Myra’s Story – No Lists

It’s the Sunday before Christmas and Myra is having a struggle getting ready to drive over to St. Anthony’s Assisted Living to visit nolistsAunt Grace, her only remaining relative on her mother’s side. Aunt Grace is in her nineties, is mentally very alert, but she can’t walk due to arthritis and is virtually blind. It’s not a chore to visit her; it’s just that everything around the holidays is like dragging a heavy weight around. It would be easier to go to bed and forget about everything. Continue reading

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What Do You See?

What Do You See?Two people can be together, at the same time, at the same place, and see two totally different worlds. Let’s think about that.

Do you know people who always see a bright hopeful world? On the other hand, do you know people who consistently see a world of failure and despair?

What’s the difference?

Picture two people standing together looking at and dealing with the same world going on around them. A difficult situation has presented itself to both at the same time.

One has a smile and is thinking of all the good things that are going to happen today; or she is clearly recognizing the issue and considering the ways she can deal with the issue and get beyond it. She sees a solution around every bend in the road.

The other is downcast and completely overcome by the issue as he sees it. There’s no hope. There’s no future. He might as well go back to bed or get a strong drink or something else to mask his painful prospects. He sees failure like a prison wall. There’s no way out of the sadness.

The former has developed the habit of hope. She knows that any problem can be solved. She believes that she already solved this problem and it’s just a matter of uncovering the solution. Her habit lets her approach every issue in life as just a bump in the road; certainly not a barrier..

The latter wallows in the habit of despair. He is convinced that the world is going to dump on him again just like it has so many times before. His habit is dwelling on all the negative things that have happened or that might happen. He may be caught up in reliving anger; or fear, or embarrassment, or guilt and shame; or victimhood.

His negative thinking completely blocks everything from his mind. He couldn’t see hope even if it were standing there right in front of him.

The irony of his pain is that it’s not usually happening right now. He’s ruminating on the pain of something that happened in the past; sometimes many years in the past.

He can’t get beyond the pain because he keeps recreating it by dwelling on it again and again.

It’s entirely possible that what he thinking about actually did happen. But chances are it’s not actually happening again today. But he’s thinking about it and feeling the pain just as if it were happening all over again.

What do You See?Dr. Ben Carson is a world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon who grew up in the poverty of Detroit, Michigan. He gives his mother credit for his success. What would have happened if his mother had seen only the despair of the Detroit slums instead of the hope that an education offered her sons. Click here to learn more about Dr. Carson.

What do You See?Helen Keller, at age seven, was a wild, undisciplined child who lived in a dark, silent world brought on by an illness as an infant. What would have happened if Anne Sullivan had not had the vision of hope that gave her patience to teach Keller how to communicate and to learn? What would the world have lost without Anne Sullivan’s hope? Learn more.

What do You See?For three years, Anne Frank kept a diary of life as she saw it while hidden in an Amsterdam attic with her Jewish family. She saw hope in the middle of despair and death and shared with the world.

More about Anne Frank

What do You See?

What would have happened to America if the millions and millions of immigrants had given in to the fear of the unknown and just hunkered down where they were, imprisoned by despair? Much of the richness, color, and texture of American society would have never been enjoyed. More on Ellis Island.

Given a few minutes, you could make quite a list of people past and present who have risen above circumstances because they could see hope.

In the same few minutes, you can probably make a list of people who never quite made it because they couldn’t see beyond their failure and faults.

Negative thinking has the capacity to make us blind to hope; to success; to peace;

People of faith often use a technique of counting their blessings to overcome times of difficulty. Counting blessings can become a habit that slams the door on negative thinking.

People of faith can also overcome circumstances by singing or speaking praise to their God. That too becomes a habit leading to peace and purpose.

But what if you’re not a person of faith?

All of us are made with a capacity to choose what we let ourselves think about. If a negative thought of a past hurt or shame pushes into our mind, we can simply and effectively dismiss that thought by saying something like, “I take that thought captive;” or “I will not think about that.” Do that and the thought always goes away.

