Tuesday, December 30, 2014
I have learned that marriage takes a tremendous amount of work and patience.
I have learned that each person in a relationship has a part in the difficulties and that when each person focuses on their part, there is greater healing and growth.
I have learned so much about my own inadequacies but I have also learned more about the need for and the healing power of the Atonement than I would have learned in any other way.
I have learned that if I want to make improvements, I seek guidance from my Heavenly Father and focus on what I need to improve upon.
I have learned that differences and disagreement is healthy and to be more understanding of the other point of view instead of just defending my own position.
I have learned to look at the long term consequences of giving up and focusing on the benefits of hanging in there.
I have learned that adversity can be a great teacher and that learning to forgive and being forgiven can be the greatest healer and opportunity for growth.
I have learned to resist taking another person's mistakes and weaknesses personally and be more compassionate and supportive.
I have learned that punishment and the cold shoulder are counter productive.
I have learned that a desire for great achievements can get in the way of developing a close relationship.
I have learned that developing healthy and close attachments are the greatest source of strength and the greatest accomplishment.
I have learned that as I grow closer to God and feel His love, I naturally draw closer my spouse and want to be more loving.
I have learned that it is important to have high expectations for each other but it needs to be coupled with being supportive and responsive if we fall short.
I have learned the power of love and being able to love ourselves and others in spite of our weaknesses.
I have learned to never ever give up on those we love and in so doing have discovered a greater measure of love.
I have learned that I can be happy no matter what life dishes out to me.
I have learned that success doesn't necessarily mean a perfect marriage. The success is having difficulties but knowing where to turn to for help, and recognizing that it is the difficulties that actually teach us the most about the power and the love of God.
Finally, I have learned that marriage can always get better and better, and we can grow even more deeper in love and more appreciative of each other.
Posted by Tanya at 11:17 AM
Saturday, December 27, 2014
Just tonight I was watching a documentary about drug use, and it was heart breaking. It was dark and depressing. I also watched a Super Soul Sunday program earlier today about Paul Williams, who use to be an alcoholic and drug addict. His exuberance in being sober for many years was inspiring. He had truly found the brighter side of life.
When I had my wisdom teeth out and they gave me something to relax and slightly put me out, I walked out of the office with such a weird feeling of being out of control that I knew that was something I didn't want in my life. I want to be in complete control and experience life without having to alter my mind or my body.
I am incredibly grateful that I have been encouraged to stay away from anything that could harm me or potentially become addictive. I believe that if I would have started to take something to deal with the pain of some of my hard times, I wouldn't have gained the strength and wisdom that my reliance on my Heavenly Father has blessed me with, and instead I could have become dependent on something that could have ruined my life. I could have been tricked into thinking all was well but it really wasn't and I would have missed the desperate need for and help from my Heavenly Father.
The same goes from using something to make me more relaxed, outgoing, or fun. Anytime I depend on something else besides my God-given abilities that I am encouraged to develop, I can become a slave to that substance. I want to live on the brighter side of life with my mind clear and fully engaged.
Posted by Tanya at 11:25 PM
Friday, December 26, 2014
Posted by Tanya at 8:43 AM
Thursday, November 6, 2014
Posted by Tanya at 10:01 AM
Monday, October 20, 2014
Seriously, I believe that the story of the 10 virgins and the bridegroom is ultimately about being prepared for our Savior, but I also know that it is about being prepared for what life can throw at us. I know that I have been not only blessed but oftentimes saved from emotional, mental, physical, social, and spiritual duress because I had spiritual oil in my lamp.
I have benefited immensely from daily prayer and scripture study. For me what started as a checklist duty has now evolved into a life-changing and life-saving experience. It has prepared me to be ready and willing to have my Savior come into and bless my life.
