Tag Archive | happiness

Sending the Right Message

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Jay and I want success for our upcoming marriage!

We appreciate all of the tools and attitude adjustments possible to help us make our adventure together into matrimony one that is joyous throughout our lifetime. We each want to do our part to be accountable for what we create. We also want to avoid pitfalls and mistakes of the past.

So last weekend we especially enjoyed attending a workshop, “Sending the Right Message,” (STRM) by John Canaan. We’ve been to a lot of workshops before, individually and as a couple, and this was my first time at this workshop, while a re-take for Jay. He hadn’t told me too much about it, except that it had opened his heart.

We really appreciated what we experienced there and came away feeling empowered and inspired. What struck me most deeply was that my life is really my choice. While I don’t always choose what happens around me, I DO choose my reactions to it. This includes my thoughts and feelings, actions, and how long I hold on to or cycle these.

All of us make mistakes, so we need a way to unburden ourselves from the guilt. We can’t always make restitution for our errors, either. This class is Christ-centered, explaining that Jesus Christ came to earth exactly for the purpose of redeeming us from our sins and paying them for us through His suffering, knowing we couldn’t make amends for everything. [If you are not a Christian, you may turn to your own beliefs and Higher Power to assist you with this concept of relief from guilt.] Christ not only paid for our own sins, but also for those of the people who hurt and betray us. When we hold grudges against them or retaliate, we hurt ourselves more and cause Christ more suffering. By forgiving them, it doesn’t mean that what they did was not wrong, but rather that we leave judgment to God and allow that person their own experience. We also release ourselves from the poison acid of resentment that hurts us more than it affects them. 12893946-closeup-of-a-representation-of-the-jesus-christ-crown-of-thorns-cross-and-nail

Jay and I are NOT perfect people! We have each seen the other get ‘triggered’ (overwhelmed by negative emotions) in various settings. Sometimes it has been by what the other has done, sometimes by others around us. It is important that we have a way to deal with these upsets as they arise, and not allow them to damage our relationship. By accepting Christ’s Atonement, we forgive ourselves for being human with fears and insecurities that trigger us in reminder situations, and we also forgive others when they act as less than their best selves.

I actually got upset during the workshop with reminder symptoms from prior bad relationship experiences. Jay let me cry on his shoulder, and John Canaan had me write about my feelings and thoughts, asking me to record on paper what the situation reminded me of and to describe my feelings and thoughts about that, then what those reminded me of, and so forth. By doing this, I traced it back to childhood hurts and feeling betrayed and abandoned by loved ones then and later.

John said that we are all very good at sending messages! People get exactly what we mean! The problem is that this message is not necessarily very nice. Because our hearts are filled with negative emotions like fear, mistrust, or resentment, we tend to send defensive or offensive messages. The RIGHT message is LOVE. Only when our hearts are filled with LOVE will we send the RIGHT message.

I learned invaluable ways to fill my heart with LOVE, the simplest of which is to BE STILL and connect with God until I feel whole and complete. Then to SERVE. We LOVE those we SERVE.

This is definitely something Jay and I can use to improve our marriage!

John has a wonderful program, and taught us nine Agreements to make with ourselves in order to be accountable for what we create with our own life. I create my world!

Jay and I signed up for the Mastery 10-week program, which gives one week for each of the Agreements with daily support and a class each week. This will be a retake for Jay, and I want to take it with him. It will be interesting to see how my perspective evolves as by then we will be newlyweds of two-and-a-half months.

I am so excited to be on this grand adventure of life and of marriage with Jay. I feel very humble and blessed to have him as my companion, because he dotes on me! Wow! We hope that with these tools we can keep our love as fresh and vibrant as it is now. We cherish our time together. I look forward of sending Jay a lifetime of the RIGHT messages: “I LOVE you!” and “I love SERVING you!” His happiness is my happiness. I delight in ways to bring him greater joy.

He always seems a step ahead of me in serving each other, so it is a fun game we play together. “I win!” when Jay feels loved! And vice versa. Actually, we both win. We win because we both feel loved and supported. This in turn helps all others we interact with to win: our children, my parents (Jay’s are deceased), our grandchildren, our friends and neighbors, even the people we meet on the street or while shopping. Because when we are connected to each other and to God, our hearts are filled with LOVE and we are sending the RIGHT message to each other and to everyone: L-O-V-E.forever-love-holding-shape-together-mean-loving-each-other-36033051

 

Why I Pursue Personal Development

Why do I pursue Personal Development courses, books, seminars?  Why invest the time and money? How do they help me fulfill my mission here on earth?

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I, like Nephi, “was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father” (1 Nephi 1:1), and then learned in high school and at college while acquiring my bachelor’s degree. In fact, while attending Brigham Young University I learned the AIMS of a BYU Education: “(1) spiritually strengthening, (2) intellectually enlarging, and (3) character building, leading to (4) lifelong learning and service.” Brigham Young said, “Education is the power to think clearly, the power to act well in the world’s work, and the power to appreciate life.” Personal development helps me to be of greater service to my family, friends, community, church, and professionally.

What is Personal Development, anyway? Wikipedia says it is, “activities that improve awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and facilitate employability, enhance quality of life and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations.” A long Wikipedia list follows of ways personal development can assist a person’s well-being, effectiveness, and contributions.

There are many sources for Personal Development. I enjoy reading good books, going to seminars, and listening to audio recordings of books or talks by, those who practice what I want to learn. Recently I listened to Sonya Lyubomirsky’s THE HOW OF HAPPINESS: A SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TO GETTING THE LIFE YOU WANT.

The 12 recommendations for improving happiness are:         Image

  1. Expressing gratitude

  2. Cultivating optimism

  3. Avoiding overthinking and social comparison

  4. Practicing acts of kindness

  5. Nurturing relationships

  6. Developing strategies for coping

  7. Learning to forgive

  8. Doing more activities that truly engage you

  9. Savoring life’s joys

  10. Committing to your goals

  11. Practicing religion and spirituality

  12. Taking care of your body

Just listening helped me feel happier, as I realized that I control my happiness! I already did so many of these things! I realized these ways to be happier simply put religious teachings into practice, giving me more confidence in the religious views that helped me overcome so much.

One reason I pursue Personal Development is to overcome effects of past abuse and trauma. I find it much more cost- and time-effective than traditional psychotherapy (I’ve used that too, and it has its place). Seminars with activities such as ropes courses, walking barefoot over hot burning coals, and sky diving all helped me to overcome fears and learn that my body can go forward even when the mind is fearful. Getting through the fear, going forward anyway, is powerful in extending my comfort zone. I find a lot of healing in this, and empowerment to know that I am not my past experiences! I have intrinsic and profound worth as a daughter of God.

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I am grateful for the Personal Development gained so far, and intend to continue learning, growing, and stretching throughout my life, to become all I can be in fulfilling my mortal mission.