about anything going on in your life.
37.Develop a personal mantra. No matter what you choose to repeat to yourself, make your mantra words you want to live by each and every day that can remind you to be positive and take whatever life has to offer.
38.Find someone to share with. Knowing you are not alone can be a healing experience. Share your negative feelings with a friend, a family member or a even a mental health professional. You’ll likely feel better after you’ve gotten things off your chest and had someone to sound off with.
39.Do something nice. Want to feel better? Try doing something nice for someone you care about. You’ll get to feel good for being nice and you just might make someone else’s day.
40.Indulge yourself. One way to remind yourself of the positive things that life has to offer is to indulge yourself in whatever it is you love. Whether it’s a box of chocolates, a massage or a new video game, give yourself a break to relax.
41.Remind yourself of your blessings. Whether you feel blessed by your family, your friends or even that you just have food to eat each day remind yourself of these things, however small you may feel they may be.
42.Say thank you. Most of us have a lot to feel grateful for that we simply take for granted. Thank those in your life that make it better and happier to get a positivity boost for yourself as well.
43.Come up with positive things about those you love. Making someone else feel good about themselves can strengthen relationships and give you a positive thought to concentrate on, instead of the negative.
44.Avoid laying blame. So the water bill didn’t get paid. You could get mad and start a fight with your spouse or roommate. Or, you could let it go, take it in stride and work together to remedy the situation.
45.Be playful. There’s nothing to lift your mood and change your thinking like taking some time to embrace playfulness and your inner child.
Fun and Relaxation

Don’t spend your free time feeling bad about things that have happened. Change your thoughts from the bad to the good with these helpful tips.

46.Read an inspiring book. If you’re having trouble finding something inspiring about your life right now try getting inspired by the life of someone else by reading a book meant to inspire and uplift.
47.Watch your favorite sappy movie. Get a quick pick me up by watching your favorite movie or just your favorite scenes. You’ll get a smile or a laugh and forget whatever was getting you down.
48.Take a break from the news. The news is often filled with all kinds of depressing information. If you’re already in a bad mood take a night off from the news and do something that you find enjoyable instead.
49.Engage in physical activity. Working out releases chemicals that give you a mood lift. Take a jog, play a sport or just walk around the block to improve your outlook.
50.Listen to something upbeat. Music can be a great mood enhancer. Whether you’re driving in your car or hanging out at home, crank up the tunes with something that makes you feel happy.
51.Monitor your stream of consciousness.When you’re just sitting and thinking do negative thoughts overtake everything else? Monitor where your mind goes when it’s at rest and learn to redirect your thoughts towards happier memories.
52.Engage in activities that work towards your goals. If you’re trying to lose weight don’t spend the weekend baking cookies that will only tempt you towards falling off the low-cal wagon. Instead, pump yourself up by going on a hike, playing tennis with a friend or just getting active.
53.Concentrate on breathing. When things just seem to be too much to deal with, try concentrating on simply breathing. It will relax you, eliminate some of your anxiety and allow you to focus on more positive elements in your life.
54.Focus on all the fun in your life. While you might spend 40 hours a week slaving away behind a desk you likely have some things in your life that are fun and enjoyable as well. Focus on these things and spend time thinking of new and exciting ways to have fun when you’re feeling down.
55.Explore the world around you. Distract yourself from your negative feelings by embracing your sense of adventure. Check out a part of town you have never been to, take a day trip to a local winery, or just spend time reliving the happy memories from things around your house.
56.Get excited. Even if there are a million things you’re dreading doing come Monday try to find one thing that you’re excited about. Even that one thing can have a big impact on how you feel and how you approach your day.
57.Find something to laugh about. If you don’t have anything in your day that’s been particularly funny, think about a memory that never fails to make you laugh. It’s hard to be negative when you’re laughing and smiling.
58.Count down to total relaxation. All of us have been so upset or frustrated at some point that we just feel like we want to explode. If you feel yourself reaching this point, stop, and start counting. For an additional bonus, try relaxing each body part in turn as you count so you end up completely relaxed and ready to think logically.
59.Meditate. The benefits of meditation are many, and one of them can be encouraging positive thinking. By clearing your mind and relaxing you can push out a large amount of negativity that may be troubling you.
60.Think of 100 things you enjoy doing. Feeling like your life is one big, horrible sinkhole at the moment? Sit yourself down and try to come up with a list of things that you enjoy doing. Even small things like taking a hot shower or enjoying a walk in the snow can make you realize that your life isn’t so bad after all.
61.Create something. Negativity inspires a lot of destructive feelings and one way to counter that is by working to create something instead. Paint or draw, sew some new curtains, build a model or even put together a puzzle.
62.Imagine yourself in a happy place. Visualization can be a powerful tool and you can use it to remove yourself from whatever situation you feel unhappy in to one that makes you smile. Just close your eyes and imagine whatever makes you feel best.
Facing Challenges

Everyone has to face challenges in their lives from time to time. Whether they’re difficult personal goals to meet or unexpected problems these tips can help you make it through with a smile on your face.

