You Da Person Part III

No matter how well we think we are doing, there are always things in our life that we can improve. We sometimes need a little guidance in making these improvements. This is the third and final set of guidelines that will aid you in making changes in your life. Hopefully these changes will enable you to get more enjoyment from life. Ignore the bastards and do what you need to do.

Here are the third set of guidelines…

Do You Really Mean It? Then Keep Saying It - The Power of Repetition

Repetition is a very powerful tool. Advertisers know this. We hear the same ads over and over, and even when they change the ads, they say the same thing. Why? Because the more we hear it, the more we believe it. It automatically pops into our head when we go shopping.

Similarly you can use repetition to help you achieve goals in your life, discipline your children, make an impression on friends and more.

What are your goals? Need to quit smoking, lose weight, lower your cholesterol? You need to self-talk. Tell yourself daily what you need to do. Write up a short pep talk and repeat it to yourself over and over throughout the day, while you are driving to work, when you go to the bathroom, standing in line at the bank or lunch counter, any where you are.

If you truly believe in your goal, the regular repetition of it will help you to focus on the goal and ultimately to achieve it. If you are telling yourself to eat healthy all through the day, when it comes time to eat a meal, you will have psyched yourself up to eat healthy. If you tell yourself you do not want a cigarette over and over, you will be able to resist at least a little longer each time.

We are creatures of habit. And habit is simply the repetition of something until it becomes routine, something we do without thinking. If we tell ourselves something often enough, it will become part of our psyche and we will incorporate it into our behavior. By the same token, repeating something to someone else can have the same effect on them. I learned a long time ago that repeating instructions to my children without altering my tone of voice or sentence structure had dramatic affects on them. If I told them to put their toys away and they wanted to argue that they were busy, they wanted to get a drink first or any number of excuses, I would simply repeat the instructions over and over in the same quiet tone of voice. Amazingly, if you don't argue or raise your voice, they eventually get tired of hearing the same thing and do what you asked.

The first couple of times, I had to repeat myself fifteen times or more. After that, they caught on and realized that I was not going to give up, but simply repeat my instructions until they were followed. The same thing works with co-workers and friends. If you continue to repeat until they get it, you don't have to say anything else and you don't have to raise your voice.

We are comforted by repetition. In times of stress, the repetition of a prayer or song can bring welcome relief. We turn to the familiar when we are stressed. The repetition of a saying that our parents used to tell us can comfort us in times of loneliness, grief, frustration or other emotions. We feel easier with the familiar and repetition of things from the past provides comfort when we most need it.

Repetition is a powerful learning tool. Most of us learned our arithmetic facts by repetition. We learned to say the pledge by repeating it every day. We learned our ABC's and many other basic facts by repetition. Teachers assign tasks of repetition everyday in school. It is important to teach children to solve problems and think for themselves, but some things have to be learned by rote.

We build the patterns of our lives on repetition. We do basically the same things over and over. If we are to make the best use of the power of repetition, we must be sure of the direction and purpose of our lives. Then the patterns we establish through the repetition of activities will aid us in building a stronger, more purpose driven life.

How to Deal with Anger....Counting to Ten is Not Enough

It seems that society is becoming angrier and angrier. We hear about boyfriends beating up their girlfriend, people beating up their neighbors because the dog was barking, parents beating their children because they didn't do their homework…the list goes on an on. There was even an incident of a parent killing another over a sporting event their kids were involved in. We hear it all the time.

Anger is a fact of life. It is an emotion that we all experience from time to time. Sometimes the anger is justified and sometimes we are being unreasonable. But it doesn't really matter if we are justified in our anger or not. We still have to deal with it.

The most common advice we hear about dealing with anger is simply to count to ten. But what happens if we count to ten and we are still angry enough to hit someone? What do we do then?

The most important thing to remember is that you must be in control of your emotions. Here are some ways that you can control your emotions and hopefully keep from doing something you will regret.

