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Better Thoughts -> Better Results January 31, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
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TimonOn more than a few occasions, I’ve observed how easily people get carried away and “de-railed” by negative habitual patterns of thinking.

Someone says something they don’t like and off they go ~ characterizing a mild comment as a vicious attack, jumping into the role of victim, choosing to hang on to anger, hurt or sadness for far too long.

If we are not mindful, we fall into the trap of dealing with the world in an habitual way.

Instead of mindfully acting based on specific facts, we re-act based on past experiences.  We see ourselves not as an actor but as someone who is acted upon.  We assume the role of “victim” and relinquish our role as “architect.”

Sometimes, we actually enjoy playing the role of victim.

We cart around our wheelbarrow of woe, and resurrect and recount stale painful memories to ourselves and others, because (1) throwing “pity parties” gets us lots of attention, and (2) we don’t have to accept responsibility for changing a thing.

Moment by moment, we have a choice.  We can choose to reenact and replay the same scenarios over and over, or we can mindfully set them aside and use our time and energy to entertain more productive thoughts.

We can think, “SHE made me mad,” and step into the role of a victim being acted upon while allowing our angry thoughts to spiral out of control.

Or we can think, “I choose not to be angry,” and refuse to relinquish our peace of mind as a result of the intentional and unintentional actions of others.

When we become more aware of our thoughts, we see that we become sad, angry, hurt, and upset by thinking unsettling thoughts.

We realize that if we want to have a more peaceful and balanced life . . . WE must CHOOSE  better thoughts.

We must monitor our thoughts and always be asking, “Will this thought bring me inner peace and contentment?”  If not, we must consciously and mindfully change the channel.

Simple in concept, but challenging in application.  Like any other skill (writing, singing, dancing, playing a musical instrument), if we wish to become proficient, we must practice, practice, practice.

It is in the doing that we become.

Once we recognize that we are not the thoughts we think, we learn to choose the “right” thought for the “right” situation with increasing frequency.

And we start getting better results.

Quote:  Master your thoughts, master your life.

No rules.  Just write!

What about you?  How do you mindfully respond to the situations and challenges you face?

Related posts:  Committing to Drive Yourself (T4D) * OMPM:  Hanging On To Anger * Don’t Bring Me Down * Your Wheelbarrow of Woe * Pollyanna’s Perfect Life * What Do You Think You Deserve? (Healing4Tomorrow) * 10 Ways To Attract Positive Energy * 5 Easy Ways To Make Yourself Miserable * Grateful  (Kate Shrewsday) * Much of the Heaviness (Blue Lotus Cafe) * Deal With It, Princess (Raptitude) *  You Are NOT Your Brain (Always Well Within)

Volunteers of America January 31, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Happiness, Life Balance.
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220px-Lightning_striking_the_Eiffel_Tower_-_NOAAVolunteerism works best when we work from a place of passion ~ the intersection between what we love doing and what needs doing.

Volunteering shouldn’t feel like a sacrifice; it should feel like a reward.

If it doesn’t, further evaluation is needed to find a better “fit” for our unique talents and interests.

First ask, “What do I love doing?” Then, find someone who needs help doing it.

Hmm . . . what do I love doing?

Reading.  Writing.  Playing with words.  Leafing through books.  Hanging out in bookstores.  Visiting the library.

The library!  That’s it!

To create a meaningful volunteer experience based on my interests, I joined the Friends of the Island Library.  The Friends make the Island Library special by offering lecture and travel series, children and teen programs, a monthly book club, and rotating art exhibits in the display cases.

This week, I’m helping set up and price books for the Annual Book Sale ~ the Friends’ main fundraiser for the year.

I’m excited!

Quote:  Don’t worry about what the world wants from you, worry about what makes you come more alive.  Because what the world really needs are people who are more alive.  ~ Lawrence Le Shan

No rules.  Just write!

Over the years, I’ve volunteered in other capacities that suited me to a “T” as well ~  coordinating the Moot Court Competition in NC, serving the NC Bar Association on its Ethics committee,  fundraising for the United Way, acting as a judge for CANStruction in Salisbury, organizing a Bowl-A-Thon for a sick child, teaching Yoga to middle schoolers, gleaning fields in Western MD, boxing food donations for the hungry, mentoring and speaking on career panels, serving on Reunion committees, etc.

What about you?  What volunteer positions have been a perfect (or not-so-perfect) fit for your time and talents?

Related posts:  Volunteers Seem To Thrive (AgriGirl) * We Can’t All Be Mother Teresa * What The World Really Needs * Generosity of Spirit * Live Your Life