Advent of Kindness Calendar

Many Wishful Thinking Works Facebook followers have been using an Advent of Kindness Calendar to share a bit more kindness this holiday season.

Visit Wishful Thinking Works on FB to join in the fun. I am posting daily about the Calendar to keep us on track for kindness! There is still plenty of time to jump-in! read all about the Calendar and more on FB.

Thanksgiving Tales

@ Wishful Thinking Works

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Oral traditions are almost as old as mankind. Telling stories has been bringing families and communities together for thousands of years. Writing them has been going on for hundreds of generations.

The type of stories we tell, shape our relationships and our realities.

Why not start a new Thanksgiving tradition by sharing a short personal story about someone or something you are thankful for as you sit down to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner? Many Americans will be sharing what they are thankful for, but why not expand the moment and the feelings by telling a story?

Your story does not have to be long or earth-shattering, just real and heartfelt.

We are much more inclined to complain about our lives and the trials and tribulations we face than we are to celebrate the moments that make life and magical and memorable. And, yet, most of us have lives filled with touching tales – small moments or momentous events when something or everything went well or turned-out right, or someone reached out to us at just the right time.

What better time than Thanksgiving to share simple, sweet, touching tales of who we are and why others matter to us?

Here are few of my tales to get you in the storytelling mood . . .

I often think of Mrs. Grace Weidenthal and how her kindness and support helped me get a women’s group scholarship for “Older Returning Students”, which led to my finishing college and eventually my Masters. (I was 28 at the time!)

I will never forget the kindness shared to me as a child by my mother’s friend and one of my younger brothers’ godmothers. When Mrs. Werner brought my brother a gift for his birthday or a holiday, she always made sure to include something smaller, but no less special, for the other siblings closest to his age. A small gesture on her part, but one that filled my heart and head with pleasure and promise! I knew I would be included, and looked forward to her visits with anticipation, not only for her gifts but also to her boisterous and booming voice as she bestowed our treats upon us. She spread joy and generosity with gusto.

I often think of the help Professor Potteroff at Cuyahoga Community College gave me. Without the time he spent tutoring me, I am not sure I would have had the confidence to finish his Algebra class or to later take, and fall in love with, statistics.

I love it when someone does something small and kind, like holding a door, pausing to let me or others turn left, or slows a bit to let me enter a lane. Friendly cashiers can also make my day!

Sharing tales of positive moments in our lives might take some getting used to or may seem a bit awkward at first, but all great traditions must start somewhere, why not this Thanksgiving?

Here are 5 tips for starting your Thanksgiving storytelling tradition:

  1. Keep it short.
  2. Keep it positive! No fair, sharing tales that shine a less than stellar light on anyone – no matter how funny or memorable the tale might be! Besides, sharing your happy moments, increases the odds other will be happier, too. (Happiness is contagious.)
  3. Suggest a lead-in or place slips of paper with printed lead-ins at everyone’s place or in a basket to pass. (Creating the slips and basket is a great pre-Thanksgiving task for kids. Let them use their creativity on the leads and the method of sharing. If you are short on kids, simply print them on paper and cut them up.)

1)    “I will never forget . . .”

2)    “I love(d) it when . . . ”

3)    “It felt really good when . . .”

4)    “I was so excited when . . .”

5)    “I often think of  . . . “

6)    “When I was a kid . . .”  Only use this lead in if what follows is strictly positive and not shared to teach a lesson or illustrate a point.

  1. Make sure you or one of the most outgoing children go first, this will “warm-up” the crowd.
  2. Really listen when folks are sharing; make sure they have the floor. You can even provide something fun to pass as the “Speaker’s Sharing Tool”. Anything related to the holiday will work; ceramic turkey, battery-lit candle, serving spoon, etc. The sillier or sentimental the item is, the better. Remember to thank each person who shares, before moving on.

Hopefully, reading this post has already brought good memories to mind and gotten you into the Thanksgiving spirit. If not, no problem, you still have plenty of time to think of a thankful tale or two, and to get things ready for your guests to share in your new tradition.

Have fun!

“Your life is your once in a lifetime opportunity; what you do with it is up to you.” 

Patrice K. Robson

Celebrate YOU this 4th of July!

4th of july 2019 1Many of you will soon be celebrating the Fourth of July with parties, picnics and pyrotechnics. Why not combine your patriotic passion with your personal triumphs – and celebrate them all!

Mid-year is the perfect time to celebrate YOU and your life by creating your very own “Ta Da List.”

The Wishful Thinking Works “Ta Da List” is much more fun than a “To Do” list, because it’s for all the things you’ve already accomplished this year – pure enjoyment with little effort!

My guess is you seldom take time to give yourself credit for all the wonderful things you have done or the challenges you have overcome. Make today your personal Independence Day by taking a moment to reflect on what makes you and your life worth celebrating as you list your accomplishments – big or small – on your personal “Ta Da” list.  It’s instant gratification of a new kind and much healthier than ice cream or holiday snacks.

4th of July 2019What have you accomplished this year that just six months ago seemed impossible or only a distant possibility? (Feel free to include anything you have ever accomplished – this is the time to toot your horn.)

What new trails have you blazed?

What have you found the strength to face?

New jobs? Degrees? Classes? Healthy practices begun? Pounds lost? (Yes, you can count the same ones over again!) Miles run? Promises kept? Chances taken? Letters written? 

What teeny, tiny or wondrously huge steps have you taken in the direction of your dreams?

List any and all of the things that make you happy and proud to be you!

Most of us spend way more time thinking about what we haven’t done, than what we have done. It’s time to change all that and make 2019 your year of the have’s not the have not’s! Celebrating success builds confidence and noting what is right in our lives makes us happier and more resilient.

Don’t be shy – this is the time for aiming high and lighting up the sky. List everything you have done that matters to you, and then when you are watching “the rockets red glare and bombs bursting in air” congratulate yourself on your 2019 accomplishments thus far, and all the exciting ones that lay ahead. Let those bright lights and loud booms ignite a sense of personal pride in you. 

And, when you finish your list, make sure to take a few minutes to offer up some gratitude for each and everything thing on it and all the folks who were part of your success. Gratitude is the fast track to happiness!

Get started by downloading your free Wishful Thinking WorksTa Da List.”  Have fun and enjoy a perfectly positive Independence Day in 2019!

 

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Day 9 of Oprah and Deepak’s Meditation 21 Day Series

Loving Oprah and Deepak’s Grace Through Gratitude 21-Day Meditation Series and allowing gratitude and grace to be a expanded part of each day.

Feeling greatful* for taking the time to slow down long enough to watch this guy in our backyard! He arrived early yesterday and spent the night! (*My version of the word “grateful” because that is how it makes me feel, GREAT!)

What is making you feel greatful these days?

In the series Oprah and Deepak remind us how good feeling gratitude feels! The changes to your heart and soul are life enhancing and can help you bring positivity and grace into your life.

Wishing you blue skies, sweet adventures and moments of heartfelt gratitude today and everyday.

Warm regards,

Patrice

Simple ways to make Valentine’s Day special

heart-762564_960_7201Would you like your sweetest Valentine’s Day ever? 

Here are 14 loved-based Wishful Thinking Works tips to make this year’s Valentine’s Day your best yet. 

Mix and match them to your heart’s desire. 

 Using even one tip can up your happiness or that of someone special to you.

