Will You Buy a Ticket?

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I’ve been trying really hard to be positive lately. It’s amazing, don’t you think, that the way we perceive something depends on our attitude at the time. It takes diligence and focus to see everything  you can from the most positive point of view. Perspective is the difference in feeling elated or surrendering to being miserable. Two people can look at the same picture and one will see beauty, the other scribble. It sounds easy enough but it really comes down to who you are around. It’s impossible to be a positive person surrounded by negative people. Try as you may, eventually they will bring you down. Choose where you spend your time and who you spend it with. Look for the good, the silver linings and focus on the things you are grateful for. Find something that makes you happy and do it all the time. Being positive is a one way ticket to happiness. Why not be a frequent flyer?

Do You Want A Better Life?

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I’ve taken a mini vacation from hospice care. It made me recognize more than ever that balance is so important in my life. There is death happening all around me. When I see someone there at the end of their life, it forces me to live better. I’ve been forced to stare death square in the eye and not hide from it anymore. Now, more than ever, I believe it is so important to make the most out of every day. My plan is to do something nice for someone every single day, even if I don’t feel like it.  Yesterday, I helped my friend move to an apartment on the third floor. My back was aching and my legs were burning, but knowing how much I was able to help was enough to put a smile on my face. 

I plan on traveling more and exploring this amazing world we live in. I had no idea what was out there waiting until I saw it for myself.  I have been so fortunate these last few years to get to visit so any amazing places. I could feel my heart and soul expand as I discovered beauty more amazing than I ever imagined.

 I am making little uncomfortable changes in my relationships necessary to make them more fulfilling. It’s a full time job but I must admit, I do believe it’s the most important job I could ever have and the payoff is far greater than the almighty dollar. 

Live today, right now, in this moment. If you want a better life, all you have to do is make better choices. At the very least, make different choices that are maybe out of your comfort zone. Say yes to new things and you will discover more about yourself than ever before. Say yes to the things you love instead of no to the things you don’t want. It makes a big difference, I promise. 

Spread happiness and kindness everywhere you go and at the end of the day, practice gratitude for the many blessings you have. Do you want a better life? Only you have the power to make it happen.

Yes Challenge

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Jennifer Pastiloff is someone I follow on social media. This week she has been posting a list of things she is saying yes to. It made me think about how I hold myself back from so many things I enjoy for absolutely no reason at all. Maybe it’s because what I think I should be doing and what I’d like to be doing are often two very different things. That’s just what I do these days, what’s expected of me. That means I push aside the things that would make me happy for the very things that make me feel crappy. I’m going to join her in making a daily list for myself. We do have a choice but will what we choose come from a place of guilt or desire?

Today, I am saying yes to not vacuuming and sticking my fork into a piece of cake. I am saying yes to squeezing that hour workout in and yes to time to just sit on the couch to blog. I am saying yes to feeling lazy and to picking up take out for dinner. I am saying yes to taking that walk around the block with my husband tonight and yes to focusing on the positives. 

Will you take the challenge? I hope you encourage others to do it too.

Should I Open The Door?

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Why in the world do we choose anger? Why do we hold onto it? It feels awful, it wastes precious time we can never get back, but still somehow, it often wins out.

Every time it’s someone’s birthday, we have dinner at their favorite restaurant. My son has been counting the days to order his beloved macaroni and cheese at Outback. When we showed up last night, there was a 50 minute wait. I was so mad he would eat pizza on his birthday so he wouldn’t be late to meet his friends skating later that night. Outback was just not going to work out and still I chose to let it get the better of me. Even though he was smiling saying “This is the best birthday ever”, I just couldn’t shake the mad.

I woke up this morning and my husband is gone. He has a full weekend of work ahead of him and I have a full weekend of being alone. Is it his fault? Is work where he wants to be when the weather is supposed to be gorgeous? Of course not, so why the mad?

I guess sometimes it’s hard when reality is much different than the way we want something to be. Being stuck in mad though takes away any chance of experiencing the unexpected that is waiting for me to move beyond my silly emotions. The best moments are often spontaneous so maybe I should brush myself off and carry on. Who knows what the day has in store for me if I just give it a tiny chance? Opportunity can knock but I have to make the decision to open the door.

Surrender

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Do you really believe we have the power to make our own choices? Do you really believe the power to choose lies in one simple decision? Often, I tell myself life comes down to the choices we make. Why then when something is not serving my spirit, do I continue to choose the same thing day after day? I don’t have any answers just many questions. I have excuses but no solutions. One of the mottos I pride myself on is this; When you know better, do better. It seems so simple as I type the words but it’s application takes on a whole new level of difficulty that seems impossible to break through. We have a 50/50 chance to pick the right choice so why do we continue to put our chip on black when red has come up 10 times in a row? Why is it so hard to change the behavior that is holding us back? When will we finally choose better for the sake of ourselves? Maybe it’s that we make things more complicated than they have to be. Maybe we believe life is not supposed to be simple but rather a struggle where we to continue to face the same lessons over and over again because we are too proud, too lazy or too weak to make a different choice. Maybe our patterns of behavior are stronger than our will to change or maybe the decisions we make aren’t up to us at all. Maybe we just surrender to our thoughts and the voices in our head even when we know we are going down the wrong path. Maybe we aren’t strong at all and maybe the real problem is deep down we don’t believe we have a choice at all. Maybe we do too much thinking and not enough doing.

Today, I vow to make one positive change. I will choose one behavior that will lead me to a better place. Maybe we just try and do too many things at once instead of taking one thing at a time, one day at a time. Maybe we need to give ourselves a break and stop living in the past. Every day is a chance to get it right. I hope today will be the day.

A Friendly Reminder

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Just as I was posting this picture, a quote popped up on my ipad. Maybe it’s a coincidence and maybe not. Here it is: Attitudes are contagious, is yours worth catching?

Here’s the thing, like it or not, your attitude does affect the people around you. I guess the question is, how do we keep our own attitude in check? How do we stay polite and upbeat and positive on the days we are feeling tired, overwhelmed or bogged down by stress? How can we be more accountable when it comes to the energy we carry around with us? I guess the first step is being aware of the energy in the first place. If you’re feeling angry, guess what you’re carrying and depositing around you? If you are feeling happy or peaceful, guess what energy you are spreading around? So why do we still choose to make the decision to dump on people? And the worst part, we actually point the finger at the person we dumped on.

I guess it comes down to trying. Every day, every interaction, every reaction. We have to try to remember that the way we act goes way beyond our own selves. Every day is a new day and a new chance to do better. Will you choose differently? I guess that’s up to you.

Choose Better

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As I ripped down Christmas decorations today, I was in a foul mood. There are just some things I don’t enjoy. Decorating yes, putting everything away….no! All that buildup and preparation and then in one miserable day, gone, done. I guess it’s a reminder that there will always come a day we have to do something we don’t want to do. Maybe for my teen, it is getting up every morning and having to go to school. Or perhaps it’s the battle my husband faces as his alarm goes off for work on a day he would much rather be at home. The unfortunate thing is, there is no way around the things we just have to do. I guess the choice lies in how we choose to respond to them. We can make our day even more miserable by having a crappy attitude or we can put a smile on our face and march in with our best foot forward. Unfortunately for me, I did not choose well. I had a crappy attitude followed by a crappy day. Predictable? I think yes. Hopefully next time I will make a better choice.

The Happy Side of Life

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Sometimes life hits you right between the eyes with a valuable lesson and this time it happened literally. I was speeding through the house today trying to get it all cleaned up, thinking about how this time of year causes two extremes. I know for me, it is a time I feel excessively happy. I am very aware of each and every blessing in my life and it is easy for me to feel an immense amount of gratitude. For others though, this is a time of year that brings intense sorrow, anger and resentment. It is a time one can feel that dark pit of hopelessness and long for a time long ago when it was happiness and joy that filled their hearts.

Back to the cleaning part! There I was scrubbing my toilet and singing along with the Christmas tunes, when all of a sudden it hit me right between the eyes. Splash, toilet water hit me right in the eye. I had a choice. I could get disgusted and angry and allow it to set the mood for the rest of my day or I could laugh it off and make a conscious decision to just let it go and be happy. Sometimes it really does come down to a choice. How will you choose to feel today? Will you count all the blessings in your life or will you make a mental note of all the things that keep going wrong? You do have a choice and I really hope you choose the list that will gently nudge your mood to the happier side.

The Choices We Make

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It is 5 o’clock in the morning here right now. To be honest, I have been up since 2:00 popping Tums and fighting excruciating indigestion. It makes me question why we repeat patterns that we know are harmful to ourselves. This is really a basic example but it applies to many areas of our lives.

I love Chuys. It is one of my favorite restaurants. Even as I sit eating my meal, I already know what that meal will lead to later in the evening. I have no idea why I still chose to bring that on myself. It is avoidable and painful. I love Mexican food but it doesn’t love me.

As I look around me at some of the people in my life, they take this concept to a whole new level. I watch as they repeat choices that cause them pain. I watch as they make choices that make them unhappy as they continually choose what breaks their spirit. Unfortunately, there is no magic Tums pill that can alleviate every bad decision we make. That is the part that is most hard to comprehend. Why do we remain stuck? Why do we choose pain? Do we not realize the same choices give us the same results? It’s something to ponder for sure. Hopefully next time I choose to eat dinner out, I will choose a place that doesn’t make me feel so awful at the end of the day. The lesson here is simple. If you want a different life, choose different circumstances. You have the power to say no to all that does not serve you well. Start saying yes to what feels good. You may not know what that is at first but you sure know when to say no way, no more, not for me. You deserve better. We all do. Life is not meant to be a death sentence, to bide our time until our days are up. Life is meant to live and feel and experience and to love. Be happy and love yourself enough to make the choices that send you to that happy place. You do have the power to change your life. It starts with making new choices. So choose well.