Category Archives: Positive Attitude

Blog Posts and Teachers That Changed My Life (So Far) or How To Recognise A Dare To Be Great Enabler


 

The only difference between where you are today, and where you’ll be a year from today, are the books you read and the people you meet. – Charlie ‘Tremendous’ Jones

For the relevance of this post, please substitute the word ”books” for “posts, comments and emails” in the above quote!

 

Dare To Be Great

During my final year of primary school, I was lucky enough to be taught by the only catholic nun in Australia, who didn’t hit kids in the 70’s. But that’s not all she did right.

Sister Mary Therese was also a great encourager. She had a passion for writing and instead of the textbook poetry and essays that the educational curriculum dictated she use, Sr Therese instead, shared her own writing. Powerful  and original stories and poetry about nature, colour, God, love and whatever other subjects that 12-year-old catholic children needed to expand their horizons in, Sr Therese wrote about it.

Her creations were glued into our workbooks alongside our own poetry and essays – note: they were pasted alongside our creations.

This is where this wonderful person’s teaching became great. 

As you may have surmised, my grade 7 class admired and looked up to Sr Therese (me, in particular for her writing) and when her praise or encouragement was given via a comment on our work (pasted alongside her own) the impact was so uplifting that not only did our grades improve, we were also happier more positive students. Personally, Sr Therese was the catalyst for my first writing submission to (and subsequent publishing in) one of our cities major newspapers.

I was a published author (so to speak!) at 12 – all because of the love and encouragement given by a person whom I admired and looked up to. 

Sr Therese therefore, is always first on my (self-created) list of Dare To Be Great enablers.

Blog Posts and Bloggers

Many years later (after 2 kids, a career in nursing and a stint of tertiary education) I am still meeting Dare To Be Great enablers. These people have not only garnered my loyalty but also encouraged me to keep writing, through their praise and positive feedback and sometimes, just through their own willingness to share their valuable time, energy and wisdom.

Doing some of these things was possibly, to them, like leaving a drop in the ocean, but the impact they had on me, was much greater.

There are many I could mention that I have discovered just recently, but if I was to go start with one significant person, it would be Craig Harper (at www.craigharper.com.au) .

 I was lucky enough to discover Craig’s blog way back in its early stages (before his 45,000 subscribers came along!) and it was then that Craig offered (in response to a comment I wrote) to read some of the articles that I was then preparing for magazine submissions.

His email reply a day or two later left me ecstatic, because yep, he praised and encouraged me. He wrote the words – “Your writing is good. Really good. You’ve got to get published”. I couldn’t believe it. Someone whom I truly admired and looked up to had (again) encouraged me!

Craig was the catalyst for the work I then did in writing and publishing my first e-book (something I’m not sure I would not have ventured into had it not been for his encouragement).

Craig is next on my personal list of Dare To Be Great enablers.

So why am I giving these two teachers of mine such a poetic title when perhaps just ‘nice people’ would do? Because some people rise to  a different level in their willingness to help and support others. Some people do more than just be nice. Some people understand (and practice) the simple power of words, spoken or written, with a positive attitude and given freely for the benefit of others.

These people, in my mind, are Dare To Be Great enablers.

One More Surprising Teacher

I was reflecting yesterday upon these people and the way they have so positively impacted on my life, when something else happened to one of my kids, that I know will have a long and lasting (and very positive) impact on her.

In a way, I view this little episode in her young life, as the universe’s way of poking its tongue at me, her mother, and going “Na, na, na, na – nah!”, but I digress… here’s the short version of her greatest (so far) moment.

My daughter has a You Tube channel which is solely dedicated to her admiration for one popular young artist called…(I have been so sick of hearing this name) Justin Bieber. Like many young girls she talks, sings, dreams and (so I found out) writes and shares comments with her growing number of friends on the channel about her idol. She also frequently visits his channel.

Now to a mother all this can at times, be a little tiring, somewhat concerning and at other times, down right annoying!! Should I have her de-progammed or something? Should I make her close her You Tube account (oh and by the way, this interest has not and is not affecting her focus on school and/or other accomplishments/she is a great student). Yes, all these questions plague me at times, but lately I have weighed it all up and decided to accept and not fight this passing (I hope) stage.

