Monday, December 22, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

What Comes Around Goes Around

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. ~William Arthur Ward

When we think about it, many of the good things and blessings we have came from someone investing in our lives. We didn’t know where to go, and someone showed us the way. We didn’t know what to do, and someone gave us insight & wise counsel. We didn’t have the finances we needed, and someone provided them. We needed encouragement, and someone listened & helped us to not give up.

I want to share a story with you about giving back to those who have given so much to us:

His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to eke out a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the young boy from what could have been a slow and terrifying death.

The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman's sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved. "I want to repay you," said the nobleman. "You saved my son's life. " "No, I can't accept payment for what I did, " the Scottish farmer replied, waving off the offer. At that moment, the farmer's own son came to the door of the family hovel. "Is that your son? " the nobleman asked. "Yes," the farmer replied proudly. "I'll make you a deal. Let me take him and give him a good education. If the lad is anything like his father, he'll grow to a man you can be proud of. " And that he did.

In time, Farmer Fleming's son graduated from St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin.

Years afterward, the nobleman's son was stricken with pneumonia. What saved him? Penicillin. The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill. His son's name? Sir Winston Churchill.

We’ve all heard it said that what comes around goes around. It’s the principle of sowing and reaping. When we sow goodness, kindness and love, it comes back to us in one way or another. The same holds true when we sow judgment, hate, and revenge.

Lord Randolph Churchill couldn’t walk away from the humble Farmer Fleming with a simple "thank you." He knew he could never repay him for his son’s life, but he wanted to give him something, anything he could to show his gratitude and appreciation. And his investment not only changed their lives, but it has changed all of our lives forever.

This story made me reflect on a couple of questions:

For one, How much do we value what others do for us?
How often do we show them that we truly appreciate them?
And, How can we give back to them?

I encourage you to remember to be thankful for those who have made a difference in your life. And, think about how you can express your appreciation and love to those who have blessed you.

I hope you have a great week filled with gratitude expressed in love and giving! Krystal

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
~Sir Winston Churchill

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.
~Sir Winston Churchill

Copyright © 2008, written by Krystal Kuehn This article is based on the BeHappy4Life Audio Podcast: What Comes Around Goes Around by Krystal Kuehn.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Stress Management: 6 Tips to Less Stress & More Peace

Responding to stress is a consistent part of our daily lives. How we deal with it affects our minds and bodies. Our health can be compromised by ongoing stress reactions. Ongoing stress can affect our peace of mind and physical vitality. It can harm our bodies and lead to physical symptoms and problems including anxiety and depression.

Our minds can help to calm us or increase our stress. Our bodies’ reactions can be channeled into healthy outputs or be kept in a state of alarm. Dealing with stress takes energy. We face it every day, and how we choose to manage it is extremely important to our whole being – body, mind and spirit.

What do you do when you are stressed? How do you calm yourself? Do you use alcohol to help you relax? Do you eat foods high in sugar and fat to soothe you? How about watching hours of television to distract you? These solutions can sometimes create more stress and problems for us. There are other ways that can help. We can calm ourselves and maintain a peaceful state of mind and a healthy body when we:

1. Practice being calm and relaxed.
We can learn to calm ourselves with relaxation exercises such as deep breathing, as well as biofeedback, prayer, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation. An extremely effective way to activate our relaxation response is to do some deep breathing exercises. Go to Breathing Awareness and Deep Breathing for step-by-step instructions.

2. Calm yourself with activity.
Take a warm bath. Get a massage. Take a walk. Watch a sunset. Enjoy some hobbies. Listen to some music. Sing. Dance. Laugh. Exercise. Physical activity is a great way to burn off stress chemicals.

3. Eat healthy.
Our brain chemicals are controlled by what we eat. A diet high in protein and complex carbohydrates provides the nutrition we need for a healthy body and mind. Sufficient vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants keep us in balance and help to build up our immune systems.

4. Detox your body and mind.
Eliminate unhealthy foods high in sugar, caffeine, and fat. Cleanse the body from built-up toxins caused by poor diet, chemicals, and the environment. Detox your mind of toxic emotions and stinkin’ thinking.’ For information on 10 of the most common cognitive distortions, go to How do you Change the Way You Think?

5. Think healthy & positive.
A healthy mind affects the body. If our thinking is positive and hopeful, it affects our whole being. This famous saying describes it well: Being in a good frame of mind helps keep one in the picture of health.

6. Stay connected with others.
We are made for relationships. Relationships provide love, support, and purpose we need for living. Staying connected with others and building our relationships can help us to cope better with stress and stay calm in the midst of life’s storms.

Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well; and not today's pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man. ~James H. West

C2008, written by Krystal Kuehn

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Perspective - It's All the Way You Look At It

There is little difference in people, but that difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative. ~W.Clement Stone

We might describe ourselves as an optimist, a pessimist, or somewhere in-between. But regardless who is right or wrong about a matter, it is the optimist that always tends to be the one who is more hopeful and happy. Join me as we experience a typical day in the life of an optimist and a pessimist. The following story is about perspective & how the same situation can be experienced so differently:

Early Saturday morning the optimist awakens with anticipation and gratitude for the new day. He looks forward to getting together with his friend for a stroll in the park. The pessimist awakens to another day expecting more of the same—the same problems, frustrations, and negativity. When they greet each other at the park, the optimist comments on what a beautiful, sunny day it is. The pessimist says, “You never know how long it will last. It could get cloudy and rain as far as we know.”

