Friday, October 22, 2010

Great piece on "How to Stop Worrying"

My sister-in-law turned me onto this wonderful site/newsletter and after a brief review of the site, it became abundantly apparent that "DEFEATING WORRY" is not a small topic or concern for anyone!!

We have devoted a lot of time to defeating worry, fear and anxiety on this site so it is validating to see such a wonderful piece in another publication!

Please read the piece below and take it to heart!  I have included a link to the site as well!

Enjoy and Stay Strong!!!

How to Stop Worrying
by Jonathan Lockwood Huie

"Everyone worries - some people more than others - but worry is a natural human condition. By its nature, worry tends to deal in generalities, and true worry is always about things that have not yet happened. That may not be obvious, so consider an example. Someone says, "I am worried because I lost my job." Actually, that is shorthand for something like, "I have lost my job, and I am worried that I might be evicted from my apartment, not have money to buy food, and be unable to give good care to my family." Worry is about what might happen in the future rather than about what has already occurred.

Left unchecked, worry can squeeze the juice - all the happiness - out of life. Worry can also harm your health by raising your blood pressure and upsetting your body chemistry. The history of the word "worry" tells its own story. The word "worry" derives from an Old English word meaning "to strangle." Think about how apt that is. Have you ever felt strangled by your worries?

Without doubt, worry is a terrible thing, but is there any way to control worry? One powerful way to combat worry is to put it under a microscope - list each worry, and analyze the worries one at a time.

If you are troubled by worry, make a list of all your worries. Don't stop until you can't think of another worry. It is important that you not hold back any worries, however slight, or generalized, or even silly they may seem.

Categorize your worries. For each worry, ask yourself the following five questions.

1. Is this worry about a "small thing?" There is a Swedish Proverb, "Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow." Suppose the event you are worried about actually does happen - how bad would the consequences really be? For example if you are worried about forgetting part of your speech or about other people's reaction to a new item of clothing or hairstyle, consider the worst possible outcome. Suppose people actually did laugh at you? Is worrying about that worth jeopardizing your health and happiness?

2. Is this worry about something that is very unlikely to happen? Such as worrying about getting hit by lightning or bit by a shark. If you find yourself worrying about the possibility of a very unlikely event, some arithmetic and a stern talk with yourself may help. Yes, an asteroid could fall, a shark could bite, a bridge could collapse under you, and lightning could strike, but the odds are very very small. If you worry about that sort of thing, look up the odds and take reassurance from the huge numbers in your favor.

3. Is this worry about something inevitable? For example you might worry about the fact that you are aging and will die some day. It is true that you will die, and it is true that you can't know on which particular day you will die. These kinds of worries are especially challenging. If you have a strong faith in a higher power, prayer is a powerful answer. Whatever your beliefs, fear of the inevitable can be addressed with a stern conversation with yourself about the futility of such worrying. More practically, keep active and focus your energies on challenging projects, interesting people, and being of compassionate service to those less fortunate than yourself.

4. Is this worry about something beyond your control? For example you might worry that something terrible will happen in the world. It is true that horrible things happen every day. Today's TV news will be filled with terrible events. Why invest your energy into guessing what they might be. Also, why waste energy worrying about the consequences of the events in yesterday's news. We live in a very big world with six billion people. Many people die each day. A few die horrible deaths, and you can be sure that the TV news will cover the most graphic tragedies in real-time full-color video. Yesterday's news featured events like murders, demonstrations that turned fatal, oil and gas explosions, and wing-nuts burning flags or books to gain cheap attention. Today and tomorrow will be no different. If you can think of a rational, constructive, and compassionate action to take, please do it now. Otherwise take a deep breath, and turn your attention away from the roar of the crowd. Don't waste energy worrying about such things. Focus only on those things that you are able to, and choose to, affect in a positive way.

5. Is this worry about something you can control - and can improve your life by controlling? For example, suppose that you have received an eviction notice, and you are worried that you will soon find the sheriff at your door to enforce the eviction. This is not an idle worry. In fact, it is quite likely that the sheriff will show up. But is worrying the best thing to do? Of course not. Taking positive action will address the current problem, the more serious probable future problem, and also the worry. Put your efforts into taking action. Worrying won't find you a place to live, but focused action will. If something needs to be done, but you don't know what to do or how to do it, get help. In the eviction example, you might call your creditor or landlord to ask about reduced payments. Or find a state or local agency that offers free counseling on debt issues.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;

and wisdom to know the difference.

- Reinhold Niebuhr

If you are religious, Niebuhr's Serenity Prayer is probably the best answer to worry ever penned. Whatever your beliefs, consider this affirmation based on Neibuhr's message...

Whenever I feel worried,

I ask whether I can change things.

I act with courage to change what I can.

I accept with serenity what I cannot change.

Whenever you find yourself consumed by worry...

If there is something to be done, do it now - begin today.

If there is realistically nothing to be done about an issue, just move on with your life, and make the choice to live joyfully. Get busy with other things. Be of service to others. Be physically active - walk, exercise, take up yoga or qigong. Meditate or pray. Spend time with others who share your interests, and who agree not to complain about their troubles or worries.

Don't let worry squeeze the juice from your life. Take charge of your life by staying busy and focused. Choose to life joyfully in the present, without regret or resentment about the past, or worry about the future."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Check the Attitude today!!!! Daily Inspiration

It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term will come.
~ Dalai Lama

So much in life is attitude, Isn't it?

Think about the power your "attitude" holds in your daily life.

We are truly slaves to the whims of our minds, thoughts and attitudes.

Like the Law of Attraction, we  draw to us that which we think and hold firmly in our minds -whether good or bad..

It is not easy to forget our challenges and daily trials and just whistle past the graveyard. But we can control our attitude if we cultivate a Faith and Belief that everything is going to be ok.

Because if we pray and focus on the positives, it will be ok!

The first step in any action for us should be to check our attitude. If it is fearful, anxious, negative and worried, we will not be drawing to us the positives we should be seeking in our lives. 

We need to reassess and change the attitude every time we feel fearful or worried, and even if you have to fake it, that attitude shift will take us to a place that over a short period of time will become permanent!!

We do not appear to control a whole lot on out lives, but we clearly CONTROL our attitudes and thoughts!!!

And those two things are the most critical parts to success, happiness, and peace!!

How do you feel today? Why???  Can you change your mind and reverse it?

Of course you can!

All of us can and must...beginning today!!!!

Stay Strong!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Stress....Worry's homely cousin!! Daily Inspiration

Stress is not what happens to us. It's our response to what happens. And response is something we can choose.

~ Maureen Killoran

Who knew there were so many smart people in this world? 

Not me!!

Think about the quote above and put it into context with what we all seem to be experiencing lately.

We have been harping on the FACT that worry is a wasted, useless, fear-based effort that does absolutely no good for anyone or any situation.

So too have we tried to show that worry can be controlled and marginalized if we recognize it for what it is and take evasive action against it!

Now we come to find that the end product of worry, the partner in crime to fear, STRESS is also avoidable and controllable.

We are the authors and Captains of our lives and of our emotions.

How often do you hear someone say, "I could have never held my anger back like you did."

Or "I do not know how she is so happy after all that she has been through".

These are examples of situations where we control or orchestrate our own emotions and reactions to events.

People do it all the time.  These people are no different than you and me, except they have found the secret before we did!!!

Well, guess what? We have caught up now!!!

Recognize the fact that we do indeed have power over how we react to negative issue, challenges, and trials.

The key is to be ready to control our reactions when something bad occurs, and make a conscious effort to guide our emotions away from stress and into peace and comfort in our faith.

Keep prayers handy to distract yourself and literally, verbally,  acknowledge turning all of your problems over to God and the Holy Spirit whenever you feel fearful or anxious.

This too shall pass for all of us struggling with any issues, and we will emerge from all of this better, wiser, and stronger!!!

