Are you embracing what life has to offer or are constantly worrying about what’s being thrown your way?
I used to be a worrywart. I used to fret and let my anxiety get the better of me. I used to worry what will happen next and how else can my life suck. Honestly, I was so unhappy because I was sucking the happiness right out of me.
Happiness is not as elusive as you might think. True happiness is not measured by how much money you make or how many cars you own. Happiness is a mindset and it’s different for each person. What makes me happy will not necessarily make you happy. Let me give you an example.
This past weekend, MR N and I went on a shopping spree. We shopped for clothes, books, music, movies, beauty (bubble bath, anyone?), housewares and more. In the afternoon, we went to the liquor store. For the next hour, we went up and down the aisles picking up wine, liquor (bourbon) and more. I’m a big wine drinker and I loved looking at each bottle then putting the ones I wanted in the cart. I got eight different varieties of wine and one bottle of Jim Beam Honey (yum). I was giddy with happiness and joy.
That’s an example of happiness. The experience of being able to take my time, pick out new varieties and grinning from ear to ear took away the stressors of life and allowed happiness to course in my veins. It’s not the items I bought but the journey that created the happiness.
Let happiness flow in your veins! Stop worrying about stuff you have no control over. Find something you enjoy and let the rest of the world fall away.
This is the mantra of the Carolina Panthers and it really resonated with me when I watched Thursday Night Football last night.
Sam Mills was a Carolina Panther football player who was told from the time he was in high school that he was too short (5’9″) to play. Did that stop him? No way! Pro scouts told him he wouldn’t make it in the NFL. Sam took that as motivation and proved everyone wrong. He played several years in the NFL and even coached the 2003 NFC Champions Carolina Panthers (lost in the Superbowl). Cancer took him in 2005 but his legacy is alive and well.
Are you struggling and don’t know how much more you can take?
Are you heartbroken after a bad break-up?
Is an illness/disease bringing you down?
No matter what comes your way, remember Sam’s words and keep pounding.
When was the last time you treated yourself?
I like to treat myself. Not only does it make me feel good for all the hard work I’ve done but it makes me grateful for all the wonderful things life has to offer. Mostly, I treat myself with food (hello chocolate), drink or books.
I’m reading this book called Candyfreak by Steve Almond and in it he talks about his obsession with candy. He says it’s his freakdom and he embraces it with every fiber of his being. He says, “You don’t choose your freak; it chooses you.” I totally agree.
Ever since I was little, I’ve loved chocolate and pop/soda. It’s my freakdom and I’ve learned to embrace it full-force. Luckily, I married a fellow chocolate freak (MR N) so we can covet chocolate together. At all times, we each have a stash of chocolate and every day we indulge in a chocolate bar.
With Halloween just a few weeks away, I hope you can treat yourself. You’ve worked hard and deserve a treat. No matter what it is, indulge yourself. It’ll change your perspective and gratitude for all that life has to offer will radiate from you.
What’s your freakdom? What do you indulge in? Share in the comments below.
Are you living up to your potential?
Each of us has incredible potential and has the capability of changing the world! It’s all a matter of believing in yourself and hard work!
It’s too hard.
I’ll mess up.
I don’t have the energy or talent.
These thoughts and more tie us down. Sure, it takes hard work and perseverance. But if it was easy, everyone would do it.
I talk to authors and artists all the time. The biggest complaint I hear is how hard it is to get noticed or to make a difference. Here is what one author asked me yesterday:
How do you do it? How do keep positive? How do you continue when constantly met with rejection? It’s exhausting!
Without thinking I replied:
This is what I have always wanted to do with my life. Ever since I was little, I have loved books and creating stories. Sure, some people may not like them. Sure, I may have made some mistakes along the way. I keep positive because I’m living the life I envisioned when I was five.
We all make mistakes and encounter obstacles. The purpose is not to defeat you but to strengthen you! You limit yourself to what you can achieve. There is no limit to your potential!
There will be obstacles.
