Sunday, February 12, 2017

Happiness Soulwork

Good evening! Today I taught the lesson in my ward's (congregation) Relief Society meeting. It was such a marvelous lesson(!): "Chapter 3: Cultivating an Attitude of Happiness and a Spirit of Optimism," Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley.

I had such a great time preparing for my lesson—I enjoyed every single minute of it! 😊 I've decided everyone should listen to "Cultivating an Attitude of Happiness and a Spirit of Optimism" (via the Internet {link above} or the Gospel Library app on your smartphone) once a quarter! President Hinckley is such an uplifting person, one can't help but become better by listening to his inspiring words!

I created a handout to go with my lesson because I wanted to give a resource to my ward sisters. We all talk about how we should choose happiness, but there are definitely times in our lives when things are very difficult. Sometimes, grand-scale tragedies happen, but most often, we simply must endure hardships, annoyances, disappointments, setbacks, frustrations, etc. Thus, after researching many articles, talks, books, and videos, I came up with my happiness soulwork handout! (soulwork meaning soul-homework. 😀) No, I didn't title it as exactly that, but my ward sisters got the gist of what I was presenting.

We didn't have time to go over my handout in class because our lesson time is only about 35–40 minutes. I truly wish I had two hours to go over my Relief Society lessons! You see, my ward is filled with amazing women with so much wisdom and insight to share about life. We could talk for dayz! Ha ha.

I'm so grateful my beloved church has given me the opportunity to teach! Many years ago, when we lived in Colorado, I used to get so nervous when it came to teaching adults. Yet here I am, 12 years later, where teaching anybody and everybody has become profoundly joyful to my soul! 😇 I love that I've changed for the better during my many varied life experiences, which simultaneously allows me to be a better teacher!

What thrilled me today was looking out over my ward sisters' faces and seeing them connect with what I was presenting. Yay! I loved seeing joy brighten their eyes! I loved seeing their "Aha!" light bulbs go on when they received insight to their precious souls!

Yes, friends, it's in moments like these (my experiences teaching Relief Society) when my heart is filled to overflowing with love for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! And when I say, "The Church," it 100% includes the souls that fill its ranks. I honestly, truly and deeply believe that my church is THE church of Jesus Christ—restored to the earth!

The Church's Relief Society program is divinely inspired to watch over, love, protect, teach, inspire, care for, and engage every woman on Earth! 😀 The Relief Society a way for every woman to feel connected with her spiritual sisters and have the opportunity to contribute love and service to others! It really is a perfect program for women to feel happy, united, and better themselves.

Late last night when Greg asked me how I felt about my lesson (I had been working on it for several hours yesterday, and preparing many days in advance), I told him, "I'm absolutely prepared in every way possible! So it's up to my sisters to utilize what I've prepared for them. It's their own darn fault if they don't take something positive from my lesson!" Ha ha.

Greg laughingly said, "Well, you have been preparing for this moment your entire life!" Yes, it's a little joke between us about how happy and optimistic I am and have been since I was a little baby...Enthusiastic Fantastic, anyone?! I totally laughed and said, "Yeah, what if teaching this lesson is the very reason for my existence?! What if I keel over and die after I finish teaching my lesson?!" 😂 Ha ha. Oh, it was so hilarious!

Anyway, just know that my heart swelled with happiness during and after I presented my Relief Socity lesson. I'm so grateful to know that my great efforts were absolutely useful and appreciated by my ward sisters!

Without further ado, here's my happiness soulwork handout...enjoy!

How to Bounce Back from Life’s Letdowns 

Compiled and Edited by Adrie Peterson


Identity is defined as “the fact of being who or what a person is;” it is “the concept you develop about yourself that evolves over the course of your life.” I also believe our identities consist of who we choose to be. For example: I am Adrie, and the “pillars” of my identity are: wife; mother; homemaker; fitness enthusiast; writer; pianist; researcher; teacher; fashionista; artist; daughter; sister; granddaughter; aunt; friend; Mormon; Utahn; and a loving, happy, determined lady! 😀
What are your identity pillars

 1. Uncover Your Identity Story
a. Letdowns happen because something rocks your identity.
b. Fully examine your identity crisis—everyone has one at some point. Which part of your identity is crumbling?
c. We all need to feel that we’re lovable, capable, and secure—we struggle when one of those needs are in question.
d. Your subconscious holds onto issues because you feel the need to solve problems. Let go of your issue even if you haven’t solved the problem yet.
e. Usually, you don’t have all the information/data to judge every situation properly and have the correct perspective.
f. Reframe your identity story: define the most important parts of who you are.
 2. Stay in the Now
a. You no longer have your past, and your future isn’t here yet—don’t dwell on either.
b. Really feel the emotion and pain of your current experience—it will pass eventually, but don’t push through it too quickly.
c. Rethink what you’re feeling about life; what part of your identity story is in crisis? How can you positively change your perspective about yourself?
3. Connect to Your Highest Self
a. You are not what you’re “made of,” i.e., you are not your house, car, job, bank account, or relationship status.
b. Remember that you are deeply connected to Heavenly Father—you are His creation! 😊
c. What would you feel and think about if Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ came and talked with you—what would really matter?
d. Instead of thinking about what you’ve lost, ponder these questions: What is your greatest contribution to this world? What can you give our universe? What can you share of yourself that matters?
4. Convert Your Pain into Purpose
a. There are two ways to look at life: either this life is here to teach you, or this life is here to torture you.
b. Decide how you will view your life. Every day, internalize the idea, “I choose to be _________!” 😊
c. Ask yourself, “What can I learn from this experience?”
That's the end of Dr. Townsend's advice.

Additional Happiness Soulwork—read, watch or listen: 

I highly recommend all of these! 😀

Okay, I'm completely bushed, I need to go to bed now! I hope you all have a great day and enjoy your happiness soulwork!

P.S. Here's the typographic design I created for my previous Relief Society lesson. I know it doesn't exactly match this post about today's RS lesson, but I still love President Hinckley's words so much! I think it's safe to say that Gordon B. Hinckley was very certain that living happily and optimistically is the best thing we can do for ourselves and everyone around us! 😁 #letsbehappy!


  1. Thanks Adrie! I just read this and it comes at a good time for me. I printed out the "Uncover Your Identity Story" portion and I am going to work through it, to clarify my identity and figure out my true purpose!

    1. Yay Denita! I'm so happy you enjoyed it. I hope you come to some great conclusions about yourself! :) Thanks for commenting!


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