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In this complete updating of her 1980s ...
In this complete updating of her 1980s bestseller Choose to Live Peacefully, Smith Jones shares the simple lessons she has used to help thousands of clients make remarkable transformations in their health and happiness. Each chapter offers specific recommendations such as:
* choosing colorful, rejuvenating, whole foods
* simplifying one's surroundings
* practicing surrender
* sticking with whatever works to get exercise every day
* honoring intuition
* opening oneself up to abundance
* mastering the art of self-discipline
Smith Jones serves as both astute coach and caring friend as she walks readers through 30 days of changes, to show them how to live a happier and more balanced life, day by opportunity-filled day.
Celebrate Yourself and Live Fully
The meaning of things lies not in the things themselves but in our attitude toward them.
—Antoine De Saint-Exupéry
You cannot make yourself feel something you do not feel, but you can make yourself do right in spite of your feelings.
—Pearl S. Buck
Think about this: eighty billion humans have walked this planet since the beginning of time, and never has there been anyone exactly like you. If each of the almost seven billion people living on our planet right now were to stream by you in single file, it would take two hundred years to greet each one in turn. How miraculous is that? In two hundred years you would never find two people exactly alike. You would never find two whose experiences had been the same or whose fingerprints were alike or who thought, believed, felt, or talked alike.
To that, let's add another amazing fact. Of the approximately fifty million to a hundred million sperm that traveled an immense distance, overcame tremendous obstacles, just one won the competition—probably the fiercest and most challenging of its life—and succeeded at fertilizing the one egg that lay in wait and together they joined to become you. You see, you are already a winner.
What's more, you are composed of a body, mind, and spirit, and you already have everything you need to live up to your highest potential—to become master of your life. I think that calls for a celebration.
Today, as we begin our 30 days together, I ask you to focus on this miracle, this work of divinity that is you. The world-respected spiritual teacher Paramahansa Yogananda used to tell his students, "A little gram of your flesh contains enough latent energy to keep the city of Chicago supplied with electricity for a week. And yet," he continued, "you complain of feeling tired! It is because you live too much attached to the body, rather than seeing yourselves as waves of God's infinite energy!"
If the word God does not feel comfortable to you, please replace it with something else, such as Love, Light, Inner Light, Infinite Joy, Creator, Higher Power, Loving Presence, God-Light, Love-Light, Divine Mind, Divine Power, Angels, All-Peace, Lord, the Divine, Heart-Light, Spirit, or anything else that feels best for you. I'll use different references for the word God from time to time throughout this book. The point is, we are all waves of divine and infinite energy and potential, and I encourage you to spend some time thinking about that today.
It's so easy to identify with the way our bodies look. Just last week I saw a television program about plastic surgery in which they interviewed teenagers who were unhappy with their looks. They were getting all types of plastic surgery—breast implants, having ribs removed to make their waists smaller, cheek and chin implants, liposuction, and lip injections. It was heartbreaking to see teenagers so determined to change their bodies to suit some cultural ideal and worse yet that their parents were supporting them in creating the "bodies of their dreams." It was fairly obvious that the parents didn't feel good about their own bodies and were passing that judging attitude on to their children.
Of course, we are all encouraged to improve our appearances all the time. Just look at most magazine ads or television commercials. Either by innuendo or by outright declaration, they encourage us to change who we are in some fundamental way. Here's the truth of the matter: you can spend millions of dollars changing your physical features, but that will do little good until you stop looking for love and acceptance from the outside in.
When you are not feeling good about you, you feel separated from others and God. When you see yourself as a failure, you create a self-fulfilling prophecy. You attract to yourself that which you believe you deserve. Your negative thoughts and attitudes about yourself, whether they originated within yourself or others, convince you of your inability to succeed. If you feel you don't deserve success, prosperity, happy relationships, joy, and peace, then you're settling for less than you are entitled. When you feel unworthy, you cut yourself off from the fullness of life.
Unconditional self-love and self-acceptance can disconnect this vicious cycle. Through inner work, we can develop genuine self-esteem, self-confidence, self-respect, and self-appreciation. We must go beyond our limiting beliefs and realize our importance to ourselves and to the world. Each of us is unique and has something very special to offer. Our Creator doesn't make any mistakes. Understand that you have always done your best at any given time; you don't have to be so hard on yourself. And now, you have the opportunity to choose again.
At any moment, we have a choice: to judge ourselves, or to be kind and loving. Whether we succeed or fail, enjoy our lives or struggle, depends largely on how we view ourselves. In fact, numerous studies have concluded that the key to taking control of our lives is changing the view we have of ourselves.
Loving ourselves, feeling good about ourselves, is an inside job. When you begin to see yourself as divine, chances are you'll be happy with the miraculous physical body that your Creator provided for you, and you will establish a salutary health and fitness program to keep your body temple in peak functioning order.
