Category Archives: Helping Hand

Thanksgiving: Stop Comparing Yourself!

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When we find ourselves thinking that we’ve nothing to be thankful for–or very little to be thankful for–it’s probably because we’re comparing ourselves either to others or to some standard of perfection we’ve concocted that, in reality, is unattainable.

I came across this poem that I think sums it up nicely:

 

Hard Luck

 

         Ain’t no use as I can see

         In sittin’ underneath a tree

         An’ growlin’ that your luck is bad,

         An’ that your life is extry sad;

         Your life ain’t sadder than your neighbor’s

         Nor any harder are your labors;

         It rains on him the same as you,

         An’ he has work he hates to do;

         An’ he gits tired an’ he gits cross,

         An’ he has trouble with the boss;

         You take his whole life, through an’ through,

         Why, he’s no better off than you.

 

 

         If whinin’ brushed the clouds away

         I wouldn’t have a word to say;

         If it made good friends out o’ foes

         I’d whine a bit, too, I suppose;

         But when I look around an’ see

         A lot o’ men resemblin’ me,

         An’ see ’em sad, an’ see ’em gay

         With work t’ do most every day,

         Some full o’ fun, some bent with care,

         Some havin’ troubles hard to bear,

         I reckon, as I count my woes,

           They’re ’bout what everybody knows.

 

 

         The day I find a man who’ll say

         He’s never known a rainy day,

           Who’ll raise his right hand up an’ swear

         In forty years he’s had no care,

         Has never had a single blow,

         An’ never known one touch o’ woe,

         Has never seen a loved one die,

         Has never wept or heaved a sigh,

         Has never had a plan go wrong,

         But allus laughed his way along;

         Then I’ll sit down an’ start to whine

         That all the hard luck here is mine.

 

 

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

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Thanksgiving: The Flow of Thanks and Giving

 

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To me, this poem encapsulates Thanksgiving and how to bring this special time into every day of our lives:

What we wish for ourselves, we wish for others; what we do for ourselves, we do for others.

Such a wonderful way of keeping the flow of thanks and giving going!

SELFISH

  I am selfish in my wishin’ every sort o’ joy for
you;
I am selfish when I tell you that I’m wishin’
skies o’ blue
Bending o’er you every minute, and a pocketful
of gold,
An’ as much of love an’ gladness as a human
heart can hold.
Coz I know beyond all question that if such a
thing could be
As you cornerin’ life’s riches you would share
’em all with me.

  I am selfish in my wishin’ every sorrow from
your way,
With no trouble thoughts to fret you at the
closin’ o’ the day;
An’ it’s selfishness that bids me wish you
comforts by the score,
An’ all the joys you long for, an’ on top o’
them, some more;
Coz I know, old tried an’ faithful, that if such
a thing could be
As you cornerin’ life’s riches you would share
’em all with me.

~Edgar A Guest A Heap ‘O Living’

 

Keep Thanksgiving alive!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Thanksgiving: A Happy Thanksgiving Wish

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Thank you, dear Friends and Pep Pals, for subscribing to my blog. I appreciate it very much.

I wish you a lovely day that infuses your spirit with the awe and gratitude for all the gifts, beauty, and goodness that is woven into your life every day. And my wish is that this reverence for all you DO have stays with you throughout your days.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Thanksgiving: What Really Matters

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I’m reading the book The Blue Zones of Happiness by Dan Buettner. He is the researcher credited with coining the term Blue Zones to denote towns, villages, cities, and countries where the people enjoy high levels of happiness and contentment. In the book I am reading, Buettner gives tips and techniques from the world’s happiest people.

As you’d imagine, people in the “happiness zones” had commonalities. They were active, not only physically active but also active within their family, social circle, and community; they ate moderately with fresh fruits and vegetables making up the bulk of their diet; they were devoted to work that was meaningful–whether or not the work was paid–and they took time for rest and recreation. In short, these people were thriving in their lives, not just surviving like a large percentage of people do.

But happiness and thriving means many different things to people. Buettner summed these up into three categories: pleasure, purpose, pride. He found that if you have high levels of pleasure, not hedonistic pleasure but rather that derived from enjoyed activities and warm and welcoming people; if you have work–whether or not it’s paid–that is meaningful to you and brings you pride that comes from giving it all you’ve got and doing your very best, and if you have many opportunities to socialize with people who like you and encourage you, then you, too, can craft a life where you thrive.

