Taking time for your personal development isn't indulgent, selfish, or self-serving. Rather, it is necessary and vital to be good to yourself, if you wish to do good for others.
What happens when you become more aware of yourself is that you'll be able to let go of what you no longer need. For example, if you're holding on to anger, the anger is an energy that is within and around you. Most people think that a certain emotion is part of who they are, but I don't believe that to be so. Anger, or any other emotion, is just energy.
With greater self-awareness, you'll see that you don't need that anger or the past hurts anymore. You don't need those aspects of yourself that you've struggled with; they don't work for goodness, and they're not who you are. You are pure love at your core, at your essence — we all are. Once you let go of the clouds of hurtful things and painful emotions, you will find that you can choose good.
Activate Your Goodness: The Training Session
When negative thoughts arise, become conscious of those thoughts and focus instead on what you want in a healthy manner. Don't be hard on yourself if you find you have endless negative thinking; just keep trying to focus on good thoughts. It's like training your body to be in shape. At first, when you start a new exercise program, you can hardly breathe and each new activity is exhausting. But as you stick with it, it soon becomes easier and easier.
As you begin to feel better and get rid of the layers that are holding you back, you'll naturally have thoughts of all the good things you can do that are healthy for your body and mind. Now is the time to take action!
Take Action: Noticing What Works for You (and what doesn't)
Notice what makes you happy and what fills you full of energy. It's necessary to make time for the things you love. It's good to dance, laugh, or create art — activities like these feed your soul and can be very soothing and relaxing. Running each morning just for the joy of it, watching a funny movie with a friend, tending the garden and watching things grow, petting your dog each morning when you wake up . . . when you take any kind of concrete action that is positive for you, it will make you feel better and fill you with light.
For me, I started noticing over the years that I felt drained whenever I had to participate in activities I didn't really enjoy or when I was around certain people. I just didn't feel good, and it was exhausting. When I became more aware, I paid attention to what was uplifting to me and what was draining. I now choose to go to places and be with individuals who make me feel good. I also made a conscious choice to use my free time to do things that I truly enjoy.
Through introspection, I also realized that I'm the type of person who needs to have time by myself to recharge. I might listen to music, take a walk, or just sit quietly and enjoy the solitude. Once I started to consciously add these quiet times into my days, it made a big difference. I still have a busy schedule, but I have more energy for it because I consistently take time for personal reflection and to recharge.
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Getting to know yourself and what makes you feel good is so important. When you choose to do things that are uplifting for you, you'll have more positive energy for all aspects of your life. Remember, when you think good, speak good, and do good, you transform yourself inside; and by doing so, you transform the world.
*subtitles by InnerSelf
©2013 by Arison Creative Ltd. All Rights Reserved,
Reprinted with permission of the publisher, HayHouse.com
Activate Your Goodness: Transforming the World Through Doing Good
by Shari Arison.
About the Author
Shari Arison is the American-Israeli leader of a business and philanthropic empire that spans the globe. In 2011, and again in 2012, she was ranked by Forbes magazine as one of the World's Most Powerful Women, positioning her as a force for good in business and philanthropy. She was also ranked second on Forbes's list of the World's Greenest Billionaires. Activate Your Goodness is a natural complement to her international bestseller, Birth: When the Spiritual and the Material Come Together. Shari is the mother of four and resides in Israel. Please visit Shari's website at: www.shariarison.com. For more information on Good Deeds Day, go to: www.good-deeds-day.org.