Coffee or Tea, Cold or Hot?

 

That is the question that comes to my mind in the morning of this very special day every month.  Tuesday’s are Terrific!

You see, I have a very special friendship with a dear woman who does not live anywhere near where I live anymore – we have both moved a number of times since our meeting over twenty-five years ago and we both know the likelihood of living in the same city or even state ever again is quite remote.

But … our bond has never weakened.  Our friendship has remained strong and has grown even stronger as we have shared our lives … from afar.  We’ve lived through divorce, deaths in the families, losing jobs, major health issues, welcoming grandchildren into the world, financial challenges, entrepreneurial efforts, supporting our children through life challenges, losing friends and finding new ones, losing homes, joy, depression … so very many of the things that come along with life.  Sometimes it feels like we hear the other’s thoughts and anticipate the next words!

So many times when friends relocate there is a flurry of phone calls early in the process talking about the new city, new home, new adventures, new jobs, etc. ~ and then those calls slowly become fewer and with more time between them as both parties get into their routine of life once again … without each other nearby.

My friend and I had seen this happen with others, and experienced it ourselves and were determined this would not be our fate … not this time.  And so, we came upon the idea of scheduling a coffee chat appointment on a monthly basis … our time to create our individual spaces in very comfy chairs with the beverage of choice at our fingertips, our “our notes from the month” so we don’t forget anything in our excitement of talking together, and of course, our cell phones with charger handy in case we get over zealous in this month’s chat.  Our coffee chats are scheduled at the same time and on the same Tuesday of each month – Our Tuesday Together Talk is what we put on our calendars for the whole year!

Everyone hears what you say.

Friends listen to what you say.

Best friends listen to what you don’t say.

– Unknown

Who would YOU like to have a monthly chat with?  Reach out and make it happen ~ you will be delighted with the results!

 

 

 

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No Worry!

One of my sons frequently says “No worry” as a way to diffuse any leaning toward undue levels of concern about something. It always makes me smile and immediately lightens my thoughts about whatever topic we were discussing. “Not to worry,” is another familiar remark used by many with, most likely, the same intent. Either has a reassuring effect when said out loud and seems to carry with it the promise that everything is fine in spite of any evidence to the contrary.

There really isn’t much benefit in worrying. Nothing is wrong with legitimate concern, but worry suggests that we have taken our concern and let it get out of control. I recall hearing from a friend “Worry is interest paid on a debt that may never come due” and thinking what a profound statement that is. We have become so accustomed to worrying that almost every time we are confronted with thoughts or reports of money shortages, unemployment, disease, or other situations of concern, we worry,  worry, worry. If we dwell excessively on these negatives, we actually bring them into our experience, for that is exactly how the Law of Attraction works – we bring into our world what we think most about. If, however, we mentally reject these things as not being the truth of our experience, then they have no mental equivalent from which to form. As I have shared in previous posts, what we think about and give energy to, we bring about in our lives.

Perhaps one of the best cures for worrying is to train our minds in the opposite direction – to contemplate harmony, peace, abundance, and love; to create mentally the pictures of what we intend to see become reality ~ for our own well-being as well as that of others.

My wish for you is “No Worry”

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Following Your Dream Takes Courage!

There are a lot of people in our current environment who have lost jobs and are either thinking of creating their own business or have already launched it.

Generally these people are ready to accept and take responsibility for their own success … they no longer want to feel dependent upon the whims of an employer so they take the initial steps toward setting up their business, they determine what they want to do, they choose a name for their business, they start to think of creating a website, home office or renting office space, etc. . . . and WHOOSH ~ fear comes flying in!

That fear puts each of us in the position of living out of our memory, not out of our creative imagination. We know we can do this but so many of our friends think the best path is to keep searching in corporate America for yet another job. Our heart says we need to move forward; we don’t want to look back because we don’t want to go back. We start to feel like we’ve outgrown the people and concepts that we have held close and dear for so long. And that is a scary thought indeed ~ who will we turn to when we feel lonely, need to seek advice or just need a shoulder to cry on?

That hesitation can be a major killer!

