The Growing Group

The Monday Muse: Your Growing Group Round Up

Here’s some of the latest articles and ideas you can find in our “Growing Group” magazine online. Please visit the site and like us on Facebook: For the Growing Group Round-Up Things to let go to ensure Happiness Happiness Habits to learn Promote your Passions Quick Tips to create a Happier You! Boost your morale when needed! Motivation you need to cultivate This month, we have been focusing on ways to find your ‘inner muse.’ And the Growing Group articles from the magazine all reflect some aspect of nurturing and cultivating that muse we all seek. Searching For Happiness One of our favorite Happiness gurus, Gretchen Rubin, has a book and a web site that is all about happiness.  She writes about The Happiness Project in her book and on her podcast. The topic of Happiness is a popular one these days. It seems there are many out there who offer formulas and ingredients that will lead to happiness. It’s natural that we want to find happiness, but in doing so,  there are so many ways to achieve that elusive goal, that we need to pause and ask what we want and need in our own lives. Because as we know, we are all so different in our goals and our talents, the things that bring happiness to some may not be the solution in our own lives. However, there is a new way of finding peace and contentment in our lives that gives us an edge. The authority that comes with scientific research has begun to develop and explore ways to guide us in our pursuit of happiness. There are several good books out there that are recommended in The Growing Group this month. One is, “The Happiness Advantage,”  which will help give you an edge in everything you do in life! The Mindset that the author mentions in this article is something we spoke of this past week in our exercises. Part of our journey of discover includes developing a stronger mental outlook. The Growth Mindset fits in with our Growing Group mission of developing ways to ‘grow, change & improve as a human being.’   The Science of Happiness The science behind uplifting habits and positive thinking is mapped out by researchers who work on the science of motivation for a living!  In order to set better and more functional goals for ourselves, there is a way to look at progress and monitor our achievements. Managing multiple goals and tasks, resolving conflict and self-control issues, and then looking at ways to bring balance into our lives are all part of the science of motivation. The people who surround us, who support us, and help us grow and thrive are vital elements to achieve success. You will find that when you set goals with a viewpoint of working to achieve things head-on, it is a superior plan rather than seeking out the habits and mindset of avoidance. The Positive Mindset for Success Once you find the positive mindset to help you achieve success, the other vital element is to find ways to chart your progress. So many of our desires and goals are often thwarted when we have setbacks,and we often feel like quitting. Or we may feel that the task before us is an impossible one. But in looking for ways to sustain momentum and motivation, we need to have a positive outlook. And taking baby steps helps us to achieve benchmarks to monitor our progress. Then we’ll know (& celebrate)  how far we’ve come! Some Growing Group Ideas:  When you need Motivation But as we are all human, we can often find ourselves feeling helpless or down about life. When we do find ourselves plagued with self-doubt, here are some of the ideas listed that can be quite helpful: When things go sideways, think of the Big Picture. If the Universe has a plan for you, then no decision is ‘right or wrong’ but instead, a choice that may take you down a different path! Think of the Mantra of “Pain is Inevitable sometimes….But Suffering is always Optional” The Growing Group reminds us that we are all part of a bigger picture. If we don’t maintain the status quo, but instead look to make connections, to find inspiration and look for your true calling, and things to satisfy your soul, then you will have to take chances. There is some things that are harder than others to achieve, but if we are to move forward, we must grow as humans and spiritual creatures. You are the one who must make a conscious decision to move forward in your own life! Even when it gets harder, and we are feeling down or have disappointments, we can develop that mindset that helps us achieve success and growth in our lives. Fighting one battle at a time is essential. Learning that the other battles that constantly shadow us and fill our heads are the ones we fought yesterday and the ones we will fight tomorrow. Regrets and resentments of yesterday’s past, mixed with the fear and dread of the shadows of the future can overwhelm and paralyze the best of us. Keep the mantra in mind of the Serenity Prayer. The wisdom to know the difference is all about knowing what we can and cannot change. What we can control, we can change. Everything else is made for the Serenity Mantra- Grant me wisdom to know the difference! Don’t tally up all your mistakes and failures of the past. Think of the things you have done and achieved where others have not dared to even try! Mistakes are something you need to let go. If you have a journal, write a mistake page. Then for each mistake, you must write something that you learned from a past mistake or a reason the mistake occurred. Finally, tear out the page and then light a match or throw it out! Letting go of past mistakes is the only way to

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Visioning: Motivational Maintenance

