Wednesday, December 21, 2011


'Tis the season - right? But the season for what??? I just had lunch with 3 good friends and we were discussing how this time of year has come to mean "hustle-bustle" and not much else. I've decided that we probably all need to step back and see if we need some rest.

In my case, that's physical rest. I just completed a major, major project and have been furiously working on next year's programs so that I can begin my MBA program in early January. I thought I would have some time to "rest" during these last few weeks of the year, but alas, that has not been the case. I will need to be very careful in the upcoming months to make sure I get proper rest so that I can not only do my best in class, but especially for my clients.

But there are other kinds of rest, aren't there? There is "rest" from the pressures we put on ourselves to do more, be more, give more, have more...whatever!! We need to take a rest, don't we?

There is also the "rest" we need to take from the demands of others...not so we can be selfish, but to make sure we still have something to give when they really need us.

And then...there is the "rest" from the thoughts we allow to enter our minds...thoughts of "what if?" Thoughts of "why me?" Thoughts of "if only..." There is so much bad news surrounding us these days, that it's easy to get caught up in it and believe every little bit of it. We not only lose our "rest," but we also lose our peace. And as Dr. Phil would say, "How's that workin' for ya????"

So...let's just "take a rest," shall we? In whichever area we need it!!

If you get a chance, let me know how YOU rested during this holiday season - or beyond. But don't feel obligated to do that or you won't get any rest! :-)

Blessings and Merry Christmas to all,

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Hi everyone,
Long time, no "write" :-)

I have no excuses - I barely have "reasons!" Life is just flying by and it's hard to imagine that more than 5 months have passed since I've posted.

But you know what? I've decided I'm not going to beat myself up for that. I was so excited about writing frequently when I started my blog. But life not only flies, it sometimes gets in the way of our best intentions. It won't help for me to "yell" at myself for not doing something I really wanted to do. Instead, I've decided my words to myself should be encouraging, just like my words to others.

Several weeks ago, our pastor talked about words being "containers." I love that concept. They can "contain" a positive, upbeat attitude or they can bring on negative thoughts and emotions. I make a real effort to make sure my containers hold something encouraging, uplifting, enthusiastic, positive, helpful, hopeful, etc! - and I succeed a good amount of the time.

That was actually my original intent for the blog. We certainly don't lack for negative words in our environments these days - just turn on any TV show, news channel, radio show, or whatever. Negativity abounds.

But it does NOT have to be that way for US! Will you accept my challenge to try to be aware of what fills your containers? That's my goal for me...when what is in my container becomes polluted with negativity, harsh words, anxiety, or any number of emotions and feelings that don't serve me well, I hope I am aware of it and am able to "change the channel."

So how about it? Will you change the channel the next time your container holds something that isn't good for you?

Here's hoping you do!

(P. S. No, the cat on the guitar isn't mine, but isn't he adorable??)

Monday, April 25, 2011


Ha, that's a funny word to talk about, isn't it? Especially considering the LENGTH of it that I have allowed to pass since my last posting :-)

I bring it up today because our perspective on time can change so rapidly. I once heard if you want time to pass slowly, put yourself into a miserable situation (job, marriage, whatever). Hmmm, that does NOT sound appealing to me, although I would like time to slow just a teensy bit over the next few months.

It seems my calendar is more full than it has ever been in my years of conducting training - and I am not complaining!! I love what I do ~ but you know how it goes...when we're TOO busy, we complain about not having enough time - for anything. When we are BORED, we complain because we are waiting for time to pass so we can get to an event or activity in our lives that will be more enjoyable. As always, we seem to never quite be at that perfect place ~ unless of course, we choose to be!

I have little "time pockets" in my calendar over the next couple of weeks and I am trying to be very protective of them - to "choose" being at a perfect place when they come along. I schedule little "mini-vacations" for myself - things like taking 10 minutes for a nice cold frappaccino :-), or just time to read something just for pleasure, because I know over the next 3 months, those little pockets will be few and far between.

In my workshops on "Returning Balance," we often talk about what we are doing with our time. So many of my participants feel that their time is out of their control, but much of it really isn't. Yes, most of us "have" to work - and that takes time. Many of us travel to our workplaces - more time. We do household chores (ugh!), taking more time.

But sometimes we also "fritter away" our time playing on the computer, watching TV, reading something just because it's there, scheduling something we know we won't enjoy...and the list goes on.

My challenge? Pay attention to your time! How can you make it more pleasant, no matter what's going on in your life right now? Can you take a few minutes and enjoy a nice cup of coffee or 60 seconds to really look at that flower blooming in your yard? If we do that - just once - every single day, our time will bring us more pleasure - I promise!


Sunday, March 13, 2011


Greetings, everyone!
Well, I think spring is about to spring in most areas of the country. Here in Florida, a friend remarked today that getting into my warm car reminded her of how hot it will soon be here. When I think of those of you who have experienced a very harsh winter, I find no reason to complain about the heat coming our way - I was fortunate to not have to shovel the chilly nights we got and that makes up for it in my book.

Speaking of which, have you ever found yourself comparing something in your life to someone else's life? I'll bet you have - I think all of us have done that at one time or another.

I recently read a note I had made several years ago while listening to my pastor in Ohio. He commented, "Comparison breeds discontent."