Posted by Tanya at 5:38 AM
Sunday, October 19, 2014
I mentioned John Gottman's research and how he discovered four behaviors between spouses that would predict divorce. The most significant one was having and showing contempt. Contempt in particular is a potent mix of anger and disgust. Expressing contempt involves speaking to your spouse like he is “beneath” you, or mocking your partner in a cold, sarcastic way.
It is so easy to think that scolding or criticizing will help another person improve. But after years of my own research (call me a quick study), I have found it is simply counter productive. Kindness and heartfelt understanding is powerful. It is looking beyond the behavior and realizing that the behavior in and of itself has negative consequences and is punitive--I don't need to be. It is never accepting the bad behavior nor giving up high expectations but it is remaining kind and supportive in our spouse's quest for improvement. It is realizing that if I offer contempt instead of kindness, I can do so much more damage. Maybe even more damage than the initial infraction. When they say, it isn't what happens but how we respond that matters; it is true. Respond with kindness and friendly encouragement.
Saturday, October 18, 2014
This morning as I reflected on the word "admonish" I was led to new understanding on how I should treat people with friendly encouragement. I was reminded of research done by John Gottman about what has been found to be a predictor of divorce. His research validates what I just read in the scriptures and because I can trust what is found in scripture, I can trust the scientific study that supports it.
Posted by Tanya at 8:25 AM
Friday, October 10, 2014
I watched a program the other day on CNN with Lisa Lang about prescription drug addiction in Utah. It was heart retching to watch the struggle of someone who's pain medicine addiction turned into a heroine addiction. I couldn't help but think that I wished I could do something to help people. I told the class last night that I realized doing this class was a way to offer preventative "medicine" in order to discover peace and happiness without mind altering drugs or alcohol.
One of the things that I said the first week in the class about Positive Psychology is that it is a scientific study of what makes people thrive and find greater well being and life satisfaction. What I appreciate about the research is that it has correlated a belief in God and participation in religion with happiness. For me, my academic study and trust in scientific research has to be in line with my spiritual beliefs and faith, and with Positive Psychology I have found that to be the case. I simply cannot separate the two.
Posted by Tanya at 4:54 AM
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
It is back to school time and because I believe that the love of learning should last a life time, I wanted to be continually involved with education. Thanks to my good friend Kami for putting together this flyer. I am excited to continue to learn and research and to discuss this with other people who are passionate about learning and growing. Please let me know if you are interested in this month's class on Thursday, September 18, and I will reserve a spot for you and get your food order. This month we will meet around a conference table and dine and discuss about the development of Positive Psychology as a new educational field of study and how it can impact your life.
Posted by Tanya at 7:09 AM
Sunday, August 24, 2014
I am finally doing what I have wanted to do for a long time. I am going to teach a "college" course on Positive Psychology. It isn't going to actually be at a college but it will meet the academic requirements AND it will include eating delicious food from Corbin's Restaurant. This is not only a mental challenge for me but it is taking on and facing my fear that no one will show up. That has been why I have put it off for so long.
Rest assured I am not doing this necessarily because anyone else needs this but I NEED THIS! The teacher always learns the most and I am excited to continue my research, study, and preparation to teach some wonderful empirically studied principles and practices that can lead to a more fulfilling life. This will be a fun challenge that I am excited to pursue.
Posted by Tanya at 8:28 AM
Thursday, August 21, 2014
The other part of my physical challenge is to get serious (once again, for the millionth time) about eating healthy. In the morning I am making a smoothie that contains all the 7 highest alkaline foods--avocados, broccoli, celery, cucumbers, kale, red peppers, and spinach. I also add frozen fruit and a banana if I have one for sweetness, coconut water, protein powder, and chia seeds (I have some left over from Christmas gifts. Any of you old enough to remember Chia pets?)
Drinking this smoothie first thing in the morning and then several drinks throughout the day between meals keeps my sugar craving at bay and energizes me. Eating healthy creates more desire to exercise and then exercise makes me what to eat healthy. A healthy cycle to get into.
