Monday, February 28, 2011

The Words We Speak

I read a book about 5 years ago titled,  The Four Agreements, authored by Don Miguel Ruiz.    It's a really good book that's a fairly short read but has a good message.   May I quote the back of the cover, "In The Four Agreements, don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering.  Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, the Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love."
Anyway, the first agreement is to "be impeccable with your word."  Quoting Mr. Ruiz, "Speak with integrity.  Say only what you mean.  Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others.  Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love".   I've been thinking about this topic for the past day or so.  Words are the most powerful tool we have in our possession. With a few words we can built someone up as well as with a few words we can tear someone down.  Words are powerful; do we think about the words we use?  Do we speak positive words to others or do we have the "eeyore" syndrome (a "made-up" syndrome this very minute by me *S*  If this exists I don't have any knowledge of it but maybe I should "google" it!*S*).  
We all know who Eeyore is, right?  He is frankly, my least favorite character in the Winnie the Pooh cartoon series; although the cutest donkey, he has such a sad, sad countenance and sad outlook on life.   I haven't seen the Wimnie the Pooh cartoon in quite a while, but from my memory I don't recall Eeyore seeing or speaking the positive; although, I do not think Eeyore is a bad guy; he doesn't say mean things to the other characters (maybe I need to watch Disney to see how Eeyore really acts and report back on another day?*S*).   And still with that said,  I do not want to be an Eeyore.
I am making more of an effort in speaking kindly but do find myself slipping up occasionally.  Our words reveal ourselves to the world; our words come from our thoughts.  If we find ourselves speaking negatively about others, saying negative things about ourselves, or not following through on what we say we're going to do we may need a "thought" adjustment.  
Many years ago (maybe 26? wow!) I sold Janeen Brady cassettes and sheet music at home parties. (one of my many attempts to make some extra money)  In her songbook  "Show a Little Love" she includes a song titled, "The Words You Speak".  I'm quoting her words, "The words you speak, the words you say, the words you utter give you away.  Like "please," "thank you," and "yes you may."  I can tell what you are by your words,  If you speak only waht is true, I know that I can depend on you, for you are honest in all you do, I can tell this because of your words.  I can tell where you've been, what you've read how you think, by your words  did you know?  And what's more, I can tell by the words that you speak where you're going to go.  It's the truth it's really so, So little friend, you must beware, and choose your words with the greatest care.  You'll be a champion if you dare to speak only the very best words."
We are not children anymore but these words from her song still holds true for us.  My intention today(and everyday) is to pay close attention to the words that I use and correct them if I hear them come out of my mouth in an unseemly manner, for I'd like my words to be "builders" and not  "destructors" of those I come in contact with. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Reflections

   Today I have been reflecting on this past week.   I've improved in some areas but need much improvement in others.   An "incident" this morning shows me that I am not "there" yet!  I was watching a program on BYUTV when my husband came in the room, and not realizing that I hadn't started the program at the beginning, asked me a few questions about what was going on.  Instead of stating with a "kind" voice that I didn't know the answer to his question because I hadn't watched ALL of the program, I'm sure my voice sounded exasperated because he was asking me questions. (at least I think that's what his perception was).  The positive thing out of this was that "immediately" I knew that I had to make it right; that I didn't have the luxury of letting it go on and on.  That is a great thing; it's a gift to realize what you've done as soon as you've done it and have the desire to fix it. 
Obviously my thoughts weren't directing me in the right direction; but I know that no matter how hard I try that I cannot do it without the help of my Savior, Jesus Christ.  I realize that everyone doesn't have my same belief system so however you get your strength in positive ways, I honor that.  My strength comes from my Heavenly Father and his son, Jesus Christ. 
I haven't "officially" apologized yet for my reaction to my husband's questions; I did make pancakes as a peace offering but I know the words have to come, and they will....very soon, and I will start over again and make a greater effort to improve.
This day is not halfway over yet; so I look forward to more learning, to more thoughts on how my week has gone and ways to move forward in the next.  I invite you to do the same for we are all here on this earth to learn and to grow.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