A life of thriving is the same as a soul-prospering life!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Thanksgiving: 12 Quotes to Think About

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In a few days we in the US will be celebrating Thanksgiving. Here are a few quotes for us to ponder; quotes that, I hope, will help us make thanksgiving and gratitude a part of every day of the year, not just one day.

 

If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share. ~W. Clement Stone

 

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. ~Oprah Winfrey

 

We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction. Harry Ironside

 

Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good think that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because ALL things have contributed to your advancement, you should include ALL things in your gratitude. ~Ralph Waldo Everson

 

Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is. ~Ernest Hemingway

 

If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get. ~Frank A. Clark

 

Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds. ~Theodore Roosevelt

 

We should certainly count our blessings, but we should also make our blessings count.   ~Neal A. Maxwell

 

We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.   ~Frederick Keonig

 

Pride slays thanksgiving, but a humble mind is the soil out of which thanks naturally grow.   A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves. ~Henry Ward Beacher

 

For flowers that bloom about our feet;

For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;

For song of bird, and hum of bee;

For all things fair we hear or see.

Farther in heaven, we thank Thee!

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large about of Gratitude. ~A.A. Milne

 

Which quote(s) did you like the best? My favorite is the last one, Piglet’s.

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Home Stretch 2017: How Will You Keep Yourself Motivated?

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After our discussions so far this week, you’re probably excited about achieving at least one of your goals by the end of this year.

What will you do, though, when you hit the inevitable rough patches?

For instance:

~Not having as much time as you thought:

Remember, several holiday celebrations are coming in the next few months and your time might get swallowed up in preparations as well as the many parties that you’re invited to;

 

~Feeling discouraged or sad about the slowness of your progress:

As December approaches, you may find that you haven’t made as much progress as you thought and you are at serious risk of not achieving the goal you selected this week;

 

~Worry

This is turning out to be harder than you thought and you may be wondering if it’s all too much for you;

 

~Frustration:

Perhaps you keep running into roadblocks, challenges, and setbacks….

 

When you find yourself in a rough patch, naturally you’ll turn to the tools we devised this week: your visualizations, your affirmations, and your habits and routines. You may find that you’ve been a little slack in one of these areas–not taking full advantage of these tools–and with a little tweaking, you can get yourself through the rough patch.

What if that doesn’t work–or if it works only a little. What do you do then?

Today, make a list of the things you can do, the resources available, that you can turn to.

For instance, for technical help–help related to your goal you’re working on–you can turn to a mentor, a colleague who has more experience than you; you can read books, magazines, and reliable information online. You can go to your local library and also the library of a college or university or community college nearest you and ask the reference librarian for assistance in finding help….

For personal help–resources that can help you cope with the emotions and feelings during this time–you can call a trusted friend or loved one for encouragement; you can read inspiring books and biographies; you can meditate; you can listen to uplifting music; taking a nap; going for a walk….

Make this list today while you aren’t in crisis and you can think clearly. Jot down everything you think will help. Keep this list handy and refer to it when the going gets tough.

Help yourself stay motivated! Help yourself to take one more step…!

You can do it!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Productive Waiting: Gratefulness

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Yesterday we talked about using your waiting time productively by putting together your Vision Album for your future–doing this in either an “old fashioned” hard-copy photo album or putting together a digital slideshow.

Today, let’s do the same thing and build a Gratitude Album for ourselves. By doing this, we are aligning with the “good stuff” in our life and the more in tune with it that we are, the more of it we will notice and the more we will bring into our life.

Making a Gratitude Album and referring to it often reminds us that there are wonderful things in our lives even if everything around us looks hopeless. Looking at the album first thing in the morning and last thing before sleep helps us also remember why we’re pressing forward in spite of the odds and in spite of the naysayers. Taking peeks at the album throughout the day can give us that boost we need so that we don’t give up or knuckle under.

Just like your Vision Album, your Gratitude Album doesn’t have to be elaborate or fancy or contain every little jot of every little thing you’re grateful for. You can add to and tweak the album as you go along–it isn’t something chiseled in stone, so you don’t have to “get it right” the first time!

It can also have symbols. For instance, you can include a picture of the gorgeous cherry tree in front of the public library and this can be your symbol of your gratitude for all of Mother Nature’s majestic beauty.

Above all, have fun with this! Make it a point to pull a few pictures together today–even one image from a recent event in your life will do. Regularly add a little bit here and there as you go along!

Have fun!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren