Posts Tagged ‘self help’

I am currently, along with my partner, working on our 7th grade retreat. We plan on spending the day getting to know ourselves and God better. It’s a long day, but well worth the effort.

Retreats offer us the opportunity to explore ourselves, and whatever topic is the basis of the retreat. We can spend a day or week and in some cases months discovering and exploring the inner thoughts and workings of ourselves. When I was in India there was a huge retreat center just down the block from my hotel, and I the opportunity to meat several of the retreat goers, they were from all around the world, and they would came for a week or 2 or several month at a time. It was interesting to talk with them to hear their stories, and in a way it was inspiring to know that people are willing to invest in themselves.

The point of this blog is retreats, be they spiritual or not, we all need time to stop and rest, time to look deeper in to ourselves and time to reflect. For a retreat to be successful it does not have to be long, time does not determine the value or effectiveness of the experience. What determines the effectiveness is your willingness to open up and to do the hard work of looking deep within.

Plan a retreat for yourself, look for opportunities to go deep within you, be it a scheduled time or just found moments. Look in your local church paper or on line and sign up for a day retreat or a weekend retreat. If you can’t afford that, plan a home retreat, schedule a time and day when everyone is out of the house, rent a motivational talk like Dr. Wayne Dyer’s “Inspiration” or any other you are interested in. Turn off the phone, light a few candles and let yourself drift away in to the moment. Journal about the experience and allow the mind to drift as you do.

Retreats do not have to be lead by someone, lead your own, or invite a good friend to join you or a prayer group. Use the quiet to hear the small voice within and allow it to sing its song, hear the music and allow it to flow within you and allow it to flow out of you, letting the world hear your inner song.

Retreats refresh you and energize you, start to plan yours today.


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The last 2 days here in Michigan have been mild; the temps have been in the 40’s and today a light rain in falling. Spring is on its way! Yesterday I went outside just to look around, it has been so long since I have seen my grass and plants, I just wanted to look.  Mostly I noticed that everything is dead, that winter has taken a toll on my lawn and plants, I’m not concerned because I know that they will “spring” back to life soon. I love spring time, with all the new growth and the smells that return with the changing of the season.

As I looked around and was imagining what I might do this year in the gardens I notice that one of my trees’s, a Japanese Maple, was budding. There on each branch where tiny little buds, little pods of life waiting to break free, to feel life for the first time, to soak in the warmth of the sun and sway in the breeze, to experience life as a new.

In a way I am very jealous of that bud, it is changing in to a beautiful creation, transforming in to a wonder before my very eyes, and all it is doing is what it is made to do. No effort is put forth beyond what it is created for. This bud attends no classes on how to be a better bud, or how to make the most of your buddness. Nope, this bud is just doing what it was created for, it is becoming a leaf.

How wonderful of it, how simplistic of it and how grand. This tiny bud is becoming what it meant to become. No self-help books were read no seminars attended, it just is. This bud knows what it will be, and where it will go without being counseled or couched. No amount of positive talk will make it better than it already is and no TV doctor can create a new and better bud that this one. In its simplicity it is perfect and in its buddness it is perfection. I am truly jealous!

Humanity has placed upon itself conditions that create imperfection of the perfect creation. We are created in our maker’s likeness, we are created out of love, yet we find no perfection in our humanness and we find no love in our loveless. Unlike the bud that knows only how to be a bud, we, in our humanness, know nothing about how to be us. We seek others to help define what is already defined, we read and research ways to become, yet the bud just becomes, we try and fail, yet with the bud there is no trying and failing only doing and succeeding.

The complexity of life that we choose to live in has created a loneliness of soul, a loneliness that causes us to search for other us’s, us’s that already know, others that have become. Yet with all the searching we do we never seem to find the us that is truly us. We look to others for help, we cry out to the world, yet no one seems to hear. We cry out to be like that bud, yet we cannot be, for we are us.

I envy that bud, so simple yet so complex. The change it needs to perform is natural and automatic, it has not past to hold it back, it only has a future to draw it out. The bud knows no limits to its change; it will become a leaf regardless of what it may want. The bud of that tree will fulfill its destiny, it will become a leaf.

Humanity is of a fallen nature, we have sinned, and the sin of time holds us back, stunts our growth and creates chaos in an ordered world. We are not like that bud, whose plans must be followed, we are a creation of thought and action, we are a creation of love and hate, we are a creation created for struggles and strife. Yet each day we strive to create a new us, a new world, one in which we can shine and achieve the usness we were created for.

No, I pity that bud in its budness, it cannot think, nor can it choose, it is a bud, simple as that. No I do not wish I was like that bud, I am glad I am me, in all my humanness and chaos I am complete.

The searching for betterment of us is in the perfect plan of the loveness that created the imperfection of us.



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This morning I was having a hard time thinking of what to write, so I did a internet search on “self Wisdom” and found the article below, please read it and visit the site. I hope this helps you…


(Below is an article about Ben Franklin, and how he sought to improve himself in all aspects of life. This article came from http://www.pbs.org/benfranklin/l3_wit_self.html)




If there was any one theme throughout Ben Franklin’s life, it was self-improvement. He was born into a family of seventeen children as the son of a poor candle and soap maker. He had less than two years of formal education and began his young adulthood entirely on his own in Philadelphia. Yet he became a wealthy man by eighteenth century standards and one of the most respected intellects of the Western world.

He was a model for the rags-to-riches story of the self-made man. Franklin’s entire life reflected his belief in self-improvement, and from adolescence until his death at eighty-four, he worked constantly to improve his mind, his body, and his behavior.

Mind: Self-education
While apprenticed at his brother James’ printing shop, Franklin decided to improve his writing abilities. He created a number of methods designed to make him a better writer. He studied the writings of authors whose style he liked and practiced writing essays in the same style. He would also rewrite essays by famous writers, seeking to improve them. Another method he devised was writing the paragraphs and sentences of an essay on slips of paper, shuffling the slips, and finally attempting to reassemble them in the correct order.

Also during his apprenticeship, Franklin was exposed to a variety of books and read everything that he could get his hands on. Not only was Franklin an avid reader, he loved to discuss what he read. One of the reasons Franklin formed the Junto in 1727 was to have a ready forum in which to explore and discuss intellectual topics. The members of the Junto sought to improve their minds and their world. They helped one another in business and found ways to help others in their community.

Franklin‘s seemingly endless curiosity helped him maintain a spirit of lifelong learning. He continued his scientific inquiries, he corresponded with some of the greatest minds of the eighteenth century, he met with scholars and scientists in every country he visited, and he even learned French rather late in life.

Body: Physical Activity
When most people think of Ben Franklin, they don’t usually think of an athlete. However, Franklin was an early proponent of physical fitness. In an age when few people knew how to swim, Franklin taught himself how to swim. He was an avid swimmer all his life and even contemplated becoming a full-time swim instructor. Benjamin Franklin is the only founding father in the Swimming Hall of Fame.

During his first trip to England, Franklin found work in a print shop where most of the apprentices and journeymen spent much of their time getting drunk. Franklin knew that the mind and body was much more productive when it was not impaired by alcohol. Instead of drinking beer, Franklin decided to drink water and encouraged his co-workers to follow his lead. Although he wasn’t successful at convincing all his colleagues to change their ways, Franklin’s clear-headed work and productive physical strength (most printers would carry a single tray of heavy lead type; Franklin was known for usually carrying two trays) were recognized, and he was promoted.

Franklin wanted to improve his mind and his health and found a practical way to do both at the same time. Books were very expensive in Franklin’s day, and as a youth, he didn’t have much extra money. Franklin decided to become a vegetarian. He believed that eating a vegetarian diet was healthier than a diet filled with meat. In addition, meat was much more expensive, so by becoming a vegetarian, Franklin could save money to spend on books.

Behavior: Moral Perfection
As a youth, Franklin didn’t always behave responsibly. At the age of 20, he decided to change the direction of his life by embarking on a course of what he called “moral perfection.” He created a list of four resolutions to follow. He resolved to become more frugal so that he could save enough money to repay what he owed to others. He decided that he would be very honest and sincere “in every word and action.” He promised himself to be industrious “to whatever business I take in hand.” Lastly he vowed “to speak ill of no man whatever, not even in a manner of truth” and to “speak all the good I know of every body.”

Out of these four resolutions, Franklin came up with a set of thirteen virtues, which he practiced methodically. He wrote each of the virtues down in a book and practiced one of the virtues for a week, trying to perfect it. At the end of the week, he would evaluate his performance. At the end of thirteen weeks, he would start back on the first virtue again.

Centuries before it became fashionable, Ben Franklin somehow understood the importance of a holistic approach to the self. His self-styled methods of personal improvement made an important connection between mind, body, and spirit.

copyright 2002 Twin Cities Public Television, Inc. All rights reserved.

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With spring on it’s way, and it is time to think about spring cleaning, not only your house, but also your soul. We all to often collect spiritual junk through the year, bad memories, bad relationships and habits that leave us a little cluttered. The clutter of life can and does get in the way of life itself, so take out your spiritual window cleaner and wipe your view of the world clean of all the clutter.

