Sore throat? HALLS cough drops will give you inspiration…

I had to share this with you. When we have a sore throat many of us turn to Halls cough drops. In a hurry, we take the cough drop out of the wrapper, pop the cough drop in our mouth and throw away the wrapper.

Now, have you ever looked at the wrapper? I have to admit, I have not. Well, for some reason my daughter did. It was so amusing, the wrapper was filled with motivational messages.

So, as I am getting a cold… arghhh… I smiled at my Halls wrapper message today.

I sure do need a “battle cry!”

Thanks, HALLS!

A good friend gives a Prayer Box

2A9C2534-817B-44BC-BBA8-3EF0B421C7ACIn life, we all go through challenges. Even when we strive for positivity, we are not immune to feeling angry, tired, frustrated, etc. A few years ago, I had been laid off my job. I was trying to stay positive and see the silver lining in the whole ordeal, but it was tough.

One day when the tears were flowing and I was questioning, “why do I have to go through this again!?!” A friend called and asked me out for lunch. I was not in the mood for lunch. I was on a tight budget with no job, so I didn’t want to spend money on lunch. I asked if we could compromise and meet for coffee instead.

A happy, “no problem,” was the answer. I made a joke and told my friend, “YOU DO KNOW, I am not in the best of spirits, right???”

She chuckled and said, “Even when you are down, you can still make a joke.”

True, I am lucky that growing up, my mother never allowed us to sulk or stay unhappy. She taught us to “immediately” turn a bad moment into a happy moment. It takes a bit of practice, but I realized early on that we are in charge of the direction our thoughts or mood go in. Focus on negativity, be angry all day, focus on the sweet smelling roses, smile and be happy all day. We decide! We choose to either be Pooh Bear or Eeyore all day! That is how I explained it to my daughters. This was a no brainer, we preferred to be “Pooh Bear,” who was always cute, happy and funny.

Anyhow, back to my coffee date. As we were drinking our coffee, my friend said she had a gift for me. I immediately felt guilty accepting it, because I felt like it must be a gift that said, “I feel sorry for you.” So, I forced myself not to be mean and say, “You shouldn’t have,” instead, I graciously accepted it wondering what it could be.

8A1F73DD-4D53-41E3-B358-FED322689BB1Well, I got quite a surprise, because in the cute packaging was a “Prayer Box.” I would never have expected something like this. Even better was when I opened the prayer box and read the nice rhyming sentence! I couldn’t help smiling.

As I read that sentence a sense of relief came over me. My stressed shoulders relaxed, I smiled and felt a sense of freedom. Give my worries to someone else, what a great concept.

So, imagine my surprise when I happened to open a box in the closet yesterday and there was my Prayer Box! As I am job searching again, I got the BIGGEST SMILE!

Prayer Box to the rescue!

Vision boards, scrap books, ART… What inspires YOU?

IMG_2548Fall is here, days are getting shorter. I had a pile of magazines to go through this weekend. I decided to work on my vison board.

First picture, what a find! I saw an advertisement selling computers. It popped in my mind that Brilliant Viewpoint is always on “my computer screen,” so I clipped that out. Then, I found, “Set Your Sights: Choose your path and focus on what matters.”

Clip, clip, snip, snip – page created!

Next, drawing. I’m not an artist, but found a video that gave instructions on drawing birds. NOTE: It did take a few tries to get this end result. Into the scrap book.

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I worked in advertising, so I was ALWAYS looking at ads, story headings–anything/anywhere it would catch my attention and I would think, “Ah, I love that! I need to add that phrase to my book.”

Next time you are in a dentist office, shopping mall, library — LOOK, SEE and READ what is around you. I bet you’ll wish you had your scissors handy, because your mind will visualize a NEW inspirational scrapbook page, like this one:

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The beauty of a vision board/scrap book is that it is YOURS!

What inspires you? Take it to the next step…

I read that a dream, is just that — a dream, but a dream written down with a date, NOW that becomes a GOAL! Take the goal and list the steps to get there, NOW you have a PLAN. Work the plan to completion, NOW you have fulfilled your DREAM!

SIMPLE… RIGHT?!

Self help – “Elf-help books” (Indiana -> Ireland)

IMG_2523Life is interesting, we come across certain things when we need them. For example, I was reading a Blog called, “It Starts with Me,” where the blogger had a personal post called, “Anxiety of the Unknown.” She tells the story of her fiancé who signed a sports contract that led them to a move across the world to the UK. After getting adjusted to a new life in England, her fiancé suffered a sports injury and as they await the results of the MRI, she is faced with the “unknown” of their future, which is worrisome.

When I went walking, I had her story on my mind.

I came upon a bookstore in Limerick (Ireland). I was amused when I saw these “small” books with little Elfs on them. Turns out they are “Elf-help Books” that have been around since 1987. They are illustrated by R.W. Alley, who is known for his Paddington Bear illustrations.

Imagine my surprise to learn that these books are published in Indiana, not Ireland. Sadly, Abbey Press Printing closed in June 2017. Not clear if there is a new Publisher, but books are still being sold on Amazon.

The “Worry” book caught my attention. This would be PERFECT for my Fellow Blogger who is concerned about the “unknown.”

Here are a few pages to read.

We all have worries in life. Somehow, I was brought to these books by a “little Elf.” They have adult and children Elf-help books.

If you were able to zoom in and read the pages I’ve shared with you, you can see that the worry message is simple, short and motivating. The illustrations are adorable in an innocent old fashioned way.

You can visit “Elf-help Books” at www.elf-help.com. 

I just read on Wikipedia that Abbey Press Printing was started in 1867 by Saint Meinrad Archabbey, who are Benedictine Monks in Southern Indiana. They’ve been marketing their products around the world and can be found in 25 English speaking countries. More than 20 foreign companies are licensed to print books in other languages.

So, the big question is “WHY, after 150 years, did they have to close their printing press this 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!

 

African animals come to life in “Beast,” by John Banovich

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© John Banovich, Giants of Kilimanjaro, 2016, oil on belgian linen, 24 x 24 in.                        Limited Edition Giclee on Canvas.

My father loves Africa, he has been there over 35 times. He was especially fascinated by elephants, lions and leopards. I believe they gave him strength to persevere, fight and drive himself to success. He is a self made man, ferocious reader and watches many documentaries. In fact, as we were growing up, he’d call us in to watch, “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” with Marlin Perkins. This show studied wild animals in their natural habitats, we learned the importance of conservation from Perkins’s stories.

Fast forward 35+ years and conservation efforts are stronger than ever. Years ago, my father and I came across an artist out of Montana named, “John Banovich.” We were immediately mesmerized by his larger than life paintings of African animals. Clearly, Banovich had the same passion for African animals as my father had with the ability to bring them to life. For example, take a look at this elephant painting by Banovich. It’s incredible, we can see the precision with which Banovich paints the wrinkles on the elephant’s skin, brings fierceness to his eyes, the tusks perfectly positioned with just the right color. What amazed my father and I was the “feeling” that we were facing the elephant “head on, eye to eye,” like a fight scene. He gives life to all of his paintings in this way. They are very powerful!

Banovich’s love of animals/nature runs deep. In 2007, he started the Banovich Wildscapes Foundation, a nonprofit organization created to conserve wildlife, wild places and the people who live there. Right now, he supports twelve projects in seven countries with a portion of artwork sales going to the Foundation. A few projects are saving lions in Africa, Siberian tigers in Russia Far East and brown bears in North America. On his Foundation’s website you can read specific information on each project.

In 2009, he published the book, “Beast.” This banovich-book-beastbook shares his life story and collection of paintings. It’s a beautiful book, one that should be put on a coffee table and shared with others.

Visit Banovich’s Facebook page for the latest news on his projects and events. His next event is in South Carolina. If you’d like to learn more about his work, this is your chance to meet him in person AND to support wildlife conservation!

NEXT EVENT

THE ART OF CONSERVATION
Plantation Grille, Brays Island Plantation, SC
Guest Speaker: John Banovich, Artist/Conservationist
March 13, 2017, 3:30-5:00pm

Miracles… Lost items that are found.

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Scarf when lost.

Guest Blogger:

Francesca Meffert / Ireland

Tuesday

My heels clicked against the pavement as I crossed the street already ¾ of my way home from campus when the first stab of panic hit, “Why don’t I feel my scarf around my neck?”

The wind howled, mocking my inattention.

Touching my neck, bare flesh greeted me and my stomach flopped as I realized the wind had surely snatched it in my scurry home.

I asked myself, “Do you want to go back for it?” “No, it wasn’t my favorite scarf and I rarely wore it anyways. Besides, if the wind took it who knows where it might be.”

I resumed my walk home, my feet scuffling a tad heavier.

Wednesday – Saturday

Cycling into campus I took the route I came the previous day and alas there was no scarf to be found.

The next day was the same….

And the next…..

and the next.

Sunday

I gazed out the window as the bus prattled its way closer to campus. That morning I had cycled into college; a fact I was struggling with at this moment when deciding whether to get off on campus to collect my bike or head home. Sighing, I did also want to stop by Church at some stage to light a candle, which, if I went for that option would entail having to walk back into campus for my bike. As the scenery passed by with increasing alacrity I found myself facing a decision among 3 options:

Option 1: stop at college, get bike, go home.

Option 2: stop off a bit later, go to Church, get bike, go home.

Option 3: go home.

(It is worth noting that the route via Option 1 or 3 would take me different paths to/from college and my house).

Going with Option 2

I pressed the button and got off the bus and began my walk to Church. This is a route I had taken the last four days. As I was about to cross the street, I looked down and saw a heap of wet, dirty, grimy cloth that had clearly been exposed to the elements for a good while. My heart felt a moment of sadness for the poor thing and all of a sudden I felt myself doing a double-take, wait a second, that’s MY scarf!!

I crouched down and delicately plucked the grimy scarf from the ground and placed it in my bag, arousing stares of intrigue and distain from drivers and passerby’s alike. Standing up, I was grinning from ear to ear like a fool. It wasn’t even the fact that I had my scarf back, it hadn’t been super important to me, it was “what finding it represented,” and I couldn’t help but think:

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                                            Scarf when found.

What was once lost can always be found.

Perhaps that could be true of objects, but I felt this was a gift from the universe more symbolic in nature.

Often times, we find ourselves in predicaments or situations that are stressful, hard, or challenging in some manner or another – be it in our work, relationships, life decisions or more. It is in those moments that we must ignite the best in ourselves – be it motivation, love, passion, determination, patience, hope or whatever is required to see us through it. We all have the capacity to ignite these elements within ourselves, but it’s up to us to trigger them. Finding the scarf reminded me, that although it can be difficult to imagine, “what was once lost can always be found” and we can find it in ourselves to recall our best traits to see us through.

Had I chosen Option 1 or 3, I would surely not have found my scarf or remembered this important life lesson. As my friend reminded me, everything happens for a reason.

I hope that this scarf can serve as a lesson, that you too, can find whatever it is in your heart that you are searching for, it just takes faith!