MVP Seminars Blogs

In last week's show, we spoke about why some people choose not to forgive and why it's essential to do so. There are many reasons and two of the biggest are: they feel the person is not deserving of being forgiven; 2. they feel that should they grant pardon, the other party will think the incident was not serious, will not have to be held accountable, or may very well repeat  the offense. Although none of these is true, they are considered by many to be valid reasons. However, as I stated previously, to withhold absolution can have dire consequences for the one who was harmed. "Not  forgiving is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die." (unknown) The act of exoneration has multiple benefits including freeing one from anger, animosity, bitterness, hatred or thoughts of revenge. It restores inner peace and joy. It reduces the risk of physical and emotional maladies or from interfering with having other healthy relationships. It also keeps the door open for a possible reconciliation of both parties at some point in the future. Forgiveness is not for the other person; it is a gift you give yourself, the gift of serenity. Assuming you have made the decision to let go of the incident, how do  you proceed? Forgiveness, for many, is not immediate. It is a process of healing emotionally and spiritually and can take some time. Keep in mind: one need not forgive and forget. To forget what has transpired, such as an assault, puts one at risk for the incident to reoccur. Forgive but remember without negative emotions. Keep in mind, too, that while some believe the old adage that time heals all wounds, in truth time heals nothing. It is the act of pardoning that heals. Here are some steps you can take to let go of the anger and move beyond the incident.
  1. Keep in mind that all of us are human and mistakes, selfish acts, fear, betrayals, disappointments and such are all a normal part of the human experience. One cannot journey through life without ever offending or disappointing others. To forgive means to refrain from judgment and to make allowances for man's imperfections.
  2. Change your perception of the person or incident. Life isn't about truth and reality; it is about perception - how we choose to see others or the world. Perception is simply a thought. We choose a thought, either one that is kind or judgmental. So ask yourself, "Am I being fair in my assessment of this person or incident? Was there a misunderstanding? Am I over reacting to what happened?" Your thoughts create your feelings (refer to T~E~~C~O Magic*). Therefore, all one really needs to do to change how they feel is to change what they are thinking. See the offender through the eyes of kindness, understanding, and fairness.
"Do not judge me until  you have walked a mile in my shoes." - Native American philosophy
  1. Realize that every experience that enters your life is a critical part of your life's journey. Each person and situation provides the opportunity for you to fulfill your Divine Destiny and to bring you into closer communion with God. Rather than find fault with or complain about what happened, find its value. Be grateful for the opportunity to further your spiritual development. Gratitude thwarts anger and bitterness.
  2. Pray. Prayer is a powerful form of communication with the Divine. It's like holding on to the hand of a fire fighter as he guides you out of a burning building to safety. Conversation with God provides us with guidance, comfort, and the strength to do God's Will rather than succumbing to our anger or desires, for our need for justice. Our first responsibility is always to abide by the Father's directives, not to surrender to our ego. "Align with the Divine" is a simple but powerful mantra to remind us that we must always respond to life from a spiritual perspective, in a way reflective of God's Love.
Also, it's important to pray for the one who committed the offense. Rather than seeking revenge, pray for their healing, for whoever commits a hateful act upon another is in need of healing not punishment. God's Way is to heal and our way must be His Way. James 5: tells us to "Pray for others so that you may be healed." This is a prayer I recite for those who have betrayed me: "Heavenly Father, please help _____ to keep their heart and mind open to you today and everyday, allowing you to work through them, with them, and in them, helping them to become the person you created them to be. And help me also to remember every day that what is happening between them and me is not between the two of us. It is always between you and I. Amen." If necessary, one can also take the following steps towards forgiving:
  1. Discuss with the other person what happened and why for the sole purpose of understanding their position. Clear up any misunderstandings. Discuss facts only. Refrain from blame or excuses. Accept responsibility for your part.
  2. Discuss how each person felt. This may be uncomfortable but is necessary to more fully understand the impact this incident has had on both parties.
  3. Decide what you both want to happen now. Do you want a reconciliation, a chance to rebuild your relationship, or would it be best to part ways, amicably? What can each party do to accomplish this?
