Monday, December 31, 2012

"I Choose Love"

Check out the newest addition to the "Live YOUR Life" store.  It is a really nice design that looks great on both apparel and other items such as cups, keychains, and candle holders.  It makes a great gift for yourself or someone you love.  Show the world that you choose love over hate.


Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Store is OPEN!


The official "Live YOUR Life" shop has opened at CafePress!  Check it out for some neat apparel and household items featuring the logo below.  Let everyone know that you are choosing to live YOUR life and spread the positive attitude around!

As I get more creative, I will work on adding different logo and quote items to the store.  I will also let you know via this blogs Facebook page as to what sales are being offered throughout the year!




Saturday, December 29, 2012

Roots Before Branches...



This post is inspired by the song "Roots Before Branches" by Room for Two. Many people try to take on so many things in their life before they are stable themselves.  You may have heard the phrase, 'before you can love someone else you need to love yourself'.  Well that has many meanings and applies to all the things that you do and the people you let in your life.

You need to take time to get to know the most important person in your life....YOU!  What do you want out of life, what do you need, what aspirations and dreams do you have?  Who are you? Not the material things like your house, car, job, partner.  But instead who are you, who is the soul inside your physical body and what do they want out of life.  Take others opinions and outside expectations out of it and ask yourself "What do I want?"

"There is always a seed before there's a rose.  The more it rains the more I will grow" 

Know that by finding out what you want out of life and what your purpose is that you will come across people who do not fit in your plan or who will try to make you take a detour from your plan.  However if you are conscious of what you want and have establish strong "roots" of who you are, they cannot change you.  There will be plenty of rainy days in your life, but just know that those are there to water the rose that is you to help you grow.  The seed is you at your core.  It needs trials and tribulations, experiences and care to grow.

"The wind can come and do its best.  Blow me north and south, east and west.  But I'll still be standing" 

Stabilize your life by being clear about what you want.  Firmly stand up about what you believe and who you are.  That way no wind will blow you down.  It may bend and cause some surface damage but in the end you are still you and still standing.

"I gotta have roots before branches.  Before I know who I am, before I know who I wanna be.  Faith to take chances and live like I see a place in this world for me."

Never be afraid to take a chance and do what you feel is right.  The worse you can do is look back and learn a lesson from it, but be all the wiser for doing it.  Have the faith to do what you want and take that chance to live YOUR life!


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Do You Believe??



This is all my opinion and can be taken as you wish.  I am not a huge fan of religion, though I am consider myself spiritual.  Therefore while I know the story of Jesus, think it can be a pretty story, and I have a manger as part of my decorations, that is not what Christmas means to me.  With that being said, Christmas is my favorite time of year!

There is something about the sights, sounds, smells, and just the overall atmosphere around the season.  I love it all and don't get sick of it.  I even get a little sad when I see the countdown calendars to Christmas because I know it will be over soon.  While the actual day is great I enjoy the season as a whole more.  We can all get lost in the shopping, the presents, the weather, the traffic, and the cranky attitudes that sometime come around with it, but its also all part of the season and still adds to the atmosphere. 

Christmas has a sort of magic quality to it.  When you were little you can remember it more so than you do now I bet.  The idea of Santa Claus coming was always a mystery but also such an exciting thing.  You went and saw him at your local mall, wrote to him, and did your best to be good all year long.  All so that you would make his "Nice" list and get a present under the tree for him.  As you grow older you tend to stop believing in Santa and the logical side of your brain kicks in and says there is no way it is real.  Well I am here to tell you that he is as real as you and I.  And how do I know? Because he IS you and I. 

Through the years I have read many cute poems, stories, and seen many movies about the man in the red suit.  At times it has made me sad that I don't get that excited feeling Christmas Eve that he is coming and that I lost the belief in him being real.  When in reality he is the spirit of Christmas represented in all of us.  Christmas means love, kindness, gratitude, giving over receiving, family &  friends, magic, togetherness, and peace.  All of those things are what Santa Claus is and represents.  Santa, through all of us and all the parents around the world, helps to bring presents and watch the behavior of all of us throughout the year.  Santa is the feeling of happiness, joy, and comfort that we all feel in the air around Christmas.  It is the end of a year and it is time to look back at what has come and gone and spend that time with those in your life who mean a lot to you.  Why do you think when we watch movies like "Polar Express", "Miracle on 34th Street", "The Santa Clause", and even "Grinch" we all can't help but smile?  Because even though we may not be little children waiting for a man in a red suit to come down the chimney, we still FEEL Christmas and what he represents.

So asking if you believe in Santa is not necessarily if you believe in the actual person so much as if you believe in the true spirit of Christmas.  And in doing so you hold it in your heart throughout the whole year, not just for a month or so at the end of the year.  If you still believe and can still feel the magic of Christmas then you should be grateful and spread it to those around you.

Do the bells still ring for you?  Do you Still Believe?






Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Gratitude Challenge!


Welcome to the "Gratitude Challenge" from "Live YOUR Life" Blog!  Gratitude is one of the most important things you can practice on a daily basis to live a more positive and fulfilling life.

