21 Amazing Lessons You Will Learn With Mindfulness

mindfulness summit, meditation

Through my study of the world wisdom traditions and my journey into mindful living, I have learned many valuable lessons which have brought me greater peace, joy and fulfillment.

Here are 21 of the greatest spiritual lessons I’ve learned:

1. The world’s wisdom traditions have one central message that I have learned to live and know to be true. Happiness (and when I say happiness I mean a deep and lasting contentment, a sense of being at peace and at ease within and feeling a deep connectedness with life (a happiness that words could never fully capture)) cannot be found in external factors but can only be found within. Happiness comes from abiding in our natural state.

2. Thoughts are not facts.

3. I’m not who I think I am.

4. The moment I leave the present moment I leave myself. The moment I leave myself, I leave the source of all true fulfillment. Nothing ‘out there’ in the world can bring that sense of fulfillment back… but in a heartbeat I can choose to return to myself and the present moment.

5. Everything is alive. Everything is connected. I am a part of an incredible, vast, outrageously magnificent and mysterious evolving cosmos.

6. There is nothing neither good nor bad but thinking makes it so.

7. When I drop desires and expectations about how people should be, about how life should be, about how I should be, all things are wonderful as they are.

8. Love, compassion and reverence arise naturally when I am fully present with any person, place or thing.

9. Taking care of myself is a gesture of love and kindness towards all life.

10. All fears ultimately come down to the fear of death. We don’t need to get rid of this fear but we do need to acknowledge it and extend compassion and understanding towards it. We also need to develop courage and vulnerability in the face of fear so we can live our lives authentically.

11. All that arises passes away. Observing and accepting this from the still, silent, changeless depths of my being, peace rushes forth.

12. What other people think of me is none of my business.

13. Our  minds are the bottom line for how we feel, what we think and how we act. Change our minds and we change our whole lives from the inside out.

mindfulness, peace14. Trying to change the world without changing myself is futile.

15. Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

16. Resistance is futile.

17. Gratification comes and goes, contentment stays with you forever.

18. Beliefs shape our perceptions, just like sunglasses color what we see. Mindfulness lifts the glasses off our face so we can see things as they really are.

19. What makes a human being most unhappy is mind wandering. What makes a human being most happy is being fully present in the moment. Therefore the most intelligent thing to focus on (once survival needs are met) is being fully present in the moment.

20. There is no such thing as a mundane moment. Only mundane states of mind.

21. The only thing that keeps us from being at peace is the stories we tell ourselves about why we’re not at peace. Without the story there is only peace.

Do you have some of your own spiritual lessons to share with us? Share your own wisdom in the comments section below.

mindfulness summit, meditation

10 Days to Feel Great!

10 Days to Feel Great!

It’s not always easy to decide what is best or which path to take.

One of Louise Hay’s favorite affirmations is:
Trust in Life. It will bring you all that you need.

Throughout her writings, she reminds us that the key to trusting in Life is to love and accept yourself as you are and to never stop learning.

You can experience peace, trust and joy every day by doing these three simple things:

  1. feel great, hay house world summit 2014Love yourself
  2. Learn continuously
  3. Help others

Wouldn’t you like to feel more…

  • Loved and appreciated
  • Happy and fulfilled
  • Excited about your life
  • Trust that Life will take care of you
  • Worthy and deserving of having all you want
  • Connected to your loved ones
  • Energetic and youthful
  • Supported by the Universe
  • In control of your life

Let’s find out what’s really holding you back from feeling exactly the way you want.

Here’s a quick exercise to help you uncover your hidden beliefs that could be getting in the way of your health and happiness:

Ask: How do I feel about myself?

Write all of your thoughts on paper and read them out loud.

How many were positive?
How many were negative?

Don’t get caught up in judging how many thoughts were negative.  Just being aware of the negative beliefs you hold inside is very powerful!

And you know what’s even more powerful?  Turning all of those negative beliefs into positive statements.

For example, take this negative thought:  “I’ll never make enough money.” 

And try saying this instead: “I always have everything I need.” Or “I always have more than enough.”  Or “I make plenty of money.” Use whichever positive statement resonates with you.

Guess what happens once you change your thoughts and truly love and accept yourself?

