Building a Wholehearted Community

The project has begun. I am embarking on Building a Wholehearted Community. In her book Love 2.0: Finding Happiness and Health in Moments of Connection, Dr Barbara Fredericton talks about the  “broaden and build” principle that happens as people connect in positive ways with one another and experience positive emotions, like live, hope joy, generosity and many others. I believe that when people are happier and more positive everyone in the community benefits. My project aims to broaden and build this hope within our community using the principles and skills of positivity. I believe we live in a culture that is marinated in “negativity”. The culture’s negative message surrounds us in the advertisements which tell us we are not beautiful enough, smart enough, loving enough and good enough.  Daily the news and other media highlight the things which are bad, gruesome, wrong and hurtful, even sensationalizing it. And unless we recognize how these messages are influencing our thinking, the confusion, distraction and frustrating “dis-stress” they bring will continue to slowly erode our courage, compassion and connection to one another. My passion is to help people in my community see how they might more fully realize a “wholehearted life” by learning to use the skills of “shame residence”, “positivity” and “happiness” to overcome the culture’s negative influence. The Apostle Paul said,”Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things.” My project seeks to spread the benefits of “thinking on these things”. We will show others the benefits of using very easy, very simple, small, daily or regular positive skills.  We will communicate how these skills can make a positive impact on one person, one family and whole communities.  If I tell one person or two people, and they each tell someone, we can spread this message. We can help others gain the practices they can use to bless their own lives as well as the lives of others. I will be sharing more about this project right here at Upwithpositivity.com.

Blessings, Peace, Joy, Hope and Laughter,

Enjoying the Learning, Jolly John

A Sunny Day

Tree2How does a sunny spring day make you feel?  Even when it is cold but sunny, it seems to add a brightness to my mood. Sunny days seem to hold out so many more possibilities. Could it be that the darkness of gray overcast days really keep us from seeing the great details that add a vibrancy and excitement to life in our world. Our eyes just seem to soak in the light and our bodies bask in the vitamins that enrich our whole being.

However, changing a bad mood into a good mood is not as easy as walking out into the sunshine and breathing in the cool fresh air of spring.  The process is a little more complex than that.  The sunshine may produce a chemical reaction when out skin or eyes sense its presence, which then may tell the brain to release other chemicals into our blood stream. And yes, this is where it becomes more complex because if there are no receptors within the body to “feel” those chemicals the process stops and our mood remains unchanged. Or the change is so small it’s not recognized. Or the change does not happen because there are too few receptors and now the body must produce more receptors, so the “feeling can be felt” and registered as change..  If I’ve lost you by this point in this convoluted process do not become stressed because even though I may not be clear about the way it works, just know that it does.  Yet, also know that the process of changing a mood is not that simple and it takes time. In our instant everything world, however, finding the patience to allow the process time to happen just derails the process even more, so relax.  Get some sunshine and enjoy the feeling, anyway!.

Blessings, Peace, Joy, Hope and Laughter,

Enjoying the Sunshine, Jolly John

The Power of Thoughts

A concept I came across while reading THE MAGIC OF THINKING BIG by David J. Schwartz, Ph.D. is “thinking regulates action.”  In order words, what I think about the most is where my actions spring from. Copy of FullSizeRenderIf my thoughts are negative and filled with stress, than my mood and actions will also be more negative and depressive. One the other hand, if I find the positive realities in my environment and consider those things which are blessings or positives in my life, my actions will be more upbeat and positive. I’m not a research scientist, but I do understand that certain chemicals affect our thinking. One alcoholic drink or two can lead to changes in behavior brought about by the chemicals influence on the brains function. This is why we have laws concerning these chemicals. Our bodies and brains in particular use chemicals in many parts of its everyday functioning. Some are depressive and suppressive substances while others are positive and uplifting. So there are chemicals which can encourage positive moods and work with your thinking and there are chemicals which will fight with our thinking and work against a positive mood. What one dwells on in their thoughts either assists the body in producing the natural feel good substances or the negative feel bad chemicals. Open your thoughts to see the blessings in life and meditate of them. Try it for a week or two and see the difference it can make in your life.

Blessings, Peace, Joy, Hope & Laughter,

“Jolly” John

The Challenges of Life

Do you have time to just be? I know this sounds a little odd, but we are so caught up in doing that we hardly have time to just think. We have been taught that taking a few minutes everyday to step off the merry-go-round of life to find some perspective and ask ourselves where we are going, is a waste of time.  It is not a waste of time. Trying to stop everything, even thinking and just breathe helps us to get centered.  It helps us tune into the blessing of who we are. Allowing ourselves time to consider who we are, can be of great assistance when we would also like to help others. Taking time to be is also called mindfulness. Mindfulness practice, as it is called, is a way to go “out for recess” while still on the merry-go-round. Just plain standing on a merry-go-round takes practice but the more we do it the better we become.