   "There is no use trying," said Alice; "one can't believe impossible things."  "I dare say you haven't had much practice," said the Queen.  "When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day.  Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." -----Lewis Carroll
  I have this quote framed in my kitchen; found it a a yard sale (one of my favorite things to do!) and fell in love with it and its meaning.  How many times do we "think" out of our comfort zone, "out" of what we believe to be "possible"? 
  I don't do it as often as I think I'd like to;  I believe it's just a habit I can create in my life and haven't been consistent with it yet.   I have; however, seen the effects of doing it occasionally and if it can happen with me doing it only occasionally then what are the possibilities in my life if I do it on a regular basis?   I believe that this past week of focusing on my thoughts (along with praying and scripture study because I cannot leave God out of it)  and seeing things and people in a different light, has helped me already, and it's not quite been a week since I started this yet!  I am starting to see the "possibility" rather than the "impossibility". 
Just this morning, after I had told my husband that I would clean the kitchen (and then got busy on the computer!*S*), he was in the kitchen cleaning it.  My usual reaction would be anger because he was cleaning it ; however, when I told him that I was going to do it his response was, "it's okay, I haven't done it much lately"!  Wow, his response wasn't what I noticed as much as my feeling to his response.  I wasn't offended at all; I saw my focus paying off! 
So, really our day begins when we open our eyes; we all have the choice of how we want our day to go.  We cannot control what others do in our day, but we can control how we feel about it and respond or not respond to it, and that will make all the difference!  
  What" impossible" thing am I wanting to see today?  Maybe it's time for another vision board!

Friday, February 25, 2011

You are Right!

   Last night I didn't sleep well; it's not an unusual phenomenon for me but as I was waking in the early hours and trying to go back to sleep I got the strangest feeling.  Something just didn't feel right; almost a "step back" in feeling from what I have been focusing on this week.  I did not like the uncomfortable feeling and it occurred to me that I might have had a thought to cause this feeling.  So I tried to figure out what thoughts I had had that would lead me to this awful feeling.  I have not  figured it out yet, but it taught me something:  Thought is powerful.  (and thank goodness I was able to get a few hours of really good sleep and woke up feeling great-maybe it was because I was somehow able to think "happy"!)
 Henry Ford stated, "Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, You are Right."
I first saw that quote several years ago at Curves and it really made an impact on me.   I wrote about the Principle of Thought the other day; how thought creates.  What we think, we create.  Our thoughts form our world; we turn those thoughts into beliefs when we repeat thoughts to ourselves and give it energy and feeling.  For instance:  Many of us (okay, I'm talking about myself *S*) have told ourselves for so long that we're not thin enough or fit enough that we really believe it.  That snowballs into reality when we believe it.  I am not an expert in any of this; this just has been my experience.  Negative thoughts and self-talk are nothing but destructive.  (By the way, I no longer think I need to be model thin!  Maybe it's because I'm 52 years old!*S*)
 I'd rather focus on the positive aspect because what I focus on is what will show up for me.   So; how do we keep it positive?  Because sometimes those negative thoughts creep in, and if we are not careful, our heads will be full of negative self-talk and our life will feel hopeless;   OR we will be such a "downer" to those around us that we will be alone alot. 
Several years ago I was trying to figure out how to change my thoughts from negative to positive in order to get positive results in my life; it seemed rather impossible for me to take a any negative or judgemental thought out of my mind.  I was feeling at a loss as how to do this when I came upon a website where I found my answer.  The website's author said to just "replace" the negative thought with one you'd rather have.  For some reason that resonated with me; while it seemed impossible to take the negative thought out of my head I could see how to put a thought over it!  It was one of those "lightbulb" moments for me!  (I love "ahas"!)  In my mind I could see the negative thought on a piece of paper and covering it with a positive one.  I am sure there are many different methods and ways to change or replace our negative thoughts with ones we'd rather have, but this one works for me and I have also been known to sing a song in my head to get rid of something I didn't like floating around in there. Whatever works for you is perfect. 
The point is that we need to be careful what we are thinking because we will make ourselves right everytime.

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Choosing Happiness

      I do not know who wrote this, but I have read it often and value it's meaning:  "You Choose... whether to give up at the first obstacle or give it your all, to speak up or stay silent, to change what you don't like or let it change you.  With every word, every step you take, you define who you are-----and create your future."
As usual, when I go to Curves I have my workout buddy; we have lots of good conversation and today was no exception.  We discussed many things, but the one thing that stuck out in my mind as we were sitting in her driveway talking (after our workout) was something I had actually mentioned to her a while back.  I listen to Dennis Prager almost everyday on talk radio(sometimes hearing his whole 3 hrs and sometimes just catching bits & pieces as I move through my house); he has one hour every Friday morning at 10am called "The Happiness Hour" and he states (which, now,  I do believe) that we have the moral responsibility to be happy.  We have the opportunity throughout our day to choose happiness or choose to be miserable or depressed or angry, and I don't know about you but I think "happiness" sounds much more pleasant to be around! 

  And in talking about happiness maybe we have to define what "our" happiness might look like.  My "happiness" may look much different than yours.  For instance, if I am happy I am more outgoing which might include being more talkative (sometimes more talkative if I've taken Excedrin for a headache or had a Diet Dr. Pepper that I get at McDonald's drive-thru!!*S*)  Your "happiness" may be more quiet or just peaceful.  Whatever our "happiness" looks like on the outside it matters most what it feels like on the inside and the feeling you convey to others.  (I mean, how much fun is it being around a grumpy person?  or a depressed person?  And sad to say that I used to be one of those depressed people which I now regret but am grateful to have learned from that experience)
I am a visual person so I like to keep things around me to remind me to stay happy.   I have books, music, talk radio, photographs of my family, my really nice camera( that my thoughtful husband gave to me for one of my birthdays stating that he thought I was good at taking pictures after I had complained about the amount of money it must have cost!  How ungrateful was I?) , and other different objects as well as scented lotions (I also respond to scents and sounds; how unpredictable am I?*s*)   And last but not least, I have my scriptures which when reading daily gives me such a boost as well as insight and new ideas on how to live my life in a more happy way.  Anyway, the point is that I personally need reminders and things to make me smile; I love funny cards, humorous sayings mixed in with the serious because don't we all have enough serious things going on around us?
  All of this goes right along with the principle of Thought that I wrote about yesterday.  We choose; it's up to us; no one can do it for us and even if they could where would our learning come from?   In 2 Nephi (Book of Mormon) Chapter 31, verse 16 it reads, " And now my beloved brethren, know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved."  I have written in the margin next to this verse, "Enjoy to the end".  I think I wrote this at a time in my life when I was feeling depressed and the feeling of "enjoy" jumped out at me because I wasn't "enjoying at the moment"; I was just enduring and hanging on for dear life (diisclaimer here: I had moments of clarity and was by no means ready to be committed to an insane assylum!*S*  Maybe this is another "blog" subject?).   What would "enduring" mean in the end if we had been miserable people who no one wanted to be around?  How, when we are emoting depression to others, are we leading others to Christ?  In following the example of Christ are we miserable?  Did he teach us to be miserable?  Did he teach us by example to be miserable as we were going through difficult times?  I think not.  We have the choice:  What will it be today?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Principle of Thought

    When I was in the Young Women program at Church and in charge of the MIA Maids (14&15 year old girls) we had a night that we made collages.  I had cut out lots of pictures and phrases out of  New Era and Ensign Magazines to use for our collage which was to focus on "how to live the gospel daily". 
I had so much fun creating my collage beforehand to take for a sample to let the girls see what they could look like.  It actually took a little while to put mine together since I was actually intending to look at mine daily to remind me what I really wanted out of life.  It sits on the shelf in my office above my computer visible for me to look at daily.   My absolute favorite quote on my collage is one from Pres. Ezra Taft Benson which says, "If our thoughts make us what we are, and we are to be like Christ, then we must think Christlike thoughts."

  I absolutely love the phrase, " if our thoughts make us what we are".  I hadn't really thought about this principle of thought before I certified in Rapid Eye Technology.  In the model of RET there are 7 life skills or life principles that, when practiced, help change patterns of behavior which in turn helps in dealing with daily life and all that that encompasses.  Since I have completed that training several times I have noticed that principle talked about in more places.  (interesting how changing our focus opens our eyes to more things we're focusing on)
Thought is the beginning of all creation.  Everything that is in existence was once a thought.  We are free to think anything we want even if it sometimes doesn't feel that way.  When we think a thought and add energy to that thought we get results.  I have thought about doing this blog for quite a while; I thought that if I put this "out there" that it might help me to learn and grow and hopefully others would join in on the discussion.  (I love a good discussion!)   BUT then I had the thought that I couldn't possibly do something like this; I'm not a writer;  I just have lots of ideas (lots and lots of thoughts) but who would want to read it or even participate?  So that thought, the fear of insecurity, fear of failure, kept me from doing this for several months using a skill that I have honed well: procrastination.   The day I actually created this blog I had the thought, "just do it!", and  I chose to follow that thought which felt really good (the fear & insecurity did not leave me; I just chose to ignore the uncomfortableness and step out of my comfort zone).
Spencer W. Kimball stated in his book, The Miracle of Forgiveness, "As a man thinketh, so is he' (Proverbs 23:7) could equally well be rendered "As a man thinketh, so does he'.  If one thinks it long enough he is likely to do it."   I have compared thought to the seed that a great tree grows out of.  We have to plant the seed first and then the tree grows mighty and strong.  Our thoughts (and we do have the ability to control them-maybe that's another subject; how to control our thoughts?) make us who we are. 
So with the thought of "thinking Christlike thoughts" what will I do today?  I know whatever it is, it will be Christlike as long as I keep that thought in the front of my mind.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude

  Last night as I was going to bed I thought it was time to start my "gratitude" journal-ing once again.  As I read through some of my older lists it reminded me of what was going on in my life at the time, AND since I am not consistent in journal-writing (really? no kidding! LOL) the gratitude lists help recall my life and what I was focusing on at the time of the entries.
  I have a sign in my dining room/family room that reads "An Attitude of Gratitude Creates Blessings".   I love having reminders of positive things around me to help remind myself to be better.  I also have a plate in my kitchen that my future daughter-in-law (at the time; she's now in our family thank goodness!) that reads "a grateful plateful" as well as "a thankful heart"-another reminder for me to be grateful.
    I do believe that what we focus on is what shows up in our lives; I have seen that happen in mine.  Now, I have never had the experience of focusing on a monetary or material goal and have had that show up for me , but then again, I haven't actually set my mind on that yet; at least not in a consistent manner.   BUT I have had had the extreme pleasure of looking for things to be grateful for as I was keeping my gratitude journals. 
    I remember a time in my life that I was keeping a consistent list of things to be grateful for; only 3 -5 things a day.  I was sitting in a parking lot waiting to go inside a store to service their greeting cards and watching a seagull eating some leftover hamburger or something.  I found great joy in that sight!  (Disclaimer here:  I love seagulls; they are my favorite birds.  I know I am in the minority here but I still love watching them!)  My lesson that day (and that was probably eight years ago) was that as I was looking  for things to be grateful for, I was seeing things to be grateful for and finding joy in that journey.
    I thought about starting a gratitude list on this blog; however, I will spare everyone (well, right now it's just me *S*) my lists; however, I do try and not list the same things everyday unless they are big things for me at the time.  I have a red beaded book that I keep on my night table which I bought in Spokane when I was with friends. ( I have a wonderful friend who has been consistent in keeping a gratitude journal for YEARS and she pointed out to me that I need to have a book that I love writing in and I do love that book!  (what will I do when I fill it?*S*)
    So this day, as well as in upcoming days, I am looking for things, people, experiences, miracles, etc... to be grateful for since I am now accountable to do this everyday.  I like to write in the evening before I go to bed and reflect on all that I have to be grateful and I do have more than I deserve.   With this in mind each day I know I will have much more to be grateful for and find pleasure in the looking.

Monday, February 21, 2011


  I could hardly wake up this morning; affects from an OTC sleeping pill taken too late last night!  Seriously had to make myself get up and make myself go to Curves with a friend.  I am so tired of having to make myself; is there anyone out there who doesn't have to "make" themselves do things?  Is there a trick to this?  And then on top of that, I knew I had this blog to post something in today; so another "making" myself do something! *S* 
   So I am writing something rather than not posting at all but I feel scattered; maybe the effects from the otc sleeping pill?  I have so many things in my mind, but the one thought that keeps showing up is the 100/0 principle. 
  I read about it on the website, Simple Truths (a website that sells self-help and motivational material).  The basic principle is that you give 100% to any relationship without expecting anything in return.  The "pay-off" happens when the other party in the relationship starts to give 100% back.  I think that it must take quite a while for the other person to give back.  I have tried this over the years, but I don't think I have given without expecting anything for enough of a time period to get the "pay-off". 
    And I am smiling because I know the reason behind the 100/0 principle is probably not to get the "pay-off" but to just focus on your actions which leads me back to my belief that it really only matters what I do no matter what is going on around me. 
   Where does that pure motivation come from?  The motivation to act positively and with love and without judgement, not expecting anything in return?  Is that pure love?  Is that the pure love of Christ?  I know I am lacking in that area and I do have a desire to improve. 
     It all comes back to having to "make" myself do anything.  So I don't know if anyone is reading this and has a different experience in life that would care to share, but I am looking for the secret to just being and doing without the struggle of having to "make" myself. 
    At some point I would love to have a schedule for posting; some kind of outline to follow that would make sense.  Unfortunately, my life has not been much about schedules or organization even with the raising of my 5 children.  So I will continue to post and am waiting for inspiration and insight to all my questions. 
    As I am about to end this post the sun has come out and is shining through my office window; perhaps there is light and hope at the end of the tunnel.  If there is, then I am certainly going to find it and not give up. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The first day

  I have been thinking about creating a different blog from my "family" blog; a more personal blog where other people might like to join in on my comments & share thoughts and feelings.  So I'm starting it today!  I have so many different ideas of things to discuss that I have procrastinated for several weeks, but maybe it's better to just "start" and be a little more scattered than to wait and be organized?*S*
   I was reminded this morning that "the way I think about myself is the way I'll be".  I have learned this in Rapid Eye training and in life but I too easily forget.    I'm wondering how to keep those good thoughts and beliefs about myself each day even when those around me might not be so positive or when I get tired and just want to quit it all.  I'm hoping as I stick with this that I'll have new insights as to how to really change and become a better person remembering that it really only matters what I think and do and say no matter what is going on around me.