Along their way, the Optimist notices a group of teenagers playing ball and blaring a radio near by them. The Optimist says, “It’s so nice to see young people having so much fun together—playing sports and getting exercise.” “You can’t be serious,” retorts the Pessimist. “Teens are troublemakers. Listen to that horrible music. They’re all angry and rebellious. And, on top of that, they get so aggressive in sports, I’m surprised there are not more injuries.”

Next, they walk to the bridge and see a sign stating that the bridge is temporarily closed due to construction. The Optimist suggests, “Let’s go around another way. It’ll be just as nice and we can enjoy the scenery along the other side of the park. The Pessimist angrily replies, “Taxpayer dollars are being wasted again. The bridge was just fine. Now we have to take the long way around because of their incompetence.”

On the other side of the Park, the Optimist notices a couple playfully hugging and kissing. “That is so beautiful! It looks like they’re in love.” “Yeah, right,” exclaims the Pessimist. “They’re just putting on a show. If they want to be all affectionate and loving, they shouldn’t be in a public place.”

The stroll in the park continued along in the same predictable manner. And later that evening, when both the Optimist and Pessimist were asked by friends how their day went, The Optimist shared, “It was a great day. The park was filled with people having fun, and there was so much to see and enjoy.” The Pessimist described his day saying, “There is nothing good about this town. Annoying people are everywhere. The bridge was even down, and there really wasn’t much to like about it.”

Wow, What a difference in perspective! Is there any wonder why the Pessimist remains negative and oftentimes is unhappy? First, he doesn’t expect the nice weather to last. He is actually expressing the attitude that some people have—that nothing good ever lasts for very long, so don’t expect it and you won’t be disappointed. Then, he generalizes that all teens are angry and rebellious. When the bridge is closed, instead of making the best of the situation, he complains and blames others. And later, he gets annoyed by displays of love and affection.

The Optimist, on the other hand, focuses on the good things—and spends his day appreciating and enjoying it. When obstacles arise, he copes in a healthy manner and doesn’t let it ruin his day or attitude.

Now, who would you rather be around? Or, I should ask, what perspective would you rather have? Most of us would like to be more like the Optimist. The Optimist has inner joy and peace. The Optimist is loving towards others. And, the Optimist has inner strength to cope with life’s challenges.

I’d like to encourage you that with practice, we can ALL become more optimistic in our outlook.

I hope you have a great week & see all the good in it!

Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power. ~William James

Copyright © 2008, written by Krystal Kuehn

This article is a transcript from the Perspective: It's All the Way You Look at It - audio podcast . To learn more about developing a positive attitude, go to

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Love Test

Love must be learned, and learned again; there is no end to it.
~Katherine Anne Porter

When people say “I love you,” what do they mean? Perhaps they are referring to their strong emotions, or to a physical love that is passionate and lustful. How often is it a deeper love—a love that is selfless, unconditional, and forgiving that is expressed? This kind of love is stronger than emotions and physical passions. It involves commitment and a decision to act in the best interest of others. This is a giving and sacrificial love. It is not dependent upon the attractiveness, agreeableness, or condition of the love object. It is love this is unconditional and free.

This is the kind of love that is loyal and would not betray the one it loves. This is the kind of love that never gives up, but continues to want and believe the best of the other person. This love is patient, kind, and respectful. It does not harbor resentment, nor is it arrogant, rude, and selfish.

So the next time we tell someone we love them, do we love them with this kind of love? We might have good intentions and a true desire to love others unconditionally and with our whole hearts, but most of us could use some practice and greater understanding of love. We can check our understanding of love by this simple exercise. Using The 10 Keys to Happy and Loving Relationships replace the word love with your name or with the words I am. For the first one only, use I have instead of I am. That is, I have esteem for self and others. Then continue with I am patient, I am kind, and so forth.

1. Love is Esteem for Self & Others
2. Love is Patient
3. Love is Kind
4. Love is Considerate
5. Love is not Jealous or Envious
6. Love is Humble
7. Love is not Demanding
8. Love is not Easily Angered
9. Love is Forgiving
10. Love is Sincere

How many of those statements do you believe to be true with your name in place of love? Don’t be disheartened if you feel you need work in any or all of these areas. Most of us probably have plenty of room to grow in our understanding and practice of love. This exercise has hopefully been helpful in identifying key areas in which you might want to improve your experience of love and all the benefits that come with it. For more information, activities, and affirmations about love go to The 10 Keys to Happy and Loving Relationships.

C2008 Kuehn

The Power of Love is amazing and never-ending.
Love can motivate, energize, inspire, and strengthen.
Love can do in a person what nothing else can do.
Love has the power to revive and change lives,
restore relationships, and bring healing.
All else may fail, but Love never fails.
~Krystal Kuehn

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Real Secret Behind True Happiness

If you have it [Love], you don't need to have anything else, and if you don't have it, it doesn't matter much what else you have. ~Sir James M. Barrie

Aristotle once said that happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence. Ultimately, what we want is to be happy. We believe that when we pursue a goal or dream, its hope and fulfillment will make us happy. We invest in relationships, not just out of duty, but because they make us happy. We want to make a difference and help others and we become fulfilled and happy as a result. We work and produce because we must, but also because it fills us with purpose and leads to joy. We create and express our true selves. We pursue things and do what we do because it makes us happy and gives life meaning.