  • Don't say anything when you are angry. When we speak out of anger, we usually say something to hurt the other person. If you can keep from talking, you will keep from saying something that you will regret. If you must talk. Simply state that you are angry and why. Then tell the other person you will talk when you have calmed down.
  • Talk to yourself. Tell yourself that becoming angry will not help the situation. Talk the situation through in your head. Try to see both sides of the situation and be fair. If you are still angry, give it some time.
  • Take a few long, slow, deep breaths. Breathe in and out slowly and concentrate on becoming calm. If someone tries to talk and continue an argument, hold your hand up to signal that you are calming and will resume the talks in a moment.
  • Stop and consider the other side of the story. This can be very difficult in the heat of the moment, but if you can train yourself to look at both sides of an argument, you will be able to remain calm and discuss the problem from a more reasonable standpoint. The other party will appreciate that you can see some of his points and may be more willing to negotiate.
  • Walk away. You can't always walk away from a situation where you are angry, but if you can, it is usually the best course of action. You can always come back later when you have calmed down and had time to get your emotions under control. If you are habitually angry over something like work or a relationship, you need to develop some habits that will calm you and let you relax and forget the anger.
  • There may be people who make you angry every time you see them. They may do this on purpose, or you may just find them obnoxious. The best way to deal with people like this in through indifference. You must adopt an attitude of indifference toward them. Do not respond to them. They will eventually get the message and leave you alone.
  • Don't dwell on your anger. Think of something else. Get involved in other activities and spend your time thinking of other things. Read a book or watch a good movie. Find a project or hobby. Do something to distract you from thinking about a situation that angers you.
  • Forgive the other person. Many times we harbor anger over time and it eats at us. We cannot be happy because we are nurturing feelings of anger over something that the other person has forgotten about or doesn't know that they have done. In this case, your anger is not hurting anyone but you. Forgive the other person and get on with your life. Let the anger go.

Anger is a very powerful emotion. It can cause you to do things you never knew you were capable of. It can make you ill. It can ruin relationships and end marriages. Many a family has been torn apart by anger. Learning to control your anger may be the best gift you ever give yourself.

Maybe Nothing is Really Something - Some Days You Just Need to Chill Out and Do Nothin'

Doing nothing is very difficult, but very rewarding. Have you tried it lately? Probably not. We live in such a mad world. We stand in line at the supermarket with a magazine in our hand to avoid doing nothing. We fidget with the knobs on the radio when we are stopped at a traffic light. We check our messages or play video games on our smart phones when we are waiting for the doctor. We are always doing something.

You really need to relearn the art of doing nothing. Doing nothing brings calmness to your soul. It nourishes your brain and leaves you feeling refreshed. It feeds your thirst for solitude. It is healthy!

But how do you go about doing nothing in this busy age of twenty-four hour news and constant bombardment from smart phones, twitter and facebook. You have to make a conscious effort to do nothing.

We can all learn to do nothing when we have to wait on others. When you are standing in line at the grocers or the bank, do nothing. Leave the magazines in the rack and leave your phone in your pocket. Stand and think of nothing. Breathe in and out and relax. Just a few minutes of doing nothing can give you a mental boost and lower your stress levels.

You can plan a “do nothing” afternoon. Make sure that you clear your calendar and let people know that you will be unavailable. Prepare yourself for doing nothing. Have snacks ready made and available. Have something to drink on hand.

Find a comfortable place to do nothing. Sit out by the pool or in your favorite lounge chair. Lean back and relax. Breathe deeply and enjoy sitting and doing nothing. Don't read, don't watch television, don't talk on the phone. Just do nothing. For some, a whole afternoon of doing nothing will be too difficult. You many need to start with a half hour to an hour.

While you are doing nothing, let your thoughts wander. Try not to dwell on unpleasant thoughts. Think of relaxing places you would like to be. I like to imagine myself under a big, shade tree beside a gently flowing brook. The sun is shining brightly and the birds are singing. While I am imagining myself in this place, other thoughts come to mind. I can drift away on plans for the future, go to places I would truly love to visit someday, spend time with friends and relatives I have not seen in some time or just remember things from my past.

Doing nothing is truly a lost art. But if you work to develop this skill, you will find that by doing nothing you can improve both your mental and physical health. Teaching your body to relax and do nothing can be beneficial in lowering your blood pressure, decreasing the frequency of headaches, and helping to lessen the effects of stress such as jaw clenching and muscle tension.. If you become good at it, you can go into relaxed mode when you are in stressful situations, such as sitting in the dentist chair.