63.Fake it till you make it. One way to deal with a challenge is to create a feeling of confidence and happiness in yourself. At first this feeling might not be real, but over time you’ll start to actually feel happier and maybe even closer to your goal.
64.Believe you will get well. Those facing illnesses can feel a sense of hopelessness and fear. These feelings aren’t going to help anything. Concentrate on getting better and living each moment as if you will soon be well.
65.Understand the obstacles are there to challenge you. Along your path to success you’re going to encounter some roadblocks. Understand that these aren’t necessarily there to stop you from doing what you want, just to ensure that you truly want it.
66.Picture yourself at the weight you want to be. Losing weight can be a huge challenge, even for the most determined. Picturing yourself at the weight you want to be can be a great motivator to getting you on the track to success.
67.Start small. Working at a huge goal all at once can be overwhelming and sometimes discouraging. Take things one step at a time and chip away at your ultimate goal until you get there.
68.Don’t let yourself quit. Giving up is usually taking the easy way out of a situation. No matter how negative you’re feeling, never let yourself quit pursuing something you truly want. You’ll thank yourself in the long run if you don’t give up.
69.Don’t expect change to be easy. No one ever promised that making a big change in your life would be easy or that overcoming obstacles would be a walk in the park. It’s not supposed to be. Don’t let opposition let you lose your confidence and adapt a negative attitude.
70.Find the bright side. Every cloud has a silver lining and you just need to find yours. Try finding the bright spot amidst all the turmoil surrounding a situation and focus on that to get you through.
71.Understand that the situation is not forever. Even if you’re dealing with the grief of a lost loved one, remember that in time you will feel better. You may always feel sad about a loss, but it will only get easier as time goes on. Take it day by day and keep in mind the transience of any bad situation.
72.Truly believe you will succeed. If you want an extra edge on success, believe that you will be successful. This may give you the confidence and assurance you need to make the difference.
73.Face up to change. The world is constantly changing and you and those around you are changing as well. Make peace with these changes and understand they don’t always mean the end of happiness just because they’re something different.
74.Make a conscious decision to be resilient.In life you can either let a challenge break you down and make you see the world in a negative light or you can draw on strength you didn’t even known you had and rise above it. Choose the latter– it’s never too late.
75.Take it head on. Sometimes the best way to deal with negative things in your life is to take them head on. Reaching a resolution or at least working towards one will likely make you feel better about just about any situation.
76.Focus on finding a solution. Don’t wallow in your problems. Instead, work towards finding a solution and getting them resolved. You’ll be able to feel proactive and feel in control of your life.
77.Don’t let loss stop you. When pursuing any goal there are bound to be setbacks along the way. Don’t let these stop you from heading towards your ultimate goal.
78.Keep yourself on track. It’s easy to be weak and get off track to whatever goal you’re pursuing because it’s easier right now. Don’t let weakness get the best of you– you’ll only feel worse later. Provide yourself with reminders to stay in a positive mind set and stay with the program.
Daily Attitude

If you really want to change your outlook on life, try using these techniques to change how you deal with problems and see the world.

