Blue Skies Smiling At Me

scan024I felt a bit down when I wrote my previous  post, so I named it Moody Blues.  In response, several readers sent me cheery notes. Some told me how much they appreciated me. Others told me about themselves and their lives.

I was pleased so many people found the time to send me a personal message. My “downtime” was only a momentary glitch and by the time I’d finished writing, I was all right again. Your notes and calls erased any residual thoughts.

So I thank you. I am truly grateful for all of you readers and for many, many other things in my life. I like to say thank you several times during the day because it keeps me on track. I try to start my day saying thank you and end it the same way. It does keep the blues away.

Expressing gratitude is always a good idea, especially when we are down and want to be up. Certainly, some days are better than others but we really can learn to be happy most of the time.

I learned about expressing gratitude quite a while ago and ever since, even my bad days are much better than my “good” days of the past . I can now laugh out loud about some of the things  I used to believe.

For example, I used to believe that life happened at me. I thought my moods arrived because of events in my life. I now know that I am, to a very great extent, creating my life and my moods are within my control.

New Thought teaches us to look at life in new ways. We learn to release our negativity and turn toward the Light. We know that we can change our thinking and immediately lift our moods. We learn we can be happy when we pay attention to our thoughts and beliefs.

As we learn to be happy, we also learn to view our emotions in new ways. We discover we can control our thinking and lift our emotional state and that it feels exactly like moving from the gloom to the sunshine. Why shiver in darkness?

We also discover that moods don’t just happen, they are caused by triggers and we can usually avoid them. Last week I was happy when I left church but then I was hungry in the supermarket. I was also a bit tired and knew I would be alone at home. All triggers.

Many years ago in my 12 Step Program, I learned the word HALT. I was told that if I wanted to stay sober and be happy, I should not allow myself to get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. I have found that particular way of taking care of myself very useful.

These days, I can honestly say I love myself the way I am and I am willing to change. So on Moody Blues Sunday, I took care of myself quickly and quietly. I ate something  and took a nap. Then I wrote a blog for my readers who are all friends in my mind. Life was immediately good again. Nothing but blue skies in sight.

Moods are not dark invaders swooping down on us out of nowhere. They are simply old habits of thought that can be changed. They are the result of choices we make when we are not paying attention.

Before we can switch a mood, we have to love ourselves enough to take care of ourselves. This is a lifelong lesson for some of us but it is possible.  I remember the first time I tried looking in the mirror and saying, out loud, “I love you Jane.” I burst into tears – but after trying for a while, I got very good at that it. Practice makes perfect.

In the beginning, loving ourselves and taking care of ourselves can be a bit of a struggle. It is easy to work too hard. Easy to put other people’s needs ahead of our own. Easy to attempt to please others and ignore our own desires. None of these patterns is self-loving.

As you deepen your understanding of New Thought and learn that you are created in the image and likeness of God, taking care of yourself because you love yourself gets much easier.

You discover you were created as perfect, whole and complete. You can love yourself now, and you do not have to wait for improvement. How could you possibly improve on God’s handiwork?  Just see yourself as God created you and it is a snap to love yourself.

Learning to love yourself as God loves you is a wonderful adventure. You can start by reading and taking classes. Use your center’s practitioner or minister for counseling if loving yourself  and taking care of yourself seems to be an impossible or very difficult goal. Make your first step asking for help. These ways of thinking will truly change your life.

Ask Yourself

Do I love myself?Do I take good care of myself?

Do I want to release any old behavior?


6 Comments on “Blue Skies Smiling At Me”

  1. Terry Drew Karanen/CSLCV says:

    How lovely. I find it so interesting when people reach out to those who are normally their channel of support and comfort. I’ve been dealing with a physical challenge over the past few months, and have not kept it from my congregation. As usual, I found my foibles and challenges can become yet another great teaching tool!

    But someone recently asked me about the challenge – just this morning over coffee actually – and was quite insistent that I WAS really doing my work on it – that I had not given up on the healing! I just thought it was sweet, even though I know there is also a part of her that wants me to be whole, meaning available to her!

    Love you!

    • janeclaypool says:

      Hi Terry,

      In the old days, I believe many ministers kept secrets about what was going on with health for as long as they could and then just disappeared. It as a bit scary. I think we do a great disservice when we deny the obvious. We are humans and our bodies are not built to last forever. I don’t believe in trying to hide health issues. Of course, the pulpit is no place to process our own stuff but it really does mean a lot to people to see that you have the courage to move through stuff and stay in integrity.

      I retired several years ago because of physical problems and I am still active in the Center. I teach and speak sometimes. I never kept any of it a secret although i also don’t talk about my health problems much. in the last few years – breast cancer, arthritis, spinal stenosis and COPD have slowed me down. I am now use oxygen full time and I will be using it when I speak one Sunday in March. I will also be sitting down and I know we will have good attendance.

      I just keep right on chugging and no one seems to mind. Why would I hide? Why would I deny myself the benefits of this loving community that I am part of just because my body is not always behaving the way I want? I use the Serenity Prayer and chug on up the tracks. Sounds like you do that also.

      Love, Jane

  2. Sally Carroll says:

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom- self love has been a challenge for me up until I got sober and began sharing my thoughts with a sponser who was kind and loving. I am on a new journey attending Alanon and have connected with a woman who is a sincerly lovely spirit… Just for today I embrace myself and practice positive thoughts. I have a practice of writing in my journal daily and practicing self love. I thoroughly enjoy your insight…Hugs, Sally

    • janeclaypool says:

      Thanks for sharing, Sally,
      You are a consistent reader with much to share and I value your input. The wisdom we find in 12 Step programs is simple and profound. I am so grateful we got there. Love,

  3. Victoria says:

    Dear Dr. Claypool,

    Forgive me for writing this as a comment on your blog, but I couldn’t find an email address at which to privately write you.

    I adored–absolutely adored–the books you wrote for Scholastic’s Sunfire line when I was growing up in the late eighties/early nineties, particularly Margaret and Roxanne. Now I am a master’s student, writing my thesis on the Sunfire series.

    I hope it’s not a huge imposition for me to write to you, but I was wondering if it would be possible for me to talk to you about how the writing process worked and how you came up with the characters, pitched the ideas, etc. Really, anything you’d be interested in talking about, I’d be interested in hearing.

    Of course, I totally understand if you are not interested, but I do want you to know that you gave me some of the happiest reading experiences of my childhood! Thank you so much for that, and for your time now.

    Take care!


    • janeclaypool says:

      Dear Victoria,
      What a joy it is to hear that something I wrote influenced a brilliant young woman like you. I do appreciate your kind words and look forward to your thesis. Love, Jane

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