So let’s consider the well known story of the Chinese Bamboo Tree:

The tree is planted, given water and fertilizer but shows no growth that first year,

The second year the tree is given water and fertilizer and shows no growth in the year,

The third year the tree is given water and fertilizer and shows no growth in the year,

The fourth year the tree is again given water and fertilizer and still shows no growth,

The fifth year the tree is given water and fertilizer and … shows 90 feet of growth by year’s end!

May I suggest the moral of that story is that you don’t give up your dream because you don’t see anything to show for your efforts immediately?

Instead, follow the 3 R’s:

Reputation – Create and maintain a standing in the opinion of others in your community that reflects your integrity, attainments (both personal and professional), respect, and your good name.

Reliability – Keep your word. Always! Be the person that clients can depend on for great service, great products and great support.

Relationships – Develop, nurture and support relationships in the community, neighborhood, schools, spiritual centers to create and increase referrals and repeat business.

 Believe in Yourself and Be Bold!

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REFLECTIONS

Aren’t mirrors fun?   What do you see when you look into your mirror?

Men can trim their beards, become clean-shaven, comb their hair; women may have applied their make-up, curled and fluffed their hair. You may be wearing your bathrobe, your casual jeans and sweatshirt, your professional attire for work or your most elegant evening clothes.

Look again. Do you see yourself as you were at age 20, 30, 50? Is the face looking back at you the one you now show the world, the face that has gained experience, wisdom, love and loss?   Is looking into your mirror like taking a journey through your life ~ a journey of remembering?

Or, WHO do you see in the mirror? Some of us bear such a resemblance to our parents or our siblings that looking in the mirror is “seeing” them, not ourselves!

And more important than any of those things, what does the expression on your face, in your eyes, in your stance reveal?

Does it feel like an endless tapestry of reflections that are constantly changing with each turn of the head, each smile or frown, each shift of your body position? Just how accurate is this reflection that we think looks like us? Is it truly reality or is it some fantasy we project as to how other people view us, what they think of our body, our face, our attractiveness?

Do you find yourself being judgmental and critical of the image in the mirror? Are you looking for something that can be improved, repaired, modified, or eliminated?

Society puts a lot of effort into pressuring us to look perfect according to some norm that has evolved over time and is unattainable for the general population. In addition, marketing firms invest LOTS of money into creating these norms in their efforts to entice us to buy things to “make us fit the mold” of success, professionalism, sports figures, movie stars, etc. As a result we have become accustomed to directing our attention more to what we lack, our so-called flaws and imperfections, than to our positive qualities and characteristics.

It is on the other side of that mirrored reflection that our truth truly awaits us. Take another long look into your mirror allowing your mind to see your true reflection – your love for friends and family, your warmth, your caring, your integrity, your professionalism, your commitment to helping others.

 Has your perception of that reflection shifted?

  Do you dislike your mirror? Do you love your mirror?

 Who are YOU in your mirror?

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YOU Have the Power of Choice!

This has been a really tough week for a lot of people. Actually, it’s not just this week – but it certainly feels more intense right now, doesn’t it? Between the fighting in the Middle East, the rioting happening right here in the US, and Ebola disease in Africa (just to name a few things), it might feel like the world is falling apart.

But right now, as you read this, remember that you are ok, and so am I.

A lot of people seem to be fearful, and fear breeds anger. We live in a scary world, but is that anything new? Think back through the course of history. There have been wars that go on for years, mass protests, battles that threatened the lives of millions, crazy dictators, plagues, and countless other tragedies.

What IS new is how much we are exposed to it.

The birth of the internet and the explosion of social media have put it all at our fingertips – and in our face almost instantaneously!

Are you sensitive to negativity? Perhaps this constant barrage of stories about blood, battles, protests and deaths might make you feel like you want to crawl under a rock and stay there.

But please don’t.  The world needs to hear your voice and see your brilliance!

I’m not saying I think we should intentionally attempt to stay clueless about what goes on around us (even though part of me would love to go through life blissfully immune). But I do advocate having boundaries.

I do ask you to remember this, however: The power of choice is a beautiful thing. You have that power, and you have choices.

Here’s something you can try: If the news upsets you, turn it off. Turn off the TV. Shut down Twitter. Just do it.