"Saying thank you is more than good manners.  It is good spirituality."  ~Alfred Painter

We all learned the magic words as a child to say "Thank You" and we know that it is good manners to say them after someone does something kind for you, helps you, or gives you something.  However the act of saying thanks and being grateful can unlock much more in our lives and open our eyes and minds up to the world that is around us.  You will be amazed at how your view of life changes once you truly put gratitude into practice and really mean it.  There is a reason "Thank You" has been dubbed the magic words; because they are.

The "Gratitude Challenge" will start December 1st and run for 12 days.  Sort of a 12 days of Christmas, if you will.  Each day there will be a small activity for you to try out to help you realize the things that you should be grateful for around you or perhaps just help to remind you of things you may have overlooked.  I urge you to follow along.  It is only 12 days and the activities will not be anything difficult or lengthy.

The activities will be posted on our Facebook Page, so please make sure that you have "Liked" the page so that you will receive the updates.   I would also be so grateful if you would share and pass this around on your own Facebook page as well as share the activities so that the attitude of gratitude will spread this season.  I will continue to edit this post to keep a tally of the activities so you can check back if you missed one, but the actual descriptions will only be posted on the Facebook page.  We are at 38 Likes now and I know there are more than 38 people that read this blog, so please make sure you click the "LIKE" button on the right hand side of this page to get updates for the "Gratitude Challenge" and further posts, quotes, and inspiration.  And PLEASE post your comments under each post with your thoughts and how you did for the day's challenge.

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The Gratitude Challenge 

Day 1 - Thank 3 people who make your life easier on a daily basis.
Day 2 - Thank 1 person who helped you through a dark/rough time in your life.
Day 3 - List 5 things, not people, that you are grateful for in your daily life.
Day 4 - Say "Thank You" to someone you have not spoken to in a while, but still appreciate.
Day 5 - Tell a difficult coworker that you appreciate them and compliment them.
Day 6 - Do a favor for someone today, just because you are grateful for them.
Day 7 - Think of a negative situation in your life and list 10 things you are grateful for because of it.
Day 8 - Throughout your day, mentally or out loud, say thank you to the objects you use that make your life a little easier.
Day 9 - Tell 9 people that you appreciate them today. Simple as that!
Day 10 - When you pay a bill or write a check, write "Thank You for ___"  Fill in the blank with whatever service the company or person provided you.
Day 11 - Write an old fashioned thank you letter or even email to someone.  Make it more than just a quick thank you.
Day 12 - Make a post on Facebook, or whatever social media outlet you prefer, saying what you are currently grateful for in your life.
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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Being Grateful


This time of year is always a great time to reflect on what you are thankful for in your life.  The power of gratitude is one of the most important things you can use in your life.  Gratitude is the magic that can change the way your life plays out in front of you and how you feel.  As most things that are talked about in this blog, the law of attraction plays a huge part in gratitude.  As Oprah's quote above states, you need to concentrate on what you have and not the lack of what you do not have.

By focusing on the lack in your life you are basically telling the universe that you want more lack.  You are putting all of your energy into worrying and complaining about what you do not have, therefore the universe has to present that.  Think about how you feel when you are concentrating on what is lacking in your life.  Do you feel good?  No.  Feelings are your body's way of telling you if you are on a positive or negative vibration.  Why would you want to do something that does not make you feel good?

Each new day is something to be thankful for.  You are alive!  You are here!  Start each day and simply say "Thank You".  Notice all the things around you.  The items in your house, the warm running water of your shower, your cup of coffee on the way to work, the air in your lungs and your eyes that show you the world around you, the traffic light that stayed green, the fellow commuter that let you in their lane, etc.  Do not simply focus on the major things that you should be grateful for, but rather everything!  Once you start to really focus and be thankful for all things in your life, more abundance and beauty will show up.  I promise you that if you really become aware of what is in your life, you will become immensely happy and have continually good days.  Like attracts like, as the law of attraction states.  Abundance, happiness, thankfulness, and positivity will attract all of those things back to you!

"You say grace before meals.  All right.  But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink."  ~G.K. Chesterton

Gratitude is the key that will open your life up to what it truly is and can be.  The power of 'thank you' is more than you may realize.  This doesn't mean just saying it to other people, but to everything in the world around you, even yourself.  Even in tough times there are things to be thankful for.  You are still here and made it through those times.  So be thankful for the "bridge" that carried you to the other side.  Make it a challenge to yourself to look for things throughout your day that you should be grateful for.  Saying thank you is not just a matter of manners, it is a matter of a true appreciation of life.


Stay tuned for the "Live YOUR Life" blog's Gratitude Challenge...get ready to say 'THANK YOU' to the world!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Happy




"The constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness.  You have to catch it for yourself" 
- Benjamin Franklin



The feeling of happy is something that we all enjoy and want to feel more of.  However, what does it mean to be happy?  It is the same for everyone?  What makes you happy?  There really is no right or wrong answer.  Each of us has our own people, situations, and things that make us feel happy.  Happy can be defined as pleasure, joy, contentment, achievement, fortune, or being lucky. 

