10 July 2018      

Hello, and welcome to the newest week in our lives!  We're just over
half-way through this year, so perhaps it's time to consider just what
we want to do with the second half!

Seed Sentences:  Weeds or Flowers?
Sue Patton Thoele

Love the Opportunity
Jim Rohn

We Have to Take Rests
tom walsh

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You can count the seeds in the apple, but not the apples in the seed.

Ken Kersey

No matter what the level of your ability, you have more potential than you can ever develop in a lifetime.

James T. Mccay

It’s only in our minds that we are
separate from the rest of the world.

Gay Luce

  

Seed Sentences:  Weeds or Flowers?
Sue Patton Thoele

I believe in the old adage:  "Cleanliness is next to Godliness," but not as a reference to dirt under our nails or behind our ears.  Clean thoughts are what we need to have in order to grow closer to our own souls.

Do your thoughts leave you feeling fresh and sweet, or do they slime your self-concept with a brackish film of criticism, doubt, and shame?  Your thoughts are yours alone.  No one can clean them up but you.  Exploring the seed sentences planted within you is a great way to uproot weeds, clean up your mind, and plant some flower seeds.

Seed sentences are clusters of ideas, words, or scripts that we all create in order to keep us congruent with our underlying assumptions and hidden beliefs.  If our seed sentences are self-affirming and supportive, we are naturally self-confident, creative, and excited about life.  These I call "flower sentences."  When sentences are derogatory, we are more likely to be emotionally vulnerable, have low self-esteem, and find it difficult to be ourselves.  Definitely "weeds."

Most seed sentences remain unspoken, perhaps even subconscious.  They are bits and pieces of ideas we've picked up along the way until they form the heart of our beliefs about ourselves.  Seed sentences come from many sources--parents, mates, TV, movies, magazines, advertising--and contribute to our ideas of how we're supposed to live and what we can expect to receive from life and from others.  Our lives, in effect, sprout from seed sentences we carry.

If all of our seed sentences blossomed into flowers, our lives would be gardens filled with beauty and grace.  Unfortunately most of us have picked up weed seeds that grow into thistles and thorns, choking our spontaneity and the realization of our authentic selves.

Some examples of flower seed sentences:

"I am a worthwhile person."
"I deserve to be loved."
"I am lovable."
"I can do anything I set my mind to."
"I am proud to be a woman [or man]."

If seed sentences such as these are blooming in your subconscious, you probably have a wonderful life, filled with loving relationships.  When you look into the mirror in the morning, you are happy with what you see.

Weed sentences, on the other hand, sound something like this:

"I can never do anything right."
"I don't deserve to be loved."
"I'm no good at (_______) or (_______)."
"Everyone handles things better than I do."
"I'm so ashamed of (_______)."

Constant use of weed sentences undoubtedly means you feel pretty down on yourself.  When people try to love you, you question their motives.  "How can they love me?  They must not be very bright."  Weed sentences go hand in hand with low self-esteem. . . .

How do we pick up our packets of thought-seeds?  People make the most unbelievably careless statements within the hearing of children.  "She has a face only a mother could love."  Or "You're about as graceful as a bull in a china shop."  Children take such pronouncements as authoritative, because they come from people who are ten feet tall. . . .

It pays to sort through the seed sentences you've carried over from your associations with religion and society.  A remarkable number of my clients come from backgrounds of guilt-fostering religious environments.  Guilt and fear keep them emotionally vulnerable and prevent them from experiencing their authentic selves. . . .

Freeing ourselves from underlying assumptions and bringing our beliefs into harmony with the goal of lovingly supporting ourselves takes time and doesn't come easily.  We need to be gentle with ourselves and remember that we are called upon to love our neighbors as ourselves, not to the exclusion of ourselves.  As a natural outgrowth of loving ourselves, we will learn to love others more fully and authentically.

Become aware of your beliefs and automatic default settings.  Bring them into the light of your present, adult knowledge.  Gently acknowledge that they are what they are.  Then accept that they constitute what you've believed until now, and that you can transform them into beliefs that allow you to fully express who you really are.  Without judgment, patiently begin working to change subconscious and limiting beliefs into true expressions of your authentic self.

more on beliefs
more on positive thinking

   

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Love the Opportunity
Jim Rohn

Somebody said you have to love what you do, but that's not necessarily true.  What is true is that you have to love the opportunity.  The opportunity to build life, future, health, success and fortune.  Knocking on someone's door or making that extra call may not be something you love to do, but you love the opportunity of what might be behind that door or call.

For example, a guy says, "I'm digging ditches.  Should I love digging ditches?"  The answer is, "No, you don't have to love digging ditches, but if it is your first entry onto the ladder of success, you say, 'I'm glad somebody gave me the opportunity to dig ditches and I'm going to do it so well, I won't be here long.'"

You can be inspired by having found something; even though you are making mistakes in the beginning and even though it is a little distasteful taking on a new discipline that you haven't learned before.  You don't have to love it, you just have to learn to appreciate where you live, appreciate opportunity and appreciate the person who brought you the good news; that found you.

Appreciate the person who believed in you before you believed in yourself, appreciate the person who said, "Hey, if I can do it, you can do it."

If you will embrace the disciplines associated with the new opportunity you will soon find that your self-confidence starts to grow, that you go from being a skeptic to being a believer.  And soon when you go out person to person, talking to people, you will find it to be the most thrilling opportunity in the world.  Every person you meet - what could it be?  Unlimited!  Maybe a friend for life.  The next person could be an open door to retiring.  The next person could be a colleague for years to come.  It's big time stuff.  And sometimes in the beginning when we are just getting started we don't always see how big it is.

So, before you are tempted to give up or get discouraged, remember all success is based on long term commitment, faith, discipline, attitude and a few stepping stones along the way.  You might not like the stone you are on right now, but it's sure to be one of the stones that lead to great opportunities in the future.

*  *  *  *  *

Reprinted with permission from the Jim Rohn Newsletter.
  

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unattributed

   

 

We Have to Take Rests

This is something that I've found I'm very bad at.  (Well, I'm bad at many things, but I'll address just one for today.)  Even when I have some down time, I often try to fill it with activity, for there's something in me that tells me that I need to be productive, that I need to spend my time well and actually accomplish something with the time I've been given.  In theory, that sounds accurate, but in reality, it's a very destructive way to look at things.  There are several problems with not taking rests, and I suffer from all of these problems fairly regularly--including right now, which is the main reason I'm writing these words!

Not resting greatly diminishes the quality of the work that we do.  Sure, if you're not resting, you're supposedly doing more, but are you as productive as you could be if you did rest?  I've always told my writing students that if they have five hours to work on something, it's better to work for two and a half hours, take a 30-minute break (taking a nice walk to clear the mind--or to allow ideas to settle into place), and then finish the last two hours so that they don't burn out and make the last hour or two completely useless.  But do I follow that advice myself?  Sometimes.

   

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass
on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching
the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.

John Lubbock

   
When I don't rest, I'm much more prone to make mistakes.  I get tired, and it's easier then to be tempted to cut corners, or to not pay close attention to exactly what I'm doing.  This is especially true when I'm doing work that's pretty repetitive, such as painting (and I do a lot of painting!).  After a certain amount of time has gone by, I find that I let paint drip more, and if I'm painting on edges, I don't do nearly as neat of a job as when I've had some rest, even if that rest is in the form of a short break.  The best work that I do is when I'm just starting out, and as time goes on there's a huge risk that the quality of my work will diminish as I get more tired.

That doesn't mean, of course, that I have to take a break every ten minutes or so.  Depending on the job and the pace I'm setting, I could go for hours without needing to rest from the work that I'm doing.  When we're talking about long periods of time, such as working on a book for weeks or even months, we face a completely different dynamic.  That's what's been happening to me this summer--once the semester ended, I picked up a new task to work on, which lasted for a good five weeks.  When I finished that one, I simply moved on to the next project I had, without taking any sort of break at all.  After a couple of weeks of this new project, I've noticed that I'm not enjoying it at all, and that I'm not getting nearly as much done on it as I should be.
    

Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you
come back to your work your judgment will be surer.  Go some
distance away because then the work appears smaller and more
of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and
proportion is more readily seen.

Leonardo Da Vinci

    
So I decided to take a week off from tasks and projects.  This past week, whenever I've had a bit of free time, I've picked up a book and read it, instead of getting back to work on the project.  When larger blocks of time have freed up, I've gone for long walks, something that I used to do regularly, and something that always has benefited me greatly.  Just walks, with no real destination and no real purpose behind them.  And these walks are in addition to the running that I do to stay in shape, because the runs definitely have a purpose.

And I'm feeling much better about things now that I've had a week of taking rests instead of tackling tasks.  I feel much more clarity--my mind was starting to get a bit muddled before, and I wasn't able to think things through as well as I usually am able to do.  I also wasn't able to work as long as I normally am, as I found that after a short time my brain was shutting down on me, not wanting to tackle the problems I was working on any more.  I know now that when I get back to doing those "productive" things, I'm going to do a better job at them, and I'm going to enjoy doing them much, much more.
   

The most valuable thing we can do for the psyche, occasionally,
is to let it rest, wander, live in the changing light of room,
not try to be or do anything whatever.

May Sarton

   
It's so easy to want to be "productive" all the time.  After all, we don't want to be wasting all of our time here, doing nothing that will benefit others.  We want to contribute to the world and to life and to the other people in our lives, so it's tempting to want to be contributing all the time.  We simply can't do that, though, if we don't want to burn ourselves out.  There are plenty of people who don't rest at all, and who say that they're fine without it, but I can guarantee you that they'd be doing more and doing it better if they built rest into their schedules.  The rests that we take recharge us, and they give us strength to do more things and to do them better.

There's a reason why those "mental health days" are so valuable.

I've witnessed people burning out, and many of them say things like "I hate this job," when what they really mean is "I've been working too hard and I need a break from this job."  They say things like "I can't do this any more," when they really mean, "I could do this much longer and better if I were to take a decent rest."  (Of course, I've also known people who really need a change in their lives, but that's another issue!)

Do you need to rest?  Then what are you waiting for?  Find some time to take a break from what you're doing to take off, and to do something else.  Sometimes a rest from one thing while doing something else is effective, but usually, a rest from one thing while not planning on doing anything else is one of the best things we can do for ourselves.

   
More on rest.

   
   
  

   

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I sincerely believe that there is a time in life for drifting.  There is a time for sitting back and getting in touch with yourself.  Some of our most interesting illuminations and ideas will come when we take time to reflect, time to kick back and cruise awhile.

Rudolfo Anaya

  
Be a Leader
Dale Carnegie

A leader's job often includes changing your people's attitudes and behavior.  Some suggestions to accomplish this:

Principle 1
Begin with praise and honest appreciation.

Principle 2
Call attention to people's mistakes indirectly.

Principle 3
Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.

Principle 4
Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.

Principle 5
Let the other person save face.

Principle 6
Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement.  Be "hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise."

Principle 7
Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.

Principle 8
Use encouragement.  Make the fault seem easy to correct.

Principle 9
Make the other person happy about doing the things you suggest.
   

  

The person without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder--a waif, a nothing,
a no body.  Have a purpose in life, and, having it, throw such strength
of mind and muscle into your work as God has given you.

Thomas Carlyle

    

  

   

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