And then yesterday my daughter had one of her uplifting and memorable moments when the young artist himself dropped by her You Tube channel and personally wrote several, very nice lines, full of positive, kind words offering her encouragement and inspiration.

Of course, she cried!

Now whether the person who posted that comment was in fact her idol or whether it was a publicist or another Bieber employee, isn’t relevant.

What is relevant is the wonderful impact it had on her. She felt (and I understand that feeling) so positive after reading it, that I dare say she’ll be dancing and smiling for the rest of the year! Her very first Dare To Great enabler (from a very unexpected source) has paid her a visit and changed her outlook for the better.

So my question to you today is this – Have you yourself ever given praise or encouragement that has changed someone’s life (or day) for the better?

Do you think it is possible that we can all be Dare To Be Great enablers, if we choose to?

Who has impacted upon your life or business in a memorable and encouraging way?

I would also like to encourage you yourself (and I’m going to do this too) to offer some praise today – to your kids, your spouse, a work colleague or friend.

See what impact you have.

Even if we ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean, the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.
(adapted from Mother Theresa)

Advertisements

The Value of Health and Sickness – Exploring Two Aspects of Being Human


 

 

Health and Wellbeing When They’re Not At Home

Imagine always being in full, blooming, radiant good health, all of the time. Never an ache or a pain, no colds, viruses, cuts, scratches, bruises or discomfort. Ever.

Finished imagining? Good, ‘cos that is the closest any of us are  gonna get to it.  The reality is that we’re all human and along with that particular condition, comes many others. No matter how fit you are, no matter how nutritious your diet or how healthy your habits – chances are every now and again, through no fault of your own, you will suffer from something. If it is still tempting to make the easy conclusion (as I myself might) that if you eat sensibly, exercise often and basically keep your bad habits to a minimum then all will be fine, then you need a reality check (note to self).

The Symptoms

So why am I having this sudden reflection? You guessed it – I’m sick. I have been all week (hence the fewer posts this week). Yes even though my old friends, Enthusiasm and Passion have still been sharing my personal space, it appears that when a couple of other dodgy characters called Headache and Nausea drop by, these old friends go a little quiet.  They went completely silent when Dizziness came in the door and have decided they are happy to lay quietly on the couch until these three new intruders decide they’re ready to leave. That time is almost here. Thankfully.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not about to manufacture my sickness into a larger than it needs to be problem. I am well aware there are multitudes of people worse off than me.

The Silver Lining

So yes I am avoiding the pity party thing altogether. I’ll live. In fact (and I’m not sure if this fact makes me slightly pathological or not) but as the week has gone on, each day with my sickness still apparent, I have decided that I might as well try to enjoy it. As the playwright George Bernard Shaw has written,

”I enjoy convalescence. It is the part that makes the illness worth while.”

Too ill to do much (basically for fear of passing out) I have been laying on the couch and reading. And reading. And reading. And reading. I am now half way through a book that I had put aside to read ‘ when I had the time ‘. And I gotta say, I’ve enjoyed myself.

Maybe the Panadol helped somewhat, but the simple ‘time out’, with no distractions, just the simple indulgence of some reflective reading has actually been enjoyable and in many ways, productive.

Maybe this is what is meant by the Latin proverb which states:-

”In time of sickness, the soul collects itself anew”.

Enjoying Health All Of It

My final conclusion about all this is that perhaps we do need sickness as well as good health in our lives. If only for the reason that it makes us better understand and appreciate the importance of good health, instead of taking it for granted.

And perhaps also, so we do have some time ‘to collect ourselves anew’.

**********

What do you think about these two sides of the human condition – are our worthwhile days only those when health and well-being shine like beacons or do you think there is some value that we are meant to derive from experiencing suffering and sickness too? 

Perhaps you may also have a‘sick day’ story to share? 

Are you are the veritable bear with a sore head when you’re sick or do you not  mind a day or two out of the rat race?

Musings on Seeking (and Finding) More Peace and Happiness in The New Year


 

“You are only one thought away from a good feeling.”

Happiness! It’s something we all want but struggle to find.  We could be happy we tell ourselves, if only we had fewer thoughts to analyse, fewer reactions to tame and no bad habits to change. Basically we’d all like to be more in charge of our lives. Maybe then we could be truly happy.

But perhaps all of the above just kind of ‘goes with the territory’ of living? Maybe we’d better just get used to it, ‘cos perhaps it is an inevitable part of the whole ‘being human’ thing ?

A few years ago I had to ponder those questions myself and if I wanted to stay on track with my weight loss efforts, I had to get some answers. What I found was that staying healthy psychologically was a real boon to staying healthy physically. We are, after all, not one-dimensional, but multidimensional beings, with many parts to heal, restore and transform.

So today’s post is about a few of the ideas that I’ve discovered and found to be effective (for me) . I hope they are for you too.

You Can Be Happy

I’m talking here mainly about a few principles I have learnt and now practice myself and that basically all come from a little book called, YOU CAN BE HAPPY NO MATTER WHAT. Great title, huh?

The principles are simple, but once you start to practice them, they can be quite powerful. Okay so here they are briefly described.

1) Stop taking every thought seriously. I think the average human mind produces about 60,000 thoughts a day, so not every one of those thoughts is something you need to take notice of, particularly if the thoughts are negative. Instead you can simply acknowledge them, choice to regard them as temporary and move on. In other words, don’t get caught up in analysis paralysis.

2) Feelings are like thoughts. They will arise, sometimes out of nowhere it seems, but they will pass, if we allow them to, simply by giving them less of our attention. Giving  your mind’s full attention to your thoughts by ruminating over things, hanging on to regrets or ‘if only’s’, is only going to make you more frightened by your own thoughts and….lead to more bad feelings. Sometimes we just have to let things go.

The book also suggests that we view our feelings as our built-in warning system, a system that alerts you via your uneasy feelings that you are heading down the wrong track with your thinking and may need to make a slight mental adjustment or at least, to give your negative thoughts less of your attention and focus.

Stress Reduction

All sound a little hard? Then perhaps you need to become less tolerant of the stress you are under. By that I mean stop being so hard on yourself and take a break. Book a massage. A tank float. A pedicure. Whatever it is that will relax and revive you – and distract you from those continuous and annoying thoughts.

Another great tip suggested in the book is to remind yourself that your thoughts are harmless – they are just thoughts. Stop focussing on them, on each and every detail of them and you will be on the road to better psychological health and fewer destructive habits. The opposite behaviour – thinking about something all the time, which I used to do, only makes a problem grow in our minds and make it appear more formidable.

As we will all be wishing each other a Happy New Year soon, what exactly does that mean for you?

What will it take for you to be truly happy in the New Year?
I would love to hear about your own experiences with seeking happiness. Is feeling peaceful an intermittent thing for you – something that comes and goes? If so, what do you do to restore your inner calm?

We all deserve more happiness in our lives. Writing this blog makes me happy. So do my kids. So do my friends and family. And so does pursuing my goals.

What about you? What makes you happy?

 

You Can’t Always Get What You Want, But You Can Still Be Happy (A Post Christmas How To Guide)


 With the knowledge (er…suspicion)  that the Christmas holiday weekend perhaps went a little smoother for some, than for others, I thought today, the following reflection may be apt. 

It is a little personal (though not too much ) and I hope, if you need it to be, may also be a little therapeutic…..

Some Preamble

I actually tried ignoring (as much as possible) the pre-Christmas hype (shopping/consumer madness, etc…) but try as I may, it still affected me.  So that being considered, there was a few things I needed to get straight; a few ‘truths’ I needed to remind myself and lessons I needed to (re) learn.

I could sum them up in a few phrases – slow down, don’t sweat the small stuff and live every moment, as if it could be your last.

Oh and here’s one more:- acceptance and love don’t always come gift wrapped.

So here’s how I came to these conclusions……

Want Versus Need

Remember this line from the Rolling Stones hit song, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need……” It’s true and he’s a few personal examples of just that…

The ‘need’ follows the ‘want’ and is written in bold.

1.” For the holidays, I thought I might try something different,” I told my hairdresser.  ‘ I think I’d like my hair to be lighter’ I continued. 

After some consternation over this request, she shared her plan to make me ‘a shade lighter’. It didn’t work. One and half hours later, I left a deep brunette.

Not what I wanted.