Good things start happening because you feel good about yourself.

But, it’s easier said than done, right? It’s often difficult to know how to get started.

We can help you take the first step. The techniques, lessons and insightful new thinking we are sharing this year in the Hay House World Summit is exactly what you need to feel better about yourself and to feel more connected, more loved and more at peace so that you can attract more GOOD into your life!

Even if you don’t have time to listen to every speaker each day, you can choose one speaker or topic that interests you and make the most out of that lesson. You’ll be amazed how much can change just from one lesson!

Register now for the Hay House World Summit and start learning new ways to feel loved, worthy and valuable!

You might be thinking you’ve heard it all already or the World Summit might work for other people, but won’t help you. Guess what? Those are all the types of thoughts you need to be aware of and ask yourself, are these thoughts really true?

We all have unique stories and circumstances that shape our lives, but the path to peace and happiness is always the same: learn, love and help others. It’s really that simple.

Beginning May 31st through June 9th, come along with us for a heart opening journey in discovering new healing methods, exploring your creative side, igniting your passion and feeling better than you ever imagined!

10 Days to Feel Great!  

No such thing as a small act of kindness

No such thing as a small act of kindness

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”
Scott Adams, Creator Of Dilbert Comic Strip

kindness, plato, be kind, patience, love

“In life you can never be too kind or too fair; everyone you meet is carrying a heavy load. When you go through your day expressing kindness and courtesy to all you meet, you leave behind a feeling of warmth and good cheer, and you help alleviate the burdens everyone is struggling with.”
Brian Tracy, Motivational Author

 

“The best portion of a good man’s life; his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.”
William Wordsworth, Poet

No such thing as a small act of kindness

Symptoms are a sign: they help you back on track

Symptoms are a sign: they help you back on track

Symptoms are a signEven positive thinkers go through some tough times, and I don’t mind admitting that I’ve had a pretty crappy several months. Everybody has them, the key to being positive is to think, “So what can I learn from this to help me move forward?”.

My energy level dipped so low, and I have seen and felt this reflected in just about all areas of my life: health, home, finances and personal relationships. I have really beaten myself up even further at times because with all I have learned the last few years, I tell myself I should know better. “It’s easy Di, just keep laughing,” I tell myself, but then the laughing stopped, until I hated myself for feeling so self-pitying.

Many people feel low over the winter months, and I have come to realise by my own experience how much more this can affect people with chronic pain and illness, for whom the cold and dark winter months become so much more isolating.

I have made so much more effort during the summer months to build up my energy levels – eat well, socialise as much as possible, take meditative time out in nature – that it came as a shock to me just how far my energy dipped this winter. I was doing really well until September when, for medical reasons, I lost my driving licence for a few months, which led to me being confined to the house much more than usual. It took some much appreciated effort from my doctor to retrieve it. However, the stress did me no favours and I felt the downward spiral, from which I didn’t recover too well. I have written about these downward and upward spirals previously and how they work in our lives, but even I was really struggling with it this time. My pain levels were sky-rocketing, sleep pattern was non-existent (lots of it but erratic and non-refreshing), and depression was smothering me.

About six weeks ago, just before I went to Spain, I told my doctor I felt I had really lost my grip. I’m fortunate to have a doctor who supports the more holistic and natural methods I have discovered, even if she doesn’t completely understand them. She thought it a good idea to do some blood tests, so I asked if I could have the full lot done, including vitamins, which aren’t routinely tested here in the UK.

On my return from Spain (part of which holiday provided further evidence of my low energy frequency), a letter informed me I needed to contact my doctor about the blood tests. After chatting about my holiday and how I could not get the pain and sleep back to a manageable level, she told me that the blood tests showed me to have severely low iron ferritin and vitamin D levels. I had to have been running low for several months for the levels to become so severe.

The low iron would account for the increased fatigue and low energy, and the low vitamin D would be causing increased pain and many other symptoms. Anyone with fibromyalgia knows that increased everyday pain is not good. By the way, vitamin D is not strictly a vitamin but is a hormone.

