Did You Do Your Brain Workout Today?

February 18, 2013

During these fast moving days, it is often difficult to find time for a workout. With all of the crazy things going on, usually the workout ends up getting pushed further down the list, until time runs out and it doesn’t get done.

This scene has played out far too many times in my life. However, I have learned that the ones who do get their workouts done are the ones who deliberately schedule time to do so, and stick to that plan regardless. Those are the ones that are in the best shape and get the most from their body.

I will say that there is another workout that is in your best interest to stick to on a regular basis. Besides working out the body, it is extremely important to work out its most important function of all…the brain. Just like the body, the brain needs to be worked out on a regular basis to remain effective. I have realized the importance of putting aside specific, “no matter what” time to exercise the brain.

One may ask, how exactly do I exercise my brain for maximum efficiency? One answer I would provide is to keep using it. Remaining active instead of wasting away countelss hours of nothing is definitely recommended.

Besides the quantity of thought, I believe it is very important to pay attention to the quality of your thoughts. When you focus on positive outcomes, gratitude, and faithful, optimistic thoughts, you are exercising your brain to get the most out of it.

The important thing is to not take no for an answer when it comes to scheduling time to do this. It doesn’t need to be a huge chunk of time. Many mind experts say the best time to do this is right before going to bed.

I have followed this advice and spend 15 minutes or so immediately before going to sleep focusing on the highlights of the day, and filling my mind with scenes of success, victory, beauty, peace, and whatever great thoughts I can think. The result is I go to sleep with a smile on my face thanking God. I sleep more peacefully, and wake up ready to take on the next day.

Please be sure to do all you can to get some physical exercise. I challenge you to be even more sure to complete your brain workout. Keep it active with the most beautiful, positive thoughts you can think, and you will be in better shape than you can ever imagine. Enjoy the blessings : )


Thank You In Advance

March 28, 2012

It happens all the time. I get everything together for a nice dinner at home. I’m sure I have everything, so I finally sit down, relax, and get ready to eat. It is when I am finally sitting and feeling peaceful that I realize something I forgot.

The above scene played out again today. I finally sat down to enjoy the barbecue meal I cooked, and took the first bite. It was when some mustard squirted on my face that I knew I forgot the napkins. I didn’t want to get up. After all, I was sitting for the first time all day. My daughter was the only one that was near the napkins. I didn’t specifically ask for napkins, but instead said…”thank you so much. I can’t believe you were so thoughtful to do that”. She didn’t say anything either. However, she knows me all too well, and without a word brought napkins not only to me, but to her sisters as well.

Her sisters looked and wondered what had just happened. At first they wondered why I was thankful for nothing that had happened. Then they thought..”how did she know”? What just happened here? My explanation consisted of two things. One was a play on psychology, and the other was what I will explain here.

I have heard of people who are thankful for many things in their life, including things that haven’t even happened yet. They thank God for past victories and future blessings. I was so amazed at the display of faith of advanced thanks that I began to do that on my own. I often thank God for things I prayed for even before they happen. When I do this, several things happen. One is that my faith grows. I have a stronger belief that what I am praying for and seeking to accomplish is more likely to come about. Two, is that I am more focused on God and the goal instead of hurdles that can get in the way. Three is that I feel an accountability. I have already thanked God and my faith is stronger, so the result I am seeking must come about. At least that’s how I feel. As a result, I am more likely to act and do my part to bring the results to pass. The more the mind believes something will happen, the more likely the desired result will come about.

One thing to add, is that I find it very helpful to be thankful for ANY result. We don’t always get what we want, and that’s a good thing. We don’t have all the answers, and an alternate result can be protecting us from something we didn’t forsee or bringing us something better, or both.

I find it very peaceful and beneficial to say thank you in advance. If it’s to a person, I feel like they will go out of their way for my best interests. If it’s to God, He will happily bring blessings my way. All this besides getting delivered a napkin to wipe the mustard off my face : )

Have an excellent day!


Positive Observations

February 5, 2012

There is a great deal of talk in the educational world these days about the accountability of teachers. One of the ways teacher performance is rated is a classroom observation by a school administrator.

I am a teacher. Although I understand the need for accountability, it makes me uncomfortable that my entire year’s performance can be judged in a 45 minute snapshot. In the correct manner, an observation is used to find some strengths, and help teachers find ways to improve their performance and student learning. At my school, it is taken a bit more seriously, and it does not make me comfortable that jobs are maintained or lost based on a single observation. Last year, even though my students are performing very well, I had received good reports in the past, and have a positive reputation in the school community, criticism from an adminstrator’s single observation almost cost me my job. It was another single good observation later in the year that saved me. Hence the reason for my lack of faith in our school’s system.

I use this information to illustrate an important concept. It was recently observation time for me again. As I prayed about it, I felt God telling me I had two options. I could focus on my distrust, negative thoughts, and feelings of inadequacy, or I could focus on His strength, positive thoughts, and feelings of success.  I quickly decided my chances were much better if I chose the latter.

Before the observation, I did two things. One is that I prayed for success. The second is an excellent enhancer to any prayer. I played out a successful teaching experience over and over in my mind. I saw the positive response of the students and my observer. I heard my positive, confident voice. I felt the satisfaction of student achievement as well as my own.

As I focused on these two things, there was no doubt that this would be a positive experience. As it turned out, my report came back positive and ideal. I learned of several positives that added to the positive classroom experience. I also learned some helpful information that could enhance those positives. Just as an observation should be!

I cannot stress enough the importance of experiencing positive observations in our minds. For any situation, when we see and experience success in our minds first, it plays out in our world, usually sooner than later. Success becomes natural because we’ve already “experienced” it many times. As I’ve said before, our subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between a real and imagined event. If it sees success, real or not, it will lead us there for more.

God has been kind enough to give us an imagination. Let us use it for our good and His by seeing and experiencing the events we wish to live out for real. Before long, it will no longer be a part of the imagination. Instead it will be our real, normal life experience. Enjoy the blessing : )


Can We Fool Ourselves To Success?

December 20, 2011

Here’s a funny story from the other night…I was talking to my youngest daughter about Christmas songs. We had also been talking about dogs, so I asked her if she had ever heard the Barking Jingle Bells song where the dogs bark in the tune of Jinge Bells. She said she hadn’t, so I put it on Youtube so she could hear it. The funny part is that I have a dog and a cat. When they heard this, the cat ran off, and the dog was going crazy looking out every window for these barking dogs. She then became one of them herself!

These were obviously not real dogs, but our pets were fooled into thinking that they were. How does this relate to my title? I am reading more and more how our lives are influenced by the beliefs of our subconscious minds. If those beliefs are positive, the outcomes and levels of success in our lives are usually at high levels. Unfortunately, the same is true with negative thoughts as our outcomes and success levels mirror that.

I am also reading about how the subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between something real or imagined. For example, I’ve heard stories of people who imagined they put their hand in a bucket of ice cold water. Their hand then actually became cold! I decided to try this. I was in the car and wouldn’t be stopping for over an hour. I was thirsty. I imagined myself drinking a cold glass of water, and the cold water going down my throat and sinking into my stomach. I then enjoyed the imaginary sensation of having my thirst quenched. I laughed because I actually enjoyed the experience, and my thirst was gone!

I have discovered that, if I can fool my mind into believing my thirst is quenched, I can “experience” other successes as well. Anyone can do this. Think of a goal you wish to accomplish. Perhaps it is greater self-confidence. Or a more positive attitude; or better health; or anything. The key is to imagine that you have already accomplished it. See it happening in your mind. Experience the joy of its fulfillment. Smile and enjoy the experience.  As mentioned, your subconscious mind can’t tell the difference between a real or imagined experience. It thinks it’s all real. What happens is that your mind begins to believe it. It believes that you are successful, healthy, positive, wealthy, or whatever else. And whatever your subconscious mind believes is carried out in your life. This is because we act according to the new positive belief, not the old can’t do one.

Knowing this information empowers us. Spend time each day to stop and play these positive mental movies in your mind. As you play these positive scenes, you are convincing your subsonscious mind they are true. You will act accordingly, and eventually see these scenes play out for real.

Ok, now that my dog and cat are back I need to go feed them. Enjoy the day’s blessings : )


Envision Success

November 21, 2011

Where does success begin? The answer is simple. It begins in our minds. Isn’t it true that all great accomplishments began as a thought in one’s head?

I am seeing more and more how important it is to see success in our minds, even though we may feel we are nowhere near it. We need to see our goals being accomplished, even though we have no clue how it will happen. We need to remain faithful, even though we may have no reason to believe our goal will be realized.

Somehow, some way, we will see our dreams realized. We just need to have faith, and maintain the knowledge that by doing our part, and letting God do His, great things will happen. The key is to imprint these thoughts on our minds and carry them with us wherever we go. By living them out in our minds, they seem to eventually appear in real life right in front of us. I am realizing more each day how true this is.

