Courage(LowRes)These are the notes from Roger’s presentation Oct 23, 2010 at the Portland chapter of AMCAP event held at the Tualitin Oregon Stake Center.  It was titled: Living in the LDS Now, creating a place for the spirit in our lives.

There were probably orientation briefings in the premortal world about how this mortal life would unfold for us, but the real experience is another thing! (Maxwell, 1996)

“The spirit and the body are the soul of man” (D&C 88:15)
The doctrine explained in the scriptures, the revelations, tells us that we are dual beings. We know there is a spirit and a body. “The spirit and the body [when they are eternally combined, become] the soul of man” So there are two parts of you. There is a spirit inside of a body. (Boyd K. Packer, “The 20-Mark Note,” NewEra, Jun 2009, 2–6)

We didn’t get an owners manuel! The body is a tool of the spirit.  We are the operator, the observer, the watcher.

Be Not Afraid: The Lord has said, Fear thou not; for I am with thee…I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (Isaiah 41:10)
The Lords instruction to Joshua was: …Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. (Joshua 1:9)

Defining afraid
A feeling of agitation and anxiety, of disquiet or apprehension. A reason for dread or apprehension. Fright, dread, terror, panic, alarm, dismay, consternation, trepidation.

Often fear is self generated
If you take each challenge one step at a time, with faith in every footstep, your strength and understanding will increase. You cannot foresee all of the turns and twists ahead. My counsel to you is to follow the direction of the Savior of the world: “Be not afraid, only believe. (James E. Faust, “Pioneers of the Future: ‘Be Not Afraid, Only Believe’,” Ensign, Nov 1997, 42)(Mark 5:36)

Be Not Dismayed..The Lord has said, …be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (Isaiah 41:10)Worry(LowRes)

Defining Dismayed
To destroy the courage or resolution of by exciting apprehension. To cause to lose enthusiasm; disillusion: To upset or alarm. A sudden or complete loss of courage in the face of trouble or danger. The sense of dread, or consternation.

Sometimes we think too much
It is rudimentary LDS doctrine that we are a spirit child of Heavenly Father that has been placed here on earth in a physical body to gain the experience and lessons of life. The body was provided to help and house our spirits in this process. The body is really a “tool” of the spirit, a tool that creates our presence and allows the interactions necessary in God’s plan for us. If the body is the tool, the spirit is surely meant to be the operator of the tool. The spirit should be in charge of managing, directing, and using the tool. Very, very often it is not. (Roger Stark, The Waterfall Concept, A blueprint for addiction recovery, Silver Star Publishing, Brush Prairie WA, 2010.)

Some, once they find the switch that turns on the brain, can not get it turned off. The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive… this is the delusion. The instrument has taken you over. (Tolle, 1990)

Creating mental/emotional storms
When we fall victim to our own compulsive thoughts we create emotional storms of anxiety, fear, depression, etc. Those storms of emotion disrupt our connection with self. We get lost in them. We lose our ability to be in and experience the present moment. Like violent thunderstorms or tornados these storms can lay us emotionally desolate, unable to nurture our connection with the spirit. (Roger Stark, The Waterfall Concept, A blueprint for addiction recovery, Silver Star Publishing, Brush Prairie WA, 2010.)

Where does planning end and worrying begin? Serenity Prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Our thoughts shape our lives…
James Allen has expressed it this way in his book As a Man Thinketh: “As the plant springs from, and could not be without, the seed, so every act of a man springs from the hidden seeds of thought, and could not have appeared without them. This applies equally to those acts called ‘spontaneous’ and ‘unpremeditated’ as to those which are deliberately executed. “In the armoury of thought he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself; he also fashions the tools with which he builds for himself heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace. (L. Tom Perry, “Discipleship,” Ensign, Nov 2000)

Our inner dialogue can hurt or help us
You talk to yourself constantly…and you become the architect and creator of the emotions you later experience through this self-talk. Emotions do not come as the result of an observation or an experience but rather as the result of the things we say to ourselves about those…situations. (Marilyn J. Sorensen, Phd, Breaking the Chain of Low Self-Esteem, Wolf Publishing Co., Sherwood, OR, 1998)

Our emotional storms interfere with our reception of the Spirit
As problems and difficulties have come in my life since, I have tried to face them as best I could, relying more on the help of our Heavenly Father than the comfort from tears. I learned the lesson that life’s burdens don’t seem to be so great if we don’t allow ourselves to get paralyzed into a stupor of inactivity by our sorrow and pain. As children of our Heavenly Father, we should learn to be happy, to trust in Him, and to not be afraid. (James E. Faust, “Be Not Afraid,” Liahona, Oct 2002, 3)

Insp8Learn to quiet yourself
Somewhat to my surprise, I found myself praying, “Heavenly Father, it doesn’t matter what I want. I don’t care anymore what I want. I only want that Thy will be done. That is all that I want. Please tell me what to do.” In that moment I felt as quiet inside as I had ever felt…(Henry B. Eyring, “As a Child,” Ensign, May 2006.)

Living in the LDS NOW!
Sometimes we get lost in the past, reliving, remembering, sometimes we get lost in the future with worry and anxiety…now, this present moment is where we can most effectively live our lives. The past is history we can not change it. The future does not exist yet, it is not real. Only now can we live and act and grow. Only now can we access the Saviors love.

Solutions:

Getting ourselves into the moment
When we focus our mind on the information our senses are generating, we turn off the emotional center and the part of our brain that creates the mental (thinking) storms. Focus on:
What so I see? What do I hear? What do I feel? What do I smell? What do I taste?

Lets look at the back of your eyelids!
Assume a comfortable position, empty your mind, don’t follow any new thought that comes into your mind. Notice and say to your self, “There is a sound” “There is a thought” as they occur but remained focussed on the back of your eyelids.

Breathing
Using the second hand on your watch or clock, get comfortable, empty your mind and breathe in for 5 seconds, exhale for 5 seconds. Focus on what the body is doing, the breath coming in and out. Send tension and stress out when you exhale.

Walk
I am picking up my left foot, I am extending my left foot, I am putting my left foot down.  Practice for 5 minutes walking slowly and repeating the words out loud.  Empty the mind and focus on what you are doing.

Focus on information the senses are generating
I see the tree, I see the cat, I hear the train, I smell the flowers, I see the picture….  Again total focus, empty the mind allow no distractions.  This can be done while driving or sitting or laying in bed.