Commitments to ourselves

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One of the most important kind of commitments we ever make is the promises that we make to ourselves. We know that our ability to keep promises to others will have an affect on the way they view us. They will see us as someone they can trust, or that we are reliable, dependable and responsible.

Did you know that the way we keep or not keep promises to ourselves has the same effect on us personally. If we continuously make promises to ourselves, and then break it we are not showing the same respect for ourselves that we show to others. This has a very negative affect on the way we feel about ourselves.

Lets say we promise ourselves to take a walk everyday for exercise, and we do so for 4 days straight. But then we let various things get in the way of our keeping this commitment. In affect we are lying to ourselves, and we begin to see ourselves as not reliable or dependable. This then allows us to give up in other areas of our life on commitments and soon we find that our self respect is very low. Do you know how good you feel about yourself when you keep commitments to yourself?

Showing commitment to ourselves will make a difference in our success in life and it will help us keep our commitments to others.

Read about Mr. Joe’s commitment to the Ultimate Black Belt Test that started in January 2009 and will be completed with the final test in February 2010. He recently committed to the “Live Like a Champion” journey that begins in January 2010. His journal is My Journey.

Facing the future

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In my study of peace there is a young man that has stood out in his ability to put into words very simply, life lessons that takes many of us years to understand.  His name is Mattie Stepanek.  Now while he is no longer here with us today, his words and spirit is still having an affect on all who read his poetry.  In a new piece of work that I am using to learn peace, Mattie is noted as a peacemaker.
Next week I will be posting about his life.  In the mean time enjoy this poem he wrote that I believe describes how I am trying to live my life.  To see this new site please go to the Learn Peace website.

Facing the Future

Every journey begins
With but a small step.
And every day is a chance
For a new, small step
In the right direction.
Just follow your Heartsong.

by Mattie Stepanek
From the book HOPE THROUGH HEARTSONGS

Gratitude Trumps Worry

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Have you ever known someone that is constantly worrying?  If is not one thing it is another.  In fact I have known some who not only worry about bad things that could happen, but even when things are going really well they have to worry about when it is going to stop being good and maybe something bad will happen.
Interestingly worry is always about the future, the next minute, the next hour, what might happen or might not happen.  The worrier always projects themselves into the future and imagine something bad happening.
Andre’ Dubus said, “It is not hard to live a day if you can live through a moment.  What creates despair is the imagination, which pretends there is a future and insists on predicting millions of moments, thousands of days, and so drains you that you cannot live the moment at hand.”
Gratitude brings you back to the present moment, it reminds you that right now things are pretty good.  It reminds you that so far you have received many things, and chances are you will continue to be supported on your journey through life.  That support may come in ways that you never guessed or chosen for yourself.
Don’t all of us have so much to be thankful for?  Today I am thankful that I get to see a group of students come in and with so much excitement test for their next rank.  They and their parents make me smile and remind me of when my own children had special days.

Gratitude brings joy

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This is the time of the year when all our students are taking part in the MSP testing in the schools. With that brings a fair amount of stress on the students and therefore on the families they are a part of everyday for the next couple of weeks.
This led me to think about the idea of how much joy is in our life? As I see adults go through their life, many times we are so busy climbing the ladder of success that we don’t take time to enjoy the journey. We begin teaching our young ones how to do that very early in their life too. As students, in what seems in younger and younger ways all the time, we teach them to plan and work hard, and as they have accomplishments we(they) see them as good because they lead to somewhere. The kids are constantly planning and working on going to high school, college, a good job, relationship, always with the next goal or challenge in mind, but none of them being relished or celebrated. But are they or we enjoying the journey? Probably not!
We are not machines and when we reduce ourselves to that, we become mechanical and the joy is gone from living. To increase the amount of joy in our kids / our lives focus our attention on all the wonderful things that happen in our day to day experiences. When we are appreciative of the people and the things around us we are filled with a sense of well being and joy.
Take a minute with yourself and kids each day to show gratitude. Make a short list in the morning or evening of things you are grateful for. If you have a hard time at first it is ok. As you focus on showing gratitude in your life, your joy will grow too.