It will probably come back and you can dismiss it again; and again; and again.

Dismiss it consistently and a part of your mind learns that you don’t want to think that thought and your mind dismisses it automatically.

When your mind is free of the thoughts that blind you, even for a few minutes, you have time to rationally consider your circumstances and make decisions that will lead you to a life of peace and hope.

Someone just thought, “That’s too simple. It won’t work for me.”

I suggest that you should immediately dismiss that thought and enjoy a moment of peace. Dismiss it again and enjoy a minute of peace.

Develop the habit of peace; it’s part of your nature if you let yourself see it.

These thoughts were prompted after reading a piece in The Upper Room by Sue McCoulough of Great Britain. http://devotional.upperroom.org/devotionals/2014-01-02.

Resources you can use.

The author has developed an online course, Finding Personal Peace, that simply and effectively shows you how to develop a habit of peace and then how to apply what you’ve learned to making better life choices and in dealing with pesky life habits.

You can learn more about and enroll in this free course at http://findingpersonalpeace.com.

What do you see? If you see hope and victory, that’s great. If you see despair and failure, that doesn’t have to be your future. Find and enjoy peace starting today.

I hope Finding Personal Peace helps you with your sadness as much as it helped me with my anger.

What do You See?

Rod Peeks

Thanks for reading our blog today. I invite you to respond in several ways: (1) Comment in the space below if you agree or disagree with what I’ve said. A dialogue could be interesting for all; (2) Share the post with your friends using the buttons below; and (3) sign up to get an email with each new post. There’s a place to do that on the right. Then you won’t have to remember to look for our subsequent posts. Thanks again!

P.S. We’ve written several short stories with some good life lessons. You can check them out by searching by category at the right. My son told me that Ben’s Story gave him something think about in his life. Thanks.

Blue Christmas

Blue ChristmasChristmas is not the best time of the year for many, many people. Depression or sadness overwhelms many of us, especially during the holiday season. Let’s think about that for a minute.

Elvis Presley recorded a hit song in 1957 named, “Blue Christmas.” It has always been one of my favorite Elvis songs. The premise is two lovers who won’t be together to celebrate Christmas and but there is joy in their lives even though they are apart.

The cuteness of that song is lost for many people because it is all too true with no joy at the end.

How many people this year are in their first Christmas after the loss of a loved one? It too often doesn’t get any easier by the 20th Christmas after and beyond.

Broken or strained relationships cast a blue tint over Christmas fun.

Sometimes it helps to give voice to your blue emotions. So I’m inviting you to share your experiences in our blog. There’s a comment block at the bottom. Please share a bit of your story, especially if you’ve found a way to successfully deal with your own blue Christmas. Let other people learn from our victory.

If I’ve stirred up some blue emotions for you, just tell yourself that you don’t want to think about that. I promise; do that consistently for just a few days and you’ll discover that the blue thoughts don’t pop up as often as before.

To make it easier to grasp, I’ve written an online course called Finding Personal Peace. For Christmas and New Year, it’s free to all who want to know a simple, effective way to deal with most of the negative stuff in their lives.

So, share your story and then I’ll share what I’ve learned with you.

Have a joyous Christmas and a blessed New Year.

Resources you can use

Learn how to simply and effectively deal with your blueness. Learn more at  http://findingpersonalpeace.com.

You can use this eCourse for just about any negative emotion or habit that bothers you in addition to sadness. And you are free to share it with others.

I hope Finding Personal Peace helps you with your sadness as much as it helped me with my anger.

Blue Christmas

Rod Peeks

Thanks for reading our blog today. I invite you to respond in several ways: (1) Comment in the space below if you agree or disagree with what I’ve said. A dialogue could be interesting for all; (2) Share the post with your friends using the buttons below; and (3) sign up to get an email with each new post. There’s a place to do that on the right. Then you won’t have to remember to look for our subsequent posts. Thanks again!

P.S. We’ve written several short stories with some good life lessons. You can check them out by searching by category at the right. My son told me today that Ben’s Story gave him something think about in his life. Thanks.

Blog Carnival – Finding Personal Peace for December 15, 2013

Blog Carnival – Finding Personal Peace for December 15, 2013Welcome to the December 15, 2013 edition of Blog Carnival –  Finding Personal Peace containing 10 interesting articles on a variety of topics.

Thanks for visiting our Blog Carnival, Finding Personal Peace. Please review the subjects below and make note of any that interest you. At the bottom of the page, you will find a link that takes you to more information about each post. If you find a post you like, please make a comment to encourage them or even engage in a discussion with them.

anger

  • Lidiya presents A Minimalist Step-by-step Guide to Reacting in Tough Situations

depression

  • Adam Pasztor presents The Miracle Forest: How To Take Control Of Your Life

emotional issues

  • Jana presents The Pitfalls To Participating in A Pity-Party
  • Diane Mottl, MSW presents Be a Flicker of Light During the Holidays (Mental Health) | Being Truly Present
  • Lidiya presents Embrace Insecurity and Live the Life You Deserve
  • Lidiya presents Experience the Thrill of Becoming Emotionally Independent

relationships

  • emilynolin presents The Courage To Piss People Off
  • emilynolin presents The Paradox Of Attraction
  • Socratez presents Socratez Online – Expand Your Mind

social anxiety

To view the articles, Click here or click on Blog Carnival in the tabs at the top. You’ll want to check out these articles and share them in your circle of influence. We’ll be receiving submitted articles and posting them each week. Please share with your friends. Thanks.

Mark’s Story

Mark's StoryA Short Story About a Boy Dealing with Separation

The bell rang and 22 4th graders jumped from their seats and rushed for the exits. Well, actually only 21 jumped and rushed. One of them, Mark, slid out of his desk, walked to his peg for his backpack, then slowly dropped down and sat on his feet in front of his cubby. It has not been a good week for Mark.

As he dug through his cubby looking for what he needed to take home, he heard a familiar voice by the door. It was his used-to-be best friend, Trey, laughing with Robby as they left the room. Trey had told Mark Monday that he didn’t want to be his best friend anymore. Tray said that it wasn’t fun to hang out with him like it used to be.

Then yesterday, Teacher had called his mother in for a conference to explain how Mark was distracted and how his grades were slipping. In fact, she’d told mom that it was getting so bad that he might not pass fourth grade. Mom did a lot of yelling last night, telling him it was all his fault and that he had to straighten up.

Mark followed the other kids out to the cross walk and waited for Miss Ruth to stop traffic. She smiled at him and winked, but he just didn’t feel like smiling back. He was so sad.

Miss Ruth lead all the kids across Fourth Avenue; then the group divided up with some going south toward town and the rest, including Mark, going north up the hill toward Dixon Heights, the neighborhood where Mark lived with his mom.

Mark hung back as the other kids laughed and ran along the sidewalk. It was only seven blocks home: six on Fourth Ave and a block left on Poplar. But he was in no hurry to get there today. Mom had grounded him for a week from TV and video games because of the teacher conference; and with Trey hanging out with Robby, he didn’t have anybody to walk or play with.

He had always walked home from school but up to third grade, his mom had always met him and walked with him. His dad had driven him to school until he left just after Christmas of third grade. Mom had had to go to work to pay the bills so she couldn’t walk with him anymore but she drove him to school in the mornings. Walking home alone okay with Mark, because he was responsible and the neighborhood was safe.

His mom had helped him with several safe houses including Mrs. Blake between Oak and Elm and the store on the corner of the Fourth and Pine. Mrs. Blake always spoke to him and sometimes invited him for cookies and milk on her porch. He hoped she wasn’t out today because he didn’t feel very friendly.

He had held onto his dream that his dad would come back for so long. But when he forgot Mark’s 9th birthday in July and forgot his fourth-grade Christmas, he knew Dad wasn’t coming back. The Christmas and no letters or phone calls had made it clear that he didn’t care about Mark any more.

So why shouldn’t he be sad?

He’d done something to make his dad leave; Trey didn’t want to be friends anymore; his teacher was mad at him; and his mother was freaking out. She’d yelled forever about having to work so hard to pay the bills; and about it being Mark’s fault she had to go to the conference. That would make anybody sad!

As he trudged alone up the hill, all kinds of thoughts filled his head. He’d made his dad mad; but how? Maybe he’d bugged him too much the summer before third grade about going to Disneyworld. Or maybe he’d asked him too many times if he could play baseball in the third-grade spring.

If Dad hadn’t left, everything would be fine; and it was Mark’s fault he left.

He turned left onto Poplar and hoped that Mr. Joe wasn’t out working in his garden. Mr. Joe was retired and lived in the corner house just beyond Mark’s house. They shared a driveway.

Mr. Joe was nice. He always smiled at Mark and let Mark play with his border collie, Mitzi. If they were outside, she would always come over to see Mark. Mark would scratch her ears and let her give him kisses while Mr. Joe asked him about school that day.

Today he didn’t feel like talking with Mr. Joe or even seeing Mitzi so he hoped they weren’t out.

Mark used his key at the back door because Mom didn’t want him unlocking the front door where somebody might see him from the street. He stuffed the key back into his backpack side pocket and tossed the backpack on the floor by the couch. He started toward the TV and then remembered that TV and video games were off limits for a week. What a bummer!

He didn’t have much homework; so he had a snack and then went out to field a tennis ball off the side of the garage. He had done this enough since last summer that his fielding was good enough to make the tryouts for Little League. He’d know his team in three weeks. Baseball was fun but it wasn’t fun enough to get him over being sad today.

He’s just fielded a hard bouncer and made a throw right into the first-baseman circle drawn on the garage wall when Mr. Joe and Mitzi drove into the driveway. It had been Mr. Joe’s idea to draw the first-base and second-base circles on the garage to practice his putouts more realistically.

“Hey, Mark,” Mr. Joe called as Mitzi bounded over with a kiss hanging out the side of her mouth.

Mark waved and sort of smiled which was about the best he could do today.

Mr. Joe noticed and said, “How about me hitting you some grounders? Mitzi will play outfield.”

That sounded good so Mark got the bat from his back porch and handed it to Mr. Joe.

Mark played Mr. Joe’s grounders for about 15 minutes and Mitzi chased the throws to the first-base circle always bringing the ball back to Mr. Joe. But no matter how much Mr. Joe praised his fielding, Mark just couldn’t get very excited.

“Mark, I need a Coke. Want one?”

Without waiting for an answer, Mr. Joe went into his house and came back with two cans of Coke and a water bowl for Mitzi.

Pointing to the steps of his back stoop, Mr. Joe said, “Sit down and tell me what’s going on.”

“Aw nothing” was about the best that Mark could do.

“Where’s your friend, Trey, today? I haven’t seen him this week.”

“We’re not friends anymore,” Mark had to say after stalling over a long sip of Coke.

“That sounds like something worth talking about. None of us has enough friends to waste any.”

So reluctantly Mark started talking about Trey’s saying that he wasn’t fun to be around anymore. And before he knew it, he got to the teacher conference and all the rest of his bad news. He almost cried, but he sucked it up because his dad had always said that men don’t cry.

“So why do you think that you’re so sad that it cost you a friend and you’re not doing well at school?”

This was where it got hard. But Mr. Joe had always asked about what Mark was thinking more than he just wanted to talk about stuff. Mark needed to talk to someone and Mr. Joe was sitting right there asking.

“I’m really sad because my dad left us last winter,” Mark began. “I don’t know why he left and I’ve been thinking a lot and I’ve decided that I must have done something wrong to make him leave.”

