Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Acting is magical. Change your look and your attitude, and you can be anyone.

Today's quote is attributed to Alicia Witt. It reminds me this morning of what we already instinctively know, but often choose to ignore. How we act and the attitude who choose to adopt creates who we are.  It's easier, of course, to believe that our life circumstances create our thoughts and emotions and make us who we ultimately become. But, it isn't true.

Each of us chooses how we react to the people and events around us. We choose what we feel and think and how we act. It's the acting that I want to focus on today.

The simple act of putting a smile on your face brings about emotional, psychological and physical changes in your body, says Psychology Today. In short, it releases neurotransmitters like dopamine, endorphins and serotonin that immediately go to work to increase feelings of happiness, reduce stress, lower blood pressure and relieve pain.

The important part here is that the smile comes first and the positive effects follow. In short, when you act happy, you release the very thing your body needs to feel happy. You create your own happiness through your actions.

If you are in the habit of waiting until you feel happy and uplifted before your act, you have been sabotaging yourself. For today, practice greeting the world with a smile and acting happy (even if you don't feel it, yet) and watch as your day suddenly turns around.

Today I am grateful for the bright October sun, for wind chimes that tinkle outside my door and blue jays. I am grateful for crisp fall air that slowly makes way for warm autumn days. I am grateful for the light of the moon and stars when night draws near.
I am grateful for the little children who have returned to school and who work diligently to learn what they need to know, for teachers who practice great patience and for parents who show love and concern.
I am grateful for my health, my ability to work and earn a living and for my willingness to learn and grow along the way. I am grateful for houseplants that bring new life inside the home and for the animals of the forest as they prepare for the winter that lies ahead.
I am grateful for my children who always make me proud, for my siblings who have always been there and for my husband who helps me weather the storms. I am grateful for parents who brought me into this world that I am live with joy.
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop and share my day. May you put a smile upon your face today and experience great joy throughout the day. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

This quote is attributed to Albert Einstein. It reminds me of how persistent we are with our own way of thinking. Even when that thinking gets us nowhere, we cling to it like a lifeline to our success and happiness.

Maybe it is because as children we are foolishly taught that if we don't understand something, all we need to do is 'think harder' and it will magically become clear. Instead of learning to change our way of thinking, we learn to continue with wrong thinking with the hope that someday it will click and our lives will fall into place. They won't.

Our lives are a reflection of how we see the world. How we see the world is a direct result of our thinking. Yet, we hold fast to old thought patterns because they are familiar and easy and don't require any work.

Consider your thinking today and how it relates to obstacles in your life. Practice viewing your life through a different lens, look at it from different angles and consider how changing your thinking can bring solutions to your problems. It takes some work, but the effort will be worth it.

Today, I am grateful for soft October rain, for fallen leaves and balmy air. I am grateful for moisture on my face, bare foot weather and the lingering bees that visit late-season blooms.
I am grateful for the promise of another day, the joy of fall and for trees adorned with bright colors as they bid summer farewell.
I am grateful for old friends and new, for family and for pets, as they make my life full.
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you find solutions to all your problems by changing your thinking and how you view the world. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.

Today's quote is attributed to motivational speaker Zig Zigglar who built his success on practicing the golden rule and  treating others as he wanted to be treated. This, of course, meant taking the time to see what others needed and helping them out along the way because he knew that we are all in this together and no one needs to go it alone.

It is so easy to become so focused on your own success that you forget that your real value is helping others get to what they want. It is, after all what we are here for.

Consider your skills and talents today and think about how they can be used to help others get the things they want in life. Consider why you began doing the thing is you do in life and how that enriches the lives of others. When you shift your focus from your own wants to filling the wants of others you will find your own success along the way.

Today, I am grateful for the beautiful fall colors, the earthy scent of fall and the excitement of squirrels and birds as they flock to the feeder. I am grateful for wind chimes that sing a melody in the brisk fall breeze, for pine cones and beechnuts and evergreen boughs that remind me that winter will come in due time. 

