Ash Wednesday… What are you doing for Lent?

E17412B4-8286-49D9-8DC5-DF802C4B0E86Yesterday, while at the coffee shop, a young man came and sat next to me. I looked over and thought, “I should tell him he has some black dirt on his forehead.” As I was contemplating how to politely reveal this to him, I remembered it was Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent.

So, I smiled and said, “Oh, it looks like you stopped by church.”

To which he replied, “Actually, at the University there was a booth and I was able to  stop by there without going to church.”

Interesting, so the Catholic church was making it easier to participate in Ash Wednesday by setting up a booth, knowing that people have busy schedules. Good idea!

Next, I noticed that he had this small journal that he was writing in. I couldn’t help it, I had to comment. It was so small it made me think he was a spy or a writer taking field notes.

So, I said, “I love your small journal, might I ask what you are using it for?”

He said, “I bought it for Lent, I’m going to use it as my daily GRATITUDE journal.”

What a great idea! Most people give something up for Lent and they preface it with “I’m going to TRY and give sweets up, etc.” To me, if you are using the word “try” than you have already failed.

I told this fellow, I liked his gratitude journal much better. I believe in the power of positivity.

He smiled, I smiled, and we wished each other a wonderful day!

It is Lent, I am grateful for meeting this young man who brought “joy” to my day.

What are you grateful for today?

Puzzles, brain teasers, word mazes, crosswords, and more…

Puzzle book 1I was looking at books, nothing in particular just “seeing” what was out there. As it was Sunday, I saw some people doing the crossword puzzle in the newspaper. I’m not good at crossword puzzles, I never seem to know the answers to the cryptic clues they give. Out of 50, I might get five right, which is very disappointing. I always give up.

Maybe, because I was thinking of crosswords, when I went to the books in the sale isle, I came across this “Puzzle Collection” book. Normally, I would give it a glance, nothing more. I saw the dreaded crossword picture on the front cover, but the words “puzzle collection,” caught my attention. I love puzzles. Both the physical ones you put together and the ones where you have to use your mind. So, I slowly took a peek in the book hoping it was more than word mazes, crosswords and sudoku.

I was not disappointed. In fact, as I was flipping through it, I got excited. The book had all sorts of interesting challenges. Lately, I have long boring train rides, this book would keep me busy.

Take a look, this was a fun one, “INTERNATIONAL SPY TRAVELER?!” I was on board with that. I felt like I was becoming “James Bond’s” travel agent.

Puzzle book 2

Then there was this one.

Puzzle Book 3

I have to say, “I was hooked!” Had to get this book. Better than crosswords, for me anyhow.

THEN I thought, I’ll get so engrossed in a puzzle that I will miss my stop to go home! If I took Amtrak, I could end up in San Francisco or New York. The book was worth the risk!

It’s good to challenge our minds.

2018 – HAPPY NEW YEAR! A new year to accomplish things.

ADB6FBCB-691D-4463-8C27-D5CD5DA4241AI’m excited about moving into 2018! How about you?

How do you sum up 2017:  life changing, goals realized, figuring it out, really tough, adventurous, quiet, magical…?

As I ponder what 2017 meant for me, I am thinking about 2018.

There are 4 quarters in a year. In business, we look at the year, then we break it down into quarters and monthly/weekly/daily goals, so that by the end of the year we are on target for reaching our goals.

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Personal lives are the same. We accomplish more if we write down a plan and try to stick to it. Some years I am good at this, some years I have thoughts in my mind of what I want to accomplish, but the thoughts seem to stay there, because…. THAT’S JUST IT, the word “because” holds me back.

So, this year, 2018 is about tackling the word, “because.” It’s time to think like an Olympian enough with the “because.”

Two years ago, my College friend (Dave, Life In A Word) suggested we challenge ourselves and create a Blog. We both enjoy writing. The catch was that we had to commit to Blogging once a week for one year!  We shook hands, no turning back.

Now, two years later, Dave and I can confidentially say, “we are Bloggers.” We didn’t let the word “because” stop us. We committed!

2018 starts tomorrow! I am thinking and planning.

For today, I want to head to the gym, but the word “because (it’s too cold outside)” is already coming to my mind. You see how that word “because” causes problems.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Great post on removing friction! Go for the GOLD!

IMG_1601We’ve all been there, we are trying to make progress on our goals, but we feel there is too much “friction” around us. I’ve been feeling that way, I even looked outside last night to see if there was a Full Moon going on. I noticed the days are getting shorter already, summer is almost over. BUT Fall means we are in the “home stretch.” The count down to December 31 is approaching. WHAT will I still accomplish in 2017?

As I was focusing on this BIG question, I saw an email come in from a fellow Blogger named, “Tynan,” writing about “Removing Friction.” I’ve been following him for a few years. His message today was right on target, he talked about getting rid of FRICTION. There MUST be a full moon, you see he was feeling “angst” too!

He’s a goal oriented guy, always trying to improve his life or situation. I was raised that way too, so I appreciate his message today. Read it, feel encouraged!

He doesn’t tell us anything we don’t know. The reason the message was motivating to me was because I am on a similar path of getting rid of “friction” in my life, so I can BETTER focus on important goals.

Friction = Fears

Get rid of fears, get rid of friction.

