If not . . .

if-not-youSeveral times a month, I meet with groups of wonderful Wishful Thinking Women. At our Saturday gathering earlier this month, we were talking about procrastination, and one of the women shared a phrase, which her Dad had often said to her. She noted that it had inspired her many times to do kind and caring things for others and for herself.

I had heard the phrase before, and had used it as a personal rallying cry to right social ills or widespread wrongs, but I had never thought of applying it to myself!

If not you, who will treat you in just the way you need and desire? How can others know how to treat us, if we do not treat ourselves with kindness, grace, joy, peace and a sense of gratitude and abundance?

If not now, when? Start today to treat yourself the way you wish others would. Move forward with your plans to go back to school, find quiet time, begin a diet or take that trip.

What are you waiting for? If you need permission, Sylvia’s Dad would surely say it is okay. And, Sylvia is such a warm, caring woman, her Dad must have been a very wise man!

You can do it!

Feeling fine on a Thursday afternoon

img_4669Listening to classical music and planning upcoming workshops, which always makes me feel extremely, happy, content and fulfilled.

Are you feeling the same way? If so, savor the moment.

If not, what would you have to be doing to feel the same way?

  • Hold that picture in your mind, breathe deeply and exhale slowly through your nose.
  • Hold it a bit longer, add a few more details, breathe a bit deeper, exhale even more slowly.
  • Gently let the vision fade away.
  • Breathe deeply, exhale with a smile.

Feeling relaxed, happy? Hope so!

Hope this moment finds you immersed in your version of wonderful!

 

The Perfect Valentine’s 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. 

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Gratitude Letters

A few years ago I wrote and shared my first gratitude letter; I wrote it 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 for a fact, that years later, I’m still happy I presented a gratitude letter to my father. IT is a sweet and happy memory.

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!

Queen for a day

Or a lifetime . . .

queen

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it’s always true . . .

Wishful Thinking Women

new-pageEvery Wishful Thinking Women Meetup is great, but this week’s truly was amazing. Thank you, ladies! What a fabulous start to 2017!

So much fun to spend time with such interesting, creative, brave, and wonderfully kind women! Welcome to our newbies, and thank you to those who join us month after month, year to year! Love talking with you all.

Here are a few of the comments from this week’s Meetup . . .

“Very uplifting meeting and great group of ladies! Thank you all for your input.”

“It was so good to be with such vibrant women. Thank you for sharing your dreams!!”

“Loved meeting this group of beautiful, forward thinking women.”

Find your “tribe” hold them close and visit with them often!

You can do it!

“Hello darkness, my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again,”

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, today will be the shortest day of the year, which is known as the Winter Solstice. The sun will be directly overhead at “high noon,” but we will have the fewest hours of sunlight. Sound depressing? It doesn’t have to be!

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Set your phone today to 12:00 as a reminder to reflect at ‘high noon”.

The winter solstice is a great time to give yourself a mini-mental break by pausing for a moment to look up at the sky and send a heartfelt message to someone, who is near and dear to you.

A sincere and simple “I love you” or “Thank you for all you have done for me.” is guaranteed to send positive emotion producing hormones and neurochemicals racing through your brain. A few deeper thoughts and moments of joyful contemplation will spread their positive affects throughout your entire body.

If you extend your heartfelt thoughts to just 3 minutes of pleasant reverie and gratitude, the results can lift your mood for 6-8 hours.

If you later share your thoughts with the person your are thinking of, the good feelings they create for both of you, may last for days and even weeks.

And, if you are lucky enough to be out and about in nature, while sending your sweet thoughts, you may receive even greater physical and psychological rewards.

Pausing just long enough to truly absorb the sights, the scents and the scene around you can deepen and extend the beneficial and life enhancing responses to the sensations you are experiencing. You can become your own “breath of fresh air”.

heart-snow-1159461__180 Give yourself a very special winter solstice gift this holiday season – celebrating the moment, the goodness and the love in your life can make a world of difference in your mood and spirits in the busy days ahead.

Happy Solstice! Enjoy!

 

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