This really made sense to me. Not going out so much would deprive my body of natural sunlight which provides the vitamin D. Not shopping for the fresh food that is more available in the summer, and not paying enough attention to dietary requirements, eating much more convenience food over the winter, was depriving my body of much-needed good nutrition, including iron. These are factors which I imagine would affect many people restricted through disability or infirmity. As energy levels dip, it becomes even more difficult to take care of oneself properly, and so the downward spiral begins and propels itself.

Ordinarily, I would listen to these results and say, OK I need to get out in the sunlight and need to do something about my diet. However, I had to recognise I am not strong enough to do that at the moment, and have appreciatively welcomed the intervention prescribed by my doctor of a 3-month supply of iron and vitamin D tablets – a relief to my doctor I believe as she does know my level of reluctance to take medications, as I see many as a band-aid over a deep wound. As a precaution, we’ve also added in some magnesium supplements as that helps the body with absorption of other vital nutrients.

My message here is one of taking notice of the symptoms. Symptoms are not meant to make you stay where you are. Symptoms are a sign that you need to do something different, change direction. They tell you when you are not treating your precious body correctly. If left unnoticed, they can cause permanent damage to the cells of your body, and store up further problems for the future, not only physical damage but emotional damage in the way you start mentally treating your body and mind too with negative thoughts.

Fatigue, pain and low mood are not always something you can cure with positive thinking, and are not to be taken for granted. They should always be checked out. As mine was, your body may be crying out for some loving nourishment.

Personally, I am still a reluctant pill-taker, I believe nature provides everything our bodies need, and we’ve got to feed ourselves properly. However, for the moment, I’m going to stop beating myself up that I should be able to positive-think my way out of it. I’m going to be kind to my mind, as that needs emotional nourishment too.

I am looking forward to feeling physically healthier, and I have given myself a task for this year, to build a collection of some simple recipes, with easily-accessible natural, nutritious ingredients that will fulfil all my dietary requirements to keep me healthy in winters to come, and ensure I go for some time outside, no matter how cold the weather is.

Symptoms are a sign: they help you back on track

Positive people allow themselves to be human

Positive people allow themselves to be human

Thinking a positive person will never get angry, sad, upset, or overwhelmed is like thinking a doctor will never get sick or break a bone. Life happens and it's not always sunshine and good times. You are a positive person but everyone has their limits. It's ok to feel whatever you are feeling in the moment and not judge yourself because you didn't immediately see the bright side. Positive people allow themselves to be human. Doe Zantamata, positive people

Thinking a positive person will never get angry, sad, upset, or overwhelmed is like thinking a doctor will never get sick or break a bone. Life happens and it’s not always sunshine and good times. You are a positive person but everyone has their limits. It’s ok to feel whatever you are feeling in the moment and not judge yourself because you didn’t immediately see the bright side. Positive people allow themselves to be human.”

– Doe Zantamata

 
Positive people allow themselves to be human

When things go wrong … (part 3)

When things go wrong … (part 3)

how you reactFollowing on from When things go wrong … Part 1 and Part 2

I slept for what seemed like only a few minutes. It was about 4:30am when I awoke.

Remembering that my hired car was parked where it shouldn’t be, I started worrying I would have to move it before about 8am if I was to avoid a run-in with the Spanish police. I didn’t want to go walking down dark streets at that time of the morning, even though I have never felt unsafe in Spain. Going back to sleep could be risky. I may or may not wake in time. The crazy thing about narcolepsy is my ability to sleep ‘on a washing line’, as long as it’s not at night when sleep is supposed to happen!

I got up and explored my room more thoroughly, as I hadn’t had a chance before flaking out after the events of last night. As I’ve come to expect in Spain, my room and en-suite shower room were immaculately clean. Wondering why my basement room would have curtains, I looked behind to discover an open patio door, leading out into a small courtyard, only about 2 metres square. At first I worried that the door had been open while I slept, then I realised my room was the only access to the courtyard, so I was safe. It added to the cuteness of my room.

I put on my coat and decided to go look for the kitchen up on the roof terrace I remembered vaguely being told about, and see if I could make a cup of tea. I grabbed my cigarettes, Kindle and headphones. I have some guided meditations stored on my Kindle, maybe one of those would help tame the negative thoughts I already felt creeping back.

