Drive Yourself Happy Newsletter 6/20/06

Welcome to this week’s DRIVE YOURSELF HAPPY Road Ramblings.

If you find value in these gentle reminders and rules for the road, please invite your friends to sign up for my free newsletter by visiting www.driveyourselfhappy.com. Also visit my blogsite, www.centerofhappiness.com.

I’d like to welcome all of our new subscribers to the DRIVE YOURSELF HAPPY Road Ramblings newsletter and acknowledge you for taking the first step toward living a better life.

Today’s rambling from the road will include:

* Bald is Beautiful by Rhonda Hull, Ph.D. * The Five Words by Sophan Greene, M.A. * Drive-By Quotes (and Reflections) To Carry With You on the Journey

**************** Bald Is Beautiful

Hello Friends and Traveling Companions,

A belated Happy Father’s Day! Although a bit late, I want to acknowledge and appreciate the amazing and wonderful dad’s, mentors, role models and caregivers who show up fully in the lives of their children. We all benefit from the contribution you make as you guide your own children and all our youth in a way that teaches them how to take responsibility for their own joy, and by modeling for them how to honor both men and women.

“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”

-Elizabeth Stone

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Most online newsletters are created in a template form offering some sort of formula for personal growth, health or wealth. With little emotion they lay out step-by-step strategies. Although this type of guidance is valuable, I am always tempted to react to them with frustration. I sometimes am left feeling that someone else has all the answers and I don’t. This is followed by my self-judgment that they I never will, and should already. I then draw the conclusion that the author never experiences struggles, set backs, unhappiness, or doubt. Of course this is far from the truth. Success doesn’t come without mistakes. Part of our journey as humans is to traverse the inevitable highs and lows expanding our consciousness through forward and backward steps.

Although a bit more challenging, I suppose what calls me to write a letter style sharing of my personal reflections that are more than bullet-point strategies is to provide the encouragement for others to join me in daring to create a meaningful life based upon the belief that life is a journey, not a destination, and happiness is possible regardless of the circumstances. Perhaps my insights will be believable because I have stood in your shoes. After all, we are on this path together, and there is power in knowing you are not alone.

Last week my newsletter about Time Choices was a bit more strategic. I hope the points I made were helpful. We all struggle with time management and detour from happiness by believing that if we just run fast enough we ‘should’ be able to keep up with our unrealistic demands.

Because my own time was full to capacity I didn’t update you on my sweet grand nephew’s progress on his journey of healing from leukemia. I received several emails of appreciation for my thoughts on Time Choices, but was touched by so many questioning about how Connor is doing. Ill health creates road a block to happiness for so many that we seem to value the insights gained by looking for happiness in this unlikely world of critical illness. As it seems appropriate and worthwhile, I will share about the way this sweet family of Alicia, Steve, Connor (2) and Carson (5 1/2 months) maneuver this unexpected event in their lives. They are an inspiration to us all.

I am so impressed with the courage of my niece. It is tough for Dad, too, being so far from his family. Although it is hard to understand how there could be anything that could justify this challenge, so many are finding inspiration as they find the faith to face each new day of unknowns. Their willingness to share their steps and to receive the help and compassion offered, even by strangers, allows us to stretch our own belief in the possibility of miracles, big and small, and serves us all. Here are a few excerpts from Alicia’sjournaling as the best way to bring you up to date.

6/04/06 “There are very few moments that have changed my life forever: my wedding day, the birth of my two boys, and the day the doctors told me that Connor has leukemia are at the top of this list. I will forever remember May 9th. It feels like the rest of the world should have stopped moving at 3:15pm but instead everybody else’s life continues as normal and it is just a small group of people that will be forever changed by that moment in time.”

6/12/06 “Those of you who know me well know that I am not a patient person which has made this situation even more difficult. On the days we have to go to the hospital we have to hurry to get a test then wait for the results before we can do the next step… I had to keep reminding myself that my worrying was not going to change the results. Well, we just received the results and Connor has less than 3% leukemia in his blood, which means that he is now considered to be in remission!!! We are all so excited!! Now the next step is to bring his white blood cell count up so we can begin the next phase of treatment. This still means we will be here for the 11 months, rather than 7, and have to do radiation, but we will not have to have a bone marrow transplant. Small blessings save us.

Overall we are all doing great. Connor is amazing and shows me everyday how lucky we are. He is slowly transforming from a normal boy to a normal boy who looks like he has cancer… Through him and Carson, his 5 month-old brother, I find more strength everyday to continue. After watching Finding Nemo about 900 times (it is Connor’s favorite movie right now) I have decided my motto is “Just keep swimming.” There are times when it seems like this journey will never end but I know that if I just keep going sooner of later this will all be behind us and we will all be stronger because of it. I cannot even begin to thank everyone for there love and support. You all give me so much encouragement everyday. Thank you!”

6/16/06 We try to celebrate the smallest steps forward and not let the setbacks discourage us, but it seems like every time we start to move forward something happens to move us back. I guess that is what it is going to be like for a while. Although Connor’s test results showed 3% leukemia in his blood and by normal standards this would have meant he was in remission…. we still have to do 2 more weeks of induction therapy in hopes it will bring the leukemia to less than 1% in his blood. Doctors don’t have any proof they this will improve his chances of being cured, but it seems like it would be better to get the levels of leukemia down before moving forward. This also means we added 2 more weeks onto our stay.”

