Monday, July 28, 2008

Become the Change You Wish to See

On July 2nd we had the awesome good fortune to see Melissa Etheridge perform at the Cape Cod Melody Tent. This is the most amazing venue. The stage is a circle in the center of the tent (think circus tent) and there are 20 rows of seats. Every seat in the house is a GREAT seat because the stage very slowly revolves so that the performer is facing everyone at various points in the show.

Prior to the show I had been "stressed". I was giving my work worries too much power over everything in my life. I was going to the doctor for chest pain that turned out to be an ulcer. I was becoming conscious of being miserable and not liking the person I was with others. I spent the beginning of the vacation daydreaming and focusing on how I could change jobs, have a job that was like being on vacation, not working so hard; essentially how could I get away from what was weighing me down.

Melissa's concert was titled The Revival Tour 2008 because she was wanting to share "The Awakening" she experienced during her chemo and beyond. She had an opportunity to re-examine her life as she faced losing it, and discovered new realities and priorities, including a new spirituality.

There are so many words, phrases, ideas that spoke to me from this concert (that are on The Awakening album); "God is in the people"; "If not now, when? If not today, then what happens tomorrow?"; "Truth is of the people, By the people, For the people". With so many positive, life affirming messages, I found myself realizing that I didn't need to change what was outside me (my job) but what was inside me (my attitude). This spoke so powerfully to me; "If you become the change you wish to see, you change". (from "What happens tomorrow")

I have a choice how I respond to every situation, whether I see it as a problem or an opportunity, whether I focus on my distress or focus on my blessings, whether when asked "how are you?" I take the time to think of something uplifting to say, for myself and the person who asked, or just go with my standard, "busy". I realized that by changing the message I am sending myself (and everyone around me) I could change what I was experiencing. One of the reasons I started this blog was to help keep my focus positive. I've purposely selected music for the playlist that reinforces positive thinking.

It WORKS! Since making the commitment to Be Positive, I have seen my stress go down and my joy go up. No more ulcer meds, no more coming home grumpy bear, no more feeling dissatisfied with my job, no more not liking the person I was becoming. I now have room in my head and my heart to think more about sharing this joy with others and spreading the Good News. God is Good All the Time! God Loves Us, is Always with Us. And we meet him every moment of every day in the people we encounter. How Cool is that?! Every moment is a gift. We say Thank You for that gift by making our lives a celebration of all the grace and blessings we've received.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Truth

Click on the picture to the right to view a procative narration of The Truth. Before you go to this link to view this clip, I need to offer the disclaimer that it may sound contrary to the philosophy and beliefs of this blog; watch it through to the end. And remember, things are not always what they appear.

Monday, July 21, 2008

No Complaining

I found this article on the Guideposts website and thought it fit perfectly with Be Positive, so I've copied it to share. For more Positive Thinking inspiration, check on the Guideposts link on my Worth Checking Out list.

Six ways to build a more positive workplace.
By Jon Gordon Jacksonville, Florida

"Everyone complains from time to time. But mindless, chronic complaining is toxic in the workplace. It's linked to increased stress, reduced productivity, even client loss and lower profits. Why not institute the no complaining rule, like my friend Dwight Cooper did at his nurse staffing company PPR? Morale and client satisfaction went up, and PPR made Inc. magazine's list of fastest growing companies. By eliminating mindless complaints, real and justified complaints can be transformed into solutions. After all, every complaint represents an opportunity to turn a negative into a positive.

Some tips:
1. Hold a complaining fast.
Monitor your words and thoughts for a day. You'll be shocked at how many negative thoughts pop into your mind and out your mouth.

2. Add a positive.
Tack a 'but' onto a complaint, and make it a positive statement. For example, 'I don't like long meetings, but I do like bouncing ideas around with my coworkers.' Use complaints to identify likes as well as dislikes.

3. Turn complaints into solutions.
Brainstorm several solutions for every problem you point out, and bring your complaint (and ideas) to someone who is in a position to address it. Don't bother venting to those who can't help fix the problem; it only creates a negative atmosphere.

4. Focus on 'get to' instead of 'have to.'
Think, 'I get to work while so many are unemployed,' rather than harping on 'having to' go to work. Express gratitude instead of resentment, and share that gratitude with others.

5. Create a positive environment.
Communicate with coworkers, bosses and subordinates clearly. Gaps in communication cause the fear and helplessness that's behind most complaints. Put the no complaining rule into practice and create a system through which justified complaints are identified and tackled.

6. Celebrate success.
Each night before bed, write down one great thing about your day in a success journal. At work, highlight people who turned complaints into innovative solutions."

Friday, July 18, 2008


Have you ever noticed how we seem to have a hard time with quiet? We have music or the radio on in the car, we have our cell phones and our mp3 players, we have TV's in every room in the house. When there is a pause in conversation we are racking our brains trying to figure out what to say to fill the silence. Are we afraid to listen to ourselves think? I think we need more practice doing just that; listening to ourselves think. I think we need to pay attention to thoughts that are running through our mind. Not the endless list of "to do's", but the self talk, the messages we are telling our selves about what's happening to us or not, our reactions to others, our fears and stresses. Too often we accept as fact, that which is not.

