1. Cut Out the Darkness you already know some simple steps to having more peace in your life. But now I'd like to talk about cutting out the darkness on a deeper, spiritual level. The reason why I have so much more peace and happiness now is because I've learned to turn away from certain things. My focus has turned toward the positive and by virtue, my life has become so much more positive!
I wish I could say I came up with this, but I did not. Turns out that thousands of years ago people were talking about the same things. The more I study the Bible the more I realize all the common sense, logical and practical things we can do now to make our lives better!
In Matthew 3:8 the Amplified Bible teaches, "Produce fruit that is consistent with repentance (demonstrating new behavior that proves a change of heart, and a conscious decision to turn away from sin). And even before that in Psalm 34:14, "Turn away from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it."
So not only are we supposed to turn away, remove our focus from all the negative, evil things of this world, but we are supposed to actively pursue peace. That means you got to work to have peace!
I used to believe that peace was just an overly idealistic theory that some people claimed to have. I never thought it was attainable for me. I never understood that it was something you actually had to work for. There were times when I felt peace, but it was usually when I took myself out of my normal, routine environment, like hiking through the forests or sitting by a lake. It was not something I could have at work, at home, or in my day-to-day rat race.
But now I know it is a conscious decision to have peace, just like it is to have happiness!
It was an amazing feeling when I realized I did not "have to" watch every hit show there was on television or hit movie. I know that may sound silly. But I used to think I was "missing out" on something if I did not watch what everyone else was watching.
Freedom feels amazing! You get to choose what you are exposed to! You can cut out all the negativity, the sins, the evil of what you watch and turn your focus toward the positive and life actually gets better.
My anxiety has plummeted. I have nowhere near the amount that I used to have. Removing the news, graphic t.v. and movies, and listening to certain negative people has released my spirit to be joyful, at peace and with a new deep calm that I have never known before.
My depression has left me. I feel weightless. And it's not that I stopped caring about other people. Actually, I have a newfound compassion for all people since I was born again. But I refuse to let myself drown in hopelessness. The majority of the news is extremely negative. If it focused on all the miracles, and goodness, and virtues of human existence it would be a different story, but unfortunately, that's not the way our world works.
We have no idea how deep our brains actually go. What we watch can show up in our dreams, nightmares, subconscious minds to levels we can't understand. The scariest thing is that we can actually start believing in the lies of the entertainment industry, negative people's perceptions and start applying those lies into our real lives.
Happiness and peace are attainable things in this world. When we start focusing on the goodness of human nature and God, our minds become full of positivity, love, and compassion. We can feel happy and at peace with ourselves in the world. Let's start feeding our souls good news, virtues, blessings, favor, miracles, compassion, love and divine acceptance. For these are the things that will bring us true joy and peace.
"Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God's word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things (center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart). Philippians 4:8.
And remember Jo may know better, but God knows best. Follow Him and He will never lead you astray. If you enjoyed this please remember to subscribe here: https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better
Thanks for reading & have a wonderful day!
Monday, January 20, 2020
Tuesday, December 3, 2019
But here's the thing, the more we beat ourselves up over these things, isn't going to get us any faster towards our goals! If anything it can cause more self-doubt, disappointment, mental exhaustion, and worse, us just giving up. We have to be more gentle with ourselves, take off the pressure and just do the best we can (not more than our best) so we can fully enjoy life and just be happier!
Who doesn't want more happiness?
One thing is to set realistic goals. Ask yourself, what can I realistically get done today? And even if you can't finish that list, don't beat yourself up over it~ embrace the fact that there is only so much time during each day. Only so much energy you have.
Tell yourself constantly that you're doing your best. This will reinforce your positive attitude toward yourself.
Tell yourself, just because I couldn't finish this today, doesn't mean I won't ever finish it. You will start to feel the weight on your shoulders lift, I promise you.
Next is the importance of boundaries. You can have a ton of people pulling you in different directions, from family to bosses. Their demands may be too demanding and their expectations of you may be too high. I'm telling you that's their problem and not yours.
If you're truly doing your best then that's all you can do. Make it clear to yourself and everyone else that you're doing what you can. It doesn't mean you don't love your family or your job, but you can't give other people control over your life.
Your happiness is going to be because of your choices, not theirs.
Thirdly, give yourself a break. I highly recommend daily breaks, weekly breaks, and even doing something just for yourself once a month. Taking time to just be with yourself doing something that you love. Something that helps restore your mind, body, and soul.
