Two ways to live your life

The Parable of the Arrow

arrow-1557462_960_720A man was walking through a forest, when suddenly seemingly out of nowhere, an arrow pierced his thigh.  He felt a sharp pain.  Then, immediately following he felt anger. The thought quickly came. Where did the arrow come from?  Who shot it?  I’m going to find him.  He must be punished.  He finally pulled the arrow out of his leg. Gradually the physical pain went away and the wound healed.  His anger continued for days.  His thoughts of anger and frustration reoccurred for the rest of his life.

Another man was walking through a forest. When seemingly out of nowhere, an arrow pierced his thigh.  He felt a sharp pain. He took out the arrow and continued walking. The wound healed.

Adaptation from a Buddhist Teaching

How do you want to live?  The choice is always yours.

Choose wisely.

Are you ready to create the life your really want? Start today! 

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Are you on Ego-matic pilot?

ego (2)At our Wishful Thinking Women gathering this weekend we were talking about “taming” our egos. Because of ego influence, I think many folks believe that change is often too hard to even attempt. We believe that we must live according to the whims of our egos and this ego-inspired belief is what keeps us stuck in a permanent state of ego-matic pilot making change seem difficult or overwhelming.

In a state of ego-matic pilot, we throw away or delay the possibility of love, our dreams, losing weight, going to college, getting a better job, being the kind of Mom, Dad, wife, husband, friend or colleague we want to be and so much more. We think it is all too hard for us to attain, or maybe worse, that we don’t deserve the fulfillment or happiness those changes may bring.  In ego-matic mode we create explanations and excuses to support our negative perspectives and then use them as justification for our personal pity parties or our failed prospects and attempts.

I don’t believe we need to tame our egos, they are just another part of us, but I do believe we can calm them and neutralize their perceptual stranglehold on our actions and emotions through awareness, acceptance and fulfillment.

Here is my Wishful Thinking Works plan for releasing yourself from ego-matic pilot:

  1. The first step is belief in the possibility that living a happy, fulfilled life is easier than we think. (Just like Dorothy discovered in the “Wizard of Oz”, perhaps you have always had the power!)
  2. The second step is an openness to new options and opinions. (Don’t be afraid to change, an evolutionary outlook and approach to life is not only energizing it can be deeply rewarding.)
  3. The third is awareness in the moment and of the world around us. (Time spent noticing our thoughts or paying attention to the beauty around us, rather than listening to the never-ending ego appraisal going on in our minds, is always time well spent.)

EX: The next time you start beating-up on yourself for eating too much or too little; saying too much or too little; doing too much or too little, etc., etc.  – STOP, take a deep breath and tell yourself “I love you, I love you for this choice and all the others you have made in your life. I will accept you as you are this very minute.” Take one more deep breath, exhaling slowly.

This simple, momentary change of thought and heart yields tremendous power. It not only pulls you out of your negative auto/ego-matic pilot, it signals the brain to release a more relaxing set of chemicals and hormones and offers you what we all need more of – love and support – thereby increasing the possibility you will be more open to seeing, feeling and sharing love and support with yourself and others in the future. Try it, and repeat it every time you slip back into any negative auto/ego-matic thinking!  (I know this will be a change for you, so please re-read Steps 1 & 2 and then repeat as necessary.)

Please note: If you were beating-up on yourself for having said or done something to someone that hurt them now is a good time to apologize, and if your ego-matic mind ramps-up to dissuade you, repeat Step 3, and then go for it. Here are some tips on apologizing to help you out. 

knot-252096_960_720Don’t tie yourself or your life up in knots thinking change or life is too hard. Don’t hide from hope, don’t turn your back on possibilities and please, no matter how many times life knocks you down, believe better is possible.

If you find yourself flat on your back, emotionally or physically, don’t worry about jumping right back up, simply take a deep breath, let a feeling of peace wash over you, repeat the words in quotes in Step 3 and then relax knowing better days are ahead.

Are you ready? Life could be better  . . . Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching

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Love this quote

pyramids“The world will tell you there are pyramids you must climb to feel successful. Pay no attention. Your life’s joy isn’t at the apex of a pyramid. It comes from a well of creativity that flows from your very center.”                Martha Beck

I learned a long time ago that I did not have to get the highest grade, hold the highest position or trek the highest mountain to truly enjoy life.  I embraced the journey as my reward and the peaceful moments along the way as my true north star.

Be easy on yourself this weekend, work in moments for being not doing and do not run from the messages that may bubble to the surface. Treasure them for they will lead you to your true self and provide a path to the life you really want.

 

 

Your life is your once in a lifetime opportunity!
Are you ready to create the one you really want?

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A very special Monday morning

This is the first Monday of the spring of 2018! Isn’t that marvelous?

New beginnings are in the air. As nature begins to refresh itself , pushing through the layers that once protected it but are no longer needed, it is the perfect time to think about how we would like to blossom in the year ahead.