Posted by Tanya at 10:09 AM
Saturday, August 16, 2014
Unaware of my own shortcomings
Unaware of my own discomfort
Unaware of the pain of others
Unaware of some of the simple joys in life
Unaware of how good I have it
Unaware of when I am actually full
Unaware of how beautiful the sky is
The list goes on and on. It is time to practice awareness. Yes, practice. Any good thing takes practice. I know that if I am first and foremost better at self awareness, then I am able to be more aware of the feelings and needs of others.
How do I practice awareness? Stop, Calibrate, and Listen! (Ice Ice Baby. Ice Ice Baby) Seriously for me it means to sit still in quiet sometimes; if just for a small moment. It also means that I don't have to pull out my phone and do something on it even at a stop light (pathetic I know).
I can just take those small moments of life and breath in deeply and feel at a deeper level--at a more peaceful level. It is something as simple as becoming aware that the way I am sitting in a chair is uncomfortable and then making a minor shift into comfort. It is becoming more aware of the whisperings (key word) of the Spirit. It is becoming aware of the feelings of stress starting to build and course correcting in order to feel peace. It is noticing when I am shoveling in food that I actually am full and then to stop eating (novel idea). It is feeling the pain of someone else and offering comfort at the moment.
It is just being aware.
Posted by Tanya at 10:12 AM
Thursday, August 14, 2014
I was at a stand still and started to fall backwards, so it came to me that I need to choose some new and exciting challenges. Once something becomes too easy then it is time to choose to do something hard to do that is meaningful. It might be hard to shop for 48 hours straight without sleep or eat two pounds of chocolate in two minutes, but not quite so meaningful. I want to choose goals that stretch me spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. Today I went to hot yoga and chose to push myself more than usual. It was definitely a challenge, but stretching myself to my limits felt so exhausting but felt so good.
Posted by Tanya at 7:20 AM
Thursday, August 7, 2014
When I do this, miracles happen. I discover truths that course correct me. I discover false beliefs I have held onto that hold me back. I discover principles that lead me into a positive and hopeful direction.
Doing this everyday keeps me in a good place even when things are going great and can certainly provide the strong foundation when difficulties arise. When I am hit with something that can create a sort of anxiety, this daily practice even becomes more essential and easier to turn to because of the habit developed. It becomes a great way to find peace, strength, and much needed direction. It is a great anxiety buster.
Posted by Tanya at 8:45 AM
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Posted by Tanya at 8:40 AM
Saturday, August 2, 2014
I was grateful that Kev, even knowing that it would go to drugs, willingly gave him money. Withholding money and therefore withholding drugs wouldn't help this young man at that moment. Seeing the pain that he was obviously in, I was at least grateful that he could get a hit of drugs and feel some escape for even just an hour or two. For me, that seemed like the kindest thing we could do.
What I take from this is that I want to do what little I can do to offer a better way of living. To warn people of the devastation of the use of mind altering substances that can lead to addiction. To create a world where we can find true, long lasting joy and happiness and comfort when in pain that doesn't come from a bottle or needle.
It was interesting to me that after seeing that young man and still feeling a small portion of his pain, that this morning I would read in scriptures about bondage and how to stay out of it. Prevention is key.
PS Be careful about doing a google image search for the word "bondage"
Posted by Tanya at 7:13 AM
Friday, August 1, 2014
Posted by Tanya at 7:18 AM
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
I also appreciated the comments by a sweet woman, Shirley Noble, who shared her experience trying to learn how to walk again after being near death and in a coma for over a month. She said that she had taken a walk outside alone at the rehab center just as she was initially struggling to walk and fell but couldn't get up. The staff came and rescued her and then when she was working with her physical therapist, who knew about her fall, the therapist had her fall over and over again so she could learn to get back up on her own.