“Uh-huh,” was all Mr. Joe said.

Mark had more stuff he needed to say so he continued, “My teacher says I’m distracted, but I just can’t stop thinking about why Dad might have left. Maybe I bugged him too much to do things with me. Maybe I just wasn’t good enough a son to make him want to stay.”

“And I was so sad that Trey doesn’t want to hang out with me any more; and my teacher told Mom that I wasn’t applying myself; and my Mom told me how much I’m letting her down and she’s working so hard; and now I’m grounded; and I can’t do anything right,” Mark blurted out as the tears welled up. “I’m so unhappy, and it’s all my fault. I don’t know what to do!” And the tears burst out.

“I see,” Mr. Joe said softly as he pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket and handed it to Mark. He waited patiently while Mark pulled himself back together.

When Mark calmed himself down, Mr. Joe began softly. “Well, Mark,” it sounds like you’ve got yourself a real conundrum here.”  Mark laughed softly. Mr. Joe liked to use new words sometimes but Mark had figured out that he did it to help Mark learn more vocabulary. He sometimes used one of the words in his reports at school.

“What does that mean, Mr. Joe?”

“Mark, a conundrum is a difficult problem or question. You’ve been trying to figure out what you did to make everybody unhappy, and that, in turn, is making you very sad, right?”

“Yeah, I guess that’s right,” Mark agreed.

“So are you asking me to help you find the answer, Mark?”

“Yes, sir, I guess I am,” was Mark’s honest response.

“Well, Mark, here’s what I’m thinking. The conundrum is that we don’t know why your dad left. Only he knows that. But from what you tell me, every time you think about it, it makes you sad. Have I got that much right?”

“Yes, sir,” Mark answered absentmindedly scratching Mitzi’s ears when she plopped down next to him on the stoop.

Mr. Joe continued, “And when you get sad, it makes you not so much fun to be around, right?”

“Yes, sir.”

“And when you think about it a lot at school, it distracts you from your work so your grades are slipping and your mom gets called to a conference, right?”

“Yes, sir.”

“And when your mom gets called to a conference and told that you might not pass 4th grade, it makes her unhappy and she grounds you to make you work harder, right?”

“Yes, sir,” Mark answered still not sure where Mr. Joe was going with all this because all he had done was repeat what Mark had said.

“Mark, I could tell you what a great boy you are. That would be true.”

“I could tell you that nothing you did made your dad leave, and that would also be true.”

“And, I could tell you that your grades are going to improve and that you and Trey will become friends again; but I don’t know whether that is true.”

“I don’t understand, Mr. Joe.”

“Mark, the problem today is not that your dad left. The problem is that you’re thinking about it so much; and when you think about it, it makes you sad because you can’t find an answer.”

Mark’s look showed Mr. Joe that he was still confused, so he continued.

“Mark, when did your dad leave?”

“In the winter of 3rd grade.”

“That’s over a year ago, right?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Mark, when did Trey say it wasn’t fun to be your friend anymore?”

“Monday.”

“I see. And you were sad on Monday because you were thinking about why your dad left, right?“

“Yes, sir.”

“So your dad left again on Monday, is that what you’re telling me?”

“No, sir. He left a long time ago.”

“So what happened Monday that made you sad?”

“Nothing happened Monday. I was trying to figure out why Dad left.”

“Mark, let me restate that. You were thinking about why your dad left, right?” He made the word thinking a little louder.

“Yes, sir. He didn’t leave again. He had already done that.” Mark was beginning to see a point here.

“So about your grades. You’ve been distracted at school for several weeks, right?”

“Yes. When I signed up for baseball tryouts, I started thinking that my Dad wouldn’t be there for any of my games and I wanted to know why he left. If I knew that, maybe I could get him to come back to watch me play baseball.”

“I see. So he didn’t leave again when you signed up for baseball, did he? He had done that a long time ago and you were just thinking about it again. Have I got that right?”