Today I want you to begin developing a loving relationship with yourself. Think about what it would mean to be your own best friend. Choose to take wonderful care of yourself, your body temple, and your magnificent world. Look within for guidance and the answers to your questions. If you are willing and open, you will find what you have been seeking.
So today, Day 1 of our 30-day program, begin discovering yourself and all the beauty, splendor, and wonder housed within you. You are the only person you can ever know intimately. You are the one with whom you must live eternally. Imagine living as though you are the most special person on planet earth, because you really are.
Who you truly are, deep in your heart, is so much greater than anything you'll ever achieve in life. As Anwar Sadat, former president of Egypt, said, "I have realized that my real self is a greater entity than any possible post or title." Your real self—divine self—is a deep river that connects with God and with all life. At this moment, your real self may be hidden or unexpressed, but it is always available to you, with all its profundity, joy, and wisdom. When attuned to this inner self, we are, in the words of Joseph Campbell, "following our bliss."
When you are living fully, each day brings reason to celebrate, and work and play become one. When you celebrate yourself and life, you find yourself doing what you love to do. Strength, confidence, joy, and peace are the basis of all your experiences. Of course, you will encounter some pain and challenges along the way—this is an inevitable part of being human. But when you are living fully, hardships are short-lived, and you can learn from them and grow and change. Walt Whitman describes splendidly this state of celebrating yourself and life.
A man realizes the venerable myth—he is a god walking the earth, he sees new eligibilities, powers, and beauties everywhere; he himself has a new eyesight and hearing. The play of the body in motion takes a previously unknown grace. Merely to move is then a happiness, a pleasure—to breathe, to see, is also. All the beforehand gratifications, drink, spirits, coffee, grease, stimulants, mixtures, late hours, luxuries, deeds of the night, seem as vexatious dreams, and now the awakening.
Remember this: your radiant body responds to the blessings of love, praise, and gratitude. Take time each day to bless your body temple and acknowledge your oneness with spirit. Place all your cares, worries, and problems into the Light and ask that only those things necessary for your highest good be returned for your attention.
Celebrate your magnificence.
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
Creating is easy if you view the world as if you were a child. Playing and creating are almost synonymous.
Today's Affirmation & Action Step
The holy presence of Love within me heals my mind and body. I am vitally alive, enthusiastic about my life, and living life to the hilt. Every day is a new adventure of wonder, joy, magnificence, happiness, and peace. I celebrate myself and life.
Do something special today to honor your body temple. Some examples might be to take a bubble bath; splurge on new, luxurious bedding; buy new PJs that feel good against your skin; get a massage, facial, or manicure and pedicure; or anything else that honors and loves your beautiful body temple. Today, think about how miraculous your body is.
Choose Uplifting Words, Thoughts, and Imagination
Wisdom is avoiding all thoughts that weaken you.
—Louise L. Hay
Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on the outward circumstances.
Control of the mind is essential if we are going to experience the joy of walking on air. Be firm but loving, for the mind is the reins that control the horses—the emotions and the body—and guides them along the road of life. Train the mind always to see the best in others and in everything. When the road of life is steep, keep your mind even.
Whatever you give your love, time, and attention to will return to you. From within the silence of your being emanates the ability to think, create, and become whatever you want to become. Think only about those things you want to invite into your life. The following quote comes from one of my favorite spiritual books The Quiet Mind: Sayings of White Eagle.
In your search for truth, you must continually project thoughts of goodwill and love. Always see good, even if the good appears infinitesimal in comparison with other things. Let your thoughts of love and goodwill be broadcast.
Our lives reflect our thoughts, dreams, expectations, beliefs, hopes, feelings of self-worth, and desires. Knowing this, you can consciously modify your inner state to create a life that reflects your highest potential and vision. We are not victims of circumstance; we are the architects of our lives. We create our own heaven or hell. Complications, conditions, or people should not upset you; rather, the way you think about them will cause your upset.
When we take charge of ourselves, our thoughts, our emotions, our words, and our actions, all things respond. Through the activity of dwelling in heart-light, we have the power to retrain our minds. No matter how long or how often we have misused our minds, we can still mold our thoughts and use them in ways that are positive and uplifting from here on out.
You say you're justified in certain mental patterns because of what's happened in your life? You must break the cycle if you are to create a positive, peaceful, and happy future. As you think, you feel; and as you feel, you radiate; and as you radiate, you attract back the essence of what you express and project. Believe me, it took a few years and loads of discipline to retrain my mind. Until that time, I kept repeating negative patterns in my life. Now I strive to focus my thoughts on what I want for myself and for my world. In so doing, I feel empowered and uplifted. I radiate positive energy, which gives me the magnetic power to attract that which I consider to be salutary. Never underestimate the power of your mind as master controller. Jesus said, "As you think, so shall you be" (Proverbs 23:7). There's no denying that the quality of your thoughts determines the quality of your life.
