“Thanksgiving” equals “Thanksbeing”

Yes, it is this time of the year again; the temperatures and the leaves have started falling. Yes, and the holiday season is fast approaching with its feared celebratory indulgences beyond a level advised by health professionals. And yes, we are looking very much forward to arm ourselves against the company of people, we would rather avoid at family gatherings.

As we start prepaing for 2017 Thanksgiving Day, we have to remind ourselves of the actual “why?” for celebrating this annual holiday to avoid missteps and excessive indulgence in food, drinks and regrettable behavior. The way to do so is by being thankful commemorating what we have been given over the year and by seeing the glass as half-full instead of half-empty. Only children have the privilege to focus on the giving part of Thanksgiving, and being on the receiving end is their right on this day. To stay true to the annually-revived resolution of doing better this year and survive the holidays without regrets about unhealthy behaviors including the indulgence in arguing with uncle Ed about the election at a holiday gathering. Can we prove to ourselves that we are worth the company and express thankfulness to the people around us?

If you haven’t noticed it, the Thanksgiving spirit is actually all about “being” and not about alcoholic spirits first and foremost? I recommend focusing on being thankful to families, friends, and neighbors, who are being here with us that day, for being present and investing their time for being together. With a focus on “ThanksBeing” we can truly celebrate life, living and the time we share being ourselves together with others in the truest meaning of Thanksgiving. By indulging in the “togetherness” of Being, we can – this time around – fully enjoy the food, the presents, the communication and other givings of this special day, in the most healthy way. You won’t regret it.

Wishing you and your families the “Thanksbeing” spirit for a Happy, memorable and Healthy 2017 Thanksgiving season!

Think BIGGER – Do it NOW!



For the New Year many of us have set goals for making improvements in our lives and doing things better – to better ourselves.

Now that the New Year has arrived reality sets in and our efforts to reinvent ourselves are being put to the test. Soon it becomes challenging to pursue our New Year’s resolution and lack of progress towards becoming a better self as planned is frustrating; we may eventually stop and give up. In a similar manner, we try to put our best self forward while seeking new opportunities, such as in an interview for a new position.

Whether it is following-up on a New Year’s resolution or seizing a new possibility during the year, these are typically modeled after a prior successful performance or a pre-conceived idea of what our best may be. This, however, is limiting you from realizing your true best self and who you can really be. Instead, if you consider prior success or a New Year’s resolution goal only as the next step towards becoming your best self, you can progress beyond this restricted view of who you are and who you can be. Then you can morph your perceived best self into an increasingly Bigger Self, who has the capacity to keep growing and become better and better. True growth is never linear; there are always ups and downs, forward and back motions as life progresses. Just keep going on your way to becoming your best self despite missteps; you may have to periodically re-adjust the direction. The next even Bigger Self, which you can currently not imagine, will reveal itself.

Making progress towards reaching your goals does not need a New Year to come for taking action. Making this decision is Mental Self-Defense and it lets you overcome your limited idea of who you can truly be. To become your ever growing BIGGER Self – think BIGGER and do it NOW!

Harmony Meditation / G.Master Johwa Choi

Gain relief from impossible emotional pursuit


Here, we will talk about health and emotions, particularly in terms of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence refers to the knowledge of the impartiality and inconsistency of emotions.

When we can realize this we can begin to understand that our emotions do not identify our true selves, rather they affect our momentary experiences. In realizing this we can switch from “I am sad” to “sadness is visiting me awhile, and then it will go”, which can provide great freedom.

We stop clinging to the impossible goal of constant happiness and feel acceptance that positive and negative emotions will come and go, and that they do not define our true selves. When we let go of this illusion, we can stop comparing our feelings to our perception of other people’s feelings. We can then know that emotions are not within our control, and thus it is impossible to pursue and keep a certain emotion.

However, we are not taught this as children. We are encouraged to “be positive” and “be happy”, even though this is not within our control. We may have looked at ourselves and thought “why can’t I just be happy? Why am I feeling this way? What is wrong with me?”

Now we come to realize that our emotions are not ours and are not ours to control, we can free ourselves from that harsh thinking. We can know that “try and be happy all the time” is an impossible task, and we can free ourselves from trying to chase and harness certain emotions. It is a serious problem that we were never taught about emotions in this manner because it sets us up for an impossible pursuit: to gain positive emotions and keep them. Now with this new knowl- edge that we cannot have one emotion all the time, we can be relieved from this impossible pursuit.


– Johwa Choi