October 31, 2013

Therapy Thursday…Why Worry?

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 12:21 am

Hey Passengers, THE WEEKEND IS ALMOST HERE!…Let’s Go! move on down the tracks…You can do it!  And can you beleieve it, It’s getting closer to some serious TURKEY!!!  …Thanksgiving!

Today we continue with our theme of the week:  Why worry?

So… after rding with me this week, let me ask you, do you still have worries? Secondly, do you believe you inherited this tendency to stew from your parents? I recently found out that biology possibly plays a role, research suggests, but there are things we can do to break this cycle of agonizing.

Researchers at Yale have identified a gene mutation for “rumination” — the kind of chronic worry in which people obsess over negative thoughts. I read that it is a variation of a gene known as BDNF that’s active in the hippocampus, an area of the brain involved in thinking and memory. There was a study of 200 mothers and daughters published in the journal Neuroscience Letters last month, the Yale scientists found that those who had been depressed in their youth were more likely to be ruminators and to have this particular variation of BDNF.

The discovery adds to a growing body of evidence that depression involves an inability to control negative thoughts, not just excess emotion, says psychologist Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, one of the Yale investigators. And just because rumination has genetic roots doesn’t mean it’s inescapable, she says. “People can learn to stop these thought processes and have better emotional health.”

Some successful professionals find that worry works for them. Imagining everything that might go wrong, and preparing for it, is known as “defensive pessimism.” I have to admit I study about defensive pessimism. Professionally, I have found myself thinking of ways to gain an advantage over my adversaries, and I assume they’re doing the same thing. It can be tough swimming with the Sharks and never knowing who is friend or foe.

Other people use worry as a kind of magical shield — if they worry that the plane will crash, it won’t. It doesn’t, ergo, they have to worry on every flight. …Been there…Done that!

HEY!!!  WAIT JUST A MINUTE!!!

WHERE’S MY MANNERS!!!  We forgot…   The mood….The Music…KICKIT!!!
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Worrying also seems to be part of some people’s personalities. even me…I’ve been furrowing my forehead forever — you could pick me out in kindergarten, These days, I worry about my retirement. Prior to that, it was focused completely on the workplace. Prior to that, it was, ‘Am I cool enough to live?’ “

But worrying is wearying, It’s like chronic pain, and ultimately it doesn’t shield you anymore. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Then you have a heart attack.

Chronic worry can, in fact, lead to a variety of health issues, including headaches, gastrointestinal problems, high blood pressure, anxiety and depression, studies have shown. Rumination, which focuses more on past events than future what-ifs, has also been linked to binge eating,

binge-drinking and self-harm. Ruminators may be subconsciously trying to stop their harmful thoughts, says Dr. Nolen-Hoeksema. “Disengaging is really, really hard — you see that in their neural activity and in their behavior,” she adds. But studies have shown that doing something distracting for just 10 minutes can break the cycle and help people tackle problems more effectively.

Techniques from cognitive-behavioral therapy can also help worriers stop the kind of thinking that just makes them miserable.

This week passengers, it’s all about finding the balance between productive and unproductive worrying, …agreed? Let’s start the week off by first asking ourselves, ‘Is this worry leading to a To Do list?’ If it doesn’t lead to some action on our part this Merry Monday, then, let’s set it aside.”

Let’s try this, how’s about us reserving 20 minutes a day to worry. Then let’s see if we can postpone worrying, …GET IT!?! We would then be exercising control over it, rather than letting it control us!positive001

And THIS WEEK, let’s learn to accept some risks. We worriers feel a tremendous intolerance for uncertainty. We somehow get the idea that worrying can eliminate it. But you can’t prepare for everything, and besides, jesus sadi, who among you can add one more day to our lives byu worrying? I recently found out about a simple “exposure” technique: Practice saying or writing whatever you fear most, such as, “the plane is going to crash” or “I’m going to lose my job.” “Repeat it over and over again slowly, like a zombie, and the fear will begin to subside,” he says. Eventually, you’ll just get bored with it.

In closing, in wishing you one more “Merry Monday!”, let me share something with you my co-hort, the Train Scroundrel, Miss Geri shared with me:

Whatever your cross, whatever your pain, there will always be sunshine, after the rain…. Perhaps you may stumble, perhaps even fall; But God’s always ready, to answer your call…. He knows every heartache, sees every tear, a word from His lips, can calm every fear… Your sorrows may linger, throughout the night, But suddenly vanish, dawn’s early light…

The Savior is waiting, somewhere above, to give you his grace, and send you his love…

Hey YALL…Strut cho stuff…Merry Monday!

ps. If you are catching the train at the end of the day i hope you aren’t looking like:

October 29, 2013

This week’s topic (Putting Boundaries Around Worry…Part II)

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 12:42 am

To my fellow passengers…as communicated, this week the station we stopped in is called “No Worries”.  Thanks for hopping aboard the train.  Kick it (The music for the post)

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Now, as wars continue around the world, we must remember our true battles are not against flesh and blood – not against terrorism or deceptive governments, nor an oppressive boss or unappreciative spouse – but “against the spiritual
forces of evil in the Heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). The true battles occur in a world which is real, but unseen; and yet, the battles we see and hear everywhere we turn are the ones which tend to consume our thoughts and
cause us to become angry…and to fear.

As Jesus was teaching and healing around the Sea of Galilee, large crowds of people began to come out to Him. One  evening, Jesus decided to leave the crowds behind and sail with His disciples to the other side of the sea. As Jesus slept in the back of the boat, a terrible storm soon developed. The disciples woke Jesus and cried out in fear, “Teacher, don’t You care if we drown?” (Mark 4:38).

Mark 4:39-40
“He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to His disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?'”

The disciples had seen Jesus cure a man with leprosy, heal a paralytic, and teach with the authority of Almighty God; but now they thought Jesus didn’t care. When Jesus rose, He rebuked the storm as well as His disciples. These men who were chosen to walk with the Son of God were now accused by Jesus of being afraid and living without faith.

This same event occurs in our life today. Jesus climbs into our boat and directs us to a distant shore. We’ve heard about His miracles so we joyfully cast off, expecting a smooth sail. Suddenly, the wind begins to blow and the waves turn white – this is probably not the voyage we had in mind. No longer able to see the shore, we begin to wonder why we ever set sail. Did we  really hear His voice? And in our desperation we pathetically cry out, “Don’t You care if we drown?” … Is our faith really so weak?

In the midst of our fears, we must remember that He is the same God who created the Heavens and the earth, sent His Son to die for our sins, and gave us His Spirit “with whom we were sealed for the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30). He is the same God who chose us to walk by His side!

Jesus is still committed to our journey, and still in complete control. In His perfect timing He will calm ALL the wind and waves – ALL the roaring seas. When doubts begin to surface, we must draw even closer, hold on even tighter, and trust Him even deeper. No matter what battles we see with our eyes and hear with our ears, we must be determined to live each moment by faith and refuse to be afraid.

So my fellow passengers, not a sermon…just a thought!

All aboard!  The LiFeTrain!!!

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October 28, 2013

Merry Monday! This week let’s put some boundaries around WORRY!

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 12:58 am

Generosity lies less in giving much than in giving at the right moment.

-Jean de la Bruyere

Kick it!
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Hey Passengers, welcome back aboard the train.  I used the above quote to communicate the purpose of the LiFeTrain.  To give, and give at the right moment.  With all that’s going on in our country, in our lives, jobs, let’s face it, there could be cause for worry.   I pray you will hop aboard this week and pass this information along to our fellow passenger who do in fact deal with worry in their lives.

I researched and found that worry is made up of nagging, persistent thoughts that circle around in our heads. It is “what if” statements, worst-case scenarios, and awful predictions. The act of worrying is an obsessive, habitual behavior—and one that “WE” can give up.  But before we can give it up, we are gonna have to accept that the act of worrying serves no purpose.  Jesus said worrying will NOT add one extra day to our lives.  Worrying is stealing our energy, fatiguing our muscles and body, exacerbating aches and pains, increasing vulnerability to stress and infection, distracting us from the present, interfering with sleep, inappropriately increasing or decreasing your appetite, and keeping us from more pleasurable or important tasks.  It is time that we (passengers) recognize the act of worry serves no purpose and has become a bad habit. Stop back this week as we look at how to put up boundaries around worry.

All Aboard, The LiFeTrain!!!

 

October 25, 2013

Be Anxious 4 Nothing…

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 1:22 pm

All Aboard!  All Aboard for the end of week ride on the LifeTrain!

“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” ~Pema Chodron

Kick it!

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If there’s one thing that has led me the greatest amount of re-invention, it’s anxiety. By anxiety I don’t mean worry or concern. Anxiety is a different animal that grabs a hold of you and halts you in your tracks.

We tend to reject its milder forms and are really terrified by its intense moments, like with panic attacks. It’s difficult to see when we’re fighting with anxiety that it can have any benefit, but it does.

