Just reading a book, however, will not fix or change anybody. Seriously checking your sugar consumption, starting a new exercise program, and finding a therapist or health coach to work with will. You need to take action and actually use the suggestions offered. The reason many people can't simply pull themselves up by their bootstraps is because they either don't know how to or because they've bought into the idea that it's not possible. When you accept the idea that depression is something that can't be overcome without medical treatment, you leave yourself no other options and lose before you've even had a chance to try. You adopt a sense of both hopelessness and helplessness. Please bear in mind that this is not at all about being a tough guy or girl. It's not about gritting your teeth and proclaiming, I'm going to be happy, healthy, and free from this moment on! I will march through this depression and all will be fine! It's about opening yourself up to new ideas and possibilities, enjoying the journey, and rethinking some of the ideas you've been brought up with. It's about putting together a tool kit, practicing using those tools, and allowing your body and mind to get well using its own brilliant healing mechanisms. Being human must occur every moment of your life, forever. Sprinkling a little of these priceless and Universal qualities into your daily living does not constitute humanness. You must eternally ingest these precious ingredients and perpetually express them in everything you say, think, and do in every abundant way. Once you begin to look upon every person as an embodiment of the Universe, a Masterful Creation of the Most High, who can exist in any color, shape, size, and spiritual level, you are well on your way to becoming a human being. You must love everyone unconditionally, just as the Universe loves you unconditionally. You must accept people as they are and where they are on their own spiritual journeys. Recognize that people are exactly where they are supposed to be, just as the Universe accepts you at your position in life's grand play. Accepting this assignment is your primary objective as a human and to become a human! Finally, you must inherit and boldly embrace the beauty of one race, one brotherhood, one sisterhood, and one Universal Love. Then and only then, you can emphatically proclaim, "Yes, I'm human."

If you are trying to meditate in a specific posture, don't become distracted by incessant inner questioning of whether you're in the exact right bodily position. If you have a firm base and are conscious of the need to keep a straight back and erect posture, you are more than likely in a perfectly favorable position to meditate and practice mindfulness. You can shift your mind into "bare attention mode," rather than being dominated by thoughts of process, technicalities, and "right" or "wrong." Don't allow yourself to feel frustrated for lack of some kind of major breakthrough or fundamental realization in your mindfulness practice. Remember that this is gradual and lifelong training. Accumulation of a steady, incremental increase in the consistency of your awareness is just as positive of a development as would be some kind of instant-enlightenment moment. There is no "schedule" for milestone achievements in your mindfulness practice, and there is nothing wrong with you if progress is coming at a slower pace than you initially expected. Use the mental image of tenderly "holding" negative emotions, and "shining a light" of mindfulness on them, rather than perceiving your interaction with them as one of struggle, or resistance, or trying to "conquer" them. Part of the practice of mindfulness is learning to minimize your tendency to attach value judgments to your mind states ("It is bad that I am feeling this way.It is good that I am thinking this thought"). The actual mental image of simply holding and being aware of what we typically perceive as negative emotions can help to minimize these types of value judgments that are implied when we think in terms of resisting or "fighting off." Medication will always be available as an option should you find yourself still struggling even after your best efforts. For some, that might very well wind up being the case, and there's no shame in getting the help one needs. To not give it our best efforts holistically first, though, is in my opinion, to not honor the healing capacity that nature has blessed us with. Our bodies are brilliant and know what they're doing. We just need to treat them well and trust them to do their job. Open your mind up to the possibility that you might not be quite as powerless over your depression as some would have you believe. Allow yourself to take baby steps, and give yourself credit for each of those steps along the way. Believe that with each healing step you take, you gain strength to tackle the bigger changes that might be necessary. Learn to believe by taking that first single step. Utilize as many of the tools in the book as possible. They'll help you not only get those boots on, but you'll quickly find yourself digging your heels in, too! Oh beautiful soul, partake in the refreshing truth of your essence and astounding heritage.

