Capturing the holiday moments that matter

The holidays are coming! The holidays are coming!

heart-picture-1075034__340No surprise there, but they do seem to appear earlier and earlier each year. A couple of years ago I was faced with new challenges centered on blending our ever-growing and combined family’s holiday expectations and traditions. My husband and I were excited to be spending our first holiday together as a newly married couple when we quickly realized that having five sons and their wonderful families in two far-flung states, could make the holidays more complicated than ever.

My first thought was panic, my second and more sensible thought, was rather than worrying about how we were going to share the holidays with our respective kids and grand kids – we have 12, going on 14 – I would first figure out what truly mattered to me during the holidays, and then trust the rest would fall into place.

I had recently read a positive psychology article on the correlation between what folks value individually and what nations value and how we track both, when a thought resurfaced for me – what we measure grows.

You see, that which we deem important enough to measure, i.e. pay attention to, tends to grow. Ta da!

If I fill my holiday with strife and worry and thoughts of who gathers when and where, I was doomed before I began. BUT if I focused on what really mattered to me, perhaps I could increase the likelihood that those things would increase, or at least that I might be more likely to notice and enjoy those moments when they did appear. 

It worked!  Knowing what mattered and focusing on that made our first and subsequent holiday seasons richer, more memorable and way more fun!

Measure what matters

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? New Experiences? Tradition? Food? Fun? Religion?

I decided I want to pay more attention to love. I focused on and savored all the acts of love I saw – moments of tenderness and caring, gestures of kindness and sacrifices of any size made in honor and support of the holiday. I was so busy looking for love – that I ignored, or at least didn’t stew as long or as deeply about the less than stellar moments that occurred along the way.

 

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, give yourself a helping hand by using at least one of the suggestions listed below:
    • 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.
    • 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 things move way 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 has been updated from the original Wishful Thinking Works published in 2015.

 

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Change your life!

 

Be still

img_20160926_160143-2I enjoyed a fabulous workshop with well-know author and life coach Martha Beck yesterday at Kripalu in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. She was warm,  entertaining and well-versed in all things life-awakening. What a wonderful way to spend a Autumn Monday.

I have been wanting to go to Kripalu for more than a decade and hearing Beck in person was a dream come true – Wishful Thinking Works!

We talked a lot about be-wilder-ment.  Her recommendation – be wilder! I’m in!!! How about you?

Oddly enough, she advises stillness as the path to be-wilder-ment.  Start by being still and let your real self lead you from there. Anything can happen. I know first hand – listening to my true self led me halfway around the world and back again and again!

Get started today with 15 minutes to yourself, meditating or simply relaxing into being you and being more aware of your breathing, your body and the space you occupy. Sitting alone with yourself can feel odd at first, but persevere and the rewards are great.

The physical changes to your brain are real and well-researched. The more often you meditate the greater the benefits; long range mediators’ brains actually grow in the areas that control happiness. In addition, over time you will feel yourself responding more positively and calmly to situations that once caused you anxiety or stress. The warm and cozy feeling it gives me and the lightness of spirit it creates, are enough to keep me coming back for more.

Don’t make excuses, be still, and get started on the life you really want!

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Eat, Pray, Love – 10 year anniversary

I posted this week about  about making your life story the one you want it to be without realizing this week was the 10th anniversary of “Eat, Pray, Love” the best seller which helped many people rewrite their life stories.

Eat PRay Love Made me do it

I didn’t read “Eat, Pray, Love” until I was on my own journey of a lifetime, but for many folks it redefined their lives. Gilbert has captured the stories of some of her readers whose lives were changed by reading “Eat, Pray, Love” in her latest book, “Eat, Pray, Love Made Me Do it.”  Gilbert explained on her recent interview on Good Morning America  that the central theme of both books is “. . . my life  doesn’t have to look like this anymore. . . We can make a change; we do not have to be stuck.” Yes! That is what Wishful Thinking Works is all about – creating the life you really want.

“Here, in this candid and captivating collection, nearly fifty of those readers—people as diverse in their experiences as they are in age and background—share their stories. The journeys they recount are transformative—sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking, but always deeply inspiring.”

