Foggy Day–Good!

Copyright 2014 LMC Images
Copyright 2014 LMC Images

 

I like foggy days. It’s a way to press the “pause” button.

If your life is anything like mine, many days it feels as if everything is careening out of control, headed toward a cliff—and taking me with it! Thank goodness for foggy days!

On a foggy day you have to slow down and drive a little more carefully. You can’t see too far down the road so you don’t have as much warning of what’s up ahead. And, because of that, foggy days force you to pay attention and focus on the moment.

Once you do that, you notice the special ambiance that the fog creates—how sharp edges are softened and parts of buildings, trees, and the landscape seem to disappear. And you may notice the dichotomy of some colors being muted but others becoming more vibrant. For instance, during my ride to work this morning I notice the trees and their colors were diffuse and blended into the neutral gray of the fog but yet the green grass was more vibrant against this muted palette.

Another benefit is as you slow down and focus on the moment, time relaxes and expands—as if you’ve pressed the “pause” button.

When you go slower and pause, space forms between your thoughts.  And, it’s in this space that creativity springs forth.

Copyright 2014 LMC Images
Copyright 2014 LMC Images

You’re homework today is to enjoy your foggy day. Even if you don’t actually have one, pretend that you do. Slow down, take it easy; pause. Give some space—some elbow room—between your thoughts. Gently (so as not to disturb this state you’re in), note how you’re feeling. Softly challenge yourself to keep this peaceful feeling going as long as you can.

Then, with serenity, take the next step!

This I know for sure: you can do it!

Post in the comments section about your experiences of slowing down and being more aware of yourself and your surroundings.

I’m so proud of you! You rock!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

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Didn’t Start Out This Way…

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FRANKLIN_D._ROOSEVELT_DRIVE,_BORDERING_THE_EAST_RIVER_-_NARA_-_549903.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FRANKLIN_D._ROOSEVELT_DRIVE,_BORDERING_THE_EAST_RIVER_-_NARA_-_549903.jpg

 

 

When you’re barely slogging through Life and each day seems to be as bad as the one before, it’s hard to remember that none of us start our lives this way.

As babies, our hearts were overflowing with exuberance for each moment as it unfurled before us.  We were curious, interested, and engaged in Life and in the world around us.  We couldn’t wait to be old enough to walk and run, to go to school and learn to read and write, and to ride a two-wheeled bike and be just like the big kids. We couldn’t wait to grow up.

Now that we’re here, we look around and ask ourselves “Seriously?” or “You’re kidding me, right?”

It doesn’t have to be this way, though.  You can take a lesson from the child you once were.

Have you ever noticed how babies and small children are fully present in the moment?  They aren’t depressed over what happened last week or last year.  They aren’t worried about the future or constantly tormenting themselves with ‘what if’.  They’re fully immersed in the here and now.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Voyage.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Voyage.jpg

Your homework today is to reconnect with the childlike part of yourself–the part that can still be awed by the moon and stars at night and that can also laugh yourself silly over the most absurd things.

Of course paying attention to your driving and what’s happening on the road is very important.  But, as you’re commuting, instead of agitating over what happened at home or what lies in wait for you at work, try noticing the weather:   How does the sunlight reflect off the cars or the pavement?  Are there trees and flowers in the medians or at the side of the road?  If it’s raining, does the rhythm remind you of a song?

Instead of getting tense and irritable because of the traffic and the “idiot drivers”, perhaps you can observe the people in the cars near you. See anyone doing anything really silly such as singing like a rock star? Can you make up stories about any of them?

Another idea is to play a driving game like you did when you were little and your family took a road trip. Also, you can pretend that you’re piloting a spaceship through a surprise asteroid shower or that you’re a knight in shining armor riding with your buddies to save the kingdom.

I’m sure you can think of other ways to bring back the wonder, excitement, and fun you once had.

Doing this helps you put things in perspective and lessens the grip that stress has on you. This then frees you to be creative and think of other ways to help yourself.

And, now that you’re feeling refreshed and upbeat, take the next step!

You can do it! Go you!

Post in the comments section some childlike things you enjoyed doing for your homework.

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Dressed to the Nines

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Elizabeth_II.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Elizabeth_II.jpg

 

As you prepare for your day, I’m sure you brush your teeth, comb your hair, and put on clean clothes. You check your reflection in the mirror to make sure you look your best. When you’re dressed to the nines you feel competent, capable—in charge of your life.

But you’re missing one important thing about yourself to groom and dress: your mind.

Our culture can be so negative: Advertisements keep you feeling insecure about your looks and the possessions you don’t have, your company expects you to cheerfully handle an ever-increasing work load, your co-workers are difficult to work with, and prices for goods and services keep creeping upward and you haven’t gotten a raise in years….

It’s very easy to become disheartened just a few moments after stepping out the door!

That’s why it’s vitally important to make sure your mind is dressed to the nines, too. And, when you refresh your grooming during the day, remember to freshen your mind as well.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brillanten.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brillanten.jpg

Your homework today is to dress your mind to the nines. In the mornings, look at yourself in the mirror as you’re getting ready. With as much enthusiasm as you can muster and the biggest smile you have, say your pep phrases and power words.

Here are a few phrases to get you going:

I am born for this!

I can do it!

I am in the right place at the right time!

Yes I can!

Success is mine!

I have what it takes!

