Reaching For Joy

In this issue...

  • What I've been up to: Music Is Back!

  • Positive news: Help Haiti

  • The monthly thought: Reaching For Joy

  • Inspiration from you: Lisa

  • A positive recommendation: Something To Think About, Something To Laugh About

  • The thanking corner: comedy and my keyboard

    What I've been up to: Music Is Back!

    The end of 2009 was great, as I has about 10 days off from work in a row and plenty of time to read, write, socialize, cook nice meals...

    However, the highlight for my past month has been that I got myself a keyboard -see happy me in the picture above :-)

    See, I can play piano and did play for more than ten years. But when I left my parents' place, at the age of 22, my piano was (obviously) left there. I simply didn't have enough room wherever I went to actually have it.

    And I had been wanting to get myself a keyboard for a while... but I always stopped myself, "It's not the right time", "I can do other things with my money which are more useful to me now", etc.

    On the last day of 2009, after having done some research and having asked some friends who know about keyboards, I went out and bought the keyboard I wanted.

    As simple as that! For the following week I did nothing else really other than playing the keyboard, trying the different sounds, fiddling with the buttons and exploring all it does. So forgive me if you didn't see much action happening at the blog of The Benefits Of Positive Thinking... now you know why :-)

    With the new year I've picked up on all the things I do daily - and I now include playing a bit every day as well. And I love it.

    Other things have been going on in my life though that may be pointing to major shifts - I bet you've also felt a wave of sudden changes, specially in the last few days. If they've been positive - enjoy them! If they've been negative - hold on to yourself; I believe they are indicators that something large is changing for your benefit.

    Wish you enjoy this first newsletter of 2010. For a great year for us all!

    The Positive News: Help Haiti

    You're surely aware that on January 12 a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, consequently killing a lot of people and leaving many without a home, or badly injured.

    My purpose with mentioning it in this newsletter is to pass on a link which contains ways to donate and to help in other ways. The grief and despair that the people in Haiti must be going through is surely huge; rather than focusing on that, let's help.

    Find out how you can donate or help in any other way by following this link.

    The Monthly Thought: 7 Ways To Reach For Joy

    In the world we live in nowadays, filled with uncertainty as to what will happen next, I find it extremely important to be able to live from a calmed and joy-filled stance as much as possible.

    I am of the belief that as we approach 2012 we are going to see more and more sudden changes at a number of levels. It is becoming more important than ever before to be able to maintain our center no matter what happens around us.

    Reaching for joy helps us to maintain our center.

    It might be difficult to reach for joy at first - I know because it was for me, used as I was to experience drama almost every day. What happens though is that the more you actively reach for joy, the easier it gets.

    And the easier it gets, the easier it is to live more of your wake time from a stance of joy. It also gets easier to return to joy whenever you get off track.

    For instance, certain events in my relationships would have me down for a few days. Now sometimes they only bother me for a few hours or less, sometimes they don't bother me at all.

    This month I'm bringing you seven ways to easily reach for joy. These tips are simple - because reaching for joy is actually not complicated at all, but very easy. Depending on your current state of emotion it might take you longer to feel joy - but believe me these tips work, and joy you will feel.

    Here they are - seven ways to reach for joy:

    1. Gratitude. Nothing as simple to get out of a mild grumpy mood (for instance) than gratitude. Mentally or on paper list as many things as you can think of that you are grateful for.

    This may include the food, shelter, or clothing you have access to; all the people who have supported you and still do in one way or another; all the places you've had the opportunity to visit; all the beautiful surprises you have received... no, there is no shortage of things to be thankful for :-)

    2. Laugh. "Laughing is the best medicine" - so true. If truly when you look at your moment-in-life you cannot find the way to laugh about it, then find other ways to still laugh - check some comedy over YouTube, for example.

    Laughing will uplift your mood. Check the section on the recommendation of the month of this newsletter - I have included a link to a 2-minute stand-up comedy video.

    3. Four Great Things. Look back on your life and list four things that you have done in your life which made a difference for somebody else and which made you feel great. Relish on the feeling, relish on the beauty of whatever it is you did.

    Now I know that you have done more than four great things - that in fact you make a difference in somebody else's life every day. But find perhaps the most prominent ones - great joy is in them.

    4. Music. Depending on your abilities, you may choose to sing, to play music, or to listen to music. Regardless which way you choose, bring out those songs that make you feel good, maybe those that you listened to at a wonderful moment of your life, or those atemporal ones which have always the power to uplift you.

    5. Imagination Playground. Embody the child in you for a few minutes or as long as you like: imagination is your playground.