When you do nothing, you learn to hear your thoughts. You can feel your emotions. You can take the time to look at yourself and really get to know who you are. As you wander through the paths of your mind, you will become aware of things that you find especially beautiful and amazing, as well as things that you don't like at all. You may have never taken the time to really think about these things and your reactions to them. You will begin to know yourself better than you ever have before.

Doing New Stuff Keeps You Engaged

Just like doing nothing can help us grow in self-awareness and mental strength, doing new things can expand our horizons. We oft times become bored and lose interest in our lives because we don't have enough change.

The repetition we talked about earlier can turn into a rut if we don't sprinkle new things liberally over the surface. We need to continually challenge ourselves with new and exciting experiences. Many people’s automatic response is, “I can't afford new and exciting experiences.” But things don't have to be expensive to be beneficial.

One of the easiest ways to keep our minds engaged is to work puzzles. Crossword puzzles are challenging and keep your mind engaged. Jigsaw puzzles are great for keeping you interested and the whole family can get involved. There are many new role playing games that help to keep you interested as you learn new skills.

Recent research has shown that people who engage in these types of activities stay mentally alert longer in old age. They are slower to show signs of senility and dementia.

The internet is a great way to find new things to stimulate your mind and get you involved. If you live near a large metropolitan area you will have no trouble finding inexpensive new things to do. Have you tried jazz music lately? There are usually coffee shops and cafes that feature jazz combos. For the price of a cup of coffee, you can listen to your heart's content.

Are there parks in your area where you can picnic, take the dog for a game of frisbee or get some friends together for a game of touch football? How long has it been since you and your friends got together to play? We all need to play a little, so call up some friends and get a game going.

How about learning a foreign language? If you already speak a foreign language, find out if there is a club or organization near you where you can speak with others. Maybe they will have dinners where you can trade recipes from the country whose language you are speaking.

Many junior colleges have night classes in the arts. You can take dance, music or painting. Open up a whole new vista and discover hidden talents. My mother took up oil painting when she retired and found out that she was really quite good. Maybe you have hidden talents that could be brought out by a night class at a local community college.

Book clubs are great ways to expand your horizons and engage your mind. It is also a great way to meet people who may be interested in the sames things as you. All it costs is the price of a book every now and then and maybe providing refreshments occasionally.

We can easily get into a rut and become stale. Our personalities become stagnant and we lose the excitement we once felt about our lives. Sometime we need a new focus to revitalize our lives and give us the desire to achieve again.

Finding new stuff to do can open avenues of adventure that we never dreamed of . Sometimes we learn a new skill that brings us enjoyment. Sometimes we may find a new career path because of something we tried that we became interested in. And doing something new can bring new people into our lives. You never know who may be waiting out there. The love of your life or a best friend for life may be waiting at the park or community college.

Get out of your comfort zone and try something new. You will be amazed at how it will change your outlook and maybe your whole future.

Don't Let Guilt Drag You Down

Are you holding onto guilt from years ago? Is there something in your past that is eating at you? We have all done things that we regret. Many of us have done terrible things that no one knows about and we carry the memory and the guilt around with us every day. Others hang on to guilt over small things that have been forgotten by others. We hang onto the guilt as a punishment to ourselves .

Guilt causes great emotional pain. It causes us to feel unworthy of love and therefore unlovable. It makes us feel impure. We don't see how other people can like us since we are guilty of having committed such unforgivable acts.

Guilt can also cause physical pain. The emotional burden of carrying around guilt can manifest itself in overeating or starving ourselves and cause physical problems such as being over-weight which can lead to diabetes, heart problems and such. We oft times internalize our guilt and feel actual physical pain because of it. The way guilt is internalized will vary from person to person and therefore the resulting ailments can vary. Just know that guilt can cause physical illness.

Feelings of guilt can overwhelm a person and prevent them from developing as a person. We become stagnant and can't seem to move forward. Guilt will only hold you back. It will keep you from growing and expanding your life.

People who carry guilt feel insecure and often become apologetic. They tend to take on the guilt of others and assume responsibility for things that are not their fault. They feel inadequate and think that others will blame them.

