Sunday, December 27, 2009


Greetings as we begin to wind down yet another year. My high school phys ed teacher was right - they seem to go faster the older I get!

When I was thinking about what I wanted to write about this week, the word joy kept coming back, even though I mentioned it last week. And when I was pondering what I wanted to title this week's post, "Joy...continued" popped into my mind. When that phrase came into my little pea brain, I immediately grabbed hold of it as the great ending to one year and a perfect beginning to the next. Think about it ~ isn't that what you want in 2010? Joy...continued??

So let me ask you a different question than last week's: What is it that gives you soul-satisfying joy? I have found over the past few years that for me it has nothing to do with "stuff." As a matter of fact, sometimes the "stuff" gets in the way of my joy. My joy comes from awareness ~ of my surroundings, of my blessings (especially health for me and those I care about!), of my purpose in life (which I have come to believe is to help other people, whether that is through a workshop, a conversation, an email or this blog!), and sometimes just an awareness of life itself as I sit quietly in front of the fireplace surrounded by my "furry friends."

So I'll end with that question ~ again: What is it that gives you soul-satisfying, mind-calming joy?

As we enter a New Year, take some time to think about the answer to that question. THEN make sure you find time to experience "it" (whatever "it" is for YOU) over the next 12 months...

Remember ~ joy CONTINUED. Isn't that what life should be about every year?

Wishing you the healthiest ~ and most joyous ~ of New Years...and don't forget to share that joy with others!


Sunday, December 20, 2009

JOY to the world!

Before we discuss this week's word, one little aside about last week's word - LEARN. I was at a luncheon on Friday where we exchanged gifts. One of my gifts Angel of Learning! Don't you just love it when something affirms what you knew all along? :-) She now sits proudly next to my desk where I conduct my online workshops - to inspire me and keep me focused on my purpose...

Now on to this week's word... At this time of year, it seems appropriate to ponder JOY. What does joy mean to you? Happiness? Contentment? Peace? All of the above??

So let me ask you this: has anyone ever stolen your joy? I'm a pretty upbeat person, as most of you know, but there are occasions when someone tries to steal my joy - or if not steal it, at least kidnap it! Today was one of those days.

We had taken a "mini-vacation" (some of you will recognize that term from my "Returning Balance to Your Life" workshop) to Barnes and Noble to enjoy a nice warm quiche and a good, strong cup of coffee. It was the perfect setting for a mini-vacation - for about the first 10 minutes. Then two ladies started discussing the pros and cons of their portable e-book readers - not really a notable happening, except they were sitting tables apart from each other, basically yelling across the room. That abrupt end to the peace and quiet was quickly followed by the always-present cell phone users, who proceeded to talk at a volume at least 50% higher than normal (why do they feel a need to do that, by the way - and does "Lisa" really need another cookbook??). Soon our mini-vacation turned into a hasty exit as we quickly left our relaxing experience - and our joy - behind. We have so little "leisure" time to really soak in joy and contentment, that we treasure those moments - and can get pretty resentful of those who seem determined to "disturb the peace."

But my recovery time is pretty quick with "joy stealers" these days. Life is just too short to let something (or someone!) that I cannot change have an effect on my joy that lasts more than minutes (of course, life can throw us curve balls that tend to keep our joy hidden for much longer periods). So in my typical fashion, I adjusted my attitude as I walked to the car and by the time I was home, I was feeling at peace again.

I think part of the reason for my ability to "recover quickly" is due to a speaker I heard several years ago (thank you, Pastor Tharp), who said something about joy that I found very profound. I have since adopted it as one of my life principles. He said that whenever he is around someone who is negative, mean-spirited, or seemingly doing all in their power to turn an experience from positive to negative, he offers these simple words: "I will SHARE my joy with you, but I won't allow ANYONE to steal it."

Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? I decided I didn't want to BE one of those people others think of as a joy-stealer, so I chose to change my own attitude. And I certainly wasn't going to allow the Barnes & Noble gremlins to steal my joy, even if they did manage to camouflage it for a few minutes.

So I'll ask you again, "Has anyone ever stolen your joy?" Maybe it's time you share it instead...

Have a blessed Christmas and a healthy, happy, and JOY-filled New Year!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Today's word is...learn

Learn...not such a strange word to pick for my first "real" blog, considering I am a teacher, although not in the traditional sense.

As I was thinking about what word I wanted to start with, "learn" just kept popping into my mind. Perhaps it's because I have spent most of my life learning from whatever situation I was in. The corporate world gave me many lessons - some good, some not so much (and some quite interesting!) and creating gift baskets for people taught me that I need to let "creative Linda" loose occasionally. But nothing has taught me more than "teaching." Over the past decade and more (yikes!), I have been learning about things I had never even given any thought to in my corporate life. Thanks to wonderful clients who keep pushing me to learn more so that I can help them do the same, I have learned about a relatively new idea called emotional intelligence. I have delved deeply into the Littauer personality assessment, and yes, I really am bull-headed as my mama used to say! (But doesn't it sound much nicer to say I have a "powerful" personality??) I have learned specific ways to become more organized, deal with difficult people, provide better customer service, and even how to distinguish a leader from a manager - and why that matters.
So it was no surprise when I took the assessment in Marcus Buckingham's book "Now, Discover Your Strengths" and found out that my number one signature strength is.....ta-da! LEARNER! :-) Reading it on paper, though, made me smile. It gave credibility to my constant yearning to learn, learn, learn.
You've probably heard the old saying, "You don't stop learning because you grow old, you grow old because you stop learning." I have decided this must have been my life motto all along and I just hadn't been aware of it.
Even the inside of my Dove chocolate today says "Keep looking forward - new adventures lie ahead." (Hey, I take this very seriously - even chocolate has something to teach me!)
My question to you is this: What have you learned lately? Not about work or sports or cooking... What have you learned about YOU? Do you pay attention to how your personality affects what you say and how you say it? Have you ever given any thought to being emotionally aware? Here's the catch; we can "acquire knowledge" which is one of the definitions of "learn," but will we USE that knowledge to become a better person? In the "Linda Bruno dictionary," the new definition of learn would read "to acquire and USE knowledge."

So...what knowledge will 2010 bring to your life? Are you willing to USE it? It's your choice, you know...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Welcome to Words to Live By...Thought-provoking Words for Reflection

For those of you who know me, you know that I love to write as well as "teach" by way of training workshops. As I have been working on my website over the past few months at, it occurred to me that I would love to have an avenue to help you "soar to new heights" when you are unable to attend a face-to-face workshop or don't have access to the webinars I conduct for some of my clients.

And so "Words to Live By" is born - with the intent to share with you what simple words can teach us.

Right now, it's my plan to post once a week. I have no desire to inundate you with meaningless posts. My only wish is to bring something into your life that will allow you to sit back with a good cup of coffee ~ or whatever brings you a sense of peace ~ and ponder how you live your life.

Here is my promise to you ~ my posts will be brief and uplifting. Each week, I'll present a word to you with a short message about why this word is meaningful in my own life.

And what do I ask from you? Nothing save your patience with my "newbie" status in the world of blogs ~ and of course, an open mind...ready to ponder.