The Universal Experience of Gratitude

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Researchers have found that when we think about someone or something we truly appreciate, and experience the feeling that goes with the thought, we trigger the parasympathetic or calming branch of the autonomic nervous system. With repetition, this pattern bestows a protective effect on the heart.

When you send out positive vibrations, you receive the same back from others. Showing gratitude passes positive energy from one person to another. It can positively affect someone’s day, week, or entire life. It also brings us happiness, which is healthy. Gratitude is a universal experience and has been a component of many religious traditions for centuries.

Forgiveness – The Key to Positive Living

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

Forgiveness is the key that can unshackle us from a past that will not rest in the grave of things over and done with. As long as our minds are captive to the memory of having been wronged, they are not free to wish for reconciliation with the one who wronged us.“ Lewis B. Smedes.

For over 20 years I carried a grudge, an anger closer to hatred of my own mother. I felt totally justified and was utterly convinced I had the right to express openly this anger against what I believed was my mother’s absence and lack of caring, love or any motherly feelings toward me since the death of my father. In fact I drew my strength from these things to carry on with my life.

The Real Meaning in Life

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Years ago a young woman came to me for help. To maintain confidentiality, I will invent a name for her. I’ll call her Mary. This young woman in her late thirties had a history of self-mutilation and suicidal behavior. She came in for pastoral counseling, and I agreed to see her only if her psychiatrist agreed and was kept fully informed.

That issue out of the way, her first appointment was made. My secretary brought me her file, including the pre-process forms I used. As I reviewed the information in the file, I was taken by the fact that one of her prior therapists was a famous psychiatrist. I thought to myself, “And what on earth am I to do if this person couldn’t help her?”

From the Depths of Despair to the Height of Success

Monday, July 14th, 2008

When you’ve hit the depths of despair, often you feel as though life holds nothing for you.  You’re drifting from one dead end job to the next and consumed by money worries.  Your wife may just have left you, your home is about to be repossessed and you’re scared your boss plans to fire you.

During life’s toughest moments, it’s extremely challenging to feel positive about the future, let alone next week or even tomorrow.  Yet some of the greatest visionaries hit rock bottom before finding the will and determination to climb the ladder of happiness, health, wealth and success to make their dreams become reality.  What they all had in common is the fact that they set goals for the future, helping them to create positive mental images of how life can be and give motivation to work towards it.