  1. Plan ahead – having something to look forward will raise your spirits. If you do not want to be alone, reach out and plan something fun for friends or family. If you are looking forward to a quiet night by yourself, go for it – in style – by treating yourself to foods and activities you love. Add, candles and fancy dishes, and voilà, c’est magnifique!
  2. Broaden your scope – you can celebrate being in love with anyone on Valentine’s Day. Friends, family, your kids, your life, your job – whatever makes you smile is worth celebrating!
  3. Expand your options  – restaurants can be overbooked and way too busy on the 14th, why not go out earlier in the month, and exchange cards or gifts on Valentine’s? (We have already booked dinner at a new beachside restaurant for the 8th. The anticipation is just as fun, the sunset view will be as stunning and the food may even be better since the restaurant will not be overflowing.)
  4. Be creative – good times don’t require big budgets – think indoor picnic or cheese and crackers with wine before dinner at home to make it special.  If you can get outdoors – plan a picnic, a late night walk or a weekend hike.  Anything that moves you out of your comfort zone will be memorable.
  5. Relax – even the most romantic evening can be ruined by letting your expectations outweigh the circumstances. Breathe!
  6. Put the focus on others – this is a great time of year for Gratitude Letters, cards or notes to special aunts and uncles, neighbors, or co-workers – anyone who has done something caring and kind for you – ever! Buy a heart shape cookie and drop it by the neighbors or leave it on the desk of a co-worker.
  7. Memories make great gifts – find ways to bring great moments alive again through Facebook posts, photos, calls or visits. Remind loved ones of memories you share.
  8. Volunteerstudies show this can brighten everyone’s day, and may even lengthen your life. Make plans now to spend time helping others.
  9. Babysit – If you don’t have big plans – help make someone else’s night great!
  10. Pay-it-forward – Buy coffee for the person behind you in line. Let folks go ahead of you at the grocery store. Hold the door, give-up the parking space. (Remember, to keep it pure and simple no fair waiting or expecting a thank you!)
  11. Give an unexpected hug – it is good for everyone’s health! Hold it for 20 seconds to feel all of the warmth and richness.
  12. Ask for a do-over or apologize – now is the perfect time to undo something you said or did that you wish you hadn’t. Here’s how!
  13. Forgiveyourself or someone else! Take time to rethink and reframe a situation and then gently let it go.
  14. Give instead of receiving – donate to your favorite charity. One of the best Valentine’s gifts I ever received was a donation made in my name to fund a young girl’s school for a year – the cost was only $58, the memory and the feeling are priceless!

Making the simple, special this Valentine’s Day will make you and others happier!  

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Daydreams & free resources = success in 2019

New Year

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2019! 

Now, let’s fast forward to January 2020!

Picture yourself one year from today, excited and thrilled about what you accomplished in 2019! I realize the year has barely begun, but one of the best ways to move forward is to have a clear picture of yourself feeling satisfied and grateful about what you have accomplished – before it is done!

Picturing the life you want makes it feel real, which releases all sorts of chemicals in your brain that will relax your body and expand your creativity and positivity by creating new neural pathways. It’s science, but feels like magic!

Picture it done!

Create a positive, rewarding outcome for your biggest dreams and then sit back and enjoy a movie-like mental reel highlighting how your personalized success looks and feels. Daydream your way into the vision of yourself you want to see and be.

 

Prime your brain by envisioning yourself celebrating your future success. Perhaps you are telling your friends just how wonderful it feels to be 10 pounds lighter and how you did it; how thrilled you are for sticking to your running schedule and the difference it has made in your life; to be so close to finishing school and planning your graduation; how scared you were to start writing your book, but how good it feels to be in the editing stage; how wonderful it feels to be in your new home for the holidays or how beautiful Paris is in the spring.

Don’t be afraid to visualize your dreams. 

Include as many details as possible to fully experience your personalized magic carpet ride. Daydreams are all about imagination – go for it. (Don’t worry about how your dreams will come true, believing they can is the key.)

Help is just outside your comfort zone, but never outside of your reach.

