All Present

I honestly think we can learn something new each day. The biggest challenge is usually staying present in the moment to notice.  I started getting out and reconnecting with friends.  What I often finding myself doing before we met up was worrying about what were going to say.  It’s at those moments when you have to tell that little voice inside to “be quiet.”  If you are present in the company of others, you can always find something to talk about.

What does it mean to be present?  That’s always a great question when people ask me.  It’s giving the other person you undivided attention. I always like to define what it is by stating what it is not.  Let me give you some examples.  Being present is not worrying about what you could be doing with someone else. Being present is not scrolling through your phone when someone is sitting with you.  being present is not thinking about what you are going to do once you leave.  Being present is saying to the person you are with, that they are important enough to listen and let them be heard.

Once I learned what it meant to be present, my marriage and all of my other relations greatly improved.  The power is in your hands. The one thing that is always in your control is yourself.

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Share Your Music

One of the best messages I read on the message board out side of the gym was “the only bad workout is the one you didn’t do”.  That message is not only great for workouts but anything you choose not to do in life.  The only bad book is the one you choose not to write, or the only bad song is the one you choose not to record.

I think about the messages I come across and can listen to now that’s available through YouTube.  Whatever you have an interest in, you can find.  I listen to speakers that no longer are with us but had great messages to share. Think about what you have been through in your life. Only you can share that story because only you have lived that life.

We all have a message and a story to share.  I think you do the world a dis-service by not sharing you story.  You might be the one with the cure for cancer. Don’t leave this thing we call life with your song still in you. Share your music with the world.

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Plan Your Life

I find that the more disciplined I am in certain areas of my life, the more freedom I find in other areas. I schedule my daily calendar with habits I want to maintain.  For instance, I try and practice daily meditation, reading and journaling.  Just maintaining the calendar is a discipline.  For the most part, I know in my head what I have on my calendar out in my head but I have found that having it to refer back to at times helps me to maintain those habits.

When I first started keeping a daily calendar, the purpose was to coordinate my daily activities around schedule appointment times with “clients.”  The funny thing is, I didn’t have any clients.  I slowly began to realize that the calendar wasn’t for scheduling time for others, it was for scheduling time for myself.

I learned three valuable lessons:

  1. My calendar is a constant reminder to coordinate the kinds of habits I find important to living a happy and fulfilled life.
  2. Schedule the kind of activities that will ensure that you DO what is important to you and for you.
  3. If we don’t schedule time for what we want, we will never accomplish what we want because we think we don’t have time.

In the great words of the late Jim Rohn, “learn to work harder on yourself, than you do on the job.” With a calendar, it’s possible.

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The Grumbles

Some of my hardest “NO” have been said to others in order to say “YES” to myself.  I used to get mad and frustrated when people would always ask for favors. I would wonder why was the only one they seemed to call, and get pissed off about it.  Those were little grumblings trying to get my attention.  The one person I did not seem to get mad with was myself. It was ME who made these people feel comfortable in asking because I was the one always saying yes.  I started noticing the feeling that were generated when I would say yes and realized I was the one who had all of the control.

I love the quote by Les Brown who says “if you like what you are getting, keep doing what you are doing”  I did not like what I was getting. When I said yes to others, I was saying not to my happiness.  I am definitely not saying that we should not help others but sometimes you have to step back and really examine what you are saying yes to.  Are you helping or are you enabling?  There is a difference.

Take time out before committing to anyone whether you are helping or enabling that person. For me, once I learned the difference, I decide more carefully what I will say “YES” to.  The grumbling deep down inside yourself is trying to tell you something. Take a moment to listen.

 

 

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Look Into The Mirror

We are all mirrors for each of us to learn something about ourselves. One tool that helped me on my journey was the book “The Seven Habits of a Highly Effective Person” by Stephen Covey. In his book, he walks you through a funeral for yourself. The most profound question that moved me was, “What would you want people to most remember you for?”

Some of the qualities I want to be remembered for is being a generous, kind and caring person. The next question was, “What do I have to do today to achieve that?” The thing we all can do is determine those things we have the ability to change, or else we can work on our response to those things we can’t.

The last step is deciding to put into the actions that which will cultivate the qualities we desire to harness. If you want to receive more love, be loving. The more you are, the more you we attract. Life will start to reflect back to you on your progress. Don’t be afraid to look.