“Yes, sir that’s right.”

“And your mom is mad because your grades are slipping and she got called off work to go to school. That was not because your dad left again, but because you were distracted thinking about why your dad left and didn’t keep up with your work. Also right?”

“Yes, sir,” Mark responded still not quite sure where they were going.

Then Mr. Joe asked a curious question.

“Mark, if I could show give you an answer for being so sad, would you want that?”

“Yes, sir!” Mark said with more enthusiasm!

“First, can I tell you a story, Mark?” and he continued without waiting for an answer.

“A long time ago, before your Mom and Dad moved next door and before you were born – even before I got Mitzi – I was a very angry person. Some people in our church had hurt my family and I spent years being very angry with them. I would have shouting arguments with them all by myself driving to work or around town. My anger popped up all the time and it was hurting and embarrassing my wife and children. This continued for a long time – long after the people had done what they did to my family.”

“But they weren’t doing it again and again. I was just thinking about it again and again.”

“Then one day, another pastor gave a sermon that told me that I could ‘take my thoughts captive.’ That’s from the Bible.“

“That meant that whenever I had a thought that was going to make me angry, all I had to do was ‘take that thought captive,’ and I wouldn’t get angry.”

“I was getting angry because of my thoughts, not because the people were hurting us again.”

Mr. Joe went on to tell Mark that God made us with a special ability to let us choose what we want to think about. If a thought about something that hurts us, or makes us angry, or afraid, or sad, we can choose not to think about that thought. He explained that a special part of our mind, called our subconscious, has the purpose of helping us do what we like to do.

When our subconscious thinks that we like being sad, it finds thoughts that will help us be sad. When we say out loud, “I take that thought captive” or “I’m not going to think about that,” our subconscious learns how we respond when those thoughts pop up, and it begins to ‘take those thoughts captive’ automatically.

“So in just a short time, I wasn’t nearly as angry as I used to be and I’m still getting better by continuing to take my negative thoughts captive.”

“So what does this story mean for you, Mark?”

“Are you saying that it’s my thinking about Dad leaving that makes me sad all over again?”

“That’s exactly right, Mark. When you try to figure out why he left, you’re making yourself sad just like you were sad when he actually left; and it’s still not getting you the answers you want.”

“There’s another word I like Mark. It’s rumination; and that means thinking about or dwelling on something again and again.”

Mark said out loud, “Rumination. Hmmmm.”

“So if your question, ‘Why did Dad leave, is a conundrum; and you may never get an answer; then the best thing for you is to stop ruminating on it.”

“And the way I do that is to ‘take that thought captive,’ Mark exclaimed!

“Exactly, Mark, that’s a very astute observation you made,” Mr. Joe confirmed with a smile.

“Since you’ve been asking the question for a while, it’s become a habit. So it may take a little time to break that habit.”

“I’ve got a suggestion, Mark. Every time the question about your dad pops into your mind, you say softly to yourself, ‘I take that thought captive.’”

“I promise you the thought will go away every time you take it captive, even if for just a minute. But if it comes back, you take it captive again. Before long it will be coming back less and less often until one day it won’t pop up at all.”

“Here’s a game we can play.”

“Keep a slip of paper in your desk or in your pocket. Whenever you take the thought captive, make a little mark on the paper. Each day when you see Mitzi and me outside, just yell out the number of little marks you’ve made that day.”

“Mark, I can’t give you an answer to why your dad left. But I am giving you a tool you can use for most of the sad thoughts you will have your entire life.”

“By the start of baseball season, I don’t think you’ll be sad anymore. Do you want to try this, Mark?”

Mark agreed and promised to call out the numbers to Mr. Joe whenever he saw him.

The next day he called out, “Seventeen,” and got a smile from Mr. Joe.

The next day he reported, “Fifteen”

The numbers he called out got smaller and smaller and Mr. Joe’s encouragement got happier and louder as the days passed.

