Mind Power

Book Lovers Day

I am…a book lover.

Book Lovers Day encourages you to give yourself some quality time reading a book. Like curling up on the couch with a cup of tea to enjoy the adventure in your favorite book.

Book reading is a great hobby. It’s an important one, too. I read that employers look for it on resumes. Reading is educational, informative, and relaxing. It makes us both smarter and happier people.

Here is a couple of ways to celebrate. Show the your books some love by cleaning and maybe rearranging the shelf you display them on. Gift a book lover friend with a homemade bookmark, first edition or signed book. Throw a book themed party. Guests can wear clothes of a character in the book and serve food from the story. Like having a tea party for characters in “Little Women”. More current party theme around play “Hamilton” based on Autobiography of Alexander Hamilton.

Do you have a library card? If not maybe a good day to get one. Some libraries offer downloadable eBooks.

I belong to Gold Country Writers organization in Auburn California. Earlier this year we started a Read and Review program. So far this year each month we have been reading books written by fellow author members. I have enjoyed reading two memoirs. I got to know my friends on a deeper level from reading their memoir. I also read a couple of novels one based on a true story and one spiritual book around generosity of giving. We will review a book of poetry next month and in November my book I am…Transforming: Creating Meaningful Change through Empowering and Inspiring Thoughts. On my own I am currently reading The Choice: Embrace the Possible by Dr Edith Eva Egar. Another powerful memoir. I think I have discovered that I enjoy memoirs. As I also enjoy movies based on true stories.

 

Quote on book lovers:
“All good and true book-lovers practice the pleasing and improving avocation of reading in bed … No book can be appreciated until it has been slept with and dreamed over.” – Eugene Field

I am…working with focused attention

By using different techniques I have improved my concentration.  One of these techniques is using the insight timer app on my cell phone to meditate. I can use it for two minutes to over 30 minutes. I can just listen to music, sounds of nature or a guided meditation. Other techniques include spending a few minutes petting my cat, rocking in my rocking chair, sitting outside on my back deck, listening to soft classical music, taking a short walk or having a snack. These and other methods like logging off e-mail  help me reduce my mental chatter, so that I can keep my attention on what’s in front of me.

With focused attention I am able to complete projects in a timely fashion. Maybe because I have taken steps to reduce stress and anxiety this makes staying focused easier for me.

Quote on attention:

“The best way to forget oneself is to look at the world with attention and love.” – Red Auerbach

“The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention.” – Richard Moss

“Give whatever you are doing and whoever you are with the gift of your attention.” – Jim Rohn

“When you write down your ideas you automatically focus your attention on them. Few if any of us can write one thought and think another at the same time. Thus a pencil and paper make excellent concentration tools.” – Michael Leboeuf

Your Words are Powerful

I am…careful with the words I use.

Our words have the power to shape our world. Use them to create the good we desire. Positive words uplift ourselves and others.

If we direct positive words toward a person or situation they have a positive effect. This would mean that negative words directed at a person would have a negative effect. So my thought here is to be careful with our words before expressing them either aloud or on paper. Words put on paper are just as powerful as those you express out loud.

As you go about your day, keep in mind the power of your words. You can make the world a better place by the words you use. You have the power to support and encourage others by the words you use.

We are in this world together let’s work toward peace, love and understanding by being careful with the words we use.

Quotes on words:

“Da Da”: Powerful enough to make a grown man cry when spoken for the first time by his son. – Source unknown.

“Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care, for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or evil.” Siddhartha Gotoma or Buddha (563-483 B.C.)

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are endless.” – Mother Theresa

“Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, the recipient may cherish them for a lifetime.” – Dale Carnegie

Words have longer life than deeds.” – Pindar

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” – Lao Tzu

I am…in sync

I had a busy work day at a client and tired as I was just wanting to go home and stop moving.  I decided to make a quick trip to the grocery store. I stopped at the local Safeway store in order to get a few things for Thanksgiving lunch I was going to have with my mother. I drove into the parking lot and luck was on my side. I found an end parking space near the door. I went to get a shopping cart and found one even though there were only a few left. This would be a good indication that the store is very busy. I proceed inside and I quickly found everything I needed. I am walking down the freezer aisle heading to the checkout stands and to my amazement it looks like there is a station straight ahead with no one in line. And before I get there the cashier asks me if I am ready. To which I say Yes. Unbelievable that  I didn’t have to stand in a long line and wait. Easy in, Easy out. It is nice when my thoughts are in sync with my action and outcome.  Life can be sweet.

Quote on in sync:

“If people aren’t in sync, things won’t work out well.” – Stephen Hopkins

“Our way of thinking creates good or bad outcomes.” – Stephen Richards

“When you stop existing and you start truly living, each moment of the day comes alive with the wonder and synchronicity.” – Steve Maraboli

I am…thankful

Today is Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. It is a day when I usually sleep in, take a walk, watch the Macy’s Holiday Day parade, visit family and friends, cook and eat lots of food, watch a little football and some years go to the movies. This year I won’t be doing any cooking.

During the dinner meal is a wonderful  time for everyone including children to share what they are thankful for. I am grateful for the wonderful meal that is being prepared for me. I have lots more to be thankful for including the birth of my granddaughter 3 months ago. Since my dinner is being taken care of by someone else I went to Safeway and participated in their Hunger Bag program by making a purchase to support local food banks. I also sent a floral arrangement to decorate the home I will be celebrating in.

Research shows that thankful people are happier. The Institute of HeartMath has recognized that being thankful improves the heart’s rhythmic functioning, which helps us to reduce stress, think more clearly under pressure and heal physically. Doesn’t that sound good? Remember it is physiologically impossible to be stressed and thankful at the same time.

Being in a state of thankfulness is doable. Let’s build a strong muscle of thankfulness. The more we work this muscle the stronger it gets. Here are a couple of ways to develop and grow this muscle. Today Thanksgiving would be a great day to start a gratitude journal. Write down what happened each day that you are thankful for.

On a daily basis, tell someone how thankful you are for something. Could be their friendship. Tell fellow employees, friends, family, and even perfect strangers! Let’s help make this a world of grateful, thankful giving and receiving people.

If you are taking a walk you could add saying out loud what you are thankful for. Doing this first thing in the morning will lead to your having a positive day.

How will you be celebrating Thanksgiving this year? Whether you practice a traditional Thanksgiving celebration or are making new traditions and memories, I wish you a very happy and healthy holiday!

Quotes on Thanksgiving:

“Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude.” – E.P. Powell

“Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day.” – Robert Caspar Lintner

“Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.” – W.T. Purkiser

I am…peaceful

Prayer flags

Prayer flags

How about that message for starting the week? Focus on being filled with peace and radiating peace to everyone you meet.

This week starts with today being International Day of Peace as established by the United Nations. One can go back to Sept 1982 to observe the first such day. This year’s theme is ” Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All”. The U.N. General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and people.

On Saturday the 19th I went to a Playing for Peace Festival. It was held at the Spiritual Center for Positive Living in Cameron Park, CA. There were four bands that performed two of them being The Random Strangers and Ascension.  Plus, speakers on peace like Buddhist Monk, Geshe La Tsultrim and Reverend Dr. Patti Weber. It was a very warm afternoon but I enjoyed volunteering at the entrance table and being part of this lively event.

How can we help to raise the focus on peace in the world? We could demonstrate peace in our own life. Are you with me on this?

Namaste.

Quotations on Peace:

“Watch your manner of speech if you wish to develop a peaceful state of mind. Start each day by affirming peaceful, contented and happy attitudes and your days will tend to be pleasant and successful.” – Norman Vincent Peale
“Ballots are the rightful and peaceful successors to bullets.” – Abraham Lincoln
“A smile is the beginning of peace.” – Mother Teresa

“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek but a means by which we arrive at that goal.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

 

 

I am…reading (Read a Book Day)

Read a book day, really. How about read a book every day. I don’t read  a whole book every day and I doubt that is the intent of “Read a Book” day. I do spend some time each day reading a book. That seems to centerI-am-transforming-book, entertain, and expand my mind. Reading to my grandson is something I look forward to doing. Haven’t gotten the opportunity yet but I have given him some fun books. One with a finger puppet of a giraffe. His baby shower theme was giraffe and he has lots of them as stuffed animals.

Ok, back to reading. I started to laugh when I saw read a book. Funny, I have several books I am reading at the same time. One for a class I am taking, another on meditation, one on using social media for marketing, a couple on letting go to help me with writing my latest book. And I get emails on a regular basis for free e-books which I download to my Kindle fire. There are so many places one can find books to read besides the traditional book store. I already mentioned online. There is your local public library. There is a lending library in the community where I live. They also loan books on tape another fun way I  to listen to books. Twice a month I take a three hour drive so having a book on tape helps the time to pass quicker, plus I am entertained. You can find books at garage sales, yard sales and friends of library sales. Lots of book finding options.

The intent of Read a Book Day is to get people reading. Could include reading something that inspires you, reading to children, donating a book to children’s school library or to host a book reading party. How do you plan to spend this day? I plan to take some time today to relax and read. I hope you have something to read that feeds the soul and the mind?

Quotations on reading a book:

A book is a dream that you hold in your hand.- Neil Gaiman

If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should adsk him what books he reads.-Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all. – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him. – Maya Angelou

Oh my I have Habits

Habits we all have them. So it would be important to control them. This could improve our quality of life.

Habits have three parts. There is a trigger for the habit to start, next the habit itself and then the reward. Changing a habit will take diagnosing the trigger/cue and reward, and then one can work on changing the behavior.

I wrote about habits we have in the words we use in my book. I mentioned one that most of us use them on a regular basis. That would be “Talk to you later.” Sometimes the words just automatically come out of our mouths without thinking. When finishing a phone call we tend to say “talk to you later”. Do you really want to talk with this person later or would sooner be better? So say, “Talk to you soon.”  This could be an affirmation or habit you might prefer to set in motion. Plus, I think it sounds friendly like you look forward to talking with them again.

Definition of Habit

Definition of Habit

Another example of words as habits that we use repeatedly without thinking, like, “I can’t.” I find the word “can’t” to be disempowering. I prefer “I choose not to” or “I won’t”. Do you see the difference? You could even say “I choose to do something else.”

If you want to create a new habit or let go of one Dr. Maltz published the quote in 1960 to say it takes a minimum of 21 consecutive days of doing something for it to form a new habit. In 2009 Phillippa Lally did research showing it took 18 to 254 days for people to form a new habit. On average is takes more than 2 months around 66 days for a new behavior to become a habit. Taking more than 21 days would make it a process that one needs to embrace. Be gentle with yourself through this process. It is going to take time. And that it doesn’t matter is you missed or forgot now and then because it turns out building better habits is not about doing the process perfectly. I like the sound of that.

Do you have a habit you would like to start creating? Like drinking more water every day. Take a little time for yourself to see what comes to mind in an area you would like to change. You could meditate on it. Take a walk in nature and discover what is let’s say just not working for you now. After that what you do is up to you.

 

Here’s hoping you find some habits you have that you enjoy and another that you want to start creating.

 

Quotes on habits:

 

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

 

“Don’t let your sins turn into bad habits.” – Saint Teresa

 

“Curious things, habits. People themselves never knew they had them.” – Agatha Christie

 

“A change in bad habits leads to a change in life.” – Jenny Craig

 

“Achievement is a habit-cultivate it.” – Henry Mills

 

“Habits are safer than rules; you don’t have to watch them. And you don’t have to keep them either. They keep you.” – Frank Crane

 

I am…patient

My bookkeeping clients are always telling me I am a patient instructor when teaching them to use accounting software. I don’t really notice that I am demonstrating patience but I am able put them at ease by not rushing the training process. Thus they learn with ease. I calmly sit beside them as I instruct and watch them follow the steps to make and record entries within the program. I give them time to write notes is they want to. I do remember one client once that kept talking and talking through the process and part of we wanted to just say please press the enter button so we can move on. I mentally released that thought, took a deep breath and they finished the step when they were ready.

Another way I seem to demonstrate patience is in dealing with the client folder of questions and un-reconciled issues. They put the things that make them anxious in the “Joy Folder” and wait for me to come and quietly resolve them. Putting problems in there makes them comfortable patiently waiting for me to arrive. This folder sometimes include things like a letter from the IRS. That seems to scare them when in most cases I find reading the letter over there is an easy answer to what it all means.

Patience promotes better health. That means it reduces anxiety and helps keep blood pressure under control. Making patience a heart healthy habit that sustains us. I like the sound of that.

Final thought: Where have you demonstrated patience today?

Quotes on patience:
Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Patience is the companion of wisdom.” – Saint Augustine

“Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow-that is patience.” – Author unknown

“The keys to patience are acceptance and faith. Accept things as they are, and look realistically at the world around you. Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen.” – Ralph Marston

“Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears.” – Barbara Johnson

Conversation Starter

animal medicine cards

I had a tea party last month and I include a time for sharing after we eat treats and drink tea. Last year the party was in January so we shared the word that expressed our focus/intention for the year.  This year I used a set of animal medicine cards to start a conversation.  Everyone held the cards in their hands, shuffled them and then picked one. Each card has a message written under the animal. The photo I included as part of this blog is of a hummingbird.  Part of hummingbird  message is “Be Joyful”. After reading their message my guests would tell us how the message relates to their life at this moment. We all found the messages to be uplifting.

The author of the Medicine Cards says the cards are used as an advanced tool for achieving personal growth and balanced living. Is there a tool you use for personal growth?