But no one has to feel this way. There are ways of dealing with the emotion of guilt.

  • The first step to releasing guilt is to confess. If you have hurt someone, go to them and confess.
  • Ask for forgiveness. Most likely you will be forgiven. If not, you can still release your feelings of guilt. Let the other person bear the burden of carrying the grudge.
  • If you cannot confess to the injured party or if you are the injured party, confess to another. Anyone will do. If you feel that your trespass is so great that you cannot admit it to someone you know, confess to someone in a chat room online. It doesn't matter who hears the confession, it only matters that you have confessed it to another person.
  • Accept responsibility for the things you feel guilty for. Then release the guilt. You will feel the burden lifting from your shoulders. You will be able to focus on the future and grow.
  • When you release the feelings of guilt, you will probably feel a difference in your physical health. Any ailments that were brought on by the guilt you were harboring, will begin to improve.
  • Releasing the negative feelings of guilt will allow you to experience positive thoughts and emotions. Your whole outlook on life will change. You will become more content with yourself and more confident.
  • When you have confessed your guilt, you will finally be able to forgive yourself. And with forgiveness comes absolution. Now you will be able to move forward with your life.

Guilt is a negative emotion. It's only purpose is to notify us when we have crossed over the line and done something that is hurtful to someone else. Hanging onto the guilt after we have acknowledged that we have done something wrong serves no purpose and only brings harm.

In addition to harming us, guilt can destroy a relationship. If you are guilty of some wrongdoing, confess it, receive absolution and move on with your life and your relationship.

Book in Some Mental Profits - a Good Book Can Give You More Mental Peace

Reading is the perfect past time. You can experience all the things in life that you don't have the time or money for through a good book. Keep a book handy and when you have some spare time go to another world.

Reading is a great escape. When the trials and trouble of life become overwhelming, escape into a good book. The term “good book” is relative, of course. Some people like fiction: romance, historical, sci-fi, fantasy, etc. Some people go in for non-fiction such as biographies, financial, or environmental or self-help. It doesn't matter what you consider a good book. Just get into it and you are lost to the outside world.

If you like fiction and can place yourself in the role of one of the characters of a book, you can travel to far off times and places and experience first hand the life of your character. And if you are skilled at visualizing what you read, you can experience worlds that you can never go to in real life.

Reading keeps you mentally alert. When you read a good book, you are constantly learning new things. There are almost always new words in a book. You are expanding your vocabulary. And you learn about policies, procedures, new foods, places, cultures, the list is endless.

When children learn to read at an early age, they are building a habit that will allow them to reach their goals in life. Children who read well become good students. Children who read for pleasure learn about the world around them and broaden their horizons immeasurably. We learn customs and cultures through books. Sometimes the things our parents tell us seem unreasonable to us at the time. Through reading we often learn that those very things we were taught as a child are the very things that are expected of us. And somehow reading them in a book makes them seem so much more acceptable.

Many a student has found their life's work through reading. Many times we read about something in a book that we had no idea existed. Learning about it in a novel creates interest and when we study further, we find a passion for something that we would never have known about but for reading a good book.

Reading introduces us to the possibilities of this world. It tells us what is going on in other parts of the world. It teaches us about disciplines that we would never be exposed to otherwise and it opens vasts avenues for creativity. When we read that someone has done something, we see that it is possible and it encourages us to try.

If you are an unwilling conversationalist, reading can give you something to talk about. If you never know what to say at cocktail parties or on a date, just bring up the last book you read. Most people will respond by either asking you for more details or telling you what they are reading. At any rate, you sound intelligent and you have done your part on the conversation front, thanks to a good book.

The inspiration you get from a good book, whether it be fiction or non-fiction, can set you on a journey of self-improvement. You may be inspired by a character in a book to do something different in your life. Or you may learn a new subject to pursue and study further. There may be something in the book that you wish to try, like a new food or type of music. Reading can lead us in many directions. If we follow these urgings, we open up new avenues for growth.

Whatever you choose to read, you will expand your mind and increase your vocabulary if you keep a good book handy and read when you have time.