It could be something like taking frequent 5-minute mental breaks when you're at work. Taking a bubble bath once a week. Even getting a spa treatment once a month to get away for a bit. (You can so tell I'm a girl! Men, I'm sure you can think of some things that would help you restore too!)
Whatever it is, take some time for yourself. You deserve it.
Most importantly, we need to be easier on ourselves. It's no wonder stress is the number one reason for all our health problems. We need to learn how to downgrade. Shift into neutral and coast sometimes. Never lose sight of your goals and dreams, but remember life is about the journey.
If we're not happy when we're chasing our dreams, then what's the point of having dreams at all?
We all have these ideal visions of ourselves. Our "perfect self" finishes all to-do lists with ease and grace. We look "perfect" all the time. We can "please" every family member, every friend, our boss, effortlessly, and all without struggle. Does this sound familiar? Constantly comparing ourselves to our "perfect self" will only cause more unhappiness.
Don't judge yourself. We live in a society that thrives on the criticism of others. Don't fall prey to that way of thinking. Especially when it comes to judging yourself! The more we over-analyze ourselves and others, the more we create distance and negativity. Just as one should try to find the good in others, we should be constantly searching for the good in ourselves.
Embrace who you are right now, imperfections and all. Set realistic goals. Know your boundaries and limits. And take regular breaks from the hustle and bustle!
Be gentle with yourself. I promise you, you'll have a happier journey & you'll truly begin living in light!
Like this blog? Make sure to subscribe at https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better to get notifications on every new blog! It's free and your email is fully protected. Thanks so much for reading & have a wonderful day!
And remember, Jo may know better, but God knows best! Ask Him for guidance and He will never lead you astray. Amen.
Friday, November 22, 2019
So what can we do to make change easier? Take it little by little. Small changes that are sustainable and repeatable. The secret is consistency. Consistency is the only way to achieve true success. The building blocks to get to the top of your mountain, whatever that mountain may be.
Some have a tendency to have an all or none attitude. (I know I used to be one.) We can work ourselves up, trying to convince ourselves we can do anything and we can do it now. We can feel so empowered, that we want to go full-bore. Then we can go full-bore off a cliff. I've thrown myself off that edge so many times, hoping to grow wings on the way down, but guess what? Never happened.
Recovering from falls, the disappointments, the self-loathing of our grand plans not going through, gets harder and harder. We can become more and more discouraged, leading us further away from our goals than we originally were.
So first, we have to change our mindset. If we acknowledge the fact that full-bore can sound exciting and tempting, but in most cases, it simply doesn't work in the long run. You don't want something that's just going to work for a day, a week, a month. You want these positive changes to take root in your life, your whole life, so you can compound your progress and live to your fullest potential.
The secret is making small changes that you can do again and again without taking yourself so far out of your comfort zone that you'll quit. Set some more easily attainable goals.
It's the little things that add up to big results.
One example that I'll use that most of us can relate to is "dieting". If your body is used to consuming 3,000 calories a day and being mostly sedentary, chances are abruptly changing to a 1,500 calorie diet and working out 6 days a week will be a big shock. You'll be hungry, if not starving, and probably exhausted by doing a lot with so little than your body's used to. There's probably no denying that the latter diet is healthier, but is it sustainable? Are you going to stick with it, no matter what, no matter how bad you feel and tired you get? Chances are you're not.
However, let's say you only cut out 300 calories a day and start doing some walking for 30 minutes twice a week? Do it for a month straight. Is this more sustainable and easily repeatable? You know the answer. If we use this mindset for all the positive changes we want to make in our life, we will have a higher rate of success. And once you see yourself making progress it's more likely that you'll want to continue and advance that progress.
Smaller changes are easier to make than big ones.
With this method, there is tremendous importance on patience. I'm not a naturally patient person. I have to work to be patient. When I make a change, I want the benefits instantly. But I've learned it doesn't really work that way. When I have a hard time being patient, I remind myself of all the ways I think and feel when I'm not patient. I'll ask myself, "Do you want to feel anxious, frustrated, angry? Or do you want to feel at peace with your choices and decisions? Is slower progress, but progress nonetheless, going to be better than no progress at all?"
This is the power of baby steps. Setting small goals that are easily attainable and sustainable. Stick with your new goals until they become your new comfort zone, then make new goals. Go slowly and be gentle with yourself. I've made major changes to my life using this method and I know it can work for you! Consistency is key! Give it a shot, what do you have to lose?
And what does this have to do with living in light? Most of us want to have a life full of joy, peace, and progress. This takes time, energy and effort. So if we can make positive changes that are sustainable and consistent, we are more likely to have and keep a life of fulfillment, contentment, and overall well-being. Living in light is about living life to the fullest and doing our best, not more than our best. All we can do is keep striving for light so the darkness doesn't stand a chance!
Want email notifications on the newest post? Make sure to subscribe at https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better ! It's absolutely free! Thank you for reading & have a wonderful day!
Thursday, October 17, 2019
This is a hard one. And I think the reason why it's so hard is that we have had 1. very happy memories and 2. powerful lessons that we've learned. We all have memories that can bring a smile to our faces instantly! And yes, we've all been through a lot that has taught us very valuable things about life.
Just like one of my favorite quotes says:
I think the danger lies very discreetly in the way we think about our pasts. I believe there is a tendency to compare our present moments to our pasts, especially as we get older. The stories we tell ourselves of "I remember when..." or "I looked so good when I was (this age)" can actually cause harm to our present-day outlook.
Constantly comparing our current situations to how we were or how things are now can steal our current happiness and peace. There's nothing wrong with remembering the good 'ol days. But whether or not we choose to admit it, we can become the stories we tell ourselves, either good or bad. So we have to be very careful! More on this in a future post*
Another reason why it's so hard to let go of the past is PAIN. Yes, it is a four-letter word. We have all been hurt by other people, by experiences, and even ourselves. We can tell ourselves the same stories in our heads over and over again. "This happened to me. It hurt like hell. I can't believe they would treat me that way." I used to do this all the time.
But finally, I had to say ENOUGH.
That broken record of everything that's happened to you is an album that needs to get retired and thrown in the trash! Those stories only make you a victim. Not a hero or heroine. That is the past dragging you back to where it wants you to be. Misery loves company and that includes the past!
If you truly want to be happy in the here and now, it's time to let go.
How do you do it? I know how! Let me tell you how to!
I'm going to say this loud and clear: The only way to let things go is through FORGIVENESS.
Think I'm joking? I'm really, really not. I have had to tattoo that word onto my brain. Permanently scar it into my psyche. Etch it into my conscience!
It's the only way, my friends. You have to forgive that person. That thing. And yourself. Over and over, and over, and over again. These are the tips 1, 2, & 3!
Does that person deserve forgiveness? Maybe not. But that doesn't matter. Do you really think by forgiving someone it gives them the power? It doesn't. Forgiving someone means "I'm taking back my power. I will no longer let you have any control of my thoughts, feelings and actions any longer. I forgive you. You are in my past. I'm letting it go."
This is so important. Nothing others do is because of you. It's because of them. Don't get caught up in their drama, their pain, their behavior. It has nothing to do with you.
Now, this is no way means that you have to let that person back into your life, especially if they are abusive. You do not deserve abuse and there is no way you should allow it in your life. By simply forgiving someone, you are taking back your power by no longer even giving them, or the situation, another thought or moment of your precious, short life.
There's the famous quote or some variation of it: “In fact, not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.” - Anne Lamott
Not forgiving someone is only going to continue to hurt you.
Secondly, can you forgive an experience? This is a little trickier. Unfair things happen. Life goes wrong, sometimes it seems like for no apparent reason. Maybe you have chronic pain, like me. Maybe you even have cancer. Maybe you just got smashed into by a car this morning. Sometimes things don't make sense.
I've learned that you have to forgive your experiences just like you would forgive another person. One way to do this is to acknowledge that we shouldn't take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of us and the tragedies that befall us are not punishment for our behavior either. This knowledge comes from Don Miguel Ruiz and "The Four Agreements" something I highly recommend.
For a long time, I thought that I had done something wrong to deserve chronic pain. Now I can't believe I ever thought that. Did a baby born with brain cancer do something wrong? Did a man walking across the street that got hit with a car, do something wrong? No... and neither did I.
Forgive every bad thing that has ever happened to you. If you have to, write it down. There is something magical that happens when you do this. All of a sudden your past will start losing its grip, its power. You can take back your story. You are not what has happened to you. You are so much more powerful than that.
Now thirdly, there are times when we DO have to forgive ourselves. We have all made mistakes. Said things we shouldn't of. We have hurt other people. It doesn't mean that we did this on purpose. Most of the times we didn't. That's why forgiveness is so important. Just like most of the time, other people didn't hurt you on purpose either. It was just a by-product of their actions and perspective.
