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Spiritual Steps to Happiness

CEUs/OPD/CPDs are available for this presentation at for clinicians in the US and for clinicians in Australia.

What is Spirituality
~ A sense of connectedness
~ Humans were meant to connect
~ A belief that there is something bigger than oneself that promotes a sense of awe and wonder.
~ A recognition of our impact on others and everything and vice versa
~ A recognition that we belong and are a vital part of the universe
~ Why this logically makes sense that it could improve happiness and reduce distress
~ When we have a positive impact, on others
~ It makes us feel good
~ It can earn us positive points and strengthen our supports

~ What the Bible Says
~ 1 Corinthians 12 We are all part of one body with many members each serving a unique function.
~ 14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.
~ 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be?
~ 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable.

7 Days of Connectedness
~ Day 1 Self-Connectedness
~ Mindfulness of how you feel emotionally, mentally, physically
~ Awareness of how they way you feel emotionally, mentally and physically impacts your ability to be kind to yourself and be in a positive frame of mind
~ Day 2 Self-Connectedness
~ Pay attention to the “gallery” in your head.
~ What do you tell yourself?
~ Who planted these seeds in your psyche?
7 Days of Connectedness
~ Day 3:
~ How does each of these “non-essential” or weaker parts enrich life?
~ Non-dominant hand; hearing, smell
~ How does the body cope when a part goes away?
~ What part of the body are you and why?
~ Embrace that today and think about it in everything you do (flip charts).
~ Skin, heart, brain, nervous system, mouth, hands, lungs, muscles, ligaments/tendons
7 Days of Connectedness
~ Day 4: Involvement
~ Synergize, create win/win situations, seek first to understand then to be understood
~ Look for ways to be involved in things that are important to you
~ Involve the whole group/family and reinforce the importance of every voice
~ Mindfulness check-ins
~ Decisions
7 Days of Connectedness
~ Day 5: Ponder your unique strengths and qualities that make you —you.
~ Each member of the group/family identifies a unique quality of each other member…
~ You have improved my world/this group by… or You have taught me….
~ Make a profile wall (old fashioned wiki) for each person in the group/family using cork boards
7 Days of Connectedness
~ Day 6: Ponder your impact on others
~ Make a dedicated effort to practice random acts of kindness (most important people, co-workers, random strangers) Flip chart or small group
~ Acts of service
~ Words of appreciation
~ Quality time
~ Gifts (even little notes or cookies)
~ Physical touch
~ Be aware all day of how your words, nonverbals and actions impact other people. (Journal)

7 Days of Connectedness
~ Day 7: Ponder other’s impact on you
~ Be aware all day of how other people’s words and actions and your environment impact you
~ Make a plan to deal with unpleasant impacts
~ Failure to do what is expected
~ Rude drivers
~ Grumpy people
~ People with opposite temperaments
~ Disorganization
~ Lots of noise or sudden noises
Awe and Wonder
~ What is it
~ A sense of wonder is characterized by full engagement, flow, being present in the moment, and a high “wow” factor. – Rachel Carson
~ Awareness of the beauty around you
~ Sense of amazement
~ Recognition of personal power
~ What does it mean to you?

Awe and Wonder
~ Why this logically makes sense that it could improve happiness and reduce distress
~ It get’s us outside of ourselves
~ It helps us see that things are not as simple as they first appear
~ It helps us realize that very little is impossible
~ It helps us see that something small can produce something big
~ It helps us see that some things are just out of our control and/or understanding.

Awe and Wonder
~ What the Bible Says
~ Genesis 1 The Creation Story
~ Job 38 God tells Job he has knowledge and powers that he will never understand.
~ “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
6 On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone—
~ 1 Samuel 17 David and Goliath
~ Judges 7 Gideon and the Army of 300

7 Days of
~ Day 1: Maple seed
~ Ponder how such a small seed can produce such a majestic tree with so many diverse parts
~ Think about all the functions that a maple tree provides
~ Food (seeds, syrup)
~ Shade
~ Homes for creatures
~ Lumber for homes or heating
~ Soil renewal
~ Decoration/happiness
7 Days of Awe and Wonder
~ Day 2: Chicken or the Egg Dilemma
~ Which comes first….
~ Before I…they have to….
~ Day 3: An Amazing Moment
~ Find amazement in everyday by being mindful –present and fully engaged – and exploring each moment as if it were your first experience … (tastes, smells, sights, experiences) (Beach ball)
~ Haley’s cooking
~ Ralph’s fur
~ The purr of my cat
~ Sylvia’s birth
~ Bornstellar defending my honor
7 Days of Awe and Wonder
~ Day 4: Multiple Perspectives— Being curious instead of critical
~ I wonder what that person is seeing/thinking
~ Charades, taboo…
~ What does existence mean: I think therefore I am -Descartes
~ Day 5: Remembering Wonderous Moments
~ It was amazing when…
~ Pregnancy/childbirth
~ When I (accomplished something I didn’t think I could)
~ When someone supported me and I didn’t think they would

