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!

Delayed gratification, a pleasurable approach

I originally wrote this post five years ago, but it still rings true and was a great reminder for me when I read it this week. Hope it is for you too.

One of the worst the best and things about being in Peace Corps, is you get to experience delayed gratification at a whole new level. So many things you once took for granted are out of your reach, but not your mind. It’s easy to find yourself day-dreaming about your favorite foods, speedy wireless, prime-time American TV, jumping into your own car and hundreds of other things that were always there for you.

The good news is: pleasure is in the mind of the beholder. Doing without can be a great way to go within. And, oddly enough the wait for a specific treat, item or service can end-up being even more rewarding than the item or service being craved!

We’ve touched on delayed gratification before, remember the famous marshmallow test with kids? Well, just for fun, I’m suggesting you create mini-marshmallow tests of your own in January with a twist – you don’t get to pick the circumstances, you just get to respond to them. I call these sweet treats “Forced Delayed Gratification”.

The next time, you are dying for something or impatiently waiting – instead of focusing on your desire or discomfort, simply say to yourself:

“Oh, this is a Forced Delayed Gratification situation. Hmm, what are my options here?”

By asking a question, you pull yourself into the moment (within) and away from the situation. Your brain immediately jumps to your aide and begins releasing different hormones and chemicals, which may start connecting to new neurons: Broaden and Build vs Flight or Fight. One little question can flip a switch in your brain and start you on an entirely new neural path.

So, what happens after you question your options?

That’s up to you. You can go to step two by simply looking around to notice your surroundings. This will start down another new mental path. Then say to yourself, “Well, I could . . . ” and see where that leads you – or you can return to your original state of mind – feeling stressed, impatient or  deprived. The choice is yours, and here’s the clincher, the choice is always yours. You get decide what you want and need, and how you feel about getting or not getting it!

Try some Forced Delayed Gratifications in the days ahead. With a bit of practice, you’ll be astounded how little you really need to be happy and content and how quickly you can move from one state of mind to another. And, remember the goal is not necessarily to do without, but to spend a few minutes going within. We’re delaying gratification not denying it; I’ll be enjoying a big plate of barbecue ribs and watching the premier of Downton Abbey before you know it!

(Ribs and Downton Abbey were on my mind quite often while serving in the United States Peace Corps! I served three times, from 2006-2013, to read more about some of my adventures, click here, here, and here!)

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!

 

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!

 

Mini-meditations

Give yourself the gift of meditation this year.

The time you spend does not have to be long. Short stints are effective and brain altering.

Listen to what Dr.Wendy Suzuki, has to say on the subject:

Be the reason

Neurons that fire together, wire together!

glasses-983947_960_720I am spending the next 6 days learning more about Positive Neuroplasticity at the Positive Brain Change: Tools for Lasting Happiness, Love, and Peace workshop by Rick Hanson, Ph.D., which makes me positively happy!

Never stop learning about things you love.

I have been experiencing, teaching and sharing the benefits of savoring the good moments of our life for years, but I enjoy the topic so much and I talk with so many folks about it that I am always seeking new ways to learn more about our wonderful brains!

Did you know that you can change your brain? It’s true – neurons that fire together, wire together. The more time you spend reinforcing the positive moments in your life and savoring them, the more likely you will be to focus on, enjoy and benefit from them, because your brain is geared to do just that! New neural pathways form, making it easier for the good times to flow, in and out of you. And, over time, these new pathways can help you deal with negative moments and events more quickly and with less harmful effects on you and your sweet soul. Life will be happier, gentler and more fulfilling.

You see, if you take care of the minutes, the years will take care of themselves. (Tibetan saying.)

I hope the next 6 days are wonderful for you. And, that you treat the positive moments that arise with the tender loving care they deserve, because if you do, they will repay you tenfold, by helping you create the happiness and the life you deserve.

 

 

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