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You Can Feel Good Again… Once You…

“Stop thinking...Start Living”


The American philosopher Emerson once said: “the ancestor to every action
is a thought”
As you think you shall be.
Being happy isn‟t always easy in fact it can be one of the great challenges in
life.
True maturity means taking responsibility for our own happiness – right
now. It means choosing to concentrate on what we have instead of what we
lack. We are all constantly thinking, but because we are always doing it, it‟s
easy to forget that it is happening, and it becomes invisible.
Your thinking will always come back to you as a feeling, since the way you
feel is always determined by the thoughts you are thinking. Try feeling
angry without thinking about something that makes you angry. You can‟t do
it.

Thinking Turns Events into Problems.


The event is „real’ but it means nothing to you -it is neutral – until you are
able to bring it to life through your thinking.
Example: think of snow. For some people snow means snowballs, sledges,
skiing, and snowmen. For these people snow is cause for great celebration!
For others, however, snow means dead batteries, a slushy mess, cold
weather, and so on. In short, the snow is cause for a lot of complaining. Take
note, that the snow itself doesn‟t care what you think about it. The snow is
neutral. It just exists and goes on being snow. It doesn‟t cause the positive or
negative reactions and feelings you may have. Only your thinking can do
that for you. Your thinking, not the events themselves, causes your
emotional responses.
The following insight came from a man who had spent most of his life
depressed; he said:
“Being upset by your own thoughts is similar to writing yourself a nasty
letter – and then being offended by that letter!”
*You are the manufacturer of your own thoughts. You are the one doing the
thinking that‟s upsetting you; you are doing it to yourself. Once you start to
see that your thoughts are just thoughts, that they are not “reality”, you will
be able to dismiss them and not allow them to depress you.
Your thoughts are not real, and they can‟t harm you, just as your nightmares
are harmless. After all, what is dreaming but thinking while you are asleep?!
*thoughts grow with attention; the more attention you put on anything that
is negative, the worse you will feel. Despite the popular idea that talking

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about and working through negative emotions is a good idea, common sense
dictates otherwise. After all, people have been working through endless
negative emotions for years now – and very few are much better off than
when they started, and many are worse off.

You Cannot Think Your Way Out of Depression.


The famous American football coach Vince Lombardi, once said “just
because you’re doing something wrong, doing it more intensely isn’t going
to help”.

No idea applies better when you are depressed. It‟s your thinking that
lowered your spirits to begin with; doing more of the same will only make
matters worse. Thinking while you are depressed is similar to pouring a
bucketful of salt on a deep cut!

"Our world is like a silent movie on which we each write our own commentary."
The commentary is our view and interpretation of events..which triggers our
emotional reactions.

Don’t Fuel the fire.


You wouldn‟t put salt in your wound once you knew it was going to sting
like crazy.
As you begin to understand the dynamic between your thinking and the way
you feel, you will be able to ease off your thinking, in much the same way
that you can ease off your car‟s accelerator when you are stuck in the mud.
Before you understand that trying harder to get out of the mud doesn‟t work,
you are tempted to put your foot to the floor. After you understand the
relationship between the weight of your foot and sinking deeper in the mud,
however, you ease off a little bit. If you‟ve ever been stuck in the mud in
your car, you know that even though putting your foot to the floor is making
matters worse, it‟s still tempting to try to force your way out, but because
you know better, you are able to resist the urge. Resist the urge to think your
way out of your depression and you will find yourself out of it quicker than
you expected.

Resist the urge to think your way out of depression and you will find
yourself out of it quicker than you expected.

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The accumulation factor
Another factor that prevents you from feeling good immediately after you
think positively is what is called “the accumulation factor”. It suggests
that you accumulate negativity in your mind throughout the day, and
throughout your lifetime. Because of the vast negativity that has
accumulated in your mind, eventually you have a negative thought that
“breaks the camel’s back”. It‟s not any one thought that does you in, it‟s the
accumulation that builds up over time. Set a goal for yourself of eliminating
as close to 100 percent of your daily negativity as possible. The closer you
get to reaching this goal, the less impact each individual negative thought is
going to have on your emotional well-being. It can be useful to always ask
yourself: “What am I thinking now.”

The mind is like Times Square on New Year's Eve;


the heart is like a remote cave in the Himalayas.

Is unhappiness in the genes?


