How to Avoid Giving Up YOU While Giving to Others

Do you open your gifts with wild abandonment, ripping off the paper as fast as you can or are you like me, someone who gingerly opens gifts being extra careful not to destroy the wrapping? My friends will tell you that I savor opening gifts, delicately taking my time carefully unwrapping it, making sure I don't rip the paper and I usually save it to repurpose, particularly if it's attractively wrapped.  For my type A personality friends, who hurriedly rip open their gifts leaving behind a trail of jumbled paper, all the attention I give to unwrapping gifts must drive them nuts. But, I also enjoy carefully selecting and giving gifts as much as I enjoy receiving them. The catch-22 is that most of the time, you are more comfortable … [Read more...]

Take a Day Off – You Deserve It

Yesterday, a friend asked me what plans I had for the day.  After giving her a litany of things I had scheduled, I realized I had fallen prey to the never ending to-do-listitus (I just made that up). When I worked in corporate, I scheduled what I called "mental health days" just for me so I could replenish.  Now that I am self-employed, taking days off other than scheduled vacations is not always so easy. So the one thing I have purposely put on my  to do list is take a day off to take care of me...   On my day off,  here's  what I won't do: Turn on the computer - I don't know about you but I can spend hours on end checking and responding to emails, visiting social media sites, playing games.  You day off ought to be "A … [Read more...]

Accessing the Power of Gratitude

The practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been in the mainstream for years. Long-term studies support its  effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and a faster rate of recovery from surgery. But while we may acknowledge being grateful has many benefits, it still can be difficult to sustain. So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. And for thankfulness to meet its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just something we express at Thanksgiving. We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. And … [Read more...]

Honoring Women Who Blazed New Trails

Anna Marie Jarvis campaigned to establish a day honoring mothers following the death of her mother, Ann Jarvis.  A small service was held on 12 May 1905 in the Andrew's Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia where Anna's mother had been teaching Sunday school.  But the first "official" service was held on May 10, 1908. Ann Marie then proceeded to get Mother's Day established as a U.S. national holiday, and later as an international holiday. The holiday was declared officially by the state of West Virginia in 1910, and the rest of states soon followed quickly. And as we approach this special day set aside to honor Mothers, I can’t think of a better time to also pay tribute to women and highlight some of the innovative, … [Read more...]

Top 3 Things You Can Do To Set Boundaries That Give You Control of Your Life

There is so much in life we have little or no control over. You can't control the weather or the sun rising or setting but the good news is there are many other things that you absolutely CAN control. Here are some of them: 1) Let Go of Expectations Let go of the notion that you can change another person, their actions or non-actions. Your moral compass may not be the same as someone else's. When you let go of the expectations you have of others, you can have more control of your own life. It opens up your mind to focus on your own life and more time to focus on what truly matters to YOU. When you let go of the expectations you have of others, you will no longer allow anyone to yank your chain causing knee-jerk reaction fraught with … [Read more...]

Enjoy the Rewards Along the Journey

I don’t buy lottery tickets but if I did, I would be among the many who invest in the fallacy that they will become the next multi-millionaire. A lot of us are living our lives waiting to hit the illusive jackpot. And for some of us, the jackpot is usually – when I get settled” (whatever that means), “after I pay off some debt”, “as soon as I can find time”, “when the last child is off to college” and other far-off reward thinking. Why not enjoy as much of the journey as possible now and not put off joy today for that magical reward when you arrive at some illusive destination? What have you missed spending a big portion of your life waiting…and missing out on some delicious opportunities to savor the moment? As a young girl, I can … [Read more...]

How You Lose Sleep with Daylight Savings Time

Every year in this part of the country, we get to change our internal and physical clocks ahead one hour so we get more daylight hours and less darkness. Here in the Northeast where it can start getting dark around 4 pm in the winter, more daylight can be a good thing. Yet some states--Arizona and Hawaii--do not observe DST.  Neither do the U.S. territories American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Island. Changing our internal clocks can lead to even more sleep deprivation and in some cases, physical ailments. The experts say we should get 8 hours of sleep a night.  Yet, a poll of 1000 people done by the National Sleep Foundation discovered that 58% of us rarely get a good nights sleep. And most of us get less than six hours of … [Read more...]

How My Palm Pilot Turned into a Problem Child

When you come in contact with people who disregard your boundaries, it’s like inviting unwelcome guests into your home so they can ignore you, disrespect you and leave a trail of negativity behind. For years I used a Palm pda system to keep track of my calendar and contact lists and a cell phone for making and receiving calls.  I often wonder how any of us ever manage our lives without a pda or smartphone. I loved my baby Palm and, like most babies, my palm grew up. She turned into a problem child. Her behavior became erratic.  She was uncooperative, stuck and downright difficult.  She no longer respected my time as being important and refused to take responsibility for her inaction. She no longer listened to me. She didn’t take my … [Read more...]

In Pursuit of Happiness

  Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony - Gandhi Most people expend a great amount of time looking for happiness in all the wrong places . They chase dreams rather than live dreams. Their lives are stimulated only by addictions, religions, and even other people in a futile attempt to fill the void with purpose and meaning. The irony is the only place they ever needed to search was within. Happiness is a state of mind based on how worthy you feel. How you feel about yourself is a direct result of the accumulated experiences you have had, particular growing up.  For instance, if you grew up being made to feel worthy, valued, loved, protected and respected, most likely you feel … [Read more...]

5 Essential Boundary Making Tips

How are you allowing others to set limits on your time and resources? Are you still taking on more and more tasks when your plate is already running over? To keep from rocking the boat, what things are you doing that you would rather not?  Taking your precious time to run an errand for someone just because they asked is not a way to show you have strong boundaries around YOUR time. How jam packed is your schedule with the many things you "have to" do for your friends and family that don't leave  time for YOU?  There are very few things you "have" to do.  Replace "I have to" with "I choose to"...You always have the choice to determine how you spend your time, energy and resources. What stories do you tell yourself supporting the … [Read more...]