May 31

“Growing up” is a common term referring to the process towards maturity. It relation to human beings it implies ‘upwardness’ – not only uprightness of body but also of mind and character.   It is regarded as a process that occurs gradually over a number of years, by which time our individuality is determined and we have gained a degree of self confidence born of self knowledge and self determination.

One would anticipate that physical maturity would be accompanied by emotional and mental maturity. But psychological maturity is a complex issue, and is not guaranteed along with physical growth. We would however, expect an increasing desire for emotional expression and some evidence of intellectual growth which is apt to show in our attitudes and opinions being gradually replaced by certain knowledge and independent, creative thought.  It should be apparent that if our growth of mind tends upward towards the noblest of our ideas and ideals,  new thoughts of our own will be generated.

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May 30

When it comes to our self image we are pretty much dependent upon our own sense of self value and self respect. Others can help us in building up a personality but can equally destroy the image we would like to hold as a genuine reflection of our true nature. It is with faithful friends that we feel secure, aware that they have some understanding of this picture of ourselves that we cherish. Those who do not perceive the goodness or reality of our inner nature tend to make us defensive and uncertain.

What we have each to do is to hold a plan of our ideal – the personality we wish to use to express ourselves – and programme ourselves to relate to this, regardless of circumstances or outer relationships. The old wisdom “Be true to yourself”… applies here.
We have to make this important plan, just as we would have to do if we were acting out a role in a theatre drama.  It will involve spending a quiet time gathering your thoughts to focus upon the most important components you wish to build into your self image.

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May 29

We cannot experience something for nothing, even though we may feel we deserve it. We are required to work and work of any kind is always rewarded. Our attitude to work has a great influence upon outcome. The poet Kahil Gibran reminds us that “Work is love made visible….” and we would all rather work creatively at something we love to do.

If we see that a constant work throughout our lives is to care for and be responsible for personal health, we must include mental health and fitness also. It would be wise to apply a positive attitude to this long term work project to care for our whole psyche, body, emotions and thoughts.

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May 28

It is a sad testament to our culture that instead of the word ‘happiness’ we hear all too often its opposite – that is ‘depression.’ Although it was once used as a common term to describe a negative mood of passing fear, frustration or concern it now is used with more serious medical implications.

Many people are being diagnosed as suffering long lasting negative states instead of temporary ones and the condition of serious cases is termed clinical depression. The cause is seen to be based upon chemical imbalance and brain disturbances of various kinds requiring medication with drugs. In many cases this would seem justified.

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May 28

When dark clouds of depression seem to come from nowhere and change the climate of your normal moods and mind states it is a serious interruption to your good health and a symptom of mental illness that causes great disability that is crippling to both mind and body.

Depression is at an all time high in the communities in western nations where lifestyle is advertised generally as being the best. However, the facts do not support this when as high as one in five in the community is unhappy or under treatment for mental illness.  Instead of joy in living, people in our society are not happy with their lot or they are suffering from chemical pollution of one kind or another having a detrimental affect upon their body chemistry.

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May 24

In our goal to understand and control our minds there are certain principles that are evident in the yogic system known as Raja Yoga, or Royal Yoga.

The control of the mind is very difficult, both in the external expression of its talents and skills as well as in the restful states when thoughts are stilled. We must be patient and we must not be ambitious. Some people think that mental development is the aquisition of more and more knowledge, thought power, and personal intellectual status. But this could be seen as an ever receding goal as all knowledge can never be the lot of one human mind.

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May 23

In beginning to train our minds we accept some basic needs –to increase our ability at visualisation – to be able to slow down our mental activity – to achieve concentration – and to harness our imagination.

To some extent we must achieve some control of these faculties before employing them to our full advantage in creative thinking. Some of us are better at one or the other and some have a near genius ability where we seem weak. In working to balance them we embark upon an interesting journey in self awareness.

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May 21

Smiling can be for some of us a real discipline. We may have to remind ourselves many times during the day to wear a pleasant expression instead of showing anxiety or concern on our face. You may like to try the simple smiling exercise that can be a bit of fun also.

Start your day with a smile. Even if you only smile at yourself in the mirror it will set the tone for a cheerful day ahead. Better still if you can greet others in the home with a sunny “good morning!”

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May 21

If we choose to nourish our minds with positive or constructive thoughts, we will always find an interest in the wise sayings and quotes of others. Because we are all so different in character and at are at present in circumstances that reflect different stages of our development, we will find a natural and individual response to the words of one or another.  Discover which appeal to you, for instance, in the following…..

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May 14

The causes of personal stress are simple enough if we face the factors in our lives that cause us discontent, anxiety or any unhappiness that we are experiencing. It may be questionable whether or not we can change the external factors altogether, but we can try to make changes. We can certainly direct and control our personal reactions so as to maintain our mental fitness and self confidence.

In the meantime, as we are working towards alternative situations, how do we free ourselves from negative reactions and symptoms of stress that cause us so much concern and often embarrassment. How do we alter our defensive reactions to life and to people? How do we cease to care what others think about us? What will change our anger when we feel offended or our impatience when we’re in a hurry?  Perhaps our attitude is an important factor.

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