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Posts Tagged ‘life’

What New for You?

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

ballAre you overwhelmed with all the advice to make your New Year resolutions today? To set your big goals for 2015? It happens every year- as predictable as the dropping of the Waterford crystal ball in Times Square.

And every year, it sounds like such great idea, doesn’t it? Begin the New Year in a new way. Replace those bad habits and failures of last year with a renewed zeal to move forward. Climb that mountain, loose that weight, quit that dead end job.

How many years have you thought of those great ideas?

Ideas, resolutions, goals.
On January 1, they are all the same; they represent an aspiration to be the best you can be.
But by January 31, or the 10th or even the 2nd, we realize the difference.

Ideas without action are daydreams.

How do you take that great idea beyond the daydream state?
Ask yourself if it’s what you really want in your life.

Can you see yourself doing, being or having the life experience you imagine?
Wouldn’t it be nice to see the view from the mountaintop?
Wouldn’t it feel wonderful to wear your skinny jeans?
Wouldn’t it be glorious to have your own business?

Sure, but can you see yourself taking the journey to get there?
What one action can you take today to begin that journey?
More importantly, what single action will you take every day going forward?

Make it doable, make it fun.
Buy the hiking shoes. Skip the cola today. Look into getting a business license.

Life is more enjoyable when you’re moving forward.

The turning point of an idea is committed action.
Before you know it, it’s a resolution.
You could even call it a goal.

It’s a New Year.
There’s no better time than today to live your new life.

Create the Best Memorial

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Remember Today

A memorial is defined as “something designed to preserve the memory of a person, event, etc., as a monument or a holiday.” The word is on everyone’s lips today. This day is set aside for the very purpose of remembering.

As if any human mind needs to be reminded of the past.

Our lives are a compilation of past events and remembrances. We use those memories constantly to justify our beliefs and to dictate our actions. Some of us choose to live in those “good old days” and discount the importance of the Now, of the moment we are in.

The events of our past are effective as tools for learning. What did we do in the past that brought us closer to our goals? Remembering that action will help us continue to succeed.

What misstep in our past produced an unfortunate result? The lesson we learned is always good to remember. Staying mired in the bad feelings, thoughts of inadequacy, of hopelessness, do not serve our highest good.

Allowing ourselves to live fearfully because of a past event will color our present choices with a veil of negativity. Keep the wheat; let go of the chaff.

As noted by Edmund Burke, “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”
Remember and honor those today who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. Celebrate all who continue to represent your interests.

Use the Now of this day to put those valuable lessons to use and move forward to create your life as a testament to the good that has been accomplished by those who have gone before you.

Your life, well lived is the finest Memorial.

I’m Directing This Flick

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Today is my favorite day of the year. The freshness of Spring is in the air, the birds are chirping, and, oh yes, today is also my Birthday.

As a child I never knew if the day would be spent playing outside with friends on the verdant, newly sprouted grass or cozied up inside with a round of hot chocolate for all as the early Spring winds blew whirlwinds of white snow off the two foot high snow banks outside. If I was still living in the north, this year I would be drinking hot chocolate today.

It’s a time of year full of surprises. Of course there are the April Fool’s Day pranks. My Grandmother would not believe it when my Dad told her my Mother had given birth to me. “I know what day it is,” she skeptically replied.

No joke. Here I am. And on this first day of the rest of my life, I’ve decided on a theme for the next 59 years.

“My life is a feel good movie of my own direction.” 

That means I choose to not include the drama, the tragedy and the fear that are part of all the other movies that people choose to live in everyday.

“But it’s not my fault,” is the common explanation on the lips of the victims of circumstances. Yes, it is easier to blame another for what happens in your life. When you do that, you give up your own control. Would you let someone push you out of the driver’s seat of your car and recklessly careen down the road? Of course not.

Your Life. It is Your Life.

Why allow someone else to drive you where you don’t want to go?

Nothing is more important than that you feel good. Like a feel good movie you want to see over and over again.

“Today, no matter where I am going, no matter what I am doing, no matter whom I am doing it with…nothing is more important than that I feel good.”  Abraham- Esther & Jerry Hicks

An Artist’s Expression of You

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

There’s a certain fascination with what artists do. While the rest of us breathe to live, they create just as naturally and with the same necessity. What is an artist who does not create?

Man Carrying Large PaintingLook in the mirror. Maybe it’s you.

Are you frustrated? Sometimes irritable? Feel like something’s missing in your life? All signs you are looking for creative expression and may not see the need or the opportunity in your daily life.

I don’t have any training.

I don’t own a paintbrush.

I’m not artistic.

Trying to be what you perceive you are not is unsettling. But if you think all artists must know how to paint, let’s turn that notion up side down.

Artists create their vision into outward expression. They release what is inside of them and create the image in tangible form. We celebrate the artist who paints, who writes, who performs. That same artistic opportunity is available to all of us. Our medium for creation is our mind. Our canvas for creation is our life.

All artists begin with an image in their mind of what they want to create. Not knowing every brushstroke, or every word to use, or movement they will make in the creative process, they begin with an intention to manifest in physical form what can no longer stay within them.

You are a creative being, an artist of your own life. Express the image of what’s inside you. Imagine your life. Create your life. Celebrate the artist that you are.


“True artists are almost the only men who do their work for pleasure.” Auguste Rodin

No Resolutions this New Year

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

You’re off the hook. No New Years resolutions are required this year. Resolutions, no matter how well your intention, don’t work. They’re too big, don’t feel natural and sometimes daunting. There is a much more effective way to begin your new year, one that guarantees success.

surprised babyIt’s called a Habit. Now before you run through a litany of excuses, think of all the bad habits developed over your life time that have been impossible to kick.

Biting your nails.

Being late.

Embellishing the truth.

That just shows you that habits, once adopted do not just go away.

What about the good habits? At some point in your life a parent drilled into you the habit of brushing your teeth every day. Now you naturally perform that habit without thinking.

After being embarrassed by a college roommate when I hadn’t shaved my legs in a week, I decided to make shaving my legs every day a habit. That simple action became and still is part of my daily grooming ritual. It makes me feel better about myself.

So back to this New Year. There may be something in your mind. You know, if you did it every day, your life would improve. But how, in your busy day, do you fit in one more thing?

The secret to creating a new, positive habit is to assign it a time slot.

The easiest way to find time is to link the action to a habit you already have.

Say you want to read an inspirational or self help book this year. No time as you rush through your morning- or is there? Prop a book up in your bathroom and read a few lines as you brush your teeth. Totally painless because you’re standing there, thinking about something anyway. Your day will undoubtedly be more pleasant.

You may have thought of resolving this year to be a better conversationalist, or to meet new people. No time to join a club or church. Instead make a habit of speaking to everyone you see, in the elevator or passing on the street. Just a hello or small talk is enough to stretch your social boundaries. It will also make the recipient of your gesture feel better about themselves. No telling where this could lead.

What else would you like to do in the New Year? Be more grateful? Add that to your nighttime ritual, just before you turn out the lights. Jot down a note to someone you appreciate- just a line or two will do. That simple habit will release endorphin into your system and you will sleep peacefully. And imagine the smile on their face when they open the mail box.

Our habits create our life.  Only you create your habits.


“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then is not an act, but a habit.”  Aristotle

A Week of Progress

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Doesn't seem like only a week ago, we were toasting the New Year and, with bright eyes, we were looking forward to the new possibilities for 2013. How's that going for you?

woman on dockOther than writing last year's date, have you released all that held you back, the doubts, the "what ifs," the can't be done attitude you repeatedly retreated to when confronted by a new idea?

Or is this first week of the new year a continuum of last year's excuses?

If I only had more time.

If I didn't have these other responsibilities.

The flip of the calendar page means nothing if you're not ready to turn the page and begin the next chapter of your life. 

Taking the lessons learned in the previous twelve months, garnering the best advice, and listening to the still small voice inside yourself, your new year will take you far beyond the last. For many years I have followed this significant tradition.

On New Year' Day, I excitedly open my new planner and record the pertinent information from my last planner. Birthdays, anniversaries, and other dates to remember are filled in, along with appointments and schedules committed to in the future.

I then review the notes I made in the previous year; ideas, observations and goals.

Are they still relevant?

What was accomplished?

What needs more attention this year?

This January ritual is helpful to organize the coming year. Yet it is also an exercise is congratulating myself for what I have done and how I have progressed over the past year.

I am eager to fill in the new pages with my plans and to document each day's accomplishments. Acknowledge all that gets you where you are today.

Remember this New Year is only days old. The dawn is still barely lighting your morning sky. Be kind to yourself and begin today to plan your life this year.

This calls for something new. Be new.

"Life stands before me like an eternal spring with new and brilliant clothes."
Carl Friedrich Gauss

Up In Flames

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

A New Year tradition at the Unity Spiritual Center is a ceremony called "Burning Bowls." In this early part of the year, as we tend to look at our life with the intention of improving, our self inspection also calls attention to frailties of character and bad habits that have impeded our progress. New Year's resolutions, after all, are all about making changes.

abstract fire on blackThe only way to improve is to change.

The best way to change is to release the things in our life that do not serve us.

The tradition of the Burning Bowls is a three step process. First, write down on paper those thoughts and feelings that have gotten in your way the past year. What, if no longer in your life, would free you to be the person you want to be?

Some examples may be-

Self doubt



A sense of lack

Make your list truthfully. It's for your eyes only.

Next, light a flame in a fireproof container, a burning bowl, a fireplace or chiminea. Consciously and with intention release the paper into the fire.

As your words are consumed by the cleansing flames, feel the lightness in your body. Those troubling thoughts and feelings have been released. You now have the space in your heart and in your conscious mind to replace what held you back with what you intend to create this new year.

Write a list of the things you will accomplish. With nothing to inhibit your progress, what unlimited goals can you create? Include the attributes that you now claim as your own to help you on your way.





This list describes the new you, free from whatever used to hold you back. A new You for the New Year.

The final step is to write a note of gratitude to yourself and to a higher power for the accomplishment of all you intend to be and to do. Write the note with the feelings and enthusiasm you would have in reaching your goals.

Seal this note in an envelope to be opened at the end of this year. Tuck it away with your holiday decorations, or give it to a friend who will return it to you eleven months from now.

Why? To experience the sense of amazement and gratitude when you read your note. The person you aspire to be is the person who will be reading your thank you note.

A few weeks ago, I opened and read the note I wrote to myself in January of last year. There are no coincidences. What I sought and was grateful for receiving at that time, is now in my life.

What you imagine, what you intend, you create.

Release what does not serve you and create the life you choose. Let the power of the flame obliterate the obstacles.

Your own power to create is limitless.


"Sometimes you get the best light from a burning bridge."
Don Henley

Fourth Floor Release

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Riding down the elevator on New Year's Day, the elevator stopped at the fourth floor. A casually dressed man got on, carrying a laundry hamper. I assumed he was on his way to a laundromat on his day off, even though the building is equipped with laundry facilities.

Abstract compositionWhen I mentioned that possibility, he said no. He and his wife were separating and he was taking his clothes and moving out. Oh. What a way to begin a new year.

Yet there is no better time to let go of what is not working in your life. January is a time of new beginnings and necessarily ending of the old to make room for new possibilities. Once ended, it makes no sense to revisit the past and hold on to what was.

Release is the natural progress that January requires of life. This month is new and translucent like early morning frost on the window. The way is not clear, yet the intricate patterns of possibility are mesmerizing. And shining through, lighting your way is the soft color of the dawn. Yes, you're facing the right way, forward.


"An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves."
Bill Vaughan

The Last Light Creates the First Dawn

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

The last sunset of December 2012. The final glorious rays caress the western sky and slip silently out of sight.The end.

Last Sunset 2012The promise of light begins a new year, January 2013, the beginning. Like the palest edge of the rainbow, dawn's light is warm and hued of pink. Pastel, gentle, newly committed in the morning sky.

Color not yet formed. Like the year ahead. Dawn's light, a tint of what is to come. Go easily into this day, your day of new beginnings. Dawn's light, a tint of what is to come.

Step lightly and immerse yourself in the warm glow of possibility.

The dawn falls softly on your face.

You are radiance.

January is the beginning. The month to explore newness. Enjoy the view from the top of the rainbow. From here you can see the life you dreamed about last year. It's closer now.

Follow the color of the dawn.


"The difficulties you meet will resolve themselves as you advance. Proceed, and light will dawn, and shine with increasing clearness on your path."
Jim Rohn

Let’s Live a Fun & Fulfilling Life

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

Time is running out for this 2012, or is it? The calendar keeps track of time and seems to make finite the days that comprise the months and describe the passing of the year. Yet as we found when time continued after December 21, the organization of time is an invention of man and only has meaning to the human mind.

Fortune Cookie with  FortuneYet there is some comfort in finishing a year. It's the last time you write "12" for the date, unless you count those times you forget in early January.

If the year was not as you wanted, you can breathe a sigh of relief. You're done with it! Now's the time to begin again. Make a fresh start.

If this year was promising for you, you see the coming year as a time to expand your success. You are eager to begin your new plans. Nothing can stop you now!

As you begin your new calendar called 2013, instead of resolving to exercise more, eat less, or any number of "should do" declarations that will never see the end of January, why not decide to do what you would really enjoy?

There's no rule that says resolutions need be painful. Here's my plan for the coming year and I'm sharing it with you.

Let's live a fun and fulfilling life.

No pain, only gain.

Enjoy your life.

Be who you want to be.

Every minute, each day, as the weeks turn into months and we finish out another year, leave no room for regret. It's truly the only way to guarantee a Happy New Year!


"Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man."
Benjamin Franklin

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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