What do crocus-3226433_960_720you want to grow in your life? Peace, prosperity, health, love, new adventures?

What dreams are waiting for you?

Share your thoughts and motivate others to push through the life layers that bind them.

I am looking forward to developing new projects for Wishful Thinking Works that combine my retreats with travel. To expanding my speaking engagements and the services I offer, and to developing new resources and finding new and exciting ways to share them with all of you.

But most of all, I am looking forward to becoming more aware of my feelings and gaining more insight into myself. Each year I grow happier, stronger, more fulfilled and I am always joyfully learning new ways to embrace all of me – the good, the bad and the beautiful!

I wish the same and more for all of you this spring!

Are you ready? Life could be better  . . . Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching

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Spring is here!

 

Spring 2018 (3)

 

The perfect Valentine’s Day gift

Would you like to make someone you care about happy this Valentine’s Day?

Would you like to become happier in the process?

If so, write a gratitude letter to someone special in your life.

Your letter can leave you and the recipient feeling happier for months. 

valentines-day-3145419__340

Gratitude Letters

A few years ago I wrote and shared my first gratitude letter; I wrote my first to my Dad. I was a bit shy about doing it, but it turned out to be a wonderful experience for both of us, and since my Dad passed away a few years after I wrote his letter, the experience holds a special place in my heart.

I’ve been writing thank you notes for decades. I sent cards not just for gifts, but for experiences, past and present. I’ve written dozens of notes and cards to my aunts and to friends of my parents for their special acts of kindness to me as a child. One of my younger brother’s godmothers always had extra treats for us when she brought him a gift. Another of my aunts hosted weekly gatherings at her and my uncle’s farm each Sunday in the summer allowing my eight siblings and me to swim, dive, jump, ride, row, fish, and enjoy all sorts of other summer fun because they were willing to put-up with an ongoing stream of guests – our family and many others. Those Sundays were magic to me as a kid, and I wanted them to know.

Those letters and the memories they evoked are wonderful, but a gratitude letter is an even richer, more touching way to say thank you. Here’s why:

  • It’s longer – approximately 300 words.
  • It’s read in-person to its intended recipient, making it more of a gratitude visit with the letter as a hostess gift of sorts. The true magic of the visit comes from sharing your letter out loud and face-to-face with its recipient. (If you can’t meet in person, Skype or a phone call will work, but if at all possible go the in-person route.)
  • Dr. Martin P. Seligman, the father of Positive Psychology and one of the first and strongest proponents of gratitude visits notes the ritual is powerful, ”Everyone cries when you do a gratitude visit,” he says. ”It’s very moving for both people.”

Tips for making it work:

  • Write to someone, who holds a special place in your heart or who did something nice or kind for you, but you’ve never thanked, or thanked as much as you would have liked to.
  • Be detailed. Write the particulars of what you are thankful for. Let them know how their actions affected you. Include the whats, the whens, the hows, and the whys.
  • Let your recipient know you are up to something good! A funny thing happened when I read my letter to my Dad. When I finished, he made a joke about how I must have the wrong “Dad”, and then he told me he thought I was going to share something about what he’d done wrong – not right. (I was nervous about sharing my letter, and he interpreted that as seriousness or sadness. When I began reading from a sheet of paper he was sure there was bad news ahead.) We laughed about that, but to prevent any confusion, letting your host or hostess know the visit is well-intentioned is probably a good idea.
  • Leave a copy of your letter with your recipient. Don’t worry about making it too fancy, but using special paper can’t hurt. Laminating or a frame might be appreciated, or to others, seem a bit too much – go with your guts. Just don’t make the visit too much about what happens next with the letter; leave that up to your receiver.

The Ripple Effect

Another interesting facet of this simple and effective gesture is that it tends to grow and reproduce on its own. Recipients often end-up writing and sharing letters with folks they want to thank, and writers tend to write more letters to share with others.

Positive psychology studies show the good feelings can last for weeks, even months. I know firsthand that years later I’m still happy I shared a gratitude letter with my father. It is a sweet and happy memory, and one I can relive any time I want. Gratitude letters pack a huge dose of positive power!

Increased happiness for someone you care about is just a few pen strokes. Don’t let this free,  foolproof opportunity for joy pass you by – send a gratitude letter to someone special this Valentines Day!

PS This is my annual Valentine’s Day post . . . hope it inspires you to start writing to a special person in your life.

Whispers from our hearts

One of the sweetest reviews I ever received . . .

“patrice is awesome…she can ask a question that you think you have no answer for and all of a sudden she has changed your world by making you find the truth in yourself. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!”

You have the answers, getting still helps you hear what your heart is trying to tell you.  Stillness and heartfelt inquiry will help you reveal your truths.  Don’t be afraid of finding the answers, if you are asking or responding you are ready. 

WTW Dandelion

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