Category Archives: Purpose

Go for the Gold

Olympic blogNewsflash: All Americans agree on a topic!

What? That’s a big statement, especially during election year!

But it’s true. All Americans root for the USA Olympic teams. (I certainly hope so, I have not Googled “anti-Olympics” and don’t intend to.)

This was an Olympics where the United States achieved the third most medals ever won: 121; and 46 of those Gold. How proud this makes us!

This was 17 days where many of us found ourselves glued to the television, internet or social media cheering on our national teams. I have to say my favorites were “The Final Five,” the US women’s gymnastics team! Special mention to our track and swimming teams!

Through the wonders of technology, I even “virtually watched” some events along with a Bahamian friend of mine as we chatted via Messenger. I laughed at his exuberance as his country’s athletes triumphed! Another friend of mine laughed and told me today that he feels like he hasn’t gotten anything done these past two weeks. Good thing the Olympics happens in 4-year intervals!

Congratulations to my Team USA! Congratulations to all Olympians who competed – whether you went home with a medal or not, you are winners by virtue of being there. And a special shout-out to my Jamaican and Bahamian friends, for the individual and collective achievements of your teams! 🙂

There are three main lessons I believe we can learn from the Olympics: to strive for personal best, to learn to work together as a team and to practice the spirit of the Olympic games.

Watching the Olympics highlights tonight, it was just mind-boggling to see the personal, Olympic and world records that were broken! Phelps, Ledecky and Bolt especially come to mind. Ledecky is at the early stages of her Olympic career, while Phelps and Bolt are ending their careers in blazes of glory.

But it’s not all about winning. Not everyone will go home with a medal. Some came so close but missed by a fraction of a second or were disqualified. It is important to learn how to lose graciously, without enmity and resolve to keep trying and doing one’s best. Focusing on personal best is something we all need to do, whether we are an Olympic athlete or not.

Teamwork is also key in life. The Olympics should teach us something profound right there. Working together for a common goal.

I think of the track and field relay race and how important split-second timing is to this event. There is a science and strategy to how they place the runners, on which leg they place them. They are placed where their strengths can be used to the best. The runners need to be attuned to each other to complete the handoff without error. What better metaphor can we use to compare to how life should be lived?

North SotuhWhich leads me to my third point: practicing the spirit of the Olympics, by going not just for the gold, but for The Golden Rule. “Do to others as you would have done to you.” While in other parts of the planet people are killing each other, in Rio, countries put aside their political ideologies to compete in the purity of sports. They treat each other by The Golden Rule, living and working with one another in harmony. One golden moment reported during TV coverage was when two women athletes, one from North Korea and one from South Korea took a “selfie” together. How poignant! This is what Olympic spirit is all about.

There is so much that we can learn from the Olympics. Why can’t this be practiced 365 days a year? Every year, not just in 4-year intervals. There’s no reason why we can’t. It’s the personal decision of each human being on this planet.

Go for The Golden Rule. Incorporate these three goals into your life: reaching for personal best, practicing teamwork and living The Golden Rule. If we all do this, we all will win far much more than a medal.

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The Gift of Extra Time

2 29 16 Twenty nineWhat would you do with an extra day?

Everyone always says that they wish they had more time to do all the things they have to do.

Corporate employees and entrepreneurs alike seek time management courses, but ultimately everyone on the planet has 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week, and 365 days a year.

If you had the gift of an extra day, what would you do with it?

Tomorrow, February 29, you do!

Every four years, an extra day is added to February in order to keep our calendar and clocks in sync with the Earth’s orbit around the sun. Well, there’s actually another rule about what happens on the century mark, but most of us don’t have to worry about that!

It’s Monday so most people will be working, but if you really had the choice what would you do with this time?

Would you do something for yourself? Take a spa day, enjoy a favorite meal or have a Netflix binge?

Would you do something with your family or loved one? A day in a theme park or a romantic getaway?

Or would you devote that time to community service, volunteering that day to help others less fortunate than you?

Wouldn’t it be nice if Leap Year Day was a holiday where everyone could choose to use this gift of time according to his or her choice?

If you think about it, each day you have a choice of how you will use your time. Time is one thing that we cannot get back.

I recently read an anonymous quotation that impacted me greatly: “Time is like a river. You cannot touch the same water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again.”

Don’t take time for granted, on Leap Year Day or any day. Make the best use of every hour.

Carpe diem. Seize the day.
I like the more literal translation of the Latin: “pluck the day as it is ripe.”

Whatever you choose to do, enjoy the moment and make it count.

What’s Your Intention?

1 31 16 Intention ChartOne month of 2016 has gone by. How are your New Year’s Resolutions coming along? I’ve been thinking lately about the use of the word “intention” as I hear so many people proclaim: “I live a life of intention!” What does that really mean?

Maybe intention is not “the big deal.”

Consider this, a New Year’s resolution is something you intend on doing. It’s an intention. Yet how many resolutions fall by the wayside by the first quarter of the year if not sooner?

The definition of the word “intend” is “to have in mind.” Yes, this is where all creation begins. Some even say, “Thoughts become things.” Where I see so many of us fail is when we proclaim intentions both to ourselves and to others and then not follow through.

Let’s begin with ourselves. Have a long-term intention, but break it down into smaller pieces to make it actionable. It can be something as simple as: what do I want to get done this month? This week? Today? You can “intend” all you want, but if you don’t have an action plan … you won’t get anywhere. It’s just like taking a road trip without knowing which roads you need to take to get to your destination.

Action plans allow us a way to measure progress. I have read about the benefits of written “To Do” lists, which allow us to list our tasks and then mark them completed. The visual impact is powerful. Personally, I love writing a list on paper or dry erase board and then and drawing a line through the completed item. Yes, I also put them in my smart phone and then delete them, but then there is no visual reminder of what I have accomplished.

Do you ever feel as if you have not accomplished anything over a certain period of time? I recently sat down and wrote down all the things I needed to get done in the next month. At the end of the month, I looked at it and saw all the checked off items. That felt good!

Now that we have a way to bring our personal intentions to life, what about others? Do you tell people of your intention to do something for them or with them? Do you follow through? Do you tell your friends casually, “Oh, we must get together soon,” but never do?

How good is your word? There is an old saying, “A man is only as good as his word.” I learned a saying from a friend 20 years ago that I have since adopted as my motto: “Say what you mean, and mean what you say.” In Don Miguel Ruiz’s book The Four Agreements, the First Agreement is: “To be impeccable with your word.” Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean.

A failed intention towards others is basically an unkept promise. Consider how you feel when others do not keep promises to you. If you say it, do it. As Yoda would say, “Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.”

What is your intention? Make a plan. Do it. Keep your word.

Set your goals for February.

Here’s a bonus: this year you get an extra day in February to reach that goal! Happy Leap Year!

Choose Your Life – A Tribute to Wayne Dyer

9 30 15 It'sYourChoice DyerIt was a month ago today when many were shocked by the sudden passing of Dr. Wayne Dyer in his sleep the night before. I was especially stunned because I was looking forward to attending his keynote speech at a conference in three weeks. Three weeks! You’ve got to be kidding me!

I had heard his name, but never had read any of his books or material until the summer of 2014 when I watched the movie of his book, “The Shift.” This movie impressed me not only with its message, but also introduced me to this man who possessed such a calmness of spirit. More people need his gentle spirit.

I wondered who the replacement keynote speaker on Friday would be, and then had the thought: maybe they would turn the evening into a memorial tribute for him. And so it was.

The Hay House “I Can Do It” conference/retreat was a weekend of inspirational speakers, each bringing their own insights on personal development. Little did they know that they would be taking the stage individually on Friday evening to share their own experiences with Wayne Dyer and honor his life. It was a powerful evening – a celebration of life.

Dyer’s works were new to me, but there is nothing like seeing a grown man cry on stage to move me to tears as well. These associates were more than that – they were family. At the conclusion of the night, Wayne’s blood family took the stage with his daughter, Skye singing an emotional rendition of “The Leader of the Band” by Dan Fogelberg. The evening was not all tears however! I learned that Wayne had a huge sense of humor, as we all laughed about the story of Jack and the monarch butterfly!

The fact that really made me gasp was when someone shared the story of how August 30 was a key date in Wayne’s life in more than one way. It was on August 30, 1974 that after years of searching, Wayne found his long-lost father, in a pauper’s grave in Louisiana. He had gone there with the intent of spewing years of hate, anger and frustration upon the grave of the father who had abandoned his children at a young age. Much to his surprise, it was at this graveside that Wayne experienced an epiphany, a shift, an awakening to a new purpose, as he found himself forgiving his father. Now free of all this anger, he walked away into a new life of inspiring others. His first New York Times bestseller was published two years later, and the rest is history.

Wayne Dyer made a choice that day. He chose to move towards light and love and away from hate. He spent the rest of his life trying to teach others that they too can make the choices that will create a more fulfilling life. His spiritual awakening was on August 30, 1974 and his spirit passed on August 30, 2015.