7 Days of Awe and Wonder
~ Day 6: Immersion in Awe and Wonder
~ Slow down and immerse yourself in the awe and wonder around you…
~ The beauty of a singer’s voice
~ The talent of your child
~ The intelligence of someone
~ The compassion demonstrated by
~ The accomplishments
~ Day 7: The eyes of a child
~ Follow things forward and backward. (birds fly, sky blue, mountains come from, squirrels act squirrely…)

~ What is it
~ Confidence, not based on actual evidence or proof, that things will work out as they need to.
~ Why this logically makes sense that it could improve happiness and reduce distress
~ Helps us give up trying to control people and situations that are out of our control
~ Empowers us and motivates us to do our part
~ I have faith that if I…then…
~ Helps us recognize that even when things don’t go our way, we will be able to cope
~ I have faith that I can get through this

~ What the bible says
~ Matthew 6:25 Do not worry
~ 25 “…Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear…26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
~ Matthew 19:26 With God all things are possible

~ What the bible says
~ Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in God with all your heart. Do not lean on your understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.
~ Proverbs 3:9-10 “Honor God with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.”
~ Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

7 Days of Faith
~ Day 1: Faith in the Process
~ I have faith that if I (do my part)…then…
~ I have faith that I can handle whatever life throws at me because…
~ Make a list of times when you faced hardship but things either worked out they way you wanted, or you were able to handle the adversity
~ False accusation
~ Premature infant
~ Pre-med

7 Days of Faith
~ Day 2: Faith in Others
~ Make a list of the people who have been there for you
~ Make a list of people who respect your thoughts, feelings and boundaries (even if they don’t agree).
~ Make a playlist
~ Day 3: Faith in Others
~ People do the best they can with the tools they have at any given time.
~ Discuss the “tools” people can have: Mindfulness skills, interpersonal skills, compassion, patience, distress tolerance skills, problem solving skills, etc. and how they can help you be the person you want to be.

7 Days of Faith
~ Day 4: Faith in Others
~ People do the best they can with the tools they have at any given time.
~ Explore why people might not have tools with them all the time. (Doctor on a plane, vulnerabilities)
~ Explore how this applies when people have disappointed you or you have disappointed yourself or others

7 Days of Faith
~ Day 5: Faith in Self
~ I have faith that I will do the right thing
~ I have faith in my gut
~ I have faith that I am a good person
~ I have faith that I can…
~ I have faith that I can learn and grow from every experience
~ To be or not to be, that is the question
~ Progress not perfection
~ I have faith that I will make mistakes but can learn from them and grow
7 Days of Faith
~ Day 6: Awareness of the Limits of Control
~ Have each person identify 1 challenging situation, what they can control and the associated dialectics to control their reaction to the situation
~ I want to be in a relationship with…
~ I want to be accepted by X group (clique, club…)
~ I want X job
~ I want to be healthy and live forever
~ I want my kids to be happy
~ I have to be valedictorian
~ I want to be happy
~ I want to go hiking today
~ Create a worksheet
7 Days of Faith
~ Day 6: Awareness of the Limits of Control
~ Worksheet
~ I want…
~ What parts are within my control?
~ What parts are not within my control?
~ What would be a positive compromise?
~ What dialectics can I use (make lemonade)?
7 Days of Faith
~ Day 7: What things happen without fail (usually)—Hot potato
~ What goes up must come down
~ People will die
~ The sun will rise (and set)
~ Summer comes after Spring
~ I will wake up
~ I will have good days and bad days
~ I will have comfortable days and pain sometimes
~ My dog loves me
~ What else…

~ Connectedness, awe and wonder and faith can all help people live a happier life
~ Even those who do not believe in a higher power “being” can often embrace the higher order of Good Orderly Direction
~ Be aware of trauma triggers when doing this work
~ Connectedness with an abuser
~ Faith in a higher power to protect
~ Faith in others (who abandoned)
~ Etc…
~ Provide the topics ahead of time to your group members so they can find meaningful quotes in their scripture or philosophical readings