Category Archives: Thank You

Family and Friends


As much as they love you, don’t expect blatant support and encouragement from your family and close friends. It isn’t that they don’t care but rather because they do care—a lot.

This doesn’t seem to make sense on the surface of it. But if you delve a little deeper you’ll realize that it’s because your family and friends value their relationship with you that they don’t want to be put into an awkward position.

Look at it this way: They friend you on Facebook, comment regularly on your blog, and follow you on Twitter. Everything’s going along great, and then they realize they’re spending too much time on social media and need to cut back on the people and groups they’re following. They decide it’s your blog, Facebook page, Twitter feed, etc., they’ll terminate. They’re probably thinking that they get all the updates from you directly—and much sooner than from social media feeds. They still support you and believe in you even though they’re no longer connected to you on social media.

If this would happen, you might feel slighted and insulted, to say the least. Most likely, you’d feel betrayed and that would seriously affect the relationship. Instinctively, your family and friends know this and don’t want to hurt you or harm the relationship.

Strangers, though, will support you enthusiastically and vocally.  That’s because if they decide to move on, they don’t have to fret about seeing you at family gatherings or avoiding getting together with friends because you might be there. Strangers know it’s little harm if they stop following you. And if they do stop, you may feel mildly disappointed at first, but it quickly passes and you don’t think of it again.

Keep in mind that it’s your friends and family who have given—and will continue to give you—a shoulder to cry on. And, when things weren’t going so well for you, they’ve patted your hand, slipped you a few bucks, and perhaps dropped off a casserole.

Your homework today is to go easy on your family and friends. Be thankful that in their own quiet ways they are supporting you. And, be grateful for all the times they’ve held your hand when you were anxious and they helped you up and brushed you off when you fell.

Give three cheers for people who’ve comforted you and helped you over the rough spots!

You can do this!

Post in the comments section about people who have been there for you.

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend,



“I Like You Just the Way You Are.” ~Mr. Rogers


This post was updated on 12/4/17:


“I like you just the way you are.” ~Mr. Rogers

Happy Birthday, Mr. Rogers!  Today would have been his 86th birthday.

One of the most memorable statements Mr. Rogers would often say is “I like you just the way you are.”  What a relief to have someone say that to you!  What a gracious gift saying it to someone else—even if you don’t particularly like the person.

That last sentence sounds contradictory but think about this:  Most of us have struggles and we’re sometimes amazed to have made it through the day.   Most people are buried under piles of “you should, you ought to, and you’d better”.    It could be that we aren’t seeing the real person so we don’t really know if it’s them we don’t like or the way the pressure is twisting them that we don’t like.

Also consider this:  There are different levels of ‘like’ ranging from the kind of like that’s a common respect of all living things to the type of like that’s deep admiration, bordering on love.  So, when you say to a person, “I like you just the way you are”, it’s okay to intend it in a respectful way rather than meaning you’d like to be the person’s best friend.

More importantly, though, think about what it could do for the other person to hear someone say “I like you just the way you are”.  For a moment, they can let go of their burdens and cares; they can just be—maybe even take a breath, something they may not have done in a long while.  You saying “I like you just the way you are” can be a healing touch to a place inside them that’s been hurt too long.

Saying “I like you just the way you are” can have magical and miraculous results.

Your homework today is to join the many others’ in honoring Mr. Rogers’ birthday by putting on a sweater.  Be a good neighbor to someone by saying “I like you just the way you are”.  The second part of your homework is to go to your mirror, look deep into your eyes, and say to yourself “I like you just the way you are”.  Give yourself a big smile when you say it!

I LIKE YOU JUST THE WAY YOU ARE!!  I think you’re awesome!

Your Friend,


Off Kilter?,,

Feeling stuck, overwhelmed, and plain-old out of sorts?  One quick and easy way to help yourself out of this mess is to be a help to someone else.

When feeling off kilter, oftentimes we give in to it and let it steamroll us until it’s done.  When it’s finally through with us, we’ve lost a day or two—sometimes more than that, much more.  Sometimes, we try to use logic and reason to get out of the slump—or even try to bully ourselves out of it—usually with little success.  Still we’re beaten up by these emotions.  Again, we lose days.  In addition, after all is said and done, we usually end up feeling worse about ourselves.

Not a good plan.

A better strategy is to reach out a helping hand to someone.  It helps us as much as it helps the other person.  Of course writing a donation check is great but nothing does the trick of pulling you out of the doldrums than doing something nice for another—especially if what you do is unexpected.