I plan to read her new book as I am traveling in May and June – I think that will be the perfect time to enjoy it. I’m looking forward to it because I love learning how other folks changed their lives.

Did “Eat, Pray, Love”  change your life in anyway?  Did you love the book; hate it? Tell us your thoughts. We learn from each other!

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True reflection

Tulip Robson www wishfulthinkingworks com

Your life story . . .

Life story

Your life grows in direct proportion to how much and how often you let your fears direct it. Recognizing and examining your fears is a good thing, letting them control your every move and your emotions is not.

Take time to figure out who you are, what you want and how you want to be remembered, and then honor those insights with attention and action. Let that knowledge direct your actions, not your fears.

And, that is how you create the life you really want.

Enjoy!

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Celebrate Independence Day with your personal “Ta Da” list!

This is the third year I’ve posted about this timely topic; I love creating blog traditions!  Normally, I post on July 1, but I missed doing so this year. You see, July 1 was the 182nd day of 2014, which is the halfway point! 

Why am I bringing this up now? So you can begin celebrating your 2014 triumphs to date, of course!

What have you accomplished this year that just six months ago seemed impossible or a distant possibility?

What new trails have you blazed?

What promises have you kept?

What chances did you take?

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

I think that since folks are celebrating with parties, picnics and pyrotechnics for the Fourth of July, it’s a fantastic time to combine our patriotic triumphs with our personal ones – and celebrate them all!

Don’t be shy, this is the season for aiming high and lighting up the sky. If you aren’t ready to shout to the world what you’ve accomplished, no problem, let those bright lights and loud booms ignite a sense of personal pride for you this year.

Start planning now to make this Fourth of July your personal Independence Day. Light-up your life by counting your successes. 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 2014 your year of the have’s not the have not’s! Celebrating success builds confidence, which moves us forward faster and makes us happier along the way!

List everything you have accomplished, big and small, and then, when you are watching “the rockets red glare and bombs bursting in air” congratulate yourself on your 2014 accomplishments thus far, and all the exciting ones that lay ahead.

To get started, click here for your free Wishful Thinking Works downloadable “Ta Da” List. A “Ta Da” List is much more fun than a “To Do” List, because it’s for all the wonderful things you’ve already accomplished!  Don’t forget to share with family and friends so they can begin celebrating, too.

Have fun, and here’s to a perfectly positive Independence Day in 2014!

For Wishful Thinking Works services that can change your life, click here.

To gain “the Happiness Advantage” in 2014, click here.

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Celebrate with your personal “Ta Da” list!

This is the second year I’ve posted about this timely topic; I love creating blog traditions!  July 1 is the 182nd day of 2013. There are 183 days left, which means today at 12:00 noon, we are at the halfway point for 2013! 

Why am I bringing this up now? So you can begin celebrating your 2013 triumphs to date, of course!

What have you accomplished this year that just six months ago seemed impossible or a distant possibility?

What new trails have you blazed?

What promises have you kept?

What chances did you take?

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

I think that since folks are already planning parties, picnics and pyrotechnics for the Fourth of July, it’s a fantastic time to combine our patriotic triumphs with our personal ones – and celebrate them all!

Don’t be shy, this is the season for aiming high and lighting up the sky. If you aren’t ready to shout to the world what you’ve accomplished, no problem, let those bright lights and loud booms ignite a sense of personal pride for you this year.

Start planning now to make this Fourth of July your personal Independence Day. Light-up your life by counting your successes. 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 2013 your year of the have’s not the have not’s! Celebrating success builds confidence, which moves us forward faster and makes us happier along the way!

List everything you have accomplished, big and small, and then, when you are watching “the rockets red glare and bombs bursting in air” congratulate yourself on your 2013 accomplishments thus far, and all the exciting ones that lay ahead.

To get started, click here for your free Wishful Thinking Works downloadable “Ta Da” List. A “Ta Da” List is much more fun than a “To Do” List, because it’s for all the wonderful things you’ve already accomplished!  Don’t forget to share with family and friends so they can begin celebrating, too.

Have fun, and here’s to a perfectly positive Independence Day in 2013!

For Wishful Thinking Works services that can change your life, click here.

To gain “the Happiness Advantage” in 2013, click here.

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