Many spend their life trying to find happiness which is a waste of your time here on earth.  You need to stop and be grateful for what you have in this moment.  And realize that even the smallest things in life bring joy.  The sun shining on your face, your dog sitting at your feet while you read, the calming sound of the rain on the windows, the color and smell of the flowers, and the smile from a stranger.  All those things are worth taking a second to notice and realize that you can be happy now with what you have...not when and if something happens.  Happiness is something you feel and discover from within yourself, not something you seek from others because you feel you lack it and only they can fill that void.  Likewise you cannot seek it from material things.  You have heard the phrase, "money doesn't buy happiness", well it is true.  You have to be happy with what you have now and not with what you could have.  If you are constantly waiting to be happy then you are missing out on your life now.

Happy may mean something completely different to you and I.  In the documentary "Happy", the filmmakers travel the globe to see what happy means to different people and cultures.  A village that some may consider poverty stricken actually showed higher levels of joy and contentment with life than the thriving and more financially fortunate lives of people in a first world country.  They appreciated their daily life, the relationships among each other, and the time they spent together and with the world around them.  That is not to say that those of us in a more financially fortunate culture are not happy.  But it just continues to prove the point that happiness comes from within and gratitude from what you have, not what you don't.  The film is available to view on Netflix and purchase from www.thehappymovie.com.  It is worth a watch.

Take a moment today to list 5 things that you are happy about now.  Continue this practice every day, if you wish, and you will see how much in your life you truly have to be happy for.  Smile and enjoy life and remember that happy is a state of being that only you can control and bring to yourself.  Don't worry, be happy!


"People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness.  Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost."  ~H. Jackson Brown

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"The Optimist Creed"






Thank you all for the success of the "12 Days of Optimism"!  The blog saw more views over those twelve days than it has since it started.  Here is the full Optimist Creed, written by Christian D. Larson in the early 1900s.  Even over 100 years ago the power of positive thinking was well known and relevant.  Read it, print it out, and live it in your daily life.


The Optimist Creed

I promise myself...

To be so strong that nothing can disturb my peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person I meet.

To male all of my friends feel that there is something worthwhile in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make my optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as I am about my own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear cheerful expressions at all times and give a smile to every living creature I meet.

 To give so much time to improving myself that I have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of myself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud words, but in great deeds.

To live in the faith that the whole world is on my side, so long as I am true to the best that is in me.

- Christian D. Larson

Monday, October 22, 2012

12 Days of Optimism, Day 12: The Best ME


"I promise myself...to live in the faith that the whole world is on my side, so long as I am true to the best that is in me"

Today is the last day of the "12 Days of Optimism".  It is fitting that it ends with this affirmation.  You need to live with the belief that everything happens for a reason and life really is on your side.  Because you are the one that determines your life.  As long as you go around each day practicing the power of positive thinking, realizing your value, and being kind to others the world will reflect that back to you.  

No one is out to get you.  Things happen to you because you focus on them and let them happen.  React positively to every event in your life and find the reason and meaning in it.  You are the best "me" that you can be at all times, as long as you are aware of it.  Awareness of your own personal greatness will help you live a full and happy life. Proclaim to the world that "I am the best ME!"

Sunday, October 21, 2012

12 Days of Optimism, Day 11: Good Deeds

 
"I promise myself...to think well of myself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud words, but in great deeds."

One of the greatest things you can do to make yourself feel happy and show the world how good you feel about yourself is to help others.  This can be as simple as holding the door open for someone, letting someone pass on the highway, or cleaning the kitchen up for your spouse after they are done cooking a meal for you both.  It can also mean going to volunteer at your favorite charity or local organization.  It is doing something that takes time to help the needs of another.
 
Doing great deeds shows those around you that you are a giving person who values the world we all live in and the happiness of others as much as your own.  I challenge you to find a local group or organization that you can volunteer to help with for as little as once a month.  Go donate stuff to the Goodwill which you no longer use.  Recycle, or start a recycling program in your apartment complex.  Help serve food at a soup kitchen.  Take tickets and admission at a local fair or event.  Help set up a community event.  The opportunities are endless.  But I can guarantee not only will you shine as someone who is happy with their life, you will make someone else happy which is one of the greatest rewards on earth, greater than any material thing.
 
"Fashion your life as a garland of beautiful deeds." - Buddha

Saturday, October 20, 2012

12 Days of Optimism, Day 10: To be too...


"I promise myself...to be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble."

The point of today's affirmation is that you act in a way that is above the negative things around you.  Realize that you are better than things like worry, anger, and far.  Instead, radiate so much happiness and positive thinking that you have no time for the others.

Value yourself and how much you can actually do and control in your life.  Giving in to negative things will just take you one giant step back further from a happier life.  Hold yourself higher than the things that try to bring you down.

Friday, October 19, 2012

12 Days of Optimism, Day 9: Time






"I promise myself...to give so much time to improving myself that I have no time to criticize others."