There will be doubters.
There will be mistakes.
But with hard work,
There are no limits!
What if today you were grateful for everything? Yes, even the bad stuff.
Gratitude comes second-nature to me but that wasn’t always the case. Years ago, I was a complainer. I cried every time something bad happened. I thought the world was out to get me and my mantra was basically, woe is me. I railed at God for letting all this bad stuff happen to me. I was so focused on the darkness that I didn’t see the light.
Being grateful is a conscious decision. I choose to find joy in whatever situation I’m in. I choose to look at the positive rather than the negative. I choose to let my path unfold and learning more about myself along the way. I choose to be grateful for everything.
Do I falter? Sure I do. Last month was proof-positive that I get down in the dumps and focus on the negative. Once I realize what I’m doing, I quickly think up a few things I’m grateful for and my perspective shifts back to the positive.
Here’s your task today: be grateful for everything. Be aware of your thoughts and reactions. When you feel yourself slipping back towards the dark side, think of four things/people you’re grateful. Repeat it until your switch back to the Light side. Gratitude is a strong motivator and we need to utilize it to the best of our ability!
Are you dealing with roadblocks on your way to achieving your goals? Is frustration making you rethink your goals?
STOP! It’s not your goals that need a readjustment but the plan to get there needs tweaking.
I have certain writing goals that are taking longer than I thought to achieve. Am I feeling frustrated? Sure, but I know it’s a long road to the top and I need to keep trying new things. I keep writing my stories, blogging every day and with each baby step I learn what works and what doesn’t.
When I hit a roadblock, I steer myself around it and try to navigate through on the same path. If I can’t, then it’s back to the drawing board. I redraw a plan and take a different route. There’s more than one way to achieve a goal and most of the time, it take five or ten plans to make it happen.
Don’t get discouraged when your initial plan doesn’t work. Change the plan, not the goal. Stay motivated.
How do you handle disappointment?
I’m struggling with disappointment this morning and I must admit it’s a situation dealing with fashion. Back in August, I read about this trend sweeping America called the Ta-Ta Towels. It’s a towel for a pair of well-endowed ta-tas. Women raved about them and knew I had to have it. It was pricy but I figured I was worth it. Two months later, it arrived. I tried it on and was rather disappointed. It wasn’t as advertised and it left a bad taste in my mouth.
Disappointment comes in all shapes and sizes. It can be big (didn’t get a promotion, break-up, didn’t get into the school of your choice) or it can be small (like my example above). It doesn’t matter whether its large or insignificant, how we deal with disappointment is what makes the difference.
See, I could’ve railed against the company and spew vitriol online yesterday but I didn’t. I truly believe I didn’t get ripped off and I can still get use out of them, especially in the heat of summer. Sure, the elastic is weak and doesn’t provide any support but it’s supposed to keep me cool, not uplifted.
I find inspiration in the quote above. Many times throughout my life, disappointment has been a great teacher. It has taught me determination, resiliency and overall a stronger person.
So the next time you’re disappointed, ask yourself if maybe your expectations were too high. Flip your perspective and realize that whatever happened may just be a blessing in disguise. The Universe works in mysterious ways.
Find comfort in the uncomfortable…
What imagery comes to mind when you read the statement above?
For me, it’s all the hard life lessons I’ve learned over the years. It’s stretching my wings into the unknown, not knowing if I’ll be successful or a failure. It’s the heartbreak that ripped my body in two. It’s the leap of faith when I left my family and friend to forge a new life with MR N. It’s every obstacle life has thrown at me and how, with the love and support of MR N, we overcame it together. It’s all the lessons learned that while scary at first, taught me to find comfort in the uncomfortable.
No matter what life throws at you, your response determines whether you’ll be courageous or cowering, brave or scared, victorious or defeated. Don’t fear the unknown but embrace it. Open yourself up to a new experience and find solace in the unease.
What do you do when faced with an uncomfortable situation? Share in the comments below.
Love one another.
