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HW 004: Reigning In Helplessness

HW 004: Reigning In Helplessness

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”  — Archbishop Desmond Tutu

 

Today, we meet “learned helplessness” and its antidote, kindness.  We will discover that kindness not only overwhelms and changes the world, but it changes us.  That would seem obvious, right?  But when we are in tough times, thinking outside of the box is not always available to our hurting souls.  So listen in!

If you want to learn more about any of the subject matter mentioned in the podcast, check out the resources below.

 

Learned Helplessness, Peterson, Maier & Seligman

Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life, Martin Seligman

Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment, Martin Seligman

The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want, by Sonja Lyubomirsky

 

Random Acts of Kindness ideas–visit kindness.org!

 

The World Needs More Love Letters — a community of people who write love letters to strangers.  Started by Hannah Brencher when she was dealing with her own pain, she began dropping off love letters in bookstores, coffee shops and anywhere someone might pick them up and find them.  She found that these acts helped HER as much, if not more than the person receiving them.  You can also view her wonderful TED talk here.

 

And for cheer and daily encouragement, check out The Hooray Daily, bite-sized cheer for you and your community. Life is great! Celebrate!

 

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The books are linked to Amazon’s bookstore.  Full Disclosure Alert!  When you purchase books using Hooray Weekly’s link, a tiny pittance of the price comes back to support the podcast.  So thank you very much for any and all your support!

HW 003:  Finding Stillness

“Be still; stillness reveals the secrets of eternity.” –Lao Tzu

 

Welcome to the 3rd episode of Hooray Weekly!  So glad that you are here!

 

Today, I discuss the importance of stillness in our busy, frenetic and fear-filled world.  If you want to find your Hooray in tough times, it is a necessary component for your days.  Listen in to the podcast for some love, encouragement and a couple of meditation/stillness techniques.  Here are two of the practices I mention in this week’s episode.

2 Easy-Breezy Practices for Stillness

  1.  Passage or Verse Meditation–The mind is a funny thing. It doesn’t like to be quiet and shushed.  So why fight it?  This type of meditation is easy.  Get comfortable in a chair or on the floor with your back erect, shoulders down  and away from your ears, eyes closed, arms relaxed with hands in your lap and take some loving belly breaths.  (I go into detail on the podcast for both these meditation practices, so I’m keeping the words simple and short here, okay?)  Next, think of a piece of Scripture or line of a poem or affirmation.  Spend the next 5 to 30 minutes letting the words of whatever you have chosen to come to you again and again in your mind without effort.  I use the line from Psalms: “Be still, and know that I am God.”  I actually repeat the phrase in my mind 5-10 times, then shorten the phrase to “Be still, and know that I AM…”  Again, I repeat comfortable with plenty of silence between the repetitions.  Then I shorten the phrase again, “Be still and know…”  You get the picture.  Next, “Be still…” (5-10 times with more silence).  Finally, I end with “Be…be…be…”  My mind is soft and gentle since these are words that I know by heart.  There is no forcing to focus my mind or to rid it of unwanted monkey mind.  The unwanted stuff will be there, but with less vehemence.  After moving through the passage, I take some deep breaths, smile inwardly, and come out of the stillness slowly.
  2.  Chanting the Name of God (or your dog for that matter)–This practice is similar to the one above, except that one focuses on the Name of God or a blessing.  Some examples include, Om Shanti Shanti, Heavenly Father (or Mother), Peace, Holy Spirit, Allah, Lord Jesus, Krishna, Illumined One, Great Spirit or Light.  The words are endless.  Just make sure that it is comfortable for you.

And for meditation inspiration, these are the four books I turn to regularly:

Easwaran, Eknath, God Makes the Rivers to Flow: Selections from the Sacred Literature of the World (2009).

Ladinsky, Daniel, Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West (2002).

Mitchell, Stephen (translation), Tao Te Ching (1988).

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov (adapted by Moshe Mykoff & S. C. Mizrahi with the Breslov Research Institute), The Gentle Weapon: Prayers for Everyday and Not-So-Everyday Moments (2002).

 

The books are linked to Amazon’s bookstore.  Full Disclosure Alert!  When you purchase books using Hooray Weekly’s link, a tiny pittance of the price comes back to support the podcast.  So thank you very much for any and all your support!

 

 

 

 

 

HW 002: Keep Your Head Down

HW 002: Keep Your Head Down

Welcome to Week 2 of the Hooray Weekly Podcast!

 

Today, I dive into Hooray Weekly for real.  Exciting!  In this first episode of the “Hooray in Tough Times” series, I offer a few crumbs along your spiritual and emotional path toward freedom, hope and love.  I hope that you find nourishment and encouragement in my words.  We’re on this journey together, so let’s go!

 

The podcast link is below.  (As of today, the podcast has been submitted to iTunes, Stitcher and SoundCloud so that you’ll be able to subscribe to the podcast from your favorite podcast directory.  The blog itself will be the place to come to for show notes, which will include a summary of the episode and announcements, as well as links to any resources I mention.  The weekly podcast will always be available here on Hooray Living’s blog.)

 

Remember, “smile and the world smiles with you.”

 

I love you!  Here we gooooooo!

 

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HW 002: Keep Your Head Down

“I can’t go on, I’ll go on…”  –Samuel Beckett

 

How in the world do you manage through tough times of crisis, despair, anxiety and loss?  In this episode, I encourage you to keep your head down.  Keeping your head down is a way through when worlds seem to be crashing in upon you.  It’s one-foot-in-front-of-the-other work and involves doing what is right in front of you and involves praying in whatever form that is for you.

 

This “keep your head down” strategy is the first of many ways to keep yourself moving through tough times.  Next week, I’ll talk about finding stillness in the midst of the storm.

 

If you’d like to learn more about the teacher/professor/womanist ethicist & theologian, Reverend Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon, I mention in the episode, click to find her books here.  Katie Geneva Cannon, PhD, is the Annie Scales Rogers Professor of Christian Ethics, Union Theological Seminary-PSCE in Richmond, VA. The first African American woman ordained in the United Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Cannon focuses her work in the areas of Christian ethics, Womanist theology, and women in religion and society. She has lectured nationally on theological and ethical topics and is the author or editor of numerous articles and seven books including Katie’s Canon: Womanism and the Soul of the Black Community and Black Womanists.

 

Turbo “Today” for 2017

“The same wind blows on us all. The difference is the set of the sail.”–Jim Rohn

 

You’ve seen hundreds of articles in your Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter news feeds about all that you need to do to kick-start your 2017. You’ve read all the grab-you-by-the-shoulders headlines: “Why New Years Goals Don’t Work,” “21 Ways to Make Your Life Infinitely Better in 2017,” “5 Tips to Make You a Better Investor in 2017,” “3 Simple Steps to Building Consistency,” “Your Successful 2017 in 7 Easy Moves,” “Habits to Help You in the New Year”…Ugh, the list is endless! And what’s worse, we actually read this stuff and think, “Well that person must know something I don’t…” Then you read the articles and realize on second thought, “They don’t know anything more than I do!  It’s just more (can I say this to you?…)…CRAP!”

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Smile

Smile

“Smile, and the world smiles with you.”

–Lee Ann Hopkins

 

Spring has arrived!  We are outside, rubbing elbows with more folks, and hopefully, feeling a lift in our spirits as we notice the crocuses, the forsythia and the robins return.  Whether you are feeling that springtime lightness or not, I recommend listening to the track I produced a few years ago on my CD, “Can-Do Booster Shots: The Painless Pick-Me-Ups” and share it with anyone who needs a 7-minute boost to their day.

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