“30 Days New” – Days 20-26

So many days, so many “News” 

I truly lost track of my “News” this week while hosting guests. I did not manage a “New” each and everyday, which was “New” for me! But I am happy to say that by not holding myself to strict a standard while spending time with my wonderful friends, my week was much more relaxing! Cutting myself some slack on a public commitment was “New” for me, and easier than expected because the pay off was so rewarding – fun with friends!

One friend was visiting from abroad and another from Colorado. I met both while serving in the United States Peace Corps from 2006-2009 in the country of Macedonia. Oddly enough, because of her travels to the U.S. and mine to Macedonia, I have seen my Macedonian friend many more times than my American Peace Corps pal!  It has been nine years since we all have gotten together, so coordinating their visit was a definite  “New”.

One of the joys of reuniting was realizing and talking about how lucky we were to have met. It is astounding to consider all of the twists and turns our individual lives took to connect us originally and the many choices we have made to keep in contact since we first separated nine years ago.

Nine years laterTo celebrate gathering again, we recreated a photo we took in the tiny, remote village of Dupeni, Macedonia, which was one of the last times we were all together. Recreating a photo was another “New” for me! My husband very patiently juggled our phones until we agreed that one of the many, many new photos he took was flattering enough for all three of us – thank you, Dan! Our quiet, peaceful Long Island backyard was the setting for our new photo; we agreed it had some of the same relaxing characteristics of my friend grandparents’ villa in Dupeni, and also agreed we should not wait another nine years to gather again – somewhere in the world.

One line a dayAnother “New” this week was learning from my American friend about her “One Line A Day” habit, which began with the gift of a five year journal in which you simply write “One Line A Day.” She has passed the one year mark in hers, so she is now enjoying having past year thoughts at her fingertips as she adds her new ones. She shared some of the insights she has gained from writing and comparing her thoughts from year to year, which inspired me to buy a similar book. As soon as it arrives, I plan to start a new way of journaling – “One Line a Day”, which will be “New” for me.

A foot injury kept me on Long Island this week as my friends headed into New York City on the train for a day of sightseeing. Admitting I could not join them was tough and a “New” for me, I usually push myself no matter the circumstance. But as their plans solidified, I knew I had made the right choice, and I smiled throughout the day, knowing I was comfy, cozy at home and doing the right thing. Smiling about a limitation was definitely “New” for me!

Teddys PorchAnother “New” this week involved a fashion choice – not the most earth shattering “New” but stepping out of my comfort zone into a seersucker dress was “New” for me. The dress will not make it into my regular summer rotation – it’s a little too old school for me, but I was happy I gave it a try, and have lots of photos commemorating it’s debut! Here is one of us relaxing on Teddy Roosevelt’s front porch at Sagamore Hills. Posting the photo is another “New” – it is not my most flattering photo, but the moment and circumstances surrounding it make it special to me and sweet to share.

This very special “New” is from a wonderful friend and Wishful Thinking Works reader, who shared how “30 Days New” inspired her to develop “News” of her own. I love her “News” and the fun she is having creating them:

I have loved reading your “30 Days New”. I haven’t managed it every day, but I definitely made a start. 1) I learned to make goat kefir 2) learned to make kombucha 3) learned to actually LIKE the kefir and kombucha 4) learned I can take my grandkids 2&4 to the swimming pool without them drowning or me having an anxiety attack :-) 5) learned how to create and use Event Brite for an organization I work with 6) learned to make almost professional looking greeting cards 7) learned to make 2 other fermented probiotics, but still trying to like them.

What is “New” with you? Have you tried anything out of your comfort zone lately? How did it feel? Feel free to share your experiences with us, we’d love to hear about your success!

To read more about how my “30 Days New” habit got started, click here.


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30 Days New – Day 10 & Day 11

 

I have fallen behind in my posting, but happily not in doing my “News”. I am double posting today to catch-up.

Day 10 – “30 Days New”

A few weeks ago I was watching a repeat of the Rachael Ray show featuring Sue Hitzman, the founder of the MELT method for pain relief and body rejuvenation. Sue was demonstrating a 50 second face lift.

I used her method while watching the show and made a mental note to follow up on her techniques. On Day 10 of my “30 Days New” I remembered that note to myself and looked up Sue’s videos online, I could not find a video of the Rachael Ray episode, but redid the facial from memory and info from Sue’s other videos. The facial was easy, felt great, and sparked my interest to explore other hands-on, face lift options, including this acupuncture based technique – no needles necessary!

Day 10 Results – I loved them all! Who knew I could have been giving myself free, relaxing, and refreshing five minute facials? A group of “News” I truly enjoyed, and have been using the past three days. Whether or not my new habit will give me a more youthful appearance remains to be seen, but learning about and using the methods really was a treat and they are something I will do more often.

Day 11 – “30 Days New”

My research on the facials also led me to a short video on a four minute daily Qigong practice that I tried on Day 11, which was amazingly relaxing and easy to do, as well.

Day 11 Results – I liked The Qigong practice so much, I am going to do it everyday. I have even created a 21 daily tracking sheet – what gets counted, gets done – to get myself in the habit of my new daily Qigong practice. The Qigong video I found is short, nothing fancy, but the practice makes sense to me and I love the centering effect it produces.  Ahhhhh. Namaste.

To read more about why I am developing my “30 Days New” habit, click here.

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MELT on Rachael Ray

“30 Days New” – Day 3

Day 3 of my “30 Day New”

Wednesday, June 25 was Day 1 of my “30 Days New” – for 30 days I am doing something new or something I used to do, but haven’t done in ages.  You can read why I got started here.

Today I painted in the backyard. I love painting, but I always feel that whatever I do isn’t good enough. I try now and then, but after a day or so I drop it. Pretty silly, I know, but the truth is, when it comes to art, I hold myself to some very silly standards!

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Today I reminded myself, once again that it is about the process not the outcome.

A critical voice in my sweet little head tried to lead me astray a number of times, but I simply took a deep breath or two and assured myself and the nagging voice that everything was going to be just fine, and continued painting. (We all need a bit of reassurance at times, don’t be afraid to face your fears and respond to those negative voices in your head in a kind and gentle manner. No need to beat up on yourself up, for beating up on yourself!)

Besides, I was having too much fun siting in the sun, straw hat tilted on my head, pretending to be a Monet protégé to let a few negative thoughts keep me from my goal.

 Day 3 Results: An hour of fun in the fresh air, with a sassy side of artistic day dreams, topped off with a hatful of confidence and courage knowing I was enjoying the life I really wanted – – less judgement and more creativity and fun!

I encourage you to start something new or return to something old; to gently calm any critical voices that may arise and to enjoy an hour or two, or even just a few minute, of courage and creativity.

PS I am excited about tomorrow, and I don’t even have a clue what will be new!

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“30 Days New” – Day 2

Yesterday was Day 1 of my “30 Days New” – for 30 days I am planning to do something new or something I used to do, but haven’t done in ages.

I started by making pasta, which turned out to be relaxing and fun. I have wanted to make it for years, but honestly didn’t have the confidence that it would turn out well, which is odd since I know I am a good cook and I’m a blue ribbon pie baker. I guess it simply took me a long time to stop listening to my own excuses! I am glad I did because I have other pasta recipes I am looking forward to making, and now, instead of worrying about the outcome, I’m focused on the fun of the process.

Day 1 Results: Surge of pride and confidence, not bad for so little effort. Delicious, too. Also great memories – my Mom often made noodles. I can still picture hundreds and hundreds of golden egg noodles drying in the sun on our dining room table. Wish I had her recipe now.

Day 2 – A risk in the direction of my dreams

Today’s “New” is really a yesterday leftover, which is completely acceptable according to my personal “30 Days New” rules, which you can check out here.

IMG_E1064My “New” for today was wonderful. I was part of a 6 person conference call regarding writing the second edition of a book that played an amazing role in my personal and professional life. Win or lose on this one, I took a risk in the direction of my dreams, and I am already enjoying the rewards of the experience.

Day 2 Results: Delight and excitement! Fun talking with such talented people.

Thank you for following along on my “30 Days New.”  To read more about it and how you can join the fun, click here. Stop back tomorrow to see what else is new!

Are you ready to create the life your really want?

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Summer pick-me-up

One of the easiest and quickest pick-me-ups is to remember the special people in your life. Numerous psychology studies have shown that reliving positive moments or time spent with the special people in our lives is a great way to recharge our hearts and souls.

Why not use the power of your imagination to spark a summer day dream about the folks you love or admire? A lazy summer afternoon or those peaceful moments while waking or falling to sleep are the perfect times to bring them to mind. 

  • Who has filled your heart with happiness?
  • Who has made you feel better about yourself or the world.
  • Who has shared special moments or helped you create special times in your life?
  • Who has made you laugh or jump with joy?
  • Who has stood by your side through think or thin?

Why not give them a special seat in your mind?

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Take a minute this weekend to picture your special somebodies with you as you relive all of their kind and generous, hilarious and spontaneous or supportive and caring ways.

I promise you a few heartfelt minutes of revelry can fill your mind and body with warmth and positivity. (It is a neurological fact!) If your mind wanders, simply bring your thoughts back to who you want to share a chair with this summer and the wonderful role they play in your life. (This technique even works if you are remembering a extra helpful clerk or a thoughtful stranger.)

If you are short on people to share your chairs with, simply get yourself comfortable in a cozy spot and picture who you would like to see in your life. Spend a few minutes creating in your mind the memories that you would like to create with them. Be bold, be descriptive, be brave!  (Wishful Thinking Works – just picturing the moments you want to bring to your life can give you a flood of good feelings and, if repeated often, the confidence to move forward with those dreams.)

The best part of this sweet and relaxing practice is that the time you spend picturing positives automatically decreases the time you spend worrying about real or imaginary woes. We so often worry about the worst, why not simply spend a bit more time each day remembering or imagining the best?

Take a deep breath, close your eyes, pull up a chair in your mind, offer the others to those who have made a difference in your life and enjoy your time together!

