Sunday, April 29, 2012


Sunday Service Discussion Notes for April 29, 2012

Last Sunday we had an Open Forum for our discussion: participants were invited to talk about whatever they wanted to share with the group.

Lara shared with the group Neil Pasricha's blog, "1000 Awesome Things." She explained that Neil was the son of immigrants who moved to Canada in the late 60s. They tried to bring their children up with gratitude for the bounty that they experienced in their new home. As Neil became an adult and began his own life, he began to be faced with problems and troubles of his own. His best friend took his own life, his wife asked him for a divorce, and life became very heavy and dark for him. He decided that he needed a way to focus on the positive things in life, so he started up a blog where he would write about one awesome thing he encountered each day.

It started as a small blog; only his family read it. Soon, however, it went viral and his blog literally won the Best Blog in the World award. It was the most popular blog on the internet. Neil has even been invited to speak at TED, and you can watch the video of his talk below.

Neil's TED speech centers around the Three As of Awesome:  Attitude, Awareness, and Authenticity.  The first A, Attitude, reminds us that we always have a choice in how we react to life. No matter whether events in our life are pleasant or unpleasant, we choose how we will behave in response. Nothing can make us remain in any state of feeling; we choose it. The second A, Awareness, centers around the idea of being present. Of being fully aware of what is going on at the current moment, which enables us to appreciate the everyday small joys in life, like warm Sun on our backs or finding some money in a the pocket of a coat you haven't worn in six months.  The third A, Authenticity, refers to being true to yourself. Be your real self and you will be happier than if you try to fit a mold that others are expecting you to fit.

This prompted the observation that it is enjoyable to do small kindnesses for others, especially strangers; you will get joy from watching them smile. We also noted that there are always small things happening around you that are there to lift your spirits, and that it does us good to take note of and enjoy these things.

It was observed that being thankful brings us into our heart center, and that the natural flow of things is for everything to be in its right place all the time. UMS founder Damien Simpson was quoted as saying, "Expect Miracles," alluding to the fact that little miracles are happening around us all the time.

Each of us shared with the group one awesome thing that had happened to us during the prior week, which left everyone with positive feeling all around.

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