I am grateful for great writers who create invisible worlds where I can walk down roads that exist only in the mind. I am grateful for musicians who lift up my soul with music wretched from the depth of their souls, for artists who bring new worlds to light and for the imagination that lives in every man's soul. 
I am grateful for family and friends who have made my life rich with tears and laughter to fill a lifetime, for strong coffee on a chilly fall day and for biscuits. 
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop and share my day. May you find great joy in learning to get everything you want by helping others get what they want.
If you found my blog useful, or it touched your life in some way, please pass it on to others.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.

The birds of the forest don't wait until they see the sun before they begin their song, but sing out in chorus to welcome the beginning of a new day. Why then do we insist that we must see the light before we sing out in praise? I would that I had the faith of the lowly birds today and to lift up my voice to welcome the coming days.

I've stumbled a bit lately and run into many obstacles during the past winter. How ironic that I should stop praising all that is good and light in the world when things get rough for me after telling you that you have the power to overcome all that is negative in the world by changing your thinking and expressing gratitude for all that you have.

I am the example of how not to lead your life in faith. Let me explain my descent from positive thinking and gratitude to something less enjoyable and more in tune with the negative forces that descended on my life.

It began when I fancied I no longer had time for this blog. I fell victim to the slippery slope that often befalls online writers, as I tended to spend my energy and my time on writing for money and forgot that perhaps there was a greater calling I should heed. As time progressed, I blogged less and less about gratitude and positive thinking and wrote about popular topics that would draw in readers and in turn earn money from the sites I publish on.

I'll spare you the details, but life began a downward spiral. Sadly, I abandoned my commitment to gratitude and a positive attitude as I became overwhelmed with a set of events I could not have imagined.

I am here today to begin again and lift up my voice in praise of the light that I know shall come.

Today, I am grateful for the nearness of spring and the promise that snow shall melt and flowers shall bloom again. I am grateful for blue skies, spring sun and mud puddles that will soon emerge. I am grateful for the birds of the forest, for the sound of the wind and melting ice that sparkles in the sun. 
I am grateful for my family who is always there, for friends who share their faith and for those whose lives touch mine along the way. I am grateful for the clean air to breathe, for water to drink and food to fuel the body. I am grateful for my health that I may enjoy life. 
I am grateful for opportunities that lurk just out of sight and for the wisdom to recognize them when they come my way. 
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you have the faith of the birds of the forest today, as you lift up your voice in praise for the joys that are about to enter your life.

Friday, August 16, 2013

“Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.” ― Arthur Schopenhauer

photo by Theophilos/flickr
We all know that what we focus on is what we see - but sometimes we forget that we have a choice. I recently watched an episode of "Brain Games" that reminded me that focusing on obstacles prevents me from seeing opportunities that lay just beyond my reach.

Let me share it with you. Hold your index finger in front of you so that it rests between your eyes and the picture above.. Stare at your finger for 10 to 15 seconds and then shift your focus to the scene of the boat in the water. If you are like most of us, you discovered that you can see through your finger to the beautiful scene in the background. Even though your finger is still there before your eyes, you are suddenly able to see the view beyond it with clarity and your finger seems to disappear from view.

If a solid object like your finger can disappear with a simple shift in focus, imagine what happens to obstacles when you shift your focus and concentrate on your dreams.

Today, I am grateful for the approach of fall and the cool night breeze, for the flight of the hummingbird as it inspects bright red and gold nasturtiums, and for the sweet fragrance of my herb garden. 
I am grateful for the bark of a distant dog as it echoes in the night, for the bat that wings its way through my garden in search of food, and for rainbows that will come to call another day. 
I am grateful for wild berries that feeds God's creatures, for trees that bring comfort to the world, and rocks. 
I am grateful for grown children who always make me proud, for my husband who is always there, and for brothers and sisters who helped make me who I am. I am grateful for parents who taught me the way to go. 
I am grateful for food to eat, water to drink and air to breathe. 
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you resist the urge to focus on obstacles and look beyond them as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.