But he's really right in so many cases, isn't he? How often do we think about how lucky we are compared to someone else? I think it's usually the other way around, isn't it? And I believe we are all lucky in some sense. For instance, I don't think I have any readers from Japan, but those of us who do not live there can certainly compare our week to theirs and consider ourselves lucky.
You'll notice an unusual picture with this posting. This is the interior of the hyperbaric chamber that my husband, Guy, experienced for 2 hours every week day for 6 weeks a couple of years ago to promote healing after the oral surgeon broke his jaw pulling an impacted wisdom tooth and they had to wire his jaws shut for 10 weeks (the bones in that area are very fragile due to the 62 radiation treatments he had for tongue cancer in 2007).
Considering Guy has a bit of claustrophobia, it was no mean feat that he managed to complete the entire course of treatment, especially the day he had to share the chamber with a very large man who was reacting violently to being in the chamber - kicking out with his foot very near Guy's face! Anyway... we were so, so fortunate ~ not that he had the broken jaw, of course, but that we found this hyperbaric chamber about an hour away. In this chamber, Guy could sit up; in others you have to lie down with a "lid" closed over you as if you are in a coffin ~ doesn't sound too appealing, eh? So, comparison was good for us that time around!

When I was thinking about that word ~ comparison ~ so many areas of life popped into my head: weight, finances, house, health, car, clothes, family, appearance, hair, relationships, job, retirement, weather, pay scale, abilities, skills, experiences, talents, education ~ YIKES! It's scary to think that "comparison" can bring up that many thoughts so quickly!

So here's my challenge for you [don't you hate it when I do that?? :-)]... for the next 30 days ~ yes, I said 30 days! ~ I want you to find things in your life that you can "compare" to someone else's and realize how lucky you are.
Can you do it? I think you can! Use my list of "comparison areas" above to get you started.

And let me know how you do!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Energy - I just love that word, don't you? It seems many of us are lacking in physical energy these days as witnessed by the "energy drinks" that are on the market, but that's not what I'm thinking of.
What I want to talk about today is the "energy" we exhibit to others - as in...positive or negative....uplifting or discouraging...just plodding along or full of life ~ you get the picture!

What brought this word to mind is a conference I attended this past week. I was lucky enough to spend a couple of days with some very "energy-filled" people - people who are passionate about their work and who had a refreshing tendency to share whatever they could to make others successful. Helpful ideas and affirming statements flew around the room so fast I couldn't keep up in my note-taking :-). Now that's a happy problem, wouldn't you say?

We don't always find that, though, do we? Even just in "life" in general, many people don't really want to help us enjoy life - they tend to send negative energy out by the buckets.

Here's what I'm thinking - see if you agree... I want to distance myself from those kind of people somewhat. I think we can agree that it's tough enough to have positive energy ourselves without someone else trying to "share" their negative energy with us.

But here's the other side of that coin: which kind of energy do you "share?" Let's make a deal that for the next 30 days we try to share positive energy, what do you say?? When someone tries to "rain on our parade," we need to come back with some positive energy. When we are just weary to tears of all the little things that can dry up our energy reserves, we have to try to find something that will help us muster up just a few more drops of positive energy. Sometimes those few drops can turn into a nice little running stream. Ah, now that's a positive thought!

Have an energy-filled week and I'll "see" you next time!



Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Hi everyone (the picture is of my daughter and her family - well really, she's my stepdaughter, but I've known her for 80% of her life!),

A few days ago, I enjoyed participating in a workshop to review a workbook written by Dr. Stephen Schacher to accompany his book, Calm.

The human mind, as you've probably figured out, is one of my favorite topics to ponder - as in, what makes us do - or not do - what we do (or don't do!!)? What makes one person react so differently to the same situation someone else is also experiencing? Why can some people tune in to others' feelings, and other people just sort of trample all over everyone - without even being aware of it?

Anyway, back to the topic. The workshop was very interesting and I found myself thinking about how to incorporate more calm into my own life. I also found myself thinking how many areas of my life are vulnerable to being "uncalm" (cool new word, eh??).

My husband Guy got a great report from his doctor this morning about the progress he has made in his swallowing issues. I got a decent report from my orthopedic surgeon last week about my progress in "thawing" my frozen shoulder. Are we both in perfect shape in those areas? Uh, NO. But it did give us both a sense of calm knowing we were "growing" in taking care of ourselves.

Finances can easily cause me to lose my "calm" - how about you? Maybe some of you are financially stable and very secure - I am truly happy for you. With Guy and I both being self-employed (and having dealt with some "chronic" health issues the past few years), finances seem to be an area where calm comes to rest awhile before it takes flight again! :-) So I've taken steps to do what I can to encourage calmness in that area. I haven't won the lottery yet (probably because I don't play, ha ha), but I have become very aware of what is important to me and what I don't need to buy to have calm in my life.

Relationships are another area that, when strained, can cause us to lose our "calm" in almost all other areas, too, just from the constant tension. That's why it's so important to try to understand what might be going on in a strained relationship, rather than just putting a label to who's right and who's wrong (since we know we're always right anyway, right? HA!).

What we do for a living can calm us or cause us to live in a state of "not calm." I believe that much of that, though is not due to WHAT we do for a living, but HOW we choose to journey through our vocation. I get decidedly "uncalm" when I get directions to a new client's location, only to find that the directions are not clear and I end up somewhere I shouldn't be. In order to eliminate some of that, I often make a dry run the day before so I know where I'm going. Ahhhhh, the calm I feel the morning of my workshop because I know where I'm headed - that's priceless to me.

And maybe that's the point...maybe we need to know where we're headed in all of these areas so we can try to keep our calm. No, let's change that statement. Maybe we need to recognize what we CAN and can't control in each of these areas to help us hold onto one of my favorite feelings - calm. But here's the deal: be gut-wrenching honest with yourself about what you can and can't control. Example - I've had people in my workshops tell me they are always tired. When we start to dig a little deeper, I find it's because they are up till all hours spending time on the computer, watching TV, or just reading. Even though those activities seem to "calm" them at the time, they also rob a person of what tends to keep us calmer all the way around - sleep!

What area of your life could use a little more calm? And what will you do to achieve that?

Let me know!