Appreciation is the oil that lubricates life and keeps your wheels turning easily and freely. Without appreciation, your wheels will still spin, but they are apt to become rusted with resentment and exhaustion. Since there is great truth in the well-known statement "We teach people how to treat us," you can start teaching others to shower you with appreciation by showering yourself first.
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Ours is the one ever-present voice in our lives. Therefore, it is crucial that our self-talk instill confidence within us and is supportive, not submerging, and that our attitudes toward ourselves help keep our spirits afloat through acceptance and trust. We are our own most important and influential buoy.
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Creativity of all kinds focuses your mind, engages your imagination, and feeds your soul. Being creative can also facilitate understanding and encourage healing. Creativity is mindfulness in motion-intuitive, artistic motion. Creative moments and activities give you a boost and help you feel energized and good about yourself.
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I believe one of our souls' major purposes is to know, love, and express our authentic selves. To live the life and be the person we were created to be. However, our true selves only emerge when it's safe to do so. Self-condemnation, shame, and guilt send your true nature into hiding. It's only in the safety of gentle curiosity, encouragement, and self-love that your soul can bloom as it was created to do.
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If you are obsessively active, please at least pause to ask yourself why and to listen for the answer from the still, quiet voice alive and well within you. I don't have an answer for the hurry sickness afflicting our society and our souls. But I do trust that the how-to-stop-it is within you, and you can change your pace if you want to.
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Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a wise and intuitive counselor available 24/7? You're in luck-you already have one. Your body! Our bodies carry ancient wisdom. We literally live within a temple of intuitive and instinctive wisdom. Sometimes we pay attention and access body wisdom; but unfortunately, the aphorism "Mrs. Smith lived a short distance from her body" is sadly true for many of us.
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True friends see who we really are, hear our words and the feelings behind them, hold us in the safe harbor of their embrace, and accept us as we are. Good friends mirror our best back to us, forgive us our worst, and believe we will evolve into wise, wacky, and wonderful old people. Dear friends give us their undivided attention, encourage us to laugh, and entice us into silliness. And we do the same for them. A true friend gives us the courage to be ourselves because he or she is with us always and in all ways. In the safety of such friendships, our hearts can fully open.
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Although many of us probably didn't get a thorough education in the value of a positive attitude, we can teach ourselves. Simply by making a decision to look for the good, happy, and beautiful in all things and all people, you will have completed the first and most important step in learning to accentuate the positive.
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An extremely important part of our work toward emotional growth and change will come from examining our belief systems regarding all areas of life. To gain the courage to be yourself, you need to address the beliefs that are keeping you stuck where you are. What beliefs, assumptions, and attitudes are you holding onto even though they no longer enhance your life? It is possible to free yourself from worn-out beliefs and acquire ones that bring happiness, strength, and self-esteem. What we believe we may become.
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The voice of wisdom is inherent within us and willing to guide us when we stop to listen. Of course, there are times when we feel we've been still as stone, and the still, small voice is still too quiet to hear. When this happens, the challenge is to practice quieting your mind anyway. Stopping and asking, quieting and listening, trusting and waiting. Waiting is difficult but worth the effort because a quiet, uncluttered mind is a natural antenna for whispers of wisdom from within.
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We can learn to trust ourselves by inquiring within. To practice doing this, sit quietly, close your eyes, and for a minute focus your attention on your breathing. Gently visualize your inner wisdom as a graceful butterfly. Admire her beauty, and encourage your butterfly to sit on your shoulder and whisper her wisdom in your ear. Be still and listen.
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Mindfulness is being aware of yourself, others, and your surroundings in the moment. When consciously and kindly focusing awareness on life as it unfolds minute by precious minute, you are better able to savor each experience. Also, being closely attentive gives you the opportunity to change unwise or painful feelings and responses quickly. In fact, being truly present in a mindful way is an excellent stress reducer and, because of that, can be seen as consciousness conditioning, a strengthening workout for body, mind, heart, and spirit.
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The single most empowering thing we can do for ourselves is to transform fear. While fear contains tremendous power, it doesn't propel us forward and upward, but, rather, drags us down and chains us to the past. Freeing ourselves from fear is a loving intention because, as fear subsides, we are better able to access the soft, sweet power of our hearts, which naturally leads to loving ourselves and others more freely and completely.
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