Take a Trip Somewhere (even if you don't have a lot of $) - a Change of Scenery is Good for the Mind

Sometimes you just need to get away from it all. Things have gotten stressful, the job is getting to you, you haven't had time for family and you need to get away from it all. What do you do, especially on a limited budget?

It is important for everyone to get away from the rat race every now and then. You need to be able to sit back and relax. There needs to be a time when you can forget about the pressures of daily life and have fun or just do nothing.

Our society is becoming more and more stressful. We are attached to our cell phones and laptops. Our employers can contact us anytime, anywhere. We never seem to have any privacy anymore. The world is closing in on us and we sometimes feel that we belong to everyone and there is no time for just us.

You need to have time with family and friends to relax and play. Your family needs to know that they are important to you and that you want to be with them. They need to feel connected to you and the best way to foster that is to spend time with them.

Then there are times when you need to spend time alone. You need to go off by yourself and recharge your batteries. These are the times you need to do something that will relax and inspire you. Something that you enjoy and don't get to do very often. Maybe you need to go fishing, sit somewhere and read a good book or just walk in the mall. Whatever it is, it is something you need to do alone.

Whether this is a time to include others or go off by yourself, the most important thing to remember is to turn off the cell phones and leave the laptop at home.

If you can afford a two week cruise, by all means, take it. But if your budget doesn't allow for such extravagances, you can still get away from it all. There are lots of things you can do on a tight budget. A change of scenery doesn't have to break the bank.

There are so many places you can experience for free. With just gas money and a picnic lunch or enough money for a McDonald's lunch, you can go on a day trip to a park, a lake, a river, or the beach. Some museums and zoos are still free. And the ones that aren't usually have a free day occasionally, if you just plan ahead.

The park is a great place to take the family. You can picnic, play Frisbee, take the bikes and let the kids ride, play ball or just lay around. Many parks have water areas with ducks to feed. You can always leave crumbs out for squirrels or birds. And the most important thing is that kids love just being out with you.

If you want to go by yourself, pack a lunch and a beer or bottle of wine and a good book. Find a quiet place and spread your blanket and enjoy the solitude. You will be amazed what an afternoon in the park will do for your disposition.

If you and your crew want to get away for the weekend on a tight budget, try tent camping at a state or national park. Most even have cabins to rent at a reasonable rate if you don't have camping equipment. Camping is a great way to spend time with the family. There are usually hiking trails, fishing waters and playgrounds in state and national parks, so there is plenty to do. You should be able to find time to sit back and relax alone sometime during the weekend.

You can find great deals online for hotels, airlines and theme parks. If you have a little extra money to spend, try shopping for deals. And don't forget the coupon deals through online coupon companies. Sign up and they will e-mail you daily deals for everything from manicures to cruises. You can get some really affordable deals that way.

Whatever you choose, make sure that you leave the stress behind and relax on your change of scenery. You are worth the effort.

From the Mouth of Babes - Learn from Children

Children are so open and honest about life. As adults we forget many of the things we knew as children. Maybe it is time to revisit these things and learn from them.

Children wake every morning in a new world. They don't know what the day will bring. They can't keep tomorrow, next Wednesday or next week straight in their minds, so they take each day as it comes. Even if they have a daily routine, they are always ready for a change or adventure.

We adults often get out of sorts if someone or something changes our routine. We are not ready for adventure. We just want to get through the day. Just think how much we miss out on by not embracing the interruptions and following the path of least resistance. What might we find at the end of the path? A new way of doing things? A new friend? Something that enhances our work or play? You never know 'til you try.

Children are so resilient. They can become totally overwhelmed by their surroundings, by the expenditure of energy, by the loss of something or someone. But they bounce back and regain their momentum rapidly. Sometimes a nap is all they need. Often they need to be held and snuggled for a moment. Or maybe they just need some quiet time alone. What ever the solution, they usually bounce back as if nothing has happened.

We can certainly learn a lesson here. Holding on to our anger, grief, hurt or what ever negative emotions we harbor makes life unbearable. If we can emulate a child's ability to let it go and get on with our lives, we can avoid much of the physical and emotional stress caused by holding these negative emotions. Who are we really hurting anyway by holding on to anger, jealously, or imagined trespasses? It's us, not anyone else.

