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June 12, 2005

The Art of Letting Go of The Past

More and more it seems that this newsletter is becoming a forum for my learning and personal growth; a sort of journal of self discovery, if you will. I hope you the readers are getting something out of it as well. All the amazing emails I get from you folks lead me to believe that my thoughts more often than not resonate with yours.

About a year ago I went through an excruciating divorce. I will of course spare you the torrid details but, I have had a very hard time with closure which has really prevented me from moving on with my life. I know I am not alone in this.

The other day I was flipping through the Tibetan Book of The Dead which is an amazing read and if you haven't already read it you certainly should give it a look. One thing that came up for me is the little death like experiences we encounter on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. The passing of a job, passing of birthdays, children growing up and of course the passing of relationships and marriages. And it is impossible sometimes to experience some of these passings with out a certain level of grief.

They say there are five distinct stages of grief. I know I have experienced them and maybe you have as well. As an example, we can apply these 5 stages to a traumatic event most all of us have experienced: The Dead Battery! You're going to be late to work so you rush out to your car, place the key in the ignition and turn it on. You hear nothing but a grind; the battery is dead.

  • Denial. What's the first thing you do? You try to start it again! And again. You may check to make sure the radio, heater, lights, etc. are off and then..., try again.
  • Anger. "%$@^##& car!", "I should have junked you years ago." Did you slam your hand on the steering wheel? I have. "I should just leave you out in the rain and let you rust."
  • Bargaining. (realizing that you're going to be late for work)..., "Oh please car, if you will just start one more time I promise I'll buy you a brand new battery, get a tune up, new tires, belts and hoses, and keep you in perfect working condition.
  • Depression. "Oh God, what am I going to do. I'm going to be late for work. I give up. My job is at risk and I don't really care any more. What's the use".
  • Acceptance. "Ok. It's dead. Guess I had better call the Auto Club or find another way to work. Time to get on with my day; I'll deal with this later."

As I went through my divorce understanding these various stages was a real sense of comfort to me. Recognizing my behavior and feelings and knowing that you can sometimes get stuck in one of the stages made it OK to feel. While I am still trying to heal from this I know that as I pass through each stage that I am moving that much closer to closure.

Another tool that has helped me enormously are the following steps to letting go of the past. This is very easy to master and once mastered will become a tool you will always have in your arsenal.

  • Counseling. Reach out and receive help. From friends, family or professionals.
  • Journaling. If you think it, then you should ink it. Writing it down it helps get it out of your head.
  • Confront. At the proper time, confront the people or situations in your life that have hurt you.
  • Release. Once confronted then learn to let it go.
  • Forgive. Forgiving is a big step in the healing process. We must completely forgive ourselves as well as the other party.
  • Attitude. You must have an attitude of gratitude for the good things in your life . Do not focus on the negative. It’s very difficult to be depressed when you are counting your blessings.
  • Goals. Create some goals for yourself. You must write down what you want to accomplish. No one plans to fail, they just fail to plan.
  • Give Back. No matter where you are in life, there’s always someone that could use your help. Reach out and help someone with your time and or resources.

Live life in the now. Don’t wait until tomorrow. Remember, the past is dead and gone and the future is undetermined all we have is the gift of today and that is why it is called a present.

Have an excellent day.

Thom King
[email protected]
Steviva Brands, Inc.

Developing A Great Character
by: Brian Tracy

Being The Best In Every Area
What is character? Your character is the degree to which you live your life consistent with high, life-enhancing values. A person who lacks character is one who compromises on higher order values in favor of lower order expedience, or who has no values at all. Your adherence to what you believe to be right and true is the real measure of the person you have become to this moment.

Define What "Excellence" Means To You
Let us say that one of your values is "excellence." Your definition of excellence could be, "Excellence means that I set the highest standards for myself in everything I do. I do my very best in every situation and under all circumstances. I constantly strive to be better in my work, and as a person in my relationships. I recognize that excellence is a life long journey and I work every day to become better and better in everything I do."

Organize Your Actions
With a definition like this, you have a clear organizing principle for your actions. You have set a standard by which you can evaluate your behavior. You have created a framework within which you can make decisions. You have a measuring rod against which you can compare yourself in everything you do. You can continually grade your activities in terms of "more" or "less." You have a clear target to aim at and organize your work around.

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Decide What You Want For Your Family
It's the same with each of your other values. If your value is your family, you could define this as, "The needs of my family take precedence over all other concerns. Whenever I have to choose between the happiness, health and well being of a member of my family, and any other interest, my family will always come first."

Keep Focused
From that moment onward, it becomes easier for you to choose. Your family comes first. Until you have fully satisfied the needs of your family, no other time requirement will side track you into a lower value activity.