That is God's will..

Stay Strong!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Daily Inspiration

An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.
~ Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Daily Inspiration

Proverbs 3:5-6 () 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him,and he will make straight your paths.

Although this verse above does not explicitly mention the word "worry", it is clear to me that it speaks directly to it and gives yet another "out" option for we who worry about things.

The basic message is one we have touched on before and that is
"why bother worrying about anything and exerting effort when the Lord is in control and will insure you will be on the path intended for you?"

This verse was emailed to me via an application on my phone and it came randomly out of the blue early this morning.

I believe it was sent for a reason and in keeping with our worry-free theme, it is apropos indeed.

Do you really believe we can make better decisions in our lives than God can make for us??

I sure do not!!

So I pray and request and ask

 for guidance, direction, motivation, and I do so fully expecting the Lord to deliver what is in His plan to deliver to me. 

And I try not to worry about all the little things in our lives so much.

You have surely heard "Let Go and Let God?"  Well, this verse is summarized by that exact phrase!!

Try to exercise it when you feel anxious or troubled and KNOW that God has the controls if you would just turn them over to Him!!

Stay Strong!!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Count those Blessings!! Daily Inspiration

Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.
~ Lao Tzu

Boy, if only this were easy to accomplish would we all be joyous, happy, giddy and walking around with smiles from ear to ear!

Well, it may not be easy per se, but as my Dad often quoted to me, "nothing easy is worth accomplishing anyway".

When we step back and take inventory on our lives, our current state and what we have going for us RIGHT NOW, it is truly amazing just how blessed we all are!!

The problem we face in our society is that we tend to focus on what we LACK as opposed to all we HAVE in our lives today..even as we speak!!! 

We chase the almighty dollar and measure our success by the size of our bank accounts, cars, houses, careers, etc.

What a sad and futile effort and game we are in of these are the rules!!!

We should all be ashamed of ourselves for allowing ourselves to get caught up in this WINLESS game!!

It is impossible to win because there will always be someone with more this and more that than us, no matter how much we have in material possessions.

Right now..this very second, in our lives riddled with fear, disappointments and worry, we have so many blessings and gifts that we should never allow a smile to leave our faces !!!

Yet we consciously CHOOSE to focus and measure ourselves and everybody else on the lack of things we perceive we ought to possess!!

Take time right now,( and do not stop either), to assess and count your blessings as they say!!!!  Truly count them and you will come to realize just how great and amazing our lives are right this moment_!

Even at the height of my stress levels and worries, I am jolted back to reality and my blessings when I kiss my son and daughter goodbye in the morning, or tuck them in at night!!  When I come home and see my wife, speak with my family and friends, witness a sunrise or sunset, have my dog so excited to see me home, etc. It is all I will ever need and with that as a building block, how can anything bring me down?

We all have blessings we overlook and discount and we need to step up and re-assess them right now.

Stay Strong and forget the lack, all that matters is what we have today!!! 

We are all wealthy beyond our means in that singularly most important category!!!

And that is ALL THAT MATTERS!!

God Bless !!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

As Shark Week...errrr...I mean, "Defeat Worry Week" continues!!! Daily Inspiration

Every evening I turn my worries over to God.  He's going to be up all night anyway.
~ Mary C. Crowley

I have zero idea as to who Mary Crowley is, but she is definitely a bright woman!

Imagine being able to completely turn over all your worries at a "Worry Return Desk" at the end of the day.

Like returning a book at the library, it is that simple if you take time to train your mind to do it every night!

It does take Faith, and perseverance to do this, but those are two qualities we all possess and can use in all aspects of our lives!

See God and the Holy Spirit as the worry collector waiting for you to drop off your share for them to take off your hands and relieve you of that responsibility!

Imagine making that drop off every night so you do not have to worry and can sleep peacefully!!

We can do it and God asks us to do it!!  So why not take Him up on it??