This simple statement is burning in my heart as I read the horrific account of the terrorist shooting in Vegas last night. More than 50 dead and more than one-hundred injured. A white American planned and executed fellow Americans who were listening to music at a festival.
Where’s the love for our fellow men and women?
There’s many people who say that if we had bigger and badder weapons, those people could’ve defended themselves. But it’s that attitude of violence begets more violence that is exact opposite of how we need to respond. Instead of violence, let’s love each other, seeking understanding through talking not guns.
Go out into the world today and love the people you encounter. Smile, spread the Light that’s inside you and let kindness guide you. Mother Teresa had it right with her quote above. When you love one another, hatred and fear wave the white flag in defeat.
I love you all and hope you have a safe Monday!
Never forget how far you’ve come!
We all go through difficult circumstances; we each have a story to tell. Every obstacle molds us into who we are and who we’ll become.
Be proud of yourself and celebrate your perseverance!
One of my favorite movies of all time is Dead Poets Society. In it, a professor (played brilliantly by Robin Williams) teaches a group of young men the value of poetry and why it’s so important. The quote above is from one of his teachings.
Poetry, no matter the form it takes (verse, prose, song, rap), is a glimpse into the human experience. It gives the writer as well as the reader a chance to let go of society’s restraints and immerse in an artistic expression of thought, feeling and/or insight. It’s like being a voyeur, only totally legal.
Today is National Poetry Day and on this day we encourage you to either read or write poetry. Write about anything. Read from a poet you’ve never heard of. Let go of your preconceived notions and just enjoy.
Here are a few of our poems for you to enjoy:
Poetry is a beautiful way to experience life and I, for one, would be lost without it.
Are you a healthy person? If so, you’re filled with hope and that’s a great thing!
I’ve struggled with my health for most of my life. My weight has fluctuated over the years and I’m happy to say that I’m in the best shape of my life. This is a good thing with the changes going on in the environment and my body. As I grow older, new health issues pop up and yet, instead of being depressed, I embrace what’s going on. How? By staying hopeful and knowing that I’m taking care of my body.
Your health (and mine too) is key to living a happy life. Without your health, you have no hope. But when you’re healthy and taking care of your body, hope erupts from your pores. Take care of yourself and listen to your body. If it says rest, rest. If it says drink, drink. If it’s craving something, listen to it.
Three things keep me healthy: drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day, exercising at least four times a week and eating delicious food. Sure, I have a gourmet chef husband who loves cooking for me but he also takes care of me, making sure I have enough vegetables, fruit and dairy. He knows how important it is for me to stay healthy.
Instead of dreading your health or tired of being lectured by people about how you need to get healthy, take control of your health. Do what works for you and on your terms. You’ll have tons more energy and feel hope surging in your veins.
Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. — Thomas A. Edison
I’ve been thinking a lot about what it takes to be successful. There are so many opinions about success (everyone has their own say, it seems) that it can be confusing. Your parents have an idea about what it takes to be successful. Your friends have an idea about what it takes to be successful. Your boss knows what it takes to be successful. Professionals promise to show you what it takes to be successful (Hint, it involves buying their book).
It can be daunting but, you have to look inside yourself to find it. Ask yourself, what does it take for me to be successful? Married? A six-figure income? A large house? Children? Best-selling author who is recognized on the street?
Whatever it is, write it down and keep it somewhere where you can look at it every day. Then, take the steps needed to achieve it. Remember, success is not a destination but a journey!
“In all my work, I try to say – ‘You may be given a load of sour lemons, why not try to make a dozen lemon meringue pies?'” — Maya Angelou
Life, it seems, thrives handing out lemons. Just when you think you’ve done all you can with the sour fruit, another bushel appears.
When life gives you lemons, what do you do?
September has been chockerblockful of lemons for us and just when we think we’ve drank as much lemonade as we can take, a new basket of lemons appears. As MR N said this past weekend, “We’ve bellied up to the lemon serve yourself bar and we keep on making it delicious.” See, we tackle whatever comes our way and deal with it head-on. We used to freak out but no longer. We, instead, ask the bartender for another round.
