TGIFlowers

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Weekend Thoughts:

  • What’s your spiritual gift(s)? I know people who have used their spiritual gifts in amazing and unexpected ways. Cake baking, reading and caring for children, photography, we don’t necessarily think of these things as spiritual gifts, but any talent or gift can be used for a higher purpose… let that settle in because it’s pretty amazing when the two collide.

Not sure what your spiritual gifts are? Find an online assessment or strengths finder tool. But I bet you know in your heart what your gifts are (wink)

  • Do you need a change of scenery? January is such a looong month. This week I sat myself down at a new coffee shop to write. It took a lot longer to drive there, but I just needed a change of scenery. Frustration can settle in so quickly. Perhaps a change of scenery is a tool we can all use to help us break up the cold winter months?
  • Use it up. Recently, I discovered some old (and still cool) notecards with my name on them. What was I saving these for? Who knows… but in the advent of email, I had to place them right out in front. I’m gaining some traction on my 2016 goals – I’m using them up rather than letting them collect dust.

Happy Weekend!

 

 

TGIFlowers

TGIFlowers

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End of the Week Thoughts:

This week we had some snow, nothing major, just enough to be pretty. As I was getting into my car I saw the big fat snowflakes falling individually on my black paint. You could see each crystalline structure with all its delicate details. I’m not sure I’ve seen that up close before, just in photographs. Or is it that I just never bothered to take notice? It made me pause. What else have I not noticed over the last 40 years?

While listening to my six-year-old and his buddy playing a game on the iPad, I heard them both agree that Friends are way better than Money. I do not know what prompted this because I swear to you the preceding conversation was about next year’s Halloween costumes (ideas included minions, Indiana Jones, and a piece of cheese). However, it made me smile… They hear us.  Our words and examples sink into their little minds and then find their way out at random times.

Thursday morning we received the gift of a 35 degree day. A friend and I took a walk at our local arboretum, catching up and breathing in the gorgeous morning air. We both agreed what a difference in perspective we have right now. To some this temperature may feel freezing cold, but after highs of five degrees earlier in the week, it was practically tropical. I felt so lucky to have the morning free to just soak in the outside world. Made me realize I need to block out time when the weather is nice to just get outside. I need to schedule it like an appointment.

Have a good weekend!

 

 

 

TGIFlowers

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Weekend Inspiration:

Is something weighing on you? A big goal? A big demand? Just set it down for the day. Worrying won’t help it (I know this one from experience). Pray about it. Maybe the answer will be revealed tomorrow. Maybe not. But don’t trade today for it. Further reading: Matthew 6:25-34

The world, the weather, the people, we all feel a bit jittery. What can you do this weekend to bring more peace to your household? Simple peace.

Where do you find beauty? In any form? Where do you find inspiration and how can you pull more of it into your life? Let’s all think on that one. Meet back at the club house with ideas next week, okay?

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Gratitude and Goodbyes

Today’s guest post on gratitude was written by my dear friend Cindi. I’ve attended a women’s group at our church for years with Cindi and watched her blossom into a wonderful presenter. She recently completed a course on positive psychology and I asked her to share with us some practices and ideas. Thank you, Cindi!

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 “When we fill our minds with blessings and gratitude, an inner shift in consciousness can occur. As we focus on the abundance in our lives rather than what we lack, a wonderful blueprint for the future begins to emerge.” -Sir John Templeton

I’ve recently started studying Positive Psychology and have learned that a consistent gratitude practice can significantly improve your level of happiness. We’ve all heard about the importance of keeping a gratitude journal, Oprah popularized that a while ago, but research on gratitude has shown that the method of practice has a significant impact on whether or not you’ll benefit from it. Depth matters. Simply writing “three things I’m grateful for today” may be beneficial initially, but you’ll have a hard time sustaining this because it will very quickly become boring and feel monotonous.

My daughter graduated from high school this May. It’s been a bittersweet year of “lasts.” A roller coaster ride of highs and lows. This isn’t my first rodeo, she’s my 3rd child of four. And yet, she’s my only girl. This time it feels different. I could easily have dissolved into tears many times (okay, I have) but have tried to stay mindful of practicing gratitude.

With college move-in day less than a month away, I find myself feeling overwhelming thankful for everyone who helped me get her this far.

Psychologist Robert Emmons, professor of psychology at UC Davis and the world’s most prominent researcher and writer about gratitude, provides these tips for successful gratitude journaling in his book Gratitude Works:

1. Specificity: Seek gratitude density. Be specific. Go for depth.

My daughter is a soccer player. Instead of just thinking “I’m grateful for soccer”, I’ve taken the time to reflect on the close friendships she’s developed with her teammates, the knowledge and time commitment given by her coaches over the years, many of whom were volunteers, my fellow parents that volunteered their time organizing booster events so they could have nice equipment and a fun and meaningful year-end banquet, and who took pictures so we’d have permanent memories of the good times. I’m grateful for the character lessons she’s learned about teamwork, self-discipline and the importance of practice and dedication.

