Tuesday, March 30, 2010
So...how's your attitude been lately? Mine has improved after a stern lecture from ...me! It is so hard to believe that March is almost over and when I think of that, it reminds me that time is flying by. I just don't have any extra to spare to give to a bad attitude :-)
And this week's word is "appreciation." WHAT do you appreciate? This week, I am really appreciating sunshine and a bit of warmth after a long winter. I am appreciating the spikes of a few gladiolas coming out of the ground in my tiny little patio garden. I love seeing that perhaps this colder-than-usual winter did not kill my 3-year-old avocado plant, although it certainly is looking worse for the wear after spending some time in the garage during the last cold spell (probably 10 days longer than it needed to because I forgot it was there!). I appreciate the opportunity to visit with a long-time friend next week. I appreciate the fresh cup of coffee from my Keurig brewer that greets me nearly every morning. I appreciate that my 15 2/3-year-old puppy is still with us, still taking a walk every morning, still following me around from room to room when I'm working in my home office.
Next question... WHO do you appreciate? I got an email from a workshop participant the other day that was signed, "Your faithful fan". I couldn't get the grin off my face all day. That made me feel downright good! And I sent her a note to that effect. I sent another note to a client last week who makes my job so much more fun by being easy to work with. I told my husband I appreciated his cleaning up the dishes after lunch with company on Sunday (no, of COURSE he didn't do it the way I would have, but I still appreciate the effort!!) I tell him often that I appreciate how hard he works at his music store, his personal integrity, and the effort he puts forth teaching classes online. Okay, so I don't appreciate the way he gets lasagna sauce on the fresh dishtowel - or the way he hides the dog's treats in places that leave crumbs :-). Why dwell on that? There is so much more to appreciate than to get upset about...and lasagna sauce washes out and crumbs get swept up...
So I'll ask again - WHAT do you appreciate? Why not stop a minute and just enjoy whatever it is?
WHO do you appreciate? Why not tell them or drop them a note?
And this week, why not look around and see what else - and who else - you can appreciate?
I appreciate EACH of you! Thanks for "listening!"
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright, quoted in Reader's Digest, June 1995
I found the above quote quite amusing :-) In our daily lives, we often soak up the attitude of those around us, particularly when it's negative... OR we allow their behaviors to influence our attitude and almost always toward the negative.
Why is that, do you suppose? I don't know anyone who really WANTS to go around with a negative attitude, although I could name a few who seem on the verge of making that their life's mission. But why is it so much easier to let ourselves drift into a negative mindset ~ or let someone else's sorry behavior make US feel bad? I think when someone else makes us feel bad (and believe me, I have experience in someone making me feel bad!), it's sometimes because of our own feelings about ourselves...Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” And I think that's sometimes where the anger is coming from - and we CONSENT to let that person anger us ~ which then ruins our attitude for minutes, hours, days...
Life has been hectic in this neck of the woods lately. My attitude isn't always what I would hope it would be.
Last night I got a rude awakening regarding my "sniveling" - an email popped into my inbox late last night from Tim, husband of one of my best friends from high school. I was in her wedding, she called me just after the birth of her twins in 1979 (oh my!), and last night her husband sent me an email to let me know she had had a stroke on March 18 and is still in Ohio State University hospital on a ventilator tube. She's 54, about 5 weeks younger than me. And for all of you reading this in your 20s, 30s, and even 40s, 54 is YOUNG!
I got my attitude adjusted pretty quickly again - that happens when I stop long enough to ponder what people are going through - people I care about.
So the next time your attitude is showing, take a deep breath and ask yourself if you want to give up this moment to a bad attitude. You never get that moment back, you know. So don't let someone else take it away from you - and don't give it away by carrying around a poor attitude.
So...moment by moment this week, be aware of your ATTITUDE ~ and remember that you have a choice!
P. S. Please say a prayer for my friend Debbie and her family, as well as my sister and my husband while you're at it!
Monday, March 15, 2010
Okay, so this week's title is 3 words
How did you do with awareness this past week? I could have titled this week's session "Awareness-Part 2" since that's what we are going to talk about in a sense.
This is a different kind of awareness, though. This time, I want you to be aware in the moment.
I've had "one of those days" that has stretched into months; you know the kind ~ 3 colds in 4 months, a 7-week backache that has now moved into my shoulder, a refrigerator that is determined to die before I can take advantage of the tax credit, a 15 1/2 years-young puppy that is having some health issues, a hubby that is dealing with his own health issues, a beloved sister who is struggling with health issues, work that either piles up and buries me or becomes a bit scarce and scares me!...and the list goes on. My piddly little problems aren't really all that bad, but sometimes it just adds up, ya know??
So here's what I've decided...I don't like being negative, but I have found myself in that dreadful spot of late. How can I overcome that when I can't change the things that are depressing me?
I decided this past weekend to find "moments." Maybe you have some of those once in awhile... the cat crawls onto the recliner to sleep on my lap (which is decidedly NOT Murphy's style!). It's as if he knows I am sleeping in the recliner because I don't feel quite up to par,and he comforts me with his presence ~ for a moment.