Life is teaching us a life lesson every time we get a bushel of lemons. It’s not the lemons that matter but how we act and react to the sour fruit. Tired of lemonade? Make up some lemon cookies, lemon muffins or even lemon meringue pies. Be creative and remember that you’re not alone.
I see a bar stool has opened up. Who’s next? 😉
Are you proud of the life you’re living?
Everything you do reflects who you are.
I love this quote because it hits home for me. No matter what I’m doing or who I interact with, my actions are an example of who I am. Every blog post, every book, every job, every behavior shows the world who MRS N is. Am I proud of everything I have done in the past? No, I regret my errors and rash decisions. I’m human, after all, and I make a lot of mistakes. But I strive for excellence. I try to be a good example and that’s all anyone can hope for.
Every job is is a self-portrait so make sure to do your level best, no matter if you get credit or if anyone notices. You know in your heart that your actions are your signature.
Dreams are just dreams until you write them down. Once you write them down, they give birth and become goals.
One of the most important lesson I learned in life was the simple act of writing down my dreams. See, dreams are like air; you can’t see them yet you know they’re there. But when you write down your dreams, they become visible and tangible. Dreams, once written down, become goals and we all know about goal-setting.
Cowboys Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith at the ripe age of 22 wrote down his dreams. He wanted to become the all-time leading rusher in the NFL. He hadn’t played one snap on the field yet he wrote it down. He kept his list with him and used it as inspiration. The result? He achieved his goal and many more.
My advice: write down your dreams and use the list as motivation. You have the power to make your wildest dreams come true.
What’s the point of wisdom?
To discern what is true and what is false.
In today’s world, there’s a whole lot of false, lies, fakeness and skirting around the truth. We have fake body parts, fake news, fake leaders, etc. People lie, cheat and steal. Wisdom, true wisdom, is being able to tell the difference.
Gaining wisdom is a life-long pursuit and we’re much wiser today than we were yesterday. Seek truth and understanding; dismiss falsehoods and ignorance.
Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So, love the people who treat you right and forget about the ones who don’t. And believe that everything happens for a reason… if you get a chance, take it; if it changes your life, let it. Nobody said it would be easy… they just promised it would be worth it.
Life too short to wake up in the morning with regrets.
That is my mantra for this week.
Last few weeks were hard for me. Over the weekend, I did a little retrospection and caught myself mulling over regrets. Here are some of my thoughts:
I wish I did better in school.
I wish I stood up to the bullies.
The thoughts went around and around. It wasn’t until MR N took my hand and said softly,
“I love you.”
I smiled at him. His three words silenced the voices in my head. Amazing.
I’m tired of living with regret. So today, I’m releasing all my regrets like little sparrows.
“Fly away,” I say.
Are you living with regret?
Gather all your regrets and release them like little birds. They no longer have any hold over you.
Friends make the world a better place and today I want us to thank our friends for always being there.
You have friends who are your best friends, who are there for you no matter what’s going on in their lives. You may not see each other as much as you’d like but when it comes to life’s ups and downs, they’re by your side.
Pick up the phone, text, email, carrier pigeon them a message saying thanks. Let them know how grateful you are for their love and friendship.
For all my dear friends who’ve supported me the past month, THANK YOU! Your kind words uplifted me and I’m so grateful. I love you all!
Make today Tell A Friend You’re Grateful Day!
You’ve heard the old saying about actions being louder than words but I have a new saying for you to mull over today.
Act without expectations.
Expectations hold us back from going after our dreams, doing something no one has done before and tackling the world. Whether its our own expectations or other people’s expectations of us, it tethers us in place.
Free yourself from expectations and act. Quit worrying about what people think or that you shouldn’t be concentrating on ___________ . Follow your heart and act. You might be surprised where it takes you.
Have you acted without expectations? What was the result? Share in the comments below.
