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!

Tips for keeping your spirits bright

Ho! Ho! Ho!  For the past 5 years I have been sharing tips for making your holiday season as merry and bright as possible.

This year, I have complied a list of links to some of my favorite holiday survival posts just for you! Click away to revive your heart and soul and to create a richer, warmer holiday.snowflake-1823942_960_720

What do you want to hold in your heart this holiday season? How we think can affect our holiday much more than any of the gifts we give or receive.

Social Media Quick Holiday Pick-Me-Up  Easy ways to use social media to warm your heart.

A less stressed holiday season. Tune into what you really care about to create your best holiday season ever.

Christmas memories  Research shows reliving positive memories can be good for our hearts and minds. Don’t have any? No problem – I include tips on how to make that work for you, as well.

On the first day of Christmas . . .  Offers tips on how to survive a trip home and is based on the holiday musical classic!

Enjoy!  I will post a few more in the days ahead. Until then, happy holidays!


The magic of mindful eating

MP900177759Easter is just days way, and for many of us Easter baskets are wells of temptation. Instead on mindlessly chomping on handfuls of jelly beans or quickly biting off the head of a milk chocolate bunny, why not savor and enjoy each bite?

Studies show that paying attention to what we eat, how a food tastes and feels in our mouth and how we feel when eating it is not only is an effective weight loss tool, it is a great way to increase our happiness, especially if we consider the food we are eating a treat.

peeps1So, before you dive into that bowl of jelly beans or rip open a package of Peeps – take your time to pick out a few, put them on a special plate and then savor their color, aroma, texture and taste. Roll those babies around on your tongue and let your senses engage. Give those delectable delights your full attention, release those endorphins and enjoy every single second of  the experience.

Mindful eating can not only bring you sweet and satisfying moments, it can increase your happiness and your productivity.  It will raise your mood, and possibly interrupt the urge to eat more than you really want, which can reduce all those guilty feelings you might experience afterward.

It’ a win, win, win – enjoy!


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Out-foxing cabin fever

Patrice Koerper  Life Coach Wishful FoxMost of the country is snowed in or slowed down again this weekend by one of the coldest, whitest winters in years. Snow is piled high and deep or melting into a mushy mess, and taking everyone’s good mood with it. It’s natural to feel a bit down; Christmas is long gone, the sweet fun of Valentine’s may still be on our lips, but the fear it (and the 5 pounds we gained over the holidays) will stay forever on our hips may be making us feel even more sluggish and surly.

Sounds dreadful, but it truly doesn’t have to be. Don’t let cabin fever make you feel trapped. Here are 6 quick tips for out-foxing the effects of cabin fever, and for using cabin fever to light your fire and put you in a much better mood.