If your Facebook feed is stressing you out, hide the stories that upset you. You can even consider unfollowing some folks whose posts create stress or anger. You don’t even have to unfriend them – just hide them from your news feed with the click of a button.

I’m experiencing that frustration too. I just spent 5 minutes on Facebook and got angry and frustrated, really fast – so I shared my frustration with a friend, and then came to talk with you.

I prefer not to engage in heated public debates, so when I’m tempted to, I know that’s a sign that I need to walk away and give myself time to think, time to relax and regain a sense of calm.

And so, here’s what I want for you ~

When you’re having a tough time, remember that right now, at this very minute, you are ok. You are ok – and you deserve to stay that way. Write that on a sticky note “I Am OK” and put it where you can see it frequently ~ on your bathroom mirror, on your car dash, on the corner of your computer monitor, on the front of your refrigerator. (You get the idea.) Make it your mantra.

Right now, at this moment, everything is ok.

And here’s what I’m asking you to do then:

If this resonated with you, I’d love it if you would help turn the tide.

  • post something positive on social media
  • buy someone a coffee
  • give someone a hug
  • pay the toll for the car behind you
  • send flowers
  • say thank you
  • or even just flash someone a smile in passing

Little choices make a big difference – and that’s what makes the world a better place!

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Not Always Perfect

Is today one of those days?

Okay, accept it.  Take a deep breath, sit back and let it happen.

It is important to know we don’t always have to be strong to be strong. Sometimes our strength is expressed in being vulnerable. Sometimes we need to fall apart to be able to regroup and get back on track.

We all have days when we cannot push any harder, cannot hold back self-doubt one more second, cannot stop focusing on fear, and cannot be strong.

There are days when we cannot focus on being responsible.  We don’t even want to try to think about being responsible!

Sometimes, we don’t want to get out of our pajamas. Sometimes we cry in front of people. Sometimes we expose our tiredness, irritability, sadness or anger.  And, sometimes we feel very, very guilty when we do this … we should always be strong after all.  (And just who says we should?)

However, those days are okay. They are plain and simply okay.

It is okay to be selfish. Being selfish means taking care of ourselves first so that we have the ongoing strength to continue helping others who are important to us.   It is okay to allow ourselves personal renewal time.   Part of taking care of ourselves means we give ourselves permission to “fall apart” when we need to. Throw out that notion that we need to be perpetual towers of strength!

We ARE strong. We have proven that. Our strength will once again resurface and continue as we allow ourselves the courage to feel scared, weak, and vulnerable when we need to experience those feelings.

It is okay to allow yourself to be human, to not feel guilty or punish yourself when you need to “fall apart”.  And you truly will feel freedom and a lightness of spirit when your “fall apart” has past and you rise once again to great the day with joy, courage and strength.

ALLOW YOURSELF THE QUIET SPACE TO RENEW!

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Just Like Me – A Healthy Approach to Difficult People

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Just Like Me – A Healthy Approach to Difficult People

Little children are sometimes the most difficult people we ever have to deal with. Children can be demanding, whining, temperamental, and unreasonably rude. Yet, most of the time, we find the patience, love and wisdom within us to connect with them in a gentle and compassionate way.

At some point all of us have met up with difficult people. These people may be children, family members, neighbors, employers, or all of the above. Whoever they are, they have one thing in common – they push our buttons.

We may consider a difficult person as someone who doesn’t see things our way, or doesn’t do things the way we do. (Understand that there is a difference between the garden-variety difficult person and an abusive person. If you are in a relationship with an abusive person, seek assistance on what is your best course of action regarding this relationship.) In more general circumstances when we encounter a “difficult” person and it is hard for us to see his/her true nature, we can say the following:

(S)He is just like me, doing the best he can.

(S)He is just like me, seeking to be happy.

Just like me, (s)he deserves understanding and compassion.

I have come to the conclusion that we don’t have to take massive steps to create total understanding and a loving relationship with this person. When we release our need for another person to change in order for us to be happy, we have accepted the responsibility for our own actions thus creating space for the power of the Universe to provide love and understanding within us.

 Let’s give love and understanding to those in our world today.

