The countdown begins!.....3 days left until the New Year. It's a tradition for many to stop and examine what's working in their life, and what's not. Do you find yourself taking a closer look? What changes, if any, are you thinking about making? Personally I feel that changes can be made any day of the year, or any moment for that matter......not just when the calendar flips to a New Year. But for the sake of tradition, I do find myself asking a few questions. It just seems like an appropriate time to re-group, and to take an honest look at what changes can be made to enhance or enrich our lives. Are we spending time with people who are good for us? Are we good for them? Are we healthy? Could we be healthier? Are we giving back? Do we give at all? New Year's resolutions don't have to be huge life changing affairs. But we could at least promise ourselves that we'll do SOMEthing, as small as that may be, to better ourselves and the people around us. It's not that difficult. The details of our life could change, and most likely WILL change, by this time next year. I know we can't control everything, but if we knew we could control at least a part of that, why wouldn't we make an effort to do what we can to make it better?Make a promise to yourself that you will put forth the effort that it takes to do something that will enhance your life. If you desire something, find the energy to input the effort! How bad do you want it?
(Hint....I've found that adding a bit more humor to your life makes it easier!)
Haveyou everreceived an anonymous gift? As much as I love anonymous gift giving, I'm always taken back when I receive one! It doesn't happen very often, but when it does, it warms my heart. I received one yesterday and I'm already excited to do the same for someone else. It's such a simple, gratifying thing to do! Would you like to join me?Let's deliver holiday smiles through the act of giving......without expecting anything in return. When you give with the full intention of expecting nothing in return, you receive the ultimate reward....knowing that, on that day, you made one person a little happier. How great is that? What a perfect day to be able to do something for someone who cannot repay you, simply because they have no idea who to repay! Give because you want to, and for no other reason. Do it because it feels good. Henry Drummond once said that as you look back on your life, the moments that will stand out are the moments when you have done things for others.
Christmasis approaching, all the gifts will be open soon, and it will be time to say thanks. Here is a sweet, thoughtful, and easy way to say thank you to the giver. (I found this wonderful idea at HowDoesShe.com.)
Have your child make a Thank You drawing.
Take a photo of your child holding both the drawing and the present received.
Email the photo to the giver!
How sweet and easy is that?
I don't know about you, but I would LOVE to receive this kind of thank you! By the way, there are so many great ideas on this site. I love the neighbor Christmas gift ideas!If you have a minute, take a peek.
We are told over and over again to seek comfort. Comfort is good, right? Society encourages it. I encourage it as well. But I like to use my comfort zone as a reward, not a place to retreat to because I'm afraid to venture into a new place, or take on a new challenge. Comfort zones are awesome! They're familiar, and they're safe. But they can become stifling if we automatically retreat to them just to avoid a new challenge. First of all, remember that challenges are opportunities for growth! They test us and makes us better. There is no question that it can be a scary thing to take on a new challenge. But seriously, what is the worst thing that can happen? Is the worst case scenario really that bad? Messing up a few times isn't that big of a deal. We all make mistakes. Personally, I think it's a bigger mistake to find ourselves in a rut due to fear. We miss out on amazing opportunities. Opportunities that could open your eyes to new and exciting things. Don't allow yourself to get trapped in a zone that hinders your growth. There's a marvelous world out there! Check it out!
Today is a perfect day to start!
Off you go!
"One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again;
Good morning, and happy Monday!Do you have a busy week planned? How about socially? Are you planning any get-togethers with friends? You do know that the people you spend your time with will change your life in one way or another, right? Are you hanging out with cynics who deflate all your hopeful aspirations? There's no question that they'll try to take you down with them. So why would you allow these people to drain all of your good energy? They'll stifle your optimism in no time! If you are choosing to hang out with people who continue to suck the good stuff right out of you, you can change that! Make a decision to be more careful about who you spend your time with. It's difficult enough already to deal with life's stressors, sochoose to surround yourself with supportive people who encourage you. Leave the pessimists and doubters behind. You owe it to yourself to surround yourself with happy, successful people who want the same for you. You simply cannot replace the benefits that you'll receive. Then......please.....pass the good stuff on! Make a decision to do the same for someone else.
