Saturday, May 31, 2014
by Maya Angelou
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
RIP precious mentor, teacher, author and so much more
Thursday, May 29, 2014
On another challenge I participate in The Daily Challenge as do a couple other Campers, this is today’s challenge -
Hold a 5-minute meeting with yourself to check in on your goals for the year.
How to do it
Take five minutes to check in with yourself on any goals you made at the beginning of this year. Have any setbacks made it harder for you to complete your goals? What's in store for the second half of the year? Use this time to look back on the first six months of 2014 and think ahead on what you hope to accomplish before the end of the year.
Why it matters
Financial experts recommend a mid-year check-up for your taxes, investments, and other money matters. You can take the same approach with your personal goals and expectations for the year. If there's something you want to achieve in 2014, you still have half the year to make it happen! A mid-year meeting is one way to ensure that when December rolls around, you can look back on the year and feel satisfied with what you've accomplished.
Back at the beginning of the year now nearly half gone, I posted this blog with a new to me idea and while I am still not meeting my goals regularly, this method does help me not just throw up my hands in despair and give up entirely.
We can start a year with certain plans, hopes, and dreams. But a year is a long time. In a year we could easily forget or lose motivation for what we started the year desiring in our hearts. Or perhaps we will end up needing something new. If I have learned any one thing it is that life changes.
Perhaps that is why I don’t choose to look at this year as one vast expanse of time ahead of me. Instead, I want nothing more than to be present for the day ahead. To have intention for my day ahead – determined by where I am now, what my heart desires now, what my body needs now, what those I love need now.
I think I have spent so many years trying to achieve, achieve, achieve. Yet I have seen that when we let go a little bit, take things as they come, remain present, and proceed bit by bit, it is then we fulfill our hopes and can watch things happen.
I don’t suggest having no goals or plans for this coming year. I have some myself. I still find it helpful to consider what you want to achieve and to set up the SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-oriented) approach to them. What I encourage you to consider today, though, is to not get so caught up in the entire year and get so lost in the big vision that you forget about TODAY.
Have your goals and know the intention behind each. Is it your health? Your confidence? Your happiness in work? Your joy in relationships? Your passion for a certain activity or dream? Know the intention and then reflect each day on how you can live out that intention that day.
What if every day were like New Years Day? After all, January 1st 2014 is just another day. Just like the 364 to follow it. Treat them all with the same hope and sense of renewal. Give them all the same attention to intention. Then watch yourself soar.
What are some of your goals and the intentions behind them? How do you think approaching the year day by day can help you with your goals?
So go ahead and have a 5-minute meeting with yourself and assess where you are and where you want to soar!
Sunday, February 02, 2014
A month has passed since some made their "NEW YEAR" resolutions. How did you do? Did you head into 2014 with a plan and it's already gone beside the way or are you living it?
I have been overindulging for decades in many ways.
Many have been over eating, over drinking, over spending, under exercising, generally engorging themselves on life with the idea that come January 1st they will put an immediate end to it all. They will do this by merely invoking their New Year’s resolutions.
You see, I have a big problem with resolutions. They are for the most part unattainable. By turning one page of the calendar you cannot break firmly engrained bad habits.
Realistically you cannot vow to start going to the gym five days a week when historically you have gone once or twice then stopped.
Little known fact, but makes total sense, more people sign up for gym memberships during the month of January than any other time. Of course they do, for a brief moment, they are following through on their well – meaning resolutions. But by the end of February most people who signed up stop going all together, another hunk show up once every few weeks. The rest are MIA by March.
The basis of the recovery movement is a day at a time. Each day we have the chance to examine and amend our behavior.
What works about this principle is if you slip up, it’s one day. You are not falling off a giant wagon that you have declared will carry you for 365 days.
As we all know bad habits, old habits, all habits are hard to break. They require daily vigilance and diligence if we want to change them.
And if you fall back into old ways, as we all do; if you take a piece or three of pizza when you have sworn off carbs. Or snuck a Marlboro Light when you promised to quit smoking; or if you took out that over used Visa for a purchase you vowed you would not make; well, you are merely human.
But human nature, being human what we tend to do is go, “Oh well, I’ve botched the whole thing up now” and what can be taken as a momentary, singular tear in a resolution (if we must use that word) becomes a direct pathway right back to the old habits.
The Visa remains in use. The one cigarette gets turned into a pack and then another, until you’re right back to a pack a day. The pizza is followed by dessert and well what the hell, I will start the diet next week. Which often turns into next year, which translates into never. The single day you missed working out, is suddenly four, then four weeks, then WTF – why bother?
The advantage of a day at a time is you just say, OK, I’m not ruining a year with this one incident. I’m not undoing my whole new lifestyle.
I’m not stacking the deck totally against personal progress. I’m making it doable.
Habits are easy to return to once they are habits, and that works both ways, good habits and bad habits. If you get in the habit of taking care of yourself, eating well, working out, not over spending, whatever your Achilles heel might be it will be much easier to return to it even if there is a slip up.
But you can realistically only create those habits if you take it a day at a time. If you set yourself up by saying, “I will never eat another carb until June.” Well, that is not possible. Not for me. I say I try not to eat too many carbs. That is as good as I can do. I know will eat them, but I don’t set myself up to fail. If I’ve had more on one day than normal, I say tomorrow I cut way back, maybe tomorrow I have none. The day after I will see what happens. And it’s the way I live my life. Some days are better than others. If I said December 31st, “I am totally off carbs”, and by January 2nd I was at IHOP, it would likely be another year before I made that declaration. I would probably spend too much time at IHOP.
So, yes, we are all about self-improvement. Yes, we are all about making the most of our lives. Yes, we are all about owning our flaws and life-limiting habits and trying to correct them, to make our lives and the lives of those we love that much better.
But we are also realistic. And we know to live that way mandates a day at a time approach.
We are grateful we wake up each morning, not just January 1st with a clean slate. Whatever has gone on the day before is history and we have a whole new 24 hours to start again. And once those 24 hours start building, they become days and weeks and months. And then it’s January 31st again and you are in a much better place than you were the year before. And it didn’t happen because you resolved to never do anything again, but because you made the choice to live your life one day at a time.
You trust you will do the right thing and if you don’t you are grateful every day is a new slate. Ipso facto - if you live in the moment every day is January 1st.
Check out this system and see what you think. David Seah came up with Ground Hog Day Resolutions. davidseah.com/blog/2013/02/groundhog
-day-resolutions-2013-kick-off/ Brilliant really. You could do yours as GHDRR if you find this today or VDRR if you read it later. ANY time really you can pick it up and introduce a set of goals revisited MONTHLY.
If you start TODAY it would be
February 2 GHDR #1
Each month you check-in equal to that month's number on the calendar...
To make things easy, I’ve made the check-in date for each month equal to that month’s number on the calendar. For example, in April, my VDR review day (VDRR) is on the 4th. In May, the 5th and so forth. Therefore, my schedule looks like this:
March 3 — GHDR #2
April 4 – GHDR #3
May 5 – GHDR #4
June 6 – GHDR #5
July 7 – GHDR #6
August 8 –GHDR #7
September 9 – GHDR #8
October 10 – GHDR #9
November 11 –GHDR #10 Veteran's Day
December 12 – GHDR #11 End of Year
When you finish up in December you devote the rest of the month to holiday celebrations. If holidays coincide with the days use them for themed reflection. I love the one for Tanabata that Dave Seah uses. It is a Japanese holiday when one makes wishes for self improvement, written on streamers and placed on trees.
Veteran's Day is a day of remembrance, and we give thanks for freedoms enjoyed due to the sacrifice of others and as Dave says, gives additional resolve to push to the end.
The point is that there are so many ways for us to set ourselves up for success and celebrate and savor ALL the moments of every day!
P.S. The sun isn't up yet so no clue what Phil will predict for us. Hoping for an early spring; how about you?
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