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If Only People Were As Grateful As Dogs....
By Pauline Wallin, Ph.D.
As I gave my dog a small morsel of toast the other day, I reflected on how grateful a creature she is. Abby is just as thrilled to receive a crumb as she is to get a huge bone. She never complains that the crumb is too small, or too cold or too moldy even! She always wants more, but if I don't offer it she gets over it quickly. No sulking around for what she didn't get.

Wouldn't it be nice if more people were that way? Not that people are never grateful, but most of the time it's after an accident or a disaster. For example, after a fire you’ll often hear the victims say, "We lost everything. But at least we're alive & still have each other."
People are also grateful when they're frightened, hurt or down on their luck & someone comes to their aid. Being on the receiving end of kindness when you need it most, always evokes feelings of gratitude.

When you're in a grateful state of mind, your inner brat is essentially disabled. You feel open & receptive. You feel connected to the world.

Being grateful for what you have isn't just a more pleasant state of mind for the moment. There are lasting benefits, both mental & physical. Dr. Robert Emmons, a psychologist who specializes in research on gratitude, found that:

* People who kept a daily "gratitude journal" reported higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm & energy, than those who journaled about hassles or neutral events. This was the case even among people with neuromuscular disease.

* Grateful people report higher levels of life satisfaction & optimism.

* They also are more likely to share their possessions & to help others in need, thereby increasing their feelings of involvement & being appreciated themselves.

* They're less envious, less resentful, less bitter & less neurotic. They're also less materialistic.

* Grateful people don't ignore problems. If anything, they may be somewhat more cynical than average. While they may anticipate more difficulties, they're also thankful when other people help make their life easier.

Besides feelings of well-being, an appreciative attitude can also have physical health benefits. One study showed that people who were instructed to focus on appreciation for 5 minutes had better heart rhythms, than did those who were told to think about anger for the same 5 minutes.

If this doesn't get you enthused, consider the following research finding:
In a study of 180 nuns over time, those who wrote about being positive & appreciative early in life, lived on average 6-9 years longer than those who were pessimistic & negative.
Even if you have a good number of years behind you, it isn't too late to expand your gratitude & appreciation. When you do, your inner brat will instantly recede to the background.

But gratitude doesn't just reduce negative feelings. It also increases positive ones. Instead of feeling angry, empty or victimized, you'll experience contentment & perhaps even joy. Despite the stresses & difficulties you're facing, you'll start to notice more beauty in the world.

Here are some tips on cultivating an appreciative attitude:

1. Make a point of saying "Thank you" to someone twice a day.

2. Keep a gratitude journal. Every night before going to bed, write down 3 things that went well that day. This put you in a positive frame of mind & may help you fall asleep more easily.

3. Think of someone in your past who had a positive influence on you, but whom you never thanked. Write that person a letter of thanks. If possible arrange a visit (without telling the purpose of your visit) & deliver the letter in person.

4. Answer the following question: If you had your life to live over again, what would you NOT do differently? This will give you insight into more positive aspects of your past & will help you appreciate how you came to be who you are today.


Learning To Live
By Julie Fuimano
Death. No one wants to talk about it & yet none of us will escape it. When it happens to someone we know, most people don’t know how to handle it. And it’s because people are uncomfortable about it & it’s so final that people fear the most.
In fact, there’s only one thing that tops death on the list of things people fear most & that’s public speaking. As a comedian once noted, most people would rather be in the coffin than give the eulogy!
The death of someone you love makes you aware of the fragility of life. It wakes you up & makes you question how well you're living. After all, no one wants to die feeling like they haven’t yet lived.

You can choose how you live; you can worry about the future & what might happen to you, you can complain about how things aren’t the way you want them to be, or you can live your best life right now, in this moment.
By choosing to live life to the fullest & by protecting yourself & your assets for when the inevitable happens, the fear of death will lessen.

It was only a few months ago when I lost my dear friend to a sudden heart attack at 43 years old. It happened the way we all wish to go; my friend went to bed one night & never woke up.