It's that tiny little purple flower that is creeping out from under the fence on the patio that makes me smile ~ for a moment.
It's the "puppy," Abby, coming up and resting her chin on my leg as if to remind me I won't always have her with me, and I cherish that time ~ for a moment.
It's the sound of the Keurig coffeemaker brewing a fresh cup in the morning and those first few warm, delicious, comforting sips that bring a sense of peace ~ for a moment.
It's the little crippled cat playing "hide and seek" with my hand as I lay him on the recliner in front of the window, who makes me laugh out loud from his antics ~ for a moment.
It's a stunning peek of green/orange/yellow light high up in a cloud and miles and miles away from the sun that makes me stop and realize how big the universe really is and how lucky I am to witness something so beautiful and unusual ~ for a moment.
It's the British comedy, "As Time Goes By" on a Saturday evening or "My Three Sons" during the week that gives me a sense of "all is right with the world" ~ for a moment.
So what are your "moments?" Even in the midst of whatever nastiness you are dealing with, I urge you to find some "moments." Sometimes, those moments are the only things that get us through ~ till the next one. Why not take a "moment" and drop me an email this week to let me know where you found one of YOUR moments?
Blessings ~ moment by moment,
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
How did you do with your "wisdom" last week? I think I did a teensy bit better...maybe this week will move me a little closer to "wise" :-)
This week's word is AWARE. As in, are you aware of how what you say and do affects others?
I was reading an article yesterday about different kinds of leadership. One theory of leadership is that, whether your "title" is leader or not, you are born having certain kinds of leadership qualities and you really can't change that. For instance, I once worked for a fellow who ruled by intimidation - and yes, he "ruled" and yes, he intimidated. I respectfully disagree with the theory that he couldn't change that style. I sincerely believe that what it takes is constant awareness (which sounds pretty easy, but isn't, of course). That awareness could have led him to see how his actions and words DE-motivated his employees, but he chose NOT to be aware. I have to conclude that he didn't CARE how that style affected others.
So what does this have to do with you - and me? Well, I have been on a quest (over the past couple of years, especially) to be aware of my own words and actions and the affect they will have on others. My tongue seems to be in a constant state of "injury" from being bitten so often!! The wounds are a little less frequent as my state of awareness increases, though.
Just think...if you become more aware before you "snap" at a friend - or a child - or a spouse - or the telemarketer - or the clerk at the store - or a boss...won't that make life a bit less stressful? It will if you then consider what you were going to say and deal with the feelings behind those words, rather than just spit them out onto someone without considering how you will make them feel. And here's where maybe that wisdom does come in a bit...I have found that when I let loose with words to make someone else feel bad, I may accomplish that goal momentarily, but the sad part is, I don't usually feel all that much better after having shared my negativity. I still have the negativity, and now they do, too. And it usually doesn't improve my relationship with that person in any way. And I don't know the affect those feelings will have on them in the future. And the feelings that caused me to say those things are still there! And now I'm irritated with myself!
And just think...an ounce of AWARENESS could have prevented all of that! Yes, I would still have the feelings ~ but I have found that dealing with my feelings myself rather than letting them control me and how I interact with others is really paying benefits these days.
See...wisdom does come with age :-) (Of course, sometimes age comes alone...tee hee!)
My challenge to you this week is to become more aware - aware of what you are about to say and to whom you are going to say it...aware of WHY you want to say that...aware of the affect it will have (short-term and long-term) on that person and on your relationship with them...aware of the affect it will have on your feelings about yourself... Just be aware, be very aware!
Monday, March 1, 2010
How has your week been? Have you thought about what people are allowed to see in you? Do they see the subtle details, like the blue morpho in last week's picture? Or do they see the brilliant blue that only flashes once in awhile?
Today's word just kept coming to mind. I kept fighting it - honest! - but when my Dove chocolate mentioned it today, I knew it was the word I am supposed to talk about this week.
Wisdom - there are days I think I didn't get my share! One definition that I like in the dictionary says:
ability to discern inner qualities and relationships
We usually think about wisdom connected somehow with the knowledge we have gained over time. But sometimes we can have a great amount of wisdom, by the above definition, and not much knowledge. Of course, the opposite is all too often true - we have a great amount of knowledge and not a whole lot of wisdom! Hmmmmm...I could put names with that last statement ~ but I won't :-)
I think this word is poking at me because I haven't felt very "wise" lately about some decisions. Maybe I needed to see this definition as much as any of you... ability to discern inner qualities and relationships. Now that I see it in print again, I realize that I do pretty well with this - wisdom about others and wisdom about myself especially.
But it's an area that I still need to work on. How about you? Do you need to become wiser about someone's inner qualities or the relationship you have with someone? Forget wisdom about decisions and boring things like that! Let's look at inner qualities (your own and others') and relationships...
Let me know what you learn!