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Archive for Gratitude

If You Are Really Thankful

If you are really thankful, what do you do? Share.

—W. Clement Stone

Duff here. I have so much to be Thankful for: a Warm bed at night, Kibble and Bits in My doggy bowl, Frequent Walks with Mom, Playing with other Canines My size, meeting New Friends. When I live in that Place in My Mind, I am unstuck.

But right Now, I am most grateful to You, My gentle Reader. I share my Views of the World and am thankful You take the Time from Your Busy Day to read my Musings. You revel in My thoughts and Undertakings. At times, My ponderings may take You deep Inside of Yourself. But at other times, you may Laugh at My antics. I love it When You respond to My Ideas. Touches My heart and makes Me feel special. I hope you feel Important too, for You are Indeed. It’s all part of Living Unstuck.

At This Time, I would like to Wish you and Yours (including Your Four Legged Fur babies) a Very happy Thanksgiving. Thank you again for Traveling this Road with Me. What an Adventure it has been! And there’s More to come. Happy Thanksgiving. Live unstuck. #unstuckliving#thanks

Gratitude for Another’s Kindness

I caught a glimpse of this story, and since it’s the time of year for gratitude and thanksgiving, I wanted to share it with you. A young teen with cystic fibrosis wanted to play on the football team at his local high school in the mid-West. The football coach had noticed him, for the teen attended every practice and showed up for every game. The young man knew every play and was even able to suggest other strategies to outfox the opposing team. Although physically handicapped, he was accepted by the team. And they knew his secret: he wanted to make a touchdown. In spite of being confined to a wheelchair powered by a joystick, his dream was to live unstuck.

His moment finally came. During the game, the team agreed he would take the next play over the line into the end zone. His teammates enthusiastically blocked for him. They tackled for him. They cleared the way so this young man could experience what it was like to make a touchdown. When he wheeled over the line, he was ecstatic. Hands in the air, laughing and smiling: he felt the joy of being a team player. And his team celebrated with him. They were living unstuck too.

But the ones most grateful for this opportunity were the young man’s parents. They had tears in their eyes when they explained to the team what this prime-time event meant to their son. And as they talked about his hopes and aspirations, the fact he felt he could never actually make a TD, his teammates started to rub their eyes and look at the ground. They were touched by the parents’ gratitude. By the acknowledgment of kindness toward their son. They also were living unstuck.

Despite what commercials would have us believe, holidays are not always pleasant for everyone. Perhaps there has been a death in the family. Or a divorce. Or a job loss. Or a change in health. Or a recent move away from family and friends. Kindness toward others and our gratitude when it’s shared is a good way to go for this time of year. And it doesn’t have to be extravagant. Maybe a smile to a stranger or a hug for a friend. Perhaps sharing a joke when in line at the local store or an anonymous gift of cash to someone in need. It doesn’t take much to share kindness and be grateful. Happy Thanksgiving. Live unstuck. #Unstuck Living

I look back with a mix of emotions: sadness for the people who are gone, nostalgia for the times that have passed, but immense gratitude for the wonderful opportunities that came my way.

—Dick Van Patten

Mind Relief Part 1: The 3 Questions

The search for mind-relief often takes many detours. For many, the search ends in the self-help section of a bookstore and/or days, months or years of seemingly endless Google searches. Many promises turn out to be dead ends because while relief is promised, it is often elusive. Hard as you try, change just doesn’t stick. You jot down your notes, download an app that auto reminds you to do “something” prescribed by the book to “change your life.”

Like the myriad diet plans out there, whatever behavior is off the menu is usually the one you crave. At least this was the sentiment of one of my clients who rolled her eyes when I suggested a book to help end her endless searching. As soon as I said “book,” she grimaced and said only, “Been there.”

So I was surprised when that same client attended one of my women’s group workshops where we discussed said book, and she patiently participated in the discussion. One story she told the group was so strongly compelling that I asked her to share her experience with my readers.

What follows is a true story, but first a little background on the book and the basic principles:

The book is titled Naikan: Gratitude, Grace and the Japanese Art of Self-Reflection, by Gregg Krech. The principles are simple. Just ask yourself 3 questions each day:

  1. Who helped me?
  2. Who did I help?
  3. Who did I inconvenience?

I’ll let my client take the story from here . . .

Joan, I had the most incredible experience coming back from the hospital in Tucson where my husband had just had a series of tests. We were both concerned about the outcome and of course, our thoughts were deep in “what if” territory, yet we remained quiet with each other. My husband asked to drive home, and I sat in the passenger side, messing with the radio—he asked me to turn it off; so I turned to my iPhone but no signal; tried to talk with my husband. He was quiet and pensive. So I fidgeted, and tried again to make conversation until finally he said, “Please, I just want to have a quiet ride home. I’m not in the mood to talk right now.”

Next stop on the inner toddler train was: what did I do wrong, was he mad at me, did I do something at the hospital, etc. etc. etc. etc…. fidget, fidget. Then I found the Naikan book that I brought to read. And I began to think about each question. Who helped me today? The people at the VA helped me/us find the clinic, and they shared a smile and a thank you for my husband’s service. The volunteers in the hallway helped me to find the cafeteria where I would wait, fret and watch the clock as doctors did his test. Next question, who did I help? That took a lot of thinking. I finally came up with, “I drove my husband to the test and patiently waited.” That was about as much “giving” as I had done this day. It was the last question that really got me though: Who did I inconvenience? Quite clearly my fidgeting in the car was an inconvenience to my husband who was deep in thought, and I selfishly missed HIS cues while trying to find some sort of “mind relief” of my own. Then I wondered if there was something that I could do to soothe his worry while we passed the time. My mind said “just be quiet already, leave him be with his thoughts.”

Just north of Globe, after 2 hours of silent miles, I thought about how much he loves to open the car window to enjoy the fresh air. I usually complain that it will mess my hair, so he knows not to ask. But today was a tepid summer day with beautiful clear skies and white billows of clouds. So I said, “Let’s open the windows really wide and take in the “breeze” the rest of the way back!” He liked the idea and immediately put all four windows down. Of course my hair was whipping across my face and getting stuck to my lips. It was uncomfortable, but I committed to do something kind for this man I love, who had gone through so much this day.

Soon something amazing happened. All other senses came alive. I felt the sun on my lap and followed the white puffs of clouds as they drifted to the north. After awhile I could smell when the vegetation outside changed from desert to cedar to pine and mossy, stony, rock face coming up Hwy. 260. I could actually smell the moisture and feel the sudden coolness in the air as we approached the Salt River. Arriving at elevation in the tall pines was an extraordinary awakening. The scent of the trees intensified as we got closer to home in Show Low. And when we topped the rim, there was something I had never smelled before. It was so compelling that I had to break the silence to ask my husband if he smelled it too. He did! Although there were no storm clouds around, the air was heavy with humidity and static that I felt on my skin. We both wondered if we would get a lighting storm later.

All in all we spent 90 minutes on the ride home in absolute silence, but we had never been closer before in our 20 years of marriage. When we finally settled in for the evening to the sounds of heavy rain and lightning, my husband said, “Thank you for that suggestion today. I was so heavy in thought but the experience of the ride home gave me a moment to really appreciate this beautiful state we live in and how much it means to me to have you as my partner in this life.” I’m not sure I have ever given a more precious gift than those 90 minutes of mindfulness. A few days later we learned that he would be ok. Another blessing!

Now that I know how, I strive to do this often—with anyone who will play. The 3 questions keep me grounded to the present and make me look for ways to be of use rather than an inconvenience. Want to try it for yourself? Take a “me” minute right now, right where you are, reading this article. First focus only on what you smell and feel around you. Feel the air on your nostrils as you breathe in and out. Is the scent familiar? Just follow it for awhile and let it drift. If you can take your shoes off, feel the ground beneath your feet as you do this. Now close your eyes and see how your senses intensify when you take out the visual track. If you have a bit more time, ask yourself the 3 questions and then see if your worries don’t become a little lighter as you practice this simple technique.

I am forever grateful to Joan for showing our group this book and being my tour guide when I hit sticky roadblocks in life that need to be smoothed with her kind and gentle voice. Since I have had hypnotherapy sessions before, the experience on the ride home felt familiar; like the hypnotic state of mind-relief she provides in her practice. Warm, comfortable and safe. Tracy M. March 22, 2017

Grumpy and Ungrateful? 5 Tips to Set You Right for The Season

Thanksgiving is almost here and the theme of the season is gratitude. But maybe you aren’t feeling very grateful right now. You are rewinding and repeating the same old drama in your mind like a broken record. You feel constantly drained for all your negative thoughts and actions. You expect the worst from each situation, with the claim you don’t want to be “disappointed.” Resentful and angry, you are hostile to everyone you meet. Someone else is always creating a problem for you, for nothing in your world ever goes right. You feel like Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh, for every day is a Crisis-Crisis-Disaster! Day.

You’ll know you have this downtrodden attitude if:

  • your friends are tired of hearing your constant grumble of discontent.
  • your venting, griping and whining begins when you wake and gains momentum until you fall asleep at night. The next day is more of the same.
  • you have reached the point where even you are bored with your bellyaching.

Tired of being grumpy and ungrateful? Here are five tips to set you right for the season.

  • Go on a Complaint Diet. Limit the number of times you vent about a situation to three. That’s right, just three. Or get it out of your system in the first 72 hours, so it doesn’t set up permanent residence in your thoughts.
  • Start a gratitude journal. To be most effective, take one thing you’re grateful for each day.  The write down five specifics about that. For instance, I am grateful for my close friends. Next the specifics: they laugh with me, they helped me move (to me, that’s above and beyond), they showed me the importance of WD 40 and Duck Tape, they helped me gain perspective after my husband’s death and they have my back. Emotional energy is the key here.
  • Realize that your life is not perfect. And get over it. Often, it is easy to take things for granted. The power went off, and you can’t talk to your friends right now. Move on and make the best of it.
  • Hatch a plan and gain momentum. Your weight not where you want it to be? Work on changing your eating patterns. Or develop an exercise program.
  • Weed out the “always”, “everyone” and “all-or-none” words. Ask yourself if what you are thinking is true. And then again, if it’s really true. After all, if you paddle in mental circles, you’ll only make yourself seasick.  Your world will change for the better as you reshape your thoughts.

If you still are stuck with a less-than-grateful attitude that is only grinding you down, Unstuck Living can help you find relief as quickly as 1-3 sessions 90% of the time. Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) is not therapy. It is an easy and tested method to help people move through old patterns and get unstuck. It is about learning to use your mind more effectively to end old patterns and get unstuck.

For more information or to make an appointment, call Joan Courtney at (928) 357-8208 or email her using the Contact Form on the website. Bringing over 30 years of experience to her practice, Joan is a highly qualified NLP Practitioner and a certified clinical hypnotherapist. In a confidential way, she uses that knowledge to help her clients become no-limit-people. Many have found her friendly ways and precise techniques to be the easiest road toward a better life.