10/21/08

What I Learned On Sunday

Sunday we had an amazing RS fireside. The speaker was Leslie Welker, who lost her husband in a car crash three years ago. She was of course, having a really hard time with the loss of the love of her life, and was shortly after his death an empty nester. Her friend asked her to go to BYU's Education Week, and she reluctantly agreed. She ended up in a class that changed her life. The Professor asked the audience if they thought pessismists could be changed into optimists. Half of the crowd said "no way" (obviously the pessimists of the group) and the other half said "oh yah, for sure!" (obviously the optimists). He said that pessmimists can be changed in to optimists in just 14 days by doing "The 5 Things Lesson". I will get to this in just a minute. He also told of a study of the human brain and the power of thoughts. There was study done on the impact of negative and postive emotions on the human body. When someone thinks postive thoughts, the bodies cells literally GLOWED, even after taking those cells out and putting them in a lab cup, they were still glowing. When someone thinks negative thoughts, the cells look drab and dull. Amazing, huh? So, his progam goes something like this:

First: When you wake up in the morning, don't get out of bed. First, ask yourself this question:
"What do I love about myself?"
With this question, you start your day of thinking good things about yourself, and this sets your mood and outlook for the day.

Second Question: "What do I have to look forward to today?"
Even if this means something as small as getting to eat your favorite cereal for breakfast or something as big as planning a vacation. There is something in EVERY day to look forward to, we just have to find it. So instead of thinking "oh man, I have to do this and this and THIS today", thinking about what you are excited about will get you pumped for the day ahead.

Third Question: "What does Heavenly Father want me to learn?"
Leslie made a good point on this one. That if your answer to this one is negative, like "Well, I really messed up on getting that thing done the other day, I'm horrible" etc., those feelings are negative and they do not come from our Father in Heaven, they come from the other guy. Heavenly Father wants us to learn possitive things about ourselves, not things that will put us down.

Fourth Question: "Who can I serve"
Now, to the world, this is not an obvious answer to depression, sadness, etc. The world tells us to serve ourselves first, that we come first. But really, what makes us truly happy? Making others happy. Being kind and considerate. Even if its just a smile and a hi to a stranger. You never know what a large impact a tiny act of service can have.

Fifth Question: "What am I grateful for?"
I have been asking myself this a lot lately. And it turns out, I have EVERYTHING to be grateful for. No money, cars, houses, clothes could possibly make me as happy as I am right now. I have a roof over my head, the most loving little family, food in my tumbly, amazing friends, the Gospel, etc. etc. Life is good, people! And thinking about what we are grateful for on a daily basis can only bring good things into our lives. We have so much to be grateful for. SO much.

Then Leslie told us she added a sixth to her list. I like this lady. We are on the same page. She said "Don't forget to laugh out loud every day!"
I absolutely love laughing. Laughter is the best medicine in my book.

Another intersting thing she said, is there was a study done on prozac, and the place where it is most commonly used? Women in Utah. (which made me giggle, because well, I'm on prozac) Why? The need for perfection. Now, the gospel does not pressure us to be perfect, but to be our best. But for some reason, we expect perfection of ourselves. I know I'm that way. I can go a whole day getting 10 things accomplished and not even care, because I'm focused on the one thing I DIDN'T get done. I'm a perfecionist. So this talk was exactly what I needed to hear. I did the five steps yesterday, and let me just tell you, I had a great day!
I hope you find some answers YOU were looking for in this little tidbit I just shared with you. Life is wonderful, lets remember that!

I am also reading an amazing book. I really struggle to understand money and finances. I'm horrible with numbers. I've read several books on it, but always come away more confused than ever. I picked up "Financial Freedom For LDS Families" by Janene Baadsgaard (I believe ANYONE, LDS or not can get something out of it) And it really just puts it in a different perspective. All the other books I've read have been "Rich on Any Income" or basically how to become rich. Which is fine. I wouldn't mind having lots of money. But this book puts the focus on other things. I can't really explain it. Just read it! Its a financial book and I couldn't put it down, and thats saying a lot.

Are you all still awake? Anyone still there? You can wake up now, I'm done :)

The End
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