What do you do when your world is falling apart around you? Do you fall into a heap or do you garner what strength you have left and keep going?
September has been one of those months where I wonder what’s going on. Every time I turn around, something else kicks me in the stomach. Whether it’s the heavy smoker moving in next door or natural disasters or our favorite place to eat jacking up the prices or a business platform causing heaps of trouble, it’s hit me (actually both MR N and myself). I look heavenward and wonder if I’m channeling Job.
Normally when the world is caving in around me, something really spectacular is about to happen. I just have to get through the trials by fire to get there. So, I have two choices: I can give up or I can keep going.
I choose to keep going. Why? Because the alternative is depressing. If I don’t keep moving forward, trying new things and tackling whatever wants to kick my bum, I might as well invest in Kleenux stock.
Look forward to what’s right around the corner. The Universe is in your corner, cheering you on as you walk over hot coals. Your strength is your super power and you can make it!
What’s your legacy? Will your life be full of compassion, kindness and empathy?
Today is September 11th and 16 years ago today, a group of terrorist hell-bent on spewing their hatred across the globe flew planes into the World Trade Center, killing thousands. Suddenly, the world shrank and all of our own problems seemed insignificant. Our loved ones were all that mattered and love poured out of every corner of the world.
I remember reading transcripts and survivor’s testimonies, thinking to myself that these heroes’ (whether it’s first responders or fellow Americans) legacies are firmly intact. Love, compassion, kindness and empathy are a great legacy.
What’s my legacy?
Taylor Swift’s words hit home for me. I want to be remembered as someone who went out of their way to encourage and help others.
What will your legacy be?
Don’t delay, start living the legacy you want to remembered for!
Thank you to those who sacrificed their lives to defend our freedoms. Evil will never win, as long as we’re vigilant and continue to spread our Light! We will never forget!
Managing your time without setting priorities is like shooting randomly and calling whatever you hit the target. – Peter Turla
Time management is something that each of us struggles with. We have a never-ending list of things to do and places to go.
Today, I have a lot to do and not enough hours in the day to complete them. How am I not running around screaming like Chicken Little? I manage my time.
Read the above quote.
Sounds moronic, right? But it happens to millions of people every day.
I take full advantage of each and every minute of my day. I have a list of things to do and I stick to it. When there is a little lag time, I try to incorporate two things at once.
Need help with managing your time? Get a daily planner, write down what you need to accomplish in the day and as you complete each task check it off. You will feel so much better than running yourself ragged.
Manage your time or it will manage you.
Did you know that anxiety kills?
Look at any medical journal and you’ll see evidence of how anxiety strips our bodies of health and well-being. Both physically and mentally, anxiety causes us to worry and fret. Love and tranquility can’t penetrate and we’re left with a less than healthy lifestyle.
Last night, I broke down and let anxiety over cigarette smoke leaking into our apartment get the best of me. I started wringing my hands and getting so upset. It didn’t help matters and only caused me to have chest pains. MR N took my hands in his and encouraged me to relax. I took his advice and let is all go. We had the tools to deal with the smoke and it was useless to get so upset.
Like the quote above states, anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It saps the life out of us and the more we worry, the worse off we are. Even our friends and family back away in fear of getting sucked into the anxiety vortex.
So how do we stop anxiety from taking over?
Breathe, meditate/pray, relax.
Stuff happens to us and we have to deal with it. Know what you can control and let the rest of it handle itself. Do it for your health, for yourself and for your loved ones.
Don’t let anxiety win!
What do you fear?
I was watching television the other night and a commercial came on about motor oil. It was all about not allowing fear to take over and keep moving. The voice-over recited a poem from Alan Watts and part of it is above. Pretty inspiring, eh?
Fear can paralyze us, prevent us from living life to the fullest. But that only happens if we let it. We have the power to say no to fear and yes to all of life’s possibilities.
Rev up your engine and run over fear as you speed off into the unknown. Let fear eat your dust!