Sometimes, however, something is missing along the way. The joy is not there. Something seems to be blocking it. Whenever that occurs, we must ask ourselves this question: Is love missing in some area of my life? It might be that we have been holding on to anger toward someone or something. Maybe we have been cynical or judgmental lately. Or, we might have developed an attitude or become rebellious in our hearts for some reason. Not only will we experience less joy, but we oftentimes will lose our peace of mind and heart when love is not first in our life.

Without love, there is no true happiness. Without love, we lose our peace, our health suffers, success lacks meaning, and we miss the true joy of experiencing God’s love and presence. When we put love first, however, true happiness naturally results. We don’t have to look for it or try to make it happen. It just does. Love is the foundation and source of all that is good. Leo Buscaglia said that Love is life, and if you miss love, you miss life. We need love to enjoy life.

We are always changing in our experience of love. Sometimes we express our love so generously, and other times we impose conditions on it. However, true love, God’s love is never changing. It is unconditional and forever. Nothing can destroy it, make it fade or separate us from it. It is only eclipsed. Everything that love is can be summed up in three words: God is love.

If we want to be truly happy, if we want to break through the barriers that block our joy, we must put love first. How do we put love first? We put love first when we put God first and walk in the 10 keys attributes of love. If we put love first, we will have peace of mind and heart; we will have successful relationships, fulfilling careers and goals, and we will truly be happy4life!

The power of love is amazing and never-ending. It can motivate, energize, inspire, and strengthen. Love can do in a person what nothing else can do. Love has the power to revive and change lives, restore relationships, and bring healing. All else may fail, but love never fails. ~Krystal Kuehn

C 2008
article by Krystal Kuehn

Put love first & discover the real secret to true happiness with free online workshop: The 10 Keys to Happy and Loving Relationships

Find out what happy people know with The 9 Habits of Happy People

Thursday, September 4, 2008

It's a New Day & It is Good!

One of the illusions of life is that the present hour
is not the critical, decisive hour. Write it on your heart that
every day is the best day of the year.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

We can begin each new day with a new attitude. No matter what happens or how our days might start off, remember that it is a new day and it is good! It is good to wake up to new mercies every morning. It is good to be alive. It is good to have within our power the choice to make today a better day.

Whether we realize it or not, we start out each new day wanting it to be a good day. No one wakes up saying, I want to have a miserable day today. I do not want to be happy today. I just want to get by. Happiness is truly an individual experience. What makes us happy is not necessarily what makes other people happy. One person might choose to be happy on a cold, rainy day that cancelled his outdoor plans while another person in the same situation might decide it is going to be a bad day. A promotion at work can lead one person to choose to be happy about the news while another might focus on the pressures and anxieties it can cause. An unexpected pregnancy can be happy news to one person and upsetting to another. Some people need a good reason to be happy, while others are simply happy to be alive.

We do not always understand others needs for happiness or for a better life, but we all share a common goal: We all want to be happy. We all want to enjoy our lives and live it successfully and with purpose. If happiness is important to us and something we value, then we can be truly happy. It is a matter of choosing the ways of happiness in our thoughts, actions, and attitudes, and, putting them into practice.

Wishing you true happiness today & each new day,


This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.
~Psalm 118:24

Be Happy 4 Life
Choose Happiness Now. Practice Happiness Every Day. Make Happiness a Lifestyle.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Practice Happiness & Love Every Day

Did you know that practicing happiness & love has many benefits?

Practice Happiness & Love and...

(1) You will be more optimistic and have a good attitude

No matter what the situation, there is always more than one way to look at things. It all depends on where we focus our attention and what our expectations are. This will determine our attitude towards a matter or towards life in general. Truly happy people tend to be optimistic and hopeful. Their outlook is often positive, and they expect things to work out. They are resilient and cope well with life stressors and challenges. They spend time reflecting on reasons they have to be thankful. Happy people have a good attitude.

(2) You will have more confidence and better self-esteem

In order to be confident in who we are, we must be sure of ourselves. That means we believe in ourselves, and don’t need to prove anything to anyone. When we’re sure of ourselves, we are humble and respectful of others. We are more accepting of them, because we accept and like ourselves.

Truly happy people like and accept themselves. They recognize their strengths and work on building them. Their weaknesses don’t keep them from trying new things and moving forward. They are assertive, and they’re not afraid of being rejected for being who they are. Happy people are confident and have a good self-image.

(3) You will have more fun and enjoy things more

Life is fun when we take pleasure in it. Whether it’s in our work, rest, or play, we can discover fun awaiting us. Some fun is found in humor, accomplishment, laughter, entertainment, or simple gratification. If we make time for fun, life will be much less complicated and much more enjoyable.

Truly happy people know how to enjoy themselves. They can find humor and amusement in simple, everyday things. They don't always take everything so seriously, but laugh more often, even at themselves, when they get a chance. Happy people have fun and enjoy things more.

(4) You will be healthier both physically and mentally

Research continues to confirm that our bodies and minds are closely connected. Unhealthy bodies have decreased mental energy and lower moods. Healthy bodies have increased motivation, endurance, and energy. We have one body to live in while here on earth. With proper care, it will function at its best and keep us healthy and happy. Truly happy people take good care of their minds and bodies. They realize that the way they care for themselves will be evident in how they feel and look. They have respect and gratitude for their bodies so they avoid what is harmful and do what is good for them. Happy people take proper care of their health.

(5) You will have more love in your life and more fulfilling relationships

We can’t live a happy and satisfying life without love. And we can’t love life without loving people which includes loving ourselves as well. Life is all about loving and being loved. That is why relationships are so precious and valuable. They provide us endless opportunities to experience and express love without which we would never know true happiness

Truly happy people love others. They enjoy expressing their love with kindness, giving, and sharing. They connect with people and love to socialize. They are caring and loving towards others. They are accepting and forgiving of themselves and others. Happy people experience more love in their lives and have more satisfying relationships.

(6) You will have an inner peace that can’t be easily shaken

If we know eternal, abiding peace, life’s storms and challenges won’t hinder or frighten us. Come what may, there’s a place of security and calm for the one who has inner peace.

Truly happy people can release their burdens and cares. They know their limitations, and accept what they cannot control. They don’t give in to fear, but conquer it instead. They take time to reflect and take in the beauty around them. Happy people experience inner peace.

(7) You will live your life with purpose and meaning

We’ve all been given one life to live, and deep inside of us is a desire to live it with meaning and purpose. Ultimately, we decide what we are going to do with our lives. Our journeys will lead us into a life of meaning and purpose depending on which paths we choose to follow.

Truly happy people have vision for their lives. They believe they have a calling to fulfill. They like to use their gifts and talents to contribute to something bigger than themselves. They often see themselves as conquerors and winners. Happy people live with purpose.

(8) You will grow in wisdom and make better choices

If we want to become wise, we must learn how to apply our knowledge in the best possible ways. When all of our knowledge and learning helps us to make good choices, and keeps us humble and willing to learn more, we are growing in wisdom.

Truly happy people make good choices. They think ahead and consider the possible consequences to their actions. They want to gain knowledge and seek understanding. They want to learn, and are teachable and willing to listen. Happy people grow in wisdom.

From Be Happy & Prosper: Ways Happiness Prospers Us c2007

Free program to help you practice happiness: Be Your Best and Be Happy
Free program to help you practice love: Love & Relationships Workshop

NEW! It’s a New Day, Enjoy it! T-shirt NOW AVAILABLE

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Anger Management & Self-Control

All human failures are the result of a lack of love. ~Alfred Adler

All sorts of things can trigger irritability in people, from minor traffic jams to major headaches. Everyone gets upset or annoyed sometimes. We all have lost our temper and reacted without thinking. We have succumbed to anger that drives us to say and do things we normally wouldn’t. And it’s when we lose control over our thoughts and feelings, that our irritability and anger can do some major damage to our love walk.

For the most part, irritability is likely to occur when we feel under pressure. Therefore, one of the best tests for measuring our irritability is to observe how we behave when having to manage stressful circumstances or people. If we can remain graceful toward others when under pressure, then we are probably exercising self-control. Our temper is well-managed and good. We are not allowing agitation to anger us or disrupt our relationships. If, on the other hand, pressure and stress bring out the worst in us, then we probably need to work on our self-control and temper.

When irritable, we are very likely to become easily angered at others, sometimes at the slightest provocation. We might even become hostile and behave in ways we will later regret. Gaining control over our thoughts, feelings and actions when irritated and angry is the best way to keep from acting out in unloving ways.

Self-control communicates love. It can be seen whenever we:

* Take responsibility for our actions

* Do not accuse or blame others for the way we feel

* Treat others graciously although they irritate us

* Keep from saying something hurtful and unnecessary

* Do not take our anger out on those around us

* Think things through before we react

* Allow ourselves a time-out to gather ourselves together

* Do not expect more from others than we should

The disposition of love is self-control and a good temper. Having self-control and a good temper is easier said than done, especially for those individuals who are more prone to irritability for various reasons. Even so, we can all learn to gain greater control over our tempers and how we react under pressure. Irritations will never cease, nor does our love need to when they come.

C2007 Krystal Kuehn,

Excerpt above is part of the Love & Relationship Workshop: 10 Powerful Ways to Communicate & Experience Love. Program includes reflection questions, empowering thoughts, affirmations, and free printable worksheets.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Friendship, Love & Marriage

It's interesting how people come and go in our lives. Some become good friends, others make a significant impression on our lives, some hurt us and use us, and they all teach us about life in one way or another. Best friends are truly a gift from God. I believe that every successful and happy marriage is made up of true friendship. Following is an article I wrote awhile ago about friendship in marriage. For more resources on improving all your friendships, go to my free online Love & Relationships Workshop.

My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me. ~Henry Ford

Friendship & Love: The Foundation of a Happy Marriage

Is Your Spouse Your Best Friend?

When people first get married they usually expect their love and commitment to last for a lifetime. Unfortunately, for at least half of all couples it doesn't. What happens? Soon after marriage couples discover that the bliss of falling in love quickly fades. They no longer see each other through rose colored glasses. The ease with which they once overlooked each other's faults becomes much more difficult.

With married life, couples begin to encounter new challenges, roles and responsibilities. Conflicts arise and sometimes go unresolved. Tensions build. Commitments weaken. Mutual respect isn't always present. And, unconditional love and acceptance do not always last. So how do you build a strong marriage that can withstand the onslaughts of life's challenges?

No one ever said that marriage is easy. Marriage is hard work. To keep a marriage strong, satisfying and lasting requires a great deal of investment. It takes time and energy to get to know and understand your spouse; to set goals and share dreams together; and to have fun and enjoy each other. Couples sometimes lose touch with each other and grow apart when they get lax and don't work on their marriage. Yet when they do, they are much more likely to feel very close and deeply cared for by their partner.

Couples who invest in their marriages can build deep friendships. Researchers have found that the level of a couple's friendship is the greatest indicator of success in marriage. Couples who are close and are best friends have more happiness and satisfaction in their lives. Best friends are trustworthy, safe, understanding, loving, accepting and respectful. Best friends are a strong buffer in times of trouble. You can count on them. They are supportive and faithful. Best friends can work through conflicts and pressures that threaten the relationship. Best friends do not give up on each other. They forgive. They share.

You may have been your spouse's partner and lover, but have you been your spouse's best friend? If your marriage is not all that you would like it to be and you want to begin investing more into your marriage to make it better, why not begin with your friendship. You may likely find that it is one of the greatest investments you will ever make.

Copyright © 2007 All Rights Reserved

Some of my favorite friendship quotes:

Every gift from a friend is a wish for your happiness. ~Richard Bach

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend. ~unknown

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. Eccl. 4:9-10

A real friend never gets in the way, unless you happen to be on the way down. ~Evan Esar

Tell me whom you love and I will tell you who you are. ~Houssaye
For more quotes, free resources, and my monthly newsletter & much more, go to

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Making Peace With Your Past

The day the child realizes that all adults are imperfect he becomes an adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult; the day he forgives himself he becomes wise ~Alden Nowlan

Are regrets, bad memories, or losses keeping you from enjoying each new day? Is the past keeping you from moving into the future with hope and anticipation?

I recently heard a man say that it was not until he made peace with his past that he truly began to live. It changed his life so dramatically that everyone noticed there was something different about him. It was not until 20 years after losing his father that he began to grieve the loss for the first time. He finally allowed himself to face his past with all the anger and pain. There was so much that he missed out on. There were lost opportunities and things that would never be, so many regrets, poor choices, and bad experiences that would affect the rest of his life.

This man went through a process of acceptance and forgiveness. He felt the pain. He felt the anger. He mourned what was and could have been. And then, he released it. He made peace with his past, and he was ready to move on with his life. Suddenly, new opportunities before him became exciting. He began to fully appreciate what he had, the people in his life, and what he had become. He began to hope for a better and brighter future. He was ready to give more of himself to others. And he began to enjoy his life more and more.

For the first time since he could remember, he felt free—free of burdens from the past, free of unresolved pain, free of bitterness and self-pity. He was free indeed! He was free to enjoy his life, his family, and all that he had like never before. The past would no longer steal his joy and hope. It could not hold him back, and it was not going to keep him down any longer.

Is your past keeping you from fully enjoying your life? Sometimes we do not stop and think about it. Just like the man described above, we might have regrets, unresolved pain, sorrow, anger, or unforgiveness. These things keep us bound to the past. The past does not have to negatively influence our future. We can release it as we face it, deal with the emotions, come to accept what was and now is, and forgive our past.

Making peace with our past will lead us to experience healing, wholeness, and freedom to live our life with true joy. Every day is a new day to appreciate and enjoy. We do not have to allow our past to keep us from being truly happy today. Choose to be free and take the necessary steps to be free now. (We might want to have a professional counselor help us go through this process.)

Following are questions to reflect on and steps to take in making peace with our past:

1. Face your past. What are your regrets? What caused or still causes you pain? What are your losses? Have you grieved them?

2. Face your feelings. Does your past make you angry, sad, feel bad about yourself, bitter, damaged, cheated?

3. Forgive your past. Do you have any bitterness, hatred, or unforgiveness towards anyone (including yourself)? Why are you holding on to it? What would it take for you to release it and free yourself from its control in your life?

4. Accept your past. When we cannot change something, the healthiest thing we can do is accept it. Can you accept your past? What have you learned from it? How can it change you for the better?

5. Make peace with your past and be free. When your past no longer controls your life—your peace, your hope, attitude, relationships, ability to love others, give and share of yourself, dream, believe, and trust once again, then you are free!

It is my hope that this has helped you in making peace with your past, and in looking forward to better days ahead!


God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Four Steps to a New Perspective

Recently I had to take on a new responsibility that I was not too pleased with. Actually, I had a bad attitude about it. Once I realized that nothing was going to change unless I did, I decided to change my perspective. I thought about this quote:

You can either complain that rose bushes have thorns - or rejoice that thorn bushes have roses.

I decided that I would stop complaining and do something about it. This is what I did:

1. Stop indulging in frustration and complaining.

2. Accept what I cannot change.

3. Change what I can change--my attitude and perspective.
I began to look at the good things in this new situation. To my surprise, I was able to list some benefits.

4. Have a good attitude.
A good attitude kept me from focusing on what I didn't like or want. Instead I thought about how I could make the best of the situation and deal with it better. I found that I could still be happy even though things didn't go my way. And, I didn't have to give in to feelings of frustration and discontentment.

The power of perspective is amazing. It can completely change your attitude and mood. Awhile back I wrote an article about the importance of our perspective, and the freedom to choose what we think and focus on. I hope it reminds you to see the good in today.

Today is a New Day and it is good, Krystal

For more on perspective, check out this fun page:

Do You See The Clouds or Sunshine? It's Your Choice
Mirror Newspaper, Dec. 15, 2005, Vol. 2, Number 15
by Krystal Kuehn

“What a beautiful, sunny day,” I thought when I awoke this morning. “It’s going to be a good day!” I got out of bed with a new energy and a good attitude. Then I began to wonder, what is it about today that’s different from the past several days? Well, it was cloudy most every other morning until this morning. What a difference sunshine can make! Actually, as I pondered this, I came to realize that it is so much more than that. What it really comes down to is a choice. Notice that I had determined in my mind that it was going to be a good day. Every day and every hour, it is up to us to decide how we’re going to respond to situations, people, problems and plans.

External factors can have the power to influence us, lead us to feel pressured, or respond out of habit only in accordance to how much we allow them to. And that’s just it. How much will we allow them to? We have a free will. That leaves us with a responsibility to choose the good, true, just, and lovely if we want to enjoy our lives. Even the desire to break out of old, negative patterns requires us to make a choice. Ultimately, we are in control of our choices and attitudes.

Another key point that determined the good attitude I had for the day was the expression of my heartfelt gratitude as I enjoyed the beauty of the brightness from the sun. A heart of gratitude always improves our attitude. A grateful heart keeps our focus on the good in people, the possibilities, and the simple enjoyment and refreshing that can come from the things we so often take for granted.

Regardless of the weather or any other external factors, keeping our focus right will help us maintain a healthy attitude of hope and expectation of good things to come. The warmth of the sun, the brightness of its light, the shimmer of its beauty never changes. Clouds can block it but can’t take it away.

The next time the clouds threaten to take your sunshine away, remember that it is shining just as bright as ever. You don’t have to wait for the clouds to lift to experience its warmth or to appreciate its beauty. Let it remind you that God’s mercies are new every morning. He doesn’t change like the weather or people or situations do. He is always there to brighten up even your darkest day. His light will help you to see that there is hope no matter what the situation. The warmth of His love will wrap around you and keep you safe in His care. You can rejoice and be glad for this is the day the Lord has made and He wants you to enjoy it!

Copyright 2006 Kuehn

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Freedom Is Not Free

Memorial Day is a special day of reflection, a time of gratitude and honor for all the men and women who served and sacrificed their lives for this great nation, and for all our veterans and the U.S. Military. Thank you ! I am so thankful for this amazing country. As a first generation American, I have been brought up in a home of very patriotic parents. My parents always said that America is the greatest country in the world. They know first-hand how oppressive a government can be. Coming to America was a dream come true for them. I have learned from them just how priceless freedom is. So I am thankful and proud to be an American. I love the USA! Following I have posted one of my very favorite patriotic songs. The lyrics are below. You will also find a poem on Freedom. God bless you and....

God bless America, Krystal

The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit that freedom to their children.
-William Havard

Remember 9/11

God Bless The U.S.A.
by Lee Greenwood

If tomorrow all the things were gone,
I’d worked for all my life.
And I had to start again,with just my children and my wife.
I’d thank my lucky stars,to be livin here today.
Cause the flag still stands for freedom,
and they can’t take that away.

And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

From the lakes of Minnesota,to the hills of Tennessee.
Across the plains of Texas,From sea to shining sea.
From Detroit down to Houston,and New York to L.A.
Well there's pride in every American heart,
and its time we stand and say.

That I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,who gave that right to me.
And I gladly stand up,next to you and defend her still today.
Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God bless the USA.

And I’m proud to be and American,where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,who gave that right to me.
And I gladly stand up,next to you and defend her still today.
Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,God bless the USA.

by Kelly Strong

I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
and then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
He'd stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?
How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?

No, freedom isn't free.
I heard the sound of TAPS one night,
When everything was still
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That TAPS had meant "Amen,"
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isn't free.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Addictions: How to Break Bad Habits

Alcohol, drugs, smoking, and food are what we think of when we hear the word addiction. But, they are not the only things we get addicted to. Oftentimes, other unhealthy habits lead to these more common addictions. That is what I have addressed below:

Alcohol and drug use can lead to problems with addiction if unhealthy or excessive drinking patterns develop. What might start out as social drinking or casual use can soon become a habit. For example, if you drink every time you get together with friends at the bowling alley, it will soon become a habit. That does not necessarily mean it will lead to drinking problems, but I want to address how patterns and habits can develop quickly and easily. This led me to think about how this applies to relationship problems as well as depression, anxiety, and other problems.

Relationship interactions often fall into repeated patterns of behavior. Sometimes it is easy to predict how someone is going to react in any given situation based on previous behavior. And there might not be a good reason to think it will be any different. The behavior has become a habit or dysfunctional pattern. For example, whenever Andy asks for feedback from Kim and she provides some constructive criticism, he gets defensive and accuses her of trying to put him down. Jen does not like to be ignored when she asks Dave to pick up his clothes off the floor, so she gets irritable and short-tempered. Dave asks her to stop nagging him. They end up bickering back and forth. The patterns continue. The tension grows. No one does anything any different so things do not get better until someone decides to do something to break the cycle.

If you have ever struggled with an addiction, you know first hand how difficult it is to break the control it can have on every aspect of your life. And you would most likely want to be free of the addiction. Maybe you do not have problems with drinking, drugs, or smoking. It is highly probable that you know someone who does struggle with these problems. However, I would ask you:

How about negative thinking patterns, disrespect, impatience, angry outbursts, unkindness, criticism, gossip, taking offense, cussing, bitterness, negative self-labeling, pessimism, and the list goes on? Do these things get out of control? Do they become addictive and difficult to break free from? I believe they are, and as a result they contribute to all sorts of emotional, relational, and social problems.

I encourage you to think about any patterns or habits in your life that cause you personal or relational problems. They can be just as serious and destructive as the more commonly known addiction problems. Maybe you never saw it that way before.

For tools on how to replace old habits with new ones, check out activities on how to change the way you think at:

To improve you relationships and communication patterns, I highly recommend the Love and Relationships Workshop. In it you will find helpful activities and information to communicate love in a highly effective way that will significantly improve your relationships.

I love the The motto: Choose happiness now, practice happiness every day, make happiness a lifestyle.

If you want to break some bad habits, I encourage you to take do something about it now. You can make choices to change your lifestyle for the better today!

All the best, Krystal

Monday, May 12, 2008

Alcohol Screening Day & Alcohol Facts

Just want to invite everyone to come in tomorrow and get free alcohol screenings, resources, professional consultations, and information. If you have any concerns about family and friends, we can help answer your questions and provide information for you. Talk to a therapist about any of your concerns. They do not have to necessarily be alcohol-related. If you are going through family or relationship problems, depression, grief or loss, we are here for you.

Below is a copy of the New Day Counseling press release in case you missed it in your local paper. Hope to see you there tomorrow, Tuesday, May 13 between 11:00am and 6:00pm.



“My husband drinks a 6-pack of beer almost every day, is that too much?” “I heard that alcohol is much harder on woman than men, is this true?” “I take an over the counter pain medication for my bad back, does this mean I shouldn’t drink alcohol?” “My 75-year-old father has recently been diagnosed with high blood pressure – can drinking make his hypertension worse?” “My husband and I are expecting a baby, and I enjoy an occasional glass of wine with dinner, will this affect my unborn child?”

For most adults, moderate alcohol use causes few, if any, problems. But for some, any alcohol use may lead to significant health problems. Trying to figure out the risks associated with alcohol use is not easy because alcohol affects your body differently at different times. To protect yourself, it is important to figure out where you should draw the line when consuming alcohol – where do you draw the line as you get older, if you are trying to get pregnant, if you have a family history of alcohol abuse, if you develop a medical condition, or if you take certain medications.

To help determine where you should draw the line, New Day Counseling partnered with National Alcohol Screening Day (NASD) is offering a free, one-day outreach, education and screening event designed to educate the public about alcohol and allow individuals to seek help in a non-threatening, easily accessible manner on Tuesday, May 13. The free screenings will be held from 11:00am to 6:00pm at 2820 W Maple Rd, Suite 210, Troy, MI 48084.

As part of the program, attendees will have the opportunity to watch an educational presentation on alcohol problems, complete a written self-test, and to talk one-on-one with a health professional, all for FREE. Pamphlets, brochures and flyers will be available, as well as referral resources for support services to those who seek further assistance.
Krystal Kuehn, a licensed professional counselor, says, “Although most individuals who drink do so safely, many people are unaware of the negative effects alcohol can have on health. The goal of this screening day is to educate the public on the potential risks associated with drinking. Through education, awareness and understanding, individuals can make informed decisions about their drinking behaviors.”

Metro-Detroit residents can now learn the facts on Tuesday, May 13 at New Day Counseling.

Alcohol Facts
Some things you may not know:

*Heavy drinking raises the risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, certain cancers, car crashes, unintentional injuries, violence, suicides, birth defects and overall mortality.

*More than 150 medications interact harmfully with alcohol. These interactions may
result in increased risk of illness, injury, and even death.

*Alcohol can alter blood sugar levels and exacerbate diabetes; impair reproductive
functions; and interfere with calcium metabolism and bone structure, increasing the risk
of osteoporosis.

*Researchers have identified no safe threshold for drinking during pregnancy.

For additional information about alcohol or the screening program, visit call New Day Counseling at 248-649-8050.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Be Blessed Today!

The Book of Psalms is one of my favorite books of love, faith, inspiration, and comfort. The Book of Psalms is a collection of songs and prayers. The Psalmists express the full range of human emotion from deep despair to exuberant praise and joy.

As I was reading the Psalms recently, I came across the word blessed. It is the very first word that begins the Book of Psalms, and it means one who is manifestly happy. I was thinking about manifested happiness and what it means. When someone is truly happy, it is evident in a smile, laughter, or simply ones eyes, posture, energy, demeanor. Did you ever notice how beautiful someone looks when he or she is truly happy, hopeful, and contented? Expensive clothing or jewelry cannot adorn a person the way true joy, peace and love can. True joy affects our entire being-body, soul, and spirit.

The Psalms always remind me that no matter what is going on in the world or what I am going through I am truly blessed. I can adorn myself with the garment of praise and gratitude every day. I can let peace rule in my heart. Love can be my motivation and priority. In doing so, I can not help but to be manifestly happy.

Be Blessed Today, Krystal

Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself. ~Og Mandino

For more great quotes on happiness, go to:

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Gratitude: The Way to True Joy

You have probably heard that one of the best ways to improve your outlook and experience life satisfaction is to count your blessings. We would probably all agree, and most of us are thankful. However, we quickly begin to take things for granted or we simply do not think about being thankful throughout our day. A great way to keep our focus on what we have, the good, the beautiful, the positivie side of things is to keep a Gratitude Journal. I got away from doing this for some time, and a couple of months ago I decided to get back to it. Every night before bed, I think about my day and write down at least three things that I am thankful for. It amazes me that I do not think about being thankful for the simple things at the time they are happening or I quickly forget about them; but when I take time to reflect, I am truly grateful. For example, I found a home remedy for my cat's eye infection that worked. And once after running errands all day, I just made it to the last store ten minutes before they closed.