Example, the price of gas is crazy high. I have fretted and worried about the financial strain of driving to work everyday. It adds stress to the rest of the challenges that come with going to work. I have complained and spent plenty of negative energy because of the increasing cost of filling the car with gas. I know I'm not alone. Then one day I paid attention to what I was thinking and realized, I had choices. I could carpool. While it seemed inconvenient and could pose some lack of independence issues, I decided it was worth trying. What I was seeing as a problem, I reframed to see as an opportunity. And I'm glad I did. Now my half hour drive to work goes by so quickly. Not only am I saving money on gas, contributing fewer carbon emissions to the planet, but I'm listening and sharing and relating to another human being in a way we don't often make time to do. I feel great when I get to work and get home. Carpooling has literally lightened my load. While it may seem simplistic, it's an example of listening to my self and recognizing the need to make a change.

Take time to listen to yourself think. If you hear negative, defeatist, frustrated, anxious and fearful thoughts, question what other choices you have. Is this problem an opportunity waiting to be discovered? Does a fear present an opportunity to exercise faith? Can you choose another perspective that will bring you more peace, more joy? Do you recognize that your perception may not be the only possible reality?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Not Alone

"We don't have it all together, but together we have it all." Good friends gave us a sign that hangs in our house with this message. Sometimes we forget how much lighter the load when shared. That goes for offering to help as well as accepting support. (At this very moment, I have to say how time spent in the company of someone who values you, with no words, no actions, just presence can be an amazing balm to the soul.)

I have to thank my dear friend Greg (of Midnight Garden fame) for his help and encouragement to get this blog up and running. His blog was such an inspiration that I wanted to give it a try. My BE POSITIVE reminders are more for me than anything or anyone. As I come here every day to check the blog, listen to the playlist, and compose something, my mind focuses on what's good, what brings joy, how to share that peace. I go to a better place in my mind, heart and soul and it stays with me long after I log off.

Can you do something to bring some light, joy, tenderness to another person? If you are down, pick somebody else up. You'll be amazed.

Ruby Slippers

Are they the most amazing shoes you've ever seen? Haven't you ALWAYS wanted a pair? Didn't you love the image of the Wicked Witch's feet sticking out from under Dorothy's house with the magical ruby slippers showing?

At the end of the Wizard of Oz, The Good Witch tells Dorothy that all she has to do is click her heels three times to go home. Glinda tells Dorothy she had what she needed all along. I love that message - You have what you need, you just need to use it. We all have so much power to make our lives what we want them to be. Dorothy dreamed of going back over the rainbow; home. And while she wandered all over Oz, trying to figure out how to get there, she carried the ability to go the whole time.

We look in so many places before we look inside. So often, the answer is within. What have you been looking for?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Here Kitty, Kitty

We do love our Kitties. First, let me introduce the newest addition to the family, Delilah. She's just a little over a year old. We got her as a 6 week old kitten and she has been our delight every moment since. She fetches her little fur mousies, which I will try to capture on video and post another time. We have nicknamed her Dilly Girl. We've had enough bad experiences with cats when they are out of doors, that we've decided to keep Dilly an indoor cat. Most of the time she doesn't know the difference, but there are moments when the other cats go out that you know she's wondering what she's missing.

Skitty is actually our oldest cat, and in a way the reason we got Delilah. 2 years ago we moved into this house. When we did, Skitty kept running away and going back to our old house. We fetched her and brought her home many times. Once the cold weather came, she stopped running away. However, the following year, she took off Memorial Day weekend. Our old neighbors never called to say she was back in the old neighborhood, so we assumed the worst. Eventually we decided we needed to fill our kitty void with a kitten, and got Delilah. Then the first snowfall came, and home came Skitty.

BJ (Black Jack) is our high adventure kitty. He stops by to eat, sleep and off he goes. He got hit by a car once, and a passerby had the good sense to bring him to the Humane Society where we had adopted him, and they had microchipped him. It meant they could get ahold of us in time for us to take him to the Animal Hospital so he could be in Kitty Intensive Care for a week, getting his jaw wired back together. Other than a very crooked smile, he's as good as new. And it hasn't deterred his adventuring one bit.

And then there's Isaac. I will say he's our laziest cat. But in his defense, he wasn't always that way. Some years ago, Isaac was gone on a kitty day out, but never came home. We went looking for him and finally found him 11 days later up a tree, way up! We had to get a tree service guy to come and climb the tree with gear and harnesses and everything to get up to rescue Isaac. Isaac has never gone anywhere since. He's played it safe and barely moved inside the house as well.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Letting Go

I can be a control freak. I have a "healthy" sense of my own ability to do everything. But then reality creeps in and I find myself in situations that I can't control, fix or handle. These are necessary reminders that I am mortal, and that I do in fact depend entirely on God. The funny thing is that when I remember that, I actually feel so much better. The mere act of remembering God travels on our journey and shares all our burdens, is enough to lighten the load. But more than just realizing I'm not alone, I need to make a conscious decision to turn to God and surrender. I saw a sun catcher once that was imprinted, "Let Go and Let God". I still see that green glass sparkling in the sun as I am recognizing a worry or stress as an opportunity to "let it go" and turn it over to God, knowing that only He can truly control, fix or handle anything.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Getting Started

I'm very fond of saying, "It's all in what you tell yourself". It means that what we think can change how we experience reality. If we expect the best, it's much easier to see good things. If we tell ourselves, we are going to be stressed, it's hard to feel calm.