Although there may be psychological components that compound an
unhappy or depressed state, or that make a person predisposed to
unhappiness or depression, however, without thought there is no fuel to
throw on the fire, there is nothing to foster the predisposition or
psychological components into a reality.
Whenever you have a thought, and believe that thought to be true, you will
feel a corresponding emotional response to that thought. It‟s not your life,
your circumstances, your genes, or your true nature that is creating your
unhappiness-it‟s your thinking. Unhappiness is the feeling that accompanies
negative thinking about your life. There is nothing to hold your negative
feelings in place other than your thinking.

Tap into your Healthy Functioning (HF)


At the core of your being is something you were born with, your “healthy
psychological functioning”. It is not learned, it‟s inherent, always present
when you are not engaged in your thinking mind. We will refer to it as
wisdom or common sense. This is the part of you that sees beyond
unhappiness; it isn‟t disturbed when the circumstances in your life are less
than perfect. It is the feeling you have when everything seems OK, when life
seems simple, and you have a sense of perspective.

Once you understand that healthy functioning is a part of you, you will open
the door to noticing its presence in your life.

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Q: Why is it that sometimes you are able to maintain your sense of
perspective while at other times you feel as thought you are going to lose
your mind?
The answer is that sometimes you are tapped into your healthy functioning
(HF) and sometimes you aren't.
You must treat your healthy functioning as something that does exist; it
must be more than an idea to you. It must be something you trust, like
intuition. You can then begin to call on it as a resource when you need it.
Your healthy functioning is the part of you that knows that the true power in
life is in the thinker-you-and not in the thoughts themselves.
When you know deep in your heart (even in the midst of a depressed state)
that beneath your negativity lies a peaceful and light-hearted feeling that is
ever-present, you will regain the hope and confidence that a nicer,
nondepressed, feeling is just around the corner-which it is. Try to pay
attention to your healthy functioning when you are feeling good, so you‟ll
know how it feels and what to look for when it seems absent.

The Ruminating mind Versus The Healthy Functioning mind


Your thought system is concerned only with the details of your life, how you
compare with others, your daily pursuits, your intellect, your ego
gratification, and your endless supply of wants and needs. You cannot satisfy
your thought system.
Happiness is a state of mind, not a set of circumstances. You can‟t think
your way to happiness, nor can you do anything to make yourself happy.
You can never find happiness by searching, because the moment you try,
you imply that it is found outside yourself. It isn’t.

Your HF is the part of you that allows you to feel happy whether or not your
circumstances are what you want them to be. It‟s a place within you that
always feels content.

The key to eliminating unhappiness is to learn to recognize HF when it is


present in your life, and to help it grow and develop.
The more seriously you take your own thoughts, the more distant your HF
will seem to be.
Your HF will occur when you take your focus of attention off your concerns
and problems, and instead allow your mind to feel at rest. It allows you to
enjoy, rather than struggle with the ebbs and flows of your life.

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Analogy
Imagine that you have a pair of orange socks that you have lost and would
like to wear. if you are certain that you own them and you know what they
look like, and really want to find them, then you are a thousand times more
likely to find them than if you don‟t even know that you own them!
How can you ever find something if you didn‟t even know what you were
looking for?
As this part of you that is never depressed is recognized and acknowledged,
it will begin to conquer your unhappiness in the same way that sunlight will
bring life to a plant that has been left in the dark. Light is more powerful
than darkness. You don’t find light by studying the dark!
If you have a dark side, fine, acknowledge it and move forward.
Excessive thinking about your past and your problems will only convince
you that you have good reasons to be upset and unhappy.
when a football player is taking a penalty kick and there are 15,000 fans in
the crowd screaming for and against him, he must keep his eye on the goal
and forget everything else. The slightest wavering of attention usually results
in a missed shot. A good athlete will practice and practice that which works.
He will not dwell on past mistakes; he will acknowledge and then release
his images of past mistakes from his consciousness. Achieving mental health
and happiness works in a similar fashion, except that the stakes are much
higher.

The Time Factor.


We have been taught to believe that „time heals all wound’. The fact is that
it‟s not time but the eventual dismissal of the thought from the mind that
healed the wound. If the passage of the time was really the determining
factor that enabled a person to get over something, then all of us would get
over something in an identical period of time. But we know this isn‟t the
case.
Your past is now only a figment of your imagination, and so is your future.
The only moment that is real is right now.
You can learn a great deal from your past but you need not suffer because
of it. There is certainly nothing wrong with wanting to improve, excel,
achieve or compare. But there is harm to human psyche, when instead of
being open and receptive to life, it is overflowing with compassions,
criticisms, suggestions and thoughts of imperfections. Life doesn‟t have to
be a contest to see how many flaws you can find!
Instead of following the troubleshooting thoughts you have, practice
ignoring them.

