Monday, February 27, 2012

Just Imagine

What do you see in the clouds in the picture?

Just imagine you are lying on the soft green grass on a small hill at the park staring up to the beautiful sky. What do you see?

Well I see a turtle in the clouds above. Do you see it too?

When was the last time you took a few minutes to wonder at the sky and use your imagination? If it has been months or years then you need to change that. Children are great teachers when it comes to using your imagination. They do it every day, several times a day. Can you remember a time when your children weren't using their imaginations? They dream of grand castles, far off lands, fantastic machines, special friends; you name it they can imagine it. And they get so much joy from it.  Take a page from their book. Or take a page from your own book. You were a kids once. Remember when you used to get on your bike and travel to great lands in your neigbhourhood by just peddling? Or sailing off to great lands in your backyard?

Once we grow up we seem to lose that ability to take time to imagine great things. We get stuck in the day to day stuff of our lives; work, bills, cars, dinner, chores.  It is sad we forget to use our imaginations for fun, for good, to help us live a joyful, happy life.  We forget the power of imagination. It can change your mood in an instant. Think about how happy you feel when you imagine a great vacation to some warm sunny beach? When I do that I can feel the sun on my face, the sand between my toes and I feel a lightness of spirit. Ahh, what a great feeling. But why do we save that for those times when we are awaiting a trip? Or a special occasion? Just IMAGINE if we could use that every single day. How happy would you feel every single day?

It doesn't take a lot of time to use your imagination either. If you have just a few minutes every day it can help. I am trying to do this every day. Your imagination can take you a million miles away and make you feel great all at the same time.  It just makes you happy to let your mind imagine all the great things that are out there for you.

And one other great thing about using your imagination? It doesn't cost you a thing! Yup, another one of those great things in life that are FREE. So why waste it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wednesday Wednesday - Setting Florida Sun

Be Kind to You!

 “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”
Kathryn Stockett, The Help

 I watched the movie The Help the other night. There was many things that stood out for me but that quote was the biggest. It is all about how we treat ourselves, how we talk to ourselves, how we let that inner voice speak to us.

In the past I have let my inner voice be mean to me. I have allowed it to say negative things to me. Why? I am not sure why I would let it talk to me like that. I don't think I am alone here. I think we often have those inner conversations with ourselves that can be negative. We doubt ourselves and let that inner voice convince us of terrible things, like we aren't pretty enough, we aren't smart enough, we aren't important.  This goes along with my last post, Thoughts Have Power , what we think can change our moods, change how we feel, and even change how we decide to act. Thoughts do have power. That inner voice is all of those thoughts you have about yourself.

We need to love ourselves. If we want to give love to others we first need to love ourselves. If you bucket is full and overflowing then you have lots of love to give to others. That is why that quote struck me. These are just three of many words we should be saying to ourselves every single day.

There is a movement afoot about paying it forward or doing random acts of kindness. Well, how about start with you. Start by being kind to yourself. Do something good for you today and then you will be in the right frame of mind to give to others.

It have made the conscious decision to talk kindly to myself. To love everything I am. There is only one of me. I am unique, as are you! Only you can do what you do. You are kind, you are smart and you are important!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Thoughts Have Power

Our minds are powerful things.

Think about it....let's just talk about a common scenario.

You wake up in the morning. The phone rings and your boss asks you to come in a few minutes early to talk to him in his office but doesn't say why. He only says that you will talk more about when you get there. So now what? Well, your mind starts to race. You are starting to think about all the scenarios. You think about all the things it could be and then you start thinking it is something bad. Maybe you are getting laid off? Maybe you are getting fired? Or maybe they are upset with something you are doing? What could it be? The more you think, the more your stomach starts to churn and the worse you feel. You start to get a pit in your stomach. And it is all because your mind started to think about all the terrible things that could happen. By the time you get to work you are just sick, you have a headache and all you want to do is go back to bed. You walk into you bosses office, sit down, and mentally prepare yourself for the bad news BUT then your boss says they just wanted to tell you how happy they are with your work, they are looking to give you a more important role in the office. Not at all what you thought.

Ah the power of our thoughts. All that thinking and you made yourself sick with worry. Our thoughts do have power. We let them have power over us. Just think how different that scenario would have been if what you thought about was positive rather than negative. What if you had thought about getting a raise, imagine how good that would have made you feel.

I am guilty as anyone. I have been known to be a bit of a worrier. In the last year or so I have been working on that, especially in the last six months. I now understand my thoughts are directly linked to how I feel. Negative thoughts can make me feel bad and who wants to live a life feeling bad all the time. When I think positively I feel energized to do good things, I am inspired and creativity flows. I have often listened to the little voice in my head. You know the voice? The voice that speaks to you, the voice that says you can't do something, you aren't smart enough, you aren't talented enough. Do you have a little voice like that? Well, don't listen to it. Replace it with the voice that tells you you can do anything, you are special because let's face it there is only one YOU! You are unique. Every single one of us has something to give to the world, something that is uniquely you.