In this final phase of planning, you will be working to mold and create a real and credible model for your dreams and your goals. This entails more than just planning how you will be able to live your dreams.  In the first section, you were able to put on paper the ideas that you have for a new career or a challenge in your life.  And in the second phase, you focused on concrete ways to plan how that vision might be achieved! And now that you have reached the third phase, you will now look at the most realistic ways to maintain your focus. The idea that your life is going to remain stagnant is an unrealistic vision for any person living in the 21st Century. As so much of the technology changes, as our opportunities increase for careers and new challenges and skills, we should be able to envision a future that is flexible and can cope with changes in the world around us. Your Personal Vision Your core values will be even more important cornerstones to focus on as you stay flexible and yet grounded in the ideals and goals that make up who you are. Your spiritual strengths and your inner strengths that you have identified throughout the visioning process will help guide you when you need to make key decisions that will affect your future. For example, if you decide that a career move takes you overseas, or  a new path involves more education, then you will realize that the planning you have done may need to involve more time and more resources! Your vision of who you are and where you want to be in five years will help you decide if this is the right path for you. Your checklist of pros & cons can also help you lay out the why’s that will help you decide if this is something that is more than just an idle thought. If it is part of your vision, you must incorporate that new piece into your long-term planning. The List you need for achieving your Vision In the past sessions, we have honed in on some of the necessary tools you will need to help you make these decisions. And in the Growing Group Library, you will find everything you need moving forward. Journal Vision Board/Vision Book Mission Statement of Core Values Positive Planning Checklist Action Plan Daily Motivational Exercises Staying Motivated through Life One thing that has held up many people in their earnest struggle to plan and to envision their future goals is finding ways to stay motivated. Naturally, life will get you down at times! There are expected setbacks and unexpected hurdles that we all must overcome. One way to maintain your motivation is to stay connected. The Growing Group is a weekly motivational group that includes new motivational exercises with an uplifting mantra to help guide you each week. Staying connected with a group is a vital component. Then, a regular review of your goals is something that will keep you on track. As stated, our lives will change and we need to review the direction we are going, the paths we choose, and the outcomes that can be measured on at least a quarterly basis. We recommend downloading a quarterly checklist that is available as part of the Growing Group when you join us. By regularly reviewing your goals, you can then find what is working and even tweak your own checklist to add new goals and exciting challenges. You will also find exercises that challenge you both mentally and physically when you are looking for a mind/body balance. Spiritual wellness and having a focus are just part of the goals that you will set for yourself. By having a core that is your center, and is based on your values and beliefs,  is a key metric to help guide you and give you renewed strength to complete your vision. By maintaining a daily source of energy and eagerly accepting new challenges will be the final steps in realizing your vision. Your vision is nothing more than your own personal set of dreams and goals that are set for you in life. And you are the one that is in charge of the entire project that is your life’s ambitions. It is the most exciting challenge you can find! And you have the inner courage and strength to make your dreams come true.

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Monday Muse: What does Charity mean to you?

Our theme at 6 Degrees in December is “Giving Back.” Looking at different places where we can give back, we think of the old saying that goes, “Charity begins at home.” Charity is the theme for “The Growing Group” this month. There is a devotion about charity from William Temple, who served as the Archbishop of Canterbury during World War II. He wrote about the true definition of what Christian Charity can mean in your life. With this piece, we look at the things we can do for others as well as that which is needed for our families and for our own survival. And when we think of home, it also means our home town, our home church, and our own household with extended family. “Whatever you Did not Do” from William Temple   “It is Christ who pines when the poor are hungry, it is Christ who is repulsed when strangers are not welcome; it is Christ who suffers when rags fail to keep out the cold, it is Christ who is in anguish in the long-drawn illness, it is Christ who waits behind the prison doors. You come upon one of those who have been broken by the tempests of life, and if you look with eyes of Christian Faith and love, he will life a brow…and you will know that you are standing before the King of kings, Lord of lords. Christ brought to the world a new conception of royalty. He rules by love and not by force. That, as he expressly said, is the difference between his kingdom and the kingdoms of this world. … …”Civilization, as we know it, produces much human refuse. Slum dwellings, long hours of work, underpayment, child labor, lack of education, prostitution-all these evils are responsible for stunting and warping the development of souls. Things are improving, we hope. But unless we are exerting all the strength that Christ gives us in ending these bad conditions, then the responsibility for wasted lives lies at our door, and from the streets….the cry goes up…”Just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” Mantra: This week I will begin by thinking of those who are in need of charity. That includes those close to home and those who are poor and in need throughout the world. And though I know that we cannot relieve all suffering, at this time of holidays and laughter and fun,  I will try to remember to look through the eyes of someone who is the most compassionate and caring.  And I will try to make decisions and rule my life going forward based on charity and love.

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