Personal Leadership, Happiness and Authenticity

Religion - How it Applies to the Mind

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Maura Sweeney Foundations of Happiness eCourse

Don’t let the word fool you. Even if you never stepped inside a church, synagogue or mosque, you’ve likely acquired some religion of your own. 

There are several definitions for the word religion, but for our purposes here, one of them is of particular importance.

Religion is scrupulous conformity to a principle or belief.

Keep in mind that the array of our beliefs can take on a very broad spectrum.

The following story might surprise you, because the main character I write about grew up in an atheist state. There was no "official" religion in her land.

Maura Sweeney in Foundations of Happiness

The Religion of Our Thought Life

I attended an international conference several years ago and sat in on a lecture entitled, "Growing Up Under Communism." The speaker, by then a PhD in her 40's, shared stories about her formative years in Latvia.

Between birth and 17 years of age, this woman enjoyed a familiar, predictable and suprisingly supportive life under this economic and social model. She described to us how the Soviet state took on a paternal role, with citizens looking to it for both economic provisioning and social identity.

In her world, all things were predictable, understandable and similar for herself and all those around her. Her world remained safe and secure because her belief system had not yet been challenged.

The Soviet Union's isolationism and collectivized atmosphere created for her and others a "religious" belief in its tenets. Careful bureacratic controls and lack of information from beyond its borders created a dome-like mindset for citizens like her, much akin to the naive character depicted in The Truman Show who lived on the fictitious island of Seahaven, Florida.

The same woman continued to explain to us that when the Soviet Union collapsed during her senior year in high school, those notions she held of the world collapsed along with it! Unable to adopt to the "fall" of her presumed reality, the woman fell into an emotional depression for nearly a year.

In a word, her religious belief system toppled!

Fortunately, she eventually arose from her psychological shock. Though her "religion" of a super state and national parent dissolved, she would eventually adapt and evolve. Over time, she forged ahead into university studies, marriage, motherhood and a privatized career as a psychologist.

Maura Sweeney in Foundations of Happiness


Track 3 provides opportunities for you to consider the deeply ingrained beliefs you’ve acquired. This track should help you identify certain irreconcilable ideas that might be causing havoc with your self leadership, happiness and inner joy.

Prepare to survey your own “religious” beliefs and expect to see things through a brighter and more unified lens as I share the next story. It's about a crisis of faith I experienced with roots in traditional religion.

Before continuing, remember that “religious” beliefs can be acquired, cultivated and ingrained through many avenues. These include influences from family, culture, medicine, education, science, economics, geography, government, media, peer groups and more.

Keep your mind open and your awareness piqued as you read the following story which I entitled, Does God Talk to People?

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You and Your World
  How Do You See?
  Unconditional Love
  Two Videos and Time for Reflection

Backdrops, Thoughts & Intentions
  What is a Backdrop?
  Exercise: Create Your Own Backdrop
  An Audio, a Video and Additional Reflection Time
  Thoughts and Intentions

"Religion," Forgiveness and Debt Relief
  Hearing from a Higher Source
  Video and Exercise
  An Audio and Some Reflections to Consider
  Forgiveness, Personal Debt and a Parable
  Video and Reflections

Reconstruction and Gratitude
  Introduction to Concepts
  Three Videos to Watch and Consider
  From Holocaust to Happiness
  A Video and Time for Reflection
  Introduction to Gratitude
  Finding Gratitude After The Blues
  Reflections on Gratitude
  A Story About the Sun and Reflections

  Introduction to Concepts
  Becoming Captain of Your Own Ship
  Ready to Reflect on Personal Responsibilities
  Awareness, Addictions and Judgment
  Belief, Identity and Bullying Behaviors
  Familiars, Comfort Zones and Minding Our Own Business
  Criticism, Transparency & Acceptance, Pride

  Introduction to Concepts
  An Annie Story Revisited
  Reflections on Hope from Annie's Story
  Introduction to Destiny
  The Inner Voice of Destiny
  Tips and Time for Reflection
  Regina Calcaterra - An Amazing Story of Destiny
  Reflections and Connections
  Accessing Your Personal Wealth
  Reflections on Accessing Your Personal Wealth
  Conclusion and Assignment

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