I do not mean to sound “preachy”. It’s just that I feel such a new confidence as I follow these principles, and I can see the positive changes beginning to occur in my life. I feel the need to share these ideas with anyone willing to read them in the hopes that they would feel the same confidence that I do. As always, I encourage your feedback and would love to hear your success story.

Have an excellent day : )


Solving Affirmation Problems

November 4, 2011

There is much information in blogs, books, and articles about the power of affirmations. I have shared about this topic a number of times on this blog. In case you don’t know, positive affirmations are words or phrases we repeat to ourselves. As our subconscious mind hears these words, we begin to believe them and act accordingly.

You may ask..what’s with the title? If we are making our affirmations positive, how could there be problems? Here’s the answer. Our subconscious mind tends to believe things as they are. It’s possible that you’ve heard negatives for so long that it’s the only thing your subconscious believes. When we first try to replace that long-standing negative with a positive, our mind doesn’t believe it. In these cases, the affirmations don’t work, and people then give up. For example, you may begin affirming to yourself..”I am extremely confident”. If you have been thinking lack of confidence for a long time, it is natural for your subconscious to answer this question by saying..”no you’re not. You are fearful as you have always been”. Or you may affirm…”I am wealthy”, while your subconscious says…”no you’re not. You’re almost broke!”.

How can we change this? One way is to constantly repeat the positives and eventually let them overtake the negative. This can be done, but it can take a while. I have read a very effective way that can work in a much shorter period of time. In the book “The Power of the Subconscious Mind”, author Joseph Murphy suggests simple, one word affirmations. For example, instead of saying “I am wealthy” and risking subconscious rejection, simply repeat and focus on the word wealth. Imagine wealth, and repeat the word. Feel it as you repeat it. When you do this, it is much less likely that your subconscious will reject it. In fact, the more you do this, the more the subconscious will believe it. He also suggests using other one word affirmations, such as success, power, confidence, faith,  health, or whatever it is you are seeking. As you say it and feel it, it tends to sink in to the subconscious. As this happens, you begin to act it out and live accordingly.

Affirmations have worked very well for me. When I follow this guideline, it speeds up the process, and I see faster, more effective results. I strongly recommend you try this method. I believe you will be very happy with the results.

Enjoy the blessings : )


The Power Of Down Time

October 29, 2011

Today is one of those Saturdays where there is really not much going on. It’s unseaonably cold, and there are no major plans going on. Sure, I can think of things to do around the house, or do some shopping, but I am not very motivated to do work today.

Is this a bad thing? Should I feel guilty when I am not active? I could run into problems if I felt like this every day. However, I am beginning to see the importance of spending time in limited action. In fact, I have seen the importance of taking a bit of time each day to just stop and take advantage of some down time. Here are some advantages to down time:

  • It’s a time to get your thoughts together. The life we experience externally is a result of what our thoughts are like. We need quiet time to gather and control our thoughts. Then we need the time to create positive ones, imagine ideal situations, and affirm success to ourselves. It is also helpful, and I believe necessary, to pray and meditate on things things.
  • Upon getting our thoughts in line, it is easier to develop plans of action when things are quiet and we are not stressed. Faith and focused action is a force that no one can defeat. When we have both going for us, we are victorious in every situation.
  • Better relationships. When I have had my fill of me time in a state of relaxation, I am much more willing and able to go out of my way for others. In fact, I will say that we cannot be our best for others if we cannot first be our best selves. In order to be our best selves, we need our share of down time.

These are just some advantages of down time. It is just so helpful to take advantage of times like this. Jesus Himself even stressed this, and how it helps us focus on the right things. In Luke 10 there is a story about how Jesus was going to visit two friends who were sisters. When He arrived, one was doing all the work, while the other was doing nothing but sitting and listening to Jesus’s words. The working sister complained to Jesus..”aren’t you going to say something to my sister? Im doing all of the work while she is just sitting there”. The funny thing is she doesn’t get the answer she expects. Instead of criticizing, Jesus instead commends the “sitting” sister for focusing on the right thing (Him and His words) and not letting other distractions get in the way.

Can you relate? If a famous person were coming to your house, what would you do? Would you relax and enjoy the moment of this special time, or would you be stressed because of the things that had to get done and let that replace the enjoyment?

According to the divine word above, we have every right to enjoy down time so we can focus on the priorities and the right things. It’s totally ok, as long as we don’t use the time to replace other times where we are prompted and inspired to act. Whenever you get the chance, even if it’s for a short time, please take advantage of some down time to think beautiful things, and get your mind and body in order. It will have extreme benefits when the time to act arrives.

Enjoy the blessings : )