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Celebrate the Victories

  • A pleasurable conversation with a friend.

  • Work projects that have gone well, especially through challenges.

  • A successful resolution to a conflict, whether it is between a family member or friend.

  • A new fitness and meditation practice that is making a difference and feels great.

  • Actions of service that have made a difference.

  • Simple mindful moments hopefully and possible personal victories as well.

As a wise man once said to me many years ago, "Brad, get into the habit of doing something helpful for someone else and keep it to yourself". He expressed to me that it was a " great character builder." Now, I'm not saying that I'm a "great kind of a character," but when I took him up on it, I immediately knew what he meant. I wanted to sound the trumpet, and let someone know what I did. A funny, wonderful teaching moment.

The gift, the victory really comes when doing something helpful for someone and not thinking about it. Waguih William Ishak, MD a professor of psychiatry at Cedar-Sinai, says "We all seek a path to happiness. Practicing kindness toward others is one we know works."

Mindfulness can be defined as embracing life as it is in the moment. I view it as living free. We can change the pictures in our minds to be positive ones, as Dr. Richard Bandler, the co-founder of NLP teaches us. Based upon our life journeys, negative experiences can lead to negative thoughts, feelings and images. With positive imagery, thoughts and actions we can change how we think and feel. When we engage in helping others, and briefly pause in positive thoughts and actions, Dr. Ishak points to studies that link the feel-good brain chemicals of dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin that are released when we engage in random acts of kindness. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood. Celebrate the victories.

Practice, please.

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