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The Transformation

Anything worth value will take time and effort to cultivate.  Like writing this blog post. I started writing several years ago.  Writing has never been something I saw myself doing.  I struggle on many occasions to come up with topic to discuss because like so many of us, I don’t think I am “smart” enough.  The experts were once amateurs. It comes down to realizing that with practice, any of us can develop our skills in any area that we choose.

A friend of mine always says “the quality of your life is determined by the quality of your thoughts”.  If we hold onto “wormy” thoughts, such as I am not good enough, we will never transform into the beautiful butterfly that is within us.  As with anything, pay attention to those thoughts.  Awareness is the first step in self-creation. The second step is working to changing them.

The process may sound easy but the concept is not and I understand that. Best believe that changing your thoughts, will definitely change your life. And you are worth it.

 

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Live for Today

By the time this posts, I will have been to Missouri and back.  My family and I are heading to Ft Leonard Wood to see my son graduate from basic training.  I have been able to follow his training along through Facebook posts that the company has shared.  The closer we get to graduation, the more excited I am getting. I haven’t seen my son in over two months, so even if it’s just for two days, the seven hour drive is worth it.

Last night, just before I went to bed, thinking about seeing my son had me thinking about those who have lost loved ones. I lost my mother over fourteen years ago.  I miss her but I am not “lost” without her.  We had a wonderful relationship and I told her everything.  I was able to talk with her the day before she died, and after all of the years that have passed, I still remember my last words to her, “Mom, get some rest. I love you.”

That memory reminds me that I must never take anything or anyone for granted.  It’s not about how long we live but how we live that matters.  Let those who are close to you know that they matter and how much you love them.  No one is promised tomorrow so learn to live today!

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Apple Juice

I love watching my granddaughter grow up because as she is learning, I’m still learning through her.  The latest lesson came from watching her transition from the bottle to the sippy cup.  We have been trying to introduce juices to her through the sippy cup instead of just giving in and giving her the bottle when she asks for it.

I would put the apple juice in a small cup and offer it to her after she finished eating her breakfast.  She would push the cup away or throw it while still asking for her bottle.  I couldn’t even get her to take a sip. I slowly began to realize we were tackling two different issues; new cup and new juice. We would have to change our strategy.  Slowly we would offer water in the sippy cup and she would drink it. Once she became more comfortable with the sippy cup we would offer apple juice in the cup.  Once she started taking the apple juice we offered milk in the sippy cup as well.

It wasn’t until we noticed that everything can’t be offered at once.  It takes “baby steps” in order to change.  This practice is one I always have to remind myself as I try and implement new habits.  As my granddaughter reminded me, do not give me “change” all at once, offer me a “little change” at a time.

 

 

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Not Today!

My favorite quote is “how you do anything is how you do everything.”  Its in those moments when I feel like giving up or simply thinking that no one will know the difference that this thought always comes to mind.

It is not true that no one will know the difference, YOU will!  And that is the most important person it should mean the most to.  Only you know the thoughts that are floating around in your head. The negative ones are the ones that keep you from living the kind of life you want to live. Its the thoughts that we feed on that create the reality of our lives.

Once I learned that little tidbit of information, I started to pay closer attention to the thoughts I had once let roam freely in my mind.  I stand guard each day to the quality of thoughts that I will allow to enter my mind or even attempt to tiptoe in.  I must admit that once I decided to take care of my mind like I take care of my body,  life got a whole lot more generous!

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My Way Mentality

When my children were younger, I took on many of the tasks of child rearing not considering what effect it had on my husband.  There are many joys and frustrations that come with raising children.  Many arguments usually started at times when I was tired and just didn’t know how to ask for help.  I took too much on and wasn’t willing to share the load with my partner because I though it had to be done MY way.  When people offer to help, let them.  We get so caught of in the belief that if something is not done in a particular way, that it is wrong.

Of course at the time I didn’t know this.  It is now, as a grandparent, that I realized that some of the frustration was self-induced.  My husband loves taking care of our granddaughter. I can see how it has changed him and I know she absolutely loves to spend time with him.

Many people just want to know that they matter.  By opening yourself up to receive help from others,  you are allowing them to experience purpose and meaning in their life.

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