The cool thing is we don’t have to get all elaborate and fancy with it and we don’t have to put forth a huge effort.  The helping hand can be something as simple as paying for the latte of the person in line behind you or letting someone in front of you in traffic.  You can hold the door open for someone, too, or it can be as simple as a smile or greeting someone pleasantly.

The biggest pay-off for you will be when you help someone you know—the closer to you the bigger the pay-off for you in confidence and optimism.  Again, it doesn’t have to be a huge deal.  In fact, it’s best to pay attention and do something nice and/or helpful in the moment.  Your attentiveness and observation is one of the best ways to demonstrate that you care.

Your homework for today is to be helpful and nice to at least one person close to you.  Challenge yourself to be present in the moment and “tune into” the person.  What simple thing can you do for them right here, right now, in the moment, that would show them how much you care?

The benefit to this is you’ll make someone you care about very happy, which will strengthen your relationship, and it’ll pull you out of the doldrums.  You’ll feel like a million bucks!

For extra credit, make a list of people you can help and the different things you can do.  Have it handy so that you can immediately refer to it when you’re feeling out of sorts.

Do it now!

I’m so proud of you.  You’re awesome for doing this!

Post in the comments section some of the simple acts of kindness you did today.

Your Friend,


What You DO Have

“It is not what we have that will make us a great nation; it is the way in which we use it.”  Teddy Roosevelt.

I’ve taken the liberty of tweaking that quote to:  It is not what you have that determines whether or not you live the life of your dreams, it’s the way in which you use it that makes all the difference.

You’ve been told that it doesn’t matter if you’re old or young, tall or short, or skinny or husky; it doesn’t matter if you’ve gone to college or barely graduated with a GED.  It doesn’t matter what your skin color is or what religion you practice (or don’t practice) or what gender you are.  It doesn’t matter what family you were born into or on which side of the tracks you grew up.  All this is true.

Did you know, though, that it also it doesn’t really matter if you’re particularly talented or gifted in anything?  Furthermore, it doesn’t matter what particular talents and gifts you do have   For example, Teddy Roosevelt was an invalid as a child yet he didn’t let that stop him.  He filled his bedroom with books and photographs and had all sorts of unusual pets, which he studied, such as hedgehogs and snakes.  He challenged himself to become like the fearless men he so admired.

Your homework for today is to take inventory of what you do have, paying particular attention to your character traits.  Oftentimes, people are successful because of their character traits, not because they are talented or gifted or if they had a million dollar idea.  Taking action, persistence, and firm resolve are far more important and valuable to your journey.  If you’re a little rusty in these traits, think about what you can do to strengthen them.  Identify times and situations in your weekly schedule when you can practice these.

For extra credit, think about the hum-drum, unexciting skills you have that you probably take for granted.  You can read, write, and do basic calculations such as addition, subtracting, multiplying and dividing.  Perhaps you can drive a car, ride a bike, walk, and run.  What other things can you do that you don’t think twice about?  Consider ways in which you can use these skills and abilities in new ways to help you take the next step.  Think of times and situations in the coming week when you can use these skills with more awareness and confidence because they are helping you achieve your goals and dreams.

For double extra credit, read a biography on Teddy Roosevelt and pay attention to how he did not accept the limitations of being a sickly and weak child.  Note how he took what he had and made the very best of it.  How can you apply this to your life and the journey to the life of your dreams?

In the comments section, post about your new appreciation for the skills and abilities you have.  Share how they’re helping you in the steps you’re taking.  And, tell me how Teddy’s story has inspired you.

You can do it!

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend,


Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

Let’s talk about anxiety and panic attacks.  If you suffer from these, you may have noticed that they may be showing up more now that you’re working toward your goals and dreams or they may have increased in their intensity.

I want you to understand that I’m not a trained healthcare professional and I’m not offering any type of diagnosis or professional advice; please consult with your healthcare provider. Having said that, here are a few things I’ve observed to be helpful that you might consider discussing with the professionals with whom you are working.

First of all, stay as calm as you can and know that this, too, shall pass.  You can remember a time when you weren’t panicked or anxious, which means you’re not constantly terrorized.

Then consider:

~Get out and get around other people.

