Three Wishes

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By: Marlene Affeld

Rub the lamp and your magic genie appears.

Think quickly now! You have three wishes. If you could have anything you want from life, what would you choose?

Unless you know what you want, how can you achieve your goal? When we analyze our lack of success in different areas of our lives, we often tend to blame outside influences and look outside ourselves for an explanation. Wrong! The answer is that often we are getting in our own way of the manifestation of our dreams.

If you are like most people, you are dreaming about, worrying about, hoping for or afraid of multiple things at once. We focus on several different desires at once. Often our desires conflict with one another.

I ask myself what do I want to manifest in the years ahead? Love, companionship, friendship, joy, health and happiness are always priorities. I am truly blessed. It feels good to be “me”.

I resolve to live in an “attitude of gratitude” trusting that life is unfolding as it should; ready and looking forward to the future with eager anticipation.

“When you are on the right path, you’ll know it!”

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Slow Down And Quiet Your Mind

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By: Marlene Affeld

With the frantic pace and incessant demands of a busy life, many people feel stressed, feeling there is simply not enough time in a day to get everything done they feel they need to accomplish. Stress and fatigue contribute to making us feel frustrated, impatient and irritable. Stress can even impact our health.

We have all heard the advice to slow down and quiet our minds, but we get so busy we fail to take the time to stop and meditate. Yet, meditation gives us more time by making our minds calm and focused.

Meditation helps us understand our minds by learning how to transform negative to positive, sad to joyful, and chaos to calm. Through meditation, we can overcome negative “mind chatter” and cultivate constructive thoughts. Think of meditation as a workout for your brain that improves your ability to focus. Improved focus means improved performance.

Dr. Deepak Chopra, one of the world’s leading experts on meditation, explains the benefits of calming the mind, stating, “In meditation, we get into this space, so we find infinite possibilities, infinite correlation, infinite creativity, infinite imagination, and infinite power of intention. That’s what meditation is really about.”

Breathe

Find a comfortable sitting position with you feet flat on the floor. If you prefer, you can lie down. It doesn’t matter what position you are in; the point is to be comfortable.

In an article, How to do Meditation and Yoga to Reduce Stress, adapted from Engs, R.C. Alcohol, and Other Drugs: Self-Responsibility, Tichenor Publishing Company, Bloomington, IN, 1987, the author notes, “Most societies have developed methods to passively induce altered states and the relaxation response. For example, in most religions, prayer and/or meditation is common. It is often done rhythmically and repeatedly and, when carried out for a long period, a relaxed or altered state is often reached.

This repeated form of prayer and meditation is common in Buddhism, Hinduism, and Roman Catholicism. Some other forms of passively induced altered states, besides meditation, are systematic relaxation, self-hypnosis, yoga, and biofeedback. Most of these alternatives, besides being used for tension and stress reduction, can also be used for alleviating insomnia. When using them for sleep, do them lying down. When you use them for stress reduction, sit comfortably in a chair.”

Close your eyes to help you focus on the inner workings of the body. Now take several deep breaths, slowing inhaling, then exhaling, while observing the sensations of your body.

Awareness

Remain aware of your breathing. If “mind chatter” or random negative thoughts run through your mind, don’t push them aside or dwell on them. Rather, just acknowledge the thought as a mote of harmless dust floating on the wind. Accepting your worries without responding to them emotionally removes their power. If a negative or sad though persists, make a mental note of it, dismiss the thought and return to your meditation. Continue to breathe deeply, inhaling for a count of four, exhaling to a count of six.

Deep breathing is integral to meditation. By paying attention to our breath, we stay focused in the moment. During the day, most of us take short, shallow breaths that deprive our bodies of oxygen. Just a few minutes of deep breathing can rejuvenate and refresh. Relax and connect with the gentle rise and fall of your chest. Visualize each breath you take in as white, healing mist. Visualize each exhale as riding the body of a vile, black smoke.

Relax and Rest

Removing your concentration from your breathing, just rest for a few moments as you center your thoughts on how relaxed your muscles feel and the steadiness of your heartbeat. Remind yourself that this is “your time” and for the moment, there is nothing you have to do but focus on “you”.

An Attitude Of Gratitude

Adopt “An attitude of gratitude” by focusing your thoughts on something you are grateful for, such as family, friends, or the beauty of the day. No matter how sad or sorry your scenario, you have many things to for which to be grateful. Give thanks.

