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I ran into a male friend of mine, who I hadn't seen for a couple years, at an event (he is 20 - 22 years younger than me) and people thought we were together. He didn't mind them thinking that and I was flattered that the age gap wasn't obvious. That sure made my day!!  Katherine, Canada

   

Thank you so much for sending my lip pump to me!  You have saved my 'look', so I can go to work, or just be out in public with confidence.  Allyson - Las Vegas

 Kirk Wilkinson's book, The Happiness Factor: How to be HAPPY no Matter WHAT!
is available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and Borders.
Receive free shipping at
www.thehappinessfactor.com

 

 

The Art of SDASU

For years I have poured over thousands of pages of research, investigated the world’s religions and delved into hundreds of books by some of the world’s most respected experts in the self-help field. There is so much information available it would be quite easy for someone to be inundated with tips, tricks and promises on how to be happy and be at peace. You could spend a lifetime trying to implement all the principles and techniques that promise a better life. I have found something that is almost universal among all the materials – The Art of SDASU –when practiced, it brings all the other methods, techniques and principles into action.

SDASU stands for “Sit down and shut-up!” This is the ancient art of calming your mind by calming your body. All too often we are caught up in the busy-ness of life that we barely have time to sit down and enjoy a meal, let alone be quiet. For many of us, silence is uncomfortable as we rush to fill silence with endless banter about TV shows, Twitter updates, Text messages and video games. It as if we have become uncomfortable with being with ourselves.

The benefits of SDASU are enormous allowing you to understand yourself better, accept your surroundings, put your problems and adversity into perspective and help you develop strength and character.

While The Art of SDASU can be a lifelong quest to master through meditation, let me propose a few things that can get you started. These are four things that I have found to be fundamental and very easy to do.

A first step and one that can bring great benefits is to raise your tolerance for silence. It will take some practice to become comfortable with silence. One way to practice this is to turn off the radio in the car.  You will be surprised at what happens in a silent car. You may receive inspiration to solve problems, think of new ideas for your business or just feel at peace. This is even true when you are stuck in traffic or when have a passenger in the car with you. Another way to practice this is to allow more pauses in conversation. Don’t jump in to fill the pauses in a conversation. Allow yourself a few seconds to be quiet. The other person will likely continue talking and you may learn something new.

Next, raise your tolerance for being alone. There are many people who have a very difficult time being alone and spend a lot of time and energy in seeking company just to not be alone. One way to test your tolerance for being alone is to imagine eating alone at a restaurant.  Just the thought of eating dinner alone may cause some discomfort. I recommend a few practice sessions with step one before you start the practice of becoming comfortable with being alone.

Don’t do something, sit there! One way to practice SDASU is to raise your tolerance for doing nothing. Most of us have been raised and programmed to think that if we are not busy we are lazy. That is simply not the case and I challenge you to re-think that position. My best thoughts come when I am doing nothing. There is so much busy-ness that we barely have time to think. Take time to do nothing. This does not mean sitting in front of the TV or playing video games. It means just sitting there. You can try this the next time you go to the doctor or the dentist. While you are in the waiting room, just sit there and do nothing. Enjoy your surroundings. Another way to do this would be go to a park and just sit on a park bench.

Lastly, learn to be comfortable with yourself. One reason you may have a hard time with silence, being alone and just sitting there is because you are not comfortable with yourself. This may take some practice but it is a logical and natural outcome of the first three above. Learn to be your best friend, to be at peace when no one else is around. You really don’t need others to praise you, to pay attention to you. You are great the way you are. Feel it and live it.

One way to kick-start The Art of SDASU would be to attend a silent retreat. A silent retreat is where you go to a peaceful location and practice being in and with silence. This can truly be a transformational experience. If you are interested, I suggest you check out Riverside Retreats. Riverside Retreats is a leader in offering silent retreats in one of the most beautiful settings near the Payette River in Idaho. You can learn more at www.riversideretreats.org.

Learning and practicing The Art of SDASU will pay big dividends. You will feel more peace, handle change and adversity better and feel more energy and you will begin to experience happiness on a new level.

Kirk Wilkinson – author of the bestselling book The Happiness Factor: How to be Happy no Matter What. www.thehappinessfactor.com

 

Time does not heal all wounds!

I have heard it said that “withholding forgiveness is like grabbing on to a red-hot coal with the intention of throwing it at someone.” Perhaps you have heard that “not forgiving is like swallowing a slow acting poison hoping it will harm someone else.” Let’s face it, forgiveness is not about the person who has hurt or offended you, it is all about you. Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself - a gift that has enormous benefits and keeps on giving.

In my next book, Don’t let the past ruin your day – How to go from Victim to Hero in Ninety Seconds! (due out next spring) I share how forgiveness is a pathway to happiness that helps you rise above being a victim to being the hero of your own life.  You see, forgiveness is a reflection of your self-worth and integrity and allows you to identify yourself, not by past events, injuries or offences, but by who you are, what you represent and how you feel about yourself. In fact, forgiveness is one of the ways you can start to re-build your self-worth.

Many times we approach forgiving as an outward event, something we ‘give’ to someone else. I believe that the first step to forgiving is to recognize your own value, your own self-worth and how much you deserve emotional freedom.  It is more like a ‘gift’ we give ourselves.

For example, let’s say that you have been wronged by some injustice. Would you drive to the county jail and lock yourself in a cell? Sounds absurd doesn’t it? Well, the truth is that when you have been wronged and don’t take steps to forgive you end up losing some your emotional freedom as if you are locked up in some kind of emotional jail cell. Set yourself free by learning how to forgive, practicing it and doing it regularly.

In most cases you are the one hurting the most and the person you are blaming has likely moved on and doesn’t feel as bad as you do.

You make the choice to stop hurting when you reach the point of wanting to take your life back and that you want to heal. When you finally reach that point forgiveness becomes a real possibility.

Let’s not kid ourselves by thinking that forgiveness is easy or that it is unnecessary or that we have already forgiven something that still bothers us and causes us pain. Deciding to forgive someone who has harmed you is a hard choice to make. There are some hurts, offenses, betrayals and abuse that seem too horrible to forgive.  Because we are human, because of our programming our natural response is to seek revenge and to get even and demand an apology or retribution.

We should also remember that the one person who deserves your forgiveness more than anyone else is you!

Forgiveness is both a daily practice and a journey but one that can release us from bitterness and hatred. Think of how much room you would have for happiness by unloading the burden of past offenses. Yes, forgiveness is a journey but we begin healing from the very first step.

When we forgive with real intent we break out of the emotional prison we have built up around us. You can break free; you can feel peace, happiness instead of bitterness and anger. Do it today!

.     

Kirk Wilkinson – Author of The Happiness Factor: How to be Happy no Matter What! www.thehappinessfactor.com

 


Kirk Wilkinson

Speaker, Author, Coach

Inspirational, Dynamic, Motivating
The Happiness Factor

480.984.4066
Email: kirk@thehappinessfactor.com
Web:   www.thehappinessfactor.com
Blog:   www.thehappinessfactor.com/happinessblog
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Watch the Happiness Factor movie - click here

 

For more than 20 years Kirk Wilkinson has been a life coach and mentor empowering people to be happy and find greater satisfaction. He advises on personal development, relationships, spirituality, parenting, and business issues. Through adversity of abandonment, a two-time cancer victim, dealing with family, career and financial setbacks Kirk brings a unique perspective on how to be happy. Kirk is also a professional speaker and marketing professional specializing in partnering and strategic alliances. For more information please visit www.thehappinessfactor.com or write to kirk.wilkinson@yahoo.com