“Sow a thought, and you reap an act; Sow an act, and you reap a habit; Sow a habit, and you reap a character; Sow a character, and you reap a destiny”

Charles Reade

Monday, February 28, 2011

I have resisted writing most of my life. I have been a sporadic journal keeper, but there has always been this nagging especially when I hear talks, lessons or read articles about keeping journals and the benefits of it. I have always known that my church teaches how important it is but I also read about it in self help books and the like.

So, yesterday morning I woke up to what I hope to make the beginning of my new life. I must write about it and continue to write everyday as part of my new life.

After a bad couple of months of fighting and verbalizing my negative thoughts I could feel myself getting out of control again like I did when I was overwhelmed running the ice cream parlor. I love my churches general conferences and I have heard enough talks from church leaders and Relief Society lessons about controlling negative thoughts that I knew I was allowing negative thoughts to control me and make me and my family miserable, again. Miserable because I couldn’t decide what to do with myself, what is my mission in life. I’m 53 years old and I’m still exploring and don’t know where to put my energy.

I have always felt that if I wanted to help myself, I could do it while helping other people, but I have no degree, no money for a college education, who will listen to anything I have to say? I have no credentials.
I decided I needed to go to the library and find books on coaching, a relatively new profession, that looks like what I always saw myself doing with my life, only it didn‘t exist when I was younger. I have a gift for and enjoy speaking, teaching, performing, being in front of people. I had read most of what the church has available and books by some well known LDS authors on adversity, faith, dealing with stress, effective communication, goal setting, etc. Knowing that members of our church are not the only ones given inspiration when we’ve worked for it, I figured I could do some training through good books at the library and maybe some resources on the internet.

I spent some time in the library and read a little in many books to see which ones I wanted to take home. I came home with a nice little pile and began to read a little from several of the books to get to the one that I couldn’t put down. I started reading “Feel The Fear and Do it Anyway” by Susan Jeffers, PhD.(she has credentials) and I began to feel the fruits of the spirit opening my vision to my possibilities, my focus. I woke up the next morning at 4am(happens most every morning between 3-4), so I picked up the book and started reading. I had been in a terrible emotional state the day before and as usual I took it out on my some times frustrating yet amazing husband, Phil. But because I took action, which is faith, to go and get these books to help me get control of my negative thoughts, I was richly blessed with an outpouring of the spirit. I know the fruits of the spirit, I have experienced them at other times; when I have sung for a funeral, taught a lesson to a group of youth or children, when I listened to a friend or when I let go of a negative thought and did something positive even though I wanted to wallow in my anger or self pity. About 5am I woke Phil up and acted on the fruits of the spirit that I was feeling. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Galatians 5:22–23).

I wanted him to know I was feeling love for him at that moment and that I wanted to enjoy those fruits of the spirit that I was feeling right then, always in my life and I believed that I could now make a way to have that happen.
All day yesterday and so far today I have basked in those feelings of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. They have been my constant companion as I took myself away from situations during the day that usually bring on my negative thinking and have kept the book close to read and fill my thoughts with positive ideas.

Here it is. There are alcoholics and drug abusers, there are people addicted to food or pornography and other addictive behaviors and they all have support groups organized with a twelve step program to help them deal with their addiction. I am addicted to negative thought processes. I have had attempts at overcoming my habits my sporadically reading self help books that brought me temporary success. But as I get weeks and months from the information I forget and because I have no plan I fall back into the same patterns. I have to have this stuff in my face every day and on my mind constantly so that I don’t forget.

Proverbs 6: 21"Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.
22When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee."

Deuteronomy 6: 7"And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
8And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes."

What most people need is a support group, what I need is to develop and run a support group.

When I told Phil yesterday morning and asked him what I should call my group he said NMA(pronounced enema) Anonymous, For Negative Mental Attitudes Anonymous. We had a great laugh together and it added to my euphoria. Laughing and humor will play a crucial role in my group so maybe the name is more appropriate than I think.

So I thought I was done writing for the day. I stopped to get some lunch and shared my idea, and his dad’s idea, with my 22 year old son who came in from the local college to shower. He had a couple of ideas of his own.

NNAG- Negating Negative Attitudes Group
GRUMP- Group for the Reform of Unpleasant Mental Processes