  1. Take cozy to a whole new level.
    • Create a home spa atmosphere for yourself. Light some candles, pour some bubbly and luxuriate in a softly scented, warm tub overflowing with foam.
    • Spend time scrubbing, rubbing, and moisturizing! Use your best body washes and creams to wash away and soften your stress.
    • Then put on your most delicate or coziest jammies and slip into bed beside the one you love or with your favorite book or movie.
    • If you have a guest room, why not use it? Be your own guest and treat yourself to chocolates, cloth napkins, special coffees or teas – anything or everything that makes you feel you are relaxing in a fancy hotel. It’s an inexpensive, surefire way to lift your spirits.
  2. Eat with the ones you love.
    • Plan a picnic on the living room floor with your spouse, significant other or family. Use a big old blanket, table cloth or even beach towels to create a soft spot for to enjoy sandwiches of all  sizes,  pizza or whatever goodies make you smile.
    • Use paper plates and plastic silverware to reduce the clean-up, but make sure to include some sort-of special presentation pieces you will all remember. Serve the pizza off stacks of books piled high in the center of your gathering, line the edges of the blanket with pillows – Kasbah style and/or make up games such as eating the food without touching it with your hands! (If you’re worried about messes and spills, place a plastic shower curtain under the blankets.)
    • Make everyone wear costumes or their bathing suits! Get silly, make it fun and enjoy each other’s company.
    • If you are alone, I hope you are still eating with someone you love! Plan an equally special evening, by eating off fine china with a glass of wine on the side. (A sweet friend did just that recently, and when she shared her precious moment on Facebook, we all got to enjoy the fun.)
  3. Tackle a project.
    • Clean the closet, scrub the floor, organize your drawers, books, photos, crafts. This is the perfect time to finish whatever you’ve been meaning to start!  The sense of accomplishment you’ll get will not only raise your happiness levels, it can spur you on to other tasks.
    • If it is tough getting started, buy yourself something special to help with your task: cute and colorful rubber gloves, organizing baskets or trays – anything that doesn’t bust your budget, but makes the task a bit more appealing.
  4. Embrace the cold.
    • I know of a couple, who were planning on a flight to Florida that was waylaid by cancellations here, there and everywhere. Instead of basking in the sun, they quickly shifted gears and headed for a nearby outdoor ice festival in the cold climes they call home. They plan to top it off with a little outlet shopping, and maybe a lunch of hot soup or  a cup of rich, hot chocolate at one of the small town shops or cafés at the festival.  They found a way to turn a detour into a right turn!
  5. Plan a vacation.
    • Did you know detailed planning at least a month in advance can increase the level of happiness your vacation brings you, and that size really doesn’t matter?
    • A recent study from the Netherlands was shared on the New York Times blog . . . “‘The study didn’t find any relationship between the length of the vacation and overall happiness. Since most of the happiness boost comes from planning and anticipating a vacation, the study suggests that people may get more out of several small trips a year than one big vacation, Mr. Nawijn said. ‘The practical lesson for an individual is that you derive most of your happiness from anticipating the holiday trip,’ he said.”
    • So pull out the maps, go online and create the vacation of your dreams – real or imagined. Either way you will raise your spirits and learn something new in the process.
  6. Invite someone in or out!
    • If you are feeling a bit down, chances are others are around you are feeling the same. Altruistic acts make everyone feel better.
    • Make a call, send an email or post on someone’s FB page to let them know you are thinking of them.
    • If you are not completely snowed in, ask them to coffee at your place or at the corner coffee shop. Lunch and dinner are good too, but even the smallest gesture can make a difference.
    • Bring along a sweet treat and they will remember your kindness for weeks, months and maybe even years to come.

Whatever you do in the weeks ahead, dive into it and be creative. Even if you decide to do nothing more than perfect your favorite couch potato position, give yourself permission to do it and go forth with gusto! By merely making it your plan, you increase the likelihood that you will enjoy it and reduce the chance of lingering regrets or recriminations.

PS Here’s a bonus tip for an instant change of attitude. Click here to get happy with  Pharrell Williams’ Happy (Official Music Video). The video was shared by a fun friend on FB, and it has me dancing inside and out!


Social Media Quick Holiday Pick-Me-Up

Patrice Koerper  Life Coach Wishful Thinking Quick Pick Me upWhen the weather outside is frightful or the pace of the holiday season is not-so-delightful. Or, when your thoughts and reactions are more Scrooge-ish than Tiny Tim, why not enjoy a social media quick pick-me-up? Here’s how:

  1. Go to You Tube and find some holiday or soft music to get you in a relaxed mood. I enjoyed listening to this while I enjoying my pick-me-up, but the choice is yours.
  2. Go to Facebook and instead of posting or reading, begin looking through some of your oldest albums and photos. Relive all the fun of those moments with family and friends by letting the warm fuzzy feelings sink in. (You are releasing all sorts of wonderful endorphins.)
  3. Create a FB Flashback by sharing a photo or two with the friends in the photo, reminding them of the fun you were having or how happy you are that are in your life. (Private or public sharing, again, your choice.)
  4. Tweet about how happy you are feeling.
  5. Go back to whatever you were doing with a smile on your face, and maybe even a song in your heart.
  6. Repeat as necessary.

Social media to the rescue. Happy Holidays!

Memorial Day thoughts

MH900399612I planned to write a brand new post for today, but then I started reading my earlier posts around Memorial Day and decided to offer a blend from the past. One of my favorite posts, is from May 28, 2010. It was about the life of a woman I never met, Vera Jane Clapper-Richter, but whose obituary inspired me. 

