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Welcome to Dr. William G. DeFoore's Monthly E-Newsletter  W.G. DeFoore, Ph.D. May 2009 Vol 3 Issue 5   

Gratitude, Appreciation & Optimism

While planning an "Art Of Appreciation" talk for the National Wellness Conference, I started thinking about how gratitude, appreciation and optimism differ from and relate to each other. This is what came to mind: Gratitude is about the good things in the past and present, Appreciation is about the good things that are present, and Optimism is about the good things coming in the future. Goodfinding is the practice of all three--finding the good in past, present and future.

So, why not make it a package deal? Take a mental and emotional break and do some Goodfinding in your past, present and future. Be grateful for all of those who have loved you, believed in you and supported you along the way. Appreciate what is good about right now--what is good, right and working in your life right now? Then do yourself a favor and be optimistic about the wonderful possibilities that lie in your future. Consider lots of wonderful possibilities about what lies ahead for you. In the few moments you've spent reading this, you've improved your heart function. If you went even further and actually tried some of these exercises, you probably deepened your breathing and raised your energy level!

I'm Gonna Write Something For Mom


Something wonderful is happening in Dallas schools. Mary Alice Rich, violinist and composer is working with Voices of Change and the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra to introduce new and classical music to students. Excited about her work, Mary Alice says, "For all of these kids, classical music of any kind is new, so I try to build a bridge from very old masterpieces to music written in our time." She has them form teams of five and write music of their own, which she then performs for them on her violin. Once, as a class was ending, a small Hispanic boy came to her and asked for more staff paper, explaining, "I'm gonna write something for my mom."

Contrary to what we hear about public schools so often, Mary Alice says that her experience of the schools has been very positive and uplifting. She says, "for the most part, the kids look like they're happy to be there--and so do the teachers." She tells of one experience in which she noticed a very talented boy having trouble accepting criticism regarding his performance. The boy's father later explained that he was "new to their family," and a little insecure. It turned out that the father is a teacher who had seen the need and potential of this child, and was so moved that he and his wife adopted the boy as one of their very own children.

  The Process Of Illumination


There is a way of thinking and focusing your attention that will lead you closer and closer to alignment and connection with the source of wisdom and goodness within you. We might think of this as a way of making decisions through the Process of Illumination. The idea here is that there is something really, really good inside you, and it is your true, authentic nature. This is the place that your inspired, or illumined thoughts come from, and the more you focus there the more powerfully connected you become.

The technique is simply to use the creative power of your attention to focus on those things about yourself and your world that bring the lighter emotions of comfort, hope, pleasure and love. Once you are thus "illumined" from within, you are better equipped to face the challenges that life brings. So this is not a matter of denying the reality of difficulties--it is an approach to help you connect with your power and magnificence so that you will be up to the tasks that lie before you. Through the Process Of Illumination, you become brighter, lighter and more brilliant with each positive thought you focus on.


  Goodfinding Videos

Get ready for some fabulous videos! Let's start with this one featuring musicians (some of them street musicians) from around the world performing a very moving version of the old favorite, "Stand By Me." This kind of multi-cultural collaboration process is so powerful--learn more at Be sure and check it out if you haven't seen it, or want to see it again! In a similar vein, you'll be smiling heart to brain when you watch these young folks dancing in a public train station. That video will make you want to jump up and join in! Now for a good laugh and some deep appreciation, watch this baby leading a yoga class. If you just watched these three videos, you did yourself a huge favor!

How would you like to make stress work for you? That's right--you can learn to use the stress in your life in positive ways, with some simple techniques. I strongly encourage you to watch this 6 minute video featuring Bruce Cryer, Founder and CEO of The Institute of HeartMath. Also, if you haven't seen it yet, be sure and watch the video on this page, describing the EmWave Personal Stress Reducer, which can also help with sleep problems and improve your prayer and meditation practice. HeartMath offers a 30 day trial period, so you can only gain by ordering one of these amazing devices!

 Quotes from Great Goodfinders


"Music is well said to be the speech of angels; in fact, nothing among the utterances allowed to man is felt to be so divine. It brings us near to the infinite."

--Thomas Carlyle

It is only by introducing the young to great literature, drama and music, and to the excitement of great science that we open to them the possibilities that lie within the human spirit and enable them to see visions and dream dreams."
--Eric Anderson

"There are more love songs than anything else. If songs could make you do something we'd all love one another."
--Frank Zappa

"If you can walk you can dance. If you can talk you can sing."
--Zimbabwe Proverb

"Music is the vernacular of the human soul."
Geoffrey Latham




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William G. DeFoore, Ph.D.
Cindy P. DeFoore
William G. DeFoore, Ph.D. Personal & Professional Development
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