On marriage and romance: the condensed version

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“I’m sorry I’m not more romantic,” he says. Spoken after 31 years of marriage to one woman—me.

We celebrate the remainder of our anniversary with a brisk stroll through our neighborhood; I think back to the earlier days—when he’d bring me flowers just because. Or when he’d whisk me away on a surprise outing. “I see romance differently now,” I say. “It’s the little things you do that show me your love.”

“Like what?” he says.

I ponder here a moment, bathed in a shroud of reverence. “When you clip a few miniature carnations from the backyard and present them to me in a bud vase.” I smile as I recall the delicate peach blossoms that graced our window box several mornings in a row. “When you prepare a delicious salad for me each evening for dinner.”

He smiles also, seemingly pleased. We finish our walk, hand in hand, and return home to straighten the kitchen. Three decades never looked better.

Happy anniversary to my person.

You are what you think: choose wisely

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Keep your thoughts positive
because your thoughts become your words.
~ Mahatma Gandhi

In my post, “How to have a happy life,” I talk about how thinking differently determines the contrast between a happy life and a miserable life. In James R. Doty’s book, Into the Magic Shop, he shares the secrets to getting what we want by clarifying our intentions as we navigate the journey of our lives. A yogi instructor states: Think loving thoughts. What you think, you create. A popular Proverb touts: Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life. Recently, I mentioned to a yogi friend that one day, I’ll require open heart surgery to repair a defective valve I’ve had since birth. She cited Louise Hay to me, and how positive thinking cured her cancer. Everywhere I turn, I’m bombarded with reminders about the power our thoughts—and words—wield. Perhaps it’s time I take the hint and focus on creating the destiny I desire.

Are you a positive thinker?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

It’s not too early: start attracting what you want in 2020

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Ever get struck with an epiphany that pumps your blood with excitement? The kind that makes you want to smack yourself on the one hand but high five the other? Coming off the tail end of one of these ah-ha moments, I shared it with a close friend and I think it’s worth repeating. For countless years, I’ve been playing a self-imposed “waiting game,” while subconsciously casting blame on other major players (aka main characters) in my life for the place—or season—in which I find myself today. Newsflash: first, there is no one to blame but myself. Second, just as I mentioned in my post, “How to make a happy life…,” the choices I’ve made thus far belong to me alone. And third, no blame necessary. I simply must remind myself that no experience is wasted if I learn something that prepares me for the next season. Because watch out New Year: this girl is on fire!

For tips on attracting what you want, visit https://chopra.com/articles/7-strategies-to-attract-everything-you-want-in-the-new-year.

How to make a happy life: think differently

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You do not find the happy life. You make it.
~ Camilla Kimball

During a recent yoga class, the instructor weaved her special blend of wisdom throughout the 90-minute lesson. One particular “ism” continued to resonate with me long after I’d packed my bag and headed home. Although not verbatim, it reads something like this: Happiness is not the destination; it’s an attitude you choose to bring with you on the journey. What I love about this can also be understood from Kimball’s quote at the beginning of this post. Another popular saying speaks of happiness as the journey, itself. Yet what about journeys fraught with illness or death, poverty or disaster or [fill in the blank]? Oftentimes those people swimming in a bevy of unfortunate circumstances still seem to radiate happiness. Because happiness is not a treasure to be found but, rather, a gift we already possess as a choice. And it’s all about choosing to think differently. I choose happy.

What choice do you make today?

Image courtesy of VectorHuman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Last ditch efforts: are they worth it?

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About six months ago, I attended my first writers’ retreat in a tiny idyllic town bordering the Puget Sound. Since then, I’ve joined numerous online workshops studying the writing craft and then: poof. The desire to write anything at all escaped in a puff of imaginary smoke—all my ideas and excitement and dreams tamped out as if they’d never been. A few weeks ago, I received a second invitation to register for yet another course. With one quarter left until a new year begins, I figured that if I plan to end 2019 with a bang, then it’s now or never. The phrase “last ditch effort” flashed behind my eyes. And now here I am, four of 12 lessons in and, for the first time in a long while, I’m having fun writing again. The moral of this post? Last ditch efforts might not prove successful every time. But it only takes once if it’s meant to be.

Could your life benefit from a last ditch effort?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Kudos for making a change: how do you know when it’s right?

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Have you ever noticed that oftentimes when you make up your mind—to forge ahead on the road less traveled or release what no longer serves you—affirmations of your decision begin to appear in myriad ways? It could be the topic of that day’s devotion or an inspirational email that shows up in your inbox, or even this blog post. Or, you hear a song on the radio that resonates with a recent change you’ve made, or a friend makes a random comment validating your resolve. Some people believe these apparent coincidences—or signs— signify that life’s puzzle pieces are moving into proper alignment. Maybe it’s as simple as “confirmation bias:” the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs or theories. Whatever you call it, it can spring hope eternal when you sense you’re on the right track. And offer the impetus to keep on keeping on even when you trip along the way.

What kind of confirmation bias have you experienced lately?

Image source: https://www.inspiredtoreality.com.

Time is running out: make it matter

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There are three months

left in this decade.
In. This. Decade.

If you’re on social media, you might’ve seen the above words pop up in your feed. Now tack on the phrase: “Take that risk” or “I think you should go for it.” As humanity collectively stands on the cusp of a new season, I’m reminded of the patterns that accompany the inevitable changes, whether in nature or our own lives. A well-known Bible scripture begins: For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. Once trapped in a cycle of repetitive behavior and thinking that prevented me from moving from past to present, over the last year I’ve experienced both loss and gain—culminating in acceptance, forgiveness and blessed freedom from bondage. I’m ready, now, to take that risk. To go for it. To make it matter before time runs out.

Are you ready?

Image courtesy of krishna arts at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

PSA: From victims to victors

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Five thousand, four hundred seventy-eight days—or 15 years ago—a driver, impaired with nearly three times the legal alcohol blood concentration in Arizona, runs no less than two red lights before slamming his white Dodge Ram into the driver’s side of my husband’s two-month-old black Honda Civic. Each August, on this day, I relive those memories, snapshots strung together that recount our story: Police ring my doorbell to deliver the news. My 12-year-old daughter and I arrive at the Level 1 trauma hospital where my husband undergoes emergency surgery and spends the next 59 days reclaiming his life. Over time, our family learns to navigate a new normal amidst the deficits resulting from a diffuse TBI, crushed hip and other myriad physical, emotional and mental trauma. Heartaches and highlights serve as milestones that color our collective journey from victims to victors. And it’s on the anniversary of my husband’s “death” and “re-birthday,” that I once again implore readers to make the right choice: don’t drink and drive.

Resigning ourselves to embrace each season

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Live each season as it passes;
breathe the air, drink the drink,
taste the fruit, and resign yourself
to the influences of each.
~ Henry David Thoreau

Over the past few years, I’ve learned a little something about “Club 50.” It comes with a tiny downside called menopause. While I’ve been navigating this new season of empty nesting, adventure seeking and pre-retirement planning (the countdown is on!), the sneaky little “M” visitor swooped in under the radar and stole my life as I knew it—leaving behind a lack of ambition, fatigue, mood swings, hot flashes, excess weight, acne breakouts and an outcropping of coarse and curly sparkles. And that’s just the beginning! Thankfully, there’s hope. Or so I’ve been told. Because I still have a lot of living to do, embracing each moment even on the days when I must dig deep and fake it until I make it. Or the days I simply laugh my way through because it beats the alternative.

What season must you embrace?

Image courtesy of Simon Howden at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Taming the monkeys: Part VI, the glue + tip #2

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Words we speak about an experience become the experience.
~ Derek Hough

In my post, “…Part V and thinking SMART,” I review nighttime routines and working smarter. Plus, I promise to reveal the glue that holds it all together: consistency. If you’re not seeing results, crushing your goals or manifesting your dreams, try sticking to a consistent habit, goal or practice until 1) either change occurs or 2) you need to try something new. Oh, and tip #2 that KM gave me at the start of my 45-day challenge? Quit complaining. The hard truth: complaining attracts negativity and misfortune. Don’t believe me? Try this at home (aka everywhere): Wear a rubber band on your wrist, snap it each time you complain and then switch wrists. But attempt to keep it on the same wrist for 21 days and watch what happens. Bonus: incorporate five minutes of focused gratitude into your morning routine. Check out these other resources: James R. Doty, simplemind.eu/how-to-mind-map/examples/goals, zapier.com/blog/smart-goals/.

Are you ready to attract abundance?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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