And it’s because I loved that I grieve. Without love & a strong connection to others, we wouldn’t experience pain when they're gone. So in my sadness & grief, I'm grateful, for I know that I loved & was loved.

From my experience, I’ve learned several important lessons about death…& life that I’d like to share with you. My hope is that you'll choose to live your best life & as a leader, you'll share these tips with others both in your work & your personal life.

1. Life is happening right now. Experience the present moment. People who try to bargain with death often are people who haven't truly lived. They’ve just been ‘existing’ & they beg for more time in order to do what they could have been doing all along.

2. If there's love, then there will be pain when it ends. And it’s okay. It lets you know that you loved & there's nothing more joyful than love. Love anyway; it’s worth the pain.

3. Experience all of your feelings – even the ones that you consider unpleasant. Feelings aren’t really negative or bad; they just are. They're your inner messengers; they let you know you’re alive. It’s what you do with your feelings that can be bad. When you feel a strong emotion, resist the temptation to explain your feelings or rationalize them away.
Just pay attention & be with them. Accept your feelings as you experience them & try to understand what they're communicating to you.
Don’t hang onto them or hide from them; they'll drain you if not addressed.

People have trouble talking about death because of how they feel about their own life or death, or because they can't handle ‘negative’ feelings. When my friend died, people weren’t quite sure how to handle their own feelings & they didn’t know how to deal with mine so they avoided the subject or avoided me.
But I needed to talk about it. I needed to fully experience my sad feelings & I needed to be given the space to explore how I felt about losing this person, about what this person meant to me & about the void that now exists in my life.
After any loss, people need the space to explore their new reality & you can support them by just giving them this space.

4. There are people who don’t fear death; they fear life. Your life is a gift, an opportunity for you to experience this world & to make a difference while you’re here. Learn to enjoy yourself.
Take responsibility for living your life well. Don’t get comfortable with mediocrity; challenge yourself to be more, to experience more. If you don’t know how, hire a coach. You don’t need to do life alone.

5. Leave nothing left unsaid. The moment you experience the truth, share it. Tell people you love them…often. My grandmother used to say, “Never go to bed angry.” That was her secret recipe for nearly 50 years of marital bliss.
If you have something to say, say it now. About 6 months before my friend’s death, I called & thanked this person for their love, kindness & support over the years. This person had made a huge impact in who I’d become & I needed my friend to know how grateful I was for the part they played in my personal development.
When my friend died, I was so glad I hadn’t waited to share that.

6. Create a Will. By having a Will, you clearly specify who gets what & it frees you from worry. You can relax knowing that when you’re gone, your belongings & all you’ve worked for will pass on the way you intend.

7. Create a Living Will. This lets others know how to care for you if something should happen that renders you unable to decide for yourself.

8. Protect yourself with adequate life, health, disability & long-term care insurance. With adequate protection, you leave nothing to chance & you can relax knowing that you & your family are taken care of. It just makes sense.

9. Do what you love. On most days if you find yourself miserable when you roll out of bed in the morning, choose to do something about it. Life is too short to be unhappy for long. Identify the source of your angst & take action to change it.
Choose to use up every ounce of potential that you were given. And discover, develop & share your gifts with the world. Each one of us has a special gift. Do you know yours?

And last,
10. No regrets. Don’t approach your deathbed ‘wishing you had’ or being sorrowful for not doing things that would have brought you joy. The elderly often speak about what they would do differently: take more risks, spend more time with loved ones, worry less, stress less, laugh more, love more.
If there's something you want to do, go for it. Don’t wait. Tomorrow isn't guaranteed.

So grab on with both hands & enjoy the ride. This isn't a practice run. Do what you want to be doing. Be good to yourself. Stress less & remember that in the end, it doesn’t really matter.
What matters is how you live today!


Ten Practices To Express Gratitude While Serving Others
By Mahalene Louis
May 26, 2006

Although quite young, I can still remember my parents asking me, "What do you say?" as I was receiving something, be it a fruit, a gift, or a compliment.