  1. To reinforce all those rich and wonderful thoughts and feelings, use the Wishful Thinking Works “Ta Da” List 2018 to record all the good things that happened in your life in 2018 – big or small! Writing our successes reminds us good things are possible, reveals patterns about what matters to us, and is another great way to prime your brain for happiness and success in the months ahead. (Did mine and it was great way to relive the highlights of 2018. Made me dig deep and remember worthwhile experiences I might have otherwise passed over. Truly rewarding activity. I plan to keep adding to it over the next few days. Don’t pass up the good feelings in store for you when you fill out your 2018 Wishful Thinking Works “Ta Da” List.) 
  2. Now create your Wishful Thinking Works “Ta Da” List 2019 ! Record all your dreams for the 2019 as if they are already done. (I added prompts for you to get you started!) Add a sentence or two on the back of the sheet or in a journal sharing how good it feels to have brought such happiness into your life. (I just finished mine and it feels fantastic to put my dreams on paper. Freeing and rewarding all at once.)
  3. If you know you want your life to be different in 2019, but don’t have a specific goal or if you don’t know where to start, use Wishful Thinking Works Change Circles to help you define what type of change you want to see this year.
  4. If you are letting your past, worries about the world around you, or the scale of the changes you want, scare you; take a break and use the Wishful Thinking Works Courage Diet to get you back on track.
  5. Then use the Wishful Thinking Works Real Deal Change Wheel to move past and lingering hurdles or stumbling blocks.

There is absolutely no reason to face change alone. I designed all of these free Wishful Thinking Works resources for you. Use them to make your dreams come true in 2019.

Don’t forget to visit and “Follow” Wishful Thinking Works and to “Like ” Wishful Thinking Works on Facebook throughout the amazing year that lies ahead for you.

 

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Measure what matters

Knowing what matters to you and focusing on it can make your holiday season richer, more memorable, and way more fun!

Unfortunately, many of us have a tendency to fill our holidays with strife and worry and thoughts of who gets what and who doesn’t; who gathers where and who doesn’t and what gets done and what doesn’t, we drown out much of the joy of the holiday season before it even has a chance to surface.

We layer our lives with so much stress that when magical moments appear – the kids playing quietly in front of the lit Christmas tree at dusk, an unexpected card or gift from a loved one, watching a child help a grand parent, a heartfelt hug or the mention of how much we mean to someone or even the kind gesture of a stranger – we barely notice or bother to savor them.

The good news is, studies show that what we focus on tends to grow. Therefore, if we focus on what really matters to us, we can increase the likelihood that those things will move center stage in our lives because we will be more likely to notice and enjoy them.

Start by asking yourself what really matters to you.

Christmas Holiday (2)What do you want to celebrate throughout the holiday season?

What are your personal beliefs and values related to the season?

In simplest terms, what is most important to you? Family? Love? Togetherness? Religion? New Experiences? Traditions? Food? Fun?

Once you know what matters it will be much easier to notice those things and begin planning ways to integrate more of them into your holiday plans. And, with practice you will soon be sloughing of the stress and slights that normally occupy your mind.

How to make your season brighter

  1. Ask yourself what really matters to you. What do you want to hold in your heart this holiday season?
  2. Then capture every moment that matches what matters to you. Note and savor the moments as they occur.
  3. To reinforce your resolve and truly impact your holiday spirit, use one of these suggestions.
    • Jot down your memorable moments in a journal. (You can start a special holiday journal, pack it way with the holiday decorations and have the fun of re-reading and adding to it each year.)
    • Write your moments on bits of paper and store them in a jar to read during or after the holiday. (The jar can be saved from year to year and enjoyed year- long or before next year’s holiday season.)
    • Write your moments on holiday-colored paper and create a paper chain throughout the holiday with all the moments you have enjoyed and want to remember.
    • Encourage your kids, spouses and even your guests to add their special holiday moments to your jar or chain and watch them grow along with everyone’s holiday spirit. (Next year to spread the joy, you can make gift jars or chain supplies for other family members and share them in November or early December!)
    • Take a few minutes each night before you go to bed or when you wake-up to review these special moments.
    • Or, simply put a penny in a jar or bowl to capture each moment and watch your “riches” grow.

Truth is, we are in control of the holidays ahead. I know it seems like life is moving too fast, and that the gift lists, demands and commitments grow longer and greater each year, but in my case so has the love. And, the more I remind myself of that, the brighter my season shines.

Here’s to enjoying the holidays ahead!

Please note: This post was adapted from an previous year’s Wishful Thinking Works post, because I loved it so much and it was a great holiday reminder for me!

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