In 2011, my post began . . . “A lot has happened since I wrote about Vera Jane. Most important and touching of all, was being asked to and then writing my Dad’s obituary in 2011. Who knew that was ahead?”

And continued with the following, all of which still applies . . .

“But that’s the thing about life, we truly never know what’s ahead for us. There are so many experiences out there for us. I think the words I wrote just over a year ago ring even truer 367 days later. Here’s an excerpt from that post.

‘The reason I am bringing this up now, is summer is on our doorstep. I know it doesn’t officially begin for almost a month, but when I was growing-up Memorial Day signaled the beginning of summer, and I think summer is a great time to begin fully living the life I want.

This summer I will watch the moon rise and set from a mountain or a rooftop without interruption, or at least from my backyard with a really good friend. I will also watch the sun rise and set at least two days in a row, and I will run through a sprinkler.

I will sleep on a front porch or a patio, in a tent or on a beach, and with the windows open more often. (Yes, I know, I live in Florida, it will be hot and sticky, and I will sweat and the bugs will bite – but who cares, I will have more stories to tell and the teeny-tiny scars to prove them.)

I will spread more blankets out in the grass, and spend more time looking up at the trees, day dreaming and listening to the thoughts and wisdom of people under the age of 7.Patrice Koerper  Life Coach Wishful Thinking Summer Fun 1

I will ponder theories large and small – relativity, the chicken or the egg – without worrying about the answers.

I will be kinder and gentler; listen more and speak less; give more hugs, and send more hand-written notes. I will give people what they want, not what I think they need.

I will read more books, light more candles, and sing out-loud more often.

If you are in the mood to join me, please do. Summer is a great time to be a bit more courageous about being us.

This weekend, find your sleeping bag, or your bike, or your racquet or your glove, or your paint brushes and easel, or the book you have been meaning to read or paper and pencil to begin the one you have been meaning to write.

Open an ice-cold beer or bottle of Coke, pour yourself a tall glass of Sangria or lemonade, sip it slowly or with gusto, and then get started on the rest of your life.

Do what you think Jane might do. Or better yet, what you would do, if no one was watching, or if they were and you didn’t mind – not one little bit, which come to think of it, might be exactly how Vera Jane Clapper-Richter lived.'”

And, in honor of the true meaning of Memorial Day, in 2012 I posted . . .

mp900178942“Formerly known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day began after the Civil War to commemorate the Union soldiers, who had died. After World War I, Memorial Day evolved into a special way to honor all the men and women, who died while serving in the armed forces and to show support for the sacrifices of their families.

Today, my thoughts are with all who are currently serving, have family or friends who are serving, or who have served in the past.

My sincerest condolences to those of you, who have lost a loved one while he or she was serving our country. Your contributions and losses are in our hearts and minds this Memorial Day.”

Which brings me to Memorial Day 2013; my thoughts are still with the courage and commitment of all who have served or are serving in the armed forces. Special thoughts for each of them and their families.

Since the summer of 2010, I’ve spent time doing many of the things I mentioned above, but having fun, and finding flow and fulfillment is an ongoing process, so I will renew my efforts this summer to find new ways and to revive old ones that blend the carefree moments of childhood with the rich and satisfying experience of flourishing Permanently in adulthood. 

To welcome the summer of 2013, I’m visiting friends this weekend in the Fort Myers, Florida area and I’m heading out the door – right now – to visit one of my favorite nearby places – photo to follow! I hope your summer is off to a great start, too.

Are we there yet?

Patrice Koerper  Life Coach Wishful Thinking Works Are we there yetI love airports! My heart goes pitter-patter when I know a trip to an airport is part of my travel plans.

I know I’m in the minority on this, but I can’t wait to join the hustle and bustle and become part of the broad mix of people milling about at an airport – the intense, brief-cased business travelers clutching their laptops and cellphones or running to catch a flight, the laid back 20-somethings draped over the seats waiting for whatever’s next, and the elderly couples reading quietly with coordinated carry-ons at their feet.