"You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes, and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins."
For the third straight year, Macy's is celebrating generosity and giving throughout the holiday season by declaring today, December 9th, as National Believe Day. Children across the country are invited to drop off their letters (stamped and addressed to Santa at the North Pole) in the "Believe" mailboxes at any Macy's store. For each letter received, Macy's will contribute up to $1 million to the Make-A-Wish Foundations. However, TODAY, Macy's has increased the donation to $2 per letter received in celebration of National Believe Day. It is their goal to inspire others to act in generous and kindhearted ways.
Write your letter today, telling Santa why YOU believe, and drop it off at your nearest Macy's. Together, Macy's and the Make-A-Wish Foundation will help grant more than 55 wishes across the country to create a day of Wishes Across America for children with life-threatening medical conditions. Wishes Across America was created to inspire others to embrace the spirit of goodwill and make a difference in their own community.
Last evening I was going over my to-do list for the week and it was a little daunting. Doable, but daunting. Believe it or not, for me, the best part about having a list like this is having a deadline. I love and need deadlines, or I procrastinate. There is no doubt that I am the type of person who will put off today what I know can be done tomorrow. If it can wait, it waits. However, give me a deadline and I'm on it. . . . with pleasure, actually. I am at my best under pressure. So just tell me when you need it, and you got it. It is shocking to me how much can be completed when you think it needs to be "turned in." But give me all day to do an assignment that can wait, and it'll take me 3 days to do it. So it's good for me to set self-imposed deadlines.
Bed needs to be made by 8:00.
Dishwasher emptied by 8:20.
Daily workout must be done by 9:45.
Dry cleaning picked up by 11:20.
All mail opened, and either shredded or organized by 12:15.
Bills paid and office organized by 1:30.
Online Christmas orders placed by 2:15.
Laundry is due at 3:00.
That shirt......ironed by 3:45.
Actually, I know that sounds weird, and realistically I don't spend every moment watching the clock, but I think you get my point. I love the pleasure of completed tasks. Leaving things undone is a stressor for me, so in order to put things behind me, I need the pressure of a deadline. And.... did I tell you? I also self-impose rewards! Get 'er done Con., and you get to soak in a hot bubble bath, or pour yourself a glass of wine, or even better.......both!
"The ultimate inspiration is the deadline."
There is nothing like reaching the end of the day and enjoying that feeling of completed tasks. It's amazing how much better that hot bath feels when you can not only let your body relax, but your mind as well.
Yesterday was such a great day! I started my day with yoga which always makes me feel so refreshed, enlightened, strong, and s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d. It was just what I needed to get a jump on what was shaping up to be a very busy day of errands. Even though it was raining and gloomy most of the day, it changed to snow just as I walked out of the grocery store and loaded my car. Our first, beautiful, significant snowfall of the season! My Christmas lights are up, and when I pulled into my driveway last night, it was absolutely beautiful! I stopped before pulling into my garage and just sat there, smiling. I wasfeeling the beauty of Christmas!
It looked and felt like this........
My beautiful, sweet nephew was born! His name is Arie. Isn't he precious? I can't wait to meet him today!
So needless to say, I had a very productive day, which is always good for me. And that, in addition to the news of my new nephew was all I needed to make my heart sing. Gotta love days like these!
As we struggle with shopping lists, invitations, crowded malls, obligations, and a huge to-do list, it is good to be reminded to slow down when things get hectic. You don't have to say yes to everything! You don't have to find the "perfect gift" or plan the "perfect party." It's better to lower your expectations and be surprised when things turn out better than planned, than to have expectations that are too high, only to be let down when things don't prove to be perfect. Web MD says....."shorten your list of holiday to-dos and relax your inner Martha." Have realistic expectations when entering the shopping mall, plan ahead, stick to your budget, and remember that you won't be able to control everything. And you certainly won't be able to control the amount of holiday stress that others are experiencing. But you can control how prepared you are, and how you react to stressful situations. Stress believes that everything is an emergency. Nothing is that important. Just take a step back, regroup, and breathe.