79.See the beauty in everything. Even if you’re in the worst mood, taking the time to look at all the beautiful things that surround you in the world can provide an instant and insightful way to lift your spirits.
80.Realize that your thoughts do not own you. Stop your negative thoughts in their tracks by realizing that you’re in charge of what you think, not the other way around.
81.Take time to figure out what you really want. When you feel yourself feeling negative about things that you haven’t accomplished, take time to think if you really want those things. Finding out what is really important to you can help eliminate bad feelings over things that you don’t truly want.
82.Accept the good things. Sometimes we get so caught up in the bad stuff coming our way that we forget to appreciate the good things. Take a minute to sit down and think of all the positive things that happened in your day, no matter how small.
83.Get excited about all the possibilities that lay ahead. Even in the midst of the biggest disasters there are a multitude of possibilities that await you to make changes or take on the world tomorrow.
84.Believe the world is a good place. If you look at the world and only seem doom and gloom laid out in front of you you’re not doing yourself any favors. Believe the world is a good place and you’re likely to find many more ways good things can come your way.
85.Stop making excuses. There are always a million excuses for any person not to do something even if that something can make them feel happier. Stop putting up obstacles to your happiness and ditch those lame excuses when you hear yourself making them.
86.Don’t play the victim. Bad things happen to everyone from time to time. Pitying yourself and wanting others to feel sorry for you isn’t going to make things better. Pick yourself up and start working towards a happier future.
87.Don’t place your future in someone else’s hands. Your future is yours alone to shape. Remember this and take control of where you’re going in life.
88.Create realistic goals. Of course you’re going to feel frustrated if you make your goals so unattainable that you can’t reach them no matter how hard you work. Create smaller or more realistic goals so you can feel accomplished instead of defeated each day.
89.Choose joy. Every day when you wake up you make the choice whether to be happy or miserable. Make the choice to be happy and you’ll live a much more joyful life.
90.Believe you can change. Everyone has qualities they don’t like about themselves and that sometimes make them feel bad about themselves. Believe you can change these things and you’ll start to see little ways that you can.
91.Start immediately. Want to make a positive change in your life? Do it now. Putting it off just gives you time to make excuses so get started as soon as possible.
92.Believe you deserve good things. If you don’t truly believe that you deserve good things in your life you likely aren’t going to encounter many. Believe that you are worthy for good fortune to come your way and it just might.
93.Stop letting negative thoughts control you. Negativity can be an overwhelming emotion, one that can make you feel out of control and unhappy in every aspect of your life. Put a stopper on these negative thoughts and take control of how you’re feeling.
94.Smile. Sometimes all it takes to feel good is to put a smile on your face. Practice putting on a happy face even when you just feel so-so.
95.Take control of your decisions. You’re the boss of what is going on in your life, even when you feel like you don’t have a choice. Take back control of your decisions and make the choice to be happier and more positive.
96.Change your vibe. Some people think that you get back what you put out, so stop putting out bad energy and change to a more positive outlook. Whether it truly works or not doesn’t matter, you’ll feel better either way.
97.Keep the bad out. You’re in control of the good and bad you choose to let into your life. When you can, limit the amount of negative things you let into your life, including your thoughts.
98.Make positive thinking a habit. Don’t just practice thinking positively when you’re feeling down. Make it an everyday occurrence whether you’re in a good mood or bad.
99.Decide why you want what you want. If you’re feeling upset because you feel like you aren’t achieving the things you want in life, take a moment to sit back and figure out the reasons you actually want those things. You may find you’re not as attached to them as you think.
100.Look at things with fresh eyes. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to sleep on a problem so you can look at it the next day when you’re not feeling so emotional.

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Have you ever asked yourself the question “How did it get so late so soon?”, while you got caught up in everyday hustle and bustle you completely forgot to live. Take time to realize what you want and need. Take time to take risks. Take time to love, laugh, cry, learn, and forgive. Life is shorter than it often seems.

Here are ten things you need to know, before it’s too late:

This moment is your life:
Your life is not what happens between of your birth and death, it’s what happens between now and your next breath. The present – the right here and now – is all the life you ever get. Live each moment in full, in kindness and peace, without fear and regret. Do what
makes you happy and do the best you can with what you have in this moment; because that is all you can ever expect of anyone, including yourself.

The sacrifices you make today will pay dividends in the future:
When it comes to grinding in those hours and working hard to achieve a dream which could be anything from earning a degree to building a business, or any other personal achievement, you need to dig deep and ask yourself: “Am I willing to live a few years of my life like many people won’t, so I can spend the rest of my life like many people can’t?”

You are your most important relationship:
Happiness is when you feel good about yourself without feeling the need for anyone else’s approval. You must first full understand yourself and know how health your relationship with yourself is before you can have a healthy relationship with others. You have to feel worthwhile and acceptable in your own eyes, so that you’ll be able to look confidently into someone else’s and connect with them.

When you procrastinate, you become a slave to yesterday:
Being Proactive today can take such a massive load off your back tomorrow. So do something right now that your future self will thank you for. By doing that, tomorrow you’ll be happy you started today.

Failures are only lessons:
Good things come to those who are patient and still hope, even though they’ve been let down and disappointed, to those who still believe even though they’ve failed at something, to those who still love even though they’ve been hurt before. So never regret anything that has happened in the past; it cannot be changed, undone or forgotten. Take it all as lessons learned and move on with grace.

A person’s actions speak the truth:
You’re going to come across people in your life who will always talk the talk; but in the end, it’s always their actions you should judge them by. So pay attention to what people do, and be someone who lives by everything he says. Their actions will tell you everything you need to know.

Behind every beautiful life, there has been some kind of pain:
You fall, you rise, you make mistakes, you live, you learn, these are the classic lessons of life. Nobody is perfect, but everyone is
human. You’ve been hurt, but you’re alive. Think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, and to chase the things you love. We must keep putting one foot in front of the other even when we hurt, for we will never know what is waiting for us just around the Corner.