Enjoy the worry free weekend and KNOW that you are NEVER ALONE as you walk through this life!!

Never forget that fact!! 

It is God's promise to all of us!

Stay Strong!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Defeat Worry Week....Daily Inspiration

If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry. Worry never fixes anything.
~ Ernest Hemingway

Today completes our last entry on "Defeat Worry Week" (but I cannot promise it will be the last you will hear on the topic..LOL).

I had some hesitation with including this Hemingway quote above seeing how he did commit suicide in Ketchum, Idaho afterall.

However, the quote and the associated message was so compelling to me and so appropriate that I could not avoid including it here.

This quote goes right to the heart of the need for "action" instead of worry and stewing about our current challenges.

Worry adds absolutely no value whatsoever to any situation and it is a fear based behavior laden with "what ifs" and speculation about events that usually do not even occur anyway.

Think about how ridiculous and useless worrying really is for us.

We can train ourselves to become free of worry with some repeated actions and steps and we must do it now!

Worry sucks the life and soul out of us, for no reason whatsoever, and leaves is worse than when we started worrying about something!!

Release yourself from this dangerous but defeatable behavior asap!!

If you have a problem, focus like a laserbeam on fixing it - identify the solution and set to making that s reality---and do not let one second be wasted on worry or fear!!

You can do it!!!

Stay Strong and Keep the Faith!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Daily Inspiration....Defeat Worry Week!!

Worry is a complete cycle of inefficient thought revolving about a pivot of fear.
~ Author Unknown

Today's quote covers so much in one sentence that it is truly amazing!

We have focused all week on the notion and wasted effort that goes into worrying about something in our lives.

We have drawn the wisdom of history's greatest minds and thinkers to point out how futile the act of worrying is all about and attempted to uncover ways to defeat this type of thinking pattern in our daily lives.

Today's quote captures so much about the core essence of worry, so simply, that it truly is beautiful!
Worry is best friends with our own Enemy Number 1..FEAR!! 

These two are thick as thieves and seem inseparable indeed.

When we worry, all we do is reinforce our own fears about something and that fear that we allow to enter our minds is a clarion call for all sorts of bad thoughts, worries, anxieties, and we are suddenly stuck in a pig-pile of pain and despair!!!!

Worry is a cycle with fear as the pivot point. It is inefficient indeed as nothing is created by it and it only serves to perpetuate the fear for something that has jt happened yet, and more than likely will not occur at all anyway.

So how do you break this inefficient cycle for good? Or at least control it ?

I always look at worst case scenario reasoning. If you do not merely accept that fear and worry convince you that something bad will imminently occur, and ask yourself what is the worst case scenario if it does occur, you can put it all in perspective and cease the cascading element of worry and fear.

Secondly, remove the "embarrassment" factor. A lot of worry and fear stems from our concern that an event will cause us to be embarrassed, humiliated, and ridiculed.


Remove that part of the equation and potential events suddenly do not seem so daunting to us.
Thirdly, if you catch yourself in a worry and fear panic or cascade pig-pile, stop the thought progression IMMEDIATELY and recite a prayer repeatedly. Have a few prayers ready to go and launch them to interrupt a cascade!!! 

This works!!! 

Not only is the inefficient cycle of worry and fear interrupted and halted before it takes over your thought patterns, but you are also requesting help from whomever it is you pray to when in need.

It is a double edged sword, but in a good sense!

I often awaken in the middle of the night, a knock on my inner mind door bolts me awake and I catch the masses of worry and fear thoughts rushing the entrance!!  I can either be overcome and indulge them and let them run roughshod over my once peaceful dreams, or I can slam the door shut on them by launching into a prayer and asking the Holy Spirit to handle them for me while I drift back to sleep.

And the Holy Spirit is one heck of a bouncer!!!!  Believe me!

It takes practice and discipline to turn these rude sleep crashers away and not be dragged into their games, but it is not hard to do and you can do it tonight or today-  whenever they bum rush your mind!!!