Tea made, I found the roof terrace a quiet, serene place to sit. The sky was a blanket of stars, many more than I could ever possibly see over my cloudy hometown back in the North-East of England. One star in the East, right ahead of me, seemed to shine ten times brighter than all the rest. Something about it made me feel less alone.

The anger from the previous evening pushed into my thoughts now and again, but the serenity of the night helped my soul to tame it. I turned my attention to what I have learned, and what I would be advising someone else who described such a thing happening to them.

The first thing that came up was “You have to stop the anger”. My ego argued, “Why should I stop it, I have a right to be bloody angry?”. My soul returned, “you’ll only get more of it”. Of course this made sense to me: I knew that if I continued to carry this angry emotion around, my negative energy vibration would result in the attraction of more negative consequences to myself. It wouldn’t affect him one bit.

“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
Gautama Buddha

when things go wrongI thought of several other of my mantras I use when facing tough times:

  • Everything happens for a reason.
  • It always works out for me.
  • Things don’t always work out as we planned, but they always work out right.
  • I may not be where I expected to be, but I am where I’m meant to be.
  • At the times when its hardest to think it, you have to remember there is a blessing in Everything

“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.” 
― Wayne W. Dyer

Repeating these, and feeling the energy of the stars, the universe, and my guardian angels, really smoothed my frayed edges and blunted the spiky thoughts. I felt altogether more peaceful and sat there under the stars for a couple of hours. I played a meditation audio, I read some soothing words from one of my many Kindle books, smoked a few ciggies and had another cup of tea. I decided to check on a flight home later on when I could get a wifi connection.

Then I realised, I was awake early enough to watch a beautiful Nerja sunrise, a rarity for me. I’m not a morning person, and it had been many years since I had watched the sunrise from a beach here. What a treat! I headed down to the Balcon de Europa, just a 3-minute walk away, at about 6:30am.

Although the Balcon was deserted when I first arrived, I was surprised to see quite a few people arrive so soon after, a couple of obvious tourists – like me, with their cameras – and several Spanish people. How lovely, I thought, that they still make the effort to watch the sunrise, they don’t take it for granted, as many do of the beautiful scenes right at their doorsteps. It felt very spiritual, to see so many individuals, not talking to one another because each was absorbed in their own reason for being there, yet we were all connected in the soaking up of the energy of the morning. As the sun beamed “Good morning,” that bright star in the East whispered “Goodnight”.

nerja sunriseThere was a family there: they could have been grandparents, or they could have been mum and dad who had their two young sons later in life. The two adults were taking turns taking pictures of the family with the sun rising behind them. I thought, what a shame if they can’t all be in the same picture, so I walked over and gestured that I would take a picture of them all together with their camera. Happy with this, they returned the favour and took a photo of me with my phone. Language is no barrier to kindness, a smile speaks every language.

After moving my car to a better parking space, I returned to my room. I knew I needed to sleep and would not be checking out in time, so paid for another night. I would look for a flight home later. I slept all day.

when life throws you a wobblyWhen I awoke late in the afternoon, I looked for a flight. As it was such short notice, the flight prices were really quite high. I couldn’t change my existing flight, which was more than another week away, as I had already checked-in online and printed my boarding pass. I would have to pay for a new flight. It would take me way over my budget I’d saved for my holiday. After consideration, I thought if I was going to have to hit the credit card anyway for the flight, I could probably get a less expensive hostel over the other side of town, where it would be easier to park my car, and for the week it wouldn’t be too much more than the flight, add meals and spending money … Oh, blow it! The more I listened to my heart, the more I realised I HAD to stay. I hadn’t had a holiday in so long. I didn’t know when I would be able to afford or physically manage another. And my main reason was that I should not go home feeling like my holiday was ruined, not because I would blame him, but because I would blame MYSELF. I had options. While getting into debt is not something I would normally do for a holiday – being medically retired, unexpected expenses can be worrisome – it is something I felt I needed to do for peace of mind, and a week of straightening out my energy in such a lovely place. I decided I was not returning home full of regret, or blame for anyone, least of all myself.

After visiting a hotel just a couple of doors away from my favourite Irish bar, with plenty of free parking outside it, and getting a good deal on a week’s stay, I arranged to move in the following day as I’d already paid for the hostel.

I spent my last evening at the hostel focussing on the good things in my life: I was in a beautiful place. Several people had been helpful and caring in the last couple of days, this was the natural order of things. I was safe and as comfortable as I could be, despite the ongoing pain in my body which I have come to expect and manage the best I can. I was grateful to have hired the car, what would I have done without it? I was grateful that I had the emergency backup of a credit card. I decided this was going to be a lovely week ahead. I drifted into one of the most peaceful sleeps I had had in some time.

On arrival at the hotel the next day, I received a warm welcome by a young lady receptionist I had not met the previous day. She greeted me by my first name as I approached the desk as if I was an old friend. I appreciated the friendly informality.

I spent the week relaxing, chilling out, looking for things to appreciate and reasons to feel grateful, and I found them everywhere. The trauma of the event that brought me here faded into insignificance. I took walks along the beach, stopping at the regularly-placed wooden benches to sit and read a while, and to just watch the temperamental ocean.

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” 
― Wayne W. Dyer

I sat at a beach bar for a coffee and a group of three Englishmen at the next table invited me into their company by asking me about my Kindle. They were new to Nerja, and asked if I could recommend some good eating places. I mentioned a few restaurants, but assured them they couldn’t really go wrong: I had never had a bad meal here. Knowing I was in town on my own, they invited me to join them for dinner. I thanked them for the invite and graciously declined, happy to just float along in my own little world this week.

The next day, sat on a bench reading, I happened to look up just as two of the men from the day before passed by. “Hey Kindle lady”, they stopped to chat. I realised we had not introduced ourselves by name yesterday, so I introduced myself and held out a hand to shake with John and Mike. “We’re just going for some lunch. If you’re at a loose end, you’re very welcome to join us,” John offered. “That’s very kind of you. Really, I’m fine thank you”.

I continued to sit and focus on all the lovely, kind, friendly people in the world, and in my life. This is the best way to deal with the occasional unkind, unfriendly person, by realising that they are not the ‘norm’, we will bump into them occasionally for whatever reason, but to focus on unkindness will only attract more of that, so to counteract that negative energy, you look for the good in people.

The next day, after a short walk, of long duration with my many stops, I passed by a couple of familiar bars, but there was a big rugby match on the TV’s so I didn’t stop, I headed back to my hotel room. However, something made me stop at my Irish bar, despite the rugby projecting from the big screen on the terrace, and I ordered a pot of tea. I was reading my Kindle, and my attention was drawn to a lady sat at another table. She had a hat beside her on the table and it reminded me of my favourite aunt, a boho, hippie-style lady. After a few minutes, she turned and saw me, and said “What beautiful nails you have”. “Thank you”, I said, and we began chatting. As it turned out, Amanda had been travelling on her own around Spain for six months, and she was a writer/blogger. This connected us further, as it has long been a dream of mine to travel around Spain, and more of Europe. I don’t know how the subject came about so quickly, but she mentioned a couple of people had suggested she read ‘The Power of Now’. “Oh, Eckhart Tolle,” I said. “Yes,” she said, “now I know I must read it. I keep bumping into people who know of it”.

Amanda and I got along famously over the next few days. We had read many of the same or similar books, we held similar beliefs about the powers of the universe, we were on a similar life path. I said wasn’t it funny how I had stopped at the Irish bar even though I really wasn’t interested in the rugby. Amanda said the same: in the several weeks she had been in Nerja she had rarely been to that side of town, and she wasn’t interested in the rugby either. Amanda was going home next week too. It really felt like one of those ‘invisible threads’ I have read of, and have come to know to be true. Our souls really connected.

Amanda introduced me to an Italian restaurant I hadn’t been to before: delicious and a budget-traveller’s dream. We had some serious discussions about how our beliefs had pulled us through some tough times, and we had some right big laughs about the synchronicities and the fun games we had played with the universe and our angels.

I may not have ended up where I expected to be but I was in exactly the best place where I needed to be. I had not only made peace with where I was and how I had landed there, but I had made the conscious decision to attract the good world I wanted to see, and so it was.

“Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world.”
Wayne W. Dyer

Read – When things go wrong … Part 1 and Part 2

When things go wrong … (part 3)

Gratitude rocks! Live it!

Gratitude rocks!

Gratitude rocksI know I have written about gratitude several times before, because it really is the greatest life-changer. My favourite topic, it is the easiest switch you can flick to turn on the magnetic attraction for more great things to come to you to feel grateful for.

Gratitude is one of the most powerful forces in the Universe. It may not look as good as money, a big car, a palatial house, or the latest makeover – in fact, you can’t see it at all – but, as I’m going to show you, gratitude has more power to change your life than all these material things put together.

The dictionary tells us that gratitude is “the expression of gratefulness and thanks” but this doesn’t begin to convey its real effect. Here are an alternative set of definitions.

  • Gratitude stops you taking your life for granted and helps you realize how many good things you have in your life.
  • Gratitude makes others feel better.
  • Gratitude makes you feel better. In the words of an Arabian proverb, “The hand that gives the roses always keeps some of the scent.”
  • Gratitude raises your awareness of things around you.
  • Gratitude is easy, quick, and simple.
  • Gratitude is an instant blues-breaker and stress-reliever.
  • Gratitude changes your view of so-called “bad” things.
  • Gratitude frees you from petty annoyances.
  • Gratitude inspires you.
  • Gratitude puts your thoughts and feelings on a high vibration level that in turn attracts back to you more things to be grateful for.
  • Gratitude nourishes the soul.
  • Gratitude is like compound interest on money in the bank: the more you put in, the more you get out.

That’s the “what” of gratitude. To show you the “how”, here are three things you can do to make the Gratitude Attitude a firm fixture in your life.

gratitude rocks, thankful1. Create a Thank Bank. A Thank Bank is simply a place where you can jot down all the things that you are grateful for in your life. You can split the bank into different accounts such as Family, Surroundings and Work, and then simply start writing out your thanks until you stop. Put your list somewhere safe and pull it out when you’re feeling down and you’ll instantly change your mood.

2. Show Gratitude Quietly. Don’t turn gratitude into a promotional or motivational tool. Too much thanks is as ineffective as too little. Instead, express your thanks in quiet ways: a thought, a prayer, a one-on-one word, a note of appreciation. Give people gifts of thanks that aren’t bought at shops: a bit of your time, a sacrifice, something valuable to you.

3. Always Replace the 3 C’s With the 3 A’s. If you work or manage others, and sometimes feel the need to use one of the 3 C’s – complaining, condemning, and criticising – replace them with the 3 A’s of Accepting, Acknowledging, and Appreciating. Accept people for who they are; acknowledge them for what they do; and appreciate them for just being around. Remember that when you appreciate others, your reputation and respect appreciates too.

There’s nothing complicated about gratitude. It’s something we can all do. We so often don’t do it because we forget, because we focus on the few so-called bad things in our lives, and because we take the wonderful things for granted. So change your life. Put gratitude just below your level of consciousness, and every day will become one of joy and delight.

Gratitude rocks!

The difference between negative and challenging people

The difference between negative and challenging people

negative challenging people, negative people, challenging peopleWe all have people in our lives who don’t agree with us, as well as those who do. I have seen it suggested that we are the average of the 5 people we spend most time with.

Of course, people we really don’t like or don’t get on with, we will try to spend less time with. I wrote a post just the other day about how to avoid negative people. You can read it HERE if you like.

But can we learn something from people we don’t like? And is there a difference between negative people and challenging individuals?

In my opinion, the difference is this: negative people are the ones that you feel really drained after spending time with them, whereas challenging people can make you think about something a different way, however you may feel pumped up from adrenaline coursing through your body.

Negative people are often just grumpy, and what they moan and complain about often isn’t worth remembering. However, challenging people can cause a personal shift in you, they may discuss something you will ponder on later, whether or not you agree with them at the time.

We have friends who we get on well with, who we really enjoy being around, who make us feel good. But if all of our friends were like that, we probably wouldn’t experience much personal growth. We would lack the motivation to grow and develop because we would be surrounded by people telling us just how wonderful we are. Think about a world like that – wouldn’t we become stagnant and bored?

I went to a personal development seminar a while ago and the speaker asked, “Are you the most dynamic person amongst your group of friends?”. He gave us a moment to ponder our answer, then added, “If so, change your friends!”.

Challenging people can be really worth having around. They get us mentally stimulated: they allow for debate whose way is better? It doesn’t necessarily mean any one way is better, but when we look at the bigger picture, we can become more open-minded, more accepting that everyone is different and lives the way that suits them. They may suggest something that resonates with us, that feels like a better way to live that we hadn’t considered before. We may choose to accept or reject their way of life, but either way we will gain an insight into why they behave or think like they do.

My personal belief is that challenging people are meant to cross our paths for a reason. It is up to us to recognise that, and ask ourselves, “What can I learn from this person?”.

They may be more or less successful in life than we are. Status is something that, I believe, is a very subjective perspective, but as we are human, we all have our own view. We place ourselves on a ‘rank’ by comparing ourselves to others. Ideally, we wouldn’t, but we do.

We will meet people who we consider to be inferior to ourselves: drug addicts, homeless vagrants, criminals, people who don’t have a lot of money, or anything inbetween them and where we see ourselves. What can we learn from them? We can learn compassion, we can learn how some people try to survive the worst circumstances in life, we can learn how to protect ourselves, we can learn that other people do the best they can through surviving often horrific childhood or adulthood experiences, we can learn how to help, we can learn humility. We can learn that some people can have a happy life, regardless of how little money they have, or how outward appearances may indicate.

We will meet people who we consider to be superior in ‘rank’ to ourselves: entrepreneurs, millionaires, people who can afford nice things in life, can provide more for their families, or anything inbetween them and where we see ourselves. What can we learn from them? We can learn what it took for them to achieve what they did, we can learn mindset skills, we can learn about drive and determination. We will often learn that they suffered failures and setbacks, and how they overcame them. We can learn how to make a positive contribution with the success that we can achieve. We can learn that some people will have a miserable life, regardless of how much money they have, or how outward appearances may indicate.

I have someone in my life who always belittled my ideas about what I wanted to do with my life. “I’m going to go to uni and get my degree” (I was a single parent at the time), response “No, you can’t do that”, or “I’m going to start my own business”, again the response “No, you can’t do that”, and many other ideas along the way. I’m pleased to say my drive to succeed was increased, and I achieved what I set out to do simply by trying to prove to myself that I could, and to prove them wrong. They were probably one of my best motivators.

It is said, and I believe it, that ‘Lessons are repeated until they are learned’. If there is something that would be of benefit to us, and we don’t recognise it when we see it, we will continue to meet people who can provide the lesson. If you keep having the same kind of challenging person crossing your path, then there is a message and a lesson in it for you, it’s up to you how long you take to learn it.

From my experience, the most important thing I have learned from challenging people is this: from the pauper living on the streets, to the queen living in the palace, every person has their own valid and valuable reason for being included in this life experience, and as such, the ‘ranks’ become irrelevant.

It helps also to remember that YOU will be the challenging person in somebody else’s life, whether you intend to be or not. You probably don’t see this yourself, because you are not them, looking at yourself from their perspective. Aim to be constructive, without being too harshly critical, in your dealings with others. That way you can prevent yourself from being a ‘negative’.

Can we learn anything from plain grumpy, negative people? You know the kind, the ones that really don’t see how blessed they are. The ones that you can say ‘Isn’t it a beautiful day?’ to and they answer with ‘Not really, it’s forecast rain later’. Of course we can. We can learn patience, we can learn to be grateful we’re not them, and then we can learn to move swiftly away.

The difference between negative and challenging people

I challenge you not to laugh!

daywithoutlaughterIf there is one thing I have found out since becoming a more consciously positive person, it’s that the world is full of people that just want to make others laugh, and lift their energy vibes.

Laughing is the one thing that just makes me feel better instantly, and it reduces my pain levels significantly. Indeed when I went through a particularly painful period in my life, it was a few of my Facebook friends that got me laughing again and really lifted my spirits. There’s a really good scientific reason for this: laughter releases endorphins, the body’s own natural painkillers, and 15 minutes gets a good dose of them running through your body.

“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.”
 Audrey Hepburn

With the internet, and specifically Youtube, there is no shortage of laughter material available. People purposefully go out into the streets with the sole intention of putting a smile on other people’s faces, and as smiling and laughter is so infectious, it’s no wonder these videos are going viral.

