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Positive thoughts, stories shared at Time Out for Women event in Boise

By Melissa Draper

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 11 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

BOISE — Hundreds of women learned about seeking the good in their life during a Time Out for Women event this past weekend in Boise.

“Seek the Good” is the theme of this year’s Time Out for Women, an inspirational event sponsored by Deseret Book.

Presenters at the Saturday event included singer and songwriter Hilary Weeks, war survivor Mariama Kallon, author Kris Belcher, seminary teacher Anthony Sweat, psychologist Wendy Ulrich and author Emily Freeman.

“Everything invented can be traced back to a thought,” Weeks said.

She spoke about a time when she heard a woman say the average person thinks 300 negative thoughts a day. She decided to get a clicker and keep track of her own negative thoughts. After a week, she realized she was feeling depressed and discouraged.

“I was giving my negative thoughts recognition and power with every click,” said Weeks.

She decided to turn it around and instead count her positive thoughts. After only four days, she had racked up 1,262 clicks, or positive thoughts, in one day.

“It was a complete turnaround from where I had been,” said Weeks. “I thought I could accomplish anything.”

She started a website, www.billionclicks.org, to encourage others to focus on and keep track of their positive thoughts.

Weeks also sang several songs from her latest album, “Every Step.”

Kallon shared her story of growing up in war-torn Sierra Leone. She talked about her burning desire to go to school.

“Why did I have this desire? I do not know,” said Kallon. “But I found Heavenly Father was preparing me.”

After suffering abuse in many forms, she was able to obtain an education and also become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She came to America after being called on a mission to Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

“Never give up on your Heavenly Father,” Kallon shared over and over again with the audience. “He loves each one of us. Never take the blessings you have been given for granted, and use them to help others.”

Belcher shared experiences about putting faith in God and others.

“I cannot do all the things my Heavenly Father has called me to do without help,” said Belcher.

She shared her story of surviving her second battle with cancer that also left her blind, and how she had to figure out navigating life and motherhood again.

“I never thought I would smile again or be happy again, but that came back eventually,” said Belcher. “We’re not alone in our burdens we carry; there is always a Heavenly Father there to bless and to carry us.”

Sweat spoke on charity and how it’s defined in the scriptures.

“Charity is the love of God toward us, and our love for God in return,” said Sweat. “If we want to love others, the solution is to love God.”

Ulrich spoke on strengthening relationships with others through the power of apology.

“We can be proactive peacemakers,” she said, "and go find the people we have bugged and apologize.”

She spoke of the way to do an effective apology by remembering the letters REF. Taking "responsibility" for our behavior, using "empathy" to try and understand the hurt we have caused, and doing what we can to "fix" it.

“An apology can change the past because it changes the story we tell ourselves about what the past means to us,” said Ulrich. “I get to choose how I will respond; I don’t have to wait for things to go away.”

Freeman ended the event with her speech on surviving the middle moments in our lives when we are in the middle of trial or suffering.

She gave steps for surviving those moments that included: trust that God is aware of you, trust in his word, trust in his timing, trust his example and trust that our sacrifice will lead to blessings.

The 2012 “Seek the Good” fall tour will continue to run in several cities through November. For more information, visit the Time Out for Women site at www.tofw.com.

Melissa Draper lives in Payson, Utah, with her husband and their three children. Her passions include being a wife and mother, writing, running and music.

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