Of course, they were looking for the magical words "thank you", which many parents adamantly train their children to respond. Isn't it interesting that the very first training we encounter is to express gratitude!

I find it very meaningful that, from the first Spiritual Law of Pure Potentiality comes the second Law of giving & receiving. Indeed, from the one comes the two & with it, the dynamics of exchange.

As written by Deepak Chopra "Giving & receiving are different aspects of the flow of energy in the universe. And in our willingness to give that which we seek, we keep the abundance of the universe circulating in our lives."

How can you use this law to provide your customers a most fabulous service, which they'll gratefully appreciate & remember?

1. Give thanks:Why & gratitude - It'as been said that, if there was only one prayer, it would be one of expressing gratitude. And since this is our 2nd piece, I'd add that the 2nd prayer could be this of asking for a way to be grateful again…

Have you ever been so engaged into your desiring mind that you could only see what you didn't have?

It's as if the universe wants to lavish you with gifts, yet you keep on refusing them, a very painful position! On the other end, you have had the experience of not only accepting what life brings, but welcoming it fully into your heart… That shift in viewpoint is gratefulness!

Practically; Say thank you, often. Say thank you everywhere. Say "thank you" when you talk to your clients, when you write to your clients, on the invoices you send. Say "thank you" to your staff. Say "thank you" when you talk about your clients. Say "thank you" in your mind when you think of your clients, of your staff, of your computer...

2. Give thanks; Why & gratitude - Let's see; on one hand, I deprive me of gratitude, and get to experience the deep frustration of not having what I want; on the other hand, I open to life and to being grateful and simply feel wonderful! Tough choice! So, I am not asking you to let go of the vision that you are forsaken, and that nothing works in your life. You can keep that perception; it is yours! I am asking if you can see a benefit to letting it go? How letting go of that thought would affect your health, your wealth, your surroundings, and ultimately the world?

Practically; Enter a gratitude practice with your clients; create a client of the month ritual, where you would let all your client base know that every month, you and your staff elect a client, to be "Client of the Month", and receive special privileges during the month, such as being taken out to lunch, or sent a couple of movie tickets. On the first of the month, you may also send an email, or design a board with your client's picture and name, and a little blurb about who s/he is.

3. Give thanks; Grate-fulness & gratitude - The key word here is "fullness". Developing the ability of being totally involved in responding to what life gives, as it is, is the greatest blessing you can bestow on yourself and others. That quality of being fully in the moment of anything you may do, of bringing the totality of your being into it will organically engender grace. That experience of grace is amazing, because it is totally undeserved, in the sense that no one can earn it. Actually the very search of grace will elude it, as grace and "gratuity" are free. It is only granted unassumingly; amazing grace!

Practically; Do you have a full expression of gratitude to offer your client base? Do you have a system in place where you can show your gratitude, from the beginning of your relationship to the end? For example, you could send a hand written thank you note after the first contact, or immediately after you are hired. You could design a "good bye" package to send your customer when your work and adventure together are complete.

4. Give thanks; Kindness & Gratitude - When you are in the full appreciation of life, when you are totally welcoming the whole picture, isn't it true that you belong, that you are one with all that is? There is no more giver and taker, there is just one entity, one reality. The seller and the buyer become one, simply because feeling one with the universe means that you are two no more. That is the ultimate kindness, to yourself and others, when you forget your identity, and when you lose your desire to receive for the self alone... Such a gift; that is so kind!

Practically; Perform random acts of kindness, be they a sincere compliment given to your customer, or a fruit basket. Know that the exchange, the trade, the gift, whether it is energetic or material is the kindness itself! Wayne Dwyer mentioned how extending kindness heals both the giver & the receiver as it unites them. A simple kind attention will make anyone thankful. Move from trading in kind to exchanging kindness; everyone will win!

5. Give thanks; Attitude & gratitude - Marcel Proust beautifully stated: "Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." Do you like people?

