Failure – The Path to Success

Moving forward“I failed my way to success”

~Thomas Edison

I chuckled when I first read this quote from Thomas Edison.  Then, as I thought about it some more, I realized that this little 6-word quote contains a great commentary on our collective concept of failure

 

Read on……

Our Unique Story – Live and Learn With Compassion

Your unique storyI ran across this post on Facebook.  It’s easy to get so wrapped up in our own stories that we forget that everyone has their own unique story.

Think of the times when you have looked at someone and made a quick assumption, quickly followed by judgment.  Did you look into that person’s eyes?  Did you touch their soul?  Did you hear their story?

Learn it with compassion.  Forgive with open-heartedness.. And above all, love.

Think Positive Words

The Discomfort of the Unknown

The unknownI was chatting with a close family member recently, and she described what a difficult time she was having making some decisions about what to do next in her life.  She was poised at a transition point and considering many variables, was consumed with the process – it occupied her thoughts throughout the day – and she was understandably exhausted.  I felt badly for her, because I knew that she felt extraordinarily uncomfortable in that limbo that often exists before you make big decisions.

Read on……

The Difficult Conversation – An Opportunity for Personal Growth

ArgumentI was meeting with a colleague the other day, and she described an experience she had while trying to have a conversation with people who displayed some rigidity in their beliefs.  One of the challenges for her was that rigid thinking is the antithesis of who she is, so trying to have this conversation was very difficult. But she expressed how this also provided her with the opportunity to engage in a difficult discussion with gentleness.  As soon as she used those words, I stopped listening and started to REALLY pay attention. Read on……

Spring Cleaning Your Inner World – Letting Go of Bad Habits

CrocusEven though spring officially began on March 20th, today, March 31st, is the first day that has really felt like spring to me.  All of the snow has melted, the rain has stopped, the sun is shining, and the temperature has hit 60°F. It feels as though I have been waiting for this for years, after such a long, cold snowy Northeast winter. I feel like celebrating, making big changes. I’m motivated. Now what? Spring cleaning? Read on……

Midlife Transitions: What’s Next After Retirement, Layoffs or ?

Choices question markFor many women, midlife, which is often described as anywhere from 40-60 (give or take a few years on either end), includes work-related changes with the pains and joys specific to that transition.  For some, “early” retirement is right around the corner, while for others, corporate downsizing has resulted in forced lay-offs.  Some midlife women are re-thinking the jobs and careers that they have been committed to for years, while some are considering re-entering the workforce after a long absence, or even entering the workforce for the first time.  These transitions often leave women feeling a bit lost and rudderless, and not without some fears.  A recent discussion in the online women’s magazine, Vibrant Nation (VN), really brought this home as women commented on midlife work-related challenges, along with some of the solutions they’ve come up with related to these challenges.  Read on and see if any of this resonates with you…….. Read on……

Choosing Your Thoughts

Thoughts“There is no condition so severe that you cannot reverse it by choosing different thoughts. However, choosing different thoughts requires focus and practise. If you continue to focus as you have been, to think as you have been, and to believe as you have been, then nothing in your experience will change”

~ from ‘Ask And It Is Given’ ~”
― Mary Ann Hickman

I had never quite “grokked” the concept of changing your thoughts – it seemed almost off-handed and flip.  You know, like “Oh, come on, ALL you have to do is change your thoughts.”  And then I read the above quote, and it suddenly made sense.  This seems to be how insight often occurs for me, and maybe it does for you as well.  After days, months, or sometimes years of experiencing the same situation over and over again, everything suddenly clicks into place, catalyzed by one tiny or large significant experience that pushes me over the edge into awareness. Read on……

Quoting Your Life

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I would like to share just a few of my favorite quotes from this incredible human being.

Martin Luther King Jr.That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing.

 

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

 

I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.

 

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

 

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.

 

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

 

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.

 

We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.

Read on……

Letting Go to Move Forward

What's Next?My daughter is living in Thailand.  She really amazes me.  After graduating from college in photojournalism, followed by a year of working at what was primarily a desk job, she chose to spread her wings, fly the coop, and land in a brand new country, immersing herself in their culture.  She acquired a brand new skill – teaching ESL – and is extraordinarily happy with her choice. Read on……

Breathing Through The Holidays

Happy HolidaysI’d like to share a few experiences with you that I had in the last few days. As I was driving in my car to do some holiday shopping,  throughout the day I was constantly plagued by drivers who insisted on driving so close to the rear end of my car that our cars should have been on a first-name basis.  Of course, the thing that really scares me about this is that if I had had to stop suddenly, they would have rammed into the back of my car, doing who-knows-what damage to me, them and our cars.  (This is why I always leave a nice buffer between me and any vehicle in front of me.  But that’s another story.)

