Service to others

Re-sharing a post I wrote in 2010 on this special day.

Today is Veteran’s Day, which originally began as Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1918.

Did you know that on the 11th minute of the 11th hour of the 11th day in 1918 a temporary armistice was signed bringing an end to the hostilities of World War I?

President Woodrow Wilson designated Nov. 11 as “Armistice Day”, which led Congress in 1938 to pass legislation to declare it a national holiday, and in 1954 for President Eisenhower to change the name to Veteran’s Day.

Oddly enough, my first reflections on the sacrifice and service of veteran’s developed when I was 12 or 13 years old and read the book “All Quiet on the Western Front”, which was written by a German soldier about his experiences in WWI.

I had tears running down my cheeks as I read Erich Maria Remarque’s words, and it hit home that if a German soldier could feel this way, most likely any soldier could.  It was  the first time I really understood that war was not just about conflicts and countries, but about people and courage. Remarque became an American naturalized citizen in 1947.

I remember wanting to ask my Dad, my uncles and every other man their age, who served in WWII, what it was like.  But, that was something people didn’t seem to talk about then, so I didn’t either.

When I turned 16 in 1969, and was confronted daily with news of Vietnam. I forgot about the perspective of Veteran’s and focused more on how I felt about war.

It took me years to sort-out my feelings about service in the military.

No matter where you stand on our involvement in conflicts and wars then and now, today is a good day to pause and reflect on how others feel.  In particular, those who – for whatever reason – find themselves in situations that test every facet of their being in the service to others.

I truly think service to others is worth honoring, and I am glad that we have set aside a day to do just that.

There were almost 200,000 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan in May of this year.  There are more than two million men and women enlisted in the armed forces and reserves. Most of us know someone or the family members of someone, who is currently serving or served in the past.

Find a way to let them know you are thinking of them today.

Wise words on following your heart

heart-1776746__340

“Your heart is a compass in a chaotic world. Follow it. Resist anything that looks reeeally good, but feels reeeally bad. Be brave enough to turn away from shiny objects, and toward the light that makes them shine.”  Martha Beck 

Spend quiet time finding out who you are and then follow the paths that delight you!

I promise you, you will never regret it!

Register for your Free Wishful Thinking Works Discovery Session!

Visit Wishful Thinking Works on Facebook for posts and updates.

 “Like” Wishful Thinking Works on Facebook.

5 Second Mindfulness

Thousands and thousands of us from around the world are participating in Oprah and Deepak Chopra’s latest and, oh so relaxing, free 21-day meditation series.

This mini-meditation was included in the series and I thought it was too wonderful not to share. (The series began on Monday but if you join today, you can still experience all of the first five meditations.)

Try this simple exercise to connect to the here and now, from master of present-moment awareness, Eckhart Tolle.

Tolle says, “Ask yourself, ‘Am I still breathing?’ You suddenly feel the air flowing into your body and out of your body… At that moment, you’ve entered the state of presence. Even if it’s only five seconds.”

Meditation Eckhart Tolle

Register for your Free Wishful Thinking Works Discovery Session!

Visit Wishful Thinking Works on Facebook for posts and updates.

 “Like” Wishful Thinking Works on Facebook.

Grab a cup of tea or coffee, relax and read on

alarm-clock-2132264__340I was writing a post for my Meditation Facebook group this morning when I came across this photograph, which led me to slow down a bit and allow myself to spend some time wallowing in the wonderful memories tea and Fall have brought to my life.

I think my reverie was made easier, because there is a chill in the air this Autumn Monday morning in Florida.  Temperatures in the 40’s and 50’s are as cold as we get even in the middle of winter, so today’s weather was a welcome surprise for me.

With a cup of tea by my side I let my mind wander through some of the scenes and memories that a relaxing cup of tea and Fall weather have given me over the years. I spent time in my mind at kitchen tables around the world sipping tea and savoring the feelings those moments evoked.