Feel free to post about who will be sharing your chairs. The more ways you reinforce your thoughts the more positive the impact will be for you. (No need to limit your thoughts to four folks, simply add more chairs – the number, style and setting is your choice, as well.)

PS These lovely chairs and the amazing folks who own them, are an important part of my life and thinking about them always creates a flush of fabulousness for me!  Sharing this photo with you reinforces those feelings and has left me smiling and feeling happy and energized. Go for it. Daydream your way into a summer pick-me-up!

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

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Smiles for the summer of 2026

Make the summer of 2018 one of the most memorable of your life.  

Get started by reading the following post, which I wrote and shared eight years ago.  I’ve made a habit of rereading it every year to keep me on track and smiling inside and out. I thought you might enjoy it, as well.

sunset-681749__180Writing and reading it helped me conquer a number of personal fears; experience adventures near and far and to enjoy colorful sunsets, majestic sunrises and quiet afternoons watching leaves dance in the wind. But, best of all, it reminds me to relive and to savor the most touching and heartfelt moments of my life.

I hope it inspires you to explore your dreams and become aware of all the things that make your heart sing. After you give it a read, let me know your thoughts and any plans you have for this summer. (Sharing them in a public way increases the odds that you will actually do them!) My goal is to give you something special to smile about in 2026 when you realize the summer of 2018 was filled with inspiration and joy.  

“Thinking ahead . . .” published on Wishful Thinking Works, May 28, 2010

I never read the obituaries, well practically never, but I have a sister who does, and one morning after I had a wonderful visit with her, I flipped though The Fort Myers News Press and discovered the life of Vera Jane Clapper-Richter.

I don’t know Jane, nor do I know anyone who does, but I liked her immediately.  She is the kind of person I would want as a friend, and the kind Katherine Hepburn would play in a movie.

Jane died at 85 after a struggle with Alzheimer’s, but what struck me is not her death, but how she lived, which I quote, except for the links I added:

She was born July 6, 1924 to Maurice and Elizabeth Stover Teasdale in Brownsville, PA. Jane will be remembered for her feistiness tempered by cheery good humor. She was always up for adventure.

In 1960s, Jane, her mother and her daughter could be found at 2 a.m. hanging off the “wooden bridge” angling for snook with cane poles. Few snook were caught, but much beer was drunk.

Janie married “the boy next door,” Bob Clapper, in 1941 in Arlington, VA. They made it through the war years and, like everyone else, started a family. By 1951, they were ready for sunshine and fishing. After a brief stay in the Koreshan trailer park in Esterothey settled in Fort Myers.

Bob worked as a surveyor and civil engineer for Carl Johnson in Fort Myers and Cap Prewitt in Clewiston and Jane dived into community activities. She taught local Red Cross first aid classes, was Lee County Chairman of the Gray Ladies and worked with Veronica Shoemaker in the first Head Start program in Dunbar. Her pride and joy was her Girl Scout Troop 29, which she led from Brownies in 1954 until the girls graduated from Fort Myers Senior High School in 1965. She taught them outdoors skills and wilderness survival. Protective of her girls, she once used a flashlight to fight off a wild hog that tried to take over their Fisheating Creek campsite. The hog fled squealing back into the woods.

After Bob’s death, she pursued her dream of investing in real estate, buying and managing several rental properties, then married Clarence Richter, a retired federal air traffic controller, in 1983. She and “Ric” were active in the local chapter of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees and Save Estero. Ric died in 2005.

She was a friend of Bill W. for more than 30 years and will be remembered by the old timers at YANA. She’ll also be remembered by her pals on Memory Lane at Park Club assisted living, her home for the last few months, for her sweet helpfulness, lovely singing voice and fashion flair. On her, even at 85, a paper sack looked like Prada . . . Jane was predeceased by her two sisters.  She is survived by her daughter, grandson and granddaughter, both of whom helped care for her in her later years.

I hope this is not too morbid for you, but I think Jane’s obituary reflects a well-lived life, and whoever wrote it obviously loved and admired her.  Reading it got me thinking – ahead.

I decided that I am going to live my life for my obituary.  I wish I had thought of starting at the end and working backwards sooner, I would have been nicer, more courageous and much more interesting, and would not now be faced with having to cram so much stuff into so little time.  :-)

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, it will be hot and sticky, and maybe I will sweat and the bugs may 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 10.

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, your bike, your racquet or your glove, your paint brushes and easel, 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.

The rest is all up to you, go for it.

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

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Peacocks and happiness

Good Monday Morning!

Did you know that studies show that watching a nature video or film can increase your happiness, and expand positive emotions such as awe and amusement?

To get your morning off to a great start, I am sharing this beautiful 25 second video of my high school and FB friend’s majestic peacocks. Take a moment to watch and I guarantee you will feel a difference. (You can add a few deep breaths to enrich the impact.)

Being in nature is an even better easy, care-free way to elevate your mood and create joyful feelings. As the earth begins to thaw in the northern climates and the heat rises in southern ones, it is a great time to venture outdoors to see what Mother Nature is up to.

Don’t miss the chance this spring and summer to experience this free pick-me-up. And, do share photos of your natural memorable moments – we will all benefit from your discoveries just by viewing them.

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

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