  4. Focus on and remember everything good about the person. Remember, thoughts dictate feelings. One act of bad judgment does not erase all the good in someone.
  5. Separate the behavior from the individual. Behaviors are not who we are; they are outward expressions of our internal environment and issues. Remind yourself that this person is still a sacred child of God, deserving of love and forgiveness.
  6. Detach and let go of all negative feelings. Revisit the incident as an objective observer, not an active participant.
  7. Extract the value of the experience. Learn the lessons, be grateful, let go, and move forward.
Keeping in mind that this experience is a process and may take time and effort, how does one know if they have in fact truly forgiven the other party? When the following elements are present:
  1. Have you let go of the need to discuss it? It has served its purpose and needs no more of your time or energy.
  2. Can you think about the offender without anger or animosity?
  3. If you came face-to-face with them, would you feel at ease?
  4. Are you at peace with what happened although not necessarily happy about it?
  5. Does the thought of the other party suffering for their offense cause you sadness?
  6. Can you be grateful for the experience and see how it has actually been a blessing in your life?
Remember, forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. It is the ultimate act of self-love for it enables you to live in the peace and joy that God intended for you. Mark 11: 25 "And when you stand praying if you hold anything against anyone forgive them so that your Father in Heaven may forgive you your sins." I invite you to watch a very powerful video on the importance of forgiveness at www.FromGodWithLove.net. *T~E~~C~O Magic* in The Secret Side of Anger   Order  The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html   Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @ http://ow.ly/OADTf Listen to my newest iHeart Radio show, BETWEEN YOU AND GOD, @ http://ow.ly/OADJK Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+
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Another new standard has just been applied to women during this presidential election.  Hillary Clinton was attacked by Donald Trump as he condoned her role in her husband's philandering. Trump said Hillary hurt other women by being an enabler. Ugh.
Faulting a wife for her husband's deeds is, unfortunately, not new. Women have been under scrutiny for the actions of our partners for centuries now. Let’s be honest here, who hasn’t said, "She must have known" when we learn of a cheating spouse?
Does Trump imply that Hillary is responsible for the actions of her husband? An interesting angle, especially when reminded that Trump's second wife was his mistress during his first marriage.
In an ideal world there are no cheaters. The research data on infidelity is very complicated because it is difficult to get honest responses about a dishonest topic. Take a look at this article to find out more.
You know I am big on women’s rights and an advocate for addressing women’s issues. And this is just one of those issues that we rarely talk about, even though each of us has an opinion.
I wonder how women can win any side of the argument. Let’s take one of my girlfriends in Europe as an example. She figured out that her partner cheated and after hacking into his phone, she learned the disturbing things he had been saying about her. Not only did she have to deal personally with the betrayal, she witnessed the pain her son faced and what happened to his relationship with his Dad after the details came out.
Now she wondered if she was my friend the only one who didn’t know about his transgressions? Does the men’s code prohibit other men who knew about this affair from telling her about it? If yes, then it is an even bigger betrayal.
Next is the biggest question of it all. Should a woman stay in the relationship and try to make things work for the sake of the 10 or 20 years already invested, for the sake of children, and to avoid the harsh financial consequences? Or should she tell him to buzz off and salvage what she can?
In the public eye, women are damned if they do and damned if they don't.
If she leaves him, she acts unreasonably for not being able to forgive his small blunder and she jeopardizes the happiness and strength of her entire family. Therefore, she is a bad woman and a worse wife.
If she stays with him to try and repair the relationship and her family, she allows him to make a fool out of her. As the saying goes: once a cheater, always a cheater. She obviously has no self-worth and takes on part of the responsibility for his actions.
Huh?!
And if that isn’t enough to make your blood boil, here are some of my favorite accusations faced by women and the stupidest excuses for men:
  • She can’t keep her man happy, so he must look somewhere else for whatever she is not giving him. If he is unhappy he can do whatever he pleases.
  • She complains or nags too much. He doesn't want to hear it anymore, so he has the right to go somewhere where he is appreciated. Who needs to be burdened with the difficulties that life and kids bring?
