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Posts Tagged ‘appreciate’

Doesn’t It Feel Good?

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

If you wanted to make someone feel good, how would you accomplish that? Instead of trying to imagine what another person would enjoy, think first about what makes you feel good.

Everyone has their peculiarities. They like mustard on pretzels. Or prefer the color green instead of red. Wine tops beer every time. But consider the similarities we share. What makes you feel good?

      Being called by your name.

      Getting a sincere compliment.

      Receiving an unexpected gift.

All simple gestures that feel wonderful and boost you self esteem. What everyone likes is to be noticed and appreciated. How many times in your day could you make the effort to remember someone's name and repeat it back to them? When you notice that a person looks great wearing a particular color, why not tell them? Next time you see a little something in the store and think to yourself, "she would love that," add it to your purchases and make her day.

What do you like?

To feel good. Pass it on.


"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around"

Leo Buscaglia

Unintended Drama

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Don't we love to be entertained? Sometimes scared? Shaken out of our daily doldrums? That's why we line up to see the latest movie thriller. And that's why we are frantic if we aren't in front of our big screen TV for the newest episode of our favorite weekly drama series.

But we never imagined the ferocity of the unintended reality show that has just occurred. The broadcast is surreal. We are so accustomed to be shocked and appalled by the eccentricities of our fellow humans, yet this debacle is not human made. The storm of the century.

All the forces of nature combined with the perfect celestial timing to create this scene of devastation. Floating vehicles, boats marooned on sidewalks, unforgiving water depths engulfing streets, and freakish fires obliterating entire neighborhoods. This panorama rivals any Hollywood production.

Yet soon you'll change the channel.

The water will recede.

The vehicles will be scrapped.

And most of us, miles away, will resume our daily doldrums.

The thing about being entertained, or frightened, or shocked is that we get accustomed to the high of it. We crave it. And then it's over till the next time.

As you're fascinated by the telling and retelling of the stories and your eyes are glued to the images of destruction and despair, remember what is human about those stories and the haunting scenes.

Can you put yourself for a moment into a feeling of compassion?

Can you feel gratitude for all that you have?

Can you appreciate the common bond that you share with all people?

Loss of property, extreme discomfort, prolonged inconvenience, these are all, by the grace of God, bearable. But not abandonment.

Do what you can with your thoughts, your prayers, your time and attention. And realize what happens to one of us, happens to all of us.

We are all touched by the ripples from a single drop.


"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.
Without them humanity cannot survive."
Dalai Lama

Still Grateful

Friday, September 7th, 2012

It's been awhile since I mentioned the importance of experiencing daily gratitude. The 30 Day Gratitude Challenge from early summer is still alive and well. That's what's so helpful about our calendar system. When one month is done, in 30 days more or less, another 30 days of gratitude begins.

The yearly calendar also gives us convenient big days, holidays and events to commemorate. Excuses to keep in touch.The events occur, a birthday, an anniversary, congratulations due. We think about someone who deserves appreciation, and just like that, the thought is gone.

It would have been nice to remember them, but you don't have any cards, or stamps, or time to look for any. Too bad, so sad, not just for the person you neglected, but also for yourself.

You have neglected your own true feelings of kindness and gratitude. You cannot give away what you do not feel for yourself.

Aren't you ready to treat yourself better than that? Honor yourself, love yourself, and you will be eager to give away to others the wonderful feeling of appreciation.

Oh yes, there's still the time issue. If you only had the time to get organized, you'd do a better job of remembering, right? What if you had an assistant to remind you of upcoming important days?

Someone who would keep an unlimited stock of cards for every occasion. Even have all the stamps you need and make sure your personalized messages got mailed on time. An assistant who is also a personal shopper when you'd like to include a gift.

We all deserve a personal assistant like that. And you can have one of your own for pennies a day.

So be grateful for the people in your life. Your time and organization excuses are gone. Just relax and express how you feel.

It's easy to share your gratitude. Your personal assistant is waiting here.


Everything in Life Happens for a Reason

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Everything in life happens for a reason. If you're struggling to discover why the current state of the economy is the way it is, think of it this way. This experience may hold a lesson for you.

Focus on all you have and how to enjoy it. Instead of getting the next new thing, it's OK to work with what you have, in your home and in your closet. Discover how to see things in a new way.

A simple way to see things differently is to take a photo. Just like looking at a picture of a room in a magazine, when you observe your own space in a photo, it distances you enough to be more objective. You see things you didn't notice while standing in the room.

The colors, the arrangement of the furniture, picture placement on the walls- what stands out? What obviously needs updating?