Isn't that a great lesson on life. If we can't get back up again on our own, it is possible that there will be people there to help us up but life will keep pushing us down again so that we get strong enough to get back up on our own. Life isn't about never falling. It is about learning to get back up again.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Now it seems like life can certainly be more treacherous. With morality slipping and addictions more prevalent, falling off the path is easier and easier to do. Thus all those guidelines have become more like the chain link in the bottom picture. We have to hang on for dear life.
Because it is so easy for me to get distracted, I have always found that there are certain morning rituals that bless my life. Praying and scripture reading and journal writing keep me focused on what is important and give my life stability and direction. Attending church each week and being reminded of the sacrifice of my Savior and feeling gratitude and renewed commitment and being surrounded by people with the same desires help me stay on the path.
Posted by Tanya at 8:54 AM
Monday, July 21, 2014
A favorite scripture of mine talks about a people who became "wild, and ferocious, and a blood-thristy people," all because they believed in the tradition of their fathers who taught that they had been "wronged." (Mosiah 10:12) What a powerful message. If we see that we have been "wronged" by other people or the circumstances of our life, we are vulnerable to become bitter and possibly revengeful. Instead, if we can find gratitude in ALL things, then we can become purified by those same events.
Posted by Tanya at 10:42 AM
Monday, July 14, 2014
I have experienced my share of emotional pain and anxiety, but I have also experienced the birth of new understanding and the opportunity to learn from it and become stronger, wiser, and more refined. That is why I don't want to dull those opportunities by using something artificial and temporary to take away the pain.
I want to embrace the pain and embrace the healing power that comes from a loving Heavenly Father who is there to help me cope and more importantly help me learn from the experience.
Because of my Savior's death and rebirth, I can be reborn spiritually, and it is usually and more effectively done through pain.
Sidenote: I don't really believe God causes our pain. We do that to ourselves. Other people often help; but in the end, it is our own reaction to what they do that causes the most pain.
Posted by Tanya at 7:42 AM
Sunday, July 13, 2014
This is a link to an article by Robert Kirby from the Salt Lake Tribune that I find very interesting. Great food for thought.
For me the bottom line is that religion should create love and faith, not resentment and fear. If I am feeling overly anxious and angry to the point of feeling pain because a loved one doesn't believe or behave in the way that I want them to, then I am simply not practicing my beliefs like I should. It would be a sign that I need to draw closer to my Father in Heaven and have faith that His love and my love and positive example is sufficient, and then to proactively pray for direction and strength to know how I can best support and love them.
I feel peace when I work on having a great and close relationship. I also feel peace knowing God loves them a heck of a lot more than I am capable of, and I just get to try and mirror that kind of love.
Posted by Tanya at 3:39 PM
Thursday, July 10, 2014
The smoothie was delicious and even better, I know it is doing my body good. If I want my body to perform well, I have got to take good care of it. I am drinking to good health. Cheers.
Posted by Tanya at 7:15 AM
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
In this is an interesting parallel. Right now it seems a lot of people are discounting and even calling the commandments detrimental to a happy and carefree life. Believing that it is those expectations that cause stress and pain, they are being ignored. In this way "killing" the very thing that can serve as a protector and ultimately leads to freedom and joy.
Just like killing the cats who prey on the rats and thus allowing the disease to run rampant, we can take away the very thing that can protect individuals and a society from slow but real destruction. I say, keep the commandments.
Posted by Tanya at 7:08 PM
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
I am determine to stay physically fit so I can enjoy a long, active life. I like to walk, swim, dance, hike, ski, bike; but I can tell the best thing for a healthy body is doing yoga. It keeps me flexible, helps with balance, and strengthens my spine. I tune more into my body and strengthen and stretch muscles that don't usually get a work out. I love the mind/body experience and the cleanse as I end drenched in sweat. It is the hardest exercise I do but I also feel the best. I think our minds and bodies are always seeking a challenge, and practicing Bikram yoga delivers that physical challenge that I crave. And I get to play dead.
Posted by Tanya at 6:39 AM
Sunday, July 6, 2014
I simply have to get serious about eating healthy. I haven't been as careful and I can feel the negative affects of an acidic body--aching joints, headaches, lethargic, negative attitude, etc. I know that if I want to live a vibrant life that I need to eat foods that are more alkaline and thus support good health. The chart above says it well--It is really living the Word of Wisdom. It shows the importance of not only avoiding certain foods but eating a lot of fruits and vegetables that create a healthy system. If it is to be--it is up to me. At my age, cheating isn't an option anymore. Dang it. Good to know that at least I don't have a problem eating too much liver since it is high in acid. I am just sad that chocolate is.
Posted by Tanya at 7:22 AM
Saturday, July 5, 2014
I have experienced other things "in my own backyard" that I now know are important to stay away from.
Posted by Tanya at 9:13 AM
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
I have also had faith that my experience in the temple will help me draw closer to my Father in Heaven. In adopting this "course of action" I have found a greater incentive to live a good life and have experienced a greater closeness to God and a higher purpose in life.
In the wake of all of the controversy over historical events, current excommunications, etc., I have personally found it to be a distraction from searching for and finding the peace and inspiration that the practice of reading the Book of Mormon and attending the temple can offer me.
I want to say that I fully support questioning and searching for truth. I believe that it is important to question and find that which resonates with our connection with God and His Holy Spirit and which is true for us. I also believe it is important to experiment and find out what personally blesses and lifts us. While I read and while I attend the temple, I am always questioning and being blessed with amazing answers.
I am a huge advocate for intrinsic motivation and intrinsic joy. We can always find great direction and inspiration from others but our best validation of what is best for us comes through experimenting on that direction and inspiration and then sincere questioning is that which comes individually to me through the Holy Spirit as a confirmation of what is true and beneficial for me.
I have found that it can always be a little different for each person, and it is important for me to have faith and trust in another person's individual inspiration and their journey, even if their experimentation is a painful lesson in learning what not to do. It is still valuable for them and can help them appreciate the atonement offered by our Savior in a more profound way.
Posted by Tanya at 6:30 AM
Thursday, June 12, 2014
With that said, I hope you won't condemn me but just learn to be more wise than I have been as I honestly reveal a great weakness and sin of mine. Go ahead and thank me for once again offering myself up as a bad example. I am simply one of the most selfless people I know. (sarcasm intended)
Because I was hard-wired to be a rule follower, I have often been a modern day Pharisee. I acknowledge that I have tried (try being the key word) to strictly observe the laws of God. Trying to keep the commandments wasn't the problem because I know that the commandments are given as a blessing to help us draw closer to Heavenly Father and to enjoy peace and happiness. The problem came only when I, like the Pharisees, sometimes became obsessed with a focus on strictness. The dictionary definition of the word "strict" is very revealing.
demanding that rules concerning behavior are obeyed and observed.
• (of a rule or discipline) demanding total obedience or observance; rigidly enforced.
• (of a person) following rules or beliefs exactly.
• exact in correspondence or adherence to something; not allowing or admitting deviation or relaxation: a strict interpretation of the law.
That kind of strict observance thus became more about the letter of the law than the spirit of the law. Instead of a focus on the peace and joy and closeness I and others can feel because of obedience to my Father in Heaven, there was more of a focus on the law. I was caught up in what was only meant to be the means to that end. I wasn't "enduring to the end" and feeling the ultimate benefits of feeling more love and peace as a result of observing the commandments; I was marching with the banner, "All of you better keep the same rules that I choose to keep!"
The focus on the letter of the law becomes even more accentuated as I worried and was in fear if other people weren't keeping the laws and I joined the commandment-keeping police academy . Talk about missing out on the love and peace I should have been feeling because of personally keeping the commandments to the best of my ability! I would get into fear and judgment and totally gloss over the truth that they were simply missing out on the peace and joy they could have had and started to judge and condemn them all the while hoping that that kind of criticism would motivate them to change their course (All of you who have just an ounce more good sense than me already know that this course is counter productive).
