Monday, July 18, 2011

“How you think about a problem is more important than the problem itself. So always think positively.” - Norman Vincent Peale

Seven Day Mental Diet Challenge Day Five
It always amazes me that it is our thinking that defines the challenges we face in life, not the actual circumstances. We are so accustomed to believing that the world around us defines our life -- yet, all the great thinkers repeatedly tell us it it simply isn't so.

Strive to think outside the box today and look at your problems and challenges in a new light. There is nothing so great that it cannot be overcome by a change in perspective and the will to succeed.

Today, I am grateful for the cool morning breeze to start my day, for the cheery robin who welcomes another day and for hummingbirds that dart here and there in search of sweet nectar. I am grateful for green grass, for growing vegetables and flowers.
I am grateful for a clear sound mind, a healthy energetic body and for insight as I begin my day. I am grateful for the mighty sun, for the glorious moon and for dancing leaves that flutter in the breeze. I am grateful for color and music and fragrance.
I am grateful for family, for friends and for polar bears.
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you strive to think about your problems in new ways that you may overcome seeming obstacles as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons" -- RUTH ANN SCHABACKER

Day Four: Seven Day Mental Challenge Diet

Sometimes, that which is right before us is the most difficult to see. What may seem dull and ordinary may contain the key to your success, if you but take the time to look. Strive to see life's gifts today. Go ahead, untie some bows -- you may be surprised at what you may find right before your eyes.

I've been reading The Secret of Mental Magic by Vernon Howard. In his book, Howard carefully explains that our thoughts are often clouded by our "illusions" of the way life is or the way we are. These images have been created by our interactions with the world, but they are not all accurate. That little voice that whispers, "I'm not good enough." or "I'm not smart enough." is simply the result of our faulty beliefs about ourselves and our world. 

In this book, Howard explains that we have the power to overcome those self-defeating thoughts with four simple words. "I need not obey." We all have within ourselves the power to simply refuse to react to self-defeating talk. We do not need to listen to that little voice that tells us what we can and cannot do. 

For today, practice being a rebel and stopping those thoughts cold with a bold, "I need not obey." Astonishing results are sure to follow.

Today, I am grateful for summer sun, white puffy clouds and butterflies. I am grateful for the vast ocean that teems with life, for the rainforest with its lush green growth and for far-away places I may only visit in my minds eye. 
I am grateful for the vastness of the Universe, for clear skies sparkling with stars, for the golden orb of the moon and for rainbows.
I am grateful for family and friends who enrich my life, for neighbors who are always there and for soldiers who keep my world safe.
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you untie the bows to find life's gifts today, as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Always remember you are braver than you believe, you are stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.

Promise me you will always remember . . .
I thought I share a little inspiration from Christopher Robin and Pooh this morning. I've always found it such a delightfully uplifting cartoon that never fails to make me smile. Of course, my favorite is Eeyore, with his perpetual pessimistic attitude. Eeyore may be endearing as he wallows in gloom, but it seldom so with people. When we are pessimistic or negative thinkers, not only does it drag us down, it drags those we love down with us, too.

Strive today to build confidence in yourself. Focus on the things you do well and celebrate your unique  talents and skills. Know that within you lies the ability to rise above the circumstances, to stretch beyond what you always thought possible and to live a life filled with joy and accomplishments.
I've been thinking a lot about Norman Vincent Peale's words in  Enthusiasm Makes the Difference lately. This little book is filled with quotes and inspiration, but the one that sticks with me today is his exhortation for us to "Stand tall, think tall and act tall." 

So often, we spend our days with our heads held low so our gaze falls on the ground around us. We are so willing to let the circumstances of our lives dictate what we think, what we wish for and what we do. We obligingly let the world tell us who we are and where we can go. When we stand tall, we lift up our gaze and see beyond what is at our feet and open up a world of possibilities. Practice standing and thinking tall today.

Today, I am grateful for quiet moments that envelope my world in peace, for noisy laughter that lifts up the soul and for the sounds of nature that awaken me at dawn. I am grateful for fresh air, clean water and healthy food to eat.  
I am grateful for hands to touch, for legs to walk and for a heart that beats. I am grateful for eyes that see beyond the horizon, for the ability to dream and for the knowledge that dreams do come true. 
I am grateful for family that has always been the center of my life, for friends who share their worlds with me and for the multitude of people who have made me what I am today. I am grateful to my parents, who have long since passed, who taught me how to make my way in the world.  
I am grateful for my children who have grown into amazing human beings who always make me proud. I am grateful for my husband who always weathers the storms and reminds me that everything will be okay. 
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop and share my day. In the words of Christopher Robin: "Always remember you are braver than you believe, you are stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.
You may like these Vinyl Wall Quotes and Signs:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Seven Day Mental Diet Challenge Day One Revisited

"Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently." ~Henry Ford~

Well, folks, I'm afraid I need to start back at Day One. Not because I went on a rampage spouting negative thoughts, and not because I've been beating myself up with negative self-talk. No, it's not that simple.

You see, I visited the dentist yesterday to have a tooth removed. I entered with a positive attitude, but somewhere along the way I let it slip away. Once I sat in that dentist chair, memories of several bad experiences (all involving pain) overwhelmed me. I tried watching the ducks in the little pond outside. I tried watching the clouds in the sky. I even tried deep breathing -- but despite my efforts, I found myself envisioning impending doom. Something bad was going to happen to me and I knew it.

Even as I ruminated over the situation, I knew that I was being irrational. I thought of you all and knew I'd have to make this post and admit that I let negative thoughts overcome me. I imagined your reactions to my weakness and that started me down another path I didn't want to take.

I'll be honest, I thought about lying. I thought about ignoring the whole episode and posting a uplifting message of how wonderful life is. But, I couldn't do it. It wouldn't be right. I owe you more than that.

So, here I am Day One Mental Diet Challenge Revisited, and I'm ready to start from the beginning again. It's not so bad, really. I have few days of practice to rely on and I've identified some of my pitfalls. As Henry Ford said, "Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.

Today, I am grateful for cool, dry air that refreshes the soul, for leaves that rustle in the wind and for flowers that brighten the Earth. I am grateful for rich, dark soil that teems with life, for moss-covered glades and trees. 
I am grateful for an honest day's work, for a clear, sound mind and the promise of a bright new day. I am grateful for starting anew in my quest to nurture the positive and banish the negative. 
I am grateful for family and friends who I hold dear, for children who play in the summer sun and for the elderly who still have much to share.
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May your journey is light as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Seven Day Mental Diet Challenge Day Two

For your inspiration!

Some of you may have noticed that I didn't update last night. That would be because my Internet Service Provider was down due to thunder storms in the area. Did I let that throw me into a tailspin of negative thinking? Almost, but I caught myself in time, grabbed a good book and headed out in my garden to read.

You've probably noticed I spend a lot of time in my garden. There is a good reason for that. Being close to nature brings out positive thoughts. Just breathing in the scents and taking in the sights lifts me up and brings me peace. When negative moods strike, you'll find me seeking solace in my garden.

Day two was a bit more difficult than day one. Not because I was less prepared, but mostly because mother nature decided to turn up the heat in my neck of the woods. You see, normally I don't do well in the heat, and I was going to tell you point blank that "I don't do well in the heat." But I caught myself, again and changed it to normally. Why? Because it is just another example of negative self-talk that prevents me from reaching my goals.

Yesterday, I found myself resisting the urge to make negative comments, that I might have classified as being honest before I started the 7 day mental challenge. Nothing big or earth shattering, but still they were there and normally I would have verbalized them.
By the end of Day Two, I was feeling pretty good about myself. I hope you've found success and are feeling good about yourself, too.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Seven Day Mental Diet Challenge Day One Update

It may be a bit premature to celebrate a successful day one of the Seven Day Mental Diet Challenge, but I'm feeling really good about what I have accomplished today. It's not like it was one of those picture perfect days where I had nothing to do except watch old movies and drink cold drinks in front of the fan. It was an ordinary day, filled with ordinary chores and your typical ordinary mishaps. The exciting part is that I handled them all with a positive frame of mind and didn't let them ruin my day.

When thoughts of my daughter going off to college in the fall whispered quietly in my ear of how much I'd miss her, I turned them around. I thought of how much fun she will have and how I will have more time for writing when the nest is empty. I thought of sleeping in, of staying up late and reading or writing till the wee hours of dawn. I thought of how strong we would both grow in the coming years. I thought of all the good things about to happen in both our lives. I focused on the positive.

When the nozzle came off the hose and I tried to put it back on -- with the hose turned on -- I laughed at getting wet instead of calling myself stupid.

At the end of the day, when some chores were left undone, I simply made a note to do them tomorrow and resisted the urge to lecture myself for what I hadn't done.

And now, I sit in my garden, listening to the wind in the trees and the random call of a bird not yet asleep and I breathe in clean fresh air. My daisies dance in the breeze, the horizon fades slowly to yellow then white as it bids the sun goodnight and the wind chimes sing a lullaby to the world. Soft patches of blue peek through the clouds and I know that my day has been well spent.

Today, I am grateful for the wondrous world about me teeming with life. I am grateful for dragon flies that swoop gracefully through the air. I am grateful for the wind that cools the day, for a clothesline to dry my clothes and for stars. 
I am grateful for family that makes me strong, for  friends who share a laugh, and for strangers that cross my path. 
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you find success in the Seven Day Mental Diet as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Seven Day Mental Diet Challenge Day One

Day one

For those who are joining us late, I've moved the Challenge information to its own page Seven Day Mental Diet Challenge. You can find details of the challenge and tips for success there.

So, the journey to seven consecutive days of positive thinking has begun. Nature, it seems, has joined in the challenge. The brilliant sun arose to a deep blue sky and I swear the grass is glistening a new shade of green. I am so excited to begin this journey, partially because I know that it will bring about positive changes in my thinking and in my life, but that's not the only reason. I'm excited because YOU have decided to join me. Together, we can make dramatic changes and lead more fulfilling lives.
For this morning, it seems fitting that I  leave you with the words of  Romans 12:2 " ye transformed by the renewing of your mind..."  for surely, that is what we are about to do.

Friday, July 8, 2011

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." -- HENRY DAVID THOREAU

Beautiful Woman or Old Hag? 

Just as the eye can be fooled into seeing what it expects or wants to see, our mind attempts to interpret stimuli in a way that makes sense to our world. Sometimes, this means misinterpreting events and situations to make them fit with our expectations. If we see the world through a negative lens, this mean interpreting life events to support our already negative mindset. But, when we develop a positive frame of mind and approach life from the positive, everything changes. Suddenly, the world is a very different place that lives up to our positive expectations.

Develop the art of viewing the world through a positive lens, today. When things go wrong, and they sometimes will, resist the urge to assume the worst and quiet the inner voice that tells you all is lost. Look for the positive and keep stumbling blocks in perspective.

Today, I am grateful for summer, for growing vegetables, clear blue skies and puffy white clouds. I am grateful for the silverly sunrise and the golden rays of sunset. I am grateful for flowers in bloom, hummingbirds in flight and the promise of the moon.
I am grateful for abundant work that allows me to brighten the days of others, for a clear sound mind and light fingers that dance across the keyboard. I am grateful for opportunities that come my way, for my daughter's smooth transition to college and for the opportunities that come her way.
I am grateful for family and friends that enrich my world. For a husband who supports my work and a son who works hard to reach his goals. 
 And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you cultivate the habit of viewing the world through a positive lens, today, as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.

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