Sadly many of us spend way too much time judging, criticizing, and comparing others to ourselves.  Doing that has two negative impacts on our daily life.  First of all by comparing yourself to someone else you are essentially telling yourself that you are not worthy or good enough because you need to find your value by judging someone else. Second, by nature judging and criticizing are negative thoughts about another person.  When you are constantly thinking negatively you are putting the vibrations of all your thoughts on a negative wavelength.  Therefore you are attracting more negative to your own life.  It will become a vicious cycle.

You cannot change the way someone acts, speaks, or thinks.  No matter how hard you try you simply cannot.  The only person you can work on changing is yourself.  So instead of wasting your time trying to improve someone else to what you think they should be, how about working on the most important thing in your life...YOU!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

12 Days of Optimism, Day 8: Smile






"I promise myself...to wear a cheerful expression at all times and give a smile to every living creature I meet."

The message for today is simple...SMILE!  Walk around and smile at everyone you come in contact with.  Smiles are contagious and make you feel good.  They are such a simple thing yet help communicate to the world and yourself that you are happy!

You choose your life and  how you feel, so why not choose happiness?!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

12 Days of Optimism, Day 7: Forget the Past


"I promise myself...to forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future."

We are always taught to remember the past and learn from our mistakes.  While that is true to learn from past experiences and do better the next time, it is also causing people to focus too much on the past.  People live with worry, regret, and a desire to change what has been done.  The reality is that you cannot change what has happened.  Sometimes the past hurts, but it's done and gone now.  Working to try and change the path is a battle you will lose no matter how hard you try.  It will just cause you to live a life of sadness and anger.  

"Trying to change the past is a battle which only leads to more pain, despair and unhappiness.  It simply cannot be won and leads you away from true personal happiness." - RL 

In my past post about how you should Finish Your Day, I talk about the importance of accepting what has happened and looking at tomorrow as a new day full of adventure and life.  Living in the past causes you to miss out on what is happening to you now.  So end your day, forgive yourself and those who caused you pain, learn from the mistake, and accept it.  Then go on to tomorrow and live YOUR life!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

12 Days of Optimism, Day 6: Ethusiasm


"I promise myself...to be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as I am about my own."

When you share in the success and celebratory moments of others it makes you feel just as happy.  Another one of my favorite episodes of Oprah's Lifeclass was "Joy Rising".  It was a weekly episode in which she showed moments of others receiving life changing gifts, reunions, and joyful moments.  The interesting reaction and point of it was to see how you reacted to seeing others happiness.  You could not sit there and not help but smile, cry, and just feel genuinely happy for the other person.  It is just as rewarding to see someone else happy and truly feel happy for them as it is to have something just as joyful happen to you.

Next time someone gets praise at work, an award, a gift, or just is having a great day you should celebrate it with them.  Like attracts like, happy attracts happy.  Life is worth celebrating it and we are all in this together so let's all feel joy together.

Monday, October 15, 2012

12 Days of Optimism, Day 5: To think, work, & expect


"I promise myself...to think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best."

The power of positive thinking will take you far in life.  That is what the meaning of this optimistic affirmation is.  If you go through your day thinking of positive things, working towards positive outcomes and expecting positive things then life has no choice but to bring those things to you.

When you wake up and say to yourself "this is going to be a great day and things are going to go my way", you are already putting your frequency on a positive wave.  By law of attraction more positive things will come to you because like attracts like. Why would you want to go around always expecting the worse and work towards mediocrity?  What benefit would that have in your life?  None!  Expect greatness because you are greatness manifested!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

12 Days of Optimism, Day 4: The Sunny Side

"I promise myself...to look at the sunny side of everything and make my optimism come true."

The whole point of optimism is to look at the glass half full, or look on the sunny side of things. That means going through each day finding and appreciating the good all around you. This means positive thinking, gratitude and joy is embedded in every word and action throughout your day.

So I challenge you to really become aware of what you are thinking and doing each day. Smile at each person you come in contact with. Compliment those around you. Pause and take a moment to look at all the beauty around you. Ask the universe for your day sunny side up!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

12 Days of Optimism, Day 3: Friends





"I promise myself...to make all my friends feel that there is something worthwhile in them."

Friends are one of the greatest gifts we have.  They are the people we choose to surround ourselves with and who are there for us no matter what.  We also have many levels of friends. Some very close and some regular acquaintances.  Either way they are still people we value in our lives and who make us happy to be around them.

Humans have a natural need and desire to feel wanted.  We all want to feel that we matter and are important to someone else.  So when was the last time you told your friends or those you loved that you cared about them?  When did you really take a moment to let them know that you appreciate them and are thankful they are in your life?  Do your actions towards them represent how you feel about them?

One of my favorite episodes of Oprah's Lifeclass was called "Do your eyes light up?"  The basic premise of the episode was to make you think about how you react when your child, spouse, partner, friend, etc enter the room.  Do your eyes light up?  Do they know you are happy to see them?  Think about this the next time you see someone that you are grateful is a part of your life.  Make sure you show them in words and actions how much they mean to you.  Making someone else feel valued and loved brings the same feelings back to you.  That's what friends are for! 