  • She doesn’t want as much sex as he does, or won’t provide as much excitement as he wants. That is a free pass for him to explore other more titillating adventures. After all, why should he be bored just because she's frigid?
  • She wants him to be perfect and he couldn’t fulfill her expectations. This one needs no further explanation.
The truth is that overcoming cheating is always a double-edge sword.  The betrayal felt after being cheated on is so profound that many are never able to get over it. Something dies inside of us.
On the flip side, we want to make things work for the sake of our families. The women I know who have walked away did so only after much consideration and only because they saw no other way to move on.
Women cannot and should not be held responsible for what their partners do or don’t do. As women, we should jointly reject being held responsible for his behavior and its consequences. The decision of whether to stay with him or not is a very personal one, and only she in the situation can be the judge. In The Women’s Code we support ALL decisions our sisters make, even if we disagree.
In this election with so much dirt being unearthed and flung around, I want to encourage all of us to focus on the issues at hand and the qualifications and accomplishments of the candidates. In the heat of a scandalous political argument it is easy to oversee the underlying issue. In this case, it is yet another attack on women in general - just a spin on past events and a man grasping for flaws.
And I am having none of it. I hope you agree.
 
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                  For Companies And Individuals: Capitalism’s Ultimate Promise        Let's Use Kitchen Table Wisdom And Street Corner Logic, So We All Get It   It is time to cut through all the research, studies, speeches and similar ways to give attention to this critically important subject. Let’s consider the playbook, the new actionable paradigm for the 21st century and beyond that will elegantly do the job. It is almost embarrassing that we even need to explain it. If it was a snake it would bite us. We will address this important subject in some detail in this article.   This post is written, with great respect to other recent efforts (mentioned below), to get to the heart and essence of the question of how to repair or rehabilitate Capitalism. Several other efforts in recent years, while they do offer ways to create value, really only nibble around the edges of this larger matter. The proposal here addresses Capitalism’s ultimate promise – its highest value potential for local and global societies. We are confident Adam Smith would endorse this concept.   It should help to provide two prefatory exclamation points on this matter right at the start:   Doing Well By Doing Good. There have been many efforts recently to study and propose ways to make capitalism rise to its highest level. Some of them have been described in short-hand as “doing well by doing good.” This is an understandable description. It means of course that a company can do better for itself, have more profit if it does good for others. While understandable it is so obviously second best, partly because it is still self-focused. It uses doing good for others as an instrumental means to an end – more profit for self. On the other hand and ironically, the new paradigm we advocate in this article can be called “the golden rule as the ultimate commercially effective paradigm” – the way to create ultimate wealth as an outcome of a total focus on service to others. The difference is one of focus and reason for existence. In this approach, our focus is on others – our primary stakeholders. And, this focus is or will become part of any company’s DNA. The additional value to us (our company) is an outcome, not our driving purpose. So, we present the 21st century essential dominant mindset and it is grounded in the true meaning that underlies the golden rule. How serendipitously elegant that a complete focus on serving others results also in achieving our own maximum level of wealth creation or value over the long run as an outcome. People As Markets, In Kitchen Table Language. In this article we discuss ubiquitous virtues, unalienable rights and fiduciary obligations, among other concepts.  We use “markets” as a synonym for “people.” The plain meaning of it all can be expressed as follows: 1.     Markets like companies that have and live the ubiquitous virtues. 2.     Markets like companies that treasure and honor the unalienable rights. 3.     Markets like companies that fully understand they have fiduciary obligations to all their primary stakeholders. 4.     Markets like companies that are ethical and fair. 5.     Markets like companies that are effective, efficient, productive, creative and innovative. 6.     Markets like companies that produce high quality products and services at reasonable prices. 7.     Markets like companies that are good citizens, pitching in and helping out in their communities. 8.     Markets like companies that treasure the environment and are good stewards for future generations, attending to the public interest. 9.     