Abundant life, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony

Practicing Gratitude Daily

One of the things my husband has always said, “Be grateful”.

If you are not grateful then it limits your potentials.  Practicing gratitude unlocks your potential in everything including your peace of mind.

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:18

I found this article from Anna P and wanted to share.

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Practicing gratitude leads to forgiveness, which honors love and compassion. Love is the true healing energy, and it always starts with self-love. It always comes back to the self.

We, us, you and me, as long as we really love ourselves, will live life from a place of gratitude. Words are submissions of intent, and even when we are not aware, we are sending out a message to God.

The energy of gratitude is a pure love energy. It is the vibration of constant positive change.

The 10 rules of practicing gratitude:

  1. Honor what you have.

Whenever you find yourself wanting something to change, start by being grateful for what you already have. There is always something to be grateful for. Even when we are down, feeling lost and depressed, we can search for the inner feeling of gratitude.

  1. Order more.

Being grateful is the same as ordering more to be grateful for. If you want your health to change, we must embrace and love the work that the body is already doing. Feeling gratitude for our breath, our vision, our hearing etc. If we want a better house to live in, we must be grateful for the home that we already have, or the couch that we are offered by a friend. No matter the status of our current shelter – giving thanks for what is already there, is inviting in more to feel grateful for.

  1. Say thank you out loud.

In your daily life, gratitude starts with mindfulness. Once you are mindful, aware of everything around you, you will be able to see the little things that will create a feeling of “thank you”. Those magic little big words, thank you. Start by giving thanks for the things that are beautiful around you, that you see every day. The flowers that you pass, and the air that you breathe. The subtle things like, thank you for these comfortable shoes or the sound of that bird I just walked by.

Giving thanks is the ultimate act of gratitude, even though it is merely an honoring of the energy through words. The power is in the feeling behind the words that we speak and behind the intention thereof.

  1. Be aware.

By being more aware, the gratitude effect will grow, slowly and steadily. From the self-talk and the awareness, there will grow an inner compassion for life as it is. What we put our attention towards grows, and what we hold as our inner energy will draw to itself more that will match it perfectly.

The Change will show itself as having a more positive outlook on life, wanting to give more, faster healing, depression, and anger disappears and more things to be grateful for keeps showing up.

  1. It is natural.

Being grateful is natural. When we strip ourselves of our hurts and our clutter, when we get back to our true balance, gratitude is a part of who we are. The trick is to be able to tap into that naked and honest bliss, even when we are preoccupied with life and its busy schedule.

Even when in the middle of what we might see as chaos, we can condition ourselves to feel the grace and the appreciation for all that we have. We can step into it like a state of being, knowing that it is truth.

  1. Gratitude is truth.

Anything leading us away from gratefulness is a lie. The hardest thing for many, and I know it was for me, is to stop measuring where you are when you are going after a dream. It is easy to get caught up in where you are at this moment, forgetting that every step along the way has value and something to cherish. I was so hungry for health, I often forgot to appreciate how much further I had gotten, or that I was alive and breathing. Keeping the eye on the ball, always looking ahead can also keep us from seeing what is right in front of us.

  1. Be in the NOW.

It is always about this very moment. The magic of the now. Someday, one day, soon, when only, are outlooks keeping us from seeing that this moment is the only one there is.

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. – Albert Einstein
  1. Gratitude comes from the heart.

Gratitude doesn’t come from the mind. It is not a thought, it is a feeling, a state of being. It is a heartfelt feeling, and it fills the entire body with a nurturing, positive, healing energy. It is very similar to love, but it is directed towards the recognition of all that is. We can be grateful for every single thing in our lives, good, bad and ugly.

  1. Gratitude will show you your true potentials.

Gratitude opens the heart, and it opens the portal for rapid healing and nurturing manifestations. The magic of life will flow towards us, and every cell in our body will align with this vibration.

When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around. – Willie Nelson
  1. True freedom.

