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Old December 14th, 2012, 19:53
cal821 cal821 is offline
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Default "Life without Limits"

" Don't Worry Be Happy!".............DOES THAT SONG work your nerves as much as it works mine? It was annoying in the 80s but now, with everything topsy-turvy, with the economy tanking and people in genuine need, it hits me like nails on a chalkboard. For most people, worry seems justified and happiness an afterthought, given our current challenges.

Perhaps the song activates that bit of curmudgeon in me -- the bit that thinks that finding the pony in the horse*** requires wading through a lot of crap and eschews simplistic answers; still, it's light and catchy, and excellent advice.

Worry, like guilt, achieves nothing productive and takes us on side-paths of experience that we wouldn't deliberately choose if we had our heads screwed on tight. The things we worry about are seldom the ones that manifest; and worry itself adds energy to the creation of worrisome events, causing us to choose erroneously in a sort of subconscious self-fulfilling prophecy.

Happiness isn't circumstantial, arriving due to the conditions outside of ourselves; it's an inside job. It's both an attitude and a condition of our body, mind and soul. Science suggests that some of us are hard-wired for happiness; others, not so much. We've seen examples of people in poverty smiling and laughing, while the filthy-rich can be just as cranky and mean-spirited as those with much less. If stuff doesn't do it; then what does?

We can take some cues from our brains. Recently a Television Network aired a program, Magnificent Mind at Any Age, by Dr. Daniel Amen, who is the author of books on brain function and the benefits of approaches that restore our brains to balance and health at every age level. He prefers a holistic approach to problems like anxiety, depression, ADD and insomnia; he advocates nutrition, alternative medicines and mental/spiritual strategies. As we consider happiness, we must remember that it's part and parcel of whole-body health.

We need to remember that strong emotions, the kind we're seeing around us everywhere, are contagious. We can catch fear from others -- and so, science affirms, can we catch happiness, as well. Consider this conclusion from a recent study on happiness: "Emotions have a collective existence -- they are not just an individual phenomenon."

Collective humanity is constantly muddying the emotional waters of the planet and passing along the result. That's not news to many of us, but it should be impetus to affirm our intention to contribute mindfully; what we think, what we feel, is a vital part of the fabric of the world's wholeness. Our ability to find, and share, our own happiness is more a service to the world than we know.

None of us is without the complex emotions of our human condition -- we each have moments of despair, anger, disillusionment, anguish. That comes, gratis, with a birth certificate. How we deal with these moments tells us a lot about our ability to take responsibility for ourselves.

Over the years, I've developed a set of what I call process partners; people with whom I am intimate with the details of my life and who are my peers on a spiritual level. People I can trust with my emotions; people who will listen patiently, weep with me if necessary, and call me on my bull****.

What bull**** is that, you say? Self-pity or hasty conclusions jumped to; negative pronouncements or hopeless assessments. I have a rule for myself -- feel what you feel, express it in harmlessness but don't you dare live there. The last of that is a time consideration; it may take an hour, a day, a week to get past something difficult. It might even take a year or, for some, a lifetime.

Life is messy -- it can appear to be either a series of losses or a panorama of adjustments and opportunities; the choice is ours. Now, more than ever, it's a critical choice.

Circumstances may change everything we thought we were about in an instant; loss may define us on some level. But every morning, as we face a new day, we are contributing to the emotional well-being of the collective of humanity in what is called 'social contagion;' we have a responsibility not only to ourselves, but to others, to find our way through our difficulties as mindfully as possible. The good news is we can depend on our friends; if the science is correct, we can even depend on theirs.

Part of our problem with happiness is that we assess it through a process of checks and balances; this is actually a control issue. If things work out this way, or even that, then we're happy; if they don't, we're sad. We are constantly sorting out what is good versus what is bad; that's our humanness asserting itself in a polarized world. There are other, more productive ways to view this; what works and what doesn't work sits better with me. And even if things don't appear to be working, there's the "door closing, window opening somewhere" thought system. Down is just down, my dears -- down is seldom out, unless we want it so.

It was belief in happy thoughts that kept Tinkerbell alive, if you remember, happy thoughts that allowed Peter Pan to fly. Children's stories are shot through with wisdom. We all have a vast collection of both happy and unhappy thoughts at our disposal. We choose which to reflect upon -- and which of them will reflect us out into the world. Thoughts are, in the purest sense, choices; happy thoughts are excellent choices, but life being what it is lately, we may need some guidance through the mire.

Dr. Amen tells us that we are able to train our brains to optimize our ability to feel happiness; he gave a helpful tool in that I think is useful to our conversation. When we have a random fear thought, or even one that seems highly personal, we should reflect a moment upon the truthfulness of it. Our thoughts may or may not tell us the truth; quite often they do not, and drive us toward dysfunctional behaviors.

When we have one of those distressing thoughts, Dr. Amen asks us to write it down. Then he proposes that we ask ourselves four questions:
1. Is this thought true?
2. Is it absolutely, undeniably 100% true?
3. How do I feel when I believe that thought?
4. Who would I be without that thought?

If the thought we are thinking limits us, lies to us and denies us happiness, it cannot hold up to these questions. We filter our thoughts through our own personal bias and fear. As that is how humanness works, let's be sure that the meaning we're assigning to these kinds of thoughts assists us toward health and happiness. Each little bit of forward movement we can achieve in our own lives adds to the wellbeing not only in the lives of those we hold dear, but to all of our brothers and sisters, world-wide.

I've written about gratitude in another post as a way to access higher levels of thought. Finding the glass half-full is more useful than deciding the glass is half-empty; it's required that we notice and appreciate what's in that half-full glass in order to lift up toward more. There are certainly times in all our lives when we think the glass is bone-dry; it never is, but it may take some work to find the blessing.

While we're looking at gratitude, perhaps we should take a moment to consider that happiness wasn't even a factor for many of our forbearers; it wasn't until the last century that it became a consideration for the majority. It took a certain level of prosperity and wellbeing to bring us into an awareness of happiness.

Life is made up of duty and responsibility as well as personal satisfactions and contentment; the former is easy enough to find, the latter harder -- but at least it's on our radar. A few hundred years ago, our current insistence that we are entitled to be happy campers would not have been part of our understanding. We would have been held prisoner to our social class, and limited opportunity. We can thank government for much of that; equity laws, civil rights laws. As flawed as our system is, it is remarkable in many ways.


So you think Life has dealt you a bad break...
Please take a look at this young man's story and then take a look at your own troubles in your life... Nick Vujicic at http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org/

Believe me this gentleman is an inspiration to all.. see for yourself... he will definitely change your thought process.. the next time you feel like having a little pity party for your-self and what you think you have lost in your life.....

As Always I wish you peace

Cal821
__________________
Memory can only tell us what we were,
in the company of those we loved;
it cannot help us find what each of us, alone, must now become.
Yet no person is really alone;
those who live no more echo still within our thoughts and words,
and what they did has become woven into what we are.

I wish you peace and a level path on your journey...

Cal821

Last edited by cal821 : December 15th, 2012 at 12:15.
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  #2  
Old December 15th, 2012, 09:37
gumek gumek is offline
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Default without limbs

hi dave, i read his book some time ago and remember that is was indeed a humbling experience, i have never met him but know some who have they say there is a light shining out of him. he is a wonderful born again christian man who dosent hold any blame towards God for these discabilities infact he believes that God will one day re-grow his limbs but he has a great job and purpose to fulfil going all over the world bringing hope and encouragment to those that the world labels as ab-normal. he takes the message of hope in this very dark world tnat it seems is headding for dissaster,if we dont change, well anyway we all should take a look at his story then we will be thankful in this life. thankyou dave.

chrissie. xxx
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  #3  
Old April 1st, 2013, 13:40
cal821 cal821 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Canada
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Default

bump up to the top
__________________
Memory can only tell us what we were,
in the company of those we loved;
it cannot help us find what each of us, alone, must now become.
Yet no person is really alone;
those who live no more echo still within our thoughts and words,
and what they did has become woven into what we are.

I wish you peace and a level path on your journey...

Cal821
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  #4  
Old January 21st, 2017, 14:48
hazelharris hazelharris is offline
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re posted x
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  #5  
Old September 10th, 2017, 12:44
cal821 cal821 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 466
Default

bump up for a re-read
__________________
Memory can only tell us what we were,
in the company of those we loved;
it cannot help us find what each of us, alone, must now become.
Yet no person is really alone;
those who live no more echo still within our thoughts and words,
and what they did has become woven into what we are.

I wish you peace and a level path on your journey...

Cal821
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