Markets like companies that compensate their employees fairly and create great, stimulating work environments for them – helping them be creative and innovative. So, because one of our principal messages is that there is a mindset that is clearly the best mindset for capitalism to be grounded in (long term, primary stakeholder-focused and value-optimizing) and that this mindset itself is grounded in a solid understanding of the golden rule, these two prefatory explanations should help the reader make sense of the entire article. Now, we can get on with explaining how to achieve capitalism’s ultimate promise – locally, globally and for all people.     Now, Actionable Paradigm – What The Heck Does That Mean? Actionable paradigm, while sounding a bit too-too, simply means something that is or can be the model for conducting business that changes everything – that sets a new standard. The model we present here, when put into action by companies, by all organizations, will result in maximum value and wealth creation, local and global, over the long run. The real beauty of this paradigm is that it will reach to and raise the well-being of all people around the globe once it becomes viral – once it becomes universally embraced. At the same time and as an essential outcome it will enable companies to get on their long term trajectory of maximum wealth creation and stay on it over the long term. A bunch of study and research has been done over the last 20 or 30 years on whether and how for profit publicly held companies can do better – or even their best – as they make and sell their products and services to customers. The reasons studies are done are many. The primary one, though, is that while much value has been created over the last 150 years or so (including through such recent and disruptive innovations as the communications and internet revolutions), such moments and events as the great recession of 2007-’08, the behavior of companies like Enron, WorldCom and others and the gap between the rich and poor as driven by the economy over time cause us to scratch our heads and look for approaches to improve the way that capitalism is acted out. Even more basically, we scratch our heads to determine whether a new way (a new paradigm) might be needed to allow capitalism to reach its highest potential as the best wealth creation catalyst for local and global economies.   It can fairly be said that the existing dominant concept (paradigm) in capitalist economies is that it is about profit, the more the better. In this way, that argument goes, corporations will make their best contribution to society. This concept can be said to have been most forcefully and successfully articulated by Professor Milton Friedman of the University of Chicago – extremely crisply in a New York Times article in September, 1970. It has been largely applied and taught as the intrinsic purpose and motivation of business since about that time. Bad things have happened under this old paradigm, though, including one (the 2007-’08 recession) that nearly ended free market capitalism’s life.   Here are some examples of efforts to address this very important matter: 1.   . Triple bottom line capitalism, 2. Creative capitalism, 3. Conscious capitalism, 4. Authentic capitalism, 5. Creating shared value capitalism and 6. Solution-creating (problem solving) capitalism. This sixth one has democracy necessarily accompany it because democracy helps create prosperity by resolving conflicts fairly – according to the people who studied and produced this approach. In fact, we believe legitimate democracy is the best partner for each of these approaches. Each and all of these studies, research efforts and concepts have their own merit. They all fall short, though, of presenting a concept that is integrally consistent, one that reflects the highest expectations of local and global markets (populations) and that offers and ensures that companies – all organizations – and societies can get on their respective highest wealth creation trajectory and stay on them over the long term. This matter of wealth creation, then, is that what it’s all about? The answer is yes and no. Wealth creation is one way to describe the necessary outcome of a business that creates a product or service and sells it in the marketplace. Profit is another way, as is value creation. The main point is that when a business receives more for its product or service than it costs to produce and sell it, a profit must be an outcome. It can be called wealth creation. But, and this is the key, while this outcome is essential for the long term existence of the business, it is not its purpose. Every business has, as its own purpose, its own reason for existence, the creation of something it has the passion for and aptitudes to produce. It must be something that buyers will buy because it creates value for them (it provides a solution for them), enough that they value it more than the money they pay for it. For non-profit organizations a positive margin must be produced, enough to enable the non-profit to continue to provide optimal value to its primary stakeholder groups over the long run.   So Far, Kind of Staying Simple, But Let’s Spit It Out – What Concept Will Do This Job?   The Golden Rule Does The Job. Period. We think it would be good to express the golden rule in business lexicon words, although an argument can be made that these words are not part of business lexicon. We hope they will be – soon. We lay claim to the “21st century essential, dominant mindset” as the name that applies to the following definition of the golden rule when used in describing it in the business (organizational) context. It also qualifies as the truly “big idea” for capitalism, a moniker claimed by some other efforts on this subject:  The real breakthrough "big idea" is that self-interest value maximization is a direct function of optimization of the value provided by an organization (and a person) to each of that organization's (and person’s)  primary stakeholder groups – each relative to the others. That is, when a business devotes its time, talent and treasure to doing its best to optimize the value it provides to its major stakeholder groups (customers, employees, [and investors as a stakeholder group], suppliers, communities in which it has a presence and society [the general public interest]), it will maximize its own long-term value as an outcome (a by-product) - measured in appropriate financial terms as well as the other value measures it holds dear. This is not a belief; it is a self-evident axiom. It can be expressed as a formula or an equation:   IVM= f (S1VO, S2VO,..… SNVO), where “I” is “institution” (any organization), “f” is “function of,” “S” is “stakeholder,” “V” is “value” (valued things) and “O” is “optimization.” A.    It is important to note here that just as the number of primary stakeholder groups is finite – really about six for every organization, so also is the number of “primary valued things” for each of these groups – about three or four for each group. That is, it is not a monumental task to identify them. In fact, this makes the marketing dimension so focusable and so achievable. B.     Again, the primary stakeholder groups, almost without exception, are: customers, employees, investors, suppliers, communities in which the company has a presence and the general public interest. Depending on the sector, different names are used – for example in health care the customer is the patient. Every business, in fact every organization (every group with a unifying purpose) will maximize its own long term value or wealth creation as a direct function of optimally serving its primary stakeholder groups. That is, it is simple and doable.   At the kitchen table and on the street corner these groups would be and are discussed as the key groups. People look with great interest at how these groups are treated by any company. If it is good, people like it and bring their business to that company. If not, people do not. Anything Else? Of course. This new paradigm, this “big idea” conceptual foundation must intersect with and be integrally connected to an adaptive multi-year planning-and-doing process that makes it all happen (be actionable) – day in, day out, year in, year out. Often called a strategic plan, it can also be called a multi-year playbook.    How simple is that?   Other Important Aspects Of This Paradigm. There are just a few other very important aspects of this new paradigm. These aspects are integral to and breathe robust life into it. They are listed here without much elaboration, to allow the reader to see the dots and, almost certainly, connect them:   1.   Ubiquitous virtues: Research by Professor Martin Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania, with others, indicates that there are about six virtues that are treasured by virtually all peoples around the globe. It turns out that these virtues are literally the same as the cardinal virtues – together with the theological virtues from Christian teaching. This new paradigm is areligious, but the ubiquitous virtues are strikingly similar. They are wisdom and knowledge, courage, humanity, justice, temperance and transcendence. Of course each virtue presents itself through a number of tangible traits, like creativity and curiosity as traits indicative of wisdom and knowledge, and kindness as indicative of humanity. They all make sense and sell at the kitchen table. 2.   Universally Possessed Unalienable Rights: The rights to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and property (where property means one’s own skills and aptitudes – the abilities of each person to actualize her/his own potential) are almost universally agreed upon to be unalienable. 3.   Fiduciary Responsibilities: The robust understanding must be that every organization, certainly every company, has a fiduciary obligation to each of its primary stakeholder groups – not just to its investors, its owners. 4.   The Normal Blocking and Tackling of a Business: These will blossom most fully with our new paradigm. They are the functions of effectiveness, efficiency, productivity, creativity and innovation. In fact, with each employee doing that which fits her aptitudes and about which she is most energized and passionate (Jim Collins’ “seats on the bus) these functions will be artistically acted out. 5.   Gold Standard Leadership Characteristics: Enough mistakes have been made and attention given to the characteristics that work and those that don’t work that these seem obvious: Establish direction (vision, personal humility and professional will), modest and fearless, inclusive, enabling, inspirational, a listener, stakeholder-focused – in a maniacally profound way, heart of a servant, ethical courageous and just, and fun. 6.   