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Creating the “Good Old Days”

“Those were the days my friend; we thought they’d never end. . . .”  So go the nostalgic words to the popular song.  We all know that experiences change, and present events pass away.  Yet, we may become very unhappy when some phase of life is no longer a part of our current activities.  We long for the good old days of childhood or youth, or we regret that the children have grown and have careers and families of their own, sometimes far away.

However, each day is a new beginning; each morning a chance to make the most of our lives all over again.  If we fill each day with constructive activities, “in keeping with the natural flow Life,” we will be able to recall today as one of the “good old days.”  The fact is it is only this moment we can enjoy, or in which we create cherished memories.

Joy comes when we realize that we are constantly living in a perfect golden day in which we pay attention to the joys of the present moment, living in the awareness that we really are surrounded by the harmony from which happy memories are truly created.

And on a personal note ~ that “golden” day in Minnesota today is a “sunny cool Spring day where I can see tiny buds bursting forth on shrubs and trees showing renewed life and energy after our long, cold and snowy winter.”  A perfect day to create more happy memories!

 

Make your day awesome!  I’m off to walk through the renewal of energy in a lovely Spring day! 

Perhaps I’ll even find some golden dandelions!

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Success May Require Weirdness

Today I am sharing with you a post written by Philip E. Humbert, PhD and coach.  I have enjoyed and oftentimes been guided by his words of wisdom for quite a few years now and found the following to be uplifting, encouraging and “so right on” —  

One of the paradoxes of life is that being “reasonable”often means settling for ordinary results, while success usually requires us to step outside our normal routines, be different and, sometimes, uncomfortable. Highly successful people are, by definition, unusual people!

All of us have been pressured to conform at one time or another. We’ve been told to “sit still” in school, to “stop interrupting” or “not make a scene.” We’ve been criticized for dressing, speaking, acting or thinking “different.” The subtle and not-so-subtle pressures to accept conventional norms are powerful. “To get along, you have to go along.”

Well. Madame Currie, Florence Nightingale, Helen Keller, Amelia Earhart, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Oprah Winfrey are not admired because they were “average” people! Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Edison, Charles Lindbergh, Franklin Roosevelt and Bill Gates were not “conventional” people.

Abraham Lincoln is widely regarded as the greatest American president, yet the thing he was most known for among his friends was his stubborn refusal to quit running for office, even after he lost thirty-two elections! That is not normal!

One of the things that has made America, and capitalism great, is our love of individuality. We have always admired our “mad inventors.” The Wright brothers thought they could fly! Henry Ford thought he could put a car in every garage.

Ben Franklin flew a kite in a thunder storm (didn’t his mother tell him to come in out of the rain?). Mary Kay thought she could make a living selling make-up, while Mrs.

Field tried to support her family selling cookies! That’s just crazy!

Now, we need to tell the truth here. A lot of crazy ideas really are pretty crazy. We’ve all had brilliant ideas in the middle of the night, only to find that in the clear light of day they weren’t worth pursuing. I’ve made many fortunes while taking my shower, only to see them go down the drain when I tried to tell my partners about them. Just because an idea is weird doesn’t mean it’s wonderful.

But many great ideas (and the fortunes) have been lost because the genius who thought it up was shy. Or lacked courage. Or got intimidated by a casual comment that, “You can’t do that!”

All great ideas were crazy before they were brilliant.

Alexander Bell thought he could talk over copper wires, and even worse, Marconi thought he could send messages through thin air! When David Sarnoff wanted to launch the first radio network (now NBC), one investor ridiculed him by asking, “Who would pay to send a message to no one in particular?” Jules Verne thought people might one day travel under the ocean or, even more ridiculous, fly in outer space. How crazy was that!?

If you can read this, you are a genius. You have had thousands of wonderful, creative, brilliant ideas–most of which you’ve never pursued. And that’s a shame.

Success is not achieved by being “ordinary.” Nor is it achieved merely by being “different.” Success is about following your own path and having the courage to intelligently pursue your dreams.

One of my heroes, Henry Thoreau, recommended “marching to beat of your own drummer.”

