Category Archives: Inspirational/Spiritual

I don’t believe in New Year Resolutions…

by Ann
I just don’t! It’s probably due to the fact that I feel compelled to accomplish everything that I set in my mind. Over the years, I’ve learned the secret to achieving goalslower expectations and achieve more. Or really what I learned is to not set any… just live and set my goals everyday.. or almost everyday… One bite at a time is better, more manageable and it works!

BUT.. here are some ideas just in case that you do like to make resolutions… or want to make some definite changes in your life, or have some specific goals that you want to attain in the up and coming year.

Example, if you want to fit into your skinny jeans, you might come up with a new exercise and diet plan. Part of that plan might include a goal to exercise five times a week. But if you don’t achieve that ‘magic’ number, then you might feel that you have failed, regardless of how many times you did exercise. Instead, lower the goal from exercising five times a week to a more realistic goal, like say, twice a week. And expect to meet that simpler goal. Not only ‘expect’ to … DO IT! You’ll feel great when you do! If you exceed it, that’s great, too! If you don’t! So what! Try again the next day!

It feels wonderful to meet your goals, and that feeling of success will keep you motivated to continue to achieve your goals. So, set yourself up for success with some simple steps: Set a smaller goal. After you achieve that, set a more adventurous one.

What do you want?

Do you want to drop those pesky extra pounds? WHY? Is it to increase your self-confidence? Is it for health reasons? Identify the the positive gains of achieving your goal (i.e. increasing your chances of being noticed by some hot guy) Once that’s figured out, look at what you want  and need to do to achieve it. It might be a series of smaller goals to achieve the overarching goal. One bite at a time…

How will you achieve your goal?

Get specific, be realistic, and keep the plans simple.  Write the goals down and the steps to achieve them. This will help you to look at things logically. You can see where you’ve over-reached, or may be setting the bar too low.

Is your plan realistic?

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you aren’t going to fit into those skinny jeans tomorrow, but then again you might. But, just in case you don’t, take some time, and look seriously at your plan. If it’s not realistic, adjust it. You have the right to be successful. So don’t create a goal where you’re setting yourself up to fail. Or just don’t write any resolutions and you won’t fail!

Define success

Many times we create a goal without defining what the outcome will look like. How will you know when you’ve achieved your goal? What will you look like? How will you feel? What will you be able to do? Write it down, and revisit it often. Overtime, your definition of success might change. That’s OK! Give yourself permission to do what you need to do.

Be flexible

You will face challenges that might hinder or distract you from your goals. That’s life! Plan on it happening on a regular basis. Have ideas and plans about what to do when you have setbacks or don’t…

Get Guidance

Talk to someone about your plans, friends, family, or ‘experts’ or how about me? Whatever goals you set, make sure you’ll enjoy the work involved to achieve them and always keep your end goal in mind. If you enjoy what you’re doing, chances are you’ll continue doing it. Or don’t do it at all!

We all know New Year’s resolutions are usually doomed. Holiday enthusiasm dissipates. Changing our behavior is a big mountain to climb. You’ll feel more harmony in your life if you show yourself some gentle love and acceptance. On New Year’s Eve, take an inventory of everything valuable about you. Enhance and treasure those fine qualities in the new year. You’re doing just fine!

Again I don’t believe in New Year resolutions. I live like I want to, in order, to achieve what I desire almost each and everyday. But if you do believe in them, and set some…how about refer to these guidelines.
This New Year’s Eve how about count your blessings and all the wonderful things about you and your life then create the future that you desire day by day in the new year.
Most of all HAVE FUN!!! And love yourself!

Actually! The only ‘really important resolution’ to make is to follow this blog and read it everyday and tell all your friends about it! Really! Truly! It is!!!

Drink champagne! Eat some good food! Have some chocolate!

And workout tomorrow!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! Have a great 2011!!!!!!

Look to the left and click to follow!

Many Christmases and New Year’s Eves…

by Ann
All are different…Some full of abundance others not so much. Some spent with friends or loved ones and others spent in solitude.

Some too busy, even hectic, and others quiet and peaceful. Some with too much to eat and others with little. 
Some full of happiness, joy and expectation. Some full of melancholia and sadness. Some spent helping others and some where I ‘could’ve’ used some help…
Some spent in love. Others spent in loss.
Christmas Eve of Irony after kicking my alcoholic husband, whom I loved dearly, out of the house months previously, to save myself, I spent Christmas Eve alone drinking almost a whole bottle of wine…when rarely I drank at all.
Christmases with a large tree that Santa surrounded with everything a little girl could ever want with family around and a large breakfast of sausage, bacon, eggs, biscuits and jam. Fireplace roars duplicating the soothing warmth in the home.
A huge tree filling the space where the Grande piano used to be… so glad ‘he’ was gone.. took two days to decorate it. Prettiest tree ever. It was my Christmas… no more yelling or sarcasm, it was gone with him. Peace was in my house. Lying under it looking up at the lights, I felt like a child full of joy and expectation again. 
Working out. A hot shower, my gift was washing everything on my bed to make it fresh for Christmas Eve. A small apartment, sliding into my clean sheets, warm and cozy, alone, but safe and warm, giving thanks to God for abundance and peace in my life.

Too much Christmas, his parents at noon, to eat and celebrate and mine that evening. Over stuffed, over everything. If only we could celebrate alone…

Many Christmases of beautiful church services…

The only celebration one year was a hot bath, some Christmas music and wine, munching cheese, crackers and fruit, watching Christmas movies on TV, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ and ‘Miracle on 34th Street.’

Playing Secret Santa with a group of friends. We had most everything, so were giving to others that had little to nothing.
A well-decorated tree, making Christmas cookies and playing Santa, Barbies, American Dolls, roller skates, bicycles, everything a little girl could want. Going to bed tired then getting up very early to the excitement of a child.

Serving meals to the homeless, while wondering could this happen to me?

Shaking a Christmas snow globe and winding it up repeatedly to play, ‘I wish you a Merry Christmas! I wish you a Merry Christmas’ as I sat in the dark crying.

New Year’s Eve wearing designer clothing at a Country Club, full of decorations,  an orchestra, champagne, friends and dancing.
Sitting on the sofa alone watching the ball drop in New York pondering my desire to cut some off…
In bed surrounded by candlelight, sipping champagne with my husband, New Year’s Eve shows on TV.
Sitting in bed alone, sipping champagne watching New Year’s Eve TV.
In front of a fireplace, eating a dinner prepared by him, so in love and so content. At mid-night, making love in front of the fireplace, who cares what time it is.

Black tie celebration, the best of everything tied up in love and romance.

Whooping it up, country and western, jeans, boots and a cowboy hat, line dancing, two stepping, swigging champagne right out of the bottle.

New Year’s Eve movie marathon
at a theatre with a neighbor and her young daughter. Eating popcorn, watching ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’, then ‘King Kong’ and laughing and laughing as the little girl jumped up and down the stairs like a monkey.

Dancing to music slow, dizzy with love and champagne, my head on his shoulder, feeling so loved, content and at peacekissing at midnight.

All different, but really all the same and, of course, there are many more, as they all swirl in my head in fond memory.. All ultimately good, even when seemingly bad and all make up the fabric of me and the experiences of my life.

Where ever you are in the timeframe of your life and most especially during the holidays when you most reflect and feel nostalgia, know that it’s only a reflection of a moment in your life. So be there fully in whatever the experience turns out to be. Enjoy and appreciate every ounce of it, no matter what it is, or seems to be.

Feel, experince it all, the happiness as well as the sadness, the love as well as the loss, the joy as well as the pain. Because what seems like the worst, might become the best and what seems like the best, may very well be the best of the best, or it may be topped by even better the very next year. Who knows!!?? 

In time, circumstances change, but is it all good because it’s all you… all that you are culminating in that moment in time. So, don’t wish it gone, or past, or wish it to be something else. Just feel it. Imprint it in your being…as it will too soon become a memory like all others…all woven together to become the wonder of your life. And if you are lucky and truly blessed, you will experience it all, the highs and the lows…the ups and the downs, the abundance and the loss…

Cheers to them all!
And God bless you. May your heart be filled with the joy of the real reason for the season and much peace and happiness in the New Year! 

Have you ever had someone try to…

by Ann
Lit_candles : Candle on Black Blackground
put your light out? Or even try to diminish your spirit, your soul? Have you ever had someone see your divine light and being so attracted to it, they come after your glow to try and capture it for their own?

And by so doing, their actions and behaviors and harm begin to diminish and almost snuff the light right out of you…

They see your happiness, your light. They attract to it and they wonder where it comes from, or they are jealous, and, or envious so they try to figure out why you are so content, at peace in your spirit and why you glow. They try to claim it for their own.
Then when they realize that they can’t…they may ‘try’ to erradicate it in you.

But taking, diminishing and dimming another’s light, isn’t the way. Only the darkness can’t see this for they are in the dark.

But the dark can recognize the light…

Not realizing that the light comes from a connection deep within, pulled from the source above and that it is endless in its abundance and love and is theirs for the asking. Not to try and ‘take’ or diminish it from another, but to connect to it for themselves.

The dark doesn’t ‘get’ this. The dark tries to take, even steal, the light from others.

But in so doing, the dark actually defines the light and flames it to shine even brighter because the light always reveals the dark…

The dark doesn’t ‘get’ that the light is anchored within and may be temporarily  dimmed, or retreat for a moment, or awhile, but it always returns and sometimes to even shine brighter. And it’s in the giving, not the taking that it shines even brighter. The dark doesn’t ‘get’ this…The dark can’t see, or stand this…

So, the dark keeps ‘trying’ to diminish and take the light…and by so doing, loses its chance to experience the very thing that it wants and desires. The light.

“The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” — Matthew –

In this season of love, forgiveness and giving shine your light brightly onto others. Glow your lightShine into the darkness. Reveal…the dark.

Gratitude And White Wine Can Change Your Life…

by Ann
Thanksgiving is a time to ponder the things in life for which we are grateful. Beyond our friends and family, our health and the various and sundry material possessions, consider being grateful for the present moment. More than any other emotion, gratitude can change your life!

Let Forgiveness Flourish

When you’re grateful for your life as it is and not afraid to show it (you can’t walk around complaining and expect to see a result), an amazing thing happens. You can look back on situations that may not have gone as you’d have liked, or people who have hurt you, and find forgiveness, which is one of the most liberating feelings in the world. By letting forgiveness flow freely into your heart – because you know and appreciate the fact that you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be at this very moment – you open yourself up to a whole new world of possibilities.

Mastering Manifestation

On that note, gratitude is the first step in creating personal prosperity in the future. One sure fire way to help bring something you want into your life – a relationship, a situation, a job, more money – is to give genuine thanks for the things you have now. If you’re not happy with your life as it is on a broad spectrum, odds are that there’s still plenty to be grateful for. Even if it’s the wisdom to see your shortcomings clearly and the ability to do something about them, take the time to smell the roses in your current garden… it will only help you to nourish next year’s crop, to be even more bountiful and beautiful.

 Finding the Power Within

Finally, it’s important to remember that happiness is not some external state that comes via accumulation of goodies or finding your “perfect” partner. It’s a force that bubbles up and resonates from within. When you appreciate where you are in this very moment – not just where you’ve been, what you’ve already achieved, or where you want to go – you’re sending signals to the universe (and to everyone you meet) that you are a positive person. Whether you achieve this via yoga, meditation, self-exploration, prayer, or some combination of methods (which is most likely), there’s a universal truth involved in cultivating appreciation (of yourself and your life). Like attracts like. The more content and grateful you are for what you have, the more good will come your way. And that includes people who express their gratitude for having you!

And a little white wine flowing along with the gratitude never hurts!
What are you grateful for?

Be happy!

by Ann

I just woke up happy! No reason in particular, I looked around and felt appreciation for everyone and everything in my life.  Simple things are what matter, a cool breeze on my face, or the sunshine. The taste of something refreshing, clean sheets, a hot shower, talking to a friend, lunch with a friend, or laughing in rememberance.

There have been countless quotes, studies, books and discussions on achieving personal happiness. Many refer to it either as something elusive which finds you when you’re not looking for it, or as something inside of you that you consciously decide to activate – an appreciation of your life that becomes part of your daily living. However, we should not discount our environment as an important component in our happiness levels. Dr. Nicholas Christakis, a medical sociologist and doctor at Harvard, and James Fowler, a political scientist and professor at UC San Diego, have attempted to prove this through a twenty-year longitudinal study of over 4,000 individuals. The results of the study demonstrated that happiness appears to be contagious. Dr. Christakis refers to the spread of happiness as a “ripple effect” that extends outward to as far as three degrees of separation.

Collective Network Phenomenon

Dr. Nicholas Christakis refers to happiness as a “collective network phenomenon,” asserting that being part of a social network gives you a greater chance of happiness. This collective network gives people a sense of connection and belonging and acts as a platform from which all emotions can be transferred to others within the network; and although this also includes the potential for spreading misery among others, studies have found that happiness seems to spread more consistently than unhappiness. The fact is, the more people in a network you have access to, the more potential for acquiring a positive “recharge” whenever you need it. In similar fashion, James Fowler states, “Every friend increases the probability that you’re at the center of a network, which means you are more eligible to get a wave of happiness.”

Dr. Christakis also states that the potential for other people in your social network to affect your mood in positive ways diminishes over time and geographic distance. The closer you are physically to your network, the better the signal, with phone and computer communication diluting the strength of the “energy wave” of emotion. Those who are closer to the center of their social network tend to be happier than those further outside the circle. This social network is diverse, made up of friends, family, spouses, roommates, and neighbors. Through up to three degrees of separation, Dr. Christakis found evidence of happiness spreading as far as to your friends’ friends’ friends, essentially passing happiness to strangers. That’s impressive!

In a separate study, researchers found that one person’s mood could have an immediate impact on another’s, especially through imitating the other person’s facial expressions and body mannerisms. In such circumstances, someone could catch a mood in as little as a few seconds.
In a world essentially made up of energy, it comes as no surprise that emotions can spread like a virus. There is supporting evidence that increased happiness has a positive impact on overall health – on a basic level, the happier the individual, the less stress hormones they will produce, which directly affects the immune system. The chemicals your body releases when you are happy aid you in living longer and offer you a better chance of fighting disease and other health problems. Being a part of a social network gives you access to emotional support and a reservoir of positive energy, and the more conscious you are of this process and its impact on you, the more control you can wield over your environment, your feelings and your health. There’s no time like the present to immerse yourself in your own “crowd” and inhale the HAPPINESS!!

Along with happiness comes appreciation. Appreciation for all the good, interesting, comforting people and things in your life. And in this time of thanksgiving give thanks for them. Giving thanks promotes happiness. I am happy! And I share this energy with you all…
What makes you happy? Share your happy energy….Let’s spread the happiness!

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