Look at gratefulness as a gateway to freedom. The simplicity is mind-blowing. Everybody can do it, feel it, practice it and reap the benefits. The simple yet profound truths are the most powerful there is. We are all capable of tapping into that magical feeling of grace and appreciation that will change our whole lives. Nature reveals its truth by keeping it simple.

Let nothing take away your gratitude towards the life you are living right now. It is a gift. It is the light that will keep on shining when everything else seems lost and dark.

The challenge is this:

Gratitude does not come from the mind.

It is not a thought, it is a feeling, a state of being.

It is a heartfelt feeling, and it fills the entire body with a nurturing, positive, healing energy. It is very similar to love, but it is directed towards the recognition of all that is.

A few tips for practicing gratitude in your day:

When you feel alone, feel grateful

When you feel sad, feel grateful

When you feel hurt, feel grateful

When you feel discouraged, feel grateful

When you feel lost, feel grateful

When you feel defeated, feel grateful

When you feel hopeless, feel grateful

Whenever you feel lost in your own drama or chaos, stop and be still.

Take a moment and pull yourself back. This is not your truth, only your play. Connect with everything you are grateful for, and let the rest go. Let it center you and keep you focused on what really matters. Your center comes from a news and propaganda-free zone. No fear, no blame, no lies and drama is wanted. Keep it simple and keep it true.

Write of gratitude in your journal.

Such a simple and easy tool.

Express your intent.

As you keep looking for things to be grateful for, express them, live them, feel them and be them. Allow this feeling to come through you as you honor and acknowledge it. Incorporate it in your everyday life. Say hello to every day with the intent that it will be yet another day filled with gratitude and wonder.

Not that it is anything new at all. It is the language of God, from pure love. It is the connection to truth, unfiltered. It is not a thought, an idea or a philosophy. It is a state of being. It is a brainless place where we know that there is something so much bigger than us. Something bigger than life.

Saying thank you is not the same as being grateful.

Saying I love you is not the same as loving someone.

Saying I will, is not the same as doing.

Saying I forgive you is not the same as forgiveness.

Gratitude cultivates an appreciation for all things. It can be trained, by practicing every day.

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Abundant life, Educational and Informative, Encouragement, faith, Fear, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, Patience, prayer, Sermon Notes

The Power of Positive Thinking

 Thinking positive attracts positive outcomes!

The POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING

 

Romans 12:1-2

Verse 1 says that we should present our bodies — that is, our whole active life — as a living sacrifice which is our spiritual service of worship. So the aim of all life is worship. That is, we are to use our bodies — our whole lives — to display the worth of God and all that he is for us in Christ. Now it makes perfect sense when verse 2 says that, in order for that to happen, our minds must be renewed. Why? Because our minds are not by nature God-worshiping minds. They are by nature self-worshiping minds. That is the spirit of our minds.

 

The term “the will of God” three biblical meanings.

First, there is the sovereign will of God, that always comes to pass without fail.

Second, there is the revealed will of God in the Bible — do not steal, do not lie, do not kill, do not covet —

And third, there is the path of wisdom and spontaneous godliness — wisdom, where we consciously apply the word of God with our renewed minds to complex moral circumstances, and spontaneous godliness where we live most of our lives without conscious reflection on the hundreds of things we say and do all day. Romans 12:2.

Mentally first then fruit on the outside. “Transform” So transformation is a profound, blood-bought, Spirit-wrought change from the inside out.

Regardless of temperment/environment/how we were raised etc….

When it comes down to it, positive, optimistic people are happier and healthier, and enjoy more success than those who think negatively. The key difference between positive and negative is how what we think about and interpret the events in life.

Research is beginning to reveal that positive thinking is about much more than just being happy or displaying an upbeat attitude. Positive thoughts can actually create real value in your life and help you build skills that last much longer than a smile.

First seek to understand before being understoodPositive and negative thoughts can become self-fulfilling prophecies: What we expect can often come true. Persistent negative thinking can cause mental health problems, including depression.

The first step in controlling your thoughts is awareness.

Identify your negative thoughts. Cognitive behavioral therapy practitioners believe that we have the ability to change our behavior by changing our thoughts. Thoughts are the catalyst that lead to behaviors.