So positive thoughts have power, just like negative ones do. What would you rather listen to? I prefer to listen to the positive thoughts. The negative ones have never done anything good for me. I want to live a prosperous life, one of happiness, love and success!

Oh ya, and the best part of all these positive thoughts? Our thoughts are FREE.... so use them the best way you can!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude

We all want to lead happier and healthier lives. Don't we? OK, I am going to speak for you here and say yes, I think we all want that for ourselves and everyone else that we love. But we often look outside ourselves, seeking things to make us happy. We see what other people have and want those things, we want bigger houses, fancier cars and nicer clothes. You have heard that saying "The grass is always greener on the other side" but you know that isn't always true. Scratch that. It is never true. You have a fantastic life. You do! Maybe you can't see it because you are too busy looking over the fence. I know because I have done the exact same thing. We all have I think but you know there are some easy things you can do to see the beauty in your life right now and in turn you will bring more happiness and blessings into your life. It is all about your attitude. You need to have an attitude of gratitude. Be grateful for what you have and you will start to see more of the same appearing in you life.

Here are a few tips to help you be grateful for the blessings in your life.

1. Journal
 Writing helps you see the good things in your life. Try writing down a few things you are grateful for every week. Start keeping a journal. Once you feel comfortable doing that step it up to every day. This will help you get focused on all the great things in your life. Remember they don't have to be things. Sometimes the best things in our are lives are small, like a great sandwich for lunch, or no traffic on your drive to work, or great hair! Or they could be big things like great kids who are healthy, a loving family,  and supportive friends. Just write down and it won't take you long to see how bless your life really is.

2. Post it!
This is an extension of writing a journal. You can write your self little notes. Write down what you are grateful for on a post it note and put is on your computer, or you desk or even the bathroom mirror. Change it every day or even just every week. It will be a visual reminder of all the greatness in your life!

3. Be Thankful
I started doing this with my kids. Several times a week, usually after school in the car, we all say one thing we are grateful for that day. It helps to get them thinking about all the good things in their lives (me too) and saying it helps us all to acknowledge our blessings. We all have things that are good in our lives.

4. Touch Something
Use an object to help you remember what is truly great in your life. A long time ago, when my husband and I were dating, we used to go for walks down by the lake. On one of those walks we stopped to toss stones into the water and I kept one of those stones. I still have it. I see it every day and even touch it and I remember those days. It reminds me of what is great in my life, like my husband and children. Use and object to help you connect with happy memories or thoughts.

5. Tell Someone
We all have someone in our lives that we are grateful for, someone we couldn't live without. Well, tell them.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Find What Makes You Happy ... Just Dance

This year for me is all about shifting my attitude. I am working toward shifting my attitude to one of gratitude. I want to live a blissful life now and every day tomorrow. I recognize there will still be days that are not perfect, there will be days when I might be sad or down but I am learning there are ways to shift my thoughts to a happier place. Every one should have a list of things that make them happy just by thinking about them, looking at them or touching them. This will be the first of several posts about the things that can help you shift your thinking when you are down, and put you in a happy frame of mind. Because really, doesn't everyone want to be happy? I know I do.

Just Dance

Put on music that you really love or a song that you can really dance and cut a rug. There is nothing better to help you change your mood. I love it when a great classic R&B song comes on the radio, it just makes me want to move. I am that crazy woman in the car singing loudly and dancing behind the wheel on the highway. And you know what, I love it. It makes me feel great!

Songs like this one....

Music can really lift you soul. You know what I mean if you have heard a song that really strikes a cord with you, makes you happy, makes you want to dance your feet off. So I say DANCE. Connect to the music and live a life that is full of the music of your life, dance and love. It will bring you bliss!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Give a Hug, Get a will love it!

There is nothing better than hugging someone you love. It will make you feel good... and again it is one of those things in our lives we often take for granted. And it is free to give and free to get!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Just Laugh...It's Free

Here is something funny, laughter is just another one of those amazing things that can be added to the best-things-in-life-are-free list.

Laughter can be the best medicine if you are not feeling happy. Just think about it. Think about all those times when you were feeling down and you came across a picture that made you laugh, or someone told a really funny joke that made you laugh until you cried, or what about all those YouTube videos of laughing babies; all those things made you laugh until your gut hurts. Something that does that for me is the website (check it out. You will laugh too but just wait until you finish reading my post, please!)  Let's face it,you feel better after laughing. I know I do.