    Sit comfortably somewhere and either with colours and paper or quietly in your mind, create a scenario, or a situation, or something you would like to experience. It does not have to be true, or even match the rules of this world as you know it.

    For instance, I have imagined a beautiful landscape in which a huge party is going on, the sun is shining, my favourite music is playing, I'm radiating beauty and feeling awesome, and all the people I love are there, smiling and having a fun time with me - even my dog! :-)

    6. Love. Did you know that when you feel deep love you actually look younger, people are attracted to you, and miracles happen? Oh yeah! :-) Well, love is one of the top feelings and if you like, in a way, the same as joy.

    So picture someone you love - may be someone who passed away or someone who is alive. Feel the feelings of love for this being, remember all the good times and love you shared together.

    If you choose to remember someone with whom you no longer have a relationship for whatever reason, know that the point is not to go on to the melancholy of "that's not there now", but rather to re-live in this moment the love you may have felt in the past - for even if you don't see it, the love is well and alive.

    7. Art. Whether you create it or you look at it, art is an all-times uplifter. It contains a kind of beauty that is enchanting and marvellous.

    Besides, with the internet you can quickly do a search for any artist or type of art you like - and spend quite a while looking at all that you find. Forget about time and immerse yourself in art - it so pays off.

    I wish these tips are helpful to you. Wishing you a year filled with joy!

    Inspiration From You: "I Am Grateful For So Many Things", From Lisa (Ohio)

    Every month I receive emails from readers - some of them contain questions or comments, and some of them are contributions, such as a positive story, an article or a tip.

    This month Lisa, from Ohio (US), shared this piece of gratitude:

    "I am grateful for so many things"

    Many days I take for granted that my children are healthy and my husband and myself! Or that if we are hungry all we have to do is walk into the kitchen and eat!!

    I am thankful that my dump of a basement has a washer and dryer and that I don't have to haul my family's clothes to the laundromat to keep clean! I am thankful that if I have to go somewhere I just hop in my car and go unlike so many I see carrying bags of groceries waiting for the bus...

    AND as I write this, I can feel negativity creeping into my mind saying "Is this all there is to life?!?!" but yes I am thankful still... I wish I had lots of money in the bank and could buy all my heart desires or go on vacations or have a bigger nicer house... but even with all that, wouldn't I wish for something more?

    Thank God, for all I have and all I don't!

    You can read this piece of gratitude on its page at I am grateful for so many things.

    Thanks, Lisa! :-)

    The Positive Recommendation: Something To Think About, Something To Laugh About

    I'm bringing you today a couple of links to different videos. The first video contains information which you may find applicable to your life straight away, and the second video is just nearly two minutes of stand-up comedy. You know, to create balance ;-)

    The first video is the part 1 of the series "The Science Of Miracles" with Gregg Braden. He explains how through different scientific experiments we have come to the conclusion that everything is connected - something that religions have told us as well.

    He also explores the power of our emotions, and emphasizes the importance of how our thoughts affect our reality. He also describes experiments conducted in which a number of people thought thoughts of peace at the same time, seemingly affecting what was happening with the war in the Middle East.

    If you're anything like me, when you've finished watching the series (seven videos) you will be actively choosing thoughts which are beneficial to you. And yes, do watch all the videos - there's lots of interesting information in them.

    The second video is a piece from stand-up comedian Eddie Izzard on birds. If you thought that words are needed to make us laugh, then watch this video - a great mimic here is key. So funny!

    The Thanking Corner

    I believe that being grateful for something is one of the most powerful tools to feel better immediately. Here are the two thanking bits of the month:

    Thankful for... comedy. Sometimes I'd watch a short video of any of my favourite stand-up comedians before getting on to working on my things - and I appreciate how it helps me to lighten up and relax. Plus, it's as easy as doing a search on YouTube - handy :-)

    Thankful for... my keyboard! I hadn't realized how much I missed playing until I got my keyboard. It had been nearly 10 years since I had last played regularly, and for a week after I got the keyboard I did nothing else but play. I have placed it just to the right of my desk, meaning I simply turn and I'm playing. Love it!

    What are you thankful for? Send me an email through the Contact Me form and let me know!

    Thank you for reading this issue of Dare To Play It Big, the free positive thinking newsletter of The Benefits Of Positive Thinking.

    Care to send me your thoughts about this issue's topics? Email me and let me know!

    If you enjoyed this newsletter, please pass it along to your friends, family and colleagues, or send them to the Dare To Play It Big sign up page. I thank you in advance.

    Stay well,


    "All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another."

    -Anatole France

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