CANT CHANGE OUR BEHAVIOR UNTIL CHANGE OUR THOUGHTS – CAN’T CHANGE OUR THOUGHTS WITHOUT RENEW MIND – TAKES THE SPIRIT OF GOD TO DO IT. 

The first step in changing negative thinking is to become aware of it. For many of us, negative thinking is a bad habit – and we may not even know we’re doing it!

SIGNS OF A NEGATIVE PERSON:

  1. Negative people rarely know what they stand for; they only know what they stand against. If the person you’re dealing with isn’t “for” anything positive, they likely have a negative worldview.
  2. Compliments are usually followed by the word “but”. A positive person (and even a neutral person for that matter) can give a compliment. Negative people can’t. What starts out positively (“I really enjoyed the event today”) is inevitably followed by a “but” (“but had they turned the volume down and shortened the message it would have been better.”)
  3. They aren’t accomplishing much with their life. Truly negative people rarely accomplish anything great. Because they are against so much, few people want to work with them. Stalled out careers, a history of frequent job changes, financial trouble and other similar markers often characterize negative people.
  4. They have no vision for the future. A negative person is almost never excited about the future. They have no compelling vision for what should be. They can just tell you why your vision is wrong. When you ask them for alternatives, they rarely have original or well-thought-out ideas.
  5. People who are negative have an issue with pride. They think they are better and smarter than you and by how they talk down at you makes them feel good and it puffs up their oversized ego. Their comments aren’t there to help you; they are there to make you feel inadequate and dumb. When they make you feel dumb, they feel superior and that is where all of this negativity fester from.

Quick TEST:

New Job: (do you think “what if I can’t do this or am I good enough?)

Exercise (do you think pain, change, time, discipline – or my body is going to look great and I can be healthy to live longer) Or, if you feel bad about not exercising or not eating healthy, all you think about is how little willpower you have, how you’re lazy, and how you don’t have any motivation.

Vacation (do you think $$ wasted, work to pack & plan or let’s go and relax and have good time)

Let go from job ( it must have been something I did, or wasn’t good enough or the company is going thru a slump)

Call/email from someone you don’t talk to often (what do they want or try to sell me something or I can’t wait to connect to them.

The waitress brings you a water instead of a tea, do you complain about it so much that everyone at the table knows about it, and get them to bring you another one or do you just drink your water and think it’s no big deal?

Do you think about her day?  Do you try to understand the other person first without getting upset cause you didn’t get what you ordered?

DO YOU HAVE NEGATIVE PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE BRINGING YOU DOWN?

When you see anyone’s name come up on your caller ID, you get an immediate emotional reaction to it. Sometimes you’re thrilled to see the name and can’t wait to take the call. Other times you’re neutral. But sometimes you wince. Whether it’s a phone call, a text or an email, you respond negatively and quietly think “oh no.” That’s a sign that the person’s overall influence in your life has been negative, not positive.

How do you have a positive mindsetWe all have negative moments in our life…. 

Even DAVID was negative especially when he had his “pity party” moments, yet he still knew who to call upon for help.  As Christians we may have our faults and our times of negativity due to the circumstances, however we must keep the faith of knowing where our help comes from. 

Psalm 13 O LORD, how long will you forget me? Forever?

How long will you look the other way?

2How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,

with sorrow in my heart every day?

How long will my enemy have the upper hand?

3Turn and answer me, O LORD my God!

Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.

 

Definition: Negative thinking is the tendency to take the most unfavorable view of situations, or to expect the worst outcome in any circumstances; the practice of looking on the gloomy and dark side of things.

Positiveness is optimism; the tendency or habit of seeing and expecting the good in things; looking on the bright side; anticipating favorable results; hopefulness.

Bible says a lot about negative thinking….

  1. Giving place to negative thinking only bears bad fruit.

Proverbs 23:7 [If you give place to negative thoughts, you will become a negative person.] For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.

Proverbs 15:13 [Sad and negative thoughts weaken our spirits and lead to discouragement.] By sorrow of the heart, the spirit is broken.

