empowerment

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.

 

 

 

Arrrr you a Pirate?

Today I am…a pirate. ARRRR

Yarr! Let’s celebrate. Where is my eye patch? Mention of this day and I thought of Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean and I was just in a program with Mary Morrissey and during week Nine we had a lesson from point of view of a pirate named Jack. We were encouraged to stay the course, face the storm, do it afraid and go for the dream which we affirm as Jack the pirate would with an “Arrr”. Anyway, with Talk Like A Pirate Day you are encouraged to inject pirate-themed words and noises into everything you say. Talk like a pirate at home, at work, with friends, on the phone and to everybody you meet; top it off by dressing like a pirate, too!

ARRRR you ready?

Quotes on Pirate:

 . “The average man will bristle if you say his father was dishonest, but he will brag a little if he discovers that his grand-father was a pirate.” – Bern Williams
 

. “Even pirates, before they attack another ship, hoist a black flag.” – Bela Kiraly

. “Life’s pretty good, and why wouldn’t it be? I’m a pirate, after all.” – Johnny Depp

 . “There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” – Walt Disney

 . “Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.” – Mark Twain from Life on the Mississippi

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

I am…cooking

Home made chili for lunch

A weekly dinner for my son and his wife. It all started back in July when my grandson was born. At first I was making their favorites as requested including pepper steak and chicken in wine. With the seasons changing I am fixing dinners that reflect the weather. I made minestrone soup this week as the temperature dropped. I use a recipe from Moosewood Cookbook. I haveHome made chili for lunch been making this recipe for years with one adjustment. I add Swiss chard at the end.

What happens is I get to hold my grandson while they eat the dinner I have prepared. It is a win-win for all of us. They get to eat together at the same time and I get some one on one time with the little guy. Plus I enjoy buying all the ingredients and preparing a meal for my family to enjoy.

I didn’t take a picture of the soup. The picture I attached is chili I made for a Saturday lunch I served to crew helping with remodel work at the kid’s house. I also fixed a green salad, corn bread and Spanish coffee cake for dessert.

I wonder what I will prepare next week for dinner. Maybe I will start making some recipes in my crock pot. Do you have a favorite dinner suggestion?

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?

I had a totem painted on my drum

Last year in November I took a class and made my own drum. We used Mexican cowhide. This year I decided to have a totem painted on it. I picked the turtle/tortoise aTotem on my drums my totem.  I thought about the eagle but my son had a land tortoise for several years.  I took care of her when she was first born and was with her the day she died. Her name was Rocket. So I am honoring “Rocket” by having a tortoise painted on my drum.

Here is the meaning behind Turtle as an animal totem:

Turtle is a symbol of longevity, endurance, persistence, and the continuation of life (sometimes against incredible odds). 

It is also a powerful totem for protection because you can withdraw into your shell. Which makes it is an amazing self-defense mechanism.

Affirmation for Turtle Medicine – “I am open to moving with the flow of life that I will find fulfillment.”

How I started your day on an up note

I am…starting my day on an up note.

I was looking out my front door as I heard construction workers arriving next door. What I did see was a hummingbird flying around the yellow flowering Hibiscus by my front steps. It kept flying around the bush and then it landed. I wondered why it would land then it started feeding two babies. When she flew away I tried to take a picture of them but didn’t to get to close. Plus finding their tiny nest was hard as it blends in with the branch. Let’s just say seeing them was an uplifting way to start my day.

Did you know that Hummingbird’s mission is to spread joy? Since hummingbird came to me this morning maybe my message is to give thanks for the beauty in the world and that I am a part of it.

Nest on lower branch with babies

Nest on lower branch with babies.

Have a blessed day.

Peace, Joy, Love

What are you focusing on? Here is something positive to start your day with.Joy stones