Upon returning home, my kids and family complimented me, gave me some love and actually told me they liked my hair and that I looked nice. They offered their kind words, were just glad to see me and I felt good.

2. ‘Don’t interrupt me on the phone, okay? I really need to talk to this person. It’s important,’ I told the kids. Within seconds, I had to excuse myself to answer my kids questions and attend to their activities. Four times, in fact, I excused myself from the phone.

The person I was speaking to, finally said ‘I think I’d better let you go’ and hung up.

Not what I wanted.

After the call, I looked at the kids. They ran to me and hugged me, as if I had been gone for days (instead of a few minutes) and I decided to give them my full attention, suddenly feeling a rush of appreciation for them, for their enthusiasm and their ability to feel excited over the little things in life.

3. Over Christmas, I did receive a few things I simply didn’t want.

These things however were given to me by people whom I really love and it was a gift simply to know that they felt the same. Finding out that they also treasure our friendship as much as I do was something I needed know. It made me happy regardless of the unwanted item.

Therapy for Life

Perhaps, if you’re tempted to moan or groan about anything unwanted in your life, a little tweaking of your mental processes might help and perhaps you can also find, that you actually did get what you need.

A Final Thought

In my humble opinion, our needs are often already being met, but that fact becomes a little clouded by our own preference for getting what we want.

Futhermore, experiencing the joy that fulfillment of our needs brings does require a little less superficiality.

This is just what I think though and maybe…. I’ve got it all wrong? Maybe there’s something else I need to learn…..

What do you think?

I’d love to hear if you yourself have a personal philosophy to live by when things don’t go your way? Does it help to make you appreciate the small things?

Or why not just share your Christmas experiences this year? I myself have enjoyed a very happy and upbeat celebration; one of the best I’ve had in years. I loved it!!

Please feel free to share anything that didn’t go your way though. I’m here and I’m listening…..:) 🙂

Or maybe you have some other nuggets of wisdom to share? Just press comment and fire away….

PS Don’t forget to pop back again in a few days. I am working on a sequel to todays post. It’ll be a similar ”Art of Happiness” study, which you may find interesting………   🙂

 

Your Future Hasn’t Been Written Yet or Why Your Next Resolution Maybe Your Best Yet


 

Many of you may remember this scene  from the very popular movie, Back To The Future. In case you’re too young to remember, it was a fictional tale with a great message about possibilities, outcomes, decisions and personal action.

It was also a great reminder that destiny is something that in contrast to being predetermined is actually, medetermined. Every choice you make or don’t make (and even not making a choice is a choice), every opportunity you do or do not take up is you, determining your future.

The New Year

One of the most popular dates on the calendar for setting goals is coming…. thoughts, ideas and promises will flood our minds with the intent of being fulfilled. “This time next year”…..will be a popular phrase fervently broadcast after a few drinks. Goals such as losing weight, giving up smoking, getting more exercise, writing more will be everywhere. Then, a month or two later……??? Ah, well, it wasn’t meant to be. It’s not my destiny. I was never meant to do that, anyway. Etc, etc…

The excuse of not being in charge of your future is one that many of us are comfortable to fall back on.

When we take the idea that ‘Our future hasn’t been written yet’ though, things begin to change. We can start to see that really…..anything is possible. We can lose that weight, we can achieve that new goal.  Destiny is not an absolute. It is something we can shape, change and create. If we want to.

Great Scott

Couch potatoes have become marathon runners. Because they wanted to.

Bloggers have become published authors. Because they wanted to.

Penniless people have created wealth. Because they wanted to.

Uneducated people have gone back to school. Because they wanted to.

The essential ingredient of course is motivation. Motivation, desire, hard work and a some would argue, luck.

While all these do play a part, I think the most common element in all these success stories is that, the people creating them, believed in being masters of their own destiny.

When midnight strikes this New Year, why not remind yourself of this truth. It may make all the difference, this time next year……

Over To You…

So, I’d love to hear – do you believe in life being me – determined or predetermined? Is circumstance and your life situation something you can control or shape or is it all ‘going to happen anyway’, regardless of your own decisions or choices?

Do you only set new goals at New Year or do you set them weekly,monthly or even daily? Have you an inspirational story to share about overcoming the odds and achieving what you set out to?

Please do share your thoughts. I really appreciate the value your comments add to the discussion. 🙂

I’d also love to hear what you’re doing to ring in the New Year. I’d share my own plans, but they mostly involve sleep…..such the party animal quiet neighbour that I am!

 

*************************************

 

 

How Staying Zen Might Help Your Family This Christmas or How To Find Calm in The Festive Chaos


 

A Story

So I’ve just been daydreaming about lying in a corn field somewhere (oops..better make that sugar cane or bananas …I come from Australia…which could be uncomfortable, now that I think about it…lying there amongst the fruit trees…..darn, daydream) . Anyhow, whilst I can’t actually see myself taking the action to get me to these places,  the mental imagery is helping.

The Feeling

What I’m really after is a feeling. You know that rush of expansion and abundance you get when you sit amidst an open space staring up into the sky or out into the ocean? That’s what I’m looking for. Somewhere peaceful. Calm. Quiet. And still.  With a light breeze soothing my senses.

And the reason I’m escaping into this daydream? Well  it’s simple really. The holidays are here and it’s December – duh, duh, doh!!  Normally I looove this time of year and very soon, I know I will have that feeling again, but at present I am going through a slight ‘adjustment phase’.

It’s December ?

I must say I have been about as prepared for the holidays as someone who has been watching the weather channel for days, perhaps observing the movement of a cyclone (or hurricane) and then calmly changing channels, feeling secure and safe that this event will hit someone else’s town or city.

And then at the very last-minute, when I realise the event is about to hit, after all, I find myself standing outside holding a small fragile looking pink umbrella and realising, as it is being ripped to sheds by 100 kilometre hour winds, that I really should’ve planned this better and at least bought a heavy-duty, all weather coat. Or something.

A Little Attitude Adjustment

So now I need a place to shed all the fraying edges of my pink umbrella so I can throw it away and finally realise that it was not shelter I needed after all, but rather something far more helpful and easily accessible. A peaceful attitude.

With Santa visits to be had, malls to shop in, movies to see, friends to call on and Christmas lights to be awed by I know that I have no reason to be anything other than extremely grateful.

And I am.

A Slight Delay Due To A Change In The Weather

I may not be getting the posts written that I had planned for this week (and I hope you can forgive this minor change to the my blogging ritual), but my time and energy is certainly being used wisely and happily. I have now surrendered to this busy time of year and am fully committed to living more fully in the moment and enjoying it all.

It just took a little tweaking of my thoughts to arrive here, but I now think I have fully embraced the concept of what ekamati108 (the author of www.belongingmatters.wordpress.com ) describes as ‘being here now’.

Before I Go..

Perhaps you too have disruptions to your own personal routine or schedule is a in December . If so, I hope you find your own field to relax in or at least a bench at the Mall, where you can sit and catch your breath, for a while. 🙂

Thanks also for staying with me this week. I’ll be back to my normal blogging program soon…..

Just FYI: I am actually working on a post series about e-book writing and self publishing so stay tuned if you’d like to explore this possibility for yourself!!

There are many authors out there who journeyed from blog to book . Maybe your blog is  already a book half written!!

If so, what comes next? There are loads of possiblities….hope you can pop back to find out what they are!!!

In the meantime, Happy and Peaceful blogging!!

So now over to you. Do you think it’s important for you to be the calm in the storm during the holidays? Is your own personal schedule or routine disrupted or changed unexpectedly come December 1st ? If so, how do you handle the change? 

Do you have a mental practice or technique for living more peacefully? If so, why not share it here? Christmas is, after all – a time for sharing and connection. And staying Zen.

Namaste,

Mon

Making Your Blogging Imprint or How To Get Your Blog To Sparkle in Cyberspace


 

Hi everyone! The first thing I have to say before anything else is thank you!Thanks to everyone who left comments, asked questions or just visited and read my Freshly Pressed post the other day. I think it is safe to say that my blog has been enjoying some wonderful Feng Shui over the last couple of days and it is all due to you bright and passionate people out there who provided feedback, shared thoughts and left kind comments. So thank you! 🙂 

Together Everyone Achieves More. Cheesey….but true!

I think I have replied  to everyone and I eventually hope to visit all your blogs, too. It might take me awhile…but I’ll do it!

