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Spiritual Steps to Happiness
Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes
Host: Counselor Toolbox Podcast

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

~ Acceptance, honesty and awareness can help people live happier lives
~ We must first become aware of what is going on within and around us
~ Then we must get honest about what we need and can do
~ Finally we have to accept the dialectics of hardships with successes, happiness with pain and control with powerlessness.
Awareness (Mindfulness)
~ Why this logically makes sense that it could improve happiness and reduce distress
~ Awareness helps us:
~ become aware of ourselves
~ improve our connectedness
~ improve our focus on those things important in a rich and meaningful life
~ keep from being led astray
~ make deliberate decisions guided by mind and logic, instead of emotions and instincts
~ be a good judge of character
~ avoid mistakes

~ What the Bible Says
~ 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
~ Proverbs 20:5 The purpose in a man's heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.
~ Throughout the bible people are aware of God’s miracles and actively seek Him out with optimism and faith.
7 Days of Awareness
~ Day 1: Learn Mindfulness Meditation
~ At least at each meal become aware of your feelings, thoughts and physical sensations and needs.
~ What do you do differently as a result of this awareness?
~ How does this awareness impact your day?
~ Day 2: Awareness of those around you
~ Review the temperament sorter and/or enneagrams to better understand yourself and see how you compliment other people Activity Sheet
7 Days of Awareness
~ Day 3: Humility
~ Being aware of what you are and are not capable of and willing to ask for help or lower the bar
~ Being grateful for other people’s contributions (great kids)
~ Day 4: Head-Heart-Gut Honesty
~ Logic-Love-Fear: Identify 3 big decisions you have made that you ended up regretting. Identify 3 big decisions you have made that you are very satisfied with.
~ Day 5: Gratitude
~ Become aware of the supports, and resources available to help you live a rich and meaningful life.
~ Which do you already have?
7 Days of Awareness
~ Day 6: My Mark
~ How have you impacted the yourself, the earth, other people?
~ How could you?

7 Days of Awareness
~ Day 7: Tame the Monkey
~ Monkey mind happens when we are focused or “aware” of too many things at once.
~ Practice being aware of what you are doing in the moment.
~ Watching television
~ Driving
~ Writing a report
~ When your mind starts to wander bring it back without judgement. (note it if you must)
~ Why this logically makes sense that it could improve happiness and reduce distress
~ When people are honest with themselves about what they need and want, they can better attend to those issues
~ When people are honest with others they are more likely to get their needs met, and do not have to keep track of lies
~ Activity: Consequences of Dishonesty
~ Emotional
~ Mental
~ Physical
~ Social

~ What the Bible Says
~ 2 Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
~ Ephesians 4:25 Each of you must speak truthfully since we are all members of one body.
~ Proverbs 28:18 The one whose walk is blameless is kept safe, but the one whose ways are perverse will fall into the pit
~ Proverbs 21:3 To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. (Better to be honest then to make amends)
~ 1 John 1:19 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
~ John 8:32 You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

7 Days of Honesty
~ Day 1: Honesty with yourself
~ Identify your values and virtues and work diligently each day to live by them (progress not perfection)
~ If you could change 1 thing…and why
~ About your life
~ About yourself
~ About the world
~ Day 2: Honesty with Yourself
~ Self-esteem inventory (strengths, areas for improvement based off values and virtues)
~ Patience Compassionate Hard Worker Family Oriented
~ Good Friend Helpful Dependable Openminded
~ Self-Controlled Wise Advocate/Agent of change

7 Days of Honesty
~ Day 3: Honesty with others about your needs, wants and feelings
~ Practice stating your needs (and not expecting mind reading)
~ Give 2 examples when you expected someone to read your mind
~ Say what you mean and mean what you say
~ Seek first to understand (yourself and the other person) then be understood and create a win/win (Thanksgiving dinner)
~ What do you want and why
~ What does the other person want and why
~ How can you express yourself assertively to the other person so she understands your point of view
~ What would be a win/win
7 Days of
~ Day 4: THINK before you speak.
~ T – True?
H – Helpful?
I – Important/Inspirational?
N – Necessary?
K – Kind?
~ What are the effects when these are not followed. Examples?
~ Day 5: Honesty in general “be impeccable with your word.”
~ Always do your best and replace “sorry” with “thank you”
~ What are 3 things you said (or should have said) sorry for over the last week, and what could you replace it with?
~ Take responsibility for your actions

7 Days of Honesty
~ Day 6: Don’t Take Things Personally
~ Present both sides of each issue to engender objectivity.
~ Be honest with yourself about: (identify something someone did that made you unhappy)
~ What parts of situations you are and are not responsible for
~ What things you can and cannot control
~ Remember that what other people do is because of themselves or their reactions to situations, not you.
~ Day 7: Honesty and Freedom
~ Ponder how honesty helps you become free to be yourself, to achieve your goals
~ Why this logically makes sense that it could improve happiness and reduce distress
~ You can dislike situations and still accept them. Finding ways to accept those things that are beyond your control to change provides freedom from having to fight against the realities you find disagreeable, uncomfortable, or painful.

~ What the Bible Says
~ Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
~ Ephesians 4:2-3 “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
~ Romans 15:7 “Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.”
~ James 1 2:4 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
~ Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
~ Job 2:10 Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.

7 Days of
~ Day 1: It is what it is—how can I improve the next moment
~ Practice using radical acceptance
~ Day 2: Accepting yourself (stop shoulding and judging)
~ Loving kindness meditation
~ Live in the And
~ Deal with the hecklers
7 Days of
~ Day 3: Defuse from Your Emotions
~ You can accept that there is an emotion or memory without having to become entangled with it (turtle)
~ Day 4
~ Affirmations to help you live in the and
~ I’m not a bad person when I act badly; I am a person who has acted badly.
~ I would better not define myself entirely by my behavior, by others’ opinions, or by anything else under the sun.
~ I have many faults and can work on correcting them without blaming, condemning, or damning myself for having them.
~ I have many faults and can work on correcting them without blaming, condemning, or damning myself for having them.
7 Days of
~ Day 5: Learn from all parts
~ What can your emotions teach you?
~ What can your thoughts teach you?
~ What can your body teach you?
~ What can good experiences and successes teach you?
~ What can bad experiences and failures teach you?
~ What can friends teach you?
~ What can enemies teach you?
~ Day 6 Examine your options
~ Solve the problem
~ Change how you feel/react
~ Accept it
~ Stay miserable
7 Days of
~ Day 7: Acceptance and Change
~ Radical Acceptance has three main components 1) Seeing reality, 2) Accepting reality, and 3) Moving forward.

~ Honesty, awareness and acceptance can help us reduce stress by realizing our power.