Are you genuinely happy to have friends & customers? Are you truly looking forward to your time with a client? Are you naturally enjoying your exchange with the people you meet?

Your happiness is the greatest gift you can give the world, the greatest service you can offer a client.

Practically; Give gifts, starting with the gift of your happiness to be in business with someone. Once that is in place, turn thankfulness into thoughtfulness: for example, provide a voice mail with "Tips of the Day," have flowers or cookies delivered to your clients, offer an online gift certificate. And when what you provide is not what is looked for, give business to others: refer a client to someone else.

6. Give thanks; Children & gratitude - Did you notice that children are naturally grateful?

In "The Religious Potential of the Child," Montessori Teacher Sofia Cavalletti writes, "The prayer of children up to the age of 7 or 8 is almost exclusively prayer of thanksgiving & praise." Slow down aging & become a child again, gratefully!

Practically; Children respond to sensory pleasures, i.e. sight, colors & smells, from the color yellow to dangling keys, to baking aromas…

Dazzle the children of your clients, the inner child as well as their kids, with fun colors, pleasant sights & sounds. Provide a drawing area, with crayons, paints & games. Pay attention to the music played in the waiting room, or on your answering device. Have fabrics & textures they can enjoy!

7. Give thanks; Surprise & gratitude - The problem with the mind is that it thinks it knows something. That very knowing is what keeps the spontaneity out of life & the possibility of being surprised. A life lived without a sense of surprise, of the unexpected is a life unlived, constricted by old patterns & fixed perceptions.

Train yourself to notice what is surprising, what is extraordinary in your life… You may even find that, no matter what the conditions are, even the repetition of a yoga class, or of a daily meal can be a surprise! After all, isn't it surprising that we would have a whole world?

Practically; Practice spontaneous Customer Service. Out of the blue, send an article of interest, a beautifully wrapped candle, a pair of tickets to a ball game, a bouquet of flowers. Surprise & effect guaranteed!

8. Give thanks; Abundance & gratitude - As offered by the Pope; "Now golden fruits on loaded branches shine, And grateful clusters swell." When we can realize that we receive always more than we give, then life truly becomes rich.

Gratitude is a magnet for the things you most desire. "Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate & value into your life." Christiane Northrup.

Practically; Give a little & you'll receive a lot. Give a lot & you'll receive even more! When speaking, writing, lecturing, giving a class, give it all, all you've gotten to give!

That will be received so enthusiastically that you will transform instantaneously strangers into referring angels.

9. Give thanks; Health & gratitude - Interestingly connecting the dots between science & spirituality, psychologists are now looking at how emotions such as gratitude & thankfulness influence our health. Dan McAdams of Northwestern University, for example, specializing in well-being research, mentions studies suggesting that increasing a person's sense of thankfulness will lower stress.

Psychology professor Barbara Fredrickson, who teaches at the University of Michigan, has found that gratitude directly lessens the effects produced by negative emotions such as anger & anxiety.

Practically; Is your business peace & pleasure inducing or stress inducing for your clients? How simple & easy is it to return an item?

Might the use of cutting edge technology make it challenging for customers? Does your customer service return calls promptly & humanly?

10. Give thanks; Opportunities & gratitude - The more one practices feeling gratitude, the more one comes to the experience where circumstances do not matter. There is always another way to look at it, always a way to find a gift in the hand one is dealt. Can you see the wholeness, the holiness in this which you take for granted?

By focusing on finding the good & the beautiful, gratitude naturally arises. When a challenge occurs, ask yourself: "What is my opportunity here? How can I see this as added value?" Indeed, there is always another way to look at it, especially if you ask to be shown…

Practically; Your worst experiences & most painful memories with your clients are your best helpers towards having a shining, beaming customer service. Welcome any drama, any rejection, any delay, any frustration as an angelic gift bringing development to your practice or business. Be grateful for these opportunities to evolve & to love!