Patrice Koerper  Life Coach Wishful Thinking Works Are we there yet1I don’t mind waiting in security lines – considering the alternative possibility; I even enjoy the odd sense of camaraderie sliding off my shoes in the company of strangers brings (most folks are super nice at that point). I love watching families and friends reconnecting, and love savoring the nostalgic feelings evoked watching little ones drag blankets, tattered toys, and their parents from concourse to concourse.

To me, flight delays are a door to adventure, especially in international airports. Seven-hour delay in Zürich – no problem – there’s chocolate everywhere; nine hours in Istanbul is like diving into a sea of humanity and well worth the plunge; hanging out in Milan makes me feel trendy and cosmopolitan; Skopje, Macedonia leaves me wanting more, and Amsterdam is loaded with tulips and cheese! Stateside, Lexington, Kentucky is sweet and soft like the bluegrass surrounding it, Philadelphia is the perfect place for an ice cold beer, Cleveland is the gateway to family and friends, and the Tampa trams in my hometown make my coming and goings a breeze.

I’m a pretty good flier. I’ve learned to carry my favorite snacks, gum, and Chapstick, a book that I’ve previewed so I’m guaranteed a good read, and a notebook for jotting down my thoughts or planning a project – but I still over pack and I’m a sucker for those SkyMall catalogs. Who thinks of that stuff, and why is it easier to convince me at thirty thousand feet than on the ground that having a “Big Bang Theory Singing Plush” toy singing Sheldon’s favorite “Soft Kitty” song will enhance my life or that of one of my friends?

A Family AfarOn the upside of free, in-flight reading, I usually learn something new from airline magazines, and sometimes even find an article worth dragging the entire magazine along with me to my final destination. In fact, I just reread my favorite in-flight magazine article ever, “A Family Afar” in the May issue of Hemispheres, United’s in-flight magazine. I found myself LOL at the humorous trials and tribulations of family vacations shared by readers, which quickly brought to mind the wonderfully chaotic family car trips of my youth with at least 4 of my 8 siblings in tow: The fun of yelling “shotgun” as we stepped out of the front door onto the porch (everyone knows you have to be outside to make it stick), getting to sit in the “way back”, and arguing over backseat window placement – car sickness had its privileges.

Reading the article revived even sweeter memories of my now grown sons using their beloved Fisher Price tape recorder in the backseat of our car on a trip to the Eastern Shore to record very detailed potty talk. Somehow we missed hearing their lively opinions on the subject until years later when we discovered the tape and the joy of their sweet little voices, hysterical laughter, and preoccupation with personal hygiene was more touching than troublesome. And, yes I still have it somewhere! MB900174022

The article also included the fun family travel stats listed below; I thought they might bring a smile to your face, send you on a trip down memory lane, or at least prepare you for what might lie ahead this summer . . .


“Each year at least 5 million U.S. family vacations include representatives from three generations.

Parents traveling with children make up approximately 30 percent of U.S. adult leisure travelers.

Grandparents traveling with grandchildren represent 7 percent of U.S. adult leisure travelers.

Family travelers take an average of 4.5 trips each year (with grand­parents often footing the bill).

65 percent of Americans who have been on family trips describe the experience as relaxing.

24 percent of Americans say they usually need a vacation after they return from a family trip.”

And, my favorite, “Children ages 6 and younger ask “Are we there yet?” an average of 13 times during a one-week vacation.”

Get your summer off to a memorable start, by calling your parents (they might pay); packing the car or buying some tickets. Then schedule a second vacation to recover from the first, and don’t forget to set the electronic device of your choice to “record” for your kids. You never know, it just might reduce the numbers of “Are we there yet?”, and is sure to give you something to smile about in the future. And, after all isn’t that what family vacations are all about?

What are your favorite family vacation stories and memories?  We’d love to hear them. What was your best trip? Reliving the fun is a great way to start the week.

Wishful Thinking Works post #319 and counting . . .

167255_10150089374767695_7386712_nPatrice Koerper is a life coach, consultant and blogger @ Wishful Thinking Works,

who believes everyday should feel a little bit like summer vacation! 

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