Gold Standard Cultural Characteristics:  These are also clear, after many years of wandering: Adaptive, with a core ideology (purpose and values), risk taking, trusting, proactive, one in which all are heard and the truth is heard, reflective, humble, anticipatory and involved, rational and respectful, a conscious mindset, quietly confident, unassuming while maniacally pursuing the organization’s vision and mission with prudence, perseverance, humor and zest, disciplined people, thoughts and actions in a fun and dynamic environment, open, supportive and enthusiastic, happy, in a stakeholder-centered (H3) way, and fun. 7.   Happiness: This aspect, once dismissed as unnecessary to have a productive work force, is essential – and it is at the heart of our 21st century mindset. It applies to the entity itself and to its work force. Briefly, Aristotle’s four kinds or levels of happiness, H1 through H4 are so obviously explaining that a dominant H3 life, the happiness that flows from contributing to the happiness of and creating value for others, is ultimately the best way for one to fully actualize one’s own potential in life. It is servant existence and servant leadership in action. Our big idea is grounded in this reality – we just breathe commercial life into the idea. It fits. And, it has as one essential outcome the maximization of the organization’s H2 (achievement – wealth creation) level of happiness. 8.   Multi-Year Adaptive Planning and Doing Process: the plain vanilla strategic planning processes are fine. However our 21st century mindset’s intersection (harmonization) with this planning and doing process puts the company on that highest wealth creation trajectory and helps us stay there over the long term. Going from charter statements of purpose, values and beliefs, which are or should be timeless, through vision, mission, the successive and adaptive multi-year plans (with their goals and strategies) to annual budgets (with their objectives and tactics). What once and forever has seemed perhaps mundane to many (collectors of dust on the shelves) takes on a vibrant life with this harmonization, this nexus plus. 9.   Ethical Behavior Always: This imperative was once thought to be optional for companies. They are legal persons, not real personsAs long as they did nothing illegal, as long as they followed the law in their conduct, ethical behavior was considered optional. Can you believe it? 10.       Opportunity Cost Awareness and Minimization: This will be another and welcomed outcome of the new paradigm, local and global, micro and macro. 11.       Full Potential – Seen and Actualized: This state of being is of course the ultimate outcome for an organization, and our 21st century essential dominant mindset produces it. Reached through our actionable paradigm, it is the equivalent of the happy life for a real person – the good and full life, well lived.   Now, how is that for keeping it simple? This is the golden rule applied to organizations – and individuals for that matter. It applies to all groups of people who are gathered together with a unifying purpose, a common cause.   The 21st Century Essential Dominant Mindset: A Summary. This article has presented the organic new paradigm that will allow companies and, really, all organizations to get on their highest wealth creation trajectory and stay on it for the long term. It will do it because it invites and enables companies to appeal to the highest shared characteristics of people (markets), both locally and globally. It also invites all people to find work that allows them to fully use that most precious and unalienable property of theirs – their aptitudes and skills that they are passionate about. While staying simple, there is more to this actionable paradigm, but the heart and soul of it has been presented here.   Next Steps? Some might or will consider this proposal to be a bridge too far. That is, to ask leaders of companies to have a long term, primary stakeholder-focused and value-optimizing mindset, rather than the largely short term-dominant, inward-focused and win-lose mindset that they have been accustomed to simply asks too much.   We think that view underestimates the ability of companies (all organizations) and their leaders to see and conduct themselves in accordance with their better angels. If for no other reason, this mindset is and for companies and leaders everywhere will increasingly become the best commercial choice available. That is, get on board or go out of existence!   We believe companies and their leaders, once introduced to this paradigm and enabled to understand its merit, will enthusiastically embrace and adopt it.     This, then, represents a new paradigm for capitalism that can enable all, at the local and global levels, to fully realize the benefits of capitalism’s ultimate promise.
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Forgiveness: so many misconceptions and misunderstandings; so many who believe forgiveness is reserved for a chosen few or must be preceded with an apology. Still others feel at times that it is impossible or worse, that there are those not deserving of its graces. And so they suffer...all of them, when healing is clearly within their reach. Please take a moment and reflect on a letter from the Father expressing the importance and necessity of His sacred gift of forgiveness.

A Letter From God With Love

My dear children, When I created you, I gave you the gift of free will.  I knew that you would sometimes misuse it and make poor choices.  I also knew that your actions would cause pain and suffering to others. Know that mistakes are a part of the human experience. Do not hold your brothers and sisters hostage to their imperfections.  Allow them the freedom to be human without judgment or condemnation. I ask you, “What purpose does it serve to hold on to your anger?”  You carry within you the internal scars from past hurts and then refuse to heal the wounds. At times, you have even sought revenge on your offender.  Does this not only add to your own suffering and the suffering of all humanity?  How does vengeance profit any of you?  This does not please me at all. So I say to you, “Put to rest all thoughts of retaliation.  Turn your hearts instead to matters of healing. You have all suffered enough.” For which one of my beloved has not felt the sting of harsh words?  Who among you has not shed tears brought on by feelings of isolation, rejection, loneliness, humiliation? And who among you can stand before me and say “But Father, I have never offended another”?  Whether intentional or not, have you not at times exposed your dark side to your brother?  As I have instructed you to forgive, so do I instruct you to ask for forgiveness. My children, you all act out what you feel.  Do not judge or criticize others for their actions. Respond instead with understanding and kindness.  Be gentle with one another.  Choose behavior that is life-affirming. This is why, my beloved, I have given you with the gift of forgiveness, the power to heal all wounds. “To forgive is to allow for human imperfection without judgment or retaliation.” Forgiveness allows for a healing of the self.  It removes all residual traces of anger from your heart. It replaces hurt with acceptance.   It restores serenity and harmony within. It is a gift of love you give yourself. To choose not to forgive only perpetuates suffering for all. Be kind to one another.  Do good to all whom you encounter.  Forgive all of my children, all of them, even the difficult ones. For you do not decide who deserves forgiveness. I alone have dominion in this. As often as I have forgiven you, so are you expected to forgive one another. I have set the standard by restoring grace to those who fatally wounded my Beloved Son.  I expect no less of you. This I promise you: that those who choose forgiveness will be granted my favor and be rewarded with the gifts of everlasting peace and joy. In the final analysis, this is the only true path to peace. With love, From God Please enjoy the accompanying video on the healing power of forgiveness at www.FromGodWithLove.net  
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  I don't worry much. When an issue arises that cause me distress, my mind instantly begins searching for possible solutions. I wasn't always like this - it took years of awareness and effort but it has certainly paid off. Take this past week, for example. I use a service to heavily promote both my radio show and my books. I've been affectionately referred to as a "marketing machine" by some who know me on social media. When one of my social media sites changed their format, what used to take me twenty minutes to accomplish took two and a half hours. I immediately began concocting an alternative way of reaching my contacts each week with information regarding my upcoming radio show. Now, another social media site has implemented a major change that will severely cripple my marketing efforts. Already, my mind is seeking ways of maneuvering around this latest road block. In order to keep my stress levels at a minimum, I've had to make a concerted effort to apply my own advice. Here are some tips to dramatically reduce and/or eliminate stress in your life: 1. Take slow deep deliberate breaths. When we become anxious, we tend to deprive our brains of vital oxygen rich blood by shallow breathing. Oxygen has a very calming effect on the brain. Breathe in slowing and deeply, holding for a moment before slowly exhaling. 2. Sip water. The human body is comprised of 50-75% water. Being dehydrated increases the production of the stress hormone, cortisol. Organs, of which the brain is one, work at optimum capacity when properly hydrated. Sipping water throughout the day, and especially at the onset of stress, will help keep us calm. 3. Meditation: an ancient Eastern practice, something as simple as sitting quietly, eyes closed, breathing rhythmically to the beating of the heart, and clearing one's mind produces a sense of euphoria and well-being. 4. Human touch reduces the production of cortisol, releases the feel-good hormones, endorphins, reduces physical and emotional pain, conveys concern, comfort, affection, love, and oneness. From a simple handshake to a huge bear hug, human touch is vital to our survival. 