Children see beauty in life. They don't look for it. They just see it. Whether it is a flower, a pebble, a feather, or any of nature's bounty, children see the wonder in it. They look at a person the same way. It doesn't matter if you are fat or skinny, old or young, black or white. Children see the beauty in you.

If only we could look at the world and it's people in the same way. We are so used to things that we don't really look at them. We see that flower as a weed, that pebble as a nuisance our shoe, and when we see the feather, we think it's dirty and may have bugs. We judge people as soon as we see them without knowing anything about them. We have forgotten the beauty of the uneven and unadorned. We are so used to looking for perfection, that we forget individualism.

Children don't know how things are supposed to be, so they make up their own rules. They do things differently than we do. And it works for them. They explore the possibilities and often come up with new and efficient ways of doing things. Their imagination and creativity knows no bounds.

But we have learned how to do things and we do them the right way. However, when that way doesn't work, we are often stumped. We have lost the imagination and creativity to find another way of doing things. We give up and say it can't be done. We don't know how to turn and twist and come up with a solution that fits our need. We are afraid of getting out of our comfort zone and trying something new and different.

Children have no comfort zone when it comes to creativity. They just do what comes into their heads. Sometimes it is a disaster and sometimes it is a masterpiece. It doesn't matter to them. They have addressed the problem in the only way they know how.

But the most wonderful thing about children is their unconditional love. It doesn't matter who you are or what you look like, person or animal, a child will love you. Smile at a child and you will get a smile in return. Give a child a chance and he will open his heart to you. He will accept you, warts and all. If we could only model that acceptance of people in the community and the workplace, what a wonderful world this would be.

We have forgotten much about life and if we observe a child for a short time, we can relearn so many things that would make life better for us.

El Cheapo or El Smarto - Just Because It's There Doesn't Mean You Have to Buy It

We are a consumer society. We buy and buy and buy. But do we really need all the things we buy? Most of us have things in our homes that never get used. Many times our closets and attics are stuffed with things we have forgotten we own.

And in today's economy, most of us could use a few extra dollars. So why do we spend on things we don't need? It is time to take a critical look at what we are buying and make value judgments on how we are spending our money.

I read once that a college student with a new credit card went to Starbucks twice a day for coffee. She bought a muffin every morning with her coffee. When she got her credit card bill at the end of the first month, she was shocked to see that she owed over $500 because she had not used the card anywhere but Starbucks.

We are often like this with our buying. We spend a few dollars here and a few there and we don't see the overall picture. These small purchases add up and can make a big dent in our budget.

Of course, there are the not so small purchases like smart phones, i-pods and i-pads. Or season tickets to a sporting event or art society performances.

Many of us are so dedicated to the art of keeping up with the Joneses that we spend money on things we don't need and possibly don't even want. This is a useless endeavor. If our goal is to keep up with the neighbors, we can never win because there will always be something new that we have to invest in to meet the challenge.

Our spending should not be governed by what others think of us or our belongings. There are some simple rules to budgeting and buying.

  • Make a budget. Figure out how much money you have and how much you have to spend on non-essentials.
  • Stick to the budget!
  • Plan your purchases. Don't impulse buy. If you want or need something, take time to think it through. Shop around. Wait for sales and specials.
  • Consult with family members. Decide if the item is something needed. Who is to use it? Will it be shared within the family or not?
  • Before you purchase, ask yourself again, “Do we really need this?”
  • For small items, establish spending money budget for every member of the family and stick to it. Make everyone responsible for budgeting their spending money.

Another way to make sure you are being a wise spender is to check out the dollar stores. Many of the dollar only stores are now carrying fresh fruits and vegetables and name brand items. It makes sense, no matter how much money you have, to spend the least amount possible for every item you purchase. When you can get items of equal value for less money, why not do it. That doesn't mean you're cheap, it means you're smart!

Prayer Brings Hope..No Matter What You Believe

There have been studies done on the healing power of prayer. And guess what? The power is there. We have to believe and avail ourselves of it. And why not? Prayer is free. It is something that you can do anytime, anywhere. So why not take advantage of it's power?

Many people will answer, “I don't believe in God.” But those same people, when they reach the end of their rope and have no where else to turn, will turn to prayer. They may not address the prayer to God, but they will cry out in despair for help.

