Thursday, August 28, 2014

Never Ask How

My daughter-in-law is returning to school to complete a Bachelor Degree.  The kids are in high school, and she is looking for future opportunities in the workplace. Although most of the family is very encouraging, her sister asked how she could do this when her job requires her to travel so often...a shadow of doubt.

Doubt is creeps into the brain and spreads, making you question your decision.  "What are you thinking?" "There's no way you can possibly juggle school and a full-time job, especially a job that requires you to travel." "You will never be able to keep up with everything. What if you get your degree and you don't get promoted?" "It's safer to stay where you are."

I can only go my personal experience. I also worked full-time and went to school full-time. It was hectic, but once I got the rhythm of my new schedule down, it was certainly do-able. When it came time to do an internship, I remembered the words of one of my professors: "Say Yes to things you want to do. You will find a way". This turned out to be true for me. A woman who worked down the hall from me was in the same program as I and needed to do an internship at the same time as I. Her supervisor allowed her to rework her schedule to have a day off. Grudgingly my supervisor had to give me the same opportunity, which allowed me to complete an internship. Coincidence? I don't know. I had no idea who this woman was and didn't realize we were in the same program...but it certainly was a lucky break for me.

The moral of this story is...if you are driven to do something, never ask "How"...just say "Yes".  You will be amazed at how the universe aligns to make it possible.



Monday, August 25, 2014

An Endless Rotating Wheel

"From unhealthy desires unhealthy actions follow, from unhealthy actions unhealthy experiences follow---like an endless rotating wheel."  

From: Open Your Mind, Open Your Life. A Little Book of Eastern Wisdom

Have you ever noticed that once you sink into a rut of negative thinking, negativity seems to permeate your entire life. Each moment, like the one before, makes you feel down. It's much like spiraling into an abyss so dark and black that you're not quite sure it will ever end.

There is a cure that seems so simple it couldn't possibly work, but it does. Every time you become aware of a dark thought or a feeling of helplessness, have a conversation with it. The conversation should go something like "I reject this thought and I reject this feeling. Instead I think I am wonderful and I feel great."

For those of you shaking your heads saying this is too silly to work, I say give it a try. It's not possible to hold opposing thoughts in your head at the same time. So replace the bad thoughts and feelings with positive thoughts and feelings. This will work for you just as it has for me.



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Stop. Feel. Store. Write.


Are you happy? Have you been happy today? How often are you happy in any given week? I think that when we have good feelings like happiness, we let them float by without paying much attention to how they feel. But when the feelings are not so great, we tend to dwell on them and notice their effect on our body and mind.

So how can you start noticing and staying with the happy feelings? How about making a Happiness List? I don't know about you, but I have all kinds of lists, mostly on scraps of paper that I can't find when I need them. But, back to the Happiness are the steps (taken from A Teacher's Guide to Stick Up for Yourself! by Kaufman, Raphael and Espeland):

1.  STOP everything and notice what's making you happy.
2.  FEEL the happy feeling.
3.  STORE it inside of you.
4.  WRITE it down as soon as you can (preferably not on a random scrap of paper).

If you will do this faithfully five or more times a day for two weeks, I guarantee that your mood will lighten, you will be kinder to yourself and to others, and you will be happier about your life...even when the bad stuff creeps in.



Monday, August 18, 2014

Choose Kindness

Be a blessing to yourself and to everyone and everything you come in contact with today and everyday.

It seems that the people we expect to be kind and understanding sometimes disappoint us in a big way. When we look for a supportive word or gesture, we get a harsh reprimand or a display of impatience instead. And I don't need to tell you how unhelpful that is.

Every morning, I ask help to be a blessing to myself and everyone and everything around me. When I have to deal with a person who is getting on my last nerve, I take a moment and remind myself that kindness begins with me. I invite you to do the same. What we give comes back to us. We can change the world one person at a time.



Friday, August 15, 2014

Enthusiasm: A Magic Wrinkle Eraser

I love this time of year.  Summer is winding down (this part I don't love so much), and students are getting ready to return to school.  My work as a college counselor allows me to meet first-time college students. Many are unsure or nervous about coming to longer the big fish in a small pond...but still excited about the challenges awaiting them.

