Will it really matter in five years?

Will it really matter in five years?

I have learned that so few things do.

Take care of the ones that will; let go of the rest.

Enough said.

Have a great weekend.

Gratitudinal

Happy Wednesday. 

About mid-week the days start to flow together for me.  I often find myself checking the calendar to confirm the day and date. 

I like realizing it is Wednesday, I think Wednesdays are nice. 

They offer a sense of accomplishment, we made it through the first two days of the week and the weekend seems within reach, and a sense of completion, there is still enough time to finish what “needs” to be done before the weekend arrives. 

All in all, Wednesday is not a bad place to be.  Hope you are enjoying yours.

I am using mine to follow-up on last Friday’s post.  I mentioned then that I would explain my choice of  the word “gratitudinal” words, so . . .

For me,”gratitudinal” as in Gratitudinal Thinking reflects 4 ideas:

I know I am not the first or the only one using “gratitudinal”, but from the moment I said it to myself – before I ever read or heard anyone else use it –  it rang true to me and I still carry those good feelings in my heart and head each time I hear it.

Gratitude  –     Being aware and really noticing and noting the good

                              things in my life.

Attitude   –       That awareness has allowed me to create a much

                              more positive attitude.

Latitudinal –    By giving myself “enough scope or leeway for some

                              freedom of choice, action, or thinking” (Encarta Online

                              English Dictionary), I discovered following my bliss is a

                              perfectly logical and realistic option. (More about bliss in

                               April – bet you can’t wait.)

Longitudinal – And, what I was looking for then, and am experiencing now,

                                is consistent “development over a period of time”  

                               (Same Dictionary), gratitudinal thinking provides long-lasting

                                rewards – I like that.

I also like making-up words. 

And, I always feel better after reviewing the good things in my life. 

Next week we will add another dimension to this practice – writing and savoring your three-things a day, which will really knock your socks off – not the doing it, none of us really wants to do any of this stuff at first, but the fact that it all works so well.

I will explain it all.  The Who, What and Why. 

Meanwhile, if you haven’t already, check out my Page tabs above the photo. 

I have been busy updating them.

Thanks, see you on Friday.

Gratitudes and companion blogs

Recognizing the good.

I have been focusing specifically on the good things in my life on a daily basis for the past 7 years. 

I started by reviewing my day each night before I fell asleep, and then I would note 5 things from my day for which I was thankful. 

When I began, I do remember thinking that coming up with 5 good things each night was going to be next to impossible.

Within a week or so, I was easily doing 5 a night, and a month later my lists began growing- not every night, of course, but enough to make me feel very grateful for the things I was listing, and the fact that the process was only taking me a few minutes each night.  

About five years ago, I began jotting down my greatful thoughts on paper. (Yes, I know I am spelling “greatful” wrong, but my spelling is a more accurate assessment of how I feel – greatful: filled with great things – each and every day. So very corny, but also very true.)

Reliving it.

Two years ago, I found Jackie Kelm’s web page, Appreciative Living and reading her books, I changed my practice and began writing only 3 gratitudes each day – but I started spending a moment savoring each of those 3. 

Kelm’s work added a new dimension to my practice.

I still recognize and often list way more than 3 gratitudes each day, but by savoring at least 3, the quality of my gratitudinal experience has increased dramatically.  

(Lots more about Jackie, her wonderful work and my involvement with her, in future posts.  Meanwhile you can check out my link to her book under Books That Enrich My Life.)

Now, I not only enjoy the good thing when it occurs – and, according to positive psychology research – receive a little life-enhancing dose of dopamine, I also get another dopamine experience when I relive the moment. 

I am doubling-my-pleasure-doubling-my-fun. 

I am getting two, two, greatful moments for the price of one!  What a deal!

In addition, by becoming more aware and reliving the good things in my life on a regular basis, I have created a deep and constant flow of good feelings, which I can easily dip into, if need be on a not-so-good day. 

I like that, and I hope you will, too. 

Have a great weekend.

Speaking of Women’s Health

Speaking of Women's Health

Exciting, healthy day.

What happens when you gather 300 interesting, intelligent, energetic women on a sunny, crisp Florida day in beautiful Palmetto, Florida? 

Inspirational exchanges, laughter-filled conversations, rich, rewarding connections, and sweet moments – dark chocolate was everywhere!

At the 8th annual Speaking of Women’s Health Conference benefiting the Manatee Memorial Hospital Foundation, Inc. – all of that and much more occurred. We also learned how to keep our hearts happy and healthy, our bodies fit and fine, and our pockets and retirement accounts brimming – a truly fantastic way to begin a beautiful Valentine’s weekend.

A special “Hello” to all the wonderful women, who joined me for my Wishful Thinking Works: Creating the life you want breakout session. You were terrific!  So nice to see 45 happy, smiling faces at 8:45 a.m., thank you. You truly made my day.   

I was also so excited that many of you shared your kind thoughts and wishes with me throughout the day, thank you.  For those of you, who are beginning to explore your wishes, writing them is a powerful motivator and will help you expand the possibilities they offer. 

For those reading, who were not at the session but would like to learn more about the tips shared, please check out Resources. And, session participants, here’s “My Courage Diet.” 

Thanks again for all the fun! Hope you are having a sweet Valentine’s Day.

My Courage Diet

Wishful thinking often leads to growth and change, which usually involves some level of risk.  

Risk tasking requires at least a little courage. 

And, as you may have read, my initial reaction to taking risks usually involves a bit of fear, so for many years, I have been using a series of activities that have allowed me to face my fears – except for dealing with really ugly, furry, jumping spiders. 

I am mentioning all this now, because on Saturday while I am risk-taking-away myself through another workshop; I will be referring to my “Courage Diet” and this blog.  So, I decided a little pre-posting is in order.  

The idea of combining the steps into a diet  came from the book The Joy Diet by life coach and Oprah magazine columnist, Martha Beck, which I read about seven years ago, and immediately started using to create more joy in my life.  Beck lists taking risks as the fifth step of her ten step plan to finding joy. She encourages us to take risks that make sense and are oriented in the direction we want to go. She has one caveat: the risk must be scary. (That part was easy for me!) 

I hope the “Courage Diet” helps and encourages you, as much as it has guided and supported me.  To get started, all you need is a pen and a piece of paper and the wish to change your life, even just a little. 

Courage Diet 

Step 1

Begin by writing a list of all the brave or difficult-to-accomplish things you have done.

List every single challenge you have faced and fear you have conquered. Remember, there was a time when tying your shoe, passing your driver’s test, and getting your first kiss, date, degree or job – seemed very, very scary. 

Try not to think, just write. Set a timer for 3 minutes – writing and creating a deadline are essential parts of the process. 

Then reread your list; fill-in any blanks; round-out the details and add any other brave acts that come to mind. 

Each day, pick one item on the list to review and revisit.

Take a minute to fully picture the scene and to feel the memories and sensations it brings. Sixty seconds of reminiscing can bring you a flush of positive feelings and a nice boost of courage. 

Step 2

Think of the music that gets you going and in a great mood.

For me “Eye of the Tiger” is a sure winner no matter what I am trying to conquer. Kool and the Gang’s “Celebration” (no laughing, please) and Kenny Loggins’ “This is It” got me through my undergrad degree; Alaniss Morisette kept me focused through relationship upheavals; classical music helped me with my Masters and Joe Cocker, Aretha Franklin and Iron & Wine’s “The Trapeze Swinger” kept me company in the Peace Corps. 

It’s your pick, your list, your music.

Now, put the music in a format that is easy to access and then, listen to it! Once, twice, three times a day – at home, in the car, running, walking, whatever it takes to keep you feeling motivated. (Shadow boxing in the shower is fully acceptable.) 

Step 3

Create a list of movies that have inspired you – movies based on real people, who have faced challenges, stepped in and out of their comfort zones, and achieved their dreams. “Rudy,” “Rocket Boys/October Sky,” “Cinderella Man,” and “Julie & Julia” are some of my favorites. 

Carve out time to watch these movies.

If you are short on movie-watching time go online to http://www.imdb.com/ or to the official site of the movie, or see if the movie’s trailer is on http://www.youtube.com/. Then read about the film or watch the trailer. Replay the film in your mind, remembering the scenes, music, and characters that made it special to you. 

If you cannot think of a single inspiring movie, go to the American Film Institute’s 100 Years 100 Cheersweb site and download their list of the 100 most inspiring movies.

You can also watch free and short inspirational videos at http://www.simpletruths.com/.   One of my favorites – because of the music: “Eye of the Tiger” –  is http://www.finishstrongmovie.com/

Step 4

Make a list of books or stories that have inspired you. Don’t forget your childhood favorites. 

Read them again. If you are crunched for time, read the first and last chapters or your favorite passages, or even an online summary. It only takes a few minutes or a quick glance to bring back the memories and the meaning they held for you. 

Step 5

Repeat diet steps 1-4, as necessary.  (Repetition does not imply defeat or failure in any way, but rather shows great bravery and resiliency for allowing yourself to face new and sometime scary life options. Seriously, that is what I tell myself and it seems to work.) 

Step 6

Please add anything you want to the diet or change it in any way that makes you ready to take on the world or that yucky spider in the corner. 

It is your diet now; go for it.

Wishes do come true.

This Saturday, February 13, I will be presenting a breakout session at the Eighth Annual Speaking of Women’s Health Conference taking place from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at the Manatee Convention Center in Palmetto, Florida.  I have attended these interesting, empowering, and pamper-filled conferences in southwest Florida for 10 years. 

Four years ago, at one of the sessions, I remember thinking, “I want to do this – one day I will be presenting here.”  The presenter I was listening to was business acquaintance; I walked up to him at the end of his talk – scared out of my mind –  but determined to say my WISH out loud, to make it real.  And, I did.  He smiled, kindly but not convincingly.  I turned and left, still nervous and a bit embarrassed.

And, now, I am putting the finishing touches on my presentation.  I could not be happier presenting on a topic I love: creating the life you want.  I love helping people make their lives deeper and richer; I love researching the latest positive psychology research, and putting it into a fun and entertaining format, so the attendees will enjoy it as much as me.  I love it all.

So what took me so long?  Well, an amazing three-year assignment in the Peace Corps, as I began fully living the life of my dreams.

Don’t be afraid to speak-up or to share your dreams; once you start wishful thinking, you just never know where you will end-up.

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