What choices do you have to make?

Are you stuck in patterns you can’t break? Do you make excuses for your life? Do you have resentment towards anyone? Do you feel separated from others or from the divine? Have you found the contentment of knowing your purpose?

It’s your choice to seek the answers or stay where you are. Choose the life you want to live.

Because of Wayne’s passing, Hay House has made available several of Dr. Dyer’s books for only $1.99 for the next few weeks. Hello my new Kindle! I purchased five ebooks, and am currently reading “Excuses Begone” and “Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life” concurrently.

Thank you Wayne, for all that you contributed to the world community. I look forward to reading more of your writings and being inspired to continually make choices towards a richer, fulfilled life.

True Freedom

7 4 15 FireworksHappy 4th of July to my fellow Americans! As we celebrate the birth of our nation and our nation’s freedoms, after the burgers are eaten and the fireworks have lit up the sky – let’s think about our inner freedom.

How free do you feel? You might not be in a cell behind bars, but what prison bars have you created for your spirit?

Self-doubt
Low self-esteem
Fear
Bad habits
Unforgiveness
Hatred

It’s time to release those things that are not serving us. To choose to love, starting with ourselves.

The Bible says to love our neighbor as ourselves, but if we don’t love ourself how can we then love our neighbor?

It’s that airline “put the oxygen mask on yourself first” principle. I had a hard time understanding that principle at first because I am such a giver! But I understand now.

Do you ever talk to yourself? What do you say?

Do you say, “Oh, I’m stupid! Why did I do that?” If you wouldn’t say something to your best friend, don’t say it to yourself!

What are your inner voices telling you? There is a good movie in theaters now for you to see, and take your children to! “Inside Out” is a story of the voices inside a young girl’s head: Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness. Great lessons to learn here!

Make sure you listen to your positive voices!

Be good to yourself. Start by scheduling 5-10 minutes in the day to pause, reflect, meditate, be thankful. Acknowledge a skill that you have and be thankful for it.

Look in the mirror and say, “I love you.” More than once. And mean it. It might be harder than you think!

Self-care is not selfish, it is vital to our physical health and wellbeing. When we love ourselves, work on our personal growth, and free ourselves from the fears and doubts that hold us back, then we will have even more love to give.

So this weekend, make a choice. Start setting yourself free from those things that hold you back. Love yourself enough to move forward.

Louise Hay’s favorite quote is, “Life loves you.”

Feel the love today and every day, and be free.

I Am Not the Same

5 17 15 Not the SameAre you the same person you were a year ago? Of course, you say! The name on my driver’s license is still the same!

There is a quote attributed to the artist Michelangelo in the 88th year of his life: “I am still learning.”

I’ve always loved this quote, since I have always been an avid learner. If we are the sum of our experiences and we learn on a daily basis, then each year after the earth has gone around the sun one more time we should be a different and hopefully better person.

I’m listening to the Hay House World Summit speakers and videos for the second year. If you are not familiar with this event, you still have 11 days to get on board! It is 100 free lectures/interviews (averaging 60 minutes each) and 12 videos about self-discovery, health and success. You pick who you want to listen to and which videos you want to watch. Check it out at: Hay House World Summit

I looked at my notes from last year because I wanted to choose new speakers to listen to this time around. New speakers, new nuggets of wisdom! As I listened to one speaker, I was profoundly moved by her words. I happened to look back at my old notes and discovered that I had listened to her last year. I had missed her in my list!

Why did she impact me so much more now?

Because I am a different person than I was a year ago. I have grown. Now, I was listening from a different place and a different perspective. I had new “ears.” I did not “hear” what she had to say last year, but this year everything was different.

I encouraged a few friends to take part in this feast for the mind/soul/body. One friend said, “I’m fine. I don’t need to listen to seminars now.”

What? I can’t comprehend thinking one knows all you need to know at any point in life. But, if he had listened, he may not have heard anything anyway because his emotional ears were not open.

On the other hand, I was happy to introduce another close friend to listen to a popular, modern-day philosopher, and he was quite moved by the speaker’s presentation. Later, I was happy to have a deep, philosophical conversation with my friend about some new concepts! (We are prone to deep conversations anyway.)

I did caution him that when he listens, to do so with himself in mind, not me. My lessons will take care of themselves! Let each walk on his or her path of self-discovery.

Today’s learning was exceptionally “mind-blowing” – which is probably a very apt phrase. Last year I remember after ten days of Summit, my brain felt as if it had grown several new neural pathways. This year they have spread out the sessions over twenty days to give us more time to listen to more speakers. After only nine days as of today, I can only imagine how I will feel by the end of the twenty days!

I know I will be a different person than I was three weeks ago.

How wonderful to know that if we want to, our learning, our personal growth can continue our whole lives.

Who will you be a year from now?

It all depends on if you keep learning and growing.

Cats, Dogs and Rabbits

4 5 2015 Honey BlogLions, tigers and bears! Oh my! Well, no, more like cats, dogs and rabbits!

Honey the dog (see photo left) decides to write today’s blog. Only kidding.

Actually it was yesterday when I was on my second visit to a friend’s place to feed and “litter” her three cats while she is away for two weeks when I realized … cats … tomorrow babysitting the dog … and oh, I made bunny pancakes today. Now there’s a title for a blog!

It seems an appropriate weekend to write about being of unselfish service to others.

On Easter weekend, Christians celebrate Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection. Members of the Jewish faith celebrate the exodus of the Hebrews to freedom. (If you’ve forgotten that story, the movie “The Ten Commandments” is on TV tonight.) Moses gave up the riches of being an Egyptian prince for the ultimate servant leadership to the Hebrew people.

Sacrifice and service. When was the last time you gave service to others?

Besides helping your friends with their pets when they go out of town, you can make a huge impact on your local community. Volunteering your service does more than help those who are served, it can give you a great sense of satisfaction. There are so many needs in society today, frankly I would have a hard time if I had to select just one cause to devote my time to. I’d like to fix it all!

If you don’t know where to begin, check out VolunteerMatch.org. There you can register and select the causes you are passionate about. You can search the website yourself or sign up to receive emails of volunteer opportunities at local events that match your areas of interest.

The tasks are simple and usually require no special skills, just your time and willing hands. Opportunities range from registrations at charity walks to tutoring children to stuffing envelopes and packing food bags. You pick when and where you want to serve.

Well-known organizations on the list include March of Dimes, Best Buddies, Habitat for Humanity and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

My life of volunteering began years ago when the company I worked for facilitated volunteer opportunities where employees could attend as a group and help the cause. In recent years, I’ve participated in a “bag-stuffing” competition at a local food bank with fellow employees. Another employer adopted a local elementary school and allowed employees to tutor on work time. After I left that company, I registered as a tutor on my own.

Once you start serving, it becomes addictive. The good feeling you get from helping others is better than any other “rush” that you can get elsewhere. Try it, you’ll like it!

I much prefer “Honey-sitting” to “kitty-care” but we won’t tell anyone!

By the way, in case you are wondering, this is what bunny pancakes are….

Easter Pancakes

The First Love

2 14 15 i love meLove is a special and complicated emotion, probably because we use the word “love” in so many ways: I LOVE my boyfriend; I love my mother; I love Rocky Road ice cream. And last month I really loved my personal car mechanic! The Greeks had four different words for love:

Eros: is the passionate and intense love that arouses romantic feelings; the kind that makes you say, “I love him/her.” It is simply an emotional and sensual love.

Storge: is family love. The love that parents naturally feel for their children and vice versa; the love that members of a family have for each other.

Phileo: is affectionate, warm and tender platonic love. This is the love between friends who are there for each other when the friend is in trouble.

Agape: is the highest form of love, an unconditional love that sees beyond the outer surface and accepts the recipient for whom he/she is, regardless of their flaws, shortcomings or faults. It’s the type of love that everyone strives to have for their fellow human beings. Although you may not like someone, you decide to love them just as a human being. This kind of love is all about sacrifice, as well as giving and expecting nothing in return.

All this talk of love, but maybe we are missing a key type of love. Self-love. In the Bible, Scripture says, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself” – but how much do we really love ourselves? Have you committed some self-talk that you would never say to your best friend? Do you ever say to yourself, “Oh, that was stupid of me!” Watch your self-talk! Watch what you say to yourself!

If we don’t love ourselves, then really how can we love others? Remember, even on airline flights they tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself first, so that you can then help others. I always had a hard time understanding that!

Here are some tips to help you develop a healthy self-love:

Have self-respect. Self-respect means acting and believing that you are worthy. Because you are. If right now you don’t feel you deserve to be treated with love and respect, start acting like it any way. Do not allow people to talk down to you, degrade you, disrespect your time, energy, body, life, home. Respect yourself and respect others.

Healthy Boundaries. Boundaries are key for healthy relationships and a healthy life. Don’t exhaust yourself always trying to please other people. Say “no” when you need to. Say “yes” when you mean it. Honor your truth.