A lifetime isn’t very long:
This is your life, and you’ve got to fight for it. Fight for what you believe in, live for what you believe in. Fight for what’s important to you. Fight for the people you love, and never forget to tell them how much they mean to you. Realize that right now you’re lucky because you still have a chance, every breath you take is another chance to change how you lived the last. So stop for a moment and think. Whatever you still need to do, start doing it today. There are only so many tomorrows.

Small acts of kindness can make the world a better place:
Smile at people who look like they are having a rough day, be kind to them, let them know that there is reason to be happy. Kindness is the only investment that never fails, and wherever there is a human being, there’s an opportunity for kindness. Learn to give, even if it’s just a smile, not because you have too much, but because you understand there are so many others who feel like they have nothing at all.

Time and experience heals pain:
No one can say that a huge loss or pain caused is not and important Life event, but a different perspective might be to understand that an overwhelmingly painful event in your life right now will one day be part of your much larger past and not nearly as significant as it seems. Because overcoming it might just open doors for you to experience things that you never have.

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As she was waiting for her clothes to dry, an elderly woman sat silently on the bench and mumbled to herself. At first I thought that she may have a mental illness as she was shabbily dressed and simply sat mumbling. Her soft yet repetitive words seemed to have annoyed everyone and people sitting nearby moved away from her as many do homeless people. Some had even asked the woman on duty if she could be removed.

I sat on the bench beside her and glanced over, prepared to smile…but she did not look my way. So we sat together waiting for clothes to dry and we said not a word to each other. Yet she continued her “mumbling” that actually seemed to lull me into a quiet and peaceful place.

When her clothes stopped she simply remained seated, in no rush to get them folded before they wrinkled like so many of us do. I started to wonder who she was what her “story” was and even if the clothes were hers or she simply came inside to sit down.

As my dryer came to a stop, I got up and started folding things and she remained seated. When I was nearly done, she rose from the bench and came towards me. Her eyes were a cloudy blue but seemed to look straight through me…for a moment I felt I must know her, but could not recall her in any way.

I smiled and this woman very graciously handed me a small card. Inside was written, “I am a simple woman and many find me odd. I have not spoken to others since my son died in the war. Thank you for sitting beside me as I prayed for him.” As I read the card, tears welled in my eyes and this fragile woman reached out her hand and placed it on mine. I realized that her “mumblings” were prayers and her lack of contact with even a smile was due to her sense of hopelessness. How sad she must be to live in a world where she was shunned because she seemed “different”.

I returned to the laundry many more times and we sat together as she prayed. One sunny day, I came in and there sat a lovely woman, dressed neatly and appearing somewhat uncomfortable in this setting. I said hello and she nodded. Then I sat down on “my bench” and waited for my friend to come so we would pray together. But this day, when I sat, she did not come.

After waiting for a bit, I began to whisper the prayers that I had been able to make out from the weeks of being seated beside “my unknown friend”. The woman who I had encountered upon arrival came closer to me and cleared her throat. She asked if she might sit. A bit on edge as I was awaiting my “friend” I said “Of course” and as she sat, she looked at me with the most pure blue eyes I had ever seen.

Within a few moments, she introduced herself as “Alice” . We exchanged friendly greetings and sat in silence for what seemed like hours. Finally, “Alice” asked me if I came here often to do my laundry. Funny question I thought but it was better than talking about the weather! I noted that I usually came and sat “with a friend” but she seemed to not be coming this day. Alice reached out her hand and I could see she was not one to frequent a laundry…exquisitely done nails, beautiful rings and maybe a sense of uneasiness.

Alice began in a gentle tone to speak to me about a woman she called “Mother”. She spoke of their “status in the community” and the outreach work that her Mother had prided herself on teaching her children. She remarked that each week, her Mother would come to this place, put coins in the dryers when clothing stopped and needed more time, and sit silently. The family thought she had dementia, but she was not a “problem” and had lost her son in Vietnam. Never really recovering from his loss. This had been his place to come and do his laundry when he was home from college many years before he went to Vietnam. She continued on and I listened carefully to her story.

It all started to make sense to me…this young woman must be the daughter of “my friend” and this “place” was where her Mother felt close to her son. But her daughter never knew she did not sit “silently” as suspected. She prayed for her lost son and the courage and grace to continue to be of service.

When Alice finished her story, she asked “Did you ever meet my Mother?” Without hesitation, I proudly said that I knew her Mother and that each day we met here, we sat on this bench, and prayed for her loved ones. Alice stood and prepared to leave, but before she did, she handed me a fine linen envelope: ” I believe this is for you”. Without another word, she gracefully walked away.

