Weekend insights

Dawns Daffodils (2)

When the snow began to fall this weekend in Cleveland, Ohio, my niece Dawn ran outside to gather the daffodils that only a few days earlier had brought the promise of spring. Instead of wallowing in the negative turn the weather had taken, Dawn found a way to save a bit of spring and the good feelings it carried with it, and to capture and share those feelings on Facebook, which made others happy, as well.

Her photograph brought two things to mind for me. First, how wonderful it is when we capture happy and second, Van Gogh’s quote that “A good picture is equivalent to a good deed.” Why not do a good deed for yourself this week and picture yourself happy as a way to raise your positivity levels?

Picture Yourself Happy

Here in sunny Florida this weekend, during a Wishful Thinking Women gathering, we talked about the power we each have to interrupt difficult or frustrating moments by pausing for a second to notice how we are feeling – stressed, nervous, angry, sad, scared, ashamed and/or frustrated. When you identify stressful feelings,  two things happen:

  1. You pull yourself into the moment, which immediately reduces the intensity of the feeling, because it no longer has a complete hold on you, and
  2. You add a bit of objectivity to the situation, because awareness always causes us to step back – if even for a moment – and can help us refocus our attention, if we choose to.

If you do decide to switch gears, you can then picture yourself happy by bringing to mind a moment or memory that you enjoy. The second you do, your brain will change its mind, so to speak, and release an entirely different set of chemicals and hormones designed specifically to produce and prolong positivity.

When I want to redirect my feelings or simply increase my level of happiness, I picture myself running out of the house at the age of 8 or 9 – chores done, screen door slamming behind me as I enjoy that rich and wonderful sense of pure summer freedom.                              

The more often you picture happy the easier it will be to be feel positive on a regular basis, and over time you will increase the likelihood of creating new, positive neurological and life pathways.

I love that in the middle of disappointing weather, Dawn took the time to capture happy by gathering daffodils and to “picture” happy by noticing and sharing the beauty even a spring snow storm can create.  I am sure Van Gogh would see her work as a very good deed.Dawn winter



Use the best of 2013 to create an even better 2014!

Patrice Koerper  Life Coach Wishful New Year 2014Be proud of what you’ve accomplished or created in 2013 – change, big or small, matters. Here’s how to capture the best of 2013 and use it to create a wonderful 2014.

  1. Take time to jot own the memorable moments of 2013 (or your life) – the moments that touched you, excited you, inspired you, delighted you or made you feel happy and proud.
  2. Write anything that comes to mind; don’t censor yourself.  (Using a Mind Map might help you get started. There are lots of other free resources here that might get you in the mood, as well.)
  3. Then write about what made them special to you. (This is the step most folks skip, don’t! It will make all the difference. Take all the time you need. If you feel like writing a page, do it.)
  4. Note how you felt, which may be even more important than what you did. You may not be able to recreate the events, but identifying and savoring how you felt can help you focus on what you want more of in your life.
  5. Add to your list or create new Mind Maps in the days and weeks ahead. Don’t worry that the year is already underway; there is always time for change.
  6. Be honest, don’t write what you think should have made you happy or proud, just what truly did.
  7. Use the moments you note and the emotions you felt to help you design the life you really want.
  8. How do you want to feel in 2014? What do you want your life to look and feel like?
  9. Use what you have discovered to guide you through the New Year.
  10. Start now!

Below is some of what happened on Wishful Thinking Works in 2013! Click on the photo or link below to find out more. Woo hoo!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 24,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Developing mindfulness

Patrice Koerper  Life Coach Wishful Thinking MindfulnessIncreasing your mindfulness is a great way to center, relax, and refresh yourself.

Becoming more mindful or more aware, will help you focus on what really matters to you and will allow you to live or define your purpose and to ignite your passion for living with purpose. It can provide you with new energy, enthusiasm, and motivation.

Like the words of a good friend or a caring, loving parent or mentor, mindfulness can pave the way or provide a sense of permission to help you erase any lingering doubts that you have the right to live with passion and purpose.

Mindfulness takes practice, but is a warm and kind way to treat yourself, to allow your dreams to surface and grow, and to give thanks and wings to who you really are or want to be.

Here’s how to develop daily mindfulness . . .

As you go through your day and doubts or recriminations enter your mind, stop what you are doing, take a deep, slow, breathe and gently tell yourself “As I follow my passion, the world becomes a better place.”

If that particular sentence doesn’t work for you, create one that does and use it throughout the day to build your confidence and to create space in your mind and heart for peace and tranquility and new pathways for positivity. The more meaningful the sentence you create is to you, the more likely you will be to remember and use it. Using it will create the space your need to grow more mindful by allowing you to control what you choose to focus on any moment.

Living with purpose can be as personal as wanting to be the best person, friend, staff member, mom, sister, aunt, dad, brother, or uncle you can be. It can be as global as righting social wrongs and inequalities and saving lives. It can be fueled by the fun of inspiring others to learn, sing, dance, paint, read or write or the creative satisfaction of doing those things yourself.

True passion is like slipping into your favorite jeans or pajamas. It’s not fueled by anger or resentment. It’s based on understanding, compassion and joy. Pursuing your passion, feels good – or at least worthwhile – even when challenges arise. True passion and purpose provide the energy and creativity to move forward or around obstacles and provide a soft place for you to fall at the end of each day. Living with purpose it not always easy, but it is rewarding.

You alone get to choose your purpose. And, as long as you choose, you can’t get it wrong, because if you choose it for yourself you are on the right path.

This post was inspired by mindful moments of peace and passion experienced while listening to 21 Days of Gratitude, for which I am very thankful! My favorite sentence thus far is –“With profound gratitude, I live my purpose.”

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