Luke 6:45 [Those whose hearts and minds are filled with negative thoughts usually spread them by voicing them.] A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good: and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

Romans 8:6,7 [Negative thinking is not walking in “newness of life,” but in the old carnal nature which is against God.] For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity [hostile] against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. [See also Eph.4:17.]

1 Corinthians 13:5 [If we’re walking in love, we don’t think negatively towards others.] [Love] doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.

Hebrews 12:15 [Harboring negative, critical thoughts can lead to bitterness.] Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.

WE CAN CONTROL OUR THOUGHTS

Eph 4:21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him,throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.

Take every one of your thoughts (beliefs, imaginations, dreams, and ideas) captive to the obedience of Christ. (II Corinthians 10:5)

Since all of your emotions, words and actions originate in your mind and heart, you can wake up every morning with the assurance that you have the power to control how you feel, what you say and how you act all day long.

No one is a victim. Guard your heart; you are what you think. (Proverbs 23:7) Also, whatever thoughts you sow into your mind, you will reap the consequences. (Galatians 6:7) You become what you think!

Spend a few seconds reflecting on what you are today and what you have. Everything about you is the result of what you have been thinking your whole life.

Day dreaming is thinking, planning is thinking, imagining is thinking, reacting to circumstances is thinking and wishing things could have been different for you is thinking. Your beliefs are your thoughts grouped together over many years.

One of the greatest truths in life: It’s not what happens to you (your past, present or future circumstances) or what people do or say to you that cause your emotions.

 Your emotions come from what you think about after things happen to you! You control all of your emotions by what you think. Emotions are simply data telling you what you have been thinking.

YOUR THOUGHTS PRODUCE ACTIONS – PRODUCE HABITS – PRODUCE YOUR DESTINY

WHERE ARE YOU GOING RIGHT NOW?

Also, listen to your words and watch your actions and let them tell you what your heart looks like.

We can over ride any past thoughts and transform my life by the renewing of my mind

Let your mind dwell on only these eight powerful, life-changing words: true, honorable, right, pure, beautiful, adorable, excellent and praise worthy. (Philippians 4:8, 9)

No one controls how you think and thus, no one has the power to control how you feel, speak or act any longer.

You are never the victim of others or circumstances.

What Negative Thoughts Do to Your Brain

Let’s say that you’re walking through the forest and suddenly a tiger steps onto the path ahead of you. When this happens, your brain registers a negative emotion — in this case, fear.

Researchers have long known that negative emotions program your brain to do a specific action. When that tiger crosses your path, for example, you run. The rest of the world doesn’t matter. You are focused entirely on the tiger, the fear it creates, and how you can get away from it.

In other words, negative emotions narrow your mind and focus your thoughts. At that same moment, you might have the option to climb a tree, pick up a leaf, or grab a stick — but your brain ignores all of those options because they seem irrelevant when a tiger is standing in front of you.

This is a useful instinct if you’re trying to save life and limb, but in our modern society we don’t have to worry about stumbling across tigers in the wilderness. The problem is that your brain is still programmed to respond to negative emotions in the same wayby shutting off the outside world and limiting the options you see around you.

For example, when you’re in a fight with someone, your anger and emotion might consume you to the point where you can’t think about anything else. Or, when you are stressed out about everything you have to get done today, you may find it hard to actual start anything because you’re paralyzed by how long your to–do list has become.

In each case, your brain closes off from the outside world and focuses on the negative emotions of fear, anger, and stress — just like it did with the tiger. Negative emotions prevent your brain from seeing the other options and choices that surround you. It’s your survival instinct.

 

What Positive Thoughts Do to Your Brain

Fredrickson tested the impact of positive emotions on the brain by setting up a little experiment. During this experiment, she divided her research subjects into 5 groups and showed each group different film clips.

The first two groups were shown clips that created positive emotions. Group 1 saw images that created feelings of joy. Group 2 saw images that created feelings of contentment.

Group 3 was the control group. They saw images that were neutral and produced no significant emotion.

The last two groups were shown clips that created negative emotions. Group 4 saw images that created feelings of fear. Group 5 saw images that created feelings of anger.

Afterward, each participant was asked to imagine themselves in a situation where similar feelings would arise and to write down what they would do. Each participant was handed a piece of paper with 20 blank lines that started with the phrase, “I would like to…”

Participants who saw images of fear and anger wrote down the fewest responses. Meanwhile, the participants who saw images of joy and contentment, wrote down a significantly higher number of actions that they would take, even when compared to the neutral group.

In other words, when you are experiencing positive emotions like joy, contentment, and love, you will see more possibilities in your life. These findings were among the first that proved that positive emotions broaden your sense of possibility and open your mind up to more options.

TALK ABOUT LEAVING A LEGACY! You create the environment. That is power in your thoughts!

Tips on how to stay positiveGREAT TIPS TO BECOME MORE POSITIVE PERSON

  1. Keep a gratitude journal. Remind yourself of your blessings.
  2. Focusing on the positive. Push out all feelings that aren’t positive. When you hear the voice in your head say something negative, take a pause and substitute the negative for something positive.ONLY focus on the good things in your life. Realize that your thoughts do not own you. Stop letting negative thoughts control you.
  3. Only use positive words when talking. Stop CURSING your self!
  4. Practice positive affirmation. One of the most popular positive thinking exercises is positive affirmation. This means you repeat a positive phrase to yourself on a regular basis like “I deserve to be happy” or “I am worthy of love”. Believing that these things are true, and reminding yourself of it can help give you a more positive outlook on life.
  5. Believe you will succeed. Believe in yourself.
  6. Forgive yourself. Stop being your own worst critic. Don’t dwell on mistakes.
  7. Let go of the past. It does not determine your future so why focus on it? If you feel yourself ruminating on the past make a conscious effort to take your thoughts in another direction.
  8. Remember things could be worse. Understand that the situation is not forever.
  9. LOOK at your circumstances as an opportunity. Look at the big picture. Visualize a successful outcome.
  10. Relax and let things happen. See it from another point of view.
  11. Avoid negative people.
  12. Do something nice.
  13. Avoid laying blame. So the water bill didn’t get paid. You could get mad and start a fight with your spouse or roommate. Or, you could let it go, take it in stride and work together to remedy the situation.
  14. Be playful. Engage in physical activity – DO SOMETHING NEW.
  15. Listen to something upbeat. Music can be a great mood enhancer.
  16. Monitor your stream of consciousness. Focus on great memories – PHOTOS
  17. Concentrate on breathing. When things just seem to be too much to deal with, try concentrating on simply breathing.
  18. Find something to laugh about.
  19. Face up to change.
  20. Focus on finding a solution. Don’t wallow in your problems. Instead, work towards finding a solution and getting them resolved. You’ll be able to feel proactive and feel in control of your life.
  21. Believe the world is a good place.
  22. Stop making excuses. Take control of your decisions.
  23. Don’t play the victim. Bad things happen to everyone from time to time. Pitying yourself and wanting others to feel sorry for you isn’t going to make things better. Pick yourself up and start working towards a happier future.
  24. Don’t place your future in someone else’s hands. Your future is yours alone to shape. Remember this and take control of where you’re going in life.
  25. Create realistic goals.
  26. Choose joy. Every day when you wake up you make the choice whether to be happy or miserable.
  27. Believe you deserve good things and know who you are in Christ. If you don’t truly believe that you deserve good things in your life you likely aren’t going to encounter many. Believe that you are worthy for good fortune to come your way and it just might.
  28. Sometimes all it takes to feel good is to put a smile on your face. Practice putting on a happy face even when you just feel so-so.

Positive thinking usually attracts positive people, events, and outcomes. If you want to create an environment where you’re successful and satisfied, you’ll need the power of positive thinking on your side and that comes with renewing your mind with God’s Word and having Jesus centered in your life.

Our life becomes a spiritual act of worship and displays the worth of Christ above the worth of the world, when we allow him to renew our mind. Are you ready to put that into action?  Leave a comment below and let me know your great tips!