Because of a focus on fear instead of faith and love, I totally discounted the truth that pain of straying from the commandments would be the best teacher and totally negated faith in the fact that wickedness never is happiness. Instead, in judging and condemning them, I created more pain in what should have been a safe and loving relationship.
I have learned that I should just live the correct principles contained in the commandments and let other people govern themselves as Joseph Smith taught. My job is mainly to love and be a good example; not ever try to force people to do it my way (I'm continually surprised I didn't follow the pre-earthly plan of no free agency). Dallin H. Oaks beautifully said that in a church setting, we should teach the principles behind the commandments and not necessarily the dos and don'ts because that is for the individuals and families to decide.
I have a very strong conviction of the benefits of being part of an organized religion in which principles for happy and healthy living and eternal blessings are taught. I also know that the social connections can be a real blessing when we are loving and serving one another. I do believe that most of the damage in a religion happens when we as members act like Pharisees and use the commandments not to just personally benefit us but to divide us because we are judging and condemning each other. I am sure every religion has their share of Pharisees; especially in areas where a religion is the most predominate because it is easier to observe everything that is going on, and more tempting to judge.
I want to always remember that it isn't the law I should worship, but to embrace and try to live the commandments to better worship my Heavenly Father and partake of His love. I am turning in my commandment-following police badge. I want to commit myself to be a better example of the kindness, love, and mercy my Savior exemplified. He never discounted the importance and benefits of the commandments and the spirit of the law; He just condemned those who wanted to judge and condemn others for breaking the letter of the law.
Posted by Tanya at 7:50 AM
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Even though we have help, I like to leave some of yardwork for myself because I know how therapeutic it is. I have a tiny little garden that I planted and take care of and this morning I watered and pulled up weeds in our flower beds.
There is something exhilarating about pulling up a weed and having its roots slide out of the ground. It makes me better understand when the scriptures say "cursed is the ground for thy sake." Another word for sake is benefit. The weeds and the other imperfections of our lives are for our benefit. There is something wonderful to be found in the hard work that it takes to rid our lives of the weeds. But more important and really the essential part, is the opportunity to be humble and needy and to draw close to our Savior and really know that He is the only one that can take away the weeds in our lives and plant something wonderful.
Posted by Tanya at 8:14 AM
Sunday, June 8, 2014
This is my favorite song. Hands down. I love the beat, I love Michael Jackson, and I love the profound message.
It is human nature to want to blame someone else for our troubles. But it is true. "If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change." If I want to make a better relationship, I start with the woman in the mirror. I just need to be careful about looking in the mirror at the end of the day because invariably I realize--I have gone all day looking like this!
Posted by Tanya at 10:28 AM
This business of praying for insight and direction can be pretty brutal sometimes. Oh golly geez, having someone behave and treat me like I know I have been to other people is a better lesson than anything I can read in a book.
It was suggested that Adam and Eve would learn from their experiences. I guess a hard-headed person like me needs to learn the hard way, and I have to experience myself in the mirror of others to literally "see" what I am doing wrong.
Thank you to all those negative mirrors out there. I really don't condemn you; I appreciate the sacrifice you made to show me what not to do, and I realize I want to give you the same kind of compassion and forgiveness that I want to receive as I also provide a negative mirror to others. I mean, that is what us self-sacrificing people do--serve as a bad example.
Not only will people show up demonstrating what I am doing that I shouldn't do, but people will also be there to show me how my true self can and should be. Thank you to those positive mirrors. It is nice to see what I can and want to be. Someday I hope that I can grow up and be more of a positive mirror for others. But don't hold your breath.
Friday, June 6, 2014
Thursday, June 5, 2014
Posted by Tanya at 1:10 PM