Let's do this......sit quietly and observe. When we're overly busy and stressed out, we overlook just how beautiful the Christmas atmosphere really is. See that? It's a beautiful thing.
With Thanksgiving approaching tomorrow, many of us will be spending time with family. It promises to be a wonderful day of plenty, with lots of good food, football, family and relaxation. It's a day off to celebrate the bounty, and to remind ourselves of all we are grateful for, so I'm hoping that we don't forget to count our blessings. Here's an easy one.....how about being grateful that Thanksgiving is not a particularly expensive holiday? There are no gifts involved, so we should remember to be thankful for that! I hope you are grateful for the person who is kind enough to cook the annual bird for you. All of the images of a perfect turkey are golden brown on the outside, and juicy on the inside, so it's quite possible that the person preparing your meal is feeling a little bit of pressure! Don't forget to thank them when you are enjoying your feast!
Did you know that being grateful is good for your health? People who are habitually grateful tend to be more optimistic, they enjoy life to a higher degree, and they appreciate things with little effort. It's an amazing resource that we all have, and we can use it to improve our quality of life! So when the holiday is over, try to remember to make gratefulness a part of your daily life. Counting your blessings doesn't just cheer you up -- it can improve your health and well being.
"Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart."
"I'm a survivor. I'm a woman with tremendous inner resources and resilience. I care about people. I believe in 'Do unto others as you would have others do unto you,' and I live by that. I am becoming authentic, and that's important to me. I have surpassed both my parents in terms of emotional stability, happiness and well-being. And I'm a lucky woman. I've deserved my luck."
-Jane Fonda, actress
"I never regret anything. Because every little detail of your life is what made you into who you are in the end."
-Drew Barrymore, actress
"I don't know what to make of fate. I certainly don't think you can predetermine things. It feels like if you go out of your way to try to make something happen, it rarely does. But if you allow for good things to happen, them seem to. I think a lot of that is more perception, you know? A lot of people would take getting rear-ended in their car as an example of why their life continues to be one road block after another, and I think a different person can see that same fender bender and be grateful it wasn't worse. That allows them an opportunity to learn something from it--sort of take some sort of positive element from that. I think if you try to angle your life in those ways, then fate, destiny, karma open itself up to you and allows for more growth."
-Neil Patrick Harris, actor
"I believe luck is preparation meeting opportunity. If you hadn't been prepared when the opportunity came along, you wouldn't have been lucky."
"You know it's love when all you want is that person to be happy, even if you're not part of their happiness."
Hi! I'm Connie. Thank you for visiting my blog. I am using this space to share words of encouragement, lift spirits, inspire others, and share beautiful photography. It is my hope that I can make a difference in the lives of others, by encouraging them to make the most of theirs.
"If you are not spending all of your waking life in discontent, worry, anxiety, depression, despair, or consumed by other negative states; if you are able to enjoy simple things like listening to the sound of the rain or the wind; if you can see the beauty of clouds moving across the sky or be alone at times without feeling lonely or needing the mental stimulus of entertainment; if you find yourself treating a complete stranger with heartfelt kindness without wanting anything from him or her . . . it means that a space has opened up, no matter how briefly, of alive peace, even though it may be subtle. . . . ."
"So when you appreciate something simple - a sound, a sight, a touch - when you see beauty, when you feel loving kindness toward another, sense the inner spaciousness that is the source and background to that experience. . . . ."
"Be still. Look. Listen. Be present."
So many books...so little time
A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink
Be by Kobi Yamada
Believe by Dan Zadra & Kobi Yamada
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Infinite Possibilities by Mike Dooley
Live Good by Kobi Yamada
Making Your Dreams Come True by Marsha Weider
Talking Like The Rain - a children's book of poetry - Illustrated by Jane Dyer
The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz
The Little Things by Kobi Yamada
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
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