With erratic clumps of hair left on Connor’s head, last night Alicia and Steve (visiting for Father’s Day thanks to friends donating their air miles) decided to get over the inevitable. Now Connor’s head is buzzed to match his cute steroid-round chipmunk cheeks and the still bald head of his baby brother. There were tears. There was laughter. And tomorrow is another day.

See if you can identify, and apply, a few of Alicia and Steve’s strategies for happiness as they maneuver their forward and backward steps, choosing to be fully connected through the adversity. Draw strength from theirs as together they ferret out the opportunities for happiness, even amidst cancer.

In Joy, Rhonda ***************** The Five Words… by Sopan Greene, M.A.

How would you like to stop feeling like your life isn’t good enough? (I realize advertisers would go broke if this happened, but it’s better for you!) Imagine feeling joyful, whole and complete when you look in the mirror at the end of the day. What if I showed you how you’re consciously creating circumstances and beliefs everyday that give you results you aren’t happy with? Would you like to change it? It’s much simpler than you think. It all begins with the words you choose to use. By changing what you do and don’t say, you’ll start to create a much brighter future and more peaceful present right now.

I’m going to reveal the 5 words to you that are bringing the most stress and frustration into your life. Over time using these words ruins your life by creating a ton of unnecessary mental suffering.

The 5 words I invite you to eliminate from your vocabulary right now are: want, need, can’t, should and good enough (okay, these are two words but they’re together so lets pretend they’re one word for counting’s sake. Thanks.).

If you just stopped using the word ‘want’ you would transform your life beyond belief. Do it for just one day. You’re going to be amazed at how many times an hour you (and everyone else) says “I want….”

When you say “I want…” you instantly create a feeling of lack within yourself. In reality you aren’t lacking anything, but when you want something you subconsciously believe that you have a hole that can only be filled by getting what you want. This is the source of a lot of addictions that cause people to consume too much food, sex, drugs, alcohol, entertainment or whatever their personality has a hankerin’ for.

“Need” is an extreme version of ‘want.’ You don’t need anything beyond food, water, shelter, clothing and love. Everything else is icing on the cake. Along these lines it’s helpful to remember that more than half of the worlds’ population goes to bed hungry every night. So if you think you need a $3,000 HDTV, realize that you would like it but you don’t ‘need’ it.

Can’t’ is a limiting belief based on past experience. We all know the past doesn’t determine how we create the present or the future, but a lot of us live like it’s true. I invite you to re-examine what you think you can’t do.

I grew up being told that I couldn’t do mechanical things because my brother was labeled as the “mechanical one” and I was labeled as the “studious” one. In my twenties I finally challenged that belief because I had to in order to take care of myself. Guess what? When I challenged that theory I discovered I could do a lot of things I never tried because I was always told I wouldn’t be able to do them.

Remember that you can be or do anything you commit to being or doing. Some things will come more naturally to you than others, but you have the power to always be and do your best.

You’ve probably heard the phrase “Stop shoulding all over yourself.” ‘Should’ is a word we use to exert power over ourselves and others through guilt. The funny thing is that we tell ourselves what we ‘should’ do even more than we do it to other people. If you catch yourself before you ‘should’ on yourself you’ll see that the ‘should’ that feels so important is just another belief that you can choose to change.

Our minds can be our worst enemies. Our minds are constantly making up stuff about what’s good/bad, right/wrong, important/irrelevant, etc. We are run by these beliefs, many of which are arbitrary and constantly changing.

Think about an issue that tends to worry you over and over. Why is this worry imprisoning you by creating a ton of stress when a lot of other people aren’t even aware of it? We all pick different issues and beat ourselves up about getting these issues done, getting them right, taking care of them etc. They only feel important to us because our minds made up that they’re important issues. At the same time we’re totally unaware of other issues that other people are constantly worrying about. It’s silly and it also causes heart attacks.

The most problematic two words ever put together are ‘good enough.’ What exactly is good enough? Nothing is. Is doesn’t exist. It’s a subjective choice that’s like a carrot on a stick that is impossible to achieve. It moves farther away with every new accomplishment.

‘Good enough’ is an American complex. It may exist in other countries (though the Spanish language doesn’t even have words to describe it), but in America it’s in the air we breathe. Most Americans feel like they’re ‘not good enough.’ But if you ask them (or yourself), “What would be good enough?” they’re dumbfounded. They don’t have an answer as to what signifies achieving ‘good enough.’ All they know is that they can find millions of other people who appear (key word) to have things they don’t have. They think that if they had all these things, maybe they would be good enough …until they see something else they don’t have that they think they want, need, can’t get or should have.

I invite you to choose one of these words a day to stop using. Catch yourself before the word leaves your lips. If the word gets out simply correct yourself with a powerful positive statement.

If you’re about to say, “I want to go to the movies,” then instead simply say “I would like to go to the movies.” or “I choose to go to the movies.” Now you’re using words that create possibility and express responsibility.

Doesn’t it feel better when you speak like this? Yes, it does. It’s because your speaking from a place of power.

It’s your life. Choose to create it with words that reflect the responsible, powerful masterful spirit that you are.

***************** Drive-By Quotes (and Reflections) To Carry With You on the Journey

“You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die. Or when. You can only decide how you’re going to live.”

— Joan Baez

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

— Mother Theresa

“It is better to believe than to disbelieve; in so doing you bring everything to the realm of possibility.”

— Albert Einstein

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