Albert Einstein wrote, "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution." He also opined: "Your imagination is a preview of your life's coming attractions." I love that thought! And Émile Coué observed, "When the imagination and the will are in conflict, the imagination invariably gains the day." So, no matter how much we may will something, if we consistently harbor mental pictures that undermine that desire, we won't receive what we will. Coué built a whole therapeutic practice based on the simple affirmation: "Day by day, in every way, I'm getting better and better."
At least once a day, I incorporate conscientious creative visualization into my schedule. Creative visualization is a tool for using your imagination more consciously. You must practice it with thanksgiving and acceptance. If you want greater health, see yourself in your mind's eye as radiantly healthy and energetic. Make these images vivid and real. If you want more peace, visualize yourself as a peaceful person. The same goes for prosperity, creativity, happiness, relationships, or anything else you might want. Imagine your ideal vision and feel the joy and gratitude you would have were the vision your reality. Creative visualization should allow no limits on your thinking and feeling. Stay open to your possibilities.
Use affirmations in conjunction with creative visualization. Be sure to keep your words sweet in case you have to eat them, as the folk wisdom admonishes. Words have power. Speak only words that are loving, true, kind, and helpful. Always speak from your highest self and let your words express the truth of your being. As Jesus said, it is "not what enters his mouth that defiles a man, but what comes out of his mouth" (Matt. 15:11).
Affirmations are an opportunity to speak the truth about who you are and what you want to create. Soon, you'll be doing more than just saying the right words, thinking the right thoughts, and visualizing your goals and dreams. Soon, you will have adopted a whole new way of being, one that aligns what you think with what you feel, and what you say with what you do.
My books The Joy Factor and Healthy, Happy & Radiant ... at Any Age, my audiobook Wired to Meditate, and my audio program Celebrate Life! are all good resources for visualizations and affirmations. These days, most of my visualizations and affirmations have to do with being in perfect harmony with the loving light I see within. I want to be an open vessel through which God's will can manifest in my life. My human mind is not usually aware of what this will for me is, but my Divine Mind knows. Every day, through prayer and meditation, I consciously surrender strength to the radiant power and light within me, holding nothing back; I ask for awareness, strength, and courage to act on the guidance I receive. In adopting this way of living, I have seen more change and had far greater fulfillment in my life than I ever imagined possible. I realize that Spirit can do for me only what it can do through me.
In addition to doing your creative visualization and affirmations, allow yourself time to find out what God's will is for you. Be open. Let peace be your compass on the path to fulfillment and walking on air. Use each Affirmation & Action Step with focus, concentration, and feeling.
Choose uplifting words, thoughts, and imagination today.
Excerpted from walking on air by SUSAN SMITH JONES. Copyright © 2011 Susan Smith Jones. Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Foreword by Alexandra Stoddard
Day 1 Celebrate Yourself and Live Fully
Day 2 Choose Uplifting Words, Thoughts, and Imagination
Day 3 Cultivate a Healthy, Cleansed, and Detoxified Body
Day 4 Celebrate Change and Patience
Day 5 Choose a Colorful, Rejuvenating Diet and Lifestyle
Day 6 Cultivate Enduring Enthusiasm and Confidence
Day 7 Celebrate Your Home Sanctuary
Day 8 Choose to Be CEO of Your Body and Life
Day 9 Cultivate the Art of Perseverance and Determination
Day 10 Celebrate Nature's Wonderland of Healing Herbs and Spices
Day 11 Choose to Organize and Simplify Your Surroundings
Day 12 Cultivate a Tender Heart and Loving Kindness
Day 13 Celebrate the Power of the Present
Day 14 Choose to Be Self-Disciplined
Day 15 Cultivate the Joy of Ritual and Ceremony
Day 16 Celebrate the Miracle of Your Body with Exercise
Day 17 Choose to Use Age-Defying Natural Remedies
Day 18 Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude and Humility
Day 19 Celebrate a Serene and Balanced Existence
Day 20 Choose to Be Prosperous and to Attract Abundance
Day 21 Cultivate a Daily Routine of Living Faithfully
Day 22 Celebrate Your Inherent Intuition
Day 23 Choose to Lighten Up and Be Childlike
Day 24 Cultivate the Delight of Self-Reliance and Detachment
Day 25 Celebrate Your Relationships
Day 26 Choose to Forgive
Day 27 Cultivate Courage in Everything
Day 28 Celebrate Salubrious Silence and Solitude
Day 29 Choose to Meditate and Live Peacefully
Day 30 Cultivate Your Very Best Life