Lastly, we need to stop the thoughts as they occur and go about working on a "solution" to the problem that is creating the fear. 

ACTION defeats these negative thoughts and crushes the fear and worry in their tracks! When confronted, seek a solution to the problem immediately as simply worrying about it is useless!! 

Brainstorm, focus on the brighter future, seek advice and wisdom. 

But do not give up, give in or surrender!!!

Try it tonight!!!!

Stay Strong!!!!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Happy Birthday to Robert O'Toole!!!!!

Many Blessings and Congrats on this 'milestone" Birthday!

The Universe is a much better place for having Robert O'Toole in it and we all celebrate this day with Happiness, Gratitude and Joy!!!

Enjoy it, Roberto, and many many more!!!

Peace and Love!!

Daily Inspiration

We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.
~ Mother Teresa

If you haven't noticed a theme here this week, perhaps I have not been obvious enough.

The key to getting over our own challenges, problems, issues, and struggles is to dive into resolving other people's problems and focus on being there for them in THEIR  time of need!

It is more than simply distracting ourselves from our own problems and worries, but by assisting others and making them feel stronger, we immediately become stronger ourselves with the action and effort!

It is a fact and it works and we can CONTROL IT!!

There is a tremendous commercial out there that essentially portrays people doing acts of kindness and after others happen to witness the act, they perform their own kindness acts later in the day.

I guess their point is that Kindness is contagious!!!  And it is true!!!

We really never know how our actions affect others, both positively and sometimes negatively. So we need to make the effort to POSITIVELY impact others' days...and as Mother Teresa points out in her quote, it is as easy and effortless as a SMILE!!!

Try it today and see what happens!!

It costs nothing at all and can mean something so valuable to someone else!!!

Stay Strong!!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Daily Inspiration

There is nothing
 that wastes the body like worry, and one who has any faith in God should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever.
~ Mohandas Gandhi

Imagine if we could go through one full day without worry. 

Imagine how wonderful life could

 be if we were able to let every fear, anxiety, worry, etc. roll off of our backs and allow someone else to worry about it for us.

Imagine how different life would be if we KNEW that everything that we would go through would have little lasting negative impact on us and everything would work out just fine.

Well guess what?  We have that ability within us today. It is called Faith and we must harness it to lead our best lives possible, within God's plan for us.

Granted, this is not easy and it takes a lot of intestinal fortitude to operate this way in our busy lives, but it can be done and we must make it a priority!!

Let God and the Holy Spirit take over Tue worries and you will ne far happier and more at peace!!

You can do this by asking the Holy Spirit to take these worries and issues for you.

He will do so if you merely ask Him.

Stay Strong!!!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Daily Inspiration

Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.
~ Mother Teresa

The beautiful quote from Mother Teresa above really embodies the power we hold over other's lives!!

We have the ability and wonderful gift of making someone else's life happy --at our disposal!!  Even if it is simply one interaction or moment, it is meaningful and extremely powerful!!

Operate under this knowledge and you will find your own life becoming happier, more peaceful, and adding enhanced meaning!!

Take the focus off of your own problems and challenges, and help out others as they struggle and you will undoubtedly improve your own life!!!  Immediately!!

Stay Strong and have a great week.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Daily Inspiration

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion.
~ Dalai Lama

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Daily Inspiration

Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others.
~ Plato

Friday, October 1, 2010

Edward J. Flaherty.... we miss you!!

Today marks the 12th anniversary of the passing of my Dad, Edward Flaherty.

It is hard to believe that 12 years have passed since he was called home to God and not a day goes by where I do not think of him and speak to him!

He was a great man, a wonderful father, and my best friend. I always felt loved and safe with him in my corner and he encouraged me to do so much despite my fears and hesitancy as a child. 

He was truly a special person who overcame a lot and gave everything he had to his family!

I know you are in Heaven, Dad, watching over us and in peace, and I miss you today like it was 12 years ago!!

Thanks for the love and support .See you soon!!!

Keep us Staying Strong!!