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Emotional Rollercoasters

๐ƒ๐จ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ก๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ญ?
Transfers week and riding the emotional rollercoaster began all over again.
Rollercoasters are thrilling though โ€“ arenโ€™t they!?
Missionary arrivals on Tuesday and departures on Thursday mean that emotions are pulled in opposite directions over a very short period of time โ€“ again!
During our 3-year period of service, transfers happen 27 times.
This week was our 9th rotation.
Our emotional heartstrings have already been stretched in so many ways.
The thrill and excitement of welcoming our new arrivals.
Followed by the joyful and agonising feelings that accompany those departing for home.
For instance, highs and lows, laughing and crying in rapid succession (or even at the same time) are commonplace in the mission field.
๐‘ถ๐’–๐’“ ๐’†๐’Ž๐’๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’๐’” ๐’„๐’๐’๐’๐’†๐’„๐’• ๐’–๐’” ๐’•๐’ ๐’๐’๐’† ๐’‚๐’๐’๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“.
Rather than let these emotions run my life, I am learning to deal with them in a much healthier way, by considering the bigger picture for each of those coming and going.
I am beginning to understand my emotions more as a barometer to measure my own sense of wellbeing and happiness, by mastering those feelings and listening to my heart.
The most challenging moment for me is the final hug at the airport with those departing missionaries.
Yesterday I did better!
I stopped for a moment and took a big conscious breath. It made a difference, at least until we started walking back to the car, and I had a wee tear (or two even!)
The best thing about the afternoon on departures day, is when I take a break and have a wee nap. It allows me to reconnect with my heart and is a golden opportunity to relax.
9 transfer weeks down, only another 18 to go.
Do you listen to your heart?
#joy

Be there!

๐๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž!
Whilst on a video call last night with our three grown children, my mind drifted back to when they were all much smaller.
In my minds eye, I was holding hands with our youngest daughter, walking through our beautiful park in town.
It felt like only yesterday, but 10 years have swiftly passed by.
Those tender moments are one of the sweetest, most enjoyable parts of life.
Suddenly โ€“ growing older, there can come a sense of having been there – and yet knowingly perhaps, I should have enjoyed the journey much, much more.
Iโ€™m sure those old like me, or older even โ€“ will understand my sentiment.
Life is going on all of the time.
Sometimes we are so focused on the next big thing, that we miss much of the beautiful scenery along the way.
Time with loved ones, the holidays, the picnics, the walks, the challenges are all part of ๐›๐ž๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž.
There is purpose and meaning to all that we experience and undergo in this life.
We should enjoy our children when we have them around us, as I know now, they wonโ€™t always be with us.
Back then when they were young, they not only needed us, they also wanted us too!
We live through each part of our life only once, we donโ€™t go back, so it is vitally important that we ๐’ƒ๐’† ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“๐’†!
There are few sweeter memories than your childโ€™s hand in yours, walking with you.
Wherever you are, ๐›๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž, be present and enjoy the moment, our life after all, is only a nanosecond of time.
How can you focus better, be present and be engaged in the here and now?

Is love the answer?

๐ˆ๐ฌ ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ฌ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ?
Celebrating my 57th birthday this week, I received several lovely cards and gifts from family and friends.
One particular gift came from the missionaries.
A folder of 60 pages, 109 letters, 30 photos and a few sketches too.
As I read through the album on Thursday evening, I must admit to being moved.
The letters and photos simply touched my heart.
I shed a few tears of joy.
Think of the last time you experienced joy.
Real joy – that deep enduring feeling that seems to warm your entire soul.
I felt of their love, one by one.
โ€œGodโ€™s love is always there for you, whether or not you feel you deserve love. It is simply always there.โ€ โ€“ Thomas S. Monson.
Arriving in the Netherlands nearly a year ago now, in a few meetings Monic and I have frequently sung together (also with the help of missionaries too) โ€œLove One another.โ€ It is always a beautiful experience.
In the book of John, Jesus spoke to His Apostles about love โ€œA new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved youโ€ฆ. By this shall men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.โ€
“Love is the greatest of all the commandmentsโ€”all others hang upon it. It is our focus as followers of the living Christ. It is the one trait that, if developed, will most improve our lives.” Joseph B. Wirthlin
There are a number of ways you can feel the Saviourโ€™s love.
Its different for everyone โ€“ but the missionaries can help you along the way.
“Love is the greatest power and will have the most powerful influence. โ€“ Elaine S. Dalton
May we love Him and love one another.

I’ll be happy when….