The Blogging Network

Blogging really is about community after all. It is also about sharing what we know and love, so I am looking forward to reading everything that you guys are passionate, ambitious and committed to! 

Sharing our views with the world really does make us vulnerable at times, but the best thing about it is that we are  all ‘feeling the fear and doing it anyway’, which I think is keeping us all ahead of the herd in some ways and providing a pathway for our own self growth at the same time.

I hope that last remark didn’t offend any sheep out there 🙂 it didn’t mean to. I just think that by taking a few risks and putting ourselves ‘out there’ we are all deliberately creating new experiences for ourselves  and that has to be good, ‘cos in my view, that’s what’s life’s about – Living, Learning, Achieving and Growing.

Today’s Post

Okay so moving on to today’s post which, compared to my last one, is brief,  as I have been a bit busier than usual over the last few days 🙂 and thus limited to some extent for time to write.

I think I touched on the subject of  time management in my last post where I described my preference of keeping to a blogging schedule, but sometimes the unexpected happens (like being on Freshly Pressed!). This then requires a little ‘renegotiation’ with your available time and energy!

I am happy though with the choice I made to reply to all the comments left here first, before I began work on my next post.

Today’s Topic

So ….without further to-do, here is today’s post which was actually influenced by the number of questions and comments I received about how to get your blog moving or how to get traffic or even how to motivate yourself to write.

Whilst I plan to address some of those questions over a number of posts in the future, today’s entry explores two things which I believe are key components to writing good blog posts. I thought I would start with these to perhaps give you some ‘food for thought’ as you yourself start planning your next blog post.

If you are already a prolific writer and have some further thoughts on finding inspiration, please share it with the rest of us in the comments section! Ideas and creative energies are definitely elements of ourselves, as bloggers, that can be activated and nourished by others. And as I certainly don’t have a monopoly on doing that, please feel free to contribute and further influence fellow readers via the comment section. Thanks in advance 🙂

Write What You Would Like To Read

Okay, so I have adopted this simple mantra myself recently, as I have heard it put forward by some very famous authors and it certainly seems to have worked for them! And, going by my analogous post from two days ago, it is also working for me. I could never have anticipated the trajectory of that particular post in advance, so I just wrote something that I myself would enjoy reading. I also have started asking the following questions after I write, ”Would I be proud of that article or post ten years from now?” or “Have I provided a fresh or unique perspective on a topic that allows readers to discover new insights?”

Basically, my own posts are my effort to :-

a) Cultivate the creative and/or personal potential of others and

b) To encourage them to follow their instincts and to reconnect with a voice of encouragement and inspiration, thereby awakening their own dormant talents and abilities.

You probably already know that voice which I am referring to but you are sometimes ignoring or paying little attention to it.  You have lots of great ideas, but then you can talk yourself out of putting them into practice.  You start listening to the doubts instead of your positive and confident internal voice.

I used to do that too, but once I started to turn it around, I suddenly became a lot more productive 🙂  It can be a great adventure just following your own instincts and then finding out where it leads you…..

Trust Your Own Voice

Which brings me to the second point of this post, which is simply trusting your own voice.

For me that entails writing the same way that I talk. I also like to imagine that I am sitting in a small room in my house, sharing and chatting with some close friends. Maybe we are also enjoying some coffee and a few laughs.

The reality may actually be that I am sitting all alone at my writing desk, but I can still feel the collective presence of others and this really assists me in finding my own voice and trusting it.

NOTE: The above post is my own ideas about finding your blogging voice, but after I had finished writing I decided to do a little more research, so I could provide you with some further reading on the subject, should you be interested.

The following two links were the best I found. I hope you find them helpful.

http://www.problogger.net/archives/2010/08/05/5-ways-to-build-your-blogs-voice/

http://blogsessive.com/blogging-tips/unique-blogging-voice/

Ciao everyone. Happy blogging!!!

As always, I would love your feedback and comments on this post. I am sure you can all educate me just as much as I can you, so please feel free to share your thoughts, experiences and ideas or to simply ask a question. 🙂

By the way if you noticed a large number of smiley faces being added to my replies yesterday, that’s because I was feeling so happy. 🙂 🙂

I still am, so you will probably notice a few more today! 🙂 🙂