I sat back on my bench and looked at the envelope, so simple and addressed only to ” A dear friend”. Taking in a deep breath, I opened the envelope and took out the linen stationery inside and began to read:

My Dear Companion and Friend,

In the beginning when I came to this place, I came in sorrow. I sat and remembered my boy, and prayed. People cast glances my way and acted as if I was somehow a bit crazy. I sat in the same place and talked with my son and prayed that he would know I loved him still and was so proud to be his “mum”. Then one day, you walked in and sat beside me. As time went by, you continued to come and my prayers became your prayers. I wondered how you could understand an old fool like me let alone decipher what I was saying. Somehow, you understood… In this life, I tried to do good. To be someone who others could look up to and feel that my intentions were always to assist, never judge or do harm. I raised my son that way. He was such a good man and my children so thoughtful and kind. If you are reading this now, you must have met my daughter, Alice. She is a grand lady but thinks I am losing my mind. At one point, I also believed that…and then I met you. You asked me for nothing and gave me something that I will carry with me until I leave this earth. You gave me acceptance, respect and treated me with a gentle regard for the person I was. What you may not have realized was that coming here became a time I truly looked forward to. I looked forward to meeting you, dear lady, and never even knew your name. Iam going to meet my Son very soon and I wanted to write this while my mind was clear and make sure that Alice would carry out my wishes. Your presence and acceptance of what seemed like oddities meant so much to me. No-one has ever been so kind without expecting something in return. I was always happy to give, but you gave me a gift that is priceless: the gift of acceptance and time spent with an old lady that everyone decided was “sick”. I will forever be in your debt and you will forever be in my heart.

My Precious Friend: I love you and have left something for you and those who may come to this place to remember me by. Bless you always!

Tears fell from my eyes as I realized how my friend would no longer come and sit with me. Just as she had come to look forward to our time together, so had I. I was filled with joy to know that she understood her prayers made perfect sense to me and her presence filled my day with a sense of peace and love.

Sometimes, without any idea, we do something simple and it becomes something wonderful in another’s life. The “something” special she left was a wonderful new bench that had a small plaque on the top. In clear and sincere writing, it said: Heaven on Earth: Friend to Friend.

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I want to live my next life backwards:
You start out dead and get that out of the way.
Then you wake up in a nursing home feeling better every day.
Then you get kicked out from hospital for being too healthy.

You enjoy your retirement and collect your pension.
Then, when you start work, you get a gold watch on your first day.
You work 40 years until you’re too young to work.

You get ready for High School: drink alcohol, party, and you’re generally promiscuous.
Then you go to primary school, you become a kid, you play, and you have no responsibilities.
Then you become a baby, and then…
You spend your last 9 months floating peacefully in luxury, in spa-like conditions: central heating, room service on tap, and then…
You finish off as an orgasm and rest forever.

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Image

 

Peace of mind is something we all seem to want, and want more of. Few of us get it, and when we do it tends to be fleeting. I think the reason has something to do with how we think of “peace of mind.” It is not something we can have and hold, but it is certainly something that we can learn to cultivate and allow to grow.

How do we do that? Here are a few steps.

1. Allow yourself time to just sit, without distractions, without something to do, or a place to go. No multitasking. 

2. Use that time for you and get curious about your mind and experience just as it is. Look into your experience and just watch the goings on between your ears and in your heart. There is nothing to do, no state to achieve. Just practice being exactly where you are just as you are.

3. Notice the urge to change the experience or to pull out. These are the red flags that your old history is showing up, with all the old habits that compelling you to change your mind and body. In short, to be something other than you are.  These habits are the fuel for struggle, and if you practice just noticing them as thoughts and urges, reminders of the past –“ah, there’s my old history, or there’s a thought that…” — you interrupt the old programming and disarm it.

4. If it helps, you can breathe into each moment and imagine leaning into it with a sense of curiosity and with a kind intention to just watch and be at peace. As you do that, you can watch and let go with each in breath and out breath. 

Continue this practice for as long as you wish and end with the intention to be present with your mind and body just as it is just where you are, without fighting it, struggling with it, or changing it. When you do that, you are practicing peace and kindness for yourself. This is a skill that will become more automatic over time and something you can do where ever you find yourself.

Remember peace of mind is not something we have, it is a choice to lay down our arms and stop fighting our own experiences. This will help give you the presence and clarity to consider what you would like to do, what you would like to become, what you would like to be about in this life. 

Practice peace of mind and see what happens over time. Make it a choice.

Thanks to John P. Forsyth, Ph.D. for this article.

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Seek patience
and passion
in equal amounts.

Patience alone
will not build the temple.

Passion alone
will destroy its walls.

~ Maya Angelou ~

Most people lose even before the game begins because they have resigned themselves to their “fate”. Many lose because they give up quite early on in the game. Many others lose because they act in a frenzy and cannot get their moves together, because of having a bad coach, having too many coaches or being a bad student.

The common feature of all losers though is that they lack the one characteristic which is crucial in this game – PATIENCE.

If something doesn’t go your way or how you plan it, don’t be discouraged – maybe its just not time yet, or the way it is supposed to be. We all have a tendency to question ourselves and our actions when things do not go our way. The truth is, some things simply cannot be explained.

Some will tell you that things occur as a result of a higher order, divine power. If you are religious, always keep in mind that God is always in control and that everything happens for a reason – and a very wise one.

There is a saying that, in relationships, people sometimes change so that you can learn to let go; things go wrong so that you learn to appreciate them when they’re right, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.

Take everything in strides, live life one day at a time. Do not question the outcome of your actions. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future , for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering.

Infinite patience brings immediate results”
— Wayne Dyer

I love this quote because it reminds me that emotional fitness is one of the most important lessons to be learned.

Patience isn’t often included in the list of primary attributes we look for in leaders and yet to me, it is an underpinning of good leadership.

Ben Franklin once said, “He that can have patience, can have what he will”

Note that he didn’t say, “can have what he will”…NOW.

The following story explains well about patience.

There was a monk who was very impatient. You may wonder, why would a monk be impatient? Don’t they become monks so that they don’t have to deal with the world? Yes, that’s true. So imagine how impatient this monk was…

The more he tried, the more impatient he became, so he decided that he must get away altogether, to learn to be patient. So he built himself a little home deep in the woods, far away from civilization.

Years later, a man was traveling in those woods and met him. The man was amazed to find anyone living so far away from the rest of the world, so he asked the monk why he was there all by himself.

The monk said that he was there to learn to be patient.

The traveler asked how long he had been there, and the monk replied: seven ( 7 ) years.

Stunned, the traveler asked, “If there is no one around to bother you, how will you know when you are patient?”

Annoyed, the monk replied, “Get away from me, I have no time for you.”

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Nature’s evil forces at work in Japan


March 11, 2011 devastating earthquake and tsunami have evoked an outpouring of support for Japan.

Consider this piece in The Telegraph by Ed West.

And solidarity seems especially strong in Japan itself. Perhaps even more impressive than Japan’s technological power is its social strength, with supermarkets cutting prices and vending machine owners giving out free drinks as people work together to survive. Most noticeably of all, there has been no looting, and I’m not the only one curious about this.

This is quite unusual among human cultures, and it’s unlikely it would be the case in Britain. During the 2007 floods in the West Country abandoned cars were broken into and free packs of bottled water were stolen. There was looting in Chile after the earthquake last year – so much so that troops were sent in; in New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina saw looting on a shocking scale.

Because Japanese culture, unlike all other modern cultures, is based primarily on honor and dignity. Unlike our Katrina disaster, the Japanese don’t see this as an opportunity to steal everything in sight. The so-called civilized world can learn much from the stoic Japanese.

Well, it reminds me the famous quote by Victor E. Frankl. The most important thing in the face of disaster is still character and attitude.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way." – Victor E. Frankl

Below are the posts that are popular on China’s internet, repeatedly being posted and spread on many different Chinese internet discussion forums. The first post features several photographs and captions concerning the orderly reaction of Japanese people to the Tohoku (previously Sendai) earthquake and tsunami. The second post features a story of six childcare center teachers diligently protecting and staying with the little children entrusted to their care until their parents arrived to pick them up.

check the following post.
http://www.chinasmack.com/2011/pictures/chinese-netizens-admire-japanese-post-earthquake-behavior.html

Some stories that I took from a Facebook member and some other sources:

Calm…

What is most impressive about these people who have lost absolutely everything except the clothes they were wearing when the tsunami struck is the calm with which they are accepting their dire predicament.

They might weep quietly, wring their hands to release some pent-up feelings, but there are no furious demands for action from the authorities. They sit and they wait.

They talk about their escapes – ‘It was like I was in a washing machine’… ‘I clung to a tree branch’ … ‘my house crashed down around me as the water carried it along but I got out all right’ – and they shed a tear for missing loved ones.

Personal Loss

Lying on a stone floor under a blanket, a 104-year-old great-grandmother stared at the ceiling, numb from the cold and the shock of what she has endured.

Her granddaughter sat beside her in the evacuation centre near Sendai, not wanting to share their grief with the outside world as she carefully poured water between the old lady’s silent lips.

Eventually she revealed: ‘My grandmother has lost everything. Her whole house has gone. It is a very personal loss… family members. We suffer greatly. But it is our own pain.’ It was one of countless heartbreaking stories which continued to emerge yesterday.

Final Goodbyes

Yoshie Murakami cried in anguish as she said her final goodbyes and held her mother’s hand. The body was discovered after five days of agonising searching in in the tsunami-hit city of Rikuzentakata.

Terribly, her 23-year-old daughter is still missing. All Mrs Murakami can do is pray for a miracle.

Similar scenes unfolded throughout the country as rescuers sifted though the rubble and families prayed that their loved ones were safe and well.

A Strong Voice

Yesterday, I was impressed and touched by the actions of my neighbor’s 13-year-old-boy. He was home alone when the earthquake hit. But instead of hiding, as soon as the earthquake quieted down, he jumped on his bicycle and road around the block repeatedly shouting at the top of his voice, “Is everyone alright? Is everyone okay?” At the time, there were only women and children and the elderly in the homes. I cannot describe how comforting it was just to hear a strong voice asking if I was okay. Thank you!

At A Congested Downtown Intersection

Cars were moving at the rate of maybe one every green light, but everyone was letting each other go first with a warm look and a smile. At a complicated intersection, the traffic was at a complete standstill for 5 minutes, but I listened for 10 minutes and didn’t hear a single beep or honk except for an occasional one thanking someone for giving way. It was a terrifying day, but scenes like this warmed me and made me love my country even more.

During The Earthquake

We’ve all been trained to immediately open the doors and establish an escape route when there is an earthquake. In the middle of the quake while the building was shaking crazily and things falling everywhere, a man made his way to the entrance and held it open. Honestly, the chandelier could have crashed down any minute … that was a brave man!

Bus Stop Mini Episode

It was freezing and bus was taking ages to arrive. “@saiso” left the queue to run to a nearby pharmacy. He bought heating pads and gave one to everyone in the queue!

Reminded of The Goodness of the Japanese People

This earthquake has reminded me of that Japanese goodness that had recently become harder and harder to see. Today I see no crime or looting: I am reminded once again of the good Japanese spirit of helping one another, of propriety, and of gentleness. I had recently begun to regard my modern countrymen as cold people … but this earthquake has revived and given back to all of us the spirit of “kizuna” (bond, trust, sharing, the human connection). I am very touched. I am brought to tears.

Card Board Boxes, Thank You!

It was cold and I was getting very weary waiting forever for the train to come. Some homeless people saw me, gave me some of their own cardboard boxes and saying “you’ll be warmer if you sit on these!” I have always walked by homeless people pretending I didn’t see them, and yet here they were offering me warmth. Such warm people.

What Foreigners Are Saying About Japanese People

At a supermarket where everything was scattered everywhere over the floors, shoppers were helping pick them up and putting them back neatly on the shelves before quietly moving into line to wait to pay for them. On the totally jam-packed first train after the quake, an elderly man gave up his seat for a pregnant woman. Foreigners have told me they are amazed witnessing sights like these. I do believe they actually saw what they said they saw. Japan is truly amazing.

BBC Reports

The words of BBC’s reports are so moving they make me cry. They were praising us with words of admiration! “One of the worst earthquakes in recorded history has hit the world’s most well-prepared, well-trained nations. The strength of its government and its people are put to the test. While there have been casualties, in no other country could the government and the people have worked together in such an accurate and coordinated way in the face of such tragedy. The Japanese people have shown their cultural ability to remain calm in the face of adversity.”

A Little Story About Papa

We live in an area that was not directly hit. When my father came downstairs and heard the news saying that our area had begun allocating electricity to the hard-hit areas, he quietly led by example, turning off the power around the house and pulling the plugs out of their sockets. I was touched. He usually NEVER turns off the lights or the AC or the TV or anything!

Japanese People Don’t Shove

I’m looking at Yurakucho station from above. I see people standing in line, not pushing or shoving to get onto the Yamanote Line (probably the busiest line in central Tokyo), even at a time like this!

The Bakery Lady

There was a small bread shop on the street I take to go to school. It has long been out of business. But last night, I saw the old lady of the shop giving people her handmade bread for free. It was a heart-warming sight. She, like everyone else, was doing what she could to help people in a time of need. Tokyo isn’t that bad afterall!

Japan Is A Wonderful Nation!

Both the government and the people, everyone is helping one another today. There are truck drivers helping evacuees move. I even heard that the “yakuza” (gangsters, organized crime groups) are helping to direct traffic in the Tohoku region! There have been many recent developments that have made me lose my sense of pride in my country, but not anymore. Japan is an amazing place! I’m just simply touched. Go Japan!

At The Supermarket

I just came back safely from the supermarket! Man, I was so touched at how everyone there was mindful of others, buying only as much as they needed and leaving the rest for the people behind them.

Gotenba Traffic

Japan is really something! Yesterday, not a single traffic light was functioning in Gotenba City. But drivers knew to take turns at intersections and give way to others when needed. Local people were using flags to direct traffic at intersections. I drove for 9 hours but never saw a single car trying to get in front of another. Every single driver on the road contributed to the traffic situation and as a result there was no confusion at all.