Why wait 'til things get so bad that we cannot cope and cry out in despair. Why not avail ourselves of the power of prayer on a daily basis. Prayer is one of the easiest (and hardest) things to do. We simply need to talk to our higher power about what is going on in our lives.

I was taught early in life to pray a prayer of ACTS:

  • A is for adoration. We need to begin our prayer by praising our higher power and acknowledging the inherent power of another being
  • C is for confession. We cannot truly come before a higher power without confessing our shortcomings and releasing the feelings of guilt and contrition.
  • T is for thanksgiving. We need to give thanks for all that we have been given in this life and acknowledge that we are truly blessed.
  • S is for supplication. Here is where we ask for whatever it is that we need for ourselves or others.

By following this simple format to prayer, we can put ourselves in the right frame of mind to receive the most benefit from our prayer time. We sometimes hate to ask God (or our higher power) for things, but if we have gone through the above steps, we feel more deserving and are more confident in our ask.

The steps above bring hope in many ways. First, by acknowledging the power of God, we have hope that the power inherent in God will be beneficial to us, that God will bless us with his grace. Secondly, by confessing our shortcomings, we absolve and cleanse ourselves of past wrongdoing and are therefore ready to begin anew with hope and grace.

When we thank God for all that he has given us, we realize that there is hope for us. We would not have received so many blessings if we were not worthy in God's eyes. So surely, he will continue to shower us with blessings. We must realize that God knows what we need and always provides our needs, not our wants.

Lastly, having been the recipient of God's bounty, we are encouraged to ask for what we need with every hope of it being supplied. We know from past experience that God will fulfill our needs. We have only to ask and wait on his perfect timing.

The Power of Holy Buildings -Even if You Don't Believe in the Religion of the Building You Are in You Can Still Derive a Sense of Comfort in an Inspiring Space

Holy or sacred places are sanctuaries. Someone or some group has designated them to be sacred. Therefore they become safe havens, places where we can feel safe from the trials and tribulations of the world. We have many names for sanctuaries. We call them churches, synagogues, temples, stupas, mosques, and cathedrals. I am sure there are other names unknown to me by which holy buildings are known.

Many holy buildings are built on sacred ground, land where some special event has taken place. Maybe a battle for right was won there, a holy person was buried there, or a miracle occurred on that spot. The faithful then chose that spot as a special place to build a sanctuary. The building is then considered to be sanctified by the event which occurred there.

The word sacred means to be worthy of spiritual respect and devotion, something that inspires awe and reverence. Throughout history, sacred spaces have been built to honor the gods of choice and to encourage man to worship those gods.

Much thought and planning goes into the construction of these sacred buildings and that often produces a building which is awe inspiring to anyone who ventures in, whether they are a believer or not. The goal of those erecting these buildings was to create a space where we can enter the realm of spirituality, leaving the cares and concerns behind and experiencing the freedom of the spiritual world.

They sought to create a space where our spirits can be connected to the spirit of the godhead. They sought to recreate the beauty of nature and the garden by using the geometry found in nature, in music and in all creation. We respond to this beauty, no matter our beliefs. We are connected to the god of our choosing by the recreation of the beauty of nature that we believe he/she has created.

Entering into any holy space will have a spiritual effect on you. You enter a spiritual relationship when you do so. Whether it is the relationship intended by the architect of the space depends on your own personal beliefs. But a spiritual person cannot help but be inspired by the beauty and intent of a holy space.

Such spaces bring us peace and tranquility. They bring us to psychological healing and offer a place to connect to the god of our choosing. We don't have to worship as the space was designed, we can bring our own belief system to the space and avail ourselves of the inspiration and devotion from which the space was created.

Don't Let The Bastards Get You Down

No matter how well we think we are doing, there are always things in our life that we can improve on. We sometimes just need a little guidance in making these improvements! Hopefully you have enjoyed the little tips I have provided you with. I have found in this life there are way more people wanting to tear you down than willing to build you up. All I will say to you is: DON'T LET THE BASTARDS GET YOU DOWN! You are worth so much more. Go out there and prove it to yourself.


Self-help


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