Their excitement moves me, and I am privileged to view the world through their eyes.  While I am in the twilight of my work life, their journey is just beginning.  Opportunities are scattered everywhere, waiting for the students to find them, pick them up and run with them.  So many choices to make; I'm sure it can be overwhelming.

But even when we are beyond this, our lives more settled, orderly, predictable...we still have the choice to stop for a moment and look at life with new eyes.  If each day seems the same as the last, we can choose to make each day different. Aldous Huxley said "The secret of genius is to carry the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm." Reach inside yourself to find that child who once saw the world filled with opportunities, who had endless imagination. Unleash new enthusiasm for life...erase the wrinkles from your soul. You can do this.



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What's The Rush?

This post first appeared June 14, 2013

"We are always getting ready to live but never living"
                                   ~~Ralph Waldo Emerson

While walking my dogs the other day, I noticed a candy someone had dropped on the sidewalk.  Covering the piece of candy were hundreds and hundreds of ants scurrying around in a frenzy, as if being on this piece of candy was their entire lifes' work. I was instantly reminded of our society today and how multi-tasking

Monday, August 11, 2014

Thomas Edison Was A Spider

This post first appeared on August 19, 2013

Success is not final, failure is not fatal.  It is the courage to continue that counts.              ~Winston Churchill

We have a Florida room in our home which is wonderful when we have company.  It's spacious and filled with windows.  Unfortunately, it's also filled with spiders.  While I have been known to escort insects out of the house alive and unharmed, spiders suffer a different fate at my hands...they are

Friday, August 8, 2014


No one's life is problem-free.  There are bumps in the road, hurdles that must be jumped and rivers that have to be crossed.  It's called life.

The fact is...the problems don't define who you are.  It's how you handle the problems that speaks volumes. How you deal with the bad stuff that shows up at your door determines the quality of your life. So take a breath and try singing...your voice just may be worse than your problem.



Wednesday, August 6, 2014


You are free to make your choices, but you are not free to choose the consequences. ~Unknown

Just needed a is a series of choices, and how life turns out is a direct result of the choices made.  It's never the fault of parents, spouses, teachers or any of the myriad of places we point the finger of blame.  It is simply me and my choices that have gotten me where I am today.  If I don't like it, I need to make different choices.  Pretty simple don't you think?



Monday, August 4, 2014

The Biggest Room

              The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.                                                 ~~Japanese Proverb

It seems as though finger pointing has become our biggest pastime. There is no end to the criticism of people who are not of the same mind as we are...and, of course, our way is THE way because there can be no other.

When you feel a criticism of someone welling up in your head, take a breath and count to 10, then say something kind instead.  My words of wisdom in this situation are taken from author Wayne Dyer, "When you have a choice to be right or to be kind, choose to be kind."

Remember, when you're pointing your finger at someone, there are three pointing back at you.



Friday, August 1, 2014

A Bitter Pill


Sometimes our own words come back to haunt us.

This week, I pulled into the parking lot at work and checked my tire pressure since the tire icon was blinking. To my astonishment, the right front tire showed 5, while the other three tires were in the 30's.  A visual check confirmed that my instrument panel was working perfectly...the tire was flat as a pancake.

I immediately called my husband who said "Call AAA".  Secretly wishing that he would handle this, I dialed AAA and requested roadside assistance.  Once the "doughnut spare" was put on, I again called my husband to update him.  Secretly wishing he would handle this, I hoped he would say that he would come and change cars with me.  Again, my hopes were dashed when he told me not to take the expressway because the temporary tire couldn't handle the speed.

Driving home on slow-moving surface streets, I fumed because of the inconvenience.  Then a voice in my head (my own voice, actually) said "What would you tell someone else in this situation?" I knew I would say something like "Suck it up. It's one trip home. Be glad it wasn't in the dead of winter on the expressway waiting hours for a tow truck."

Following my own advice was a bitter pill to swallow, but it was enough to help me change my view of the situation.  Really, was it so bad to tack another 20 minutes on to my commute? Was I so terribly inconvenienced by this? At least I was headed home in my own car, although it did dip a bit to the right from the smaller-than-normal tire.

When you're in a situation wondering "Why is this happening to me?" remember, we all take a turn having a not-so-great day.  Shift your paradigm, reframe your thoughts.  It goes a long way toward making any situation more bearable.