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INTRODUCTION




Most of us know how important it is to exercise our
bodies, but how often do we exercise our souls?
     It is easy to get lost in our daily routines and lose
touch with the things that are meaningful to us. We
become human doings instead of what we are supposed
to be — human beings. If this continues, eventually our
true self will begin to die. By exercising our souls, how-
ever, we enhance our ability to live and love with enthu-
siasm and vigor, and increase our ability to overcome
any difficulties or obstacles we encounter along the way.
     Every performer and athlete knows that if you want
to get to Carnegie Hall or the Olympics you must prac-
tice, practice, practice. If you don’t work out regularly,
you will never achieve what you are capable of. This
is true of the soul as well. And one thing that can help
you achieve a gold medal in soul growth is to have a
competent coach. It’s hard to practice alone. For over
thirty years I’ve counseled people with life-threatening


                          p
                          1
2   p   101 Exercises for the Soul

illnesses, and my patients have been my most important
teachers and coaches. In this book, let me be your coach.
At least, give me a try. I will do my best to encourage
you to reach your goals and to help guide you in your
soul’s journey.
     I have written this book in a simple format so that
you can sit down anywhere, anytime and find the means
to add value to your life. Each chapter focuses on a par-
ticular area for soul growth, from improving your atti-
tude to finding inner motivation. Chapters begin with a
coaching tip, which introduces the underlying concepts
and purpose of the five exercises that follow (exercise
101 is a “final exam”). The exercises are where your
workout really begins.
     You may find some of the exercises more challeng-
ing than others. Feel free to begin anywhere in the book.
Consider starting with a chapter that applies to your life
right now, one that seems to offer immediate assistance.
Begin with the first exercise you are drawn to. No warm-
up is needed; you can dive right in. However, since I
can’t personally be there to remind you to practice every
day, try to keep the book in a place where you will see it
often and remember to respond to the needs of your soul.
     Before you know it you will begin to notice how
your life has taken on more meaning and how much
better you feel. The change may be small at first, but as
we improve ourselves, we make an increasing difference
in both our individual lives and the world. The greater
our desire and intention, and the more we practice, the
greater the results. We can make a positive difference in
the world by what we choose to do.
Introduction   p   3

    Our body and soul are intended to work together.
To accomplish this we must respect our bodies and keep
them fit, and we must also understand, respect, and care
for that which lies within us. Before you begin, take a
moment to look at your soul. What kind of shape is it
in? Has it been allowed to express itself — to be exer-
cised properly? Is it underdeveloped in certain places
and more developed in others? Imagine that your soul is
a muscle that will become stronger, leaner, and more
flexible the more you work it. To create a healthy soul,
we must first let it speak to us and stop editing it with
our fears and our concerns about what others think. We
need to trust the divine direction our soul is leading us
in and allow it to enhance our life.
    Now it is time for you to embark upon your soulful
journey.
    The Force is with you. Believe me.

                                          Your Coach,
                                    Dr. Bernie S. Siegel
1
CHAPTER
             ATTITUDE IS
             EVERYTHING
             Don’t sweat the small or the large stuff
             (and save on the cost of deodorant)



              Others can stop you temporarily,
      you are the only one who can do it permanently.
                      — ZIG ZIGLAR




                  Coaching Tip One
Maintaining a positive attitude, no matter what your cir-
cumstances, increases the likelihood of your finding fu-
ture happiness and fulfillment. Why is this true? Well, if
your attitude is negative and your mind is filled with
worry and fear, it takes its toll on your body, mind, and
spirit. In fact, by spending all your time creating a vision
of an unhappy future, you help create that future. Re-
member, your thoughts guide your decisions, and ne-
gative thoughts lead to negative decisions. Nothing is
solved by visualizing the worst outcome, but much can
be accomplished when you desire and intend to achieve



                           p
                           5
6   p   101 Exercises for the Soul

the best possible result. Optimists may not be more
accurate about life — whether interpreting the past or
predicting the future — but they live longer than pes-
simists.
     Over God’s desk there is a plaque that reads, “If you go
around saying I’ve got a miserable life, I’ll show you what
miserable really is. And if you go around saying I’ve got
a wonderful life, I’ll show you what wonderful really
is.” A positive attitude can open many doors for you and
help create the life you desire.
     A negative attitude affects you first by ruining your
moment-to-moment happiness. This truth was brought
home to me many years ago. One of our children, then
aged seven, had an X-ray that revealed a bone tumor.
The odds were that it was a malignant tumor and that
he would not see another year of life. I was very de-
pressed by what I thought was going to happen, and my
attitude showed it. I also tried to get my wife and his
four siblings to understand and develop the proper
depressing attitude. After all, how can you laugh and
play when someone you love is going to die? One day
our son walked into the room where I was sitting and
said, “Dad, can I talk to you?”
     I said, “Sure, what is it?”
     He said, “Dad, you’re handling this poorly.”
     With his talk, my son reminded me of what every
child and animal knows instinctively: Today is the only
day that exists. And as for my son, I was wrong about
what was going to happen; he survived and is very
much alive and happy today. The future is unknown,
and we should never let our fears, worries, and negative
Attitude Is Everything   p   7

attitudes prevent us from enjoying the day and finding
fulfillment, no matter what tomorrow seems to hold.
     When disappointments and setbacks occur, learn to
view them as events that will redirect you to something
good. My mother taught me this, and it creates a posi-
tive shift in your attitude and your view of the future.
Cultivating a hopeful approach to life is an important
part of your soul workout. The following exercises,
when practiced on a regular basis, will strengthen your
outlook and help you to create the life you desire.
8   p   101 Exercises for the Soul


                        Exercise 1
                GRATITUDE LIST
                Something to Remember
Why are you living this life? Do you ever stop to think
about it? Or are you too busy complaining and whin-
ing? Gratitude is one of the best ways to improve your
attitude and feel better. You can’t be troubled and grate-
ful at the same time. This exercise can be repeated often
and will always obtain the same results.
     Get a pen and paper and sit down in a quiet place
where you won’t be interrupted. Start by making a list
of at least twenty things you are grateful for in your life.
You might start with basic necessities like having a roof
over your head, a chair to sit on, food to eat, a warm bed
at night, and so on. Then continue with the more mean-
ingful and personal areas of your life, such as your friends,
family, work, pets, and health.
     When you finish, display the list where you will see
it often, especially when troubling thoughts start surfac-
ing. Keep adding to your list over the next several weeks,
and take the time every day to read it to remind yourself
of all the things in your life you are grateful for.
Attitude Is Everything   p   9


                         Exercise 2
                 AFFIRMATIONS
           What You Say to Yourself Counts
Your intentions and desires shape your future. When
you create affirmations about what you desire, and stop
visualizing what you fear, your goals are far more likely
to manifest themselves. This is because you are prepar-
ing yourself and your life for the results you desire.
    Take a sheet of paper and draw a vertical line down
the middle of the paper. Then take a few minutes to
think about all of the major aspects of your life, such as
your body, your job, your mate, and so on. Note any
negative thoughts, even if they are just momentary, and
write them down in the left column. When you’ve fin-
ished your review, read through the negative thoughts
you’ve collected. Now take these thoughts and turn
them into positive statements in the right column. For
instance:

I am very tired today          I feel alive and energized
                                  today
I wish I didn’t have to        I look forward to a
  work today                      productive day at work
I hate the way my body         I am grateful for my body
   looks
I wish I were a better         Every day I’m the best
  parent                         parent I can be
10   p   101 Exercises for the Soul

     Post your favorite affirmations where you will see
them every day — on your bathroom mirror, on your
refrigerator, on your desk, and so on. For thirty days,
read them aloud or repeat them silently to yourself
several times a day and before bed. Every month re-create
your list and choose new affirmations to focus on. As your
attitude improves, your body and life will become what
you affirm.