When I first began my journal, I recorded three things I was grateful for each day. Now I sometimes have a list of seven or more. Another thing that is interesting is that reflecting on the day sometimes reminds me of some unpleasant or frustrating things. Even when thinking about them, I seem to always find at least something I can be thankful for. In doing this, I am practicing gratitude. I am focusing on the positive instead of the negative. There was a time when I spent a great deal of energy focusing on what what wrong instead of what was right, what I did not have rather than what I did have, and what I could not do instead of what I could do. It comes down to perspective. If we think about what we are grateful for, we will spend much more time thinking about the good in our lives. That is one of the best ways to practice happiness. I encourage you to start a Gratitude Journal. It is simple and with practice you can expect to have a happier attitude and outlook.

For more on Gratitude, go to You will find some more exercises and encouragement to practice gratitude and develop a thankful heart.

One of my favorite sections is on Perspective. Check it out here:

My gratitude for my son is best expressed in this video. I wrote the words shortly after he was born. I originally wrote it with his name in the title. This version is altered so everyone can relate and appreciate it.

With a heart of gratitude, Krystal

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Keys to Success

There are many formulas and ideas about success, and I have found some of them to be helpful. However, I have learned 3 keys to success and contentment that never fail, and I would like to share them with you. They are simple, yet reflective.

I believe real success is not always about achieving or doing more, but it also is in learning to be content. How do we learn to be content? We learn by increasing in intellectual knowledge, and we also learn by habitual practice. It is important to practice gratitude, love, happiness, or whatever it is we want to have in our lives. That is why we encourage practice at We also provide a great deal of information to help you increase in intellectual knowledge as well. Personally, I love learning. I remember accumulating more and more knowledge, but lagging behind in putting some of it into practice. It is when I began to practice love and happiness with a new perspective, setting my priorities straight, and drawing on God's strength that my life really began to change.

Following are the 3 Keys to Success and Contentment. How we answer them will actually determine our level of success and contentment.

(1) Perspective - How do you see yourself, others, the world? The information at this link will really help you to answer this question:

(2) Priorities - What is most important to you? Great activity to help you identify your priorities:

(3) Source of Power and Strength - Where does your help come from? What gives you strength? How often do you draw on your source of strength and power? This question is actually a very personal one. Take your time to think about it.

I wish you much success! Krystal

Monday, April 14, 2008

Health and Fitness: Caring for Our Bodies

Happiness lies, first of all, in health. ~George William Curtis

Just imagine for a moment what life would be like if each individual on earth were allowed to own just one automobile per lifetime. Do you think you would be more motivated to take better care of your vehicle-getting routine tune-ups and oil changes, rotating tires, keeping it clean, and so forth? Some of us might have a very different attitude about it altogether. We might take our responsibility to care for it more seriously. And we would most likely appreciate and cherish it much more.

Fortunately, most of us are not limited to owning just one vehicle per lifetime so we don't have to be overly concerned with proper maintenance and care. But, how about our bodies? We can't trade them in for another model. And some parts can't be replaced. When something goes wrong we do what we can to fix it. We own it for life. And it's up to us to take proper care of what we have. The truth is, however, many people neglect proper nutrition and diet. They don't exercise consistently. And they don't make relaxation a priority. So their bodies get run down. They become more susceptible to illness. They get tired and end up having to work harder to keep themselves going.

Most would agree that they could do a better job in taking care of themselves. Oftentimes they know what needs to be done. There is a lot we can do to be our best-to look our best and to feel our best. When we take steps to take care of ourselves physically it also affects our mental and emotional well-being. Our body and mind works together. Our energy is increased as we make positive changes in improving our health. And our attitude and self-esteem is improved as we like the changes we see and feel.

So what is it that keeps people from taking better care of their bodies? For one, it is hard work. Making it a disciplined lifestyle takes motivation and commitment. But it can be done if you will take it one day at a time. Following are some tips to help you develop a healthier lifestyle:

* Begin with short-term goals. Be realistic in your expectations. Small changes over time result in big changes in the long run. Be patient and learn to appreciate and celebrate small victories.

* Picture yourself the way you would want to be. If it is a possibility then it's a matter of doing what needs to be done. Start by believing you can do it. Having faith that it can happen is essential. It keeps you going when you want to give up.

* Find an accountability partner. Having someone to whom you can report how you are doing keeps you motivated. This person can help keep you on track and remind you of the progress you're making when you don't see it. A partner who shares your goals and will join you in achieving them can be especially helpful.

* Establish a routine and be consistent. A new habit can take about six weeks to become a part of your lifestyle. If you have a setback, don't give up. Get back on track as soon as possible. Begin again by setting goals, visualizing your success, believing for it and taking action.

Lifestyle changes don't happen overnight. Whether or not you begin today, three months from now will still come. You can be that much closer to your goals. You can be the best you can be if you make it a priority. How important is your body to you? Are you satisfied with how you are caring for it? How could your life be better if you were to make some changes? You have one body for life. What you do with it now will have lasting results.

Copyright © 2007 Krystal Kuehn,
Maximum Potential, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Free Ebook Download:

Krystal Kuehn, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC is a psychotherapist, author, teacher & musician. She is the cofounder of New Day Counseling, a marriage family counseling and child therapy center,, an award-winning, self-help and inspirational site where you can find hundreds of free resources, insights & inspiration, and where you can find beautiful baby poems, baby quotes, cute sayingsbaby videos that will touch your heart & increase your joy & gratitude for the children you love & enjoy!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Another Place to Share

As I was thinking about what I would like to share on this blog, I decided that I would make it both personal and professional. I will share articles and different things from my web sites, and I will also share simple thoughts, ideas, and experiences. I hope you enjoy it!