So eventually, in each instance, these cars that were tailgating me finally saw their chance to pass me, which they did with much flourish and speed (and in the past, sometimes a significant hand gesture).  All I could think of is “What’s the hurry?”  It’s not as though I’d been driving below the speed limit.  In fact, sometimes I was actually (shhhhh) driving a few miles above it.  But these people were REALLY in a hurry, and they wanted me to know that I was in their way.

I realize this type of behavior happens all year round, but it seems to be the worst during the holidays.

Now, let’s go back a few more days to Black Friday.  My husband and I had decided to brave Black Friday just for kicks. (It was HIS idea, really, but I went along with it.  I know, what a strange sense of fun we must have.) Anyway, I walked into a local department store chain while my husband drove around the fully-packed parking lot, looking for a parking space that was closer than 100 miles away.  As I made my way through the store, I noticed the incredibly long line that snaked around the entire perimeter of the store.  This is no mom and pop store we’re talking about – it’s a big one.  What was even more amazing was the happy, even jolly mood that everyone in line seemed to be in.  I didn’t hear one bit of grumbling.

Now, this was the time when I most expected to hear all kinds of complaining going on about long lines, not enough cashiers, and so on.  But everyone seemed to be on his or her best behavior.  I wondered why.  Maybe it was because they already knew what to expect, so they weren’t let down by the reality.  I don’t know.  But what I do know is that there was a huge contrast between the shoppers’ behaviors and the drivers’ behaviors, which really helped me come up with my Lucky 7 Tips for surviving the holiday scene.

  1. SLOW DOWN.  When you drive too fast, and tailgate the cars in front of you, you’re endangering my life, your life, and everyone around you.  Is it worth the risk just to get to your destination a few minutes ahead of everyone else?
  2. KEEP IT REAL.  Come on, you know that you’re going to have to wait in interminable lines, or you’ll be on hold for a while if you call in a phone order.  And it will take forever to find a parking space.  So go with that flow, and don’t sweat what really is the small stuff.  And if you are trying to squeeze in some shopping on a half hour break, it might be time to re-think that strategy.  It’s most likely doomed.
  3. ENJOY THE MOMENT.  Sure, I know that you want to get your holiday shopping done as quickly as possible, but if you just relax and be in the moment, you might actually enjoy a friendly conversation or two with a fellow shopper.  It helps pass the time.
  4. JUST SAY NO.  The holidays are built-in pressure cookers for a lot of people.  You might be juggling last-minute work responsibilities before your holiday break, or trying to plan a holiday meal for 20.  Whatever it is, be realistic about your limits and don’t be afraid to say “I’m sorry, not this time”.
  5. TAKE A TIME OUT.  No, not because you’ve been bad.  Because you need it.  Holiday stress is a given for so many people, so make sure that you actually plan breaks for yourself where you can just breathe, drink a cup of tea (or a glass of wine), listen to some relaxing music, and let your body and soul regenerate.
  6. GET SOME SLEEP.  Speaking of regenerating, sleep is the time when your body does it best.  It’s easy to get caught up in the “have to’s”, and before you know it, it’s 2am and you have to be up in 4 hours.  You’ll not only feel better, but do everything better, if you get your ZZZZZ’s.
  7. MODERATION, MODERATION, MODERATION.  One of my father’s favorite phrases was “everything in moderation”.  It’s true.  It’s so easy to do everything in excess during the holidays, and we often feel lousy afterwards (physically, emotionally, and financially).  So when you eat, if you slow down to really enjoy your food, you’ll find that you may not eat as much.  If you slow down and savor each sip of wine or whatever your alcoholic choice of beverage may be, that might just pre-empt that holiday hangover the next day.  And my one final thought on moderation is with regard to gift giving.  More is not better.  Try to make your gifts thoughtful, not excessive.  Appreciate the quality, not the quantity.  And when it comes to gifts for kids, consider the message that you’re sending by heaping huge volumes of gifts on them.  What expectations does that set up?  And where does it end?

So please, take a deep breath, and take good care of yourself so you can enjoy time with family and friends this holiday season.

P.S.  If you have some other tips to share, please share your thoughts below.  We’d love to hear ’em!