Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Last night I attended the Relief Society (women's organization in my Church) Birthday dinner; they have one every year to commemorate the founding of the organization in 1842.  The theme was "hats off to Relief Society" (or something like that) and everyone was supposed to wear a hat.  I own one hat (hangs on a bedpost for decoration) and found another golfing cap hanging in the entryway for decoration(looks like I have a theme going for hats!).  I had forgotten about the hat theme until later in the afternoon and chosen (after trying on both of my "decorative" hats) not to wear a hat(I don't like being told what to do anyway).  In truth, I was attending the dinner because I had been asked to sing with a group of women during the dinner; otherwise knowing myself, I probably would not have gone.  (I am seeing myself "set" myself up for what's to come next)  I was sitting in the parking lot waiting to go in and saw women carrying in food that they had signed up to bring and then remembered that I may have signed up to bring rolls but totally forgot!  So my next thought was, "I'd like to leave!"  (I had already set myself up for that thought with my bad attitude).  Since I had agreed to sing with the ladies, I made myself go in and in fact, after putting on an extra hat that was sitting on the table in front of me, felt like I belonged and was happy to be there.

This is a pattern with me, and we all have patterns. (My 5 cent problem was also a pattern that I have had some success in breaking, so it is possible to change our patterns)   We have situations arise and most of the time "react" to them in the same manner which gives us the same results.  Last night I chose to "break" my pattern and stay which led to me feeling good that I was there among such nice (and fun) women.  I have in the past, chosen to leave or stayed but with a bad attitude, which only resulted in feelings of sadness.  

We learn and grow in our patterns when we pause instead of reacting so quickly and choose a different thought which leads to a different "response" which leads to "growth".  This is part of  "Choice and Accountability".  We are the same no matter where we go; I have at times, wanted to move away from places I've lived maybe because I didn't feel like I belonged or just didn't like it there, but the truth is that no matter where I would have moved (and we never moved because I wanted to!) I may have re-created the same experience for myself. 
           "Everywhere I go, there I am again."----- Pogo

 The trick is to stop and take a minute (or hours) and "see" our patterns; are we reacting or are we pausing and responding as the situation arises.  I am struggling with this and would love feedback as to how to progress in this area; how to keep my thoughts "on track", how to "pause" instead of just "reacting".    I am the one accountable for being "stagnant" in my life so what is holding me back?

 I have a book titled, "How to Be Happy, Dammit!" which I love!  First of all, it's is orange which is such a "happy" color!  And secondly, it is full of life lessons and written with lots of humor and cynicism.  I've been reading through it (it's written by Karen Salmansohn using lots of illustrations by zinzell,  and I love pictures!*S*)  The author states, "All to often fear stops you from going where you need to go."  Then gives a great fable titled,  Dope On a Rope "This criminal had committed a crime.  (Because hey, that's what criminals do.  That's their job.)  Anyway, he was sent to the king for his punishment.  The king told him he had a choice.  He could be hung by a rope or take the punishment behind the big dark scary steel door.  The criminal quickly decided on the rope.  As the noose was being slipped on him, he asked.  'out of curiosity, what's behind that door?'  The king laughed and said, 'You know, it's funny.  I offer all you guys the same choice, and nearly all of you pick the rope.'  "So,' said the criminal, 'what's behind the door?  Obviously, I won't tell anyone, 'he said, pointing to the noose round his neck.  The king paused then answered, 'Freedom, but it seems most people are so afraid of the unknown that they immediately take the rope." 

In seeing and then changing our patterns (which involves changing our thoughts -or I like "replacing" our thoughts at the onset of a situation) we need to figure out a way to overcome our fears. (sometimes we need help in doing this; whether it be Rapid Eye Technology, talk therapy,or other numerous modalities)   Whether they be fears of people, fear of the unknown, or fear of being happy; we will never know unless we start the process.  Pres. Spencer W. Kimball used to say "do it" and Nike says, "Just do it".  After all, no one will make us; we are the only ones accountable for our situations.

Dr. Ranae Johnson states, "When we accept responsibility for choosing our response to life, we are empowered.  We experience a enw sense of freedom, growth and energy.  We move out of our comfort zone and begin stretching.  We begin making a positive difference in our life."

"If you keep doing what you've always been doing, then you'll keep getting what you've always been getting.  You must courageously break the habit of your habits (patterns), or every year you will be doomed to live out: 'Same stuff, Different Outfit.'  The style of your clothes may change, but the style of your circumstances won't."----Karen Salmansohn

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