“All of Us”

I spoke with an old taxi driver and some elderly staff at the train stations. All of them had been working non-stop and had not been able to go home for a long time. They were visibly very tired, but never once did they show any sign of impatience; they were gentle and very caring. They told me “… because all of us are in this together.” I was touched at what the notion of “all of us” meant to these elderly people. It is a value I will treasure and carry on to my generation.

The Beauty of Helping One Another

I went out last night to help some friends who were volunteering as security personnel between Machida City and Sagami Ohno City. I saw total strangers, both young and old, helping each other along everywhere I turned and was heartened with an overwhelming feeling of encouragement. I was so touched I hid behind the toilets and cried.

I Just Have A Bike

I’m so touched! My colleague at my part time job, wanting to help even just one extra person, wrote a sign saying “I just have a bike, but if you don’t mind hop on!”, rode out on his motorbike, picked up a stranded construction worker and took him all the way to Tokorozawa! Respect! I have never felt so strongly that I want to do something helpful for others.

Rest Here!

Last night, I decided, rather than stay at the office, I should try walking home. So I slowly made my way west on Koshu freeway on foot. It was around 9PM when I saw an office building that had a sign that said “Please use our office’s bathrooms! Please rest here!” The employees of the office were loudly shouting out the same to all the people trying to walk home. I was so touch I felt like crying. Well, I guess I was too tense yesterday to cry, but now the tension is wearing off and am very much in tears.

At The Convenience Store

While most of the convenience stores near the station were closed because of the quake, there was just one Seven Eleven that was open. The employees had lit lots of candles and put them on the stores shelves. The cash register was not working and they could not take inventory, so the employees worked in threes, one reading up the item description and price, another punching the numbers into a calculator, and the last one using a flashlight to help them work. The store managed to operate both “cash registers” efficiently this way. Impressed!

On The Platform

The Oedo Subway Line for Hikarigaoka is very congested. On the platform and at the gate there are just crowds and crowds of people waiting for the train. But in all the confusion, every last person is neatly lined up waiting his or her turn while managing to keep a passage of space open for staff and people going the other way. Everyone is listening to the instructions from the staff and everyone acts accordingly. And amazingly … there isn’t even a rope or anything in sight to keep people in queue or open space for staff to pass, they just do! I am so impressed at this almost unnatural orderliness! I have nothing but praise for these people!

Coffee

My husband finally got home very late last night after walking for 4 hours. He told me he felt like giving up at around Akabane, when an elderly man who was going around handing out free coffee saw him, gave him a steaming cup and said, “You must be tired and cold. Here, have some coffee!” My husband told me that it was because of this elderly man that he found the will and strength to continue walking. I’ve already heard this story from him five times tonight, so no doubt he was really, really touched! Thank you to my husband’s anonymous helper!

Blood Donations

Japan is strong! At Osaka I saw a LONG line of people waiting to give blood at the blood donation center. This is the first time I have seen such a queue of selfless people waiting patiently in line just to give. It was a moving sight! To everyone in the hard-hit areas, we your countrymen accept your suffering as our own and we share in your grief. Do not give up! Stay strong!

Saving Electricity For The North

I went to my neighborhood supermarket and was initially surprised that their neon signs were off. They usually are open till 1AM. I then found out that they were open, but were saving electricity so that more power could be channeled to the hard-hit coastal areas. Wow!

Not Enough Money!

At the store where I work, a huge group of young men suddenly came in to buy booze. One of them suddenly said, “Oops, I only have enough money to buy booze, I can’t donate! Forget the booze, maybe next time!” and instead put ALL his money into the disaster relief donation box. One by one, every single one of the army of youths threw all their money into the box after him. What a heart-warming sight that was!

Goth Youth

A goth youth with white hair and body piercings walked into my store and shoved several hundred dollars (several tens of thousands of yen) into the disaster relief fund donation box. As he walked out, I and people around me heard him saying to his buddies, “I mean, we can buy those games anytime!” At that, we all opened our wallets and put our money into the donation box. Really, you cannot judge people by their appearances.

They Looked Absolutely Delicious!

I too saw the guy handing out free rice balls and miso soup on the way back from Akihabara. I was on my bicycle so I told him, “I’m okay, please give it to other people!” On hindsight, I should have taken one … they looked absolutely delicious!!

Need To Charge Your Phone?

At the emergency evacuation area, a young first-year intern at my company who had brought her phone’s charger got permission from the facility to use their power socket and went around shouting “Anyone need to charge their phone? Please use my charger!” Just a little thing, but I was touched.

I talked to many people here and most Japanese feel that Japan will bounce back. “Calamities are not new to Japan and so is nation building”, which reminds of this quotation.

“I get knocked down. But I get up again. You’re never going to keep me down." – Chumbawamba

Lets hope great days ahead for Japan and Japanese people.

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