Mark didn’t tell Mr. Joe this until later: He figured out that every time his teacher told them to take out their math books, Mark would always think “I hate math.” He started taking that thought captive and before long, he didn’t dread math so much.

His mom told him one day that Teacher had called and told her that Mark’s grades were climbing back to where they had been. Mom was really pleased and made Mark’s favorite dessert for supper.

The day Little League teams were announced; Mark and Trey learned they would be on the same team this year.

As they walked down Mark’s driveway going to baseball practice, Mark saw Mr. Joe and Mitzi in the garden.

He yelled out “Zero, Mr. Joe! Zero! Thank you!”

Trey looked at him kind of funny; then they laughed and ran down the street to the park.


Note to parents:

 This fictional story introduces a principle that has been around for thousands of years. In addition to the Bible, philosophers like Confucius, Marcus Aurelius, Shakespeare, and others have written about our wonderful capacity to train ourselves not to ruminate on negative thoughts. The danger of rumination is stress, depression, anxiety, emotional issues, and worse.

Your children can understand the simple principle that “if I think a lot about something that makes me sad, I can take that thought captive.”

This concept is explained fully in an online eCourse called Finding Personal Peace – http://findingpersonalpeace.com.

 The eCourse leads one through a process of turning a habit of sadness into a habit of peace.

 The concept works for virtually every negative emotion that results from negative thinking.

This story is fiction and any resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidental.

To read other short stories on life issues for kids and teens, click here.

Copyright 2013 findingpersonalpeace.com. Birmingham, Al USA. All rights reserved.

Thanks for reading our blog today. I invite you to respond in several ways: (1) Comment in the space below if you agree or disagree with what I’ve said. A dialogue could be interesting for all; (2) Share the post with your friends using the buttons below; and (3) sign up to get an email with each new post. There’s a place to do that on the right. Then you won’t have to remember to look for our subsequent posts. Thanks again!

 

Transformers

Many of us need to be transformed – we just don’t know how to do it.

Transformers

Transform Yourself

I was thinking yesterday about Transformers. Do you remember the toys from a generation ago that could, with a few twists, turns, snaps, bends, and clicks, be changed from a menacing, powerful, figure of doom and destruction into a sleek, beautiful, vehicle possessing great style and grace.

My sons played for hours on end with first one transformation and then the other. What fun they had.

The need for transformation

Open up your mind’s eye and take a look at yourself. What do you see? Do you see a positive, compelling image of yourself; or do you see a sad, negative, off-putting picture?

Do you see an image that is in need of a great transformation?

Understand that what you see in your mind’s eye is the actual image that your subconscious mind has of you. If you’re like many of us, that image has become less and less appealing as time passes.

Your subconscious is a vast storehouse of all your life experiences in great detail. It is also the database of every one of your reactions to all those experiences; as well as the thoughts and ruminations you continue to have on an ongoing basis.

So over time you may very well have painted a bleak picture of who your subconscious believes you are; and it’s this role that you’re probably playing in your world today.

Wouldn’t you like to be like the toy and by a few twists, turns, snaps, bends and clicks become a truly strong, dependable, and satisfied person who presents to the world an image of confidence and self-sufficiency?

By the way, since I encouraged you to perhaps start thinking about a negative image of yourself; I hereby tell you with authority, “STOP THINKING ABOUT IT- RIGHT NOW!”

Transformed

You can become a Transformer. You don’t have to accept the self-portrait that your subconscious has painted. You have the power to reduce the effect of the negative thinking almost immediately.

Notice the sentence in ALL CAPS above. You have the authority to decide what you think about. You can stop thinking about anything you don’t want to think about.

I’m not suggesting that you replace negative thinking with positive thinking. That’s an often-touted and just-as-often futile attempt to feel better. It’s always temporary.

You have an innate capacity to be happy. That capacity is often overwhelmed by negative thinking. Simply refusing to think about negative things will over a surprisingly short period of time allow the flicker of your inborn ability to start peeking out and eventually grow to a full beam of peace in your life.