Anxiety comes with some great treasures hidden inside, and they can be yours if you know how to get to them. First, you have to stop fighting and listen to the anxiety for clues.

Getting the Message

The greatest truth about anxiety is that it is a message. Anxiety is not the real issue. It’s the voice of something else lying beneath that’s calling out to you.

Most people who experience anxiety try to go after the symptoms more than its cause and try to fight it off as if it were the only thing to deal with.

That’s not how to go about it if you ever want to know how it happened, why it’s there, and how you can gain long-term freedom from it.

STOP! YOU’RE HURTING!

The anxiety message is simple; it’s just three words: STOP! YOU’RE HURTING!

When an experience like anxiety is pleading for you to stop and notice that you’re hurting, and you know this, your next step is to find that hurt. Its severity is proportionate to the scope of what you have to address—so if you feel like you’re going to die, look for something big!

Its methods of stopping you are varied and some of the common ones are: spinning thoughts, feeling disassociated, heavy breathing, and a racing heart. Whatever works so that you’ll finally pay attention, it will customize for you.

The loudest stop message can appear as a panic attack and causes a sensation that you feel like you’re going to die. Dying is the ultimate definition of stopping within our physical experience, and that’s why we can feel that way.

The good news is that it’s an illusion. Anxiety will not hurt you in that way; but until you catch on, start listening, and heal the source of the messages, it will keep trying to spin you around so that you’re facing it long enough to hear what it’s trying to say.

“Hey! I’m talking to you! Is she still ignoring me? UGH! Ok body, it’s your turn. Make her feel like her heart will explode. HA! You stopped working overtime didn’t you? Gotcha! Now look…we need to talk…What? Now you’re hiding in a movie? Oh no you didn’t! PANIC ATTACK!”

Energy Conservation

Anxiety can feel cyclic as it persists, and it’s easy to feel haunted or trapped by it. You’re always in control though. The body, a part of nature, always seeks a point of balance and rest. When anxiety becomes cyclic and seemingly out of your control, it’s still just a part of you.

It’s being maintained by you, for you, until it gets enough of your attention for healing to take place. Whatever you keep doing or ignoring (maybe the things that led to its nascence) will continue to recreate it until you go about things differently.

This is an important realization because it can help you shift from feeling victimized to feeling empowered. It can only continue as long as you delay tending to what’s beneath the message. Anxiety cannot cause you to feel discomfort forever. It will motivate you to heal, and then leave once you do.

Who/What Sent the Message?

Anxiety messages can come from anything negative you’ve chosen to carry forward. It can be a traumatic or painful event left unresolved (usually through having had an attitude of sucking-it-up, being tough, trying to forget etc.).

It can be someone or something you have yet to forgive, or a long running perception of lack that has hindered your growth for too long.

My anxiety disorder came from high insecurity, an excessive need for validation, a frantic quest for completion through relationships, and an inability to acknowledge who I really was.

I ran around trying to please others and attempting to be who they wanted me to be. On the anniversary of a particularly painful break-up, where I convinced myself I had become less than a full person, I had my first panic attack.

It completely bowled me over and continued to do so for 4 years as it tried to get me stop and heal.

It worked. The experience of an anxiety so severe  was completely successful in making me turn my gaze away from the outside world to my inner world, where I seriously needed to focus. I could finally heal and grow.

Who I became next was a happy, empowered, compassionate person who was more focused on matters of the heart and fulfilling myself than approval from others. Anxiety became my greatest life-shifting gift, and I’m forever grateful.

Receiving the Message

Spending time with anxiety to discover the source of the message and what you have to heal can be achieved in many ways. You have to find what works best for you, but here’s a great series of approaches that seem to help everybody:

1. Welcome it.

Make friends and peace with anxiety immediately. Talk to yourself and the anxiety reassuringly: It’s ok. I’m listening. I want to hear what you have to say. I know you’re just trying to get my attention and that the more directly and peacefully I listen, the sooner you’ll stop repeating yourself.

Fighting with anxiety or resisting it will cause it to persist.

2. Write about it.

I know it’s trite to journal since it’s a suggested solution to most personal troubles, but the slower pace of writing and full engagement of your senses helps you travel down the path of the anxiety message to its source.

We don’t always know where our anxiety is coming from, so we have to take the time to dig and poke. Plus, we’re literal people. Our thoughts are literal. By using a linguistic mechanism the analogy of anxiety message becomes more clear and easier to work with.

3. Laugh.

Bring more laughter in your life. It will help you take life less seriously.

4. Love.

Express love for people, places, and things that you cherish. Be a greater beacon of love.

5. Help others with their anxiety.

The more people you help with anxiety, the greater a vocabulary you’ll develop, and this will help empower your inner dialog for when you’re sitting with anxiety.

6. Meditate.

Anxiety races thoughts and can be very distracting. With a rushing mind, it’s hard to hear the anxiety message and follow it back to its source. Meditation helps tremendously.

If you can learn to notice your thoughts without attaching to them—seeing them as cars passing by as you stand on the edge of a busy highway—you’ll become better at picking out what really matters in this moment.

7. Realize that you are enough.

Be accountable, no matter how much “such and such/so and so did” to you. It doesn’t matter. Now is what we have to work with. Tomorrow is what we have to create.

Realize that you are your own solution. You have what you need to look clearly; to hear and to heal. Anxiety is a message born within you, speaking to you through you, and therefore it’s within you to heal.

Receiving the Gifts

By learning about anxiety, spending time with it and finally holding in your hand, you can enjoy the next step: You can relax your grip, and let it fall away. It will have served its purpose. You will have loved that part of yourself and it won’t need to get your attention with such a difficult message again.

You will be connected. That’s the first gift.

The second gift is that feeling connected and with realizing that you’re enough can lead you to a cycle of inner fullness. It can give you an easy-to-remember awareness that you’re up for this, whatever the next exciting challenge or painful event may be.

The third gift of anxiety is that it gets you to recognize your own power with, instead of power over, yourself and your life.

All you had to do was listen…

All Aboard!  The LifeTrain!!!

October 24, 2013

Finally Friday…ALMOST…

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 12:07 am

Whew…Well passengers, we did it, another week almost in the can – “It’s almost a wrap!”   My thoughts as I sigh…”It’s a rat race Mr. Briefcase!”

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As I walk through the Train, sweeping out the isles of all the week’s mind clutter, I am suddenly thankful for all who have hopped aboard this week.  I pause…and freeze as I see my reflection in one of the windows in the car.  Suddenly my soul ventures into next week and “quietly screams” at me about things that I simply have to get better at:

1. I must Learn it, relearn it, and then learn it again. Just because I am out of school doesn’t mean I quit learning. I must Become a lifelong learner.

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2.  Being an expert is quickly fading in the current culture. Everyone is an expert these days because of technology and connectivity. I have to stop stressing over being an expert, since now more than ever there is someone else who knows way more than you do.

3. We have to reclaim a sense of Biblical understanding, wisdom and practice. Our Biblical illiteracy as a generation is staggering, sobering and frustrating.  Gotta get back in the Word. This starts with us embracing and constantly studying and teaching the Scripture.  See www.praying4you.org.

4. Humility rules.  No explanation needed.

5. As always, making it happen and “shipping” is still an incredibly fashionable attribute. If I can execute on a project… if I can get things done…. if I can take an assignment and drive it to completion…. I’ll still be valued and incredibly needed.

6. I must continually get out a book (or my iPad), and keep reading. Seriously.  Looking at myself and loving my IPAD…a little too much!!!

7. Understand what you are FOR. Don’t be defined by what you are against, but instead by what you are for.

How bout we take an “End of Week” walk, take in some sites

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…and praise the Lord for another day, another week and new mercies.

and praise the Lord for another day, another week and new mercies.  HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!

All Aboard!!!  The LifeTrain!!!

October 22, 2013

Tuesday’s Tips…

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 5:40 am

All Aboard!!!  It’s Tuesday here on the LifeTrain so you know it’s time for “TIP TUESDAY!!!”.  As I began to ponder on what to post today I thought to myself that there is so much left to learn,  to do, to share.  I never want to arrive at the final station stop. I love the LIFETRAIN ride.  I wish we were old Testament humans who lived for hundreds of years. But then I thought, why not just be grateful for the time we’ve had and times yet ahead.  Let’s face it, if you are riding the train today you are …well…ALIVE!!!

Kick it, the mood, the music!

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Passengers, this is what life should be, a wonderful journey of living and loving each moment.

My living and loving life journey has just started as far as I am concerned. SO today I am sharing some lessons I’ve learned thus far.  They are:

1. Let go of perfection.tt3

If each day you are running toward perfection, you are running toward failure. Instead, just try your best and feel good about it.

2. Deal with it.

Don’t ignore it because it’s tough to deal with. Deal with the issue first, as the issues you find difficult are the most empowering when conquered.

3. Realize that everything stems from your thinking.

Your thinking generates emotions. Emotions generate actions. Think positive and live positive.

4. Do something fun each day.

Do something every day that will energize you, whether it’s dancing to music with no care in the world, running in the rain, or seeing friends and having a blast. Whatever it is, just do something that makes you feel alive.  Folks around me think I am truly retarded…because I truly live number 4.

5. Don’t procrastinate.

If you feel it, just go with it. The more you procrastinate, the more you are digging a hole of confusion.  For me this is the one thing I am trying to get better at.  So for me this tip is a mirror moment.

6. Make a list of things you want to achieve that will make you feel happy and alive.

For me, the first thing was to share my story on this blog. For years, I’ve read amazing stories from people who have inspired me, and I always wanted to share mine, but could not find anything positive to write. That has changed now, and here I am.  ALL ABOARD!!!

7. Build a network of like-minded positive people.

t45We are who we spend most of our time with. If we have a network of positive friends, that will help us to live with positivity.

8. Just breathe.

When things seem tough or confusing, take a few seconds out. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and remember the powerful you who can deal with anything.

9. Repeatedly ask yourself, “What is the worst that could happen?”

Put things in perspective when you’re paralyzing yourself with fear, and then you will realize you can handle whatever is coming.  So oftentimes in life people want to shoot first and ask questions later.  Step back, listen and try not to throw the baby out with the bath water.

10. Be grateful.

Stop thinking about what you don’t have. Instead, be grateful for what you have.

This time will never come again, so live it and love it.

All Aboard!  The LifeTrain!!!

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October 17, 2013

Therapy Thursday….

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 12:11 am

All Aboard!  It’s “Therapy Thursday” here on the LifeTrain.  May this post be therapy to you my fellow passengers…kick it:

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Every day we are given the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life.  Every time we open our mouth to speak, we send forth words which have an effect on those around us.  Our words, which come “out of the overflow of the heart” (Matthew 12:34), will either cause a positive or negative reaction – our word are rarely neutral.  Knowing the power of our words ought to cause us to use them with great care.

Ephesians 4:29
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

This means that every time we speak, we have the opportunity to encourage and minister.  With just a few moments of our time and very little effort, we have the opportunity to brighten someone’s day, to ease their burden, and possibly draw them closer to God.  This precious opportunity must not be taken lightly; “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken” (Matthew 12:26).

If we have received Jesus as our Lord and Savior, our careless words are eternally forgiven.  And yet, our words remain a reflection of our heart.  God has given us a new heart which ought to be filled with devotion, and our words should be filtered through a desire to bring Him glory and honor.  But sometimes we smother this heart and fail to let it shine.  Though forgiven, we must also give an account of the damage our words have caused.

We seldom realize how harmful and discouraging our words can be; “Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows is a man who deceives his neighbor and says, ‘I was only joking!'” (Proverbs 26:18-19).  Sarcastic and joking words are “deadly arrows” which are never useful for “building others up.”  Over time, these words are sure to destroy a relationship.

Before we speak, we must carefully listen.  What is the real question? What are the real needs or concerns?  “He who answers before listening – that is his folly and his shame” (Proverbs 18:13).  We may only be given the opportunity to speak a few words, but we can make every effort to use our words wisely; “The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil” (Proverbs 15:28).

Our words are a powerful gift.  Let’s honor our Heavenly Father by effectively using this gift to encourage.  Let’s speak so those who listen may benefit and be built up in their faith.  Let’s continually encourage one another to draw closer to our Heavenly Father and never squander the opportunity of our words.

May this post be therapy to you my fellow passengers…

All Aboard…The LifeTrain!!!

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October 13, 2013

All Aboard! Church is happening!

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 7:51 am

All Aboard!  Church is happening!  Right here on the LifeTrain!

A little Praise and Worship and then today’s sermon by the Senior Pastor here on the LifeTrain,,,,Dr. Charles Stanley.

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And now the word…

DCS - CopyCLICK HERE or Just CLICK THE IMAGE

October 10, 2013

Bouncing Back! Back 2 Life and Happiness! ALL ABOARD!

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 3:35 am

“True happiness means forging a strong spirit that is undefeated, no matter how trying our circumstances.” -Daisaku Ikeda

Kick it!

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Let’s face it, whether big or small, stressful or simple, we all face challenges every day, some easier to deal with than others. Unfortunately, short of the Bible; life doesn’t come equipped with an instruction manual to handle these challenges.