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Rather than following through with an unnecessary suggestion to someone,
practice holding your tongue. Instead, offer your support for doing it their
own way.
Instead of anticipating potential problems and reviewing past mistakes, keep
yourself here, in this moment.
See for yourself how living moment to moment tends to take care of most
problems.

"The origin of suffering is attachment" …to a


person, to a thing, to a thought.

BECOME INNER-DIRECTED

No one- not your parents, your partner, your children, your friends, or
your therapist-can live your life for you, nor can they make you happy. How
often we say to ourselves, “why can’t people be more friendly?” or “It
makes me mad when she says that.” or “I wish she would act differently.”
Or “I wish she weren’t so critical of me.” These, and many other statements
suggest that, somehow, in some way, someone other than you is responsible
for your happiness. This type of thinking brings personal growth into a halt,
and makes contented living impossible.
People who don‟t take responsibility for their own happiness feel abused and
victimized by their circumstances. Often they build their entire life and sense
of self-worth around the behavior and approval of others. They spend a lot
of their time looking over their shoulders hoping to be noticed, appreciated,
and loved, and spend a great deal of time and energy in comparing
themselves to others and seeking approval.

Looking over your shoulder and comparing yourself to


others is a prescription for pain and unhappiness.

If we examine the roots of the word responsibility, we will find it means- the
ability to respond, to choose your response, to choose how you will process
the vents and circumstances in your life.

Inner-directed people are happy because they know that


their life is a series of choices, and that they are in charge of
those choices.

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To be inner directed means to look inside yourself for your own answers, to
trust your own intuition despite anyone else‟s opinion, and to follow your
own instincts. If you are inner-directed you will not rely on another person
to make you happy and never give someone else the power to control your
emotions.
Approval, as nice as it can be, is not a prerequisite to being
a happy person.

Everyone has negative thoughts from time to time- but happy people learn to
ignore or dismiss them.
You must make a commitment to become more inner-directed in your life. If
you catch yourself blaming others, stop your inner thoughts that imply that
anyone other than you is responsible for your happiness.

Don‟t expect others to think like you.

As you become more inner-directed, you‟ll see that anger, disapproval, and
frustration stem from the way we think and from our expectations; they
come from inside us, from the way we choose to see the world, just as love
comes from inside us. When you say “I love you” to someone, that love is
coming not from the person you‟re directing your love toward, but from a
feeling deep inside you. In the same way any disapproval or criticism aimed
in your direction is coming from the person aiming it. You‟re not
responsible for it, and it doesn‟t necessarily mean it‟s true.

Inner-directed people know that finding fault and criticizing


others has nothing to do with making themselves happy.

By intentionally not thinking about yourself so much, you allow yourself to


become less attached to your thought-created image of self-importance.
Without the pressure of having to maintain our ego (self image, who we
think we are) we are more able to relax and enjoy whatever we happen to be
doing at the moment. We will also begin to notice that we feel the happiest
when we think the least about ourselves

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BE SPONTANEOUS, BE FLEXIBLE.
Inner-directed people tend to be spontaneous. They have the capacity
to change direction at any time, because they are committed not to
consistency but to what is right and suitable at the given moment.
An inner-directed person can move to a new neighborhood even though he
lived in the same house for thirty years, and he can take up a hobby even
though he is eighty years old.
Outer-directed people are often rigid, and this rigidity stems from the need to
control events that, in fact, they have no control over.
Be flexible, honor the change in yourself and in others.

"Much of the time you can‟t rely on your own expectations about how other people will think and
feel. Those expectations are likely based- consciously or otherwise-on your own experience of the
world, and others may have different perspectives and behavior patterns. The truth is, we can never
be sure how others will react to what we say or do. The best we do is clearly state what we want and
be willing to accept either a positive or negative response.
Our obsession over what others might think and do arises from our need to avoid a response we
don't think we can handle.”

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS – Develop Gratitude

“Learn appreciation. You won’t be happy with more until you are
happy with what you’ve got.”
Gratitude is an attitude. It has nothing to do with what we have or don‟t
have, and everything to do with the attitude we take toward life. This is why
you will often meet people who - on the surface- have little to be grateful
for, but who feel a genuine sense of deep gratitude for the gift of life. These
people aren't fooling themselves with their gratitude - they simply have a
positive attitude. They look at what they have, while most others focus on
what they don‟t have!

