What Legacy Will You Leave Behind You?

“Love is my gift to the world. I fill myself with love and I send that love out into the world. How others treat me is their path; how I react is mine.” This is a quote by Wayne Dyer and is indicative of how he lived his life. He was in Australia sharing his message, and a couple of days later he passed peacefully in his sleep.

I don’t know how many of Wayne’s talks I attended, I’ve read most of his books and listened to his audios hundreds of times and I feel as if a personal friend has died, but beyond the sadness is the the legacy Wayne left behind. The legacy Wayne Dyer left behind him is huge, he inspired me to believe in myself and my dreams. Many times I heard Wayne Dyer say, ‘Don’t Die with Your Music still in You’ and this is a message I took to heart and is one that I live by. I encourage you to do the same.

In the world today there are more negative people than positive ones. There are more people who are ruled by fear than by faith. Beyond Blue estimates that 1 million Australian experience depression and 2 million experience anxiety. We can do something about this. Not everyone is going to help others in the way that Wayne Dyer or even I do, but you can inspire people around you with your attitude, by sharing your knowledge, being supportive and kind.

I was blessed to come from a family cursed by depression. I say blessed because watching the way some members of my family lived their lives and coped with depression by hiding away, inspired me to conquer my own fears, to find ways to cope when my mood goes down. When my daughter was diagnosed with major depression and anxiety in her teens I was able to support her to find her way out of the black hole. I am so, so proud of my daughter today, she is still challenged by depression but she has chosen to live her life to the fullest. Every time she falls down she lifts herself up. When she is afraid she forges ahead. Expect to hear about her in the future because she is the one who will take over my work and add her own gifts when the time is right.

Each and every day we have a choice, we can live our lives from a place of love, or we can react and allow our fears to restrict our choices. We cannot have everything that we want in the way that we want it, but we can always attain the feeling. Remember, the feeling is the real goal.

Include as many pleasurable activities as you can into every single day. They don’t have to be major, it could be something as simple as enjoying your morning coffee (bliss!), having lunch in the sun with a good book, connecting with a friend whose company you enjoy. When you become accustomed to feeling pleasure on a regular basis it motivates you to do what makes your heart sing.

Be mindful. When you are mindful you are not thinking about what you have to do next, worrying about how to solve a problem, or thinking about a future event, you place your attention on the here and now. If you feel anxious rather than making a judgment about it, or yourself, or looking for ways to change your state, you accept that this is how you feel right now.

The purpose of mindfulness is not that you plan to be mindful every minute of the day, there is a time and place for everything. There will be times when it is necessary to do something to change your state, or look for a solution. Mindfulness is practised in short bursts.

I urge you to commit to living your life to the fullest, to follow your dream, to connect regularly with people who uplift you so that you too can be an inspiration to others and leave a legacy of love behind you.

Finding Joy in Unexpected Places

As we go about our daily lives it’s so easy to let the things that bring joy into our lives slip. If we wait for circumstances to bring us joy we may have to wait a long time, but if we establish the habit of being mindful and doing something every day that brings us pleasure it becomes so much easier to experience joy, and attain our most important goals.

It has been discovered people who suffer from depression have an inability to see things as new, fresh or exciting and this is what makes them depressed. In chronically depressed people the mind creates links between sad moods and feelings of hopelessness or inadequacy. For instance, a person experiencing depression could interpret the fact that they didn’t get a job to mean they are hopeless as a person, or a failure, that they will never get what they want.

Depression has been largely treated by drugs which puts serotonin back into the body, or by cognitive behavior therapy. Both of these work, but when a person goes off drugs they often experience a relapse. There is a third way that can change the way we feel, which has been proven to bring about long-lasting change, and that is by being mindful.

Mindfulness

Scientists have found that the brain can only create new pathways when we pay attention to what we are doing. If you go around saying affirmations by rote without really thinking about what they mean, they won’t have much impact upon your life. Say affirmations consciously, focusing on positive emotions and follow that up with action that makes you feel good and you will get an entirely different outcome. Our brain is constantly remaking itself in response to outside stimuli, our environment and our experiences.

Neuroplasticity occurs when the mind is in a state of focus and attention, this is commonly known as being mindful.

Being mindful, as well as inducing a state of calm, means we can change our emotional response to events that once upset us, and we can change beliefs which prevent us from moving forward.

Mindfulness is the practice of observing yourself. It is observing the way we think and feel without judging.

Drugs for depression work from the bottom up. Cognitive behavior therapy works from the top down. Mindfulness based cognitive therapy keeps the depression circuit from being completed.

No one is happy all of the time, but when we are mindful we notice our emotions and that allows us to take control of them rather than having our emotions run our lives. Attention training changes lives. Rather than just making a decision to be more mindful, which you’ll probably forget within a day, link being mindful to any activity that stresses or challenges you. Or set a specific time each day and put a reminder into your phone to stop and focus on what is happening in the world around you.

By training yourself to be mindful you start to recognise those things that bring you joy. When you add more things that bring you joy into your daily life you feel happier. When you feel happy you have a positive influence on the world around you.