Monthly Archives: March 2012

Finding and celebrating the joy in life ~ Diana style

We should consider every day lost in which we have not danced at least once.  Nietzsche

 

Each day is a new chance to find joy and to dance and to bring a smile to another’s face. If you let it pass or think it useless, the chance is gone and you’ll never get it back. When was the last time you played?

 

Lucky for me, I have four beautiful energetic grandchildren who give me lots of reason to just play.  Thanks to my dear friend, Diana, I have a “new” repurposed collection of Disney movies on VHS.  Remember that old technology?  Well, Diana has been so sweet to share from her Fort Collins, CO store Brand Spanking Used and we have had so much fun watching Disney movies together.  Lucky for us grandparents, the movies are timeless.  It’s as much fun watching with Will, Kate, and Luke as it was with Suzanne and Ross when they were young…or maybe even more fun.

 

And it won’t be too much longer and Zane can join in on Movie Time at Grandma’s house.  We have already shared our Brainy Baby VHS tape all in Spanish for 9 month old Zane.  And, he seemed to be interested.

 

Diana has been a friend for many years and she has a very special talent for making almost everything she does fun, creative, and a long-lasting memory.  We met last week and had a valuable brain-storming session on The Book ~ and as usual, she had the perfect person to network with to help achieve some of my goals.  She never ceases to amaze me.  She is a living example of paying it forward.

 

Diana knows the value of doing something for the sheer fun of it? Joy is not found in the world around you, it’s within yourself. She knows how to make her own joy, especially during those dark times when she needs to really feel alive again. Her husband, Don, passed away in October and now, more than ever, she is relearning how to live and bring smiles to others which puts them on her beautiful face as well.

 

Fun and play are healthy antidotes to taking life–and ourselves–too seriously. They’re proven boosters of immune systems and mental health and make life worth the trouble. So do the twist. Sing in the shower. Learn a magic trick. Watch a Disney VSH tape with someone you love.  Go fishing on the Roaring Fork river with Dustin.  Challenge some kids to a game. Don’t let a single day go to waste. And find and keep a precious friend, like Diana.  She is the best part of what it means to be a friend!

 

Diana you will be in our hearts on Saturday night when it’s Movie Night once again!  We all love you and will save some popcorn for you in case you can join us this time!!

 

 

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I hear the Whisper; do you?

“You can do this” is the tiny whisper that has been softly echoing somewhere far, far away in the deepest, almost subconscious part of my mind.

Throughout this past incredibly challenging year, this relentless little whisper hasn’t faltered. It just will not go away. It follows me even when I want to tell myself that, no, I can’t do this. It accompanies me as if it were a loving parent who’s patiently allowing me to throw my tantrums of frustration and get it all out of my system.

Then there are those thoughts that seem determined to reign at the forefront of my mind. You know the ones. “You CAN’T do this. Look, you haven’t ever written a book.  Who are YOU kidding.  Face it… it’s too hard. It’s NEVER going to happen. There’s just TOO MUCH to learn and too much to do. Life is TOO complicated. Your body, your mind, and your stamina are not going to allow this. There’s no time for this. Other things need your time and attention. Give up the fantasy already!”

And yet, as loud as those shouts are, that lovingly relentless whisper always returns, as if it has a divine knowledge that carries with it the most nurturing, uplifting, and loving energy. It sounds so soft that, at first, it almost seems quite fragile — that is, until you hear the finality in its tone: “You can do this.”

And in my heart, I not only recognize its intensity and power, but I can feel its resounding truth: I can do this.

It’s as if the whisper knows just how much I’ve wanted this for myself for so very long and covers me with a veil of calm, understanding, and a knowing that no matter what life throws my way, no matter the hurts, disappointments, challenges, and obstacles, that loving and believing in myself are paramount.

That whisper is my simple truth.

And it’s your simple truth, too.