Watch this selection if you want your day to become instantly brighter 🙂

… and if this doesn’t get you laughing, what are you in a coma or something?

And there’s a new form of exercise sweeping across the world – Laughter Yoga!

A friend of mine runs Laughter Yoga sessions and organised one in one of our town parks last summer. Of course I had to be there. About six of us were there, it’s new to our town so we didn’t know how many would turn up. There were quite a lot of people around and my friend had big signs up saying it was free to join in the Laughter Yoga session so I, in all my enthusiasm, said, “If we just start, people will join in when we do”. So we started. Well, I’ve never seen a park clear so quickly! Haha. Some people are just not ready for spontaneous bursts of laughter (although we spotted several people peeping round from behind some trees). Yes, I have also discovered there are many people who will avoid public laughter like the plague. I’m not going to let that stop me. It made us laugh all the more. I want those good-feeling endorphins! 😀

Worry be gone

worryingFrom a religious stand-point, Jesus once asked his 12 disciples: “Which of you by worrying can add a single strand of hair to your head?” Now, you may be of a religious background or maybe not, but, think about that statement and you’d see why worrying, a main symptom of anxiety depression is quite unnecessary.

“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” ― Mark Twain

Reduced to its simplest form, what is worry? It is simply an unhealthy and destructive mental habit that – believe it or not folks – you were not born with but simply acquired out of practice. The good news is, with practised actions, as with any habit and acquired attitude; we can be worry free and eliminate it from our lives successfully.

Many psychologists say that ‘worry’, a noted symptom of any form of depression, is the most subtle and destructive of all human diseases. When we worry excessively, we disintegrate our inner workings as humans and really put a lot of things out of order. Needless to say, avoiding worry as a step of treating depression and anxiety will be the first step for our own benefit.

Anxiety Depression: Steps to take to be Worry Free:

The following steps should be used to deal with anxiety depression and its main symptom, worry. When used wisely and effectively, you will inevitably be successful at these natural depression help techniques.

1. Practice Mind-drainage: Empty your mind of pessimistic and negative thoughts, especially before going to and after waking up from sleep. This involves some degree of imagination friends. (the same imagination-mind you-that you are actually using to aggravate your present situations…didn’t realize that eh?). This mind-draining strategy cannot be overemphasized as I will let you know, if you fear something for a long period of time, it may actually come to pass. “For the thing which I feared has come upon me…” (Job 3:25)

2. Fill up the mind with powerful thoughts of faith and success to fill up the vacuum now left in the mind. You become a worrier by practising it, you can be worry-free by practising the opposite.

3. Say positive things about those things you previously spoke negatively of.

4. Never participate in a worry conversation. Induce your conversation with faith and worry-free statements.

5. Make friends with optimistic people, practice prayer and meditation.

6. Exercise and eat right. You’ll be making yourself look and feel better and consequently stronger through the process for overcoming depression, anxiety and becoming worry free.

No one is saying things will be automatically changed overnight. No, it takes work. However with direct and equally aggressive actions as the destructive worry habits one may be indulging in, anxiety depression can be overcome and you too can be worry free if you believe in your mind you can.

I really like Dr Wayne Dyer‘s description of worry, which shows how pointless worrying is: “It makes no sense to worry about the things you have no control over, because if you have no control over them, it makes no sense to worry about them. And also, it makes no sense to worry about the things you do have control over, because if you have control over them, it makes no sense to worry about them. And there goes everything that it is possible to worry about. Either you have control or you don’t, and worry is just a waste of your precious, present moments.”

Check out Dr Wayne Dyer’s extensive self-empowerment collection on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk

From a Law of Attraction standpoint, feeling the emotion of worry puts you on a matching vibrational frequency to attracting more things to worry about. Letting go of the feeling of worry and achieving a more positive vibration of hopefulness or optimism will help you attract a solution.

For a light-hearted Life Coaching session to help you stop worrying, watch this video:

Please note: Anxiety depression can be experienced in a wide range of severity. If very severe, you may wish to consult a doctor or other professional to help you get through the worst extremes, or to ensure that it is not due to an underlying health problem or chemical imbalance.