No matter how much we try to plan in advance, calculate our every move, or predict what the future will bring, we can never prepare enough for the unexpected.

After having survived a major life threatening illness I found myslef having to bounce back to life and happiness.  I will save you the gorey details but, let’s just say the doctors only gave me 3 to six months to live.  That was now three years ago!  Thank you father for your grace, mercy and your son.

Still getting my strength back, I have learned:

1. Letting go brings abundance.

Sometimes letting go is the absolute hardest thing to do. But when we hold on too tight we leave no room for the light to get through. It’s like catching a feather: you have to hold out your hand and allow the feather to fall into pbyour reach.

You can’t catch a feather by frantically flailing and grasping for it. Once you loosen your grip on a perceived outcome, things start to unfold organically. Learning not to force things opens up the possibility for the brilliant and the extraordinary to happen.

2. Believing in love will lift your soul.

Believe that there are people in your life who love and believe in you. Believe that you are love and that your soul has a limitless capacity to give and receive love.

How does the simple act of believing make you feel? Worthy. Infinite. Content. Express compassion and gentility toward yourself, and to others, and you will open up to the possibilities life has to offer.

3. Gratitude will ignite a light in the darkest of places. 

When I first came out of my leg cast, the simple act of being able to put weight on my own two feet made me realize how grateful I am for my health, and how much we all tend to take for granted.

Be grateful for running to catch the subway in the pouring rain because you can feel that rain on your skin and you can feel your feet as they pound the pavement. Experiencing gratitude in simplicity changes everything.

Each day our yoga is to embody positivity, in every situation. Let go of what does not serve you to let abundance in. Believe in your strength to overcome. Be grateful.

And don’t forget to breathe.

ALL ABOARD!  The LifeTrain!

October 8, 2013

Tip Tuesday – “Staying out of the Lion’s mouth”.

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 12:45 am

ALL ABOARD!

Forgiveness is really not about someone’s harmful behavior; it’s about our own relationship with our past. When we begin the work of forgiveness, it is primarily a practice for ourselves.  Gina Sharpe

Hey Passengers, not sure about you but, I’m feeling that…Release…

Kick it:

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One of the more difficult insights to grasp has been that it is largely pain within a person that causes him/her to hurt others. Long did I believe those who caused me grief without cause, or pain far beyond what I deserved, were simply mean-spirited people. Experience has taught when someone is rude, mean or inconsiderate the vast majority of the time they have unresolved issues within.

Anger, heartache, resentment or some other harbored pain is festering inside most hurtful people that they have yet to face, cope with or overcome. As difficult as it can be, the last thing such a person needs is for me to make matters worse by responding angrily. My human ‘fight’ instinct first kicks in and only with strong intention can I keep from dishing out venom equal to or greater than the poison spewed on me.

All Aboard!  The LifeTrain

All Aboard! The LifeTrain

When I react badly to someone who has treated me ‘less than’ any momentary feeling of satisfaction dims quickly. I end up tasting a bit of my own toxins I’ve thrown on them. Fire plus fire equals a bigger fire. It’s never any different. Even when things settle down and apologies are given and accepted a touch of bitterness always remains. Sadly, often those leftovers become catalysts for a later resurfacing of the clash.

Refusal to play the game by saying, “I am not going to fight with you” or “I’m not going to give you something to blame me for later” often makes the other person’s emotions flare further. But by sticking to my truth and doing just that will disarm the person eventually. Some time the absolute best I can do for both parties is to put temporary distance between me and him or her. No, it’s not easy but it is best.

Forgiveness is a gift I give myself. The other person need not even know I have forgiven them. Often its impossible to let them know even if I want to. To forgive someone is to give myself the antidote for another’s poison that’s been injected into me. If I don’t, at least in part, I give someone else control over my life. Forgiveness is about setting myself free.

When someone hurts me, I have to let it go or I end up contaminating my mind, heart and soul with the poison that belongs to someone else. Holding my tongue is not easy, but afterwards letting go what was said or done is even more challenging. Knowing they have done it out of their own distress takes time to settle in. Stephen Richards wrote, “When you initially forgive, it is like letting go of a hot iron. There is initial pain and the scars will show, but you can start living again.” That’s about as good of a perspective as I have been able to develop.

Being a normal human being, its impossible for me to always practice full forgiveness where and when I need to. However, I am grateful for the awareness that I should forgive that has made shorter the length and weight of bitterness.

So finalizing Tuesday’s tips let me leave you with:

He that cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself; for every man has need to be forgiven.

All Aboard!