In Finding Personal Peace we show you how to transform the negative you right out of your mental picture of yourself and allow the peaceful you to emerge. We tell you what to do; we tell you why it works; and we lead you through a process of repetitive actions to reinforce your knowledge and belief into a new habit of peace. You take authority over the process.

So be transformed

Is there any reason not to start the process of transforming yourself today? I hope not.

Transformers

www.findingpersonalpeace.com

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What Will You Give Up for Lent?

Making change usually means giving up the old and taking on the new.

What Will You Give Up for Lent?

Peace is the Promise of Lent

I grew up in a non-liturgical church which didn’t celebrate Lent. It wasn’t until just a few years ago that I was part of a congregation that celebrates Lent. So I had a lot to learn.

Lent is a forty-day liturgical season that initiates the most sacred part of the Christian year.  Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and concludes Easter. Sundays aren’t counted for some reason.

The word Lent actually comes from the Old English lencten, which means “lengthen.”  It refers to the lengthening of the daylight hours that occurs in the northern hemisphere as spring approaches.  It is in this period of transition from late winter to early spring that the season of Lent falls.

Forty is a number that has a lot of Biblical significance. It rained for 40 days. Moses was on the mountain for 40 days receiving the Ten Commandments. Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. Elijah went 40 days into the wilderness. The people of Nineveh fasted and mourned for 40 days in response to the preaching of Jonah. Jesus fasted in the desert for 40 days after which he as tempted by Satan. Jesus was among his disciples for 40 days after the resurrection before He ascended into heaven.

So it seems logical that Lent lasts 40 days.

Why practice Lent?

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, “the purpose of Lent is to provide that purification by weaning men from sin and selfishness through self-denial and prayer, by creating in them the desire to do God’s will and to make His kingdom come by making it come first of all in their hearts.”

What does this mean to us?

Looking at the concept of Lent from a secular perspective, it’s a time when we give something up; a time when we make sacrifice.

Maybe we give up some of our comfort zone. Maybe we give up beliefs and thoughts that are dear to us. Maybe we give up habits that have the capacity to hurt us and hold us back from where we might be otherwise.

Comfort zone

That’s a subjective term. Your comfort zone might be horrendous to someone else because you may have gotten comfortable in an atmosphere of pain and negativity that you know than you might be in the unknown of the alternatives. So we say, “I’ll just deal with it,” and continue trudging through our lives.

Beliefs and Thoughts

Again, the impact of beliefs and thoughts is subjective. It’s true that you were hurt. And the recurring thoughts that you have represent something that truly happened. And you may take some satisfaction in the vengeance you deal out every time you think about those painful things.

Habits

We get comfortable where we are and reconcile that this is the hand we were dealt and we’ll just play it. Maybe I eat too much. It doesn’t hurt anybody but me. Maybe I languish in a menial job. It’s my life. I’m not hurting anybody else. I speak my mind. Don’t I have the right to do that?

Giving up for Lent

Think about giving up your painful comfort zone and spending your 40 days seeking a peaceful lifestyle.

Why not give up debilitating thoughts in favor of personal peace?

Why not give up habits that hold you back and offend others and take up new habits?

You can do all that and more if you’ll let the course, Finding Personal Peace, show you how.

Why not give up emotional pain for Lent?

Why not give up negative thinking for Lent?

Why not give up old habits for Lent?

Forty days later, you might not recognize yourself.

God bless,

What Will You Give Up for Lent?

www.findingpersonalpeace.com

Thanks for reading our blog today. I invite you to respond in several ways: (1) Comment in the space below if you agree or disagree with what I’ve said. A dialogue could be interesting for all; (2) Share the post with your friends using the buttons below; and (3) sign up to get an email with each new post. There’s a place to do that on the right. Then you won’t have to remember to look for our subsequent posts. Thanks again!