When we don't forgive ourselves, we can't let go of the past.
Guilt is an extremely dangerous emotion. It can lead to alcoholism, overeating, and even suicide among many other harmful things. The lessons that we learn throughout our lives are very important, yes! But does that mean we are supposed to rake ourselves over the coals again and again for it? Are we supposed to torture ourselves with the would've, should've, could've for the rest of our lives? No.
The past is gone. Let's learn the lessons but then, move on!
Maybe you think you've done something unforgivable and that's a very unfortunate way to think. What has helped me so much is picturing Jesus Christ, on the cross, in unbelievable pain, and still finding the strength to say, "Forgive them for they know not what they do." This is so true. Everyone and everything can be forgiven, all you have to do is ask for forgiveness and in your heart of hearts, strive to do better next time.
To live in light, we must forgive others, our experiences and ourselves. It's the only way we will find true peace and happiness in the present moment. And the present moment is all we have.
Thank you so much for reading & make sure to subscribe at: https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for notifications on the latest posts! Have a wonderful day!
Friday, September 6, 2019
I started to realize that maybe the reason my mind would never stop fighting with itself, was because I was constantly feeding it conflict, annoyances, injustices, just negative stuff, all the time. That's when I learned that what you focus on becomes your life.
I thought I was a positive person before I made these changes. And maybe I was more than most people, but that still didn't mean I was truly happy and radiating positivity. Some people from the outside that know me would have never have guessed that. I always tried to put on a happy face no matter what. But the war in my mind would never let me have peace.
I knew it was time to make some drastic changes. I was going to examine every facet of my life. Especially what I watched, read and listened to.
If you're constantly focusing on the negative, your mind will only become more negative.
Also, I had realized how desensitized I had become. Things that used to really bother me on t.v. and movies started not to bother me anymore. My heart was getting harder and I felt numb to the horrors of this world. After following these steps, my heart has started to resensitize and now I feel things more deeply and with greater satisfaction, especially the good feelings like joy, love, and happiness. There will be more to explore on this subject at a later post.
1. Stop Watching the News - Okay, okay, I know some will fight me on this. I'm not saying to become completely oblivious and unaware of what's going on. But who can honestly say that 98% of what the news talks about will have some direct effect on you? My point is the news is so negative. Its focus is conflict and injustice. When was the last time you heard something positive on the news? We know that it is few and far between. The news counts on our attention to the negative to make money. That's how they stay in business. And unfortunately, the news has become so divisive, that it's constantly pinning us against each other. It thrives on conflict.
Try cutting out the news for just one week and see how you feel. I don't watch the news anymore, unless I know it may have some direct effect on me, like weather. But that's about it. I've never felt more at peace with the world. I've realized that other people's battles are not my own. Especially because so much of it is out of my control. When you learn to let go of what you cannot control, you feel weightlessness like never before. Side note: This includes getting your news on social media. More on this later.
2. Cut Out Violence and Graphic T.V. and Movies - Is it just me or have t.v. and movies gotten more violent and graphic than ever? Every top t.v. show or movie seems to be raising the bar on how much they show us. And here's the thing, you can't unsee things. If you're watching violence and horrific graphic depictions of the lowest of the low of human behavior, how do you think these will affect you? Whether you realize it or not, this does have an effect on your emotional, mental, and also your physical state as well. And the thing is, I didn't realize this. I was so desensitized to things, I could watch just about anything and eat at the same time. Something that I would've considered unfathomable just 10 years ago. It's only now that I have resensitized myself that I've realized how horrible the entertainment industry has sunk.
Try cutting out everything above a PG-rating for a week and see how you feel. I have completely and have never felt better. I will admit that this has cut down on what there is to watch, but this is a good thing! Less time sitting in front of the t.v. absorbing negativity. I feel less negative, anxious, depressed, worn down, deflated, angry, torn and just less helpless about all human existence.
3. Cut Out Social Media - Oooh, a hard one for most of us. We've become so reliant on it for entertainment, news, hot topic debates, and even good things like connecting with friends and family. But here's the thing, studies have shown that social media increases anxiety and depression, and with teenage suicides at an all-time high, this is no coincidence. A lot on social media can be very negative. It seems like the top stories amongst "friends" are always concerning political debates, racism, gun control, etc. And although it can feel noble to want to fix the injustices of this world, most discussions on these topics only lead to fighting, more divisiveness, and emotional separation between friends and family members. No wonder it's causing more anxiety and depression. We joined social media to connect, but it has created distance between us like no other. This is the power of negativity. This is why you need to cut it out of your life.