It could be a simple fix, like a can of paint, to create a color focus in your room. Or try moving a large piece of furniture to another wall. Relocate pictures and accessories from room to room. You will notice beautiful nuances you have overlooked for years.  

The photo technique works equally as well for your wardrobe. Try on an outfit in good lighting and snap the picture. When you see a photo of yourself it's easier to tell if that color or style is flattering.

Does the look reflect the real you? If not, declutter your closet and pass the item along to someone else.

Maybe the color is good, but something is missing. Experiment by adding some long forgotten jewelry. You probably have something in the bottom of a drawer from another decade. It may just be back in style.

As life observer, Wayne Dyer, reminds us, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

Gain a new appreciation for all you have and enjoy your new perspective!

Tell Me What You See

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

It's probably no coincidence I'm drawn to live in places with remarkable sunsets. For twenty five years it was the western sunset view across Lake Michigan. Now, I witness the nightly sunset celebration at the convergence of the Atlantic Ocean and the Florida Gulf in Key West. It's a sight that always captivates me.

This week, revisiting the "million dollar sunset" on Little Traverse Bay, I added another photo to my collection of sunset portraits. I didn't notice at the time I snapped the photo a phenomena in the sky that was also captured.

Take a look.

What do you see?

Is it a reflection? An apparition? A peek in to the heavens? The shape shows up in a series of photos, and seems to move across the sky, getting smaller and disappearing before the sun sank below the waterline. 

I believe what I saw was Wonderment. Something that appears to all of us yet we seldom take time to see it. Or appreciate it. Or share it. 

Now you have seen it, too!

Day Twenty One of the 30 Day Gratitude Challenge

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

 If you've ever had entrepreneurial aspirations, you may also live in the illusion that you can do everything yourself. Day Twenty One of the 30 Day Gratitude Challenge, I appreciate someone who finally convinced me it's O.K. to ask for help.

Sure I can do it all myself – illusions die hard. The lesson in reality I slowly learned is -someone else may do a better, faster or more creative job. When I stopped to consider, what is the best use of my time, and I let go of the need to control everything, my world worked much better.

What are you hanging on to doing yourself that's really not your strength? Look around you. There are people who are competent, willing and happy to help. Just ask. 

Day Seventeen of the 30 Day Gratitude Challenge

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

We like to believe we can do all things. The seventeenth day of the 30 Day Gratitude Challenge, I appreciate the person who does those technical, hardware things I do not  "get."

When I push the On button, I just want it to work. When it doesn't, it used to cause me hours frustration as I tried to figure it out.

I found the first step to enlightenment is admitting what you don't know and being O.K. with that. As some wise person said "Why should I spend my time learning everything when I am surrounded by people who know the answers."

Who you gonna call? Me too.

Day Fifteen of the 30 Day Gratitude Challenge

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Halfway point of the 30 day Gratitude Challenge. If it takes 21 days to create a habit,  what can you accomplish in fifteen?

Create a warm feeling of appreciation for fifteen people that went to their mailbox and discovered someone remembered them.

That's powerful. You have the power to celebrate someone that has touched your life. That connection with another human being is a joyous rendezvous for both of you.

Today, a person who brings sunshine to all who know her is in for a surprise.

Start your own 30 Day Gratitude Challenge. It's habit forming.

Day Twelve of the 30 Day Gratitude Challenge

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

Do you ever find yourself  living vicariously through the adventures of another? Day twelve of the 30 Day Gratitude Challenge, I am thankful for someone whose life adventures are always interesting and inspiring.

Not a reality show, but her real life. "Things" have no appeal for her. What she values are life experiences. Travel, history, and the study of other cultures is her currency of choice. Why buy the latest do-dad when she can own a new experience?

What a great way to live life- attentive to the experience of living. Joie de Vie.

I appreciate her inspiring example in choosing priorities.

Day Eleven of the 30 Day Gratitude Challenge

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

 Birthdays have always been a cause for celebration in my family. This week is no exception as we celebrated my sister's birthday at the historic English Inn, a charming bed and breakfast restaurant.

On the eleventh day of the 30 Day Gratitude Challenge, I'm sending owner, Erik Nelson, a note of appreciation for helping to make our experience so special.

We come to expect a level of service and are often disappointed when businesses don't meet our expectations. When they do meet and happily exceed expectations, as they did at The English Inn, it's another cause to celebrate. 

Tell Me More

Mary Ellen Lapp reveals how the colors we wear, and the colors that surround us, even the color of the car we drive, impact out self image and affects how we are seen by the people around us.

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