There is so much happening in the world now that it takes daily intentional mindfulness to just stay in the moment. And one of the things that I recognize is that I’m very blessed and appreciative of life and all of my experiences because they have shaped me into the intelligent, loving and empathic person that I am. So as I look forward to celebrating my 50th birthday later this year, I wanted to find some creative ways to honor my life and share hope, inspiration and love to others. Since I won’t be taking the tropical vacation I had hoped for, I’m making my celebration interactive so others can join in with me as I give back to the Universe in thanksgiving for my being.
My first act of celebration is a tee-shirt I created which is very simple but has a nice message. You can preview and purchase at http://teespring.com/inspired-to-make-a-difference. Proceeds will be donated to a nonprofit serving women and girls’ interests.
I also plan to randomly give away 50 small gifts to people I don’t know between now and August, my birth month. It will probably be small gestures like pay for someone’s cup of coffee or give someone a $5 gift card. We’ll see all of the ways that I come up with and I will write about it in August.
Another upcoming idea is creating a list of 50 things about me, inspired by Author Trainer Shelley Hitz, who I met at the NAMS12 Conference (and if you don’t know about NAMS and have an interest in Internet Marketing, you are really missing out). But my twist will be finding 50 people to share something – hopefully nice – about me that I can share.
That’s it for now but please, feel to pass along birthday suggestions. It may seem like I have time but August will be here before we know it. But in the meantime, stop by teesprings.com and order a shirt (http://teespring.com/inspired-to-make-a-difference). And if you are looking for more inspiration on how to make your life, business or the world awesome, learn more about the WWAYD promotion from Nicole Dean (who I also met at the NAMS12 Conference).
Everyone gets stuck in life at some point. However, what’s most important is attitude, perspective and self-motivation to see beyond the moment. That’s definitely easier said than done when a dilemma is staring you in the face, but you are the co-star and director of your own life. Read on as Life Transitions Strategist Dr. Rhonda Anderson offers her perspective for being positive and staying motivated with a simple and easy technique.
Self-Motivation: Getting Yourself Mentally Fired Up About Your Dreams by Dr. Rhonda Anderson
Your life today is the result of your attitudes and choices in the past. Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today. – Author Unknown
We all have dreams and goals we are trying to achieve and at times it can become a challenge to move forward. Many times there will be no one around to speak into you or tell you to keep going, and self-motivation will have to become your best friend. Self-motivation is simply defined as being driven and able to do what you need to do without having to be influenced by others. I know from experience and I have had to rely on self-motivation to propel me forward in my endeavors.
At any given time, you are surrounded by people who do not understand what you are trying to achieve or that are really not very supportive of you in the first place. This can be depressing and can weigh you down. For me, being plugged into God and being able to motivate myself has been beneficial when I have experienced loneliness, failure, fear, or just felt like I could not move forward. Today, make a real effort to get a positive mindset, become confident in who you are, develop a hunger for what you want, and stop allowing set-backs to keep you from moving forward.
One of the best ways to change how you mentally think about yourself is adopting positive thinking and writing a personal vision statement. A personal vision statement describes who you are and all of the great qualities you bring to the table. It can be that you write your personal vision statement and place it on the mirror in your bathroom. We are always admiring ourselves in the mirror anyway, now add saying your personal vision statement aloud in the mornings before leaving the house and in the evenings before bed. You can also record your statement on your cell phone and listen to it whenever you need to pump yourself up!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Rhonda Anderson is a Life Transitions Strategist and the President/CEO of A Scholars Touch, LLC (AST). Her practice specializes in Life, Education, and Business coaching. AST serves youth (ages 12-21), adults, and entrepreneurs with obtaining success both personally and professionally. Please visit AST on the web at www.ascholarstouch.com. Follow AST on FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, and Google+.
When I hear the term Boxing Day, of course, what automatically comes to mind is Floyd Mayweather, Oscar de la Hoya, Manny Pacquiao… Oh, I can’t forget the Great Muhammad Ali from my adolescent days watching boxing matches with my grandfather and uncles. But I’ve recently learned that Boxing Day is actually a public holiday recognized in Canada, United Kingdom, Barbados, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, South Africa, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and other former British colonies.
Boxing Day is celebrated the day after Christmas, December 26, and its enigmatic history is rooted in the custom of families presenting holiday boxes filled with money or presents for their household staff. Today, Boxing Day, is celebrated as a shopping day with most retailers offering specials and deals on that day and extending into the New Year. While here in the U.S., that day is not a holiday, many of us will use vacation time to extend our Christmas holiday. And the interesting parallel is that here, too, the day after Christmas is synonymous with shopping.
So why am I sharing this with you? Well, I learned something new about another country’s custom and wanted to share the knowledge. AND as many Canadian and U.K. retailers are finalizing their Boxing Week sales today, I couldn’t help but pass along a reason to extend shopping at online retailer Clearly Contacts’ Boxing Day clearance sale that ends tonight at midnight with up to 70% off on sunglasses (with designers such as Ray Ban, Dolce and Gabbana, Gucci and Tommy Hilfiger) and regular eyewear (Vera Wang, Ralph Lauren and Marc Jacobs).I transition between wearing glasses and contact lenses and understand the importance of maintaining good eye health and wanting frames that are stylish but reasonably affordable. I generally will use my Health Savings Account and either purchase a pair of frames online and then have prescriptions placed locally or will provide my prescription at the time of online purchase. But mainly, I just purchase contact lenses online.
If you are in the market for eyewear and still haven’t shaken the holiday shopping spirit, visit Clearly Contacts to take advantage of their Boxing Day clearance sale. And at least now you know why this is a big deal.
The first day of the year is always a good place of new beginnings and newfound or renewed commitment towards creating a healthy and prosperous life and being focused on what matters the most in life. That’s why it was no surprise to receive invitations to 1) participate in a bowl burning ceremony and to 2) a dinner celebrating the unity of friendship. While regretfully I was not able to make either event, I was truly appreciative of the thoughts and sentiments.
I was familiar with the burning bowl ceremony and believe that I participated in something very similar many years ago. If you are not familiar with the ritual, it is a fire ceremony that can take place indoors or outdoors in a ceramic bowl, fire pit, fireplace, anything that can safely contain the fire. It often takes place on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. The purpose is to release negative thoughts, hurts, resentment, and anger from the past to focus on conscious awareness and clarity of love, life, health and prosperity. The concept is to write down on a piece of paper whatever negative thought that you want to leave in the past and to place the paper into the burning bowl. The symbolization of the activity is the smoke carrying away the negativity into the atmosphere to allow for clarity and awareness for the remaining 364 days. It’s a cleansing or releasing of everything you no longer wish to burden your heart and spirit with.
For many people, the intent is great but when real life challenges hit after the honeymoon of the Christmas holiday season and New Years Day, it’s easy to forget to stay in a place of peace and awareness. And we know that people just want to be happy or otherwise Pharrell’s catchy song, Happy, would not have sold over 12 million copies to become one of the best-selling singles of all times while inspiring videos from all over the world of people dancing in the street and feeling free to just be in the moment to the song.
So beyond the ritualistic moments of the first day of the year, there are some easy and simple ways to remember to stay in or return to the moment daily. The key isn’t necessarily what time of day you do it, but what works best for your schedule. The goal is to just be consistent, conscious and aware on a daily basis, even if only for 5 to 10 minutes. It has to be likened to nourishment like eating or drinking water.
So just commit to ONE thing because most of our lives tend to get full and busy. So consider one of these if you don’t have ideas of your own. But mainly, whatever makes you feel happy and feel good inside.
Prayer…whether it’s reading scripture or speaking aloud your hopes, dreams and desires for the day, prayer is grounding and creates focus.
Meditation…allowing your mind to clear itself devoid of anything and just soak in the moment either silently, with music, or guided. Especially in the spring, I love to lay in the bed really quiet before I arise and just listen to sound of the birds chirping while I contemplate and visualize my day.
Music…inspirational, gospel, kid’s song, feel good, whatever makes you smile and be appreciative for the moment you are in, just hit play and listen to it while showering, getting dressed, driving, exercising or cooking.
Yoga/Exercise…stretching your body and releasing tension and sweating out any negative energy.
Signing onto Happify…a science based-approach to inspire happiness through quick fun-based activities, tools, and skills that can increase happiness on your pc or as in app on your phone.
So you promised yourself to start the new year on a healthy note. One way you can do that is by purchasing quality name brand discounted vitamins and herbal supplements from online retailer Puritan’s Pride! Over the years, I have purchased all types of health and beauty products including liquid acidophilus, argan oil, vitamin e oil, essential oils, and crystal deodorant and body spray, to name a few. The products are always discounted with free shipping and are delivered generally within a few days. And as a bonus through January 31, 2015, you can also enter the Puritan’s Pride sweepstakes. Even if you don’t purchase anything, you can enter the sweepstakes by sharing your email address. It’s really that simple, the same way that 2015 should be for you.
Here’s to best wishes for happiness and good health everyday, and especially good luck in the sweepstakes.
I have no idea why I am up at 1:44 a.m. on Christmas morn. Other than I can’t sleep, I have no reason to be up. I’m not doing it big this year. Actually, I’m not doing anything at all. My budget allows for no gifts this year, so I’m just sharing and spreading love, peace and thankfulness for life, grace and mercy with my physical presence and loving attentiveness.
Actually, I’ve been up all day, completing job profiles in hopes that I can land some contract or freelance writing assignments for the new year. And then it dawned on me, that everything has just stopped, so why am I up in the middle of the night looking for work on Christmas Eve/Morn. Hiring managers are with their families, enjoying down time, exchanging gifts, engaged in old traditions or creating new holiday memories. No one is going to look at a resume or job board until the new year, let alone call someone for an interview. But then I visited Craigslist, and I noticed that people were still posting resumes, offering business services, and basically some practically begging in need of work and cash money before the new year. I wasn’t getting the impression that people want money to buy gifts, but they are trying to survive in preparation for January to pay their mortgage or rent, utilities, and groceries. But it’s Craigslist and you don’t really know what’s legitimate and what’s not.
But here’s what I do know…the activity on the site was very telling in that time continually moves forward even if a very large population has stopped for a few hours to relax, spread goodwill and celebrate for Christmas. There are people in need; people still on the grind. It never really stops for some, does it?
Of course the answer is no, but sometimes you have to make it stop to get off, gain perspective and create new clarity on what’s really important. And that’s what this time of year does for many people. It allows them to connect to what really matters in life amidst successes, failures, and uncertainty because no matter what is going on, time is constant and is always moving forward, never backwards, never waiting on anyone.
So, as I sign off the computer for the night (or morn), I’m intentionally and consciously stopping my search for freelance projects and refocusing my attention to family. I’m also wishing everyone a Merry Christmas or Happy Whatever Brings You Peace and Joy right in this very moment. I will see you back on the grind soon, maybe as early as December 26. Peace…
Dating has its challenges and becomes even trickier during the holidays. Factor in an awkward lack of dating skills and one could find themselves alone and lonely. With back to back holiday celebrations such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, News Year’s Eve, with Valentine’s Day arriving shortly thereafter, it’s no wonder a single person can feel helplessly hopeless. But then there’s online dating, and that, too can be challenging, especially for someone newly single from a marriage or long term relationship. According to dating industry stats at datingreviewsites.com, men seem to take the biggest hit when meeting someone online because they make 80% of the initial contacts with only 25% response rate. That’s a lot of rejection and pressure if a man is really seeking a serious relationship. It would lead a man (and women) to wonder what he could be doing wrong.
According to relationship expert George Reagan, dating for a man is all perspective, preparation and having a game plan, he shares in his new book Masterdate: The Handy Guide to Internet Dating for Guys. The 150+ page book is a quick read and fun “how to” guide with a lot of practical advice and solid information such as writing a good online profile, tips on how to effectively search online for someone with common goals and interests, how to easily relate to women, writing the first email, and what should happen during your first meeting. George is an excellent, methodical and prolific writer who mastered success in online dating and wants to share his secrets with guys about how easy, fun and rewarding dating can be. I will admit that initially I was turned off by the title “Masterdate” because I thought he was presenting an innocuous sex guide cloaked under the guise of dating tips and would be a tongue-in-cheek dating advice tips. For example, he includes highlighted sections throughout the book called
T&A but it’s really his effort to share his exciting Tales/stories and Advice so guys don’t make some of the same mistakes he initially made. I quickly recognized that George is marketing genius for creating imagery, illusion and interest in his book. After all, sex is a major goal for men and successful dating helps them eventually reach their goal, so George speaks their language to keep the interest. But what George has really created in 13 engaging chapters is a no-holds barred honest male perspective on dating that begins with asking men to become their own harsh critic. Any man that is truly serious about getting out of a dating rut or just to begin dating again and finding love, will not want to put this book down. Even as a woman, I found it to be a very insightful look at dating from a male perspective and have recommended it as a resource for men inquiring about love advice.
With 2015 knocking at the back door, what are you waiting for? If you know a man (a sibling, best friend) struggling with the dating scene or new to dating, he may just need a nudge, so here’s a great gift to share this holiday season. After all, everyone deserves #finding4reallove, and Masterdate provides the required knowledge, technique, and advice to effectively prepare them for optimum dating success.
As mid-term campaigning winds down for this week’s election, I am reminded of how public debates can be divisive and subjective, with people taking sides and having strong opinions. But the public debate that most caught my attention was not who would be the next U.S. Senator or local influential politician, but was the story of Brittany Maynard’s “Death With Dignity” decision. Initially, I read a blog post about Ms. Maynard’s decision to end her life after through medical intervention after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and six months to live. The post questioned whether Ms. Maynard’s decision was a sin. Since I initially read that post, Ms. Maynard reserved her right to delay her decision because “it doesn’t seem like the right time right now.” And ultimately, she did make the decision on November 1 to die with dignity, according to People Magazine.
For me, Ms. Brittany’s decisions showed courage and bravery because she chose to experience the fullness of her life and began to intently pay attention to the small details in life. She did not sidestep the conversation about death but put a face on it and opened up her life for the world to experience her very personal, unscripted reality on national television. I make no judgments for or against her decision but instead respect that she took a stand that she believed in and helped to create national exposure about something that we all are going to experience in some form or another: DEATH.
No one really wants to talk about death; it makes us uncomfortable. At least until we are faced with it and have no choice but to deal with it. I imagine that Brittany and her family experienced many different emotions, but what was even clearer to Brittany was the physical and emotional pain she was feeling. Her body was shutting down, and to the extent that she wanted to experience some peace about dying, she found comfort in a manner that suited her best. It may not be the most popular decision, but it was her decision, nonetheless.
Of course, her choice made her life fair game for open, public debate and criticism about the right to die, death with dignity, suicide and, of course, sin. But were the debates for selfish purposes, like proving a religious viewpoint or perhaps in hopes of creating healthy dialogue about end of life decisions? Because this is what we really do know: we are all going to die one day! Hopefully, for us it will occur naturally and peacefully, but it could happen terminally or tragically. We just don’t know how death will confront us, and that’s something that can’t be debated. Instead, what we could individually consider debating is whether our marker will read “Lived intently and with courage” or “Lived in fear and with regret.”
How will your marker read?
Sometimes we have to accept that everything in life is not supposed to happen as quickly as taking a Selfie and instantly posting it to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, or better yet, doing a Google Search on “finding easy ways to forgive.” Just ask anyone still reeling from some type of betrayal; forgiveness can often be much more complicated.
Nonetheless, in a recent Huffington Post article on eight reasons forgiveness is good for your health, the author clearly outlined the spiritual, mental and relational reasons that forgiveness is good for overall wellbeing. And I must admit, the reality is, the very act of forgiveness IS a good thing because it really is about YOU and not the other person. Why? Because it allows for forward movement in one’s life rather than being stuck in a place and time of pain and hurt.
Forgiving can hurt, too
But the problem often with articles on forgiveness is that it appears that the act should occur immediately suggesting that it’s not okay to feel the sting of betrayal or anger from a wrong. Unless we are talking about some minor trivial infractions, the real truth is the severity of the situation can often dictate the forgiveness factor, and it can just take time, and that IS okay. After all, truly forgiving someone is a psychological and emotional process that is, described by the American Psychological Association, voluntary or intentional, and involves working through emotions such as feelings of betrayal, anger, sadness, hurt, pain, and just simply grieving. To suggest otherwise is challenging a person’s right to experience their own emotional complexities and denying their personal rite of passage into the dark side of real life human nature.
So just when is the right time?
There is no “right” time; no one wants to be or stay mad, angry or hurt. But the best time may be when the individual has the willingness to work through the process. A lot of forgiveness deals with holding on to the actual act of feeling wronged and not wanting to give a pass to the person. Ask any psychologist or therapist and they can share how painstakingly prevalent this belief system exists within one’s psyche. However, another Huffington Post author makes an argument against forgiveness and suggests saving it for those who have earned your forgiveness. And that could work, too, if emotionally not forgiving someone doesn’t keep you stuck. We are all different so there is no magical one size fits all approach through life’s interesting journeys.
How About self-forgiveness instead?
However, if a person is really struggling with the when, why, where and how of forgiveness, maybe, just maybe, instead of the focus being on forgiving the other person, try forgiving yourself. In a 2005 research study by Hall and Fincham, the authors describe aspects of self-forgiveness in a social science context as a show of self-love and respect, and from a psychological perspective as a set of motivational changes to decreasingly avoid feelings toward the offense and retaliate against self, while instead acting benevolently towards self). Now, major aspects of this study suggest that self-forgiveness is cloaked in a self-perpetuated wrong-doing, but this is not always the case when someone feels legitimately wronged.
Even when you didn’t deserve the wrong treatment, forgive yourself for being blindsided by the other person’s behavior. While it never feels good, “ish” just happens sometimes to us. When you forgive yourself, you own your emotions and decisions, and that allows you to determine when and how you move on from that moment in time. Self forgiveness is also cathartic and self empowering because it shows courage and strength of one’s character, as Mahatma Ghandi eloquently quoted when he said, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.”
As in any process, self forgiveness will take time, too. But allow yourself that time because as you forgive yourself you also derive equal healthy benefits that enrich your life’s emotional and physical well-being as in forgiving someone else, only without the guilt and resentment of giving someone else a free pass. You will feel better about yourself, your decision making, and gain the confidence needed to stay in the moment for making the choices that best define your life experiences. And that, my dear, is always the right time.