2. Surprise: Try to write about unexpected, novel or unanticipated events, circumstances or experiences.

My friend Jackie went above and beyond to create a personalized memory book for my daughter as a graduation gift. She included pictures and quotes that she thought she’d like. When a mix-up happened at the printer, she had to scramble to get it done in time to present it to her at her graduation party. Though I knew about the book, my daughter did not, and I was genuinely touched by the effort my friend extended in making sure it all came together.

3. Scarcity: A sense of “now or never” can impel us to make the most of every day

The reality of the “lasts” that are part of senior year really hit home on prom night. We’d experienced a lot of dances and the primping and preparing and picture taking sessions that come with them over the years, but this time was truly the last time. Seeing all the kids I’d watched blossom from awkward freshman at that first Homecoming dance to the confident young men and women they’d become as they posed for pictures on their big night, I was tremendously grateful for her friends and my fellow parents and all we’d been through together.

Gratitude journaling can be a wonderfully rewarding experience and when done regularly, keeps us mindful and present to life’s gifts. It’s not quite time to say goodbye yet, and when I do, I’m sure there will be more tears, shed with a full heart.

Cindi Roselieb is a coach, speaker, and workshop facilitator. A mom of four with a degree in Social Work and certifications in Positive Psychology and Coaching, Cindi uses her passion for helping people “get unstuck” to present programs that encourage others to live their best lives.

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Gratitude and Goodbyes

Sweet or sour

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Several months ago, we traveled to a small town to celebrate the life of Mike’s grandmother. She was an incredible woman who lived well into her 90’s. You want an example of a life well lived? I’d point to Grandma Betty.

As things go during a funeral and visitation, the little kids ventured out to play in the huge side yard. Everyone felt the loss of this great woman, but kids are kids, and our kids needed to burn off energy regardless of the setting.

One cousin suggested they all stand at the edge of the yard, which overlooked a road with a fair amount of traffic, and play a game of Sweet or Sour.

The game is incredibly simple, maybe your kids play this and you’re familiar, but it was new to me. Kids wave to drivers as they cruise by. If they wave back? They’re sweet. If they don’t? They’re sour. So now just imagine a group of six little kids standing on a hill, waving to drivers over and over again and shouting, “SWEET!  … SWEET! … Sour…”

That instant reaction from the drivers was actually fascinating. So many people waved and the kids felt like rock stars every time. A few people just stared… either confused or simply unaffected. And lots of folks just plain didn’t notice.

Of course, it made me wonder a bit. Am I sweet or sour? I’d eagerly wave back to the little kids who wave at me, if I were driving down that busy road. But that’s easy. That’s the kid version.

What about the people who pass by me in a parking lot? Stand a few feet away from me at a gas station? Am I sweet or sour? Are they? Are you?

So take a minute today to observe your own reactions. Are you feeling sweet or sour? Can you feel if others are sweet or sour? I don’t think this is simply about smiles and waves, it’s more than that. Maybe it’s a sense of contentment. Maybe it’s a frazzled energy. Maybe it’s shoulders slumped over a soup bowl at a restaurant.

What are you today, friend? Sweet or sour?

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Let’s Be Magical

Recently, I was reading some good stuff posted on Facebook by old work colleagues and friends when it hit me. I know this author! Turns out my old colleague Becky Vollmer has started her own online community of seekers and dreamers (don’t you love that?) called YOU ARE NOT STUCK and it’s filled with wonderful posts and words of encouragement.  

Becky graciously allowed me to re-post her words for today’s post. So everyone, meet Becky. Becky, meet everyone. 

Post originally published on YOU ARE NOT STUCK on November 11, 2014.

Let’s Be Magical

“Dance like no one is watching… Because they are not… They are checking their phone.” For today, let’s all lay down all the little ways in which we hold ourselves back:The fears over what people will think…

The worry that we somehow won’t measure up to the crushing weight of expectations: the “coulds”… the “woulds”… the “shoulds”)…The second-guessing… the “what ifs”… the “if onlys”…For today, let’s remember that it’s not ALL about us. Everybody’s got a sack of rocks.

So LET’S NOT CARE about any of that and instead let’s BE who we are.

Let’s DREAM BIG and move deliberately in the direction of the lives we want, even if we travel just a millimeter at a time.

Let’s be BOLD and HAPPY and leave a gorgeous trail of FAIRY DUST in our wake.

Let’s be absolutely MAGICAL.

Because we are.

And when the world looks up from its phone to see, let them see THAT.

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Want more? Check out the www.YOUARENOTSTUCK.com site and like the YOU ARE NOT STUCK Facebook page.

Let’s Be Magical