Take time to make a list of all that is in your life, the good the bad and the ugly, bit don’t forget to add the beautiful to the list. Start by removing the ugly from your life. It can be people, art, music or any other ugly in your life. You may not know this, but ugly art, music and such do effect your life, they bring you down. So remove all that holds you down, and replace it with the beautiful of live. Get music that is uplifting, read a book of hope and love and find friends who will lift you up, not hold you down,

I would recommend a day of contemplation is added to your schedule. Just one day of thinking deeply about your clutter and what needs to go… Then let it GO! As the old saying goes, Let go and let God! There is truth in that statement…

Below is an article I found on the web, I thought it may help you with your spring cleaning of the soul…

Try some of these “Life Cleaning” tips:

Start with one drawer … Then a closet. Next, a whole room. Rampage through your physical space, one step at a time, as a symbolic gesture of cleaning up your life and making room for love. Take a big black garbage bag — or 10! –and dump things. Give anything you don’t need any more to the Garbage Goddess or to charity.  Or sell some stuff on e-bay (but if you are never going to get around to that, give it way!).

Let go of memorabilia from past or failed relationships. This includes anything that ties you inappropriately to the past, or to a love affair that is long over. Naturally you want to save anything that is valuable or sacred, but pack it up and place it in storage — at least for now. You should not be looking at pictures of your old loves on the mantle, or stuff that reminds you of that person, while trying to get ready for the new. Keeping a photo of your ex on display energetically keeps him or her around your house!

Make cleaning up your life a fun and rejuvenating ritual. Play music, such as “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta Hair,” and dance around as your ditch the old the make room for the new. Music and dance is like a moving prayer that helps generate good feelings and hope.

Write an elimination list. Jot down thoughts, items, relationships, “things” you know are in the way of your soul mate success. List things you choose to release or transform for the highest good.  When ready to let things go, or at least reach the next level of willingness to let go, rip up your list and flush the pieces, symbolically releasing the things that have kept life messy, out of balance and at a standstill. Say a prayer for the highest good of all involved.


© Copyright 2006 Reverend Laurie Sue Brockway  All Rights Reserved.



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Two simple word’s and on there own really don’t mean a lot, but put them together and BAM!!!! You just started down the road of regrets…

If Only I did this….

If Only this happened….

If Only they….

See what I am getting at, we can live a life of IF ONLY’s and never grow past it. Yes we should stop and take stock in what we have done in our lives, but we should never IF ONLY it.

Here is an example:

If Only I had gone to collage, got my degree and and met that someone special in my life.

Yes things would be different, better, maybe or maybe not. We will never know, but one thing we do know, is that our life would be different.

I would not be here, at this moment typing this blog (some may think that’s a good thing), I would not be doing what I am doing now… Yes my life would be different, but maybe not better…

If Only is an impossibility, so why concern yourself with it? We can not change what was, but we can change what will be.

Stop looking back as the problem, and look at it as a life lesson, learn what you can from your past, and toss the rest out.

Start today with the new you, and stop the IF ONLY’s in your life, no-longer look at what could have been, but rather at what will be.

Take sometime to invest in yourself, learn new habits to improve your life, find sometime for your spiritual needs and look to tomorrow for your new you.


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We all love tips, the ten steps for everything, so I thought i would do a little research for you and give you The Ten Tips to be a better person….

So here are ten tips from Pope John XXIII about how to live a better life, day to day:

1. Only for today, I will seek to live the livelong day positively without wishing to solve the problems of my life all at once.

2. Only for today, I will take the greatest care of my appearance: I will dress modestly; I will not raise my voice; I will be courteous in my behavior; I will not criticize anyone; I will not claim to improve or to discipline anyone except myself.

3. Only for today, I will be happy in the certainty that I was created to be happy, not only in the other world but also in this one.

4. Only for today, I will adapt to circumstances, without requiring all circumstances to be adapted to my own wishes.

5. Only for today, I will devote 10 minutes of my time to some good reading, remembering that just as food is necessary to the life of the body, so good reading is necessary to the life of the soul.

6. Only for today, I will do one good deed and not tell anyone about it.

7. Only for today, I will do at least one thing I do not like doing; and if my feelings are hurt, I will make sure that no one notices.

8. Only for today, I will make a plan for myself: I may not follow it to the letter, but I will make it. And I will be on guard against two evils: hastiness and indecision.

9. Only for today, I will firmly believe, despite appearances, that the good Providence of God cares for me as no one else who exists in this world.

10. Only for today, I will have no fears. In particular, I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe in goodness. Indeed, for 12 hours I can certainly do what might cause me consternation were I to believe I had to do it all my life.

So if we take each day as only one day, we can manage that. It’s when you try to take all days on to yourself in one day that we crash and burn.

We all need to learn to slow down and take life as it is.

As the old saying goes, let go, let God… I think thats great advice!

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