To achieve your unique version of success, follow your heart. Yes, you’ll want to learn from others. Yes, you’ll want to obey the law and applicable regulations, but aside from those things, you become great by being exactly and uniquely yourself. This is a call for more eccentrics, more individuals, more creative, unrepentant adventurers. Go where you heart and your instincts lead you. Follow your dream. Instead of following the safe, “normal” highway, blaze a new path and leave a trail for others to follow.

Celebrate Your Weirdness ~ It is what makes you, You!

Copyright (c) 2014, all rights reserved.
U.S. Library of Congress ISSN:  1529-059X
You may copy, forward or distribute TIP’s if this
copyright notice and full information for contacting
Dr Philip E. Humbert are included. Contact him at:
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Do You Know Who You Are?

Are you aware we are nourished by two different types of food?  Secondary Food is what we eat from a plate; Primary Food, however, nourishes us from a different perspective and includes Relationships, Physical Activity, Career and Spirituality.  Today I offer you a story about balancing that ever important Primary Food.  Do you see yourself in any part of this story?

I worked with a client last week who was very troubled with feeling as though he was unconnected to anything important: his job left him feeling unproductive and sometimes “worthless”, his family connections did not feel warm and comfortable but rather were strained and worrisome.  As I shared with him the basic premise of something I had written several years ago he brightened slowly as he said that he could utilize points in our conversation to initiate action that he felt certain would improve how he felt and approached his daily activities.  I was thrilled to notice that as he departed my office he carried himself with more confidence and determination and with a small smile on his face!

And so, I am once again sharing that information with the hope it will provide someone else a spark of hope to “keep on keepin’ on” as the saying goes …

Do you know who you are, what you expect in life, what your values are? If you feel rudderless a good portion of the time perhaps creating clarity around your beliefs would provide more harmony in your daily life. Less stress and confusion would result in more enthusiasm, energy, harmony and joy as you move through life.

Think about it. If you aren’t clear on who you are, on what really matters to you, you run the risk of almost constantly feeling violated and misunderstood. It is like playing a game with a group of people and being the only one who doesn’t know the rules – you’re expected to perform within the guidelines but no one has shared them with you. If you are vague in your expectations no one in your world knows how to support you, how to interact with you and as a result everyone experiences feelings of conflict.

Sometimes people or things or situations simply make us feel uncomfortable. Frequently we just “feel” something isn’t right but if we have not taken the time to define what matters to us, what our values are, we have no idea why we feel out of sorts at the time. We go into a defensive mode from which very little can be accomplished because we are wary of every word and action. We expend a lot of energy trying to determine why we feel uncomfortable.

Instead we could invest time in ourselves and think about what brings us feelings of calmness, satisfaction, fulfillment and joy. Once we determine what we do want in our life, what values we wish to embody, what is important to us, we are on strong ground from which to show the world that our words and actions are congruent and that we strive to always come from a place of integrity.

We find it much easier to create and achieve goals that are based on the values we’ve identified and because those goals are now in harmony with the values we’ve defined there is a natural energy that supplies momentum enabling us to take action with less effort. When we are secure in who we are, we are able to reach out to people and situations that support those things that are important to us. It is almost like our radar is always watching for and helping us create situations to bring together the right elements to support our value system, putting us in charge of our circumstances.

Sometimes as we start this process we find that we have goals that have been renting space in our mind for a very long time. This is the time to inspect those goals: are they things we think we “should” want, are they things someone else thinks we “should” do? If these goals are not in alignment with the values we’ve just identified, with the things we’ve just said really matter to us, we need to release them. Let them go now! We are wasting time and energy that would be better spent in achieving what we really want.

Now that our values are identified we simply know when we are not being true to ourselves. We know when we experience those feelings of violation or mistrust, that sense of uneasiness, the reflex of defensive behavior, that the success atmosphere we’ve identified has been broached.

When we review the value system we have defined we also see behavior guidelines emerge. We realize to experience true freedom to be who we are we must guard our time and energies by establishing and enforcing boundaries ~ things that other people, family, friends, colleagues can or cannot do in our space. Then, gently but firmly we broadcast our “house rules” knowing that we are now living in true integrity to ourselves and our beliefs!  As a result our world simply works better.

TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE

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