It tells us so much more if we’re willing to tune out the negative shouts and just listen to the powerful messages contained in its steady and unwavering whisper:

“Love yourself and honor the life you’ve been given. Earn it. Stay firm in your convictions; be good to others; and make a positive difference in others’ lives. Hold onto that which will make you better and discard those things that hurt you. Be happy; fill yourself with laughter; be brave; live your best life; and dare to dream.

And always remember… you can do this.”
“Things come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”
-Abraham Lincoln,U.S. President and my cousin many times removed on my father’s side

 

Thanks to so many people who daily encourage me without ever saying a word.  I’d sometimes like The Book to have come easier, but I know if  there is no wind, I’m going to row.

 

And so life goes…on and on.

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Being a positive force in someone’s life ~ Thanks to Brad Baumann

Kindness is difficult to give away because it keeps coming back.  I continue to be humbled and amazed at the kindness of so many in helping to bring The Book to life.

Yesterday afternoon, I met with Brad Baumann.  Brad is a new business friend of mine.  We met upon my return toDenverin 2007.  I am continually awed by his insights into the marketing and public relations world ever-changing with the speed of light.  Granted, that is what his company does; but Brad and I are close in age and he just “gets it”.  I feel like I have so much to learn to keep pace.  But maybe with a great friend like Brad, I don’t have to know it all; since I know him.  Thank you, Brad, for your generosity.

Perhaps you’ve seen how an upward spiral can happen as you build reciprocal relationships. With momentum and consistency, give and take, success comes easier and easier until results start to exceed your effort.

Well, the same thing can happen when it comes to being a positive force for others. One small action leads to another, which can lead to many. Your actions may inspire others to do the same, with far-reaching results that completely outweigh that first effort. You’ll probably have no idea how much of a total effect your actions will have. But that kindness will often be paid back two-, three- or even tenfold. If not from the person you helped, then from someone further down the “kindness” chain.

Many years ago, I was given a copy of an interesting letter.  I’ve kept it and now want to share it with you.

 

One night, at 11:30 p.m., an older woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rain storm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride.  Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car.   A young man stopped to help her. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxicab.

She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him. Seven days went by and a knock came on the man’s door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached and it read:

“Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits.  Then you came along.  Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband’s’ bedside just before he passed away. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others.”

Sincerely,

Mrs. Nat King Cole

So go try it out! Do a kind thing for the next person you meet, and see if you don’t get a positive return.  And, so Brad, in your honor, I look forward to paying forward all the kindness and help you offered me yesterday.

And so life goes…on and on

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How Well do You Roll with the Punches?

Whatever is flexible and flowing will tend to grow; whatever is rigid and blocked will wither and die.  Tao Te Ching

 

Change is the natural order of the world. When something tries to stand against the force of change, it’s eventually destroyed. Cliffs are eroded, trees are uprooted, granite cracks. People can crack too.

My life seems to be rich with change ~ probably more so than most; however, I have learned to embrace the change.  It is through the changes I have experienced the richest parts of my life.  It’s when I am open to change, the best happens.  Sometimes I’ve had to be dragged into change kicking and screaming, but in the end, I’m glad I let change happen.

For us to grow and live–to flourish–it takes adaptation and learning. Stubborn attachment to a single set of “knowledge” or way of doing things leads to stagnation of the mind and spirit. Remember to keep an open mind to new people and new ideas. Challenge yourself to always be learning something new. Focus on the possibilities of a fresh start, instead of hanging on to old frustrations. Sails are made with cloth for a reason. When they’re stiff, winds beat against them until they tear. But if the sails are relaxed and workable, the wind can take you to places you’ve never been before.

Last week, we took my son, Ross and his wife Jeannine to dinner and then we all went to William Shatner’s one man show at the Temple Buell Theatre here inDenver.  I marveled at his energy and creativity.  He’s 81 and entertained for over 2 hours without a break.  One thing he said as he was closing his show left me moved and I made a note so I could share with you.  He said “It is easy to say No.  Saying Yes is risky”.  He is very right.  That phrase just perfectly reflects how saying “Yes” to change, while risky,  is usually where the great moment reside.

