Brighten Your Day

A Meaningful Bold Life: From Me to We

photo credit: venetia joubert sarah oosterveld I'm reading an incredible book, "Me to We: Finding Meaning in a Material World." The authors are Marc and Craig Kielburger. They are two young men, one founded Free The Children  and together they founded Leaders Today. Marc and Craig describe their philosophy  Me to We as "A way ... [Read more]

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Cambodian child
Creative Commons License photo credit: venetia joubert sarah oosterveld

I’m reading an incredible book, “Me to We: Finding Meaning in a Material World.” The authors are Marc and Craig Kielburger. They are two young men, one founded Free The Children  and together they founded Leaders Today.

Marc and Craig describe their philosophy  Me to We as “A way of living that feeds the positive in the world–one action, one act of faith, one small step at a time. Me to We has the potential to revolutionize kindness, redefine happiness and success, and rekindle community bonds powerful enough to change your ife and the lives of everyone around you.”

Don’t you love that?

In the introduction Marc and Craig state how they have spend time in more than 40 contries meeting with people from all walks of life. They have met spiritual, political and social leaders including the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela and Pope John ll.

The book answers 4 questions the authors asked themselves:

Why are so many people dissatisfied and seeking a different approach to life?

What lessons have we learned about the shift from Me to We?

How do people stand to benefit from adopting this way of life?

How can people start living Me to We right now?

Included in the book are true stories to inspire, studies and statistics to persuade and tried and true advice for getting started on your own journey. Some of the contributors are Richard Gere, Dr. Jane Goodall, Kim Phuc, Her Majesty Queen Noor, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Oprah Winfrey.

Over the last few months I’ve been thinking about doing some serious volunteer work. And about a week ago I saw on a televison program that we now have tent cities in the United States. As people lose their jobs and homes they have no place to go. The homeless shelters are all full. Sacramento CA is thinking about leagalizing tent cities because of the need.

This sealed the deal. I am currently searching out volunteer work. I haven’t volunteered since spending a week in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. It was an experience of a life time.

The book will take you out of yourself and put you in touch with just how much we really do have in the United States. Yes even in these difficult times. All profits from the sales of this book go to Free The Children.

Magic Mondays with Eric Hamm

photo credit: eyeSPIVE  Happy Monday Everyone! Last weeks Magic Monday commenter is Trey from Swollen Thumb Entertainment! His comment: "These are all great tips. I like the one about simplfying your goals to 3 a day. That’s an easy task to accomplish. And when you think about it, thats 21 goals a week, or 93 goals ... [Read more]

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Toon Studio – Disney Studios, Paris
Creative Commons License photo credit: eyeSPIVE
 

Happy Monday Everyone!

               Now for our Magic Monday Freebie Winner

Last weeks Magic Monday commenter is Trey from Swollen Thumb Entertainment! His comment:

“These are all great tips. I like the one about simplfying your goals to 3 a day. That’s an easy task to accomplish. And when you think about it, thats 21 goals a week, or 93 goals a month, or 1092 goals a year! Behold the power of less!”

               Todays Magic Monday Give Away …

is from my blogging buddy Eric Hamm of www.frugalsitedesign.com

In Eric’s own words, “As a WordPress consultant/designer I get to enjoy my two favorite things; technology and helping others WITH technology.  With bloggers being some of my biggest clients, I spend a lot of time in WordPress and the many themes and plugins that come with the territory.  From setup and design to troubleshooting and general consulting, I pretty much do it all.  Normally this is a paid service, but I would like to give away some of my time to one of Tess‘s readers in participation with her excellent new series, Magic Mondays.”

What I’m offering:

Not knowing the individual needs that I will be addressing, I’ve decided to present 3 packages for the winner’s choosing.

  1. Blog design assessment. I will take a look at a blog of your choosing and create a report on its design and usability.  I will share my thoughts, give suggestions and make a general assessment on what could be done to improve its all around design and layout.
  2. Custom logo/header design and installation. I will create a custom logo/header for the blog of your choosing and then install it for you.
  3. 30 minute general consultation. We can talk on the phone or through IM (chat) for up to 30 minutes.  You can ask me whatever you’d like.

If you have any questions about who I am or what I do, feel free to contact me via email or phone.  You can find my contact information by visiting my website FrugalSiteDesign.com.

You can also fine Eric on  www.Blogopolisblueprint.com where he blends his technology talent with Sean Platts creativity, a rare thing in the blogosphere. Then there is www.MotivateThyself where Eric convinces you to “grab life by the horns and never let go!” Eric is also a soon to be new dad!

Today’s Magical Monday Contest:

As a former therpist I advised my clients to use affirmations. I know you can purchase fancy ones but I encourage everyone to make their own on index cards. This allows you to personalize them put them in your own handwriting. There’s power in that!

There are other ways you can do it but for me this is the most powerful. Today I want to share with you some of my personal affirmations that always get Mondays going for me.

I enjoy the present and trust in my future. My life is an adventure that I create.

I live in an abundant universe. I choose to focus on what’s good and right in my life. I’m open to giving and receiving more.