Always and in all ways, know that the universe is a reflection of you. You have become the person you created yourself to be! The Universe responds to your every breath, thought, and action. The Universe is here to remind you of your true nature; it is a catalyst for your evolving spirit. It is not here for your glory or splendor, although you may find glory and splendor within it. The Universe you see and experience on the outside is identical to what dwells within you. You receive 100 percent of the credit for creating both Universes, because they are the same. You are here to discover that you are the miracle and the truth. Your life is exclusively yours, but you do not live it exclusively for yourself. You are here to be of service to others, too. Remember, you are connected to everyone and everything in the Universe. Everyone in the Universe is an expression of our Heavenly Father. The manner in which we live is our interpretation of the Universal Laws. Know that nothing happens by chance, nothing! You have the ultimate freedom to do anything you want with your life. However, anything you think, say, and do will affect every soul on this planet in some way. Henceforth, hold love in all your thoughts, actions, and words. You, along with our infinite and vast Universe, are a creator. As such, you must create by design and will. You can create anything and everything; it is your choice.

You can create a life filled with gloom and squalor, or you can create a life imbued with prosperity and Love. Just as the Holy One, Blessed Be, created the Universe, you are a creator, too. Anger is something everyone experiences. Indeed, feeling irritated, annoyed, or even outraged is an unavoidable fact of being human. It is vital to know, though, that anger comes with its own blinders and rigid beliefs. It narrows your thinking and pulls you into the blame game. Anger also covers its tracks by making you absolutely certain that your view of the offending situation is 100 percent correct. Making matters worse, any emotion that you feel in this moment slyly works to increase the odds that you'll feel that same emotion in the next moment. With all the insidious ways that anger can control your mind, you can begin to see how it can come to dominate your days, even your life. Yet even though angerlike any other negative emotionis to be expected as a normal human experience, the truth is that you need not become a victim of your anger. Psychological science makes it clear that you can choose not to cultivate or prolong your angry experiences. Anger need not become a lifestyle. Science has cataloged the damage done when this challenging state of mind becomes a person's baseline, or first impulse: you can pay a high price in terms of compromised health, strained relationships, and unhappiness. If anger has come to rule you in ways that you no longer appreciate, rest assuredyou can change. This book can help. Drawing equally on ancient wisdom traditions and twenty-first century scientific breakthroughs, Dr. Brantley skillfully weaves practices for calming your angry mind together with vivid success stories that will inspire you to achieve the changes you seek. If you feel your attention being drawn in a number of different directions, causing a lack of clear mindfulness, try to establish a singular focus of your awareness at your nostrils. This focus should be on a specific point directly in front of the breath being inhaled and exhaled through the nose. Use this new, narrowed focus to then settle into simple awareness of the in and out breaths themselves.

Notice how this shift in focus from multi-faceted distractions to a singular object of awareness lessens the chaos and feelings of incomprehensibility that are characteristic of unmindful comprehension. When practicing mindfulness of the body, think in terms of "placing" your awareness in a certain bodily location, rather than "directing" your awareness. This mental image of physically picking up, moving, and placing awareness in the abdomen, for example, is more powerful and tangible than the idea of merely redirecting awareness. Often times when you do this, you can immediately feel the relaxing of tense muscles in the area where you "placed" your awareness. Most people are introduced to journal writing in high school. While journals are a valuable tool for teachers to gain insights into the workings of their students, it's also a great way for them to gain classroom quiet time so they can do grades and other chores they'd rather not be doing at home. I believe that's why journal writing was so frequently assigned. What I hated about the exercise was that, sometimes, the teachers actually collected our journals and read what we wrote. I'd then inevitably get questioned on my choice of topics or other things in my writings they found disturbing. As a teenager, I had no desire to go more deeply into what I was thinking, much less share those thoughts with a teacher. I caught on quickly to what I should and shouldn't write about. The knowledge that someone else might be reading what I wrote, and asking questions, drained the process of all its healing qualities. If you shared a similar early experience, I'd like you to now let go of anything you've previously learned, thought, or felt about journal writing and open yourself to the idea that this may very well be one of the most practical tools you'll have in your box. You're going to be doing this differently from here on out. While there are lots of methods, exercises, and techniques for journal keeping, there are only two rules to the type of journal writing I've found to be most beneficial. You'll be surprised once you make a habit of this how it sometimes feels as though someone other than yourself is doing the writing. I've had solutions to problems start flowing out of my pen that came from a place inside me I didn't know existed. When you write, your thought processes come alive in new ways. Stuck points become unstuck, unmanageable feelings become more manageable, and it often feels as though the pieces of the puzzle start falling exactly where they belong. Journals are also an integral key to self-awareness.