Health · Personal Success · motivation

Ahhh! Bliss…

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Photo by Andre Mouton

V is for Veracity*

Truth —-> Self-Awareness —> Integrity —> Self-Contentment —> Peace

Which would you prefer: to be happy or to reach xyz goal?

When I find myself starting to worry or getting wrapped up in achieving xyz…The question, Isn’t it important to be happy?  realigns my focus.  The truth is, it’s not what I do that’s important, it’s HOW I do what I do.

 

*Part of my alphabiography project

Health · motivation · Personal Success

Jump, Jive an’ Wail!

J is for Jillian

I have been doing Jillian Michael’s workouts for the past seven years or so.

A friend of mine introduced me to her DVDs and I’ve been hooked ever since. At 48, I am in the best shape I’ve ever been in and it just takes 30 minutes a day. (Do I sound like an infomercial or what?)

In my youth, I exercised to look good. Now, I workout to be strong.

When I feel strong physically, I am stronger mentally and spiritually.

I take care of my health for my loved ones, too. I want to be active for as long as possible and I want to model good living. Yesterday, my 15 year old daughter said, “Mom, when I’m your age, I hope I look like you.”

Body+Revolution+Logo

 

 

*Alphabiography blog series

 

 

motivation · writing

Art is in the Eye of the Beholder

I is for Illustrating

I’m teaching myself how to illustrate. There are so many resources online:

Creative Bug

Udemy.com

Craftsy.com

Lynda.com

YouTube.com

I don’t have a goal, per se. But it’d be nice if I could illustrate my own books. I just know that I am loving this process. I sit down with my pencils, art pens, watercolor, paper and coffee (or other nice beverage, wink, wink, nudge, nudge) and draw!

cupcake
My first sketch

*Alphabiography post

 

motivation · poetry

High School is Short-Lived

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B is for Barbs

In high school, our mascot was “the barbs”

– that’s short for barbed wire – which was invented in DeKalb, IL.

barb = sharp, bristly, obviously unpleasant…

causing inflamation and swelling. High school was constant stress over

grades, posturing and “success,” whatever that was.

My home life was more of the same, pure misery.

I felt invisible all the time. Nobody saw who I was, they saw who they wanted to see.

(Mostly, they were disappointed by what they saw!)

But I survived. I’ve actually thrived.

And you will, too. Hang in there. High school is temporary.

barbed

 

 

 

 

 

 

motivation · Personal Success

Wave Your White Flag

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Photo by Levi Bare

Acceptance of what is real is one of the main precepts of freedom, according to the great spiritual thinkers. Most of us have not met complete inner peace because we resist reality. Our egos take over and react: We complain about things that “happen to us.”

Practicing full surrender to reality means accepting (completely) the fact that you have to take your car into the garage for the second time in two weeks (this time, to fix the tail lights).

It means that you are not disappointed or frustrated when technology fails, when your plane gets delayed or when you realize you sent the wrong email to the wrong person.

Full surrender means you accept that you just got canned and you’re now unemployed….you accept the sudden death of a loved one or that you lost your (fill-in-the-blank) competition.

If you can accept all that life brings you, then you are well on your way to true happiness.

 

 

 

motivation · Personal Success

Apps Used to Stand for Appetizers

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Photo by Tim Mossholder

Apps have become so ubiquitous that we joke, “There’s an app for that.”

And yes, technology can help you achieve your goals and it can entertain you, but when it comes to creating art or work or works of art, there is no substitute for the consistent effort and focus on it.

Sitting under a tree, pondering nature all around you…that is how Sir Isaac Newton discovered gravity. So legend has it.

Objective and careful observation of nature, our pets, our loved ones is how we will help society. Sustained effort  for the greater good is what will be effective. Apps and other technology alone won’t do it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

motivation · Personal Success

Set Your Mind to It

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Photo by Annie Spratt

When I was five and my sister was four, our babysitter watched us coloring in our coloring books. Where my sister stayed within the lines, I colored slightly (OK, maybe not so slightly) outside the lines. “JoAnne colors nicely and Caroline needs to work on that a little bit.” Her sarcasm was not lost on me, even then.

This bit of criticism colored my world (pardon the pun!) “I am not a good artist.” This was just something I accepted for many years. But I’ve always longed to draw and paint. For someone with no formal art education, I think I am pretty OK. I think I can improve and I very much want to improve.

Thanks to Carol Dweck, we can all sigh optimistically now.

For eons, people believed in the “Fixed Mindset”  – that talents are innate and readily apparent; Believers assert that one should avoid mistakes and failures. In fact, if you find yourself failing at something, people who adopt the “fixed mindset” philosophy say you ought to just quit, because clearly, it’s not for you.

But Dweck, one of the leading researchers of motivation, discovered the truth about achievement and learning: The Growth Mindset. She says you learn from mistakes. You grow! Intelligence and talent are developed and in order to be successful, you must make mistakes. Clearly, this is true. The Wright brothers did not discover how to create a plane on the first attempt and Edison did not discover the light bulb on his first try, either. One needs to make mistakes to learn, grow and achieve.

Growth Mindset believers say “yet”  is the magic word. I can’t draw well yet, but with consistent practice and quality education, I will!

Check out her website: mindsetonline.com. It includes a test to determine where you are on the mindset continuum and ways to change it.

I’m going to start drawing lessons (free) on skillshare.com. Go Growth Mindset!