Vision. Vision helps bring more passion and focus into your life. What’s your vision? Set a daily goal to work towards bringing that vision to life. Vision allows us to stay on track. Pour some energy on your vision. It gives us purpose and self-worth.

Take care of your health. You only have one body – be nice to it and it will be nice to you! Drink water, eat clean and healthy and move your body! Dance alone in your living room! You are the only one who can take care of your body, so don’t abuse it!

Set simple morning and evening rituals. In the morning, meditate, listen to some favorite music, write an intention list for the day. In evening, light some incense or candles, take a relaxing bath and say a prayer for others and the world.

With these tips, you will become a healthier and happier self. With a stronger sense of self, you have deeper self-love, and with deeper self-love, you make more conscious decisions that will create a more peaceful life for yourself and for others.

Oh, but wait a minute. Every February comes along a holiday known as Valentine’s Day. Some love it. Some don’t. For those who may not have a “Valentine” it may bug us when we receive Facebook posts or calls from our friends gushing about what flowers or gifts they received from their sweetie. But don’t let this bother you.

A relationship does not define you. It can complement you, but it does not define who you are

3 tips for getting through the Valentine holiday:

  1. Consider Valentine’s Day as just a day on the calendar.
  2. Recognize that not all relationships are the same. Just because you don’t have a date today doesn’t mean that you will be loveless forever. Great love is out there, but it might not appear until you let go of your past.
  3. If you don’t have a date – make a date with yourself! Do something you love! Indulge in a favorite pastime or better yet, do some volunteer work, visit the lonely in a nursing home or help out at an animal shelter.

Remember, you have to love and respect yourself, before others can really love you in a healthy way.

Choose love, and don’t forget to love yourself first.

 

The Joy Jar and The Birth Day Present

12 31 14 NewYearNotesWhen 2014 began I heard about a practice to do during the course of the year. Every time there is a happy event in your life, write it on a slip of paper, date it and drop it into a large glass jar. Hopefully by the end of the year the jar will be filled to overflowing! On New Year’s Eve sit down and pull out the slips one by one; read and remember all those great moments. You’ll be surprised about how many happy moments you had! Then get your jar ready for the next year.

People love the time of the New Year because it gives them a specific point of reference in which to start over and create a new life. However, we have the power to make every day a New Year’s Day; we don’t have to wait for once a year to change our life.

I was talking this week with a friend who is a life coach and we were talking about my recent birthday. We came up with the concept that really every day is a “birth day.” Every day we are reborn to new possibilities and every day gives us a chance to meet our resolutions. Every day we can wake up with the excitement of a birthday!

I said to her, “Yes! Today is my birthday and I have presents!” Actually the truth is that the true present is the present moment. The day is a gift to create whatever we want with it. We have the power. There are 365 days in the coming year. 365 birth days. 365 sunrises and sunsets. A single decision made on any of these days can change the course of your future. It’s up to you to decide how you will approach these days.

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” Bill Keane

Take time on New Year’s Day, set up your “joy jar” of memories and get ready to fill it with great things. Set some goals for yourself on what you want to achieve, but remember it’s also the journey as much as the destination.

Can’t wait to tip my jar tonight!

Happy New Year 2015!

Season of Light

12 22 14 SolsticeYesterday marked the December Solstice, the shortest day of the year and the longest, darkest night. It makes me think of the phrase, “It’s always darkest before the dawn.”

For those in the Northern Hemisphere, temperatures are getting lower. The winter nights become darker and longer, yet December points us towards a season of light, hope and renewal. The coming of a new year gives us incentive for recommitting to our goals.

When a year is ending, we focus on new hope, and our homes and cities become adorned with lights that celebrate this hope.

Since ancient times, this pivotal time in the heavens has been cause for celebration, even for the mere fact that daylight would become longer each day. Depending on your culture or faith, there are the celebrations of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and others.

But no matter what your culture or faith, we can all partake in a time of quiet and stillness to find the presence of our inner light. No matter how small or insignificant we may feel, we have the power to brighten the path for others whose experience of darkness may be even deeper than our own.

How can we shine our light this season to brighten the lives of others?

We can do so much more than we think. Just the simple act of a smile to a busy cashier (especially during the holiday!), letting that car into traffic, holding the door for another shopper, all these have ripple effects. That person is going to feel so much better for your kindness and will most likely pay that forward.

It doesn’t take money to express the spirit of the season. Respect, kindness and love are the best gifts.

It’s not all about the lights we hang on our tree, our house, our city streets and parks. It’s the light that we bring to others – now and into the New Year.

Let your light shine!