From the book 101 Exercises for the Soul. Copyright © 2005
by Bernie S. Siege. Reprinted with permission of New
World Library, Novato, CA. www.newworldlibrary.com
or 800/972-6657 ext. 52.

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101 exercises-for-the-soul

  • 1.
  • 2. INTRODUCTION Most of us know how important it is to exercise our bodies, but how often do we exercise our souls? It is easy to get lost in our daily routines and lose touch with the things that are meaningful to us. We become human doings instead of what we are supposed to be — human beings. If this continues, eventually our true self will begin to die. By exercising our souls, how- ever, we enhance our ability to live and love with enthu- siasm and vigor, and increase our ability to overcome any difficulties or obstacles we encounter along the way. Every performer and athlete knows that if you want to get to Carnegie Hall or the Olympics you must prac- tice, practice, practice. If you don’t work out regularly, you will never achieve what you are capable of. This is true of the soul as well. And one thing that can help you achieve a gold medal in soul growth is to have a competent coach. It’s hard to practice alone. For over thirty years I’ve counseled people with life-threatening p 1
  • 3. 2 p 101 Exercises for the Soul illnesses, and my patients have been my most important teachers and coaches. In this book, let me be your coach. At least, give me a try. I will do my best to encourage you to reach your goals and to help guide you in your soul’s journey. I have written this book in a simple format so that you can sit down anywhere, anytime and find the means to add value to your life. Each chapter focuses on a par- ticular area for soul growth, from improving your atti- tude to finding inner motivation. Chapters begin with a coaching tip, which introduces the underlying concepts and purpose of the five exercises that follow (exercise 101 is a “final exam”). The exercises are where your workout really begins. You may find some of the exercises more challeng- ing than others. Feel free to begin anywhere in the book. Consider starting with a chapter that applies to your life right now, one that seems to offer immediate assistance. Begin with the first exercise you are drawn to. No warm- up is needed; you can dive right in. However, since I can’t personally be there to remind you to practice every day, try to keep the book in a place where you will see it often and remember to respond to the needs of your soul. Before you know it you will begin to notice how your life has taken on more meaning and how much better you feel. The change may be small at first, but as we improve ourselves, we make an increasing difference in both our individual lives and the world. The greater our desire and intention, and the more we practice, the greater the results. We can make a positive difference in the world by what we choose to do.
  • 4. Introduction p 3 Our body and soul are intended to work together. To accomplish this we must respect our bodies and keep them fit, and we must also understand, respect, and care for that which lies within us. Before you begin, take a moment to look at your soul. What kind of shape is it in? Has it been allowed to express itself — to be exer- cised properly? Is it underdeveloped in certain places and more developed in others? Imagine that your soul is a muscle that will become stronger, leaner, and more flexible the more you work it. To create a healthy soul, we must first let it speak to us and stop editing it with our fears and our concerns about what others think. We need to trust the divine direction our soul is leading us in and allow it to enhance our life. Now it is time for you to embark upon your soulful journey. The Force is with you. Believe me. Your Coach, Dr. Bernie S. Siegel
  • 5. 1 CHAPTER ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING Don’t sweat the small or the large stuff (and save on the cost of deodorant) Others can stop you temporarily, you are the only one who can do it permanently. — ZIG ZIGLAR Coaching Tip One Maintaining a positive attitude, no matter what your cir- cumstances, increases the likelihood of your finding fu- ture happiness and fulfillment. Why is this true? Well, if your attitude is negative and your mind is filled with worry and fear, it takes its toll on your body, mind, and spirit. In fact, by spending all your time creating a vision of an unhappy future, you help create that future. Re- member, your thoughts guide your decisions, and ne- gative thoughts lead to negative decisions. Nothing is solved by visualizing the worst outcome, but much can be accomplished when you desire and intend to achieve p 5
  • 6. 6 p 101 Exercises for the Soul the best possible result. Optimists may not be more accurate about life — whether interpreting the past or predicting the future — but they live longer than pes- simists. Over God’s desk there is a plaque that reads, “If you go around saying I’ve got a miserable life, I’ll show you what miserable really is. And if you go around saying I’ve got a wonderful life, I’ll show you what wonderful really is.” A positive attitude can open many doors for you and help create the life you desire. A negative attitude affects you first by ruining your moment-to-moment happiness. This truth was brought home to me many years ago. One of our children, then aged seven, had an X-ray that revealed a bone tumor. The odds were that it was a malignant tumor and that he would not see another year of life. I was very de- pressed by what I thought was going to happen, and my attitude showed it. I also tried to get my wife and his four siblings to understand and develop the proper depressing attitude. After all, how can you laugh and play when someone you love is going to die? One day our son walked into the room where I was sitting and said, “Dad, can I talk to you?” I said, “Sure, what is it?” He said, “Dad, you’re handling this poorly.” With his talk, my son reminded me of what every child and animal knows instinctively: Today is the only day that exists. And as for my son, I was wrong about what was going to happen; he survived and is very much alive and happy today. The future is unknown, and we should never let our fears, worries, and negative
  • 7. Attitude Is Everything p 7 attitudes prevent us from enjoying the day and finding fulfillment, no matter what tomorrow seems to hold. When disappointments and setbacks occur, learn to view them as events that will redirect you to something good. My mother taught me this, and it creates a posi- tive shift in your attitude and your view of the future. Cultivating a hopeful approach to life is an important part of your soul workout. The following exercises, when practiced on a regular basis, will strengthen your outlook and help you to create the life you desire.
  • 8. 8 p 101 Exercises for the Soul Exercise 1 GRATITUDE LIST Something to Remember Why are you living this life? Do you ever stop to think about it? Or are you too busy complaining and whin- ing? Gratitude is one of the best ways to improve your attitude and feel better. You can’t be troubled and grate- ful at the same time. This exercise can be repeated often and will always obtain the same results. Get a pen and paper and sit down in a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted. Start by making a list of at least twenty things you are grateful for in your life. You might start with basic necessities like having a roof over your head, a chair to sit on, food to eat, a warm bed at night, and so on. Then continue with the more mean- ingful and personal areas of your life, such as your friends, family, work, pets, and health. When you finish, display the list where you will see it often, especially when troubling thoughts start surfac- ing. Keep adding to your list over the next several weeks, and take the time every day to read it to remind yourself of all the things in your life you are grateful for.
  • 9. Attitude Is Everything p 9 Exercise 2 AFFIRMATIONS What You Say to Yourself Counts Your intentions and desires shape your future. When you create affirmations about what you desire, and stop visualizing what you fear, your goals are far more likely to manifest themselves. This is because you are prepar- ing yourself and your life for the results you desire. Take a sheet of paper and draw a vertical line down the middle of the paper. Then take a few minutes to think about all of the major aspects of your life, such as your body, your job, your mate, and so on. Note any negative thoughts, even if they are just momentary, and write them down in the left column. When you’ve fin- ished your review, read through the negative thoughts you’ve collected. Now take these thoughts and turn them into positive statements in the right column. For instance: I am very tired today I feel alive and energized today I wish I didn’t have to I look forward to a work today productive day at work I hate the way my body I am grateful for my body looks I wish I were a better Every day I’m the best parent parent I can be
  • 10. 10 p 101 Exercises for the Soul Post your favorite affirmations where you will see them every day — on your bathroom mirror, on your refrigerator, on your desk, and so on. For thirty days, read them aloud or repeat them silently to yourself several times a day and before bed. Every month re-create your list and choose new affirmations to focus on. As your attitude improves, your body and life will become what you affirm. From the book 101 Exercises for the Soul. Copyright © 2005 by Bernie S. Siege. Reprinted with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA. www.newworldlibrary.com or 800/972-6657 ext. 52.