Forwarding/Sharing Unless noted otherwise, all material is written & edited by Mahalene Louis, Copyright (c) Soulvision Axis, Inc. (r) 2003. All rights reserved. You may reprint material from "Turn on the Light!" Top Ten in other electronic or print publications provided the above copyright notice & a link to http://www.mahalenelouis.com is included in the credits. Also please send us a copy of the publication. When forwarding this material, please send the entire article intact & unadulterated.

source: selfgrowth.com

7 Keys to a Happy Life
By Sean Harder
This article is taken from my recently published book Earth Wisdom http://www.wholelifegym.com/spiritual_books.htm

1. Don't act in order to receive a payoff.

This is what's causing much of our discomfort as individuals & a society. As soon as you act with the purpose of receiving something, you've removed love from the act.
The goal is to act as if all your needs are met, then all your thinking & behavior comes from a different perspective. You also find that you act more effectively to get those things that you truly want, because you're acting & thinking as if you already have them.
The alternative is acting & thinking as if you don't & guess what, you don't. The state of mind of having something creates it, not the other way around.

The place you see this most is in relationships. The more you need in relationships, the less you get. This is simply because you're saying that you aren't whole until someone else meets those needs that can never be met.
Often what happens is that you eventually get the opposite because you're trying to show yourself that you must look inside. Once again, in relationships you must look to be loving, respectful & accepting, because this is saying that you have all these things to give.
In the end these things will be overflowing from you. Remember if you want to have something, give it, because you must have it if you can give it.

Abundance is another area this concept plays a major role. The more you say you need & operate from a place of not having enough, the more that state of mind will be created physically. This is why the very wealthy can sometimes feel impoverished & the very poor can sometimes feel wealthy.
Remember that perception is everything & that your thinking, feelings & actions come from those perceptions.

2. You're the only judge of your life & what you'll judge in the last moment of your life, is how well you loved.

Believe it or not, you don't really care what you accomplish in your life. How much you acquire & how successful you are will not mean a thing when you decide to leave your body.
Imagine that you're all living your own movie. Each movie has different characters, a different plot & a different setting, yet the goal for each conclusion is the same.
The happy ever after ending for every movie, is that the main character loved well at least once in their life in spite of circumstances. You have probably noticed that people on their deathbed, do or say something loving, often out of character, before they go.
This is because they're closer to their spirit & may finally realize that to love well was their goal. Imagine if you lived with that consciousness while you were healthy & had time. Everything else physical comes to an end when you die, but people can take your love with them long after you die.

3. You're perfect, were perfect & always will be perfect.

o the degree that you believe this, is how much physical success you'll have. The people who believe in themselves & their ability are the ones who have lasting success in their lives.
Belief creates reality. Some people have success for fleeting periods of time, but it doesn't last if their belief in themselves is dependent on what they do or what others think of them.

Belief in yourself isn't like what you consider ego or arrogance. To truly believe in this perfection, you must also believe in the inherent perfection of all people & things.
Remember how all things were created. Therefore you don't believe you're better than anyone, even though you may act better & have more success because you know the truth about yourself.
You never have to judge or be right because you know that you can't make anyone believe in themselves, though you can show them what it looks like. Your belief in the constant perfection of creation allows you to know that you're successful always because you can't be anything else.
Then what you choose to create will be a success & you know you can create anything.

4. You act based on what you know.

This sounds simple but is actually very profound. In order to act in a truly loving way, you must know what love really is. To be successful at anything, you need to know what success is.
How many people are attempting to be successful in relationships, but don't know what to do because they've never learned what a loving, successful relationship looks like.
If you don't know what to do, you'll do what you've learned, or try something that you think might work, sometimes getting lucky.

You can't program a computer without knowing what actions you must perform. If you must learn things because it's so difficult to remember in your physical state, perseverance, patience & belief in yourself come in handy.
Sometimes you've housed yourself in a body which doesn't allow you to be successful at certain physical endeavors. This you do because you choose to limit yourself so that you can focus on your higher desire to succeed at something else.
If you were physically capable of the other things, you may not choose to do the thing that you really want to accomplish on a spiritual level. Many handicapped people know this & don't like it when people feel sorry for them. They may not know why they don't like sympathy, but they know it feels wrong.
Believe this. You've chosen the body conditions & situations you experience. This is done on a spiritual level & for good reason. Your goal is to find out what you can do with it, not feel bad about what you can't do.

So if you want to run a marathon, but your legs don't work, don't focus on not running a marathon. Find out what you can do because you can't run a marathon.

5. Fear is your biggest enemy & can only be conquered by faith.

Fear tells you that to only love will not be enough. Fear & faith can't coexist or control behavior together. One or the other has to take over. Believe it or not, which one takes over is your choice. This may not appear so, because many of you have developed a habit of acting on your fear.
Remember that you can act with faith even though you're feeling fear. Which habit have you developed?
This goes back to the role of emotions & how you have developed a script, so to speak, about which behaviors go with which emotions. When you say you're depressed, you're really labeling your set of behaviors & thoughts.
A good experiment is to consciously act in a way that your feeling doesn't describe. For instance, if you're angry, try smiling & saying something nice. If depressed, exercise & tell someone what a beautiful day it is.
Most importantly, if afraid, do the thing that you're afraid of if it's in your best interest (jumping off a building may not be included in this).

You may find that these strategies make you feel like a fraud, but they'll show you that you can do whatever you choose in spite of what you're feeling, including loving.
Remember to use the feeling as a message, but choose the behavior that most effectively & lovingly responds to the message. Knowing that you can choose gives you real power over your life.

I understood the concept of faith. To me it's a powerful word that literally leads to mental invincibility. I was really beginning to feel it in my life.

The next principle takes from the last & is perhaps the most difficult for all of you.

6. No action is involuntary, including your thoughts.

Many of you may have at least come to believe that this is true for overt behaviors, but still struggle with applying it to thoughts. The scope of this principle is out of most human conception.
There isn't even a body function that is completely involuntary, though the medical profession would like you to believe that they are. Most of you simply don't know the force that controls your so-called autonomic nervous system.
Once you really learn where & how thoughts work, you'll know this force.

Many of the things you say you are (shy, stupid, alcoholic, etc.), have (depression, diabetes, cancer, attention deficit disorder, etc.), or feel (sad, angry, love, etc.), are actually verbs, not nouns.
Whether you're doing a behavior, having a body function, or thinking, you're on some level doing something voluntarily. All of it, every event that happens in your life & in your body, is a product of thought.

You're probably thinking that there's no way that you could voluntarily be doing cancer, but it does begin with a thought & your body is completely controlled by thought.
Do you ever wonder why you don't die in dreams very often? Because if you really think you're dead, you are. After being diagnosed with cancer you have more thoughts about that, then more thoughts about your prognosis & course of disease.
If you could examine a record of every thought you've ever had, conscious & unconscious, you could find the explanation of everything you experience in your life.
We've talked about thought & belief before, but what's important is that you know what is having these thoughts & how you can be the decision maker about the thoughts you have.

When you're born, there's one source of thoughts, your soul, spirit, higher self, God, whatever you choose to call it. This source has all the ultimate truths.
Over time (& not a very long time) another aspect of consciousness emerges, which you can call the learned self. This is like an observer who begins to notice that you are separate, have needs for physical survival & can experience pain.
This part continues to define itself thru experience. It also defines everything & everyone around it. Within a short time, by about 6 years, this learned self has all but completely taken over & is giving commands to your body & the universe by its constant thoughts.
Once a thought or belief is established, it may never again be consciously verbalized in your mind again. You may call these echo thoughts because they're no longer conscious, but like an echo, they continue to fill every space available.
These thoughts or beliefs are usually in the form of a conclusion & are the most constant, therefore most creative thoughts of all. They begin to operate behind the scenes very powerfully & without conscious attention.

Thought is the creative force of the universe, but it needs to have conviction & consistency to manifest in physical reality. Thought is like hammering a nail. Usually one hit will not put it all the way in. You must decide where you want it & hit it until it is all the way in so it can't easily be pulled out.
This is how the echo thoughts work. They continually hammer at the nail until it's very hard to get out. Unless they're recognized, even if you try to pull them out by replacing them with other thoughts, the echo thoughts will hammer themselves back in even if they're part way out.

This is why it's so difficult for you to change your life circumstances. You aren't often aware of the echo thoughts which continually maintain the circumstances. Even if you do things to change the situation, you'll find yourself in a similar one at some point if the echo thought doesn't change.
How do you change an echo thought if it's out of awareness? Remember that everything in the universe is a manifestation of thought. If you're unsure what your echo thoughts are, there are two ways to find out.
Both of these require guessing & detective work.

First, you could simply look at the circumstances throughout your life & ask what a person with this life might believe. Ask people close to you who know about your life, what they think you believe about yourself & the world.
Most people will come up with similar guesses if they have some information about your situation & they're willing to be honest. This is simply working backwards from the manifested to the manifesting thought.
Even if you doubt that these beliefs are present, remember that you have lost conscious awareness of them. Therefore act as if they're true based on the evidence in your life & you'll benefit anyway. If you don't challenge a belief, you'll provide evidence for it in your life, period.

A 2nd way to accomplish awareness of your echo thoughts is to look at the major messages you got from your parents, or whomever raised you. One or both parents taught you to make conclusions about yourself, the world & other people, by their words, actions, or other more subtle means.
You likely took these conclusions & accepted them as real guiding principles in your life. You wore them like glasses which you saw everything thru & they determined how you acted, thought & reacted throughout your life.
It's then inevitable that the consequences of these accumulated acts will give you what you have today.

Most important among the echo thoughts are the I am commands that are constantly working in your self-talk. These almost always come from the pre-adult years with evidence being provided throughout your teens & adulthood.
Some of the more common commands you people are giving yourselves are… I'm stupid… I'm a quitter… I'm worthless… I'm a loser… I'm weak & powerless… I am fat & ugly.
You also make conclusions about the future: I'll never be successful; I deserve to be punished & treated badly, My life sucks; I'll never be happy; I always screw up; There are no decent men out there.

All of these have endless variations which may be more specific or more general. You were fortunate to discover these as your energy blockages or bumpers as you called them.
Meditation & an honest inner enquiry can also give you the awareness you need.

Once you have this awareness, you can apply the 6th principle, that all thoughts & behaviors are voluntary. This is where you must be completely dedicated to find another echo thought & corresponding behaviors.
This requires daily practice in all situations with conscious intent. This must take priority over all else for you to manifest these new things in your life. The hardest part is persevering until you see results.
Remember that for many years you've burned the old ways in to the universal framework. The old thoughts have become like a template which will be used until another one is complete & more prominent.

7. Gratitude is the antidote for unhappiness.

This is perhaps the easiest yet most powerful truth. When there's gratitude their can be no other feeling than joy. There's always something to be grateful for even in the most dire of situations. You must find a way to focus on that which you have & are grateful for at all times.
Even if you have to look at the fact that you're breathing because you can't find anything else. Gratitude brings with it more things to be grateful for. The universe is waiting for you to be grateful so that it can give you more.

If you're dying, be grateful for your life. If someone you love is dying, be grateful for the time you had with them. If you're broke, be grateful for your health & other's prosperity.
If you're lonely, be grateful for the time with yourself. It's up to you to find & focus on gratitude. If you're envious of what someone else has, remember you're all one & be grateful for what they have.

In the end you have a choice to be grateful or not. If you choose not to, don't expect to be happy for any great lengths of time. If you choose to be grateful because the sun comes up, you can be happy all the time in spite of your circumstances & you can choose to change your circumstances without need because you're already grateful for what you have.
If you want more, that is fine, but be grateful for what you have until you have more.

Finally, always be grateful that you know the truth about yourself & your connection to all things including God, for these things are everlasting.

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