5. Prayer - our conversations with God. Much like a child who holds mom's hand in the dark, being connected to a Higher Being alleviates fear, anxiety, loneliness, and insecurity. Realizing we are not alone but rather are being guided by an Omnipotent Source of unconditional love is incredibly comforting and offers a sense of belonging as well. 6. Biofilia is a fancy word for a "love of living things". By reconnecting with nature, being outdoors in the fresh air and sunlight, we experience the wonder of God's creations. Whether plant or animal life, inert or ever-changing, we are an integral part of our surrounds and through conscious integration we experience a sense of wholeness. 7. Aerobic exercise, the practice of rhythmic physical exertion, releases those feel-good endorphins and increases the flow of oxygen rich blood to the brain, elevating one's energy levels and alleviating negativity. 8.  An Attitude of Gratitude and Sense of Appreciation: in both cases, one focuses on the positive rather than negative. Finding the blessings present to us every day and truly appreciating not only what we have but also what has been lost or taken away allows us to maintain a positive mindset and distracts the mind from being consumed by the negative. 9. Love: not love of a human variety but love of a spiritual nature alleviates stress. That is to say, when we choose to love fully and unconditionally, without stipulation or restriction, then we never experience disappointment or anger. We  reside in a permanent state of acceptance, peace, and joy. 10. Forgiving: letting go of the anger, bitterness, and resentment associated with a past experience or individual frees us to fully live in the present moment and extract the most from each experience.  Refraining from labeling and judging one another enables us to develop a more compassionate and gentle approach to those whom we encounter. 11. Less is more: own less, do less, be more. A common misconception is that we own our stuff. Actually we are owned by our possessions. It takes time, money, and effort to purchase items and the same to care for, repair, or replace them. They drain us of precious time and resources which could be much better applied to becoming more evolved beings. 12. Deflate the Balloon (SSSSS): See things differently (change your perception); Slow down (what's the rush?), Simplify (scale back on everything), Socialize (make time for good friends), be Silly (have some fun!) Like all emotions, stress in self-imposed. It has little to do with who we are with, what's occurring, or where we are. Rather it is determined by our internal dialogue, that little voice in our heads, that instills worry and discomfort, then repeats it ad nauseam until we find ourselves in a frenzy of anxiety. Take a moment, quiet your mind, re examine the situation, and put your faith in God that all is exactly as it is meant to be. And if all else fails, remember that stressed  spelled backwards is desserts. That's no coincidence. Bon appetite! lol!    
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Dr. Frederic Luskin, Project Director, Stanford Center for Research in Disease Prevention, Stanford University, is involved in a very fascinating area of mind-body medicine...Forgiveness. At this point one may be tempted to think that Dr. Luskin and his research team are merely exploring a theme that has been the focus of various religious traditions for millennia, and there is a thematic correlation.  However, Dr. Luskin and his team are researching the formidable emerging evidence on the medical necessity for appropriately addressing "unresolved anger and blame for past hurt or offense"  and the "immeasurable physical and emotional health problems in people's live" due to lack of forgiveness. Dr. Luskin and his researchers also state that "All major religious traditions and wisdoms extol the value of forgiveness.  Forgiveness has been advocated for centuries as a balm for hurt and angry feelings.  Yet effective means for engendering forgiveness as a way of dealing with life's problems has often been lacking...Professionals have observed from clinical practice that clients who were able to forgive saw improvement in psychological and sometimes physical health.  Many sources suggest that forgiveness can lead to decreased anger, depression and anxiety, and stress as well as enhanced well being, including peace of mind." The Stanford Forgiveness Project defines forgiveness in the following manner:

"Forgiveness consists primarily of taking less personal offense, reducing anger, the blaming of the offender, and developing increased understanding of situations that often lead to feeling hurt and anger."

The Stanford team also believes that people can be trained in new ways to think and feel about hurts from the past and in the present.  Their work has substantive implications for health-care.  They would like to see forgiveness training offered as part of primary, acute, and chronic care programs. Along with the exciting studies being offered at the Stanford Forgiveness Project, I have studied the research in many areas of mind-body medicine and its impact upon stress management.  Your company or group would benefit substantially from knowing the significant correlational evidence of how what we think or believe controls our autobiographical narratives and living lives of deep and rich satisfaction.
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