Gratitude is the antidote for depression. It‟s a very powerful feeling that
stems, like all feelings, from your thinking.
What would you say if you would be offered $1000 for everything you could
think of to feel grateful for?
You would think of hundreds of things to be grateful for because you would
be thinking purposefully. If your internal antenna is looking for gratitude it
will find it! Your intention must be to feel grateful- you have to want it.

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Happiness comes about as a result of lessening the gap between what you
have and what you want. But you‟ll never get there if, each time you get
what you want, you allow your attention to drift once again toward what
would be even better. This drifting mind is the vehicle that takes you away
from gratitude.
This doesn‟t mean you can‟t strive toward goals, but it does suggest that
achieving them won‟t bring you happiness unless you learn to focus your
attention on what you have, and learn to feel gratitude for it.

People can learn a basic lesson from sailing a boat: To go in


the direction you want, then find the balance between
yielding to the wind and taking control of the sails.

Life is a gift. You can learn to be grateful that you have dishes to wash
rather than angry that you have to wash them. You can learn to be grateful
that you have children rather than upset that you have to get up in the middle
of the night to nurse them. You can learn to appreciate your job rather than
wishing you had different one.

There is an enormous difference between having a dream


and making your happiness conditional on your dream‟s
coming true.

It‟s impossible to feel gratitude for something when you are too busy trying
to improve it !!

The basis for your life is the present moment, to have acceptance and hence 'gratitude' for
the your state at this minute, 'now'.
Dissatisfaction is not a good starting point to create change in your life. If you are not
friendly with your state, it cannot support you. If you ask: how should I approach
change? You should acknowledge the present situation, without raising a negative
reaction towards it, and from there plan your action. Action that emerges out of
acceptance -not resistance- sustains a totally 'different' energy flow.
Always ask yourself:"what is my relationship with the present moment?" Am I fighting
it(by complaining and grumbling and internal dispute?) By all means ACT but DON'T
resist!
Why not resist?
Because if you RESIST.. It will PERSIST!
A good example is "Quicksand". If you find yourself in quicksand, the worst thing to do
would be to fight it!! You will only go deeper in. You are advised to maintain a state of
minimum resistance while slowly lifting your weight up.

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Choice Points
A “choice point” is an isolated moment in time when you have an
opportunity to choose between your healthy functioning (the path of love
and contentment) and the path of “thinking it through”.
Lets suppose your father said something that you wish he hadn‟t – this is a
choice point.
Your sink starts leaking for the third time this month – another choice point.
Your spouse criticizes the way to handle the kids or your home – another
one.
In each of these examples and tens of thousands of others like them, you
have a moment in which a decision must be made. You can take the path of
thinking it through. You can think to yourself “why did he say that to me?”
(Trying to get to the bottom of it) or “it makes me furious when he does
that” (choosing anger). You can then dwell on what he said, think of all the
reasons he said it, and all the things you would like to say to him if you “had
the guts” you can really get into it. You can even talk to a therapist about
how it makes you feel. Is this road justified? It is if you want it to be. You
must however become conscious of exactly where this road is going to take
you.
The extent to which you follow this path will determine just how bad you
will feel. The reason so many people stick to this is because they know of no
other! The tendency here is to imagine that if you think it through
thoroughly enough, you will somehow feel better, and a vicious cycle
continues. But feeling better is not a part of this path.
Sometimes you do need to think things through analyze, compare and even
„get to the bottom of it‟. Sometimes it is appropriate to get angry and express
your feelings. But this is not often the way to go if what you are looking for
is happiness.
The path of HF is nothing more than not taking the path of thought.
Choosing the path of mental health is a when you decide to respond to life in
a way that allows a feeling of happiness to permeate your life, instead of
reaching to every negative thought that enters your mind.

If we go back to our example, if you were to choose the path of HF, this is
what you would do:
As soon as your head began to fill up with negative thoughts and questions
about your father and his motives, you would immediately recognize that
you were thinking!
That recognition alone would alert you to the fact that you were now at risk
of using your thinking against yourself.

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You will begin monitoring your own thinking, not allowing your head to fill
up with negative thoughts. As negative thoughts entered your mind you
would dismiss them. You would know that allowing yourself to focus on the
negative thoughts would only hurt you – it would take you away from your
healthy functioning.