My Dad had no time for fears. As soon as they crop up, deal with them he would say! It’s your life, if you want to cry in a corner and feel sorry for yourself, so be it. You are a grown up, I’m not here to coddle you. You are the ONLY one to change your life!

Fears are anything that hold us back. Like Tynan says in his post, it can be as simple as buying a new set of pliers to get a job done, organizing our files, cleaning out clutter, creating a spread sheet, hanging those curtains, negotiating a new phone plan, etc. Make a list of ALL the things you have been avoiding, and tackle each one head on!

Let’s have a goal… by Monday ALL frictions are removed!

Like this guy on his motorcycle taking that tight corner, we are going to tackle our fears “head on!”

We’ve GOT THIS!  We are “In the RACE to WIN it.” We are going for the GOLD, not Silver or Bronze — GOLD, we are Olympians!

Post your goal below… THINK of December 31… and THEN own it!

Let’s see who gets to the FINISH line first!

 

Do you believe in LUCK?

FullSizeRenderToday I was taking a walk and something shiny caught my attention in the grass. I looked down and THERE I saw a LUCKY PENNY!  It’s ALWAYS a good day when we find a Lucky Penny!

I smiled super big. This was such an odd place to find a penny next to the sidewalk in the grass. For those of you who might not know, in America if you find a penny and usually it should be “heads up” it means “Good Luck!”  Also, as you see on the penny it says, “In God We Trust.” So, if you have been going through challenges in life, it is a reminder to Trust in God, he is watching over you. Or I’d like to think my Guardian Angel wanted me to know he/she is working hard on making dreams/wishes come true, have FAITH and do “my share” to make things HAPPEN!

I do feel that LUCK is when OPPORTUNITY meets PREPARATION! We help create our own luck along with the Universe sending us a few miracles/surprises along the way.

Not far from the penny this FUNNY BUNNY appeared. How is that for a rhyme and he didn’t dash off, he just stood there.

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Years ago, I read a very interesting book called, “There Are No Accidents: Synchronicity and the Stories of Our Lives,” by Robert H. Hopcke. I was reminded of that book today. If you have a chance try and read it. Hopcke interviewed different people who had curious events happen in there lives certainly synchronicity was at play.

LUCK seems to be on my mind lately. Recently, while in Ireland, I came across this Fairy Dust in the Tourist Shop. After I shook the jar, made a few wishes… WELL, I had to buy it. It just seemed like FUN!

So, I am sharing my WISHING JAR with YOU!

Make a WISH and SHAKE THE JAR in your mind. Let’s give the Leprechauns and Fairies something to do.

GOOD LUCK with your wishes!

 

 

Need some LADYBUGS, buy Geraniums.

IMG_3514I enjoy gardening. When Spring comes I have favorite flowers. I love impatiens and geraniums. Imaptiens remind me of Carmel, CA, beautiful bedding plant, but they do need watering every day. Geraniums though, they are a hardy flower that bloom constantly with little care.

IMG_3510Recently, I went to the gardening store and was looking for geraniums in this pinkish/redish color. I looked down and this particular geranium was FULL of ladybugs. Of course, I smiled and was transported to my childhood when the “first” ladybug I ever saw had landed on my arm. This little bug was so pretty, sweet and dainty and when it walked up my arm it felt like a little tickle when it moved. My second thought was, “WOW – I must be in for some REALLY GOOD LUCK, there are a lot of ladybugs here!” My third and final thought was, how are there so many ladybugs on “THIS” particular geranium?

So, I read the little instruction sticker and it said that this particular geranium attracts ladybugs to it, which is good for your garden, because ladybugs eat different insects. DID YOU KNOW THAT? I didn’t.

When I got home I Googled “ladybugs” and found that in Europe ladybugs are called “ladybirds.” Not sure that I can see how a ladybug resembles a bird except for the wings it has. At the same time, it made me think that this sweet beautiful little creature does not look like a “bug” either. My research found that ladybugs “are known” for bringing “good luck!”

So, with this post, I share my ladybugs with you.

Let’s see what luck comes our way!

 

 

Inspiration: How can I soar with eagles when I am flying with buzzards?

Eagle EyesI’ve always been fascinated by eagles. It started when my father got frustrated with his four kids for working too slow or not thinking fast enough on the building site. He would shake his head and say, “How can I soar with eagles, when I am flying with buzzards!”

I always chuckled in my mind when he said that. I would immediately envision those sad looking vultures toward the end of the animated movie, “The Jungle Book” and think, “What… vultures… I’m not a vulture!”

If you’ve never seen the animated Jungle Book movie, watch this clip on YouTube, uploaded by Thomas Ferrin, “vultures on jungle book.”  You’ll have a better understanding on why you wouldn’t want to be a vulture. They have no “joie de vivre!”

Like the photo of the vultures I have, that’s how they look… but it’s important for you to see how they talk and act. They have no energy, no purpose, no goals.

Vultures

Then I would think, “NO WAY, I am an eagle!”

This phrase has stayed with me all my life. It’s a tape recording in my mind for those times that I find myself challenged for whatever reason. When I need to draw strength, because I feel there is “no hope,” I remember those words and somehow I stand taller, I take the buzzard out of my mind and I focus on the photo of the eagle above. I draw from his “no nonsense” character, the “determination” in his eyes, and remember, “I do have goals!”

I AM STRONG!

I WILL SOAR!

My Dad will be PROUD!