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Mary Rogers:

God answers..

Originally posted on Soul Healing Art:

I Asked God

I asked God for strength-
I was given trials
So that I may realize
The strength that lay within me.

I asked God for forgiveness-
I was given wounds
So that I may realize
The forgiveness that lay within me.

I asked God for hope-
I was given challenges
So that I may realize
The hope that lay within me.

I asked God for passion-
I was given failures
So that I may realize
The passion that lay within me.

I asked God for union-
I was given isolation
So that I may realize
The union that lay within me.

I asked God for peace-
I was given suffering
So that I may realize
The peace that lay within me.

All these and more
I asked for
And God provided
That I may know-

The strength, passion,
peace, hope, and love
within me.

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Kindness

Kindness (Photo credit: -Reji)

From the Kindness Blog

 

Kindness Changes Everything…


“Look into your own heart, discover what it is that gives you pain and then refuse, under any circumstance whatsoever, to inflict that pain on anybody else.” ~ Karen Armstrong

“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce.

Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce.

Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

“I truly believe the seeds of greatness can be found in every human heart…we just have to support and help each other to grow into the very best we can be, and teach love…” ~ Harula of http://wordsthatserve.wordpress.com/

“Kindness. Easy to to. Easy not to do. Choose the latter, no one will notice. Choose the former and lives may change!” ~ Julian Bowers Brown ‏

“I respect kindness in human beings first of all, and kindness to animals. I don’t respect the law; I have a total irreverence for anything connected with society except that which makes the roads safer, the beer stronger, the food cheaper and the old men and old women warmer in the winter and happier in the summer.” ~ Brendan Behan

“It’s much easier to be cruel than one might think.” ~ Jonathan Safran Foer

“Love and kindness is the only way to be really human.” ~ Ralph—> http://bluefishway.com/

“You should give to others in every way you see… expect absolutely nothing from anyone. It should be your goal to love every human you encounter. All human suffering that you’re aware of and continues without your effort to stop it becomes your crime.” ~ Louis CK.

“…treat people with understanding when you can, and fake it when you can’t until you do understand.” ~ Kim Harrison

“progress isn’t whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much its whether we provide enough for those who have to little” ~ F.Roosevelt

“We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.” ~ D.Bonhoeffer

“People shouldn’t have to earn kindness. They should have to earn cruelty.” ~ Maggie Stiefvater

A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.”I’ve been thinking,” he said, “I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone.” “The Wise Woman’s Stone” ~ Author Unknown

“All the big words –virtue, justice, truth, …– are dwarfed by the greatness of kindness” ~ Stephen Fry

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” ~ Fred Rogers

“Kindness” covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.” ~ Roger Ebert

“Being kind doesn’t mean being gullible.” ~ Aniket Jawale

“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again”. ~ Og Mandino

As the bus slowed down at the crowded bus stop, the Pakistani bus conductor leaned from the platform and called out, “Six only!” The bus stopped. He counted on six passengers, rang the bell, and then, as the bus moved off, called to those left behind: “So sorry, plenty of room in my heart – but the bus is full.” He left behind a row of smiling faces. It’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it. ~ The Friendship Book of Francis Gay, 1977

“Kind hearts are the gardens,

Kind thoughts are the roots,

Kind words are the blossoms,

Kind deeds are the fruits”

~ 19th century rhyme used in primary schools

“A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives roses”. ~ Chinese Proverb

“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit”. ~ Nelson Henderson

A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble. ~ Charles H. Spurgeon

Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day. ~ Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you – not because they are nice, but because you are. ~ Author Unknown

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. ~ Dalai Lama

During my second year of nursing school our professor gave us a quiz. I breezed through the questions until I read the last one: “What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?” Surely this was a joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Before the class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our grade. “Absolutely,” the professor said. “In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello.” I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy. ~ Joann C. Jones

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these. ~ George Washington Carver

Real generosity is doing something nice for someone who will never find out. ~ Frank A. Clark

One can pay back the loan of gold, but one dies forever in debt to those who are kind. ~ Malayan Proverb

Being considerate of others will take your children further in life than any college degree. ~ Marian Wright Edel

Visit The Kindness Blog

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10 Steps to Self-Care

Originally posted on Reflections on Life Thus Far:

Picture comes from the facebook page “Lessons Learned In Life”.

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Johnathan Harris Fine Art Blog: March 2011

jhfineartblog.blogspot.com

… landscape painting of saguaro cactus and wildflowers in the evening hours before dusk. South of Phoenix, north of Tucson, Arizona. Hope you like it.

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Originally posted on Veraiconica's Blog:

Drop

Peace cannot be kept by force;
it can only be achieved by understanding.

Photography Credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/34202025@N08/9690045747/

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I get a newsletter from The Happiness Club. They have support groups all over the U.S and in other countries to help them learn ways of changing their thoughts and behavior. I found a good story here from one of the clubs about changing your perceptions of frustrating situations. She describes a small change in perception that can add up to big results if we practice it:

Shared Thoughts To Keep Us All On The Happy Track.

Sharing an e-mail received from Elisa, an individual that attended a Happiness Club meeting in Fairfield.

Thursday, January 23rd’s meeting presentation: “Creating a Brilliant 2014 for ourselves,” was terrific. It was exactly what I needed to hear.

I believe Lionel made it clear that night that we are responsible for our own happiness and that truly the thoughts we think (although they seem so automatic, natural and 100% “correct”) are under our control and can lead to happiness….or not. We just have to overcome our conditioning and habitual way of responding!

Here is one result: this morning getting onto the Merritt Parkway, I had a tailgater on me. So I naturally slowed to a crawl (lol). But then I started thinking that this woman didn’t get up with the intention of ruining my day (as we discussed last night)….I started thinking of other reasons why she was tailing me …things like maybe her son got hurt and she was rushing to the hospital, maybe she got up late and was going to miss her train.

Suddenly, my thoughts changed from grumbling to trying to figure out how I could help her! How could I help her get to her son? How could I help her catch her train? I got out of her way in a loving manner and with godspeed.

The lesson here: all these reasons I ascribed to her for her behavior were just thoughts in my head. The grumbling thoughts made me feel angry and seek revenge (Yes, I know this is hysterical). The compassionate thoughts made me want to help her. So this day, which thoughts will I choose?

I don’t think my change in perspective as described in the tail gating incident would have occurred if I wasn’t in the meeting last night. So again – thank you. Elisa

This newsletter is packed with inspiration so I would encourage you to read the whole thing. You can subscribe to it here

In addition to positive articles on their website, they also have a media section that is worth checking out.

I have a confession to make. I usually don’t find time to read inspirational stuff. Then I wonder why I feel so bad and negative. Duh! I am making a resolution to read at least one inspiring thing a day! I hope you will join me!  Happy Thoughts! ;)

Joel Osteen You may think there is a lot wrong...

Joel Osteen You may think there is a lot wrong with you, but there is also a lot right with you (Photo credit: symphony of love)

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Pastor Rick Warren at Saddleback Church.

Pastor Rick Warren at Saddleback Church. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am very pleased that Pastor Rick Warren is helping to take the lead in getting rid of the mental health stigma within the Christian culture.  Warren, who is the best selling author of The Purpose Driven Life, lost his son to suicide. He is now opening up a dialog within the Christian community about mental illness. Warren, founder of Saddleback Church will team with  the Roman Catholic Diocese of  Orange and the National Alliance on Mental Illness to host a daylong event  next month focused on helping church leaders reach parishioners who are  struggling with mental illness.

Many pastors and church counselors have zero training in mental health issues and can do a lot of damage to the faithful. My own experiences within the church has not been helpful. When I was sixteen I was told by a church counselor that I just wanted attention when I told her that I felt suicidal. Fortunately my parents were smart enough to get me to a real therapist.

The other mantra that churches often use is that taking medications means you do not have enough faith in God and that you are an “addict.” There are actually very few psychiatric medications that are addictive. Addiction is defined as taking more than prescribed due to tolerance to the medication’s effects. Sleeping pills and tranquilizers have abuse potential, but medications for depression, mania and psychosis do not. So there is no such thing as a antidepressant addiction and it is not designed to make people “high.” When people tell you that you are addicted to antidepressants ask them what the street value of Cymbalta is? The answer: Zero.

There are plenty of well-meaning Christians who give disastrous advice. One of the most hurtful things is when they say that depression is a sin. One of the hallmarks of depression is guilt. So all they are doing is piling on more guilt and depression on that person!

And the big one: Suicide. I believe with all my heart that we need to have compassion towards those who have attempted or succeeded at suicide. It isn’t up to us to judge someone’s heart. Most of them do not intend to hurt others and in fact often believe that they are a burden and that everyone else would be better off without them. I cannot even begin to explain to others the thoughts that have gone on in my mind when I attempted suicide. A minor argument that I could have easily resolved by my apologizing became a reason to punish myself.  I can emphatically say that I was out of my mind at the time, because I would not have done that in my normal frame of mind. And there was also nothing else going on in my life to trigger my depression.

While I am sad about the tragedy of Rick Warren’s son’s death, I hope that this will help shed light on traditional Christian attitudes towards mental illness and inspire pastors and counselors to learn more about how to help those who suffer from devastating mental illnesses.

To find out more about what Rick Warren is doing read here.

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mental health awareness ribbon and badge

mental health awareness ribbon and badge (Photo credit: TraumaAndDissociation)

I am so happy to live in California (despite the drought!) because it is one state that is at the forefront of mental health care, thanks to a little thing called The Mental Health Services Act. I am proud to say that many people throughout the state (including me) went out and got signatures to get this important piece of legislation on the ballot.

What this Act does it put a measly 1% tax on those who make over a million dollars a year. Small change for them, big change for our mental health system. I am happy that the rest of the state agreed!

Since that time professional and self-help consumer-run programs have been sprouting up all over the state. I was privileged to work for one program at Mental Health America. Although they already had programs, they were able to expand their services and break their dependence on the unreliable general fund of the state. Also the Department of Mental Health now has their own mental health social center in my area and I have greatly benefited from it. They provide both professional services like therapy and consumer-run support services. They also have a psychiatrist there as well.

To a certain extent my positive experiences might be considered subjective but a study done last year proves that these programs actually work to help maintain stability and independence among the mental health challenged. Here is an article the study’s results:

California’s new mental health system helps people live independently

A new analysis by Oregon State University researchers of California’s mental health system finds that comprehensive, community-based mental health programs are helping people with serious mental illness transition to independent living. Published in the October issue of the American Journal of Public Health, this study has important implications for the way that states finance and deliver mental health programs, and speaks to the effectiveness of well-funded, comprehensive community programs.

In November of 2004, California voters passed the Mental Health Services Act, which allocated more than $3 billion for comprehensive community mental health programs, known as Full Service Partnerships (FSP). While community-based, these programs are different from usual mental health services programs in most states because they provides a more intensive level of care and a broader range of mental health services and supports, such as medication management, crisis intervention, case management and peer support.

It also provides services such as food, housing, respite care and treatment for co-occurring disorders, such as substance abuse.

“We found that these programs promoted independent living in the community among people who had serious mental illness but had not been served or underserved previously,” said Jangho Yoon, an assistant professor of health policy and health economist in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences and lead author of the study. “Overall, it reduced their chance of living on the street or being incarcerated in jails and prisons.”

The researchers looked at data from 43 of California’s 53 counties, resulting in a sample of 9,208 adults over the course of four years. They found that participants who stayed enrolled in the program continuously, without interruption, were 13.5 percent more likely to successfully transition to independent living.

The only down-side to this is apparently the hispanic community is not benefiting much from these programs. I know that from both the mental health center I worked at and also the one that I go to now, it is very difficult to get Hispanics to come in.  Perhaps mental health issues carry more of a stigma in their culture. Sadly these people are more likely to end up in jail or homeless.

The study also mentioned that people with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia may receive less benefit from these programs. But wait! Don’t use that as a reason not to try these programs because I have known many people with both disorders who have recovered, moved on with their lives and even have jobs. My personal opinion is the more sick you are, the more you need support, including programs like these. I personally can attest to that since I have bipolar disorder myself and I seriously doubt that I would be alive today without the help that I have received. So don’t give up!

Read the full article here

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I have found a nice mental health recovery-oriented website that sells inspirational posters. Here are a few samples I want to share with you. Enjoy! ;)

See more at www.recoverresources.com

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