I often hear people sayโ€ฆ.
“I’ll be happy when….(fill in the blank)”
“I’ll be happy when we move home.”
“I’ll be happy when I get the new job.”
“I’ll be happy when the summer comes.”
“I’ll be happy when I graduate.”
“I’ll be happy when so and so leaves.”
“I’ll be happy when I get the new car.”
“I’ll be happy when we finally pay off the mortgage.”
โ€œWhen I retire.โ€
But of course, when we finally reach the appointed milestone, something else just takes its place.
And so our entire life can pass away.
President Russell M. Nelson taught, โ€œThe joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives.โ€
Some people are constantly changing their circumstances and their focus in their quest for happiness.
The wise learn that happiness comes through finding contentment in the things that they simply love to do.
Elder Jeffrey R Holland says โ€œHappiness is not easy to find running straight for it. It is usually too elusive, too ephemeral, too subtle. If you havenโ€™t learned it already, you will learn in the years ahead that most times happiness comes to us when we least expect it, when we are busy doing something else. Happiness is almost always a by-product of some other endeavour.โ€
Stop and make a change.
Decide that you will be happy NOW!
Donโ€™t miss out on the joys and the happiness you have right now โ€“ enjoy the present!
What is your reason to be happy now? ๐Ÿ˜Š

Feet that bring peace!

As our missionaries walked into the mission home for Mission Leadership Council on Friday, one by one, they took off their shoes.
Immediately my mind raced to some scriptures in the Old & New Testament along with the Book of Mormon.
Isaiah 52:7 โ€œHow beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!โ€
Romans 10:15 โ€œAnd how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!โ€
Mosiah 15:17 โ€œAnd again, how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who shall hereafter publish peace, yea, from this time henceforth and forever!โ€

Therefore what?

Elder Carlos E. Asay said โ€œNo one is more beautiful or more blessed than those who serve God by preaching and exemplifying the truth. It is the most sanctifying and beautifying labour of allโ€ฆ. The feet, the voices, the faces, and the whole being of those preachers who share saving truths will always be precious and beautifulโ€ฆ. In the eyes of those who have learned of Christ and of his power to save, there are few if any blemishes in the missionaries who walked long distances to bring the gospel message.โ€
Through all of their hard work and efforts, there may have been a few threadbare socks on show, nevertheless I know they will continue to publish peace as they move their feet onwards, forwards and upwards in their daily missionary efforts.
No matter the opposition or the terrain, oโ€™er mountain or plain or sea, missionaries will share their testimonies and joy of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ โ€“ always and forever.
And no matter the season, through rain, wind, sun or snow, missionaries will publish glad tidings of peace every day, lifting, teaching, inspiring and bringing people to a knowledge of the truth.
I am so grateful for each and every one of them, for their tireless determination to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and preach His gospel of peace.
Do you want to have His peace in your life too?

Finding Happiness!

It is easy to compare what we have, our jobs, lifestyles, talents and abilities to those of others.

We live in a world filled with constant comparison.

The result?

Frequently in coaching or counselling sessions, I have discovered that this can lead to feelings of discouragement or even depression as individuals match their worst with others best.

I find it even more prevalent in Generation Z. Their screen time tends to be much greater than others, scrolling endlessly, comparing themselves to carefully curated idealised images of their friends, peers and celebrities they follow. There has a lot been said of social comparsion theory of late, it certainly is interesting to review. It was first put forth in 1954 by psychologist Leon Festinger, who hypothesized that we make comparisons as a way of evaluating ourselves.

Over the years, I have learned a lot about the #1 Rule of Happiness…. ๐‘ซ๐’๐’’๐’• ๐’„๐’๐’Ž๐’‘๐’‚๐’“๐’† ๐’š๐’๐’–๐’“๐’”๐’†๐’๐’‡ ๐’•๐’ ๐’๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“๐’”.

Instead, why not appreciate all you were born with!

Compare you with you and focus on developing the inherent gifts, skills and traits that you are lucky enough to have. No one else can equally provide what you have to offer the world and to those around you.

Remember – you are unique!

3 Principles of Happiness

These last few weeks I have really enjoyed reading my journals.

Whilst doing so, I was reminded of a little story that I’d love to share.

Before we hastily return to our pre-lockdown life, please consider these three principles that have helped me considerably.

https://youtu.be/5WXckWfM2Tw

Finding your Flow

4 days, 21 workshops, 600+ participants, great fun, powerful learning and one absolutely exhausted me! I loved it!

Facilitating so many short workshops over the course of a few days called for a huge amount of focus, concentration and stamina. Not only was it difficult and challenging, it was extremely worthwhile.

In every 55 minute workshop, I was completely and totally absorbed in the whole process, I was in “the zone.” Reflecting this morning, the following thoughts came to mind..

– Being present, in the moment

– Clear goals, immediate feedback and real purpose

– A very high level of concentration on a limited field

– Finding a balance between skills and challenge

– The feeling of control – Effortlessness

– An altered perception of time

– At one with my actions and consciousness

– Feelings of fulfillment and enjoyment

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls this “Flow.”

Do you recognise any of these feelings? Have you ever felt that kind of joy, happiness or “flow”?

It was fast paced, using an outline agenda, I sang “Set a Goal” – taking everyone by surprise, there was always applause, I shared thoughts and ideas, I pulled participants into conversation, sought feedback, had discussion groups and an engaging activity to close.

I love what I do.

Find your Flow!