I acknowledge the joy, wonder and beauty in my life.

The world is pregnant with infinite possibilities.

I am a strong, inteligent and loving person and I count. I own my value even when I make a mistake.

I find little things to appreciate and enjoy in all of my daily tasks.

I live in the present. I am willing to be bold and take risks and move forward no matter what the outcome.

I acknowledge many kinds of success and expect success in the future.

I am safe in the world. I’ll manage all difficult things that come up.

I release conflict and choose inner peace.

I release worry, hurry and control.

How about you? Do you have a favorite affirmation or do one of these speak to you? Please share your thoughts about affirmations in the comment box for your chance to win.

The winner will be announced later this week!

Don't You Dare Quit

photo credit: minds-eye Change begins with a single small step, the decision to move rather than stay still, to try something rather than merely fantasize about it. Go ahead, take that step. Feel the energy change around you, within you. You are moving in the right direction." Anonymous Two weeks of the new year are ... [Read more]

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Baby Sea Turtle Poster
Creative Commons License photo credit: minds-eye

Change begins with a single small step, the decision to move rather than stay still, to try something rather than merely fantasize about it. Go ahead, take that step. Feel the energy change around you, within you. You are moving in the right direction.” Anonymous

Two weeks of the new year are nearly gone. How are you coming on those changes you promised yourself?  Remember you don’t have to do things perfectly. If you fall it’s no time to quit, it’s time to pick yourself up and begin again!

When you think it’s too hard tell yourself, “I’m learning more everyday.” When it is overwhelming take one step at a time. Post a sign in your office that states, “No matter how long it takes or how bad it gets, I’m going to do it!”

Your self-talk has a monumnetal impact on your results. What are you telling yourself today? Just for today, do not worry.  Worry doesn’t solve your problems it steals your happiness and joy. When you are anxious or worried remember to smile, breathe and go slowly.

When you believe things are falling apart focus on what is going right. If you could reach out to someone for support who would it be?  If you need help ask for it.

Most of our obstacles would melt away if, instead of cowering before them, we should make up our minds to walk boldly through them.”   –Orison Swett Marden

Make a list of all obstacles you beieve are in your way. Then make a plan for overcoming each obstacle. Keep your focus on solutions.

“What saved us over and over was our willingness to recognize what wasn’t working and quickly identify a new way of looking at it. Be remaining flexible and open to creative solutions, the results have been miraculous.” -Anita Roddick, The Body Shop

I have been in training for a 1/2 marathon for the past several months. The race is this Sunday but I decided to wait because my husband will be gone on a business trip. I didn’t want to do it without my biggest fan.

I found another race scheduled for mid February. Then last Thursday my hip began hurting. Today I made an appointment with my physician to get it checked out. I’m hoping now to be ready in March for an ING half marathon in Atlanta where my duaghter lives.

I’m frustrated and disappointed however I don’t plan on giving up anytime soon. This is just a minor inconvenience, a bump in the road.

lillie-doss1x1.jpg
Lillie Doss, 83 years old, is from Austin, TX . She won her age group in the Masters 10-K National Championships in April and the 5-K &10K at the World Senior games in October. “I can’t isn’t in her vocabulary!”

 

The Power of Apologizing

photo credit: MShades "An apology is the superglue of life.  It can repair just about anything.  ~Lynn Johnston" One way we can begin the new year with a clean slate is to apologize and make amends to someone we've offended. With this simple action we can let go of old issues and the same stories we tell ourselves ... [Read more]

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Uniqlo t-shirt
Creative Commons License photo credit: MShades

“An apology is the superglue of life.  It can repair just about anything.  ~Lynn Johnston”

One way we can begin the new year with a clean slate is to apologize and make amends to someone we’ve offended. With this simple action we can let go of old issues and the same stories we tell ourselves that continue to haunt and hurt us.

Think of it as an opportunity to have a great impact on your relationships with your family, friends and coworkers.

Because we have all hurt others and know what it’s feels like to be hurt it’s important to be brave enough to offer and receive apologies. Holding grudges, distancing ourselves and wanting revenge is detrimental to our mental and physical health. Offering and accepting apologies is crucial to our well-being.

When we apologize we offer healing and peace of mind to ourselves and the other party involved. Loving relationships require us to make apologizing a habit, a integral part of daily life. For relationships to grow and progress it is essential that we take ownership and correct our errors, blunders and transgressions. Failure to do so will eventually suck the energy out of even the best of relationships.

How to apologize:

1. Be timely, the sooner you apologize the better. However it’s never too late.

2. Empathize by putting yourself in the other persons shoes.

3. Take 100% responsibility for being hurtful, rude or wrong. “I accept responsibility for…”

4. Don’t give excuses. “But I was tired.” An apology with an excuse is not an apology. Anything after ‘but’ is BS!

5. Show respect and sencerity through your words, attitude and the use of  your body language.

6. Express remorse. Say exactly what you did wrong. “I’m sorry I hurt you by not returning your phone call” not “I’m sorry I did that.”  The words “I’m sorry,” begins to rebuild trust.

7. Offer a clear plan for improved behavior. “In the future I will ____________(behavioral change).

8. Remember actions speak louder than words. “What can I do to make it up to you?”

9. Ask for forgiveness. This gives the power back to the other party.

Benefits:
You will feel better.
You will lighten guilt and shame.
You will be less likely to make the same mistake.
You will no longer waste energy being stuck in the past.
The harmed person feels emotional healing.
You will stop the problem from snowballing to something bigger.
You feel free to be vulnerable.
Less likely to repeat the offense.
When we apologize we teach others to do the same

“We can not tell what may happen to us in the strange medley of life. But we can decide what happens in us -how we take it, what we do with it- and that is what really counts in the end.-Joseph F. Newton”

Forgiveness: A Bold Choice for A Loving Heart

photo credit: LivingOS "Forgiveness is like a muscle: When you practice on smaller things, you gain the skill to deal with bigger ones." -Fred Luskin Think of someone you hold a grudge against, someone who has hurt you. Are you ready to forgive this person? What does forgiveness mean to you? What does forgiveness require ... [Read more]

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Jesus Does Maths
Creative Commons License photo credit: LivingOS

“Forgiveness is like a muscle: When you practice on smaller things,
you gain the skill to deal with bigger ones.” -Fred Luskin

Think of someone you hold a grudge against, someone who has hurt you. Are you ready to forgive this person? What does forgiveness mean to you? What does forgiveness require from you?

Forgiveness is a shift in perception.

We change the way we look at a person and the situation that has caused us hurt and pain. It is a private choice, a process, even a way of life. Forgiveness is not only a gift you give others, you gift yourself as well.

My good friend Liz who lived across the street from me for several years began dating someone new. Her boyfriend came with his own group of friends, and she made it clear her new life didn’t include our friendship.

I cried buckets of tears. I vented to my spouse. Still frustrated, I went to our cottage with a large canvas, paints and brushes and painted my pain. I filled the canvas with gray hearts, split open with jagged edges. The background was black, red and yellow. I felt sad and empty.

I shoved the canvas in the back of a closet. Three years later, I came across the painting and realized the pain was gone.

                   Tucked in my heart were all the joyful and amazing memories we shared.

I knew Liz didn’t single me out for special punishment. Our story ended. We never know how long someone will be in our life. Therefore, it’s important to enjoy and appreciate every moment.

One exercise that helps me move on when a relationship ends, is to repeat the following blessing : “I bless you, I release you, I set you free. I allow you to be you and me to be me.” I find it simple, memorable and it repeat it as needed. Instead of reliving the pain, repeat the blessing.

Forgiving our parents isn’t easy, it takes strength, bravery and time. We do it when we’re ready. When we let go of the ones who hurt us, we also let go of the one who was hurt and broken. We give up that part of ourselves. We are no longer a victim. Sometimes we feel they’re getting away with something and we’re left to suffer. But as we grieve the losses of our childhood, we gain relief, peace and freedom.        

           Forgiveness isn’t for them. We don’t forgive to let others off the hook.

We forgive to be free from the endless cycle of  pain and resentment that fuels the war within us. We forgive so we can fill our empty hearts with love. We forgive and gain our power back.

The deeper the hurt and betrayal, the deeper we sink into our grieving process and eventually move into forgiveness. Forgiving our parents can be difficult for some. The process may be long and hard.

Grieving has it’s own timing. It’s different for everyone. Honor your process. Treat yourself kindly and with gentleness and love. You may want to seek out the support of a therapist or grief counselor. I did.
                                   Eventually, we have to let go of our stories.

Our story that we were unfairly treated or our parents were neglectful and abusive. Our story about our best friend who betrayed us and a boss that fired us. The stories are true. The feelings of being taken advantage of, hurt, betrayed and violated are real. 

In order to release our story, it’s necessary to feel the profound pain, the sadness and the lonliness of the loss. We grieve the loss of the relationships that never were and never will be. And then we move on.

Whether you’re fogiving yourself or somebody else ask yourself, “What lessons can I learn from this? What insight can I take away?” We are all human. We all make mistakes. Always look for the lesson. Learn from it. Let go and grow. Go out and live your life to the fullest, don’t look back and don’t hold back. 

What forgiveness isn’t:
Forgiveness isn’t condoning inappropriate behavior.
You don’t have to accept what another did in order to forgive.
It isn’t pretending everything is all right.
It doesn’t make us superior.
Forgiveness doesn’t stop you from making changes.
Forgiveness isn’t always reconciling with the offender.

When we choose to forgive:
We have happy hearts, healthy immune systems, less headaches and pain.
We release of the control another’s actions have over us.
We feel lovable and worthy.
We cleanse our heart from shame and guilt.
We release toxic feelings and grudges.
We mend our broken heart.
We free our energy.
We gain the freedom to love.
We transform our lives and relationships.
We increase your capacity for joy.
We are more peaceful, calm and confident.
We are emotionally and physically healthy.