Here‟s the benefit to you:


With each negative thought that you dismissed from your mind, a nicer
feeling within you would take place. As you felt better you would regain you
perspective, and you would know exactly what to do next. You would either
take some action such as discussing the issue with your father with a calm
and loving attitude, or you would simply dismiss his comments and decide
that it‟s really no that important. This entire process only takes a second, and
it all stems from knowing that you have a choice.
Each time you practice this conscious choice-making you will get better at
choosing your healthy functioning – and you will decide that feeling good is
worth the choice.
Without this knowledge, finding your happiness is a lot like washing your
clothes in dirty water! You can‟t find happiness within your unhappiness –
you must look for it in a place beyond your thinking mind.
When you become grounded in this truth, you will begin to look for this
better feeling even in midst of your negativity. Like a tree in a forest
reaching for sunshine, you will seek the part of you that is peaceful.

Choice point after choice point you will become stronger and more
committed to you own healthy functioning. Each time you choose happiness
over negativity you will be a little bit closer to conquering your depression.

Your feelings are with you, not to be studied and dealt with, but to let you
know that you are at another choice point. Your feelings let you know which
side of your mind you are on any given moment, thus telling you whether
you need to make a mental adjustment.
Becoming aware of-and learning to turn off- internal dialogue is a major
factor in the development of happy people. Either turn it off or at least
redirect it in a more positive direction.

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What Kind of Thinking is Negative?
Any thinking that makes you feel less contented than before you
started your train of thought, can be considered negative. Each time
negative, pessimistic, or skeptical thoughts enter your mind, you are at a new
choice point. You can choose to follow your negative train of thought
(negative internal dialogue) or choose to stop, take a shift and choose that
the feeling of peace of contentment is more important than being or proving
you are right.
It means feeling happy instead of feeling frustrated!
The only thing you have to do to discover your HF is to drop the thinking
that is getting in the way!

If you are ever unsure whether to believe a thought or take it seriously or whether to
dismiss it, just ask yourself one question:”Does this thought serve me?” The thoughts
that you should pay your attention to are the thoughts that brighten your spirits.

Don‟t assume this is denial. After all, what are you denying other than your
own pain?! You are consciously deciding not to feed the only fuel your pain
has to eat. When you stop feeding your negative thinking, your emotional
pain disappears, and with the disappearance comes a new feeling within you;
the feeling of being in perspective, the feeling of HF. It is simply a cycle that
needs to be broken. The way to break it is to see the choice points in your
life and then follow the path towards your HF.
Don‟t allow your own internal dialogue to run (and ruin) your life. Turn it
off, or at least redirect it along a more positive route. When negative
thoughts fill your head, let them go. Allow them to drift away knowing they
aren't important. Don‟t focus on them; say to yourself “it‟s not worth it”.

Moods come in Waves


One of the most undeniable facts about human beings is that each of
us has what are referred to as „moods‟. There has never been, nor will there
ever be, a person who doesn‟t experience the ups and downs of moods. Even
the happiest person isn‟t immune to them.
Your mood level affects what you think about, as well as your ability to
realize that you are at a choice point. Understanding the nature and the
deceptive power of your moods will help you ease, rather than fight, your
way out of an unhappy state of mind.

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Moods are like the tides of the sea. They are constantly changing and
shifting. Sometimes moods are very high, sometimes they are very low, and
sometimes they are somewhere in between. And although it may not seem
like it when you are feeling low, your moods are always changing, although
perhaps only a little at a time.
To escape a negative state of mind, you must begin to recognize when you
are in a low mood and avoid the processes that will keep you there. If you
learn to do this you will find yourself going up and down like everyone else,
rather than remaining down in the dumps. Although the thoughts you have
while in a low mood seem valid to you, they aren't. They are almost always
irrational and distorted.
Once you start to see the inevitability of negative thinking when you feel bad
you can begin to distrust and ignore what you are thinking in the same way
that you would ignore a mirage in a desert. Life will always look better later
if you let it alone, for now.
Having faith that your low mood will lift is like having faith that the trick
mirror you are looking into at the amusement park isn‟t giving you a clear
vision of reality.
Both are illusions.

Your problems, if they are real, will still be there when your mood goes up.
The only difference will be that you will be more equipped to solve them. If
you don‟t interfere with the natural rhythm of your moods (by fueling the
low mood with negative thinking) they will go up and down all by
themselves.