 

Here are some power words:

Sizzle

Pizzazz

Zest

Zip

Grit

Champion

 

You can do it—go for it!

 

Feel free to post your favorite pep phrases and power words!

 

I’m proud of you for sticking with this. You’re awesome!

 

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Do it NOW!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Diver2.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Diver2.jpg

 

Let’s deconstruct this quote:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness….”

Until you’re ready to go for it, to definitely take action, you’ll always come up with excuses of why you can’t start: the timing is off, you don’t have enough information, you’re too old/young….

“Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred….”

Sometimes you have to jump.

When you were a kid, did you ever stand on a dock by the lake or on a diving board and were afraid to jump into the water? Did one of your “friends” run up behind you and push you in? At first, you were probably terrified and splattered around, gulping a few mouthfuls of water. Quickly, though, you remembered the strokes you learned in swim class and, before you knew it, you were swimming and having a great time with your friends.

Beginning on the path to your dreams can feel the same way, only without gulping mouthfuls of water! You might be nervous at first, but then you find that you really do have what it takes to make your dreams come true.

“A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way….” 

The net appears in the form of like-minded people who believe in you and the path you’re on.  They’re happy, and even eager, to lend a helping hand as you need it. Things work out! 

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”* 

So, don’t delay. Begin NOW while you can still use the enthusiasm to power you along.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:VanesaMallory.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:VanesaMallory.jpg

Your homework today is to go for it—jump in!

You can do it, I’m sure of it!

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

*This quote’s attribution is in question. Some give Wolfgang von Goethe credit and others insist W.H. Murray said these words.

Spring Cleaning

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mowing_%26_raking_White_House_lawn26268v.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mowing_%26_raking_White_House_lawn26268v.jpg

 

Springtime means cleaning up after the long winter: airing out and cleaning the house of dust and staleness. Doing the same for draperies, linens and such. We put away heavy winter clothing and put our lighter-weight outfits in our drawers and closets.

It’s also the time of year we get outside and pick up branches and other debris knocked down by winter storms. Also we prune trees, enrich soil, transplant bushes and flowers.

It’s a lot of effort but after all of this we have a beautiful home and grounds to enjoy with our family and friends!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flowering_tree_near_bridge_in_Nomahegan_Park_NJ.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flowering_tree_near_bridge_in_Nomahegan_Park_NJ.jpg

Your homework today is to spring clean your goals and dreams. Do you have a pile of papers waiting to be filed? Do you need to prune your goals to make them more focused? What other things you can do to beautify your goals and the pathway to your dreams?

Do it—go for it! I know you can do this!

I’m proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Dorothy in Oz

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Follow_the_Yellow_Road_-_geograph.org.uk_-_819543.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Follow_the_Yellow_Road_-_geograph.org.uk_-_819543.jpg

 

We all know Dorothy’s story in The Wizard of Oz.

When she first lands, everyone’s cheering for her.  Then as she starts down the yellow brick road, they’re happy and excited for her. They send her off with exuberant songs and their very best wishes.

And then it fades and she finds herself all alone.

But soon she meets someone—the Scarecrow—and then she meets someone else—the Cowardly Lion.

Perhaps the cheering for you has died down and the confetti has been swept up by the clean-up crew and you’re left all alone. I’ll bet, though, if you look around and take a few steps down your path, you’ll see others. It’s rare that people are truly alone.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Double-Rainbow.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Double-Rainbow.jpg

Your homework is to go for it; keep taking those steps on your journey. Even though you may be alone right now, you won’t be that way for long. To meet people, check the schedule of your local library and see what interesting programs are offered. Also, check out civic organizations, lectures, classes and workshops at the local university, get involved at your place of worship. There are many opportunities available.

Go for it!

Post in the comments section your favorite ways to meet like-minded people.

I’m so very proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad!

On Purpose

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Trento-Mercatino_dei_Gaudenti-alarm_clocks.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Trento-Mercatino_dei_Gaudenti-alarm_clocks.jpg

 

Oftentimes when we think of purposefulness we equate it with trying to come up with ways to stretch hours and pack even more into them than is reasonable. The proof that this isn’t a good idea can be seen in behaviors such as giving tasks a lick and a promise, impatience, road rage, and worse.

Instead of packing more into each moment of each day, take a different tack and live each moment on purpose. For instance, if you find yourself goofing off or daydreaming, do it with intention instead of feeling guilty and only half way indulging. Choose to be engaged with whatever it is you’re doing: pay attention and be present.

A benefit of living on purpose is that it clears your conscience; you’re working with yourself instead of against yourself.

It can also be a way to discover what really matters to you. It can uncover the fact that your dream is in a different direction than the one in which you’re heading. Or living on purpose can point out that you are pursuing someone else’s dream and not your own.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Happy_Family_Photo.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Happy_Family_Photo.jpg

Your homework today is to be present in as many moments of your day as you can. To help yourself do this, set an alarm to ring once an hour or several times during the day. When you hear it, check in with yourself and notice what you’re paying attention to. Have you caught yourself—as my friend did—texting a colleague at work as she stirred dinner on the stove while thinking she was having a meaningful conversation with her child….

Observe what you’re thinking, feeling, sensing as you are present—as you choose. Are there patterns? Are you discovering tweaks and changes you need to make?

You can do it. Don’t back away from this important work.

Post in the comments section any insights you’ve had.

You’re doing so well. I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren