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Quotes and reflections by Chris Mathe, PhD
There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~ Anais Nin
To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly. ~ Henri Bergson
Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. ~ James A. Baldwin
All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.
~ Anatole France
A person needs at intervals to separate from family and companions and go to new places. One must go without familiars in order to be open to influences, to change.
~ Katharine Butler Hathaway
You cannot step twice into the same river, for other waters are continually flowing in.
The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become. ~ Charles DuBois
We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.
~ Anais Nin
You must be the change you wish to see in the world. ~ Mohandas Gandhi
Change is a continuous process of widening our perspectives and allowing more possibilities into our lives. Yes, it’s inevitable and everything is constantly changing, but we can choose to ride this wave with wonder and abundance or with fear and grasping. The choices we make determine how much joy and pain we feel in the process.
~ Chris Mathe
By Chris Mathe, PhD
Everyone feels anxious at times. Anxiety in fact is a normal and helpful part of life. It alerts us, helps us organize ourselves, mobilize our resources and take action. For example, a person interviewing for a job who feels no anxiety may not prepare adequately or the student without any anxiety may not study enough.
Anxiety only becomes a problem when it overwhelms us – and has the opposite effect. Then it puts us in a chronic state of arousal or hyper-arousal which causes us to be disorganized, immobilized and unable to take action.
If you are struggling with anxiety, you are not alone. Anxiety disorders affect 38 million Americans. 10% of Americans every year have a panic attack out of blue. Some signs that anxiety has become overwhelming are:
- You feel anxious or tense much of the time.
- You feel anxious when no danger is present.
- The anxiety interferes with your daily life.
- You take extreme steps to avoid situations because of your anxiety.
WHAT TO DO:
- Learn as much as your can – educate yourself.
- Seek the support of trusted family member or friend.
- Keep a positive attitude, knowing anxiety is very treatable and many persons have learned to manage similar anxieties.
- Contact a mental health professional for diagnosis and treatment. Dont’ feel embarrassed about asking for help.
- If you have developed other problems secondary to the anxiety disclose them and discuss these concerns too. For example, if you’ve become depressed or have had thoughts of giving up or started to drink or abuse drugs.
- Join a support group to share tips and strategies and inspiration.
It is important that you realize that admitting you have a problem with anxiety is a sign of strength, not weakness. It is the same concept as seeking medical help for other illnesses is a sign of good judgment and following a healthy lifestyle and diet is a sign of self esteem and self respect.
It is not helpful for loved ones or doctors to say “It’s just nerves,” “Relax,” or “Have a drink and mellow out.”
Family and friends need to be supportive (and certainly never tease the person), but also not overlook or ignore the anxiety or encourage the person to avoid situations because of it.
Thoughts on Gratitude
Quotes and Reflections by Chris Mathe, PhD
Our eyes are opened to that surprise character of the world around us the moment we wake up from taking things for granted. For example, a rainbow always comes as a surprise. Gratuitousness bursts in on us, the gratuitousness for all there is. When this happens, our spontaneous response is surprise. It is also the beginning of gratefulness… Do we find it difficult to imagine that gratefulness could ever become our basic attitude toward life? In moments of surprise we catch at least as glimpse of the joy to which gratefulness opens the door. What counts on our path to fulfillment is that we remember the great truth that moments of surprise want to teach us: everything is a gift. The degree to which we are awake to this truth is the measure of our gratefulness. And gratefulness is the measure of our aliveness.
~ Brother David Steindl-Rast
Gratitude focuses our attention on the good things in life. It takes our blessings and multiplies them. When we joyfully express appreciation, it opens our hearts and allows us to experience more love.
~ Daniel T. Peralta
Gratitude is our heart-filled thankfulness in action. It is a living expression of our connectedness with everything around us. All that happens in our lives can be viewed through the eyes of abundance and deepening wisdom. Continuously acknowledging our thanks with compassionate attention and mindful action is the essence of a fulfilled life. ~ Chris Mathe, PhD
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. ~ Melody Beattie
There is a calmness to a life lived in Gratitude, a quiet joy. ~ Ralph H. Blum
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts. ~ David O. McKay
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
~ William Arthur Ward
Our indebtedness is not virtue; our repayment is. Virtue begins when we dedicate ourselves actively to the job of gratitude. ~ Ruth Benedict
Affirmations are one of the most powerful ways to help us change the way we feel at any particular moment. Unlike a general statement of “positive attitude,” an effective affirmation is a custom designed statement that specifically targets your particular negative core beliefs. Since affirmations are, by their very nature, very personal statements, you can create and change your affirmations to suit your present situation and needs.
An effective affirmation has several basic characteristics:
- It is positive
- It is true
- It is stated in the now – present tense
- It is brief and concise
- It uses active language
Here’s how to create an effective affirmation:
- Identify 2-3 negative beliefs (e.g. I’m stupid, I’m unlovable, and I’m not good enough)
- Find the words or phrases that are the opposites of the negative beliefs and are true about you (e.g. I’m smart; I’m lovable; and I’m more than good enough)
- Arrange these words and phrases into a short statement that feels right to you – a statement that “sings” to you (e.g. I am a smart and lovable man who is more than good enough).
You can create affirmations for your general life and affirmations specifically designed for a particular challenge in your life. All you have to do is start with the particular negative beliefs – the negative statements you say about yourself – with regard to the challenge you are facing. Then just do the next two steps above to create the affirmation.