When you’re feeling anxious or panicked, it can be helpful to get out of yourself.  What I mean by that is to stop focusing on yourself, your body, and the thing that triggered your anxiety/panic attack.  Get out and be with others.  Of course spending time with friends and family who care about you can be very comforting, but if that isn’t possible, you can still be with others by going to your local library or visiting a popular park.  Even visiting a grocery store, a coffee shop, or a church—any place where people congregate—can be reassuring.

~Give something away.

When you are out and with others, give something away to them.  Probably the most important, valuable, and helpful thing you can give away is your smile and a kind word or two.  Not only will the recipients feel better but you’ll feel great!

Your homework for today is to make a list of people you can be with and/or places you can go when you’re feeling anxious or panicky.  Also think about times and situations that might trigger your anxiety and panic.  Brainstorm ideas for how to be proactive and handle these things before they trigger your anxiety and panic.

I’m so proud of you for doing this work and learning how to control your emotions rather than have them run roughshod over you.  You rock!  I knew you could do it!

Your Friend,


Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

A powerful technique for helping yourself get motivated–or helping yourself stay motivated–is working with a mirror. Counselors, psychologists, and healing coaches have used this tool for many years.  This method will help you counteract those harsh judgments and criticisms we think about ourselves every day, sometimes many moments during the day.

Working with a mirror does not mean that you are selfish, self-centered, narcissistic, pig headed, too big for your britches, or any other derogatory and unhelpful label.  You will not get a big head or become full of yourself.  Instead, this technique is like using a healing salve on an open wound.

Copyright VNS Images
Copyright VNS Images

You WILL begin to see the gifts and talents you have that make you unique.  You WILL understand the valuable contributions you have to make to your corner of the world.  You WILL genuinely like–even love–and value yourself.  You WILL have a positive impact on your own life, your family, your friends, and your community.  You WILL become kinder, more tolerant, and more generous.  You WILL have more energy and enthusiasm for your goals and dreams and for living the best life that you can.

Your homework is to get a mirror, one that you can keep in a pocket or purse.  Find a private space and several moments when you won’t be disturbed.  Look into the mirror and into your eyes.  Say positive things to yourself, perhaps things that you always wanted to hear from someone.  If you can’t think of anything, here are a few statements to get you started:  I love you; I’m so good looking, I’m very nice, I have pretty eyes, I like the color of my hair.  I’m so smart.

You can also use “you” instead of “I” statements such as:  You are awesome; You’re a genius; You’re cute; You’re very generous; You’re the kindest person I know.

Do this exercise the first thing in the morning and right before going to bed in the evening.  If you can also do it during the day, all the better.

It may feel awkward and you may be embarrassed doing this exercise.  Do it anyway.  You’ll be glad you did.

You can do this; I believe in you!

I’m so proud of you for pushing through your discomfort and doing this exercise.  I knew you could do it!

Your Friend,



“Ummm…uhhh…gee…thanks, Aunt Tillie.  This is just what I wanted.”

Yesterday we talked about negative people.  Today, let’s talk about the people in your life who you know mean well but sometimes they’re off the mark.

They genuinely want you to be happy and they want to help you get there.  But yet, occasionally, they may say or do something that is hurtful or insulting, or maybe they give you advice that you know is incorrect.  You don’t want to hurt their feelings or be discourteous of their honest efforts to be supportive but…

…what’s a person to do when this happens?

The best thing is to be respectful.

Recognize that the advice is coming from the person’s heart and is wrapped in their good wishes for you.  Thank them for their interest in you and what you’re trying to accomplish and tell them gently and tactfully that you’ll have to think about what they’ve said.

It’s very, very important that you thank the person.  They cared enough about you and your dreams to put in time and effort to be of help to you.

Your homework today is to come up with gracious ways to thank someone for their gift of caring, even if it’s off the mark and won’t be helpful to you.  Be compassionate and have empathy.  Remember the times you tried to lend a hand to someone but they were inconsiderate of the help you tried to give.  That didn’t feel so good.  What did you wish they had said or done instead?

Here are a few sentiments to get you started on this assignment:

“Thanks for your idea.  That’s an interesting/creative way to look at it.  Let me think about that.”


“You’ve given me a lot to think about.  Thanks, I appreciate it.”


“Thanks for your insights.  I’ll have to think them through.”

The important thing is to say THANK YOU to the person.  And, letting them know you’ll think about it shows your respect for their efforts.  That’s what they want:  to be helpful and appreciated.

Go for it; you can do it!  Yay you!

I’m so proud of you.  I knew you could do it!

Your Friend,