motivational

Independence Day

Let the fireworks begin as it is July 4th Independence Day in United States. A federal holiday. It commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as new nation.

I love going to the parade and watching all the different branches of the military walk by. Some like the World War II veterans ride by in truck. And of course standing and applauding as they pass by. The parade in Redwood City is almost two hours long.  It starts with boy scouts carrying a huge flag down the street. There are classic cars, old fire trucks, youth sports teams, college bands, horses,  local politicians, and lots more. It ends with street sweeper to clean up, well you know the horse poop.  There is lots of flag waving and the wearing of red, white and blue.

Celebrating takes lots of different forms. Choices include barbecue, picnic, parades, carnivals, fairs, concerts, baseball games and fireworks after dark. BBQ on the 4th means hot dogs and hamburgers. I went shopping for the hot dogs, buns, and dill pickles earlier in the week. I couldn’t wait until the fourth before fixing a couple of them for myself. Yum. Served with lots of mustard and ketchup too.

The fourth of July is also a time to remember the foundation that the United States was built on. To recall the courage displayed by our founding fathers. And finally it is a time to appreciate the wonderful gift of freedom that we all enjoy on a daily basis.

Did you know that our 30th President Calvin Coolidge was born on the fourth of July in 1872? So far he is the only President to be born on the fourth of July.

 

Quotes for the 4th of July:

“Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.” – Albert Camus

“Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty.” – Louis D Brandeis

“Freedom is never given, it is won.” – A. Philip Randolph

“Liberty is always dangerous, but it is the safest thing we have.” – Harry Emerson Fosdick

“You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” Malcolm X

By |July 4th, 2017|Inspirational, motivational, motivational thoughts, positive thinking, uplifting|Comments Off on Independence Day|

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…a writer

Last Saturday I attended the first Sierra Writers Conference which was held in Grass Valley, CA. I had never been on the Sierra College campus before and a got lost trying to find the building where the event was held. Light rain was falling so reading signs wasn’t as easy as hoped for. All that said I still arrived before the program started. Actually it started at time the schedule stated. And it ended on time as well. I like that they respected our time and/or that they were impeccable with their word. I found several fellow members of Gold Country Writers were in attendance. I was fortunate enough to sit with them at start of program. They were in the first row and there were only two seats left when I showed up.  Color me lucky.

Program started with a keynote speaker who has written four novels as well as screenplays.  He pointed out that self understanding leads to writing ideas. I especially loved this quote “In dance there are no mistakes only Solos” and then we broke into workshops. I had four to pick from: Poetry, Script Writing, Fiction and Young Adult Novels. There didn’t seem to be one that held my interest so I stayed in the main building for speaker in that room. It was cold outside too and a little wet. This gave me another reason to just stay where I was. Speaker in main room was Kim Culbertson who writes fiction books for Young Adults. She was a very enthusiastic speaker. One comment she made that I had figured out is to read lots of books on the subject your writing about. I am writing my second book. This one on Letting Go and I have several books on this topic in my house to look at. I find they helped me to organize the chapters and points I want to be sure to cover. Her books are published by Scholastic. She noted that when you self-publish you can control your title and cover. Not an option for her and she is okay with that.

After this breakout round we had time for a snack before attending another workshop. I had to decide among another four: Mysteries, Inspirational, Non-fiction and Memoir. This time I had two that thought I would like to attend: Non-fiction or inspirational. I decided on inspiration. I learned the name of a couple of publishing companies in my area that handle spiritual writing. And I heard again that having an editor is very important. So glad I have one I love working with.

Final part of conference was back in main auditorium. There was a three member panel to talk about publishing and answer our questions.  They brought up the Writer’s Market Guide: The most trusted guide to getting published. I had never heard of this book before. Inspirational writing workshop also mentioned it. Sounds like a book I should seek out at the library.

All and all I think this was good event. A chanced to learn more tools for being a published, receive encouragement to keep writing and an opportunity to connect with other authors.

I hope they have another one next year.

Here’s to more writing and finishing my book this Spring.

 

I am…an extra

A first for me. I was an extra in a movie. I had to travel to Cameron Park to be in Mama’s Boy the Movie. My girl friend is on the crew and she posted in Facebook that they needed lots of extras for the movie. Their big ask was for individuals in their late teens to early twenties for school scenes. I certainly didn’t qualify to be a student but there were two scenes I was able to be in. The graduation and outside the hospital.

I received an e-mail late the night before changing the time I was to arrive and where to park. I had to be in a parking lot at a church by 11:30 to catch shuttle to location. I was challenged with road construction and yet I managed to arrive right on time. Here is the funny thing we were thinking a shuttle like vehicle would show up when this fellow in a Camry stops at church as driver to shuttle us to location. I was on the first trip over to location along with three others. I guess he gets credit for how many people he carries as we each had to give him our first name which he wrote down on a clipboard. Next step was to stand in the shade as it was going to be a very warm day and wait to read release form, sign on check in sheet, show our ID and leave our email address. Then it was back to the shade to wait. Then they decided to let us go sit by swimming pool under umbrella picnic tables. This is when the real waiting started. They said it looked like they were on schedule and after lunch at 1pm we would start filming. Well, 1:00 went by and we weren’t called. It was after 2:30 before they came and took several people to be part of graduation ceremony. I feel really lucky to get to visit with a friendly group of people while waiting to be called into filming. So this gal comes out and asks us if we have any funny stories from graduation. Then she asks when attending this graduation who would we be? I responded: Grandmother to a student.  Back to waiting and around 2:45 a fellow comes over wants to know if we would like to wait inside an air-conditioned room. To which we all say yes. We follow him and pick up bottles of water and snacks on the way. Big sigh as I walk inside. We knew it was very warm outside but so comfortable when we got inside. Then we offered us the leftover food from crew lunch. They had salad, pulled pork, tortilla chips, salsa and artichoke dip. I had a little salad. Then the call finally came for all of us to follow my friend into the graduation scene. I was directed to stand in a row along with other extras behind everyone who was seated. Then they put a row of four chairs behind an empty row of chairs. Next thing you know my friend tells this gentleman next to me to go sit down. Then she tells me to sit next to him, then Cheri a gal I met while waiting is directed to sit next to me and finally another fellow sits next to her. Here is the fun it turns out I was sitting right behind the lead character’s family. His mother, father and brother.  They came and sat in that empty row in front of us.

After the shot my girl friend said she could see my face framed behind the family so it looks like I will be in the film. We had a short break and then went out in front of the building to be friends standing outside the hospital looking up at room where Kelly the lead character is staying. Some people were given flowers to hold, signs with message like Home Run Kelly, and balloons. I was given two star shaped balloons. One was gold and the other was blue. I was standing on side but gal on a ladder was moving us around and she asked me to move sideways. I moved a little to the edge of a planter where ground cover roses were growing. Being up on a ladder she couldn’t see that I had an obstacle next to me. She asked me to move more to my right which I did but my skirt got caught on the roses for a minute. I ended up standing right next to the flag pole. We rehearsed talking among ourselves, seeing Kelly in the window, cheering and then chanting his name.  We did a couple of takes and they even had crew join the clip so the crowd would look even larger. The director came and stood in front of me along with two other members of the crew.

I have no idea when this movie will be released. There is more filming. The next day Gary Bushey who plays Kelly’s baseball coach will be on set. They only want students for tomorrow so I won’t be attending. Then next week there is a scene at a church in Rocklin CA but I am out of town so will miss that as well.  This was my big day and after lots of sitting around waiting I did get to be part of this movie. One of those first time experiences off the bucket list.

I have heard the comment “Do something new every day”. I certainly accomplished that today.

Stamp Collecting Month

I found an eight cent stamp and got the idea to write this blog. I was going through a box of stamp albums. I have been on a tidying process and letting go of lots of things that just been sitting around taking up space. Turns out October is Stamp Collecting Month and here I am finding a stamp from 1972 that celebrates that idea. I started collecting stamps when I was 13 years old. My dad had been dblog stamp collecting month Oct 2015oing it for years and together we would sit at the dining room table for hours sorting, soaking stamps off envelopes, and attaching them into albums. We would get so into this that we forgot to eat. Mom would come in and remind us to take a break. We were just having so much fun that we forgot about eating. Have you ever had a hobby that would consume you so much that you forgot about eating?

I am going to send some of the cancelled stamps I found from 1960s and 1970s to American Philatelic Society for use in their education program. Maybe a child will see the joy in collecting stamps like I did.

Quotations on stamp collecting:

Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there.– Josh Billings

In science there is only physics; all the rest is stamp collecting.- Lord Kelvin

Jazz music is as American as it gets, and so is the U.S. Postal Service. A Miles Davis stamp is a perfect marriage of two great American institutions. – Henry Rollins

Much of the fun of stamp collecting is knowing from what countries stamps come, when they were printed, and what events they commemorate. – Daniel Fox

Collecting, especially of the classifying sort epitomized by stamp collecting, offered a means to seem to gain control of the world and of the past. – Russell W Belk

Stamp Collecting dispels boredom, enlarges our vision, broadens our knowledge, makes us better citizens and in innumerable ways, enriches our lives”  – President Roosevelt
 

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