Shape Your Own Character
The wonderful thing about values clarification is that it enables you to take charge of developing and shaping your own character. When your values and goals, your inner life and your outer life, are in complete alignment, you feel terrific about yourself. You enjoy high self-esteem. Your self-confidence soars.

When you achieve complete congruence between your values and your goals, like a hand in a glove, you feel strong, happy, healthy and fully integrated as a person. You develop a kind of courage that makes you completely unafraid to make decisions and take action. Your whole life improves when you begin living your life by the values that you most admire.

Action Exercises
First, create a clear, written description of your values and what they mean to you. From that point on, resolve to live consistent with your own definition.

Second, discipline yourself to live in complete alignment with the values, virtues and qualities that are most important to you. This is the key to character.

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7 Ways to Feel Great About Your Body
by Cheryl Hyde, M.S.

The quest for self-acceptance and a better body begins with an attitude adjustment. Here's how to start the process.

Make peace with your mirror. Too often, people say, "I hate my body," when it's far more motivating to think about what you like best - even if some things need improvement. Try this: Stand in front of the mirror and identify your best assets. Embrace them, even flaunt them. Only then should you ask, "What do I most want to change?" With a balanced body perspective, you can construct a reasonable plan to effect that change.

Get goal-setting help. Once you've defined what a better body means to you, run your views past your doctor or trainer. Professionals can not only provide a reality check (if the body you want is not attainable or healthy, they can help you come up with a more realistic focus) but also help you devise a workable way to meet your goals.

Rally the right support. Positive people can help you reach your goals and feel good about yourself; seek them out and surround yourself with them. Ask a trusted friend and confidante to help you stay on track and investigate the options in your community, local fitness facility or club. If you feel put-off by the fit bodies at a club you visit, ask about beginner-level classes and groups. Keep looking until you find a facility you're comfortable with.

Tune out toxic people. Just as positive people can help boost your body image, negative people can bring it down. "Energy vampires" suck the energy out of others just so they can feel better. While openly rude individuals are easy to spot, comments from apparently well-meaning friends or relatives might be subtler but have an even greater negative impact. Remember that a person who puts you down is the one with the problem.

Enjoy the journey. Your body is a work in progress; it gets better every day. Appreciate and embrace your journey rather than focusing on the final destination. As your fitness plan progresses, tune in to the ways your body is becoming stronger, more toned and more energetic. Celebrate your successes and reward yourself, whether it's with a new book, a bubble bath or just a mental pat on the back, as you accomplish each step on your path.

Create power from within. Feelings about yourself and your body should not be dictated by outside sources; they should come from within. You have the power to create a positive self-image of who you are and how you look. Developing a sense of self-worth and self-esteem is the foundation for appreciating your individuality and for making intelligent choices in all areas of your life.

Choose substance over form. Finally, exercise sensibly, eat a balanced diet and take care of yourself. Intelligent eating and exercise promote a longer, healthier, happier life. Always strive for your own optimal fitness and health levels, not society's definition of the ideal body. Remember to appreciate your own soul and personality rather than basing your self-worth on your appearance.

Don't forget to pound the water. What I suggest is adding the juice of half a lemon or 4 tablespoons of unsweetened cranberry juice to 32 ounces of water with a sprinkle of Steviva Brand Stevia Powder . Aside from being less than 2 carbs, you will get the health benefits that the stevia provides along with the vitamin C and electrolytes that lemon have. You can substitute limes for lemons if you get bored. Click here to order stevia powder.

What Inspires You?

“It is never about how good your voice is; it is only about feeling the urge to sing, and then having the courage to do it with the voice you are given.”

-- Katie in ‘True to Form’ by Elizabeth Berg

How often have you allowed fear and your inner critic to stop you from doing something you were inspired to do?

Helen Keller said, "Life is either a grand adventure or nothing.” When we allow fear and criticism to stop us in our tracks, we give up that grand adventure. What a waste!

“Be an all-out, not a hold-out.”

-- Norman Vincent Peale

All Natural Sugar Free Apricot Oatmeal Muffins
Makes approximately 12 servings

1 cup Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup whole grain, rye or soy flour
1/3 cup finely chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)
3 tablespoons Steviva Brand Stevia Blend or a very tiny dash of Steviva Brand Stevia Powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)

Heat oven to 400°F. Lightly spray twelve medium muffin cups with cooking spray.
In medium bowl, combine oats and buttermilk; mix well. Let stand 10 minutes. Stir in eggs and butter until blended.
In large bowl, combine flour, apricots, nuts, Steviva Brand Stevia Blend, baking powder, baking soda and salt; mix well. Add oat mixture all at once; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. (Do not overmix.) Fill muffin cups almost full.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool muffins in pan on wire rack 5 minutes; remove from pan. Serve warm.

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