Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Prepare: Have a Grateful Heart

A couple of weekends ago I had the privilege of participating in the C4P meetup. I have to say I am continually impressed by the quality of people that congregate at Conservatives4Palin. They are good, humble people who love their country and are willing to do whatever they can to put it back on the right track. We see in Sarah Palin a leader who has had a tremendously positive impact for good in America and who will continue to do so. I offer my heartiest congratulations to the organizers of the event, and to the participants for the excellent people they are. My biggest takeaway from the event is that America is good, because there are so many great people who love this nation. Keep up the amazing efforts everyone.

We were blessed to have some wonderful speakers, all of whom were inspiring and informative. For a wrap up of the event you can read Whitney’s excellent piece here My biggest takeaway message from the speakers is that right now we need to prepare. I need to prepare for any eventuality, including a Palin presidential run, but more in general I need to prepare to do whatever I can to help this country. This message struck home to me especially during Tammy Bruce’s speech. As I was getting ready to leave the event Tammy happened to cross my path and she spent a few moments chatting with me. She gave me a hug and than repeated that same message to prepare. God speaks through others very often, and I felt the Spirit in her message.

As I’ve thought about what things I need to do in order to prepare I’ve contemplated physical preparation (like I need more sleep for instance :), financial preparation, spiritual preparation and so on. But, I feel like my greatest need in preparing is to get my heart in the best shape possible. I’ve written before about the heart, and how its functions include a great deal more than just pumping blood. You can read about that here

One of the amazing things about the heart is that our emotions play a role in heart health. The healthiest emotion for your heart is actually appreciation/gratitude. As an example I’d like you to see a couple of tracings that I just recorded today. The first tracing was taken as I was reading an article about the TSA. The second tracing was taken using a simple regulated breathing technique for the first 2 minutes, and than activating a positive emotion for the last 2 minutes. I wanted to feel gratitude so I thought about how I was inspired at the end of last week to get my snow tires on, I hadn’t checked the weather reports but felt it would be a good idea. These past 2 days we’ve had near blizzard like conditions. I’m really grateful to have those tires on and have had no problems. You can see a clear difference in the patterns.

TSA Reading

Grateful for Snow Tires

It cracked me up to see the result of this little experiment. Even an untrained eye would be able to discern there's a big difference between the two readings, I apparently don't like the TSA much these days. Gratitude, even for something simple, goes a long ways for making your heart healthy, and for decreasing stress and increasing your ability to think clearly. The grateful heart has a calm and easy flow to it. It is more efficient. There is a strong connection between the heart and the brain, a grateful heart makes it easier to problem solve. Also, a grateful heart should help you feel energized.

As I've thought both about the necessary preparation that a grateful heart is, and of course the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday I've tried to come up with lists of things I'm grateful for. This past year my gratitude can be summed up into one word for which I'm most grateful, mercy.

I'm grateful for the mercy of healing. I had a pretty good injury this year, that is almost 100% healed, our bodies and the capacity to heal is amazing. I'm grateful to witness and in some small way participate in the healing of the clients I work with.

I'm grateful not just for my own health but that of my loved ones as well. Our family welcomed three new little ones this year. They are all healthy now, though a couple of them gave us some big scares. I sure love these little ones, and the fact that God helped them and our whole family through some big trials is incredibly merciful. Being able to hold them is such a merciful thing. There's just nothing like looking into the eyes of a little one and them looking back and feeling safe enough to close their eyes and sleep.

One of the most merciful aspects of my life is to belong to the family I do. I'm incredibly humbled to be counted among the most inspiring, good hearted people you could possibly imagine. My biggest heroes are in my family. Their love sees me through much. I'm grateful that through His mercy The Lord places others in my life that have had such a positive impact on me.

I;m grateful for the mercy that our men and women in uniform show us. Through their sacrifice our freedoms our secured.

I'm grateful for the mercy of forgiveness. What a gift that is. I've needed it. It is humbling to recognize that God can change me. I've got so far to go. But, what a miracle it is to take a fallible person and to assure me that I still have a role to fulfill, that I can truly serve others.

I'm grateful for the mercy that is The Atonement of Jesus Christ. He is my Savior in every way, and every good gift every tender mercy is because of Him.

Prepare for any eventuality; start with preparing your heart. The very best thing for your heart is gratitude. Seek to be grateful, open your eyes to see God's wonders. Those who are sincerely looking and are sincerely grateful will see His hand in all things.

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