People can become blinded by their low moods and can thus jeopardize
important relationships, since each person acts his or her lows differently.
Some become critical, others defensive, and argumentative. Expect negative
behavior from your friend, partner or spouse as he might be passing through
a low mood, and make allowances in your mind for such behavior. By taking
each other‟s low-mood reactions and comments too seriously or personally
you would – though innocently- be brining out the worse in him!

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SADNESS VERSUS UNHAPPINESS

Genuine sadness is a natural part of life. There is nothing unhealthy


about it. Sadness is a very positive feeling. It reminds you of what you have,
or in some cases what you had. Sadness isn‟t something to run or hide from,
it‟s real and important. It adds depth to your life. The feeling of sadness
comes and goes. It‟s not permanent, and it does not necessarily have to lead
to a feeling of despair or hopelessness. In order for sadness to turn into
unhappiness, depression, or hopelessness, you would have to hold on to the
thoughts about the event you were experiencing.

Behind every form of suffering there is "GRACE" hiding, concealed. It does not reveal
itself until you surrender, and no longer deny what is:
[Not as I will, but Thy will be done]
At that moment there will be an opening that allows the divine to come through... and
the torture instrument can become the symbol of the divine!

Genuine sadness can lead to a feeling of love, whereas getting caught in the
dynamic of unhappiness usually leads to self-pity and hopelessness. It is
possible to feel sadness without becoming immobilized by it, and you will
be on your way to experiencing all negative events in an entirely new way. It
just takes a little practice in learning to dismiss the “extra” thoughts that
keep the sadness alive. When thoughts like “why me” enter your mind, you
dismiss them. Keep in mind that dismissing these thoughts isn‟t the same as
denial. You are dismissing your negative thoughts for one reason alone- to
reconnect with your healthy functioning. When you do, your wisdom will
tell you what to do next. In this way, you‟ll still feel the sadness, but the
severity and duration of your sadness will be limited, and your sadness
won‟t turn into an ongoing negative state of mind.

"‎People tend to be uncomfortable with endings because every ending is a little death.
If you can learn to accept, and even welcome the endings in your life, you may find
that the feeling of emptiness that initially felt uncomfortable turns into a sense of inner
spaciousness that is deeply peaceful."

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Unhappiness is your curriculum

Everyone has issues, or a series of issues, that are central to his life,
lessons that must be transcended in order to arrive at a sense of inner peace.
You can think of your central issues as your curriculum. An education that
you must go through to make your life feel complete. For some people, the
central lesson in their life is physical-learning to live with diabetes or
blindness, for example. Some people have a more emotional handicap, such
as a strong resistance to intimacy or untamed anger. The central issue in
others‟ lives may take the form of an addiction to cigarettes, alcohol, food
and so forth.
The name of the game is learning how to effectively deal with, and
eventually conquer, the central issues in your life. Whatever curriculum a
person is experiencing, be it physical, emotional, spiritual, or intellectual, it
will start out being experienced as “difficult” by the person who is
experiencing it. The reason why the solution to other people‟s problems
usually seems so obvious is that it‟s not your curriculum. If it were, it
wouldn‟t be so easy.
Remember, your attention is the key to your success. If your attention is on
how much you want to get rid of your pain, then your attention is on your
pain. But if your attention is directed toward your healthy functioning, your
inner peace, that is exactly where you will be headed.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Aristotle.

"Your living is determined-not so much by what life brings to u as by the


attitude u bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way
your mind looks at what happens."[KhalilGibran]

Learn to Live More in the Present Moment


Perhaps the oldest and wisest piece of
advice for escaping depression and living a happier life is to live in the
present moment. Virtually every spiritual teacher and wise person
throughout history has suggested this solution. A genuinely happy person
knows that life is nothing more than a constant series of present moments to
be experienced, one right after another.
Children are the best examples of people who fully absorb themselves in the
present moment. Because children are so in the moment they milk every

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ounce out of their experience. As an adult, you may have gotten into the
habit of allowing past regrets and future concerns to squeeze the life out of
your present moments.
The reason we are always in a state of dis-ease, with a constant feeling that
we are waiting for something to come, for the mood to shift, is that we have
not learned to live in 'the present moment'. Everything we do has become a
means to an end. Whatever we are doing now, our presence is always
somewhere else, in the 'next' moment! The power can only enter your life if
you learn to live and embrace the present moment to the fullest. Otherwise
you will always de-value your present moment.
Start learning with simple everyday actions. Pay attention to the water when
you wash, to your breathing, to your walking.. Gradually you will learn to
enjoy presence in the most important things that you do... In your prayer!

From present-moment thinking stems forgiveness. When you forgive


someone, including yourself, you are saying to yourself “the past is over” no
one, including yourself, can undo what is done. If your past was painful, a
lack of forgiveness makes your present equally painful. By all means, learn
from your past and then „let it go’.

BE HERE, BE NOW.

People who learn to live in the present moment get a great


deal of what they want most out of life life-satisfaction.

The person struggling with his past and worrying about his future is usually
unable to be kind and compassionate toward others. He is too consumed
with his own wants and needs.
If you‟re in the habit of allowing your mind to wander away from the
moment, it will take some time to catch yourself doing so consistently. But
persistence will pay off in the end.
Living in the present isn‟t difficult or complicated, but it
does take practice.

Life is a series of present moments, one moment after another. Living them
to the full prepares the future.

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Behind the sometimes seemingly random or even chaotic succession of
events in our lives as well as in the world lies concealed the unfolding of a
higher order and purpose.
We can never perceive this order through "thinking", but if we try to be open
and alert to it, we can glimpse it, and align ourselves with it, which means be
conscious participants in the folding of that higher purpose.
To be in alignment with "what is" means to be in a relationship of inner non-
resistance with what happens. It means not to "label" it mentally as 'good' or
'bad' but to let it be. If action is needed, take it..but action that arises from a
state of inner-acceptance (i.e. Acceptance that this 'seemingly good or bad'
event has a part in the tapestry of the whole) such action becomes
empowered by the infinite Source of power and energy.
*Don't become a participant in the human drama that goes on around you.
*Don't see yourself as anybody's 'victim'.
*Be at one with what happens and what happens will have no power over
you anymore.
*Only if you resist what happens are you at the mercy of what happens.
Don‟t give the 'content' of world the power to determine your happiness and
unhappiness.

You must decide what kind of a relationship you want to have with the
present moment. Do you want it to be your friend or enemy?
Bare in mind: The present moment is life; so you are deciding your
relationship with life.
If you decide you want it to be your friend, it is up to you to make the first
move: become friendly toward it, welcome it-no matter in what 'disguise' it
comes-,and soon you will notice life becomes friendly toward you; people
become helpful, circumstances cooperative.
One decision changes your reality. But you will have to make it again and
again and again-until it becomes natural to live that way.

Eliminate Hurry
One of the secrets of living a life free
of depression is to eliminate the sense of hurry in your life. Hurry is nothing
more than a bad habit, it‟s not a scheduling problem it‟s a state of mind
problem.
There are many extremely busy individuals who almost never feel hurried,
and even more people who really aren't very busy, but feel busy almost all
the time. Although it‟s treated as one, life is not an emergency; it‟s not

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meant to be constantly postponed while we anxiously rush around and
attempt to “get everything done”.
A hurried mind cannot be a happy one, because a hurried mind is consumed
not with involvement and joy but with future activities that are yet to be
experienced.

Stress and Illness

All stress is about resisting the situation .. but know that your
problem isn't the situation, it‟s your 'thoughts' about the
situation..

In his book, „The Stress of Life‟, Hans Selye demonstrates how adrenal
exhaustion can be caused by severe emotional tension; such as a great
frustration or hopelessness. He goes on to detail many of the effects of
negative emotions on body chemistry.
Just as clutching the steering-wheel and gritting your teeth doesn‟t make our
car go any faster through traffic, thinking obsessively about an illness
doesn‟t make it go away. In fact, it appears to be just the opposite.
Emotional stress is very taxing on the body. It exhausts many of our vital
healing mechanisms.
The dynamics of thoughts do not change when you are facing an illness or
death, or any other painful event that is yet to happen or is happening now. It
is still the thoughts you have about the illness or death that create your
emotional disturbance – not the illness or death itself.
There will be times when you think about the predicament and times when
you think about something else. It‟s tempting to let your moments of
happiness drift away with your next negative or fearful thought.
Fearful thoughts will continue to enter your mind but that doesn‟t mean you
have to focus on them. If you think back you will remember that fearful
thoughts filled your head even when your body was healthy. There are
millions of people who spend most of their waking day thinking about
something that doesn‟t exist. Yet to them the fear is often as real as those
who truly do face an illness!! such is the power of thought.

The quality of your life is determined solely by the relationship you have to
your own thinking.
You can dismiss the thoughts that enter your mind the way you would shoo
flies away from your picnic lunch.

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Every problem is made worse by what can be referred to as „analysis
paralysis. Einstein once said: “the solution to a problem will never come
about from the same level of understanding that created the problem in the
first place”, in other words, dwelling on problems will not help us overcome
them.

The Art of Optimism


Learning to think more positively will
effect the way you feel. You may be used to thinking about things in a
certain way, yet you are fully capable of changing the way you look at life
once you make the commitment to do so.
Starting today, change the way you think, especially during difficult times,
and the quality of your life will rise dramatically.
Negativity is a learned response to the events of your life. Circumstances
do not make a person, they reveal him. Your attitude and beliefs towards life
originate within you.
Your attitude is made up of one thing and one thing only; your own
thoughts.

"When one door closes another opens. But often we look so


long so regretfully upon the closed door that we fail to see
the one that has opened for us"

Happiness
Happy people will see their thoughts as thoughts, they will strive to
ignore and drop as many negative thoughts as they can. They will look for a
feeling of happiness even when their circumstances don‟t seem to warrant a
positive outlook. They are no pretending to be happy; they are looking to be
happy. They know that what they are looking for is a happy feeling, not a
perfect life.
Unhappy people don‟t see their thoughts as thoughts; they see them as
reality, as important. They rarely ignore the thoughts that bring them down,
but instead analyze or study them, thus giving them additional life.

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Commitment to Happiness
Happiness is a moment to moment choice that each of us makes. In
order to be happy, you must make a commitment to happiness.
It is important not to confuse “committing to happiness” with changing your
life circumstances in any way. Although these two ideas seem related, this is
not necessarily so. As many of us have probably noticed, many change
everything in their life without affecting their level of happiness – one single
bit. In fact many may admit that they have an almost perfect life, yet are
unable to feel happy!!
The reason is that happiness exists independent of your circumstances; it‟s a
feeling that you learn to live in. It is possible to learn to be happy without
changing anything in your life – except your relationship to your own
thinking. As you think, so shall you be.
When you make a commitment to happiness you are, in effect, saying:
“There is so much in life that I can’t control-the world, other people and
their choices and reactions, accidents, imperfections, suffering, hardships.
Yet this is my life and regardless of what happens, I’m going to be happy.”
The only thing that can defeat you is a lack of persistence on your part. The
first few times you challenge your tendency to give in to your depressed
feelings you may not notice an immediate or particularly strong shift in how
you feel because you may not be letting go enough. But stick with it-it gets
much easier. As you practice ignoring what you don‟t want, and turn instead
toward what you want, you soon will begin to feel a shift.

Show me a person who is waiting for life to be perfect


before he allows himself to be happy and I‟ll show you a
person who will never be happy.

Learn to Feel Good


Thoughts come and go; like a river
carrying leaves, your mind produces a never-ending supply of thoughts,
some are nice, some are not, but all are just thoughts. You are free to reach
out and grab any thought you wish. But keep in mind that you are the one
doing the reaching and the grabbing.
Everyone feels low at least some of the time. When you are feeling low you
will always feel an urgent need to figure out why you feel the way you do.
You must resist this urge. You don‟t have to figure out anything. The only
thoughts you will be able to manufacture when you are low are negative
thoughts, so all your thinking will be counter-productive.

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You must wait for and look for the part of you that isn‟t depressed before
you try to figure anything out.
Once you feel better, your HF will do all the figuring for you, answers will
seem obvious, and you will have a better perspective, wisdom, and common
sense.

"Think how simple your life would be if you eliminated the impossible
things-the things that probably weren't meant to be anyway-and
concentrated on doing what works"

CONCLUSION
If you can simply allow yourself to be down and let it be okay, doing
nothing about it, knowing that “this too shall pass,” it will. No explanation
will be needed, no analysis, nothing. Just the understanding that it‟s okay not
to be perfect. This quiet acceptance of our surrender to the natural flow of
life allows your mind the space to be free. It opens the door to feeling good
again.

‎"As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake
the world..as being able to remake ourselves!" [Ghandi]

*****************

This was a short summary of a few books by Richard Carlson. I hope you find
it as beneficial as I have. Since reading the book, I’ve faced a few instances
where I forced myself to practice its ideas, and have to admit that it did
help minimize the depth of my lows. I hope it does the same- or better - to
you.
If it does, please say: Allah grant Maha your forgiveness.
Wassalam.

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