Friday, October 12, 2012

12 Days of Optimism, Day 2: To Talk


"I promise myself...to talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person I meet."

I have talked a lot about positive thinking and mindset throughout this blog.  Speaking positively is just as important.  No matter who you come into contact with in your daily life you should be able to speak to them in a kind and and positive manner.

You can look at this as karma.  If you wish health, happiness, and wealth to someone then it will come around back to you.  This is basically the law of attraction again.   What you speak about you bring about.  If you go through your day finding the good in each person, complimenting others, wishing them a good day, celebrating their wins, etc then I can promise you that you will feel great!  It feels good to help and raise others up.  Think of how great you feel when someone says hello and wishes you a good morning, when someone compliments your outfit or when someone gives you recognition for something you have done.  It feels so great to be spoken to positively so why not give that same great feeling to others?

Think, Speak, and Act positively and you will receive it back tenfold.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

"12 Days of Optimism" Introduction and Day 1: Peace of Mind


Welcome to "12 Days of Optimism"!  I will be posting 12 short daily lessons to help put you in a more optimistic attitude in your life.  This is based off the "Optimist's Creed" by Christian D. Larson.  I became aware of this through the website for "The Secret".  You can locate a printable version of the whole creed on their website.  Christian D. Larson was one of the most prominent new thought authors of the early 1900s.  He was very big into promoting the power of the mind and how in control of our thoughts we were.  This creed was part of his work "Your Forces and How To Use Them" in 1912. 

So please enjoy these 12 lessons and really try to apply them to your daily life.  I would be grateful as well if you would share the links and messages around your Facebook and other social media sites.  I just ask you please credit them to this blog.  Thank you and enjoy!

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"I promise myself...to be so strong that nothing can disturb my peace of mind."

As we have talked about many times on this blog, we are in control of what we think and how we react to the situations around us.  This first part of the creed refers to being so mentally strong and at peace with who you are as a person that you don't need the judgment or outside situation to prove who you are.  Understand the true value that you are to yourself and the world around you.  Know that you are worth it and by feeling that way that you will attract good situations and people into your life.

Peace of mind is not always easy to achieve when it seems the world is coming down around you.  But you need to remember that you are the one that reacts to things and causes them to be a negative or positive impact on you.  If you go into a situation with the confidence that you can handle it, it won't get the best of you and you will remain strong.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Mayo Jar and Two Beers.




This has been going around the internet lately.  It was posted on Facebook by CHJ Financial.  It is a great way to look at life and what is important in it.  So here I give you the lesson of the mayonaise jar and two beers:


"When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 Beers.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.
When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full.

They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly.

The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was
Full.

They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.

Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He asked once more if the jar was full..

The students responded with a unanimous 'yes.'

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.

The students laughed..

'Now,' said the professor as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things---your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car..

The sand is everything else---the small stuff.

'If you put
The sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.

The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Spend time with your children.

Spend time with your parents.

Visit with grandparents.

Take your spouse out to dinner.

Play another 18.

There will always be time to clean the house and mow the lawn.

Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter.

Set your priorities.

The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented.

The professor smiled and said, 'I'm glad you asked.'

The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of Beers with a friend."


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fear...



Fear is something we all have felt and dealt with in our lives.  It is something that can bring about a wide range of emotions.  The fear I want to talk about in this entry is that in which stopping you from doing something that you want to or should do.  When that situation arises the voice in your head gives you a million reasons why you should not go ahead and do it.  The problem is that we listen to that voice too much and in many cases the reasons are completely illogical.

Think about a time when you were afraid to talk to someone, ask someone out, or confront someone.  That voice starts firing off the "What if..." statements.  "What if they don't like what I have to say?" "What if I mess up what I'm trying to say?" "What if what I have to say makes this person upset?" "What if they say 'no'?"  And the list goes on.  We all know that voice and know it fires off at a rapid pace all the crazy possibilities.  However, the funny thing is that you really have no way to know how the situation will go nor do you have any control on how the other person will react, because that is their choice how they react to the situation.  It has been talked about many times on this blog that you control the way you react to a situation in your life.  So it still applies here.

Another ironic thing with fear is that the people who sit around and worry about all the negative things that can happen are actually harming themselves more than the thing they are so afraid of.  Worrying is a negative emotion that, per the law of attraction, can only bring more worry and negativity into your life.  It is actually better to believe that you are strong enough to deal with what comes to you and just face your fear.  That way you know the result and are in more control of your reaction to it then sitting around wondering. 

Facing your fear can actually be one of the most empowering things in life.  Just think about a time you accomplished something you were afraid or nervous of.   Wasn't it such a great and satisfying feeling when you did?  Didn't you feel so good about yourself and what you can achieve?  So why not choose to feel this feeling over worry and anxiety?  Look at the quote above again.   Yes you can be safe sitting back and not doing anything that takes risks or guts.  But you were also not put on this earth to not sail the seas of life and explore and use yourself for your full potential.

