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The Sixth Area of Change Was in the Mental Arena

Learning Healthy Mental Skills

Although I could learn about food, nutrition, and my eating habits, there was still something wrong:  my body had changed, but my thinking hadn't!  The ways I reacted to life were still the same. 

I had to learn about my thinking habits, to accept the fact that "what I think becomes me.”  Whatever I put my focus on...EXPANDS: fears or trust, misery, or happiness and joy. When I constantly think discouraging thoughts about myself and others, I end up feeling very discouraged about everything. I tried it. It works! But when I put encouraging, loving and joyful thoughts into my mind about others and myself, I have a great time! I tried it. It works! The choice is yours—and mine.

A healthy body is built by practicing sound nutrition choices and living an active lifestyle.

 A HEALTHY MIND is developed through developing effective MENTAL HABITS.

Collage shows my flower and vegetable gardens, forests and yummy foods.

I had to learn about what really makes me happy:

·        It's NOT about losing weight.

·        It's NOT about having material possessions.

·        It's NOT about having a career or the perfect job.

·        It's NOT the many other things that I thought would make me happy.

What really makes me happy is focusing on WHAT I do have to enjoy, SIMPLE THINGS, to rejoice in ordinary things. Don't take things for granted. Just the ordinary things of life add richness and depth to existence.

 

I started by watering the seeds of happiness in myself.

                                                                                  

I discovered suffering could be transformed into well-being. So I took time to realize the well-being that already existed in my life: taking time to notice the wonders, beauties, and blessings in my life balanced the experience of the challenges and sufferings that were also present.

 1.    I asked myself, what nourishes joy and a sense of contentment in me? (See the Essential Skills section for self-nurturing ideas, CELEBRATING The Simple Joys Of Life!, and an Alphabetical Guide to Zestful Living.)

2.    How could I enjoy the precious jewels that I already have? I slowed down enough to allow myself to feel the sacredness of life. Investigate Help! I Need to Slow Down! I'm Movin' Too Fast!

3.    I encouraged myself to find peace and joy. I took time to delight in my life. Yay, whoopee! I practiced being kinder to the being who lives inside of my own skin. Pay a visit to If You Would Grow and Shine The Light of Self-Care on Yourself to Transform Inner Pain!

4.    I noticed the kindness of others and practiced the skill of gratitude: what am I grateful for? I wrote a gratitude list. This truly helps me. It is SO easy to take everything for granted. Appreciate Essential Skills section for an example.

5.    I practiced dwelling deeply in the present moment—not thinking about the future or the past—just really noticing and experiencing what is happening right now. See link below for Richard Carlson's book (You Can Be Happy No Matter What) and Eckert Tolle's (Practicing The Power of Now and Stillness Speaks) books for suggestions and practices on HOW to do this.

6.    I also noticed it is calming and nurturing to my mind and emotions to practice feeling contented and peaceful—with whatever is going on and wherever I am. This practice forms a habit of mind. I am then not waiting for everything to be exactly the way I want it to be before I will allow myself to feel happy. Frolic around Be Happy!

7.  I also explored ideas and resources that helped me put the difficulties and challenges of our human journey into perspective. I share these ideas in the Meditations  and Resource #1 & #2 sections of this web site. A healthy body is built by practicing sound nutrition choices and living an active lifestyle. A HEALTHY MIND is developed through developing effective MENTAL HABITS. The books that are listed in resource section provide effective and sound guidance.

Explore Resources at: Celebrate Healthy Mental States, Self-Nurturing, Self- Esteem, and Healthy Relationships

Prager University--Happiness is a Moral Obligation: Dennis Prager, best-selling author and nationally syndicated radio talk show host, makes the case that happiness is much more than a personal pursuit, it's a moral obligation. Find it on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQqJvfh9irs&feature=plcp&context=C49d8973VDvjVQa1PpcFOoludbAGPsKDW-zHdfELQ6KPEZzAwXw-o%3D
 

 

After noticing the nutrients (life choices) that caused suffering and pain, I began to transform them through making more conscious choices. As I ingested less of the nutrients that caused suffering, my suffering lessened. It took practice, but as I created the causes for well-being—well-being eventually showed up and grew. My whole life has been a dramatic demonstration of the law of sowing and reaping. (Grasp the Ecosystem Weight Management section and the Make Your Mind an Ocean section )

 

Thought by thought,

word by word,

choice by choice,

action by action,

     

                    I lift myself to a new level of living!  Ya-a-ay!

 Using the Power of Choice and the Law of Sowing and Reaping to Bring Me Freedom

It seems that all of life is learning about how to use the power of choice responsibly. In gardening, if the conditions are right, what you plant is what you get. If you plant a tomato seed, you get a tomato. If you plant a dandelion seed, you get a dandelion. In life, if you plant seeds of well-being and nurture them, over time, you get well-being. If you plant seeds of dis-ease, over time, you get disease.

Whatever I cultivate, over time, is what I get. If I have an addiction to anything, I can look at the seeds that I have been planting with my choices. And just like in gardening, I can uproot the plants that I don’t want to keep.

Notice the seeds you have been planting with your choices.

Do you want to make any changes?

What new seeds do you want to plant?

 

Your life is your garden. Over time, what you plant is what you get.

                     Be a Gardener to Your Own Mind & Life. Choose to nurture health.

          

Prepare the soil, trim and weed.        Use the right tools.    Experience the garden of freedom.                 

Water, fertilize, provide “TLC”……practice, perseverance, patience….…over time, your life changes.            

 

Notice your choices and your motivation (seeds) >Thoughts >> Actions >>>Results (effects).

Learn to guide yourself towards choices that are more effective.

In the process of LEARNING all of these things, I found that I made many mistakes.  Mistakes are teachers. There is no way to learn any task or skill without errors. This process of learning can been thought of as progressive approximation. Mistakes are a form of FEEDBACK. Every error told me what I needed to correct.  As I changed each ineffective pattern, I got nearer to the behavioral sequence that worked better. Mistakes gave me feedback about what worked and what didn't work!  They have nothing to do with my worth or intelligence. They are merely "steps toward a goal.” I have made extensive research about what doesn’t work at all and practiced behaviors that were totally ineffective—just to see if they would work. Then I would try them out at least three more times just to make absolutely sure they wouldn’t work. And then—when I was writhing in pain—I finally changed!

In the Be Active part of my story  and in the Change, who me? How? section I mention the Stages of Change model, which provides some helpful guidelines on how solve the mystery of unconscious patterns and how to make lasting changes. I have discovered for most people this process takes from 1 – 3 years.

Many times my changing has seemed VERY SLOW. I have felt as if I were walking through SOLID CONCRETE!  The ONLY thing I didn't do was give up.  It helped me to tell myself  (many times), "Bobbie sweetheart, I unconditionally love and support you just as you are, in all your magnificence. I love you the way you are AND the way you are not!”

For me, the food and exercise changes were easiest to make. The more challenging areas to heal and transform were the social isolation, self-esteem, and mental areas. I read many books, went to counseling, and tried out many new things. Gradually, things shifted.

I learned not to give up 5 minutes before the miracle!

 Success

 Is going

from failure to failure

without a loss

of enthusiasm.

-Sir Winston Churchill 

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              Copyright © 2001-2015 Bob Wilson BS, DTR  All Right Reserved. Articles are for personal use only. Please request permission for other uses. Thanks!