Try cutting out social media for just one week and see how you feel. I usually only use social media now for my career and very seldom use it for personal reasons. I am also super selective about who I am "friends" with and who I choose to follow. Another positive that I have garnered from this change is that I don't feel like I have to take on the weight of everyone else's problems. When people used to complain about things publically, my first emotional response was to either want to help them or want to push them away because their problems seemed so painful. I'm not saying that you shouldn't care about what you're friends are going through, but they can become overwhelming, especially if you have a lot of friends. If you do have a close personal friend that's going through a hard time, why not try sending them a personal text or even a phone call? This is a much better way to connect on a personal emotional and mental level.
What you watch, read and listen to does affect you. Pay attention to everything you pay attention to. Have an awareness of negativity. Cut out the darkness wherever you can. I urge you to try the things above as they have brought me a kind of peace I have never known before.
Please subscribe at https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for the latest posts updates on the "Living in Light" Series. Thank you so much for reading & have a wonderful day!
Thursday, September 5, 2019
How about making some changes before you get cancer?
I've been through a lot over the past ten years dealing with chronic pain. 24 surgeries and procedures. More chronic diagnoses. Doctors telling me I will never get better.
Through being cut down at my knees, time and time again, I have finally found some answers that have helped me in every single area of my life. I want to share these answers with you in the hope that you can get helped too.
If you want more peace, less pain, and more happiness, I urge you to follow this series. You can try whatever you want to see what works for you. And if it doesn't work for you, then it simply may not be meant for you. But is it not worth a try? You have nothing to lose.
It has taken me more than 10 years to discover some truly life-changing answers. Most came through with just having common sense. Some took a lot of research. Some were divinely inspired. I can honestly say I have never had more peace and happiness than I do now. Especially even though my health hasn't drastically changed, I have changed and now my health is going to have to catch up with me!
I invite you to embark on a journey where some simple changes can make huge results. Please follow this blog or visit https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better to start living in light!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
I have decided -- whatever it takes...
Whatever it takes, to be happy. To be healthy. To be without pain. To be without fear.
To be complete. To be successful. To be without regret. To be without suffering.
Happiness is a choice, and one has to actually choose happiness in order to be happy. I know this from lots of experience.
One can also choose to be miserable, but hey, how would misery ever be actually better for you than happiness?
Cut out the things that make you unhappy. Quickly! Right now!! It may hurt for a moment, like ripping off a band-aid and exposing your wound. But hey, how will your wounds ever heal if you keep wrapping them up or making them worse than they already are. Without seeing your emotional, spiritual, physical wounds healed, how can you feel completely happy about yourself in every single way right now?
Choose happiness, in everything you do, see and feel -- and you will become happy.
Healthiness is the same thing. Choosing the right foods, exercises, habits, rituals and thought processes will make you healthy. We all know what unhealthy foods can do to your body, and why would you choose to damage the only vessel you have been given for this one lifetime? If you have always had issues with choosing the right foods, ask yourself why. Is it because of an emotional wound? A mental wound? Even a spiritual one?? If so, heal those wounds as soon as possible so you can live a life of complete healthiness.
Do you hate working out? Why? We all have strength, endurance and intuition already in us. We ARE, much stronger than we truly think we are. This is not a LIE. We can ALL put our mind over our matter in a healthy way that will only increase our endurance and physical fortitude over time. Cut out the bad habits and rituals and temptations. Do it!! And you will feel better! I promise you!
To be complete one must find fulfillment in everything that one does. And I mean everything. Whether it is your career or relationships... or even your rest and play. If you consciously think about everything you do all of the time, you can only choose to improve every aspect of your Life, all of the time.
Forget about your excuses, your placates, your rationalizations -- these things do not help you, they can only hurt you! And keep you down, in the dark, and incomplete.
Ask yourself the question one of my best friends, "Strength", asked my the other night... "What is best for Jo?"
And all of a sudden my mind just clicked! You are so right, Strength. How could I have been so blind? I've spent all this time thinking about what was best for him, or for her. For the older one, for the younger one... without thinking what is best for me!
So ask yourself, "What is best for YOU??"
I can cut out my pain. I can cut out my fear. I can choose healthiness, I can choose happiness for myself! Me, myself and I! And I will feel complete once again! And honestly, so can you.
Love yourself... and this is where it all begins.
"To Live in Love is to be Alive."
-Don Miguel Ruiz