"Don't sit around saying 'I should have done that'...just do it!  You can always look back and say, 'I shouldn't have done that." - Cher

We have all heard the 'live as if you were dying' quotes and speeches.  That is the attitude you have to have.  Live each day as if it is your last.  Dance like a fool.  Dream like a child.  Love with all of your being.  Take chances and be adventurous.  Live YOUR Life!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sandpaper...



When someone hurts you with words or actions many of us let that really affect us.  And by affecting us it changes the way we live our life.  As I have said before in many past blog entries such as "Finish Your Day", you need to be able to accept that it happened and move on with your life.  In the last entry we talked about the power of forgiveness.  This rings true in regards to this post too.  When people are mean or hurtful to you it is a choice they made and a reflection of how they think of themselves.  So by forgiving them and taking that burden away from your life you are left with a life of happiness and enjoyment by living with direction towards joy.

Read the starting quote again and really think about it.   When you or someone else acts negatively towards another then you are doing nothing but bringing more negativity in your life.  After a while the "scratching" runs out and you are left with nothing because of how badly you value yourself when you treat others with hate.  Treating someone else bad never results in you feeling better about yourself.  It just results in more situations being presented to you that will result in you acting and thinking negatively.  This means that you are filling your life with more hate than love.  Now I know people will upset you and do bad things to you, but taking the higher road shows that you think better about yourself and your happiness.  Think about a time you treated someone badly, did you really feel better afterward? Chances are maybe for a split second you may have got a feeling of satisfaction or accomplishment, but if you dig deeper I bet you also felt a little empty and bad about what you said.  Humans are meant to love and be happy, that is why those feelings feel good.  So why choose the opposite which doesn't?



Love and respect are two of the most important things you can impart in your life on a daily basis.  If you walk around with an attitude of love and really look at all the amazing things in the world there is no reason to bring hate into it.  If you don't agree or care for someone then let it be.  It does neither party any good to express the negative towards each other.  Instead accept the fact that you have differences and that is what makes life interesting.  And also realize that you have a choice who you let in your life and how they affect it.  So next time you are in a situation where someone treats you badly or speaks poorly to you, realize it is their issue not yours.  And instead try to show them love in return so you can help that "sandpaper" from becoming useless and empty.


Friday, September 14, 2012

When you Forgive...



Forgiveness is one of the best attributes to have and one of the best ways to shift your life into a more positive light.  Oprah's Lifeclass show has many themes based on forgiveness and Iyanla Vanzant is one of the key speakers on the topic.  Her new show "Iyanla, Fix My Life" premieres on OWN next week and is all about helping people get over the junk in their past and move on with their lives. (Shameless plug, but I love OWN and really think you need to watch the shows on it if you have not yet)  So many people live in regret, anger, and sadness over something that either they did to another person or something that was done to them.  However what seems to prevent people from moving on is that they can't forgive themselves or the people who caused them the pain.  

Saying you forgive someone does not mean that you are justifying or okay with what happened but that you value your own happiness enough to move on with your life, which in the end is the only thing you have control over.  Many times you may be harboring anger or other feelings about something that happened and thinking that the other person is too.  When actually they may have already moved on and are not losing sleep over it.  So in reality denying forgiveness in your life is essentially denying your happiness and peace in your own life.  I have mentioned the quote before from Buddha that states, "Anger is like holding a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone, you are the one who gets burned."  You have no control over how the other person reacts to what you have done or what they did to you.  The only thing you can do is accept that it happened, forgive all involved including yourself, see the lesson, and move on with your life.  As with many posts on this blog I have stated that you can't change the past.  No matter how hard you may try to and think that you can it is a losing battle.  So why not put your energy towards today and how your life is now, which is something you can control.

Take a moment and think of someone you are upset with, something you did to someone else that you feel bad about, some event or circumstance that caused you hardship.  Now take a deep breath and let it go.  Forgive what happened.  You don't have to agree with what happened or commend it; instead just accept that it happened and you are no longer living in that moment.  Realize how precious life is now and show yourself how much value you have by making a stand to be happy now.  Forgiveness is not for others, it is for ourselves.





Monday, September 3, 2012

Traveling vs. Arriving



The principles of Buddha resonate with me.  They are not religious and do not promote praising a higher being.  The higher being is yourself, heaven is your life on earth and in you, happiness and suffering are all results of your actions and thoughts.  There is so much knowledge and life lessons through Buddhist teaching and I will include several as this blog goes on.  