I wrote about the benefits of laughter here and also here and there is no doubt there are great benefits to laughter. It benefits mind, body and spirit. Research shows laughter has far reaching benefits, including strengthening the immune system, reducing food cravings, and even increasing a person's threshold for pain. Laughter can reduce levels of stress hormones.  Laughter has also shown to increase the level of health enhancing hormones like endorphins and neurotransmitters.
And don't forget the physical benefits of laughter, especially when you have a hearty belly laugh. It exercises the diaphragm, contracts the abs and even works out the shoulders, leaving muscles more relaxed. Not bad eh? It gives you a full body work out. But don't just go by what the research says, do it and you will see.

There is a growing movement in laughter yoga. Yes, I said Laughter Yoga! Or there are also laughter clubs. Wendy Woods of Watershed Training Solutions is a laughter yoga instructor. She says laughter is just another tool that allows us to approach life a little lighter. She says laughter is intuitive. We just know how to laugh, the youngest of babies know how to do it and they do it exceptionally well too. Woods says laughter yoga teachers us to use laughter as a tool. She says it is based on the concept of laughing for no reason. "You start out faking the laughter and because it is in a group and laughter is contagious, real laughter kicks in."

Kids are great teachers when it comes to laughing. Children laugh on average 400 times a day. Compare that to an adults average 15 laughs a day. We should look to children for inspiration, they know how to let loose and really laugh, they aren't worried about looking silly, or that someone will judge them. Kids laugh because they can, they laugh because something is funny.

The beauty of laughter is that you can do it by yourself, with a group, with loved ones and even with complete strangers. It doesn't matter where you are, laughter has positive effects. It will make you feel better no matter where you are, no matter who you are with, and no matter when you do it. Can it get any better than that?  Oh ya and it is FREE.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Best Things in Life Are Free!

There is ultimate truth in that saying... THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE!

 Sounds too good to be true? Well, when you think about it, it is true. No seriously. Just hang with me here for a few minutes and you will agree with me.

I have been on a bit of a personal journey over the past year or so. You might have noticed if you have been reading my posts lately. And during the journey I have been reading a lot and thinking a lot.  I recently read a book by Mike Dooley called Choose Them Wisely. There was a moment in the book when Mike talks about the fact there are things in our lives that are free and those are the things we most often take for granted. It really struck a cord with me. I realized before starting on this journey I was often looking to things to make me happy. I was wanting to have the life others appeared to be living, and that included all the things they had in their possession, like cars, homes, clothes and vacations. I was taking for granted the things and blessings I already had in my life. So let's just look at things in your life and mine that are free.


1. Your Talents
Every single one of us has a talent. You might not think so but it is true. There is something you are good at. There is something that I am good at. Own that! I am good at writing. I am good at communicating. I am good at my job in news broadcasting. Those are my talents. They are mine, and mine alone. There is only one of me! I am unique and you are too and so are your talents. Believe it and be grateful for it. It is free!

2. Friends
Having friends doesn't cost a thing. Think about it. You have always had at least one friend in your life. When you were a kid you probably had lots of friends, friends in your class, friends in your neighbourhood. Maybe they weren't forever friends but more like in-this-moment friend but you had a least one friend to play with. True friends are there for you when you need them, they are great support, they are great sounding boards, they are great when you need to talk, need a baby sitter, or just to have fun.

3. Family
Family is a great support! They are like friends but even better. Your Mom and Dad, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandmothers, grandfathers; there is always one person in our families we connect with. Use that! It is something to be grateful for.

4. Time
Time is free. The best part about this one is that time is actually kind, every day we get the time to start fresh, start over, change things and move forward. Every day is a new day. We can use time to our advantage and it is free!

5. Your Imagination
Dreams baby! We all have them. This is so great because it is our imagination and our dreams that help build our lives. Dream big!

This is only a list of FIVE but the list is REALLY endless. There is so much in our lives that is free and help us lead more blissful lives. You don't need to go out there and spend a life savings to have a happy life. Use what is already in your life and the best part many of these things are FREE!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Motivation Monday - Oh The Possibilities

What a beautiful day today. The sun is shining and I can smell spring in the air. Over the weekend the kids got their bikes out and were riding like the wind. They were smelling spring in the air too and could hardly keep their coats on.

It is Monday and that means a fresh week ahead. We often think of Monday in a negative light. It is the first day back to work after the weekend for many people and so there are often a lot of people moaning and groaning about Monday. BUT ....I think Monday's are great. It is the start of a new week. A chance for a fresh start. Your batteries are recharged after a weekend with family and friends and now Monday gives you the chance to do great things with the days ahead.

What can help you see the potential of the week ahead write down your intentions for the week. It will help you focus on what you want for the week ahead. It will help you get more focused. It will also help you see all the possibilities for the days before you.

Monday offers you so many possibilities...there is so much potential for greatness. Happy Monday.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012