Kismet

Mindful Living


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The Power of Preparation

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Yesterday, I was in my leadership class again. My instructor – a highly esteemed retired high school Principal – handed us four packets of interview questions. There must have been 700 questions in there. We started going over a few and discussing possible answers.

I don’t know about you, but just the thought of interviews makes my palms sweat.

I felt really, really nervous at the prospect of having 10-12 people around a table asking me 20 questions. And then he said,

“If you’re really nervous before you go in, you’re not prepared.”

Yes. I knew this to be true. Sure, butterflies are normal. This is your body’s way of preparing you to be on your toes. But the shaky, can’t-think-straight nervousness you feel before you have to perform?

You’re not ready.

So whatever you’re preparing for, work it. Work hard. Put in your hours, your sweat, blood and tears. Do the research, or the workout or the practice. Give it all you’ve got and then surrender.

*Maya Angelou tip: Think of all the people who have ever loved you and the people around who love you now. When you go in for the interview, get on that stage, or go in the boxing ring, call all your loved ones to accompany you.

 

 


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Falling…

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I fall 1,000 times, I get up 1,001.

There’s a saying I like, although I might change two of the words:

“Winners do what losers won’t.”

I prefer: “Successful people do what the Unrealized won’t.” It’s more wordy … a bit clunky, but I don’t believe anyone is a “winner” or a “loser.” Some people have embraced courage and run with it.  Some people are still working on their courage.

Go on. Get up. Help make the world a better place. We need you.

 

 

 

 


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Prosperity

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Its not about the money, its about adding value and bringing something to the table.

Peter Sage

There are a lot of mixed signals in our culture about money. One fallacy is that you have to be dishonest or mean to be rich. Another is that your self-worth is linked to your income. Together, this creates a heartless, soulless society. Scary, to say the least.

Mr. Sage once said, “Chasing money is like chasing your tail, it’s never going to happen, because you have to pursue adding value, not money in and of itself.”

I believe that if you pursue something that helps others, the money will follow. We all have tools to self-empower and prosper.

We just need to add value to society with those tools.

 

 

 

 


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Habits, Success and Resolutions

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I don’t like to work out, but I’ve been working out regularly for decades. The secret? A reward shortly after working out. It’s usually a bubble bath.

I just bought this:

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According to Charles Duhigg (The Power of Habit), the secret to developing a habit is to identify and implement three things:

  1. a cue
  2. a routine
  3. a reward

The cue could be “morning”, the routine could be going to the gym and the reward could be a bubble bath (I don’t advise chocolate cake).

Remember, good habits are invaluable: they help you reach your goals on autopilot. If you don’t have to struggle to do the work because it is a habit, the more likely you’ll stick with it!

What are your cues, routines and rewards?

 

 

 

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How to Avoid Letting Ego Ruin Your Night

We are at the Ikeda Theater, waiting to watch Itzhak Perlman. We’re in the nosebleeds section, despite paying several hundred dollars. But this is Perlman. You can’t put a price on this.
Who comes to sit right next to us, but the girl and the mom who were so rude during summer symphony camp! I had set some gifts for the teachers and a sweater on my seat and came back after lunch to find them removed. “Mrs. S.” was sitting in our seats, her tripod and fancy camera all set up to capture her princess in her quartet group.  She had placed my possessions in “lost and found.”

I was fuming.

And here we are now. It’s funny how feelings can come to surface again.

Deep breath. This pain is ego. You cannot fight ego by resisting it.

This is called “practice” or meditation. Be mindful. Be aware. And let it go.

People are talking while Mr. Perlman is playing. Let it go.
It is not always easy.

I’m sitting with my husband and my daughters  who are dressed in their finest clothes. They did their hair in fancy dos and they feel special because we are taking them out to see Itzhak Perlman.

I choose to enjoy the  evening, moment by moment.


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Don’t Overestimate the Power of Review

 

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A couple weeks ago, I taught my 5th graders how to diagram sentences. We started out very simple. They liked it, because it was kind of like geometry in English class. Basically, students were to separate the subject from the verb and create dangling shelves for modifiers. After practicing ten sentences, we started our literature study and left diagramming off to the side.

On their vocabulary test today, I decided to be generous and offer extra credit for diagramming a very simple sentence related to our literary study, The Sign of the Beaver. Here are two responses:

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Where’s the other woman?

 

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I’m speechless.

 


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Your “Role” Vs. “Being”

You’re a parent and you want to do a good an excellent job. Afterall, what could be more important? I’ve learned (the hard way), that to be a good parent, you have to both DO and BE.

DO – remind your kids to brush their teeth, make their beds, do their homework, etc.

BE – sit with them and just listen. 100% listening, with your eyes and ears and your full attention. Laugh with them. Ask questions and know them as people. They are people, separate from you.

You have a job: protect, nurture, teach.

But then, let them go and love them for who they are.

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Selfie

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Ah, the selfie.

Nothing wrong with taking pictures of yourself once in awhile.

And scientific data linking selfies to narcissim are in their budding stages. But emerging data show a link between frequency of changing profile pictures and use of editing software (to enhance the photos). It seems if you’re editing your photos to look better than you really do signals possible narcissim. (Psychology Today)

Identifying narcissism and and other psychological disorders accurately require a substantial analysis that usually includes multiple traits. No one is saying that just because you’re taking selfies, you’re narcissistic. BUT…

Have you ever noticed how happy dogs are?

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It’s because they do not possess a sense of self-concept. They don’t think about themselves and worry about their “image.” They embrace life – everything and everyone around them. They are fully present. We can learn so much from them.

Of course, we’re human and we have higher brain functioning. We have the ability to have self-concepts. But we DO have control over whether we decide to pursue such materialistic fancies.

 

Why not choose to be happy and disregard the self-concept, the self-image? Just enjoy your life. Don’t be concerned about what other think of you. Remember, “No one cares as much as you think they do.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Let It Go Through You

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I am practicing something I’d like to share with you. It’s been so effective for me!

Eckhart Tolle advises that you do this in order to stop letting things and people bother you.

When faced with a comment, a gesture, or an event that upsets you, imagine yourself transparent and imagine this offending element going through you. It just goes through you. You don’t resist it, you don’t react, just let it go through you.

Let me know if this works for you.

 


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Brick by Brick

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Let’s say your life is a small house made of brick. Each day is one brick. Is any day really more important than another? How would you feel if you realized, at the end of construction, that most of those bricks were spent worry, hurrying, or wishing for the one Vacation Day brick…or the Promotion Day brick? Pretty silly, eh?

Conversely, what kind of house – life – would you have if each day (brick) was spent in full presence? What if you placed each brick carefully, lovingly and enjoyed the process?

Each brick is important, but the most important one is the one you’re laying down right now.

 

 

 

 


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Genuine Power

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What if real power is NOT money or jobs (such as the Presidency (sorry, Trump,)) but things that cannot be taken from you? Nothing is permanent.

Someday, we will all die.

Jobs come and go.

Our bodies will change, no matter what.

But…we can control some things permanently:

self-respect

self-esteem

our will

and…

our actions

Perhaps these are the most important aspects of our lives and the ones we ought to be focused on.


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A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

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Endorphins are your body’s natural painkillers. These chemicals reduce pain and diminish the effects of stress. Good news, one of the things you can do to increase endorphin activity is to eat chocolate!

Dopamine is one of your body’s most important neurotransmitters. According to Livestrong.com, “Dopamine has the enormous job of regulating mood, behavior, sleep and cognition. It also is associated with motivation and reward.”

Caffeine can actually increase dopamine levels. This explains why I feel better after a cup of coffee! However, too much caffeine can disrupt the levels of serotonin (another chemical in your body) which will affect your mood.

Good things in moderation is the key.

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Nature


 

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Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.
John Muir

I live in a sprawling suburb outside of Phoenix. We need to get in the car in order to go shopping. I wish I could walk to a farmer’s market, but suburbs weren’t made for walking.

Once in awhile, my family goes out to the protected county park adjacent to our neighborhood. We hike the trails and talk and laugh. The outing is relaxing and refreshing both physically and mentally.

My favorite places to be out:

 

Where do you go?

 

 

 

 


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Simple, but Not Easy

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“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Leonard da Vinci

Do not confuse simplicity with ease.

 

Achieving extraordinary things is simple, but not easy.

It takes a lot of work and a lot of time. That’s why it’s newsworthy when someone does it.

 

 


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Coyote

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It’s 6:44am, pitch-dark outside and the door is open (I live in the desert and winter is prime time for open windows and doors). A group of coyotes are howling in the distance and they sound like a bunch of frat boys at a football game.
The blank page looks at me, unblinking.
I remember – when I was a kid –  my  little mutt terrier, Leon, howling, his mouth forming a perfect “O,” as my sister played her violin. Something primal was happening.

The page waits.

The coyotes get much louder and yip-yip-yip over each other. They’ve made a kill, probably a rabbit.

 

 

 

 

 


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Resolutions

When I was a young adult, I used to love New Year’s Eve. One of my favorite things to do was to sit on the couch with a pen and my journal and write down my resolutions for the year.  It was exciting! A clean slate! A fresh start! I got really excited about the possibilities.

I’d usually actualize half of my resolutions.

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JUST DO IT!

In time, I learned that achieving life-changing dreams did not simply hinge on writing them down – although that is an important step. I realized the secret to success: My desires had to be matched by my commitment.

The most important day for your resolutions is not December 31st or January 1st. It’s Jan. 2, 3, 4, 5, and all the days after. 

Dream Big. Write It Down. And then work your tail off.

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Sweet Salvation

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Opal was a rescue from a shelter.

People say, “Wow, she’s lucky you found her.” She’s a pitbull mix and there are many where she came from. Her breed is supposedly unpredictable. Mean. Violent. She’s lucky to have found a home!

But really, we are the lucky ones.

She makes her rounds all night, checking on each daughter and then on us.

She rarely barks, saving her growls for trespassers outside our door. She’s so protective!

Petting her releases endorphins and dopamine, chemicals that keep anxiety at bay.

She looks at us with those beautiful eyes and persuades us to go for a walk, even if it’s cold outside.

Her mere presence cheers us up after a rough day at work or school.

She reminds us to revel in the present moment, to breathe in the fresh air, and to spot rabbits in the bushes.

What makes her happy? Food. A warm bed. Loved ones nearby. She teaches us that it doesn’t take much to be blissful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Death as a Teacher

o0ta3hn-thc-jakub-kriz.jpgFor something that affects each of us without fail, the subject of death remains taboo in our culture. Why?

2016 was rife with “surprise” celebrity deaths: Rickman, Bowie, Prince, Fisher and so many more. It’s sad to lose people we admire and love.

Yet, death can be the best teacher. It reminds us that life is, in the end, pretty short. It can clarify values pretty quickly. Six and half years ago, I was told by my doctor that I had cancer. I was fortunate – it was early stage I breast cancer – and my prognosis was very good. But I was 41 and not expecting that diagnosis at all. My life got crystal clear: Family and friends were priority. I realized that my job – teaching – was something I truly valued and I was grateful for it.

As I walked out of the hospital to go home to recover from my radical mastectomy, the air was crisp, the sun shone brightly and I noticed practically every blade of grass of the hospital lawn. I felt so alive!

Realizing that we don’t have much time gives us urgency. Don’t waste a day complaining. Don’t be negative. Live in the light of positivity and gratitude. Work towards your dreams. You might not have much time.

 

 

 


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Whirlybird Lunacy

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There is a label, in the education field, for parents who “hover” over their children in an overprotective, and micro-managing way: helicopter parenting.

As teachers, we get it.  You don’t want your child to ever “fail.” You want to prove to your child, the world, your self, that you are an involved parent. But you are not doing your child any favors.

When you hover, you:

  • subconsciously tell your kid that you don’t trust him to do it himself;
  • create anxiety for your child;
  • cheat your child out of the opportunity to work independently;
  • cheat your child out of learning from failing; and
  • cheat your child out of accomplishing something on his own.

 Sometimes, effective parenting means surrendering.

 

 

 


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Holiday Gratitude

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I am grateful for the opportunity to blog and have readers who provide feedback. I’m thankful for the WordPress community and for the wonderful blog posts I’ve read the past few years. Befriending fellow writers from Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and Australia has been a phenomenal experience.

Here’s to a healthy 2017 with lots of presence.

 

 

 


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Creating Space

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I was practicing handstands the other day. I didn’t move all the furniture out of the way.  Coming down, my foot hit the corner of a nightstand. Hard.

I’m sure the toenail will grow back.

The irony was not lost on me.

Yoga is all about creating space: space between the vertebrae, space in the heart and in the mind. The physical exercise creates room in bodies and meditation creates much needed gaps in thinking.

Space is good! It fosters a better posture – both literally and figuratively.

 

 


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Money Is Only a Tool (Ayn Rand)

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What are your beliefs about money? That you’ll never have enough? That only greedy people are rich?

Money is energy. You receive it in return for your work. If your work is valuable, you will receive currency. Focus on the giving and the rest will take care of itself.

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. –Winston Churchill

Funds (like people) escape those who squeeze too tightly. Do good work, serve people generously, and wealth will come.


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Teens and Talent

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“I’m procrastinating,” my daughter said. She was just hanging out with me. With all her chores done, the last item on her list of “to dos” was to practice her violin.

“I don’t get it. You are so good at violin. You seem to enjoy it. Why do you always put it off?”

“I love playing. I don’t like practicing. It’s hard and it’s boring.”

“Well, it’s the practicing that makes us like listening to the playing.”

“You’re so mean,” she says as she opens her case.

 


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2 Factors for Joy

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How happy are you? Your age might be correlated to the level of your happiness. And acceptance might be the key to joy.

According to a study by Nielsen, people ages 18-21 are pretty happy, but the level of self-reported well-being goes on a decline until it hits rock bottom at age 50-53. This is due, in part, because people in this age bracket are preoccupied with money concerns: kids’ college tuition and their own retirement funds. But then, the level of contentment goes up on a steady trajectory for a high into the eighties. The reason?

As people age, they accept their aging. THIS is the key to contentment.

Perhaps we should all accept our present condition, no matter the age? Wouldn’t this naturally lead to more joy?

well being and age COTD

http://www.businessinsider.com/age-people-are-happiest-2016-5

 


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The Practice

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One of the 5 ways to increase your grit is practice, practice, practice. By this, Angela Lee Duckworth means to practice deliberately. For example, let’s say you’re a musician. It might be tempting to play that piece that you know so well, the one everyone compliments you on. But you’re not going to get better by doing that. You need to practice that four octave scale you haven’t nailed yet. You need to go slowly, hit each not just right and start over when you get it wrong. Boring! Tedious! But so critical.

This is grit.

It’s hard and it’s boring and you need to do it every single day. You need to be consistent.

That is how you get better.

By the way, you can substitute anything for practicing violin: football, soccer, dance, writing, drawing, painting. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing extremely well.

 

 

 

 

 


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Honesty

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Nothing fake about me!

‘Tis the season!

We receive holiday cards, mostly from friends and family but also the occasional acquaintance.

We received a  card with one of “those” letters in them. You know what I mean, the ones that review the entire year for every family member in 8 very full paragraphs in 8pt font. Everything that happened was fantastic. Each family member is on his/her way to great success.

This card/letter came from a family with whom we don’t have a personal connection. We never speak on the phone, we never meet up. We are not even  Facebook friends. They happen to be real estate agents in the community.

2016 is almost over. I’d like to see some authenticity happen in 2017.

Communications (email, phone, social media, etc.) are time-consuming, both for the sender and the recipient. Wouldn’t it be nice if every attempt at reaching out was genuine? Do you really care to forge a relationship with us? Then be real. Invite us for a meet up. Call. Even an email invitation is acceptable these days.

But please, don’t send a generic “personalized” letter and assume we care. Why should we?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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5 Ways to Increase Grit

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Grit – the persevering drive to achieve one’s goals – is identified as one of the most powerful factors for success, even more than talent.

A big part of my job is to preserve perseverance in my students. As a mother, modeling and maintaining grit is central to my parenting style. We can raise talented, very smart children, but without resilience, they won’t create and maintain satisfying, successful careers and lives.

Perhaps you’ve found your own passion and you can relate. “I love writing/painting/coding/etc. but I often fail to complete a project. How can I develop grit?”

Angela Duckworth, a noted psychologist, author and recipient of the MacArthur Genius award for her work on grit, identified 5 research-based ways to increase your grit level:*

  1. Pursue your interests – obviously, if you’re intrinsically driven to pursue something, you’ll be more apt to stick with it through thick and thin!
  2. Practice insanely – consistent, deliberate practice not only makes perfect, it also increases your perseverance.
  3. Find purpose – if your long-term objective is to help your community or others, you’re more likely to stick with the work than if your objective is to save up for that dream Ferrari.
  4. Be optimistic, have hope – truly believe and expect that tomorrow will be better than today. So if you’re still learning and making mistakes, know that you’re just going to get better and better.
  5. Join a Gritty Group – Have you heard the saying, “You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with?” It’s true. Stick with diligent people and you’ll be persevering too.

 

 

*Source:  http://theweek.com/articles/624204/5-researchbacked-ways-increase-grit

 

 

 

 

 


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The Spoon

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My mother arrived in America in the late 1960s from a small town in rural South Korea. She knew a little English from school, but you can imagine going from the countryside in South Korea to a small apartment building in North Carolina is not exactly a smooth transition.

My sister, brother and I were born in quick succession following her immigration. We quickly grasped the many, many nuances of the English language, especially slang. Mom tried to understand it. But the words and gestures of profanity eluded her.

One day, my siblings and I were doing something that caused her displeasure: eating with our mouths full? Fighting with each other? Getting Bs? I don’t recall. But I do remember her suddenly raising her fist in an incomplete “f*** you” gesture (no middle finger) and yelling, “Fist up!” This created peals of laughter from us and, in her frustration, she gave chase. With a wooden spoon.

The chase was thrilling. Mom and that spoon could sting. But the sight of her in that apron, her face red with anger…it was too much.

As we ran around the house – us kids laughing at the sight of our indignant mother and the epic fail of her attempt to be obscene -she broke into laughter too. Soon, all four of us were in a puddle of giggle tears.

We carried on that day in a lighter state. Life is good. Grades are grades. People are people. Poor is poor. As long as we have each other, we can laugh.

 


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Equanimity

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e·qua·nim·i·ty
ˌekwəˈnimədē/
noun
  1. mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation.
    “she accepted both the good and the bad with equanimity

As I study “The Greats” of yoga and meditation, I run across this word a lot. It’s central to the philosophy of yoga. Deep breaths. Space. Equanimity.

For me, it’s connected to the Tao, the Middle Way. No extremes. Don’t over react to either end of the spectrum. This way, you can be happy no matter what.

Beware. Once you decide to be more equanamous, you will be challenged left and right. Just remember, nothing is that serious. Take a deep breath. Allow s-p-a-c-e between your reaction and whatever it is that is happening.

Stay composed.

 

 

 


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Why Our Partners Drive Us Mad

 

I like to create my own content, but tonight, I MUST share something with you. If you’re interested in emotional intelligence, you need to see this:

The School of Life

I love this website. There is so much to learn. Who is “The School of Life”?  They’re based in London.There is a psychotherapist on staff and many writers and researchers. They seem to know their stuff. I like their style.

Here is their Vision Statement:

BEING DEDICATED TO EMOTIONAL HEALTH MEANS THE FOLLOWING:

We want people to have better relationships

To be better parents

To be more understanding children

To be less anxious

To be less scared

To be more self-aware

To be more appreciative

To be more forgiving

To be wiser consumers

To be more mature employees, entrepreneurs and leaders

To create businesses that more accurately satisfy the true emotional needs of consumers

To help work to be more meaningful

To be better at resisting certain noxious messages in society around happiness, success and status.

To have a good understanding of one’s place in history and the distinctive challenges of living in modern consumer capitalism, with its Romantic individualistic hedonistic philosophy.

To be more modest about what happiness is possible – and at the same time more hopeful and appreciative day to day.

To be at ease with culture, mining it for what is useful, using it to enhance one’s own life, not to pass an exam: to be consoled and enlightened by culture.

 

 

So check them out. They cover a wide spectrum of topics. 

 


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The Secrets To Being Fit For Life

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You’re on your 18th diet. You’ve lost weight before – many times – and you’re planning on doing it once more. You’re going to the Bahamas this spring and you want to look good.

Why do you find yourself back in this place again and again?

You had the wrong kind of motivation.

There’s short-term motivation and long-term motivation. Short-term motivation is fueled by factors outside of the goal. For example, you’re motivated to lose 15 lbs. because you want to look good for your trip to the Bahamas. “The Bahamas” is not only outside the contiguous United States, but it’s also outside of  being healthy and fit. You’ll be able to take the weight off, maybe. But the weight will come back. This is because your motivation lies outside of you. It’s external.

If you want to lose 30 lbs. because you want to be more ambulatory or because you want to get off your blood pressure medication and you want to feel more energetic, then your motivation is internal and you are much, much  more likely to stick with your exercise, diet and all the other healthy habits that you need to adopt for the change.

This goes for any goal you create for yourself. If you want to ensure that you make a long-lasting (permanent) change, define for yourself the internal motivation for it. The externals are easy: more money, the respect of others, prestige, etc. But the internals? These could include: new skills, peace of mind, confidence, mental strength, and physical strength.

Of course, there are consequences for hard work. You very well might make more money by gaining new work skills. You might get noticed and gain fame. You might look great on the beach.  But make sure these are not part of your motivation and it’s more likely that you’ll sustain your success.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s the WHY, as well as the how.

 


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Melancholy or Merriment?

 

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Yesterday’s blog was about being fierce and how to get there. Today’s post is about the opposite: sadness and lethargy.

2016 was a difficult and painful year for many people I know. The holidays can sometimes lead to funk, not cheer. According to Psychology Today, the anticipation of merriment might lead to pensive gloominess or even depression. We drink too much, eat too much and sleep too little. Some signs of the holiday blues include: “Headaches, insomnia, uneasiness, anxiety, sadness, intestinal problems, and unnecessary conflict with family and friends.” (Psychology Today)

How to beat it?

The article cites 10 tips. I’ll give them to you in a nutshell:

  1. Be reasonable with your schedule.
  2. Organize your time.
  3. Declare an amnesty with your friends and family.
  4. Manage your expectations. Holidays won’t be for you as an adult what they were when you were a child!
  5. Volunteer to help others in need.
  6. Alcohol is a depressant. Drink in moderation.
  7. Take breaks – especially physical ones, like exercise or just walking.
  8. Think half-full, not half-empty. The choice is yours!
  9. Take breaks – exercise, walk around the neighborhood. Get moving!
  10. Choose to see the glass half-full, not half-empty. You do have a choice.

 

 

 

 


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Fierce

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Fierce – adj., 3. Furiously Eager and Intense

When I was in my early twenties, I lived in San Francisco and wanted to be a writer. To be a good writer, you have to read a lot. I was forever changed when I read Natalie Goldberg’s Wild Mind. In it is a passage about feeling “wild” while you sit calmly, writing. I completely identified with this! I made up my mind to have a Wild Mind from then on.

Being “wild” mentally naturally helps my writing and my creativity. However, I noticed that when I feel sluggish physically, I am pretty dull inside, too. So I force myself to exercise. Believe me, I am never excited about lacing up the work out shoes. But I make it a habit. I get my shoes on, turn Jillian on (the DVD, not her…) and I go to town. It’s hard. I sweat. I look forward to it ending. But I do it. And when I’m done, I feel SO GOOD (not just because it’s over). The endorphins kick in and I feel more energized and positive. I am on top of the world!

On some Sundays, I like to go roller skating. I’m almost as fast as Apolo Ohno. This gives me a great high, too. I feel fierce.

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What makes you feel ferocious? What can you do to make it a habit?

 

 

 

 


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Tying Loose Ends

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It’s December 5. We are almost at the finish line of 2016 and I have some loose ends to tie: complete my children’s book and edit my novella (Nanowrimo). These are my writing goals for this month.

Jillian Michaels says, “It’s when you’re uncomfortable that change happens.”

When it comes to writing, I enjoy the research phase. I also love the writing phase where I just throw it onto paper. But when it comes to editing, I get…uncomfortable. All those monkey mind thoughts I fought while writing come back and it prevents me from finishing.

Working out and changing your diet is uncomfortable.

Interviewing for your dream job is uncomfortable.

Making new friends is uncomfortable.

Disconnecting from friends who don’t act like your friends is uncomfortable.

Discomfort leads to change and growth! Who cares about perfection? It’s not important. In fact, it can be your enemy. Finishing is the most important thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Bewitching Bento Box

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I took my daughters out for our weekly lunch following violin lessons. We frequent the local hole-in-the-wall Mexican place (Los Betos) which is amazing and Five Guys or go out for pho. Today, I suggested a new place, Yoshi Bento, in Phoenix.

We were really hungry. The place was not fancy at all, but the food at the next table looked amazing. The girls ordered chicken teriyaki bento and I ordered the salmon. The spicy cabbage salad took Josie by surprise. She noticed how eating from another compartment complemented the spice.

What is it about the bento box that captivates? I think it’s the obvious care in preparation. The bento box is made with fresh ingredients and each compartment has its own flavor and texture: buttery and soft, salty and crunchy, fuzzy and sweet, slick and piscine.

Anything made with care and consideration is noticed and appreciated. It is presence realized.

 

 

 


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Remedy for the Blues

I made the mistake of reading some news today. BIG mistake. What a downer. How dispiriting! But tonight, my family attended my daughter’s high school dance performance. Over 20 different acts, ranging from beginning to highly advanced performed in quick succession. And instantly, my spirits lifted. Kids of all ages, of all body types, and of all skills danced their hearts out. The audience was comprised of friends and families who hooted and hollered their encouragement, calling kids by name.

Dance. Art. Music. Literature. These are activities that require self-discipline, practice and focus. When you observe or participate in the arts, you are party to a deep, spiritual practice of love and harmony.

If you’re feeling “blah” or down, I highly recommend that you attend a local live show – preferably put on by children – immediately. Your spirit will soar.

 

 

 


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Do You Have an Android?

 

Check Point Software Technologies

Apparently, nearly 1 million Androids have been hacked, according to Mashable. The malicious malware installs apps on your phone which steal authentication and falsely rate their apps highly.

As an Android owner, I was naturally concerned! There is a way to test whether your phone has been comprised. Visit: https://gooligan.checkpoint.com/

You will be prompted to enter your email address (related to your Play Store account) and it will check to see if you’ve been compromised.

Read the Mashable article for the fix.

I am unbreached. Yay!

 

 


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Workshop Wisdom

I attended a workshop on educational leadership today. I walked away with lots of good stuff but one quote that stuck with me was:

Get what you want. Find a way.

Being a leader means helping others lead, really. Supporting others to be the best they can be is one of the biggest objectives and one of the most challenging.  One vital channel to this goal is to make others feel appreciated and help them in their jobs.

Make your staff feel valued by obtaining resources that they need or want for their work. Show them that you appreciate what they do and that you consider it important. “Get what you want. Find a way.”

This is really the secret to success, isn’t it? What do you want? How can you find a way to get it?

 

 

 


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The Indomitable Bruce Lee

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When I was a young teen, my father gathered my sister, brother and me and told us we were going to start taking Tae Kwon Do lessons. He didn’t ask what we thought about it or if we wanted to do it, he told us we were doing it. My father was an extremely strict father. Tiger Moms these days are mere kittens compared to my father back then. So we didn’t even groan or try to get out of it.

We began. The entire time, I kept wishing I was taking dance instead. But no, martial arts it was.

My sister and I were young teenage girls and we had to spar grown men and believe me, they didn’t “take it easy” on us. JoAnne and I learned to use our elbows to defend ourselves against their powerful kicks. It worked! Martial arts was big back then because of a guy named Bruce Lee.

Our tenets were: Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control and Indomitable Spirit (CIPSI).

We lived those tenets. All three of us earned 1st degree black belts.

There were no Asians in magazines back then. Or TV. Even “Kung Fu” starred a white man named David Carradine. It turns out Warner Bros. stole Bruce Lee’s concept and believed a full blooded Asian on TV wouldn’t work so they hired Mr. Carradine.

Bunk!

What did Bruce Lee do? He went to China and made “The Big Boss” which made him an international star.

This is what you must do when you face rejection. When you face sexism. Racism. Any kind of bigotry. Go out and be Bruce Lee. That is, embody his spirit. 

Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.

Bruce Lee