Cowboy Tom -- celebrating Thanksgiving in nature
"I really appreciate this."
Visit the website
and take the free survey to identify what's standing between you and more joy, love, and peace.
I am pleased to announce the reprinting (and slightly edited) version of Attitude Reconstruction.
It includes a revised "action" chapter, full Blueprints on the inside front and back cover, and little futzes here and there. Available, signed, sealed, and delivered for only $15.00 (includes tax.).
Great for these times for all those special people in your life! Great for Christmas giving.
Praise for AR and the newsletter.
Thank you for the poignant and uplifting Newsletter, jam packed with useful information, fun cartoons, and video clips. I've forwarded to a few clients and friends. Reading and hearing your voice in my head, brings such a warm feeling in my heart and inspiration for choosing joy.
Greetings dear ones,
With these tumultuous times, it super important that we keep our focus on the positive, on what will bring love, rather than stoking anger and outrage. So for that reason, this month's newsletter is a reminder about the importance of kindness so that we swim rather than sink.... But first:
A Few Articles
Here's a cool interview with Candice Bergen
. What a life she's lived, from being the fall-guy with her father's dummy to Murphy Brown to still going strong in movies and beyond.
Small businesses have survived during the pandemic in Japan
. Note the number of cell phones in the cover photo!
All exercise is good
and vigorous exercise is better. Interesting data and recommendations based on science.
I was inspired by a revealing interview with Melinda Gates
. Among the tidbits, I love her answer to the following question:
How do you reconcile the enormous privilege that you have with the acute suffering that so many people are experiencing right now?
It's something I've pondered a lot. There's no explanation how you get to be in this situation of privilege. There's just none. But I spend a lot of my waking hours, when we're not in a pandemic, traveling and meeting other people and doing what I call letting my heart break. I've worked in Mother Teresa's home for the dying. I've slept on people's farms in Africa. I do meditation every morning, and I've had days of tears thinking about people I know who've lost a loved one. It's going to those places where your heart really hurts for everybody, not just your own sense of loss.
And so I cry a lot, and then I come back and I say, How do I
take what that person shared with me and what I learned, and how do I plow that back into the work to try and make the world better, or to convince a global leader that they ought to give more money to malaria, or care about people getting a vaccine on the other side of the world, or care about a child not getting a proper education in certain cities in the United States?" I just try to constantly remember that it's a privilege.
Most all black and white cartoons borrowed from Cartoonbank.
Anger, left unexpressed physically, naturally, and constructively, manifests in unkind words, thoughts, or actions. It could be expressed as negativity, criticism, being judgmental, or blaming. Anger, dealt with constructively, brings us back to our heart and lets our love shine through. And we can express our love in acts of kindness.
Kindness manifests in a lot of ways, such as acts of compassion, helpfulness, empathy, forgiveness, and caring. These gestures kindle and ignite feelings of love in both the recipients and ourselves. For maximum effect, kindness must be offered without expecting something in return, except for you to feel more love and connection. Kindness is not a business transaction.
It's no surprise that kindness is one of Attitude Reconstruction's Four Rules of Communication. The other three Communication Rules, just in case you want a reminder, are: 1) "I"s, talk about yourself not others, 2) Specifics, deal in concrete terms, not over-generalities, and 3) Listen well.
There are four verbal kindnesses to heap on yourself and others:
The Four Kindnesses
We need to direct kindness towards other people and things as well as ourselves. As a daily practice, write, think, or speak one to three of each daily to reap amazing benefits!
It's a real drag to be around someone who has something negative to say about almost everything. Accentuating the positive makes a noticeable difference. For example, you can declare the boss didn't get the complexity and brilliance of your report or relish the fact that you represented all sides of the issue fairly.
Looking at the glass as half-full is like giving water to a thirsty plant. By leaving out the negative observations and focusing on what you liked instead, you'll elevate your inner state as well as others around you. By focusing on the positive, you open the door for satisfying interactions, uplifting communications, and new solutions. As you go through your day, replace the "no" with "yes, yes, yes."
Who doesn't just love being told what they're doing right for a change? In his book The Power of Positive Parenting, Dr. Glenn Latham, suggests that the ratio between praise and corrective feedback should be about twenty to two. And this concept doesn't just apply to children. Across the board, it's infinitely more effective to praise actions that you want to encourage than to punish those you disapprove of. People can't get enough genuine praise, so keep it coming, especially when someone is going through a difficult time. Some examples of praise are:
I'm glad you brought this topic up.
You did a really good job on that.
I like what you just said.
A simple gesture of appreciation can be all that's needed to bring love into the room. Expressing appreciations for others doesn't negate the differences we might have with them, but it super charges the good we see in each other. Instead of criticizing and judging, focus on characteristics or actions that we admire and voice them. Appreciations can be general or specific. Here are some examples of strong appreciations:
I appreciate how you helped me this on this task.
I appreciate your sense of integrity.
I like how thoughtful you are.
I appreciate that you cleaned your room this morning.
I'm glad you understand how I feel about this.
Being thankful for what you usually take for granted, you become aware of how fortunate and blessed you are. Expressing our thanks reminds us of our bounty and offsets complaints and feelings of entitlement. Specific gratitudes may be:
I'm grateful for my good health.
I'm grateful for my friends and family.
I'm grateful for this meal.
Thank you for just being you.
The field of psychology is coming along. Here is an article
from Harvard Medical School that proclaims that giving thanks can make you happier. Click on the link within the article for some of the data.
Is it really okay to love myself? That's a radical departure from what I was taught growing up.
Why would we be instructed to love everyone and everything but not love ourselves? That makes no sense. We are just as worthy of love as our neighbor. And how can we truly love others if we don't love ourselves first?
The great spiritual teacher, Ram Das, aka Richard Alpert, suggests we meditate and repeat the following:
I love everybody.
I love everything.
I love myself.
I am loving awareness.
So over and over, repeat the above phrases silently and aloud and see what happens.