life. I choose mindfully.
for the September 9, 2014 Barnes and Noble signing has been, “What makes
you think you’re someone who can inspire or motivate another to live an
probably a lot like you who is trying to live a rich, giving, compassionate
life. My mission statement for my life
is, “I live a Christ centered life of love, peace, joy, hope, gratitude
and compassion.” And, everyday I
have to remind myself of it and of how I want to live. I’ve written before of my desire to be loving,
forgiving, nonjudgmental, non-grasping and compassionate. It’s a meditation. It’s something I have to keep in mind
everyday, sometimes every moment. Do
I? Of course I don’t.
worked with a lot of people in many different capacities. One of my first loves is a study group. I facilitated my first study group at Barnes
and Noble in Cary, NC around 20 years ago with another MSW, Jane Cook. We presented the book The Artist’s Way
by Julia Cameron. We had around 35
people participate for the twelve-week session.
I’ve either facilitated or participated in hundreds of groups since
then. From my observation I would
propose that most people are trying to find a way to live a more fulfilled
life. What that takes is of course
different for different people so I don’t claim that I can offer everyone that
opportunity but there are some basic skills available to most of us and using
our words to shape our thoughts and therefore our lives, is a very powerful
Percent Happier. I have not. She explained to me that the author’s secret
to a happier life was meditation and he shared that approach in his book. He felt he became at least 10% happier
because of his practice. I believe
it. He therefore, felt a desire to help
others find this same sense of well being.
I think we can definitely improve the quality of our lives by meditating
but while it’s simple, it’s not easy.
It’s takes practice. It takes
discipline. It’s no different than
exercising the body. It’s exercising the
mind. In fact it’s easier to exercise
the body than it is to quiet the mind.
What I am proposing, however, is something that almost anyone can easily
put into practice. I don’t mean for it
to be a substitute for meditation, certainly not a substitute for prayer, but
another tool to be utilized in the search for a better existence.
time. With just a little effort we can start carefully choosing the worlds we
use. You know what I’m saying. In fact, it’s probably easier to shape the
words we use to describe events and others than it is to shape those we use for
ourselves. We can be our own worst enemies. I have a long list that I’ve collected of
negative self-talk phrases. Things I’ve
heard people say to themselves or perhaps I read somewhere. For example:
“I am so stupid!” “I am such a
klutz!” “I just never seem to get it
right.” “I just can’t make any
friends.” “I never have enough money,
time, energy, etc.” “My right leg, arm, hip,
etc. is my bad one.” The
list I’ve compiled has about one hundred negative phrases. Two others that don’t sound negative but have
that effect are, “I am right!” and “I can do that
better.” Those two statements may
be vey true but I’m here to tell you (and I know I’m right!) most people don’t
want to be around someone who has all the answers and who willingly will tell
them how to do something better, even if they’ve been asked.
you what has worked for me with the same hope as the author of Ten Percent
Happier. I want to share the
practice and the words that have made my life better, not perfect, but
definitely better. The positive
affirmations I have created for myself and that I write about here and in my
book, Creating Positive Affirmations, Living An Intentional Life, have improved
the quality of my relationships, my health, my work and perhaps, most
importantly, my faith. They aren’t
designed to improve your life. They
simply serve as an example of what has worked for me and in case your
searching, what may work for you.
many years ago when we spoke about using positive affirmations. “They have to work,” she said,
“I’ve been using negative affirmations for years and they’ve always