With that being said, the lesson for today is that life is not about the destination, it is about the journey.  Many of us get caught up in goals, events, expectations and future happiness upon reaching a certain achievement.  By living this way you lose the joy of now.  Today is the amazing gift we are all given.  We are not guaranteed tomorrow and therefore have to be cautious not to constantly live as if tomorrow is going to happen and only then will you be happy.  I am sure you have heard people say, "I will be so happy when...", "I just need to get this one thing taken care of and then I'll be happy.", "Once I pay this bill off I'll be happy", and so on.  Sadly when living this way you are depriving yourself of the joy and beauty that is the life your in now; in this moment.  Yes those things will be great when they happen and there is nothing wrong with celebrating them when they come, but do not get so caught up in getting to that moment that you let this moment pass you buy.  So you have a big bill you are trying to pay off? So your day started out bad? So you have to lose 20 pounds?...this will all happen if you stay in the now and live in the moment.  Being happy and acting positively now, will bring positive results, actions, and circumstances into your life via the law of attraction.  Worry, wondering, obsessing over what is coming or what is going to happen will only fog your mind from living a truly happy life.

Take a moment to take each day as it is and the amazing journey that you travel through.  Appreciate the people that you come in contact with each day, the food you fuel your body with, the beauty of nature around you.  Time will pass and your future "thing" will most likely still happen, but why not enjoy yourself along the way??  It is better to look back and say you lived and loved to the fullest rather than wishing and aiming to do it soon.  Life is too precious to count on what could happen.  Instead of saying someday, say TODAY!

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Finish Your Day...

"Finish every day and be done with it.  You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can.  Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your nonsense." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every one of us has good and bad days.  Things happen, sometimes in our control and sometimes unexpected.  Many of us also have a tendency of letting those things linger for much longer than the moment they happened, sometimes for the rest of our lives.  Living in the past does nothing but keep you in that emotional and negative energy state of that moment.  We all make mistakes and wrong choices; no one is perfect.  So as much as we try to drive down a smooth road, there are going to be bumps and potholes.  The key to is to keep moving forward and look at those things in the rear view mirror as lessons and things you no longer have control over. You cannot changed what happened no matter how much you want to think you can.  Forgiveness and moving on with your life is the only remedy for a bad event in the past.  As in one of my previous posts, "Anyone can make a new ending.", you really do have control over your life and how you react to it.  Instead of changing the past why not change the ending to your story and move on with life instead of living in regret or wishing you would have done something different.  Because the fact of the matter is you did do it and it did happen.  No amount of wishing, crying, anger, or depression will make time go backwards and the event not happen.

So when you end your day do just that, end it.  Accept and show gratitude for what has happened and the lessons it brought.  Then begin tomorrow with a complete notion of the gift that is a new day.  For what you did yesterday is now history.  Go into the new day with gratitude and positive energy.  By controlling how you feel and respond to a new day you are controlling your life.  Finish your day so you can live YOUR life!

en.wikipedia.org

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

"I Was Here"

On World Humanitarian Day, August 19th,  Beyonce and the United Nations teamed up to spread the message of "I Was Here".  This a song that is on her latest album "4".  The song is about making your mark in the world and in someone else's life before you leave this life.  She taped a beautiful music video set in the UN General Assembly room. I have had the pleasure of taking a tour of the UN and being in this room.  It is a neat place to see knowing that decisions are made, that have affected the well being of our lives, in that room.  So I am writing this post to help you stop and think about how you are or how you could make an impact in someone else's life.

"I want to leave my footprints on the sands of time, know there was something that I left behind.  When I leave this world, I'll leave no regrets, leave something to remember..."

 As you go throughout your day really start to think about how your actions are affecting the world around you.  One of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves is to be in the service of others.  Helping someone else gives a inner joy that is hard to match.  I know you all can think of some time that you helped someone else, big or small, and the satisfaction you felt for doing it just for the sake of being kind.  Don't regret any decision that you made to help someone even if they didn't return the favor.  Know that you did it expecting no return and just because it was right.

"I want to say I've lived each day until I die.  And know that I meant something in somebody's life.  The hearts that I touched will be the proof that I leave that I made a difference and this world will see..."

Live each day as if it will be your last.  No one is guaranteed time.  Tell those you love that you love them on a regular basis.  Act silly and laugh as often as you can without embarrassment.  Make it a challenge to yourself to do at least one kind thing for someone else every day.  Do that thing you have always wanted to do, even if you are afraid.  As the title of this blog states, Live YOUR Life!  Don't worry about other's opinions or perceptions just do what you want to do and what makes you happy.  When I went to see Cher in concert she shared this little bit of wisdom, "Don't sit around thinking should I or should I not do it, just DO IT.  You can always look back and say, 'I shouldn't have done that!'".  

"I just want them to know that I gave my all, did my best, brought someone some happiness. I left this world a little better because I was here.  I lived, I loved. I did, I've done everything that I wanted and it was more than I thought it would be...I was here."

Head over to http://www.whd-iwashere.org/ to learn more about World Humanitarian Day, see Beyonce's performance of this song, and suggestions for things you can do to help the world around you.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

After the storm...the spiritual path begins




I am not a huge religious person, mostly because I was not brought up that way and just never really felt that there was one I related to.  I do consider myself a Buddhist over anything else.  However, without getting too deep into it, I do believe that religions all preach the same core beliefs of love, compassion, humility, and living a fulfilling life.  Sadly religion is also one of the most misinterpreted and conflict causing issues on earth.  With that being said, becoming more spiritual is often confused with being religious.  When in fact it is not the same.  Discovering your own spirituality is about becoming more aware and deliberate about connecting with your thoughts, way of life, and the way you perceive the world around you.  A person, including myself, is usually triggered to take this new path in life through a hard fall or fail.

"The spiritual path wrecks the body and afterwards restores it to health.  It destroys the house to unearth the treasure and with that treasure builds it better than before." - A Rumi Observation

A year ago I was coming out of a long term relationship and was a little lost and not sure who I really was. I had repressed it for a while and became a bitter angry person, especially in my relationship.  However once the relationship ended I felt it was time to embark on a new chapter in my life and write a new story.  This hard fall was my "house" being unearthed, leaving space for the treasure to present itself.  I have mentioned many times my love for Oprah's Lifeclass show and will state again that it is a must-see.  New episodes are showing right now on OWN.  Watch one and you will be hooked.  As this show came to me I started to feel a yearning inside to do and learn more about ME and life in general.  This was my treasure...a better self appreciation and spiritually full life.  Through the months books, shows, readings, blogs, quotes, and people came into my life all with the same underlying concepts of living a better life.  My path had been wrecked but my health was being restored.  I will post a blog soon with the specific details of my trip to see Lifeclass live in person.  But that was such a huge turning point and a time when I said "wow look what has manifested and come into my life!"  I would not have had many of the awakenings, 'ah-ha moments', new friendships and experiences had my life not fallen out from under me last year.  If you look at any famous or noteworthy person/accomplishment, it is almost always proceeded by a big flop or disappointment.  As mentioned before the amazing quote by Bishop T.D. Jakes proclaims, "The greater the digression the greater the progression."

"Dormant forces, faculties, and talents come alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you every dreamed yourself to be." - Patanjali, Hindu Philosopher

You will be amazed, as I have been, what things come out of this new awareness.  I have discovered so much about myself and know I am just getting started.  I realized how great life and myself already are and how much greater it can get.  Wayne Dyer states that, "when we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change."  That sums it up.  Life is as you perceive it and by changing the way you look at things and your personal beliefs about the world around you, the world around you changes to match it via the law of attraction.  Life is here for the taking and has no choice but to give you back what you give it!  I wish all of you well on your spiritual path and hope you continue to travel it through this blog and to share your experiences.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Power Symbols



Years ago I read "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne.  I really fell in love with the concept and think it was the book that set me on the path to learn more about life.  This past year I learned she had written a second book called "The Power".  I listened to the audio book and enjoyed it even more than the first.  "The Power" focuses on the strongest force on earth which is love.  Love, in all forms, towards all things in your life will bring love and happiness back to you.  In the second half of the book she describes the practice of picking a "power symbol".

A "Power Symbol" is any object of your choosing that will manifest itself in any form (written, video/tv, live, picture, spoken) when you are living and thinking on a level of love and positivity. It can be a sound, animal, color, word, etc.  For mine I chose a butterfly.  I choose this for a few reasons.  One they are not so common that you see them as much as say grass or leaves.  Two my favorite singer is Mariah Carey and her favorite symbol is a butterfly as well.  And thirdly they represent transformation, beauty, and also tend to bring smiles and a sense of happiness when seen.

Now once you have chosen your symbol you need to become aware of it and notice it when it appears. When you see it recognize what you are doing in that moment that is acting out of love and positivity.  It also helps to say thank you when you see it to keep your thoughts on a level of gratitude that it manifested itself at the right time.  I have seen my symbol on multiple occasions and it has begun to be fun to see it appear.  You cannot go around actively looking for it and forcing yourself to see it.  It will come if you just go on with your life practicing positive thinking and kindness towards yourself and others.  That first time you see it and recognize why it was shown to you, it will give you chills.

Adversely you can also pick a negative power symbol.  This is something that will manifest when you are not thinking on a level of good and maybe it is time to stop and steer your mind in a different direction.  I personally picked a snake.  I don't hate snakes but they are not my favorite and represent sneaky slithery bad thoughts.  I can tell you that a few months ago I was continually putting myself in a situation that was not fulfilling me emotionally but I kept doing it because I wanted it to work.  However the word snake was brought up in almost every conversation with this person and I still ignored it.  Well finally one day I was walking to my car and a very large black snake slithered across the middle of the parking lot in front me.  I had never seen a snake so out in the open in a big black paved lot like this before.  That moment made it all snap in my head and I realized I had been given this symbol as a sign to stop and evaluate my own happiness in regards to this situation.  The moment that happened I made the choice to not give this person in my life any more of my energy and time.  After doing that I felt so much happier and less stressed, and yes the next day a butterfly appeared on a commercial I was watching on tv, that I had never seen before.  I promise you it works.  Several of my friends whom I have told about this practice are now using their own symbols and reporting the same results.  When I see my symbol now I just smile and say thank you because I know I am on the right frequency with my thoughts.

So what will you pick for your symbol?  Why?  Leave a comment below and share.  Or if you have been using a symbol tell us what results you have had?