My book journey continues to force me to change.  I’ve hired professionals to help me make this project the best it can be and those professionals “change” my path, pattern, direction, and viewpoint.  Sometimes it’s easy to accept the changes; and other times, I need to sleep on suggested change.   Either way is A-OK.

Many of us have chosen to continue to say “No” to our wants, needs, and desires.  It’s now time to say “Yes” to finding what you want and what will make your life a happy, healthy place.

 

And so life goes…on and on.

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Pencil in some face time with yourself

During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions until I read the last one:
“What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?”

Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50’s, but how would I know her name?

I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.  Absolutely,” said the professor. “In your careers, you will meet many people.  All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say “hello.”  I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I learned her name was Dorothy.   Take time to enjoy the people who come into, out of, and through your daily life.  Life and circumstances may not allow another meeting so make yours count.

Millions of people use organizers, palm pilots, calendars, personal assistants, sticky notes, and date books to help them manage their busy lives. Do you allow these organizers to rule your life? With the book “to-do” list growing by leaps and bounds, I can’t live right now without my sticky notes and my to-do list.  I know the insanity will end soon and I will be ready; however I am also enjoying every moment of this ride.  I have lived long enough to cherish creative surges.  They are draining but they are a very powerful aphrodisiac.

Every Thursday I have a 90 minute massage.  Tiera comes to my home and I take this time to allow her to work my knots out and to relax.  The last three weeks, I have actually fallen asleep.  That’s a first for me.  I’d suggest you allow space for personal time and some good ole fashioned pampering.  Often we micro-manage our lives and schedule our time so much that it comes at the price of our own freedom. Instead of scheduling another meeting with your co-workers, schedule one with yourself. Make the most of today because tomorrow is never guaranteed.

Some years ago I faced some severe medical challenges.  It was in those moments the value and preciousness of life became very real to me.  Every since those events, I have never let work get in the way of life.  I work very hard and am quite driven, especially to succeed at something I have never tired before (The Book) but not at the risk of my health, my relationships, or my family.

It’s time to turn off the computer and the brain and do some reading for pleasure tonight.

Don’t be fooled by the calendar.  There are only as many days in the year as you make use of.  Charles Richards

I wish you all a good evening and some pleasurable down time.

And so life goes…on and on.

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Enjoying the road to accomplishment

Enjoying the road to accomplishment.

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Dinner with KC and Steve, Don and Dora

Last night we had a spontaneous patio dinner party.  We are enjoying our unseasonably warm weather and spending as much time as possible enjoying record-breaking days.  Conversation was light and interesting.  The Book was discussed and KC really stepped up to my plate and is offering social media/website help as only the techie generation can.  She can do things to make The Book as viral as possible.  Techniques I know the marketing principal behind but she knows the nuts and bolts of how to make it work to get the word out.

So to KC, I send out a HUGE thank you.  Her gracious offer to help makes me think of one of my favorite quotes by George Bernard Shaw.  Life is not a “brief candle.”  It is a splendid torch that must be made to burn as brightly as possible before it is handed on to the next generation.  Thanks, KC for helping the torch burn brightly and for passing your knowledge BACK to my generation.  The Book will pay forward and help many.

So, let’s all think how we can pay forward something in our skill set to help someone who needs help.

How Can You Share Your Spark with Others

Light is meant to be shared. If you try to hoard it or keep it covered, out of everyone’s sight, you’ll just end up smothering it. Try to close it in your fist so it doesn’t get away, and it burns you. You can’t possess light. All you can do is appreciate it, use it and help others use it, too. In the same way, your life is also meant to be shared. Many people look upon their lives as something that must be jealously protected and stowed away. They block out others and are afraid to share their time, their talents, their expertise. What happens? Their spark suffocates. But there are others who have an abundance mentality. They believe, correctly so, that there’s plenty of life to go around, that all flames get brighter when we share them. They know that when we invest energy in others, we get even more in return. Don’t sacrifice your chance at a bonfire because you’re too busy trying to keep a tiny match from going out.

Thanks, KC.  Let’s light up a big fire…just like last night in front of the fireplace on the patio.

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