A Fresh Perspective

Open your eyes, stand up, stretch, and go about the rest of your day with a fresh perspective and renewed energy.

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Stress Management For All!

By: Marlene Affeld

images-2The following article has made it’s way around the Internet, yet the advice is valid and worth reading again. Enjoy!

Stress Management for Everyone!   This is absolutely wonderful!!!!

A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading  and explaining stress management to an audience with a raised glass of  water. Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, ‘half empty or half full?’… She fooled them all …. “How heavy is this glass of water?” she inquired with a smile. Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to- 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm.

If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance. In each case it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “and that’s the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on.”

“As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden: holding stress longer and better each time practiced. So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night: pick them up tomorrow.

1 * Accept the fact that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue!

2 * Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

3 * Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

4 * Drive carefully: it’s not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.

5 * If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

6 * If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

7 * It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

8 * Never buy a car you can’t push.

9 * Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time: then you won’t have a leg to stand on.

10 * Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.

11 * Since it’s the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.

12 * The second mouse gets the cheese.

13 * When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.

14 * Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

16 * Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.

17 * We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.

18  * A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

19 * Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you today.

20 *Save the earth! It’s the only planet with chocolate!*

Be the kind of person that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says~~ “Oh Crap, They’re up!”

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An Attitude Adjustment

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By: Marlene Affeld

Attitude is either a positive or negative response to people, ideas, life events or almost anything that impacts your daily life. When you have a positive attitude, life flows smoothly, when you focus on the negative, you receive more of the same.

Do you embrace life and live in an “Attitude of Gratitude” or do you waste a good portion of your day feeling sorry for yourself and counting and recounting your troubles like beads on a rosary?

Stop a moment, grab a pen and paper and write down a list of all the things you have to be grateful for today. Start with the little things like gratitude for the vision that allows you to read these words. As you count your blessings, the list grows longer and longer.

Are you grateful for all your life experiences: good and bad? One of the most difficult spiritual lessons to accept is that everything that occurs in our life happens for a reason. There are no accidents. We create our reality. If you dislike what you have created, begin again. Life is a continuous process of renewal and rebirth. There are lessons learned from every situation. While we can’t always control what happens to us, we can always control our response.

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Affirmations For My Soul’s Journey

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By: Marlene Affeld

Affirmations help us maintain focus, belief and clarity: empowering us with hope and faith that motivates effective action to bring about the positive changes we seek in our daily lives. Affirmations, like all thought, are a form of prayer.

I have the ability to change anything in my life I choose to change.

I speak with confidence and conviction.

I live in “an attitude of gratitude, expressing my heartfelt appreciation and praise for others earnestly and often.

I am congruent and totally committed to my goals; seeing them as already accomplished.

I only seek that of which I can be a loving custodian.

I honor, respect, appreciate, value, mend and maintain whatever or whomever comes into my life.

I respect and love myself: flaws and all. I hold myself, and others in high esteem.

I see myself as the person I want to be: courageous, decisive, healthy, truthful, loyal, fair, prosperous and wise.

My vitality, energy and health increase daily.
I slumber in peace and awake in joy living life with a sense of eager anticipation: knowing the best is yet to come.

I live a life of design rather than reaction. Divine life flows through every cell of my body as I acknowledge that everything in the Universe is sacred.

 

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The Perils Of Procrastination

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By: Marlene Affeld

I frequently find insight, inspiration, magic, and motivation in the words of others. Today, while musing about procrastination and the plethora of chores I must accomplish before the day is over, I found words of merit in a Chinese proverb.

“This one makes a net, this one stands and wishes. Would you like to make a bet which one gets the fishes?”

Do you shelve till tomorrow that which you should do today? I am often guilty of deferring action until a later time when it would be in my interest to “do it” now. However, I avoid work, wishing a task or problem would just “go away.” It seldom does! Avoidance frequently just makes the situation much worse.

We all put off mundane chores when something more important demands our focused energy. A hectic life requires that we prioritize, applying the adage of “first things first”. Prioritizing is not procrastination.

Procrastination is “behavior characterized by needless deferment of action or involvement until a later time or delaying making a decision when such a delay is counterproductive to our best interests”.

A recently published survey reports, “Twenty percent of Americans identify themselves as chronic procrastinators. For this segment of the population, procrastination is a lifestyle, albeit a counterproductive one. They fail to pay their bills on time, they miss appointments and frustrate their friends with their tardiness. They file their income taxes late and leave their Christmas shopping until the last minute. They avoid making decisions. A procrastinator’s maladaptive behavior causes anxiety and stress and often threatens their very lives when they delay seeking medical treatment.”

Individuals indulging in procrastination have a tendency to underperform in almost areas of their lives: professionally, family relationships and health. Struggling with it, repeatedly promising themselves that next time will be different, they vow not to dally and delay; a promise rarely kept.

Procrastination is worrisome when it impedes normal function. We need to address the problem of procrastination by evaluating the consequences of our delaying tactics. Have you lost a job, damaged a friendship, missed a financial opportunity, or damaged your health by “putting off until tomorrow what you should have done today?”

A lot of people use procrastination as a way of coping with the anxiety associated with either starting or finishing a task or action. Granted, we all procrastinate to varying degrees. We tell ourselves, it’s is okay to put off a chore or obligation that is too unpleasant, painful or stressful; we are busy, “too much to do in too little time”. Procrastinators tend to lie to themselves. We manufacture complex excuses, avoiding the unpleasant, difficult, or tedious. We will do it later.

“Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task”. ~ William James

Procrastinators are optimistic about their ability to manage an obligation, keep an appointment or turn work in on deadline: reassuring themselves and others, “don’t worry; everything is under control; I will get it done”.

Therefore, applying this kind of thinking, there is no need to start) As an example, a procrastinator may have a report to prepare for work that is due in six weeks. It will only take a few days, so no need to start today. Procrastinators, wrongly lulled into a false sense of security, allow time to slip away.

At some date, they cross an imaginary marker and realize they are not in control. There just isn’t enough time to do the job they avoided.

At that point, they address the problem, but they are making progress only because they haven’t any other choice. Backs against the wall with no alternative, they get to work.

Progress is made, but freedom lost. Procrastinators rush during the final hours to complete an assignment, telling themselves and anyone else that will listen, they function best “when they are behind the eight ball”. Procrastinators justify the delay, explaining they enjoy the euphoric rush of a pressured deadline. What nonsense!

Procrastinators never learn if they could have done an enhanced job if they had only taken the time needed to finish the task correctly. The report presentation may have been acceptable, but was it their best effort? Because of the delaying tactics, procrastinators will never know.

Procrastination creates confusing mixed feelings: a minor pride of accomplishment, scorn for the employer who doesn’t recognize a sub-standard performance, and an underlying sense of shame and guilt for not doing their very best.

No matter what the scenario, the result is reinforcement. The procrastinator is frequently rewarded positively for poor behavior. “Look – I got the assignment done, no one knows I didn’t give it my best effort.” Consequently, counterproductive, time-sapping patterns are repeated over and over again.

images-3Procrastination extracts a high cost from others as well as oneself. Procrastinators shift the burden of responsibility onto family, friends, and co-workers who quickly become resentful. Research studies report, “Procrastination destroys teamwork and erodes cooperation in the workplace and personal relationships. Procrastination has a high potential for painful consequences leading to feelings of inadequacy, guilt, self-doubt and depression.”

Procrastinators present a greater level of alcohol consumption and excessive use of prescription and illegal drugs. This behavior manifests in generalized problems of self-regulation. The effect of avoidance coping modality underlies procrastination, leading to disengagement and substance abuse.

Procrastination Sabotages Success

Procrastinators experience difficulty seeking therapy, or finding an understanding source of support, due to the stigma and misunderstanding surrounding extreme forms of procrastination. The problem is often mischaracterized simply as a lack of willpower, ambition or just plain laziness.

Research on the physiological roots or cause of procrastination targets the role of the prefrontal cortex area of the human brain. This region of the brain is responsible for brain functions such as attention, creativity, and impulse control; acting as a filter, decreasing distracting stimuli from other areas of the brain.

Low activity or injury to this area of the brain may reduce a person’s ability to filter distracting stimuli, ultimately resulting in a loss of attention, reduced organizational skills, and increased procrastination. This is similar to the prefrontal lobe’s integral role in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) where under-activation is the common problem.

Recognizing and acknowledging that we do in fact procrastinate and realizing how, and to what degree, it impacts our everyday life, is the first step in reducing its power.

Procrastinators can change their behavior. Keep working on it. You may still procrastinate, but as you consciously decide not to delay you will experience more freedom from stress and gain personal self-satisfaction.

Old habits are hard to break. When you succeed, take the time to savor the victory. Remember how good it feels to act decisively. It will be a helpful boost next time you feel in need of a bit of encouragement.

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