My mental journey began with my sister in Avon, Ohio’; I love her kitchen and the view through her sliding glass doors – I never tire of visiting her. Her tea is loose leaf and deliciously flavored. I then traveled back in time to my Mom’s kitchen in the parkway house they lived in after moving from the home in which we grew-up. I remember feeling so happy that they were happy, while sipping her honey and milk laced tea.  After revisitng Mom, I stopped by my former mother-in-law’s – she kept Constant Comment in her cupboard for me  – she was a coffee lover her entire life. Next, I fast-forwared to time spent with my amazing host family in a small village in Macedonia 11 years ago, where I enjoyed fresh-dried and fragrant mountain tea and personal cross-cultural exchanges.

During another time living abroad, I sipped tea and cooked-up a storm with my Georgian host family in their tiny kitchen that was always cozy and warm and overflowing with family and friends. I completed my morning’s sojourn enjoying another special memory with my dearest friend in Florida, who I was able to share daily tea and conversation about our lives and the world around us for months at a time before she passed away last year. We odten laughed about the fact that she barely dipped her tea bag into the steaming water in her cup, while I often let mine steep as I sipped.

I hope you find time today, this week, or in the month ahead to sit and savor some of your favorite Fall memories and any present or future moments you create this year with the special people in your life.

Take time to take in the good, and both your body and your brain will be relaxed and refreshed.  I guarantee it will be time well spent.

 

Register for your Free Wishful Thinking Works Discovery Session!

Visit Wishful Thinking Works on Facebook for posts and updates.

 “Like” Wishful Thinking Works on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

Free Meditation Series Starts Tomorrow

human-730213_960_720If you have never tried meditating, or if you meditate and would like to add to your practice, join us for Making Every Moment Matter Oprah and Deepak Chopra’s upcoming, free 21-day meditation series.

I have used Oprah and Deepak’s meditations in the past, and they are guided goodness and a refreshing way to calm your mind, comfort your soul and relax back into or find the real you!

The meditations are usually 15 minutes in length – a small amount of time that can yield big results. Here are some free samples to get you started.

  • There are thousands of studies showing the benefits of meditation.
  • You do not have to meditate for long periods to begin receiving the benefits.
  • Benefits include: reduced anxiety, easing pain, and improving sleep

To enrich your life and create new levels of awareness, insight and joy sign-up for their free meditation series, which begins tomorrow.

You can participate for free from anywhere!

Then join the free Wishful Thinking Works Meditation Facebook Group, which is designed to help you develop the meditation habit by:

  • providing accountability – studies how this is key when developing any new habit,
  • to celebrate your successes – also so important when trying something new,
  • and to give you a place to share your thoughts and questions with others going through the same process.

It’s a virtual support group for your new journey!

meditation-567593_960_720The Wishful Thinking Works Meditation Facebook Group is open to everyone, it is listed as “closed” on FB, but that just means no one but members can see your posts. You have nothing to lose and so much gain.

Join us to find more peace in your heart and happiness in your life. You deserve this and more, and it is all free!

Register for your Free Wishful Thinking Works Discovery Session!

Visit Wishful Thinking Works on Facebook for posts and updates.

 “Like” Wishful Thinking Works on Facebook.

FREE Group Meditation on the Beach

Earlier this month, I participated in the insightful and inspiring Mindfulness in America summit in New York City hosted by Anderson Cooper.

The benefits of meditation on our brains and our stress levels are well-documented in the scientific community. One of the seminar participants noted that even 8 minutes a day has immediate results, and over time will leave a positive, lasting impact on our brains.

One of the topics they discussed was the value of group meditation.  An organization called “The Big Quiet” is flourishing in New York City and their success motivated me to start a monthly Fort Myers Beach meditation for Wishful Thinking Works.  If you are in the area join us, if not check out this virtual meditation event!

We are gathering Sunday, November 5, 2017 at 9:30 am by Pincher’s Restaurant on Fort Myers Beach, FL.

How to participate:

• Bring a towel or blanket and an open heart and mind. If you prefer a chair and coffee, no problem, but still bring that open heart and mind! Everyone is welcome, so bring a friend or two.

• Head to Pincher’s Restaurant on Fort Myers Beach. There should be plenty of parking on a Sunday morning at this time of year.

• Then walk across the beautiful, soft sand to the water’s edge. I will be waiting for you.

• After a welcome and introductions, we will sit quietly together looking out at the sea for 20 minutes.  We will do 10 minutes of a guided meditation and 10 minutes on Individual.

• Afterwards, folks can share about the experience and talk a bit.

• If you like we can head to the restaurant for coffee or breakfast, or simply sit longer on the beach, or head home

Until then . . . here are some meditation links from “The Big Quiet” to get you started. This 5-minute mini-meditation is a gentle way to begin. 

Also, check out the Wishful Thinking Women FREE 21-day Virtual Meditation Meetup activity that begins October 30.

Join us to find a bit more peace in your heart and relaxation and happiness in your life.

 

heart-1077724__180

Register for your Free Wishful Thinking Works Discovery Session!

Visit Wishful Thinking Works on Facebook for posts and updates.

 “Like” Wishful Thinking Works on Facebook.

Change your life!

 

62 days until Christmas, and I have a plan

IMG_4405Call me crazy, but I am one of those people who don’t mind that Christmas decorations and gift ads are popping up in stores and online. In fact, I love it.

I believe that happy is happy, and if seeing winter decorations and thinking about gift ideas makes people happy, go for it.

Connecting people to positive feelings isn’t a bad thing, in fact, it is exactly what our brains need. Knowing that peppermint lattes will soon be available everywhere warms my heart, and I don’t even drink them. They are just another part of the cozy feeling I get as the thermometer drops and the days get shorter. But, the true benefit of these sweet thoughts is the powerful punch of positive chemicals they release in my brain.

I don’t believe the problem is that we are bombarded with holiday “trappings” earlier and earlier, to my way of thinking, if there is a problem at all, it is that we don’t realize that we can only feel “trapped,” if we let ourselves.

Early exposure to the holidays does not have to reduce the fun and holidays themselves don’t have to equal stress, nor do bad holiday memories have to predict similar ones in the future. Except in extreme situations, we get to decide how our holidays unfold.  I know this to be true first-hand. Letting go of past hurts and trying times can be difficult, but creating and then letting new experiences gain top-billing in your mind is worth the effort, and so much more rewarding.

On the flip side, for those who love the holidays, you can let yourselves feel the same joy that special treats and trimmings bring at any time of the year. The misty-eyed, fuzzy feelings the holidays evoke can be found in any moment we choose, all we have to do is zero in on the beauty or joy around us and there we are smack dab in the middle of wonderful – even without the Hallmark version of a snow-filled screen, china and crystal table settings or a not so surprising reconnection with the love of our lives!

You have 62 new and potentially wonderful days ahead to embrace or ignore the holiday season. The choice is yours; do what makes you feel good about yourself and the world around you.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. If you think it is too early for tinsel and lights, don’t let seeing them rile you. They are not worth the negative energy.
  • Yes, retailers want to get you in the mood to buy, but instead of focusing on their motives, and feeling trapped, think about the jobs that holiday sales sustain and create, and always remember no one but you makes the final purchasing decision. Not buying big or for as many people may be a change for you and your usual recipients, so let family and friends know ahead of time that you are cutting back, and then stick to your plan.

2. If you are all in, go for it. Enjoy and savor every special moment and feeling the holidays bring large and small.

3. To prevent any post-holiday blues, remember that those same rich and wonderful feelings can be felt throughout the year. Start now to connect to the joys of everyday life, focus on gratitude and learn to savor past and present moments that bring you good feelings to get in the habit of happiness.

Here’s to your best holiday season ever, however you choose to celebrate it.

Register for your Free Wishful Thinking Works Discovery Session!

Visit Wishful Thinking Works on Facebook for posts and updates.

 “Like” Wishful Thinking Works on Facebook.

%d bloggers like this: