Category Archives: Positive Psychology

Live This Day

Live this day as if it will be your last. Remember that you will only find ”tomorrow” on the calendars of fools. Forget yesterday’s defeats and ignore the problems of tomorrow. This is it. Doomsday. All you have. Make it the best day of your year. The saddest words you can ever utter are, ”If I had my life to live over again. ”Take the baton, now. Run with it! This is your day! Beginning today, treat everyone you meet, friend or foe, loved one or stranger, as if they were going to be dead at midnight. Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care and kindness and understanding and love that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again. – Og Mandino

Wow! This quote blew me away. I don’t see how to add much to it. It’s perfect.

Live this day like Og Mandino suggests. I’m starting now.

Michael

Take a Day

Take a day to heal from the lies you’ve told yourself and the ones that have been told to you. – Maya Angelo

Lies can be pervasive and subtly undermine your ability to be who you truly are. They come from a variety of places, but most come from our own minds, our own thoughts. Sometimes we may not realize the lies we tell ourselves. It’s a form of habitual thinking that becomes almost unconscious. One way to start making them conscious is to ask yourself some thought-provoking questions. Here are a few to get you started:

  • What guilty feelings do you have for decisions made in the past?
  • What is your overall view of yourself?
  • Do you accept who you are? (that means all parts, positive and negative)
  • What are some of your deepest fears? This is important because most of the time we view ourselves negatively based on our fears.
  • What things haven’t you tried because of lack of belief, ability and etc.?
  • What 3 things seem to affect your self-worth?
  • What are you not doing that you absolutely love to do? What are the beliefs that are stopping you from doing it?

So, take a day. Stop the lies for a few hours. Say what you mean. Be who you want to be. Do what you want to do. Just for a day. Try it out. See how it feels.

Michael

Beehive

This morning I read Jennifer Louden’s blog http://feeds.feedburner.com/LoudenMouth

I like the ideas she discusses:  Being present, even when your heart is crumbling. Resourcing, being able to draw on something larger than yourself (myself) to be nurtured, soothed. Lastly, declaring your own pattern for the week.  So, how about it?  Read her blog and let me know, what pattern can you lovingly notice about yourself?

The pattern I will lovingly (that’s the key) notice this week is the brain-swarm I get into,  (just imagine bees in your brain)…and when I notice the sound that resembles a giant hive, I’ll focus on my breathing.

Namaste’

Flo

Parallel Friends

A true friend knows your weaknesses but shows you your strengths; feels your fears but fortifies your faith; sees your anxieties but frees your spirit; recognizes your disabilities but emphasizes your possibilities. – William Arthur Ward

I am so appreciative of my close friends. One of the reasons I feel abundant in my life is because of them. Many times we seem to lead parallel lives. I find this very interesting.

This morning, I was talking with my one of my closest friends who lives in London. We were talking about some experiences that she has been having over the last several weeks which were similar to some I had been having in my own life. Within the one hour conversation, we both seemed to jump past some blocks we had been experiencing and moved past to calmer ground.  It was an exhilarating feeling.

Nat and I seem to constantly have this sharing of life’s lessons. The themes are the same and seem to occur at about the same time. But, the difference is that we are coming from a completely different set of prior life experiences (personal history), very different backgrounds and upbringing, different religious/spiritual practices and we went to vastly different schools.

Because of the similar themes we can support each other during those moments when we need it. Due to the vast differences we are able to help each gain alternate perspectives which allows each of us to grow that much more.

It’s just one of the many gifts my friends bring me. I’m quite fortunate.

Michael

Snow storm

The first major snow storm of the winter blew through southeastern Massachusetts this afternoon just before dark. Two inches had fallen by nightfall, which happens before 5:00 p.m. these days. Because her plans came together late in the afternoon, I agreed to take my stepdaughter to a friend’s house just as the storm hit its wildest point.

We probably should have turned around when I realized just how bad the roads were, but by that time we were halfway there, and it would have been disappointing to my child not to finish the trip. The drive was a little scary, but mostly because my imagination tends to kick in when things start to feel out of control. I tried to push out of my mind the idea that I might make a wrong turn in the dark on the way home and drive off the road.

It’s a good lesson to remember every once in awhile that we sometimes choose to think things are worse than they are. It’s easy to do with so many examples in the news and in our lives of things turning awful. How much better, though, to move the opposite direction and envision things being even better than they seem.

Our street lost power tonight after I ate dinner, so here I was alone in a house without lights or an internet connection. After complaining about it on the phone with my wife, I climbed into bed with my laptop and watched a silly romantic comedy with the last of my laptop battery.

I guess the point I’m making is that I can get carried away hoping things don’t take a turn for the worse, when it would be every bit as logical to hope that things will take a turn for the better. This sounds like a superficial kind of pretend game, but I mean it seriously. Where we have the chance to make things better through our determination, I think we have a duty to do it.

Nothing is more important.

The power has just come back on in time for me to finish this before bedtime.

The Gift of Happiness

Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself. – Og Mandino

Note: Please check out my Best of Alaska Cruise photos. Hope you enjoy.

True happiness is within us. That’s a powerful statement. The implications are enormous and the least of which is that we truly have control of our happiness and the direction of our lives. We are raised differently of course and that is because the people that raised us forgot that fact.

So, all we have to do is to remember that we are responsible for our happiness, our lives and really the world we live in. We have more control than we know.

When we are happy, those feelings naturally spread to others. First and foremost from the example of how we are living our lives. Maybe a smile here and there. A hug when appropriate. A hearty laugh. A passion for life. Giving someone your time. Listening. Holding the door for someone.

We all want to be happy. Maybe some people have buried that fact deep within themselves, but I believe it’s always there.  Maybe you can help bring that out in others by being happy yourself. When they become happier it will probably spread to people they know. Before you know it, real social change has taken place.

I’ve begun. What about you?

Michael

Stop – Listen – Observe – Part 3

Stop. Listen. Observe. These three simple techniques either used singularly or together can be a great way to get more in touch with yourself and your world around you. I’ve used them successfully for years.

Observe. Observing is another way of increasing our information inflow. In the natural world, observing events can evoke powerful emotions or still our spirit. Think about the feelings you had when you stopped and observed a sunset. It’s almost inexplicable what happens when we watch natural phenomenon; sunsets, sunrises, waterfalls, campfires, clouds, animals in the wild, birds flying, the wind blowing tree leaves, ocean waves, lightening in a thunderstorm.

It connects us with the wider universe. We see our place in the great book called life. We understand how everything is connected. We feel humbled. Our spirits soar with the sheer beauty of what we are seeing. Observing nature energizes and gives us joy.

When we observe people, we begin to see the subtler meanings behind the words we are hearing. We start to understand the complexities of what we call ourselves. Remember that most communication is non-verbal and much comes from observation. The way someone moves when they talk. The way their posture shifts when speaking about difficult subjects. The connection we feel when we watch someone’s eyes as they speak from their hearts. They say that watching someone’s eyes is a gateway to their soul. There are definitely subtle, non-verbal things happening when we do this.

Observing ourselves can be challenging. It requires us to step out of our perpetual habit of ignorance. Observing ourselves is a key element in becoming something more. If we can observe ourselves in the same way we observe the world around us and others, we will gain a level of objectivity that will help us unlock our potential. Observing ourselves goes hand in hand with accepting who we are. As we accept who we are, the ability for us to be or go somewhere else dramatically increases.

Stop. Listen. Observe. Change your live in unlimited ways

Michael

Stop – Listen – Observe – Part 2

Stop. Listen. Observe. These three simple techniques either used singularly or together can be a great way to get more in touch with yourself and your world around you. I’ve used them successfully for years.

Listen. When you practice the art and skill of listening you gain additional information well beyond any other technique. Listening requires that you stop thinking and completely focus on the moment in front of you. We can listen to ourselves. We can listen to others. We can listen to the world around us.

Listening to ourselves makes a connection to our true being. We tend to ignore messages from internal sources, but they can be vital for our growth and well-being. All of us possess the knowledge needed to insure that we are on the right path and living our lives as happy as possible. We have all the answers we need to help us in any situation. It only requires that we stop and listen. The more we listen the more we will hear. Remember that the important messages are from the “voice” that is subtle, quiet and less imposing. It’s that fist thought we hear after asking a question. It’s the intuition to make a change in direction.

Listening to others is one of the most important skills to master for mature interactions with people. When we actively listen to others, we’re not thinking about our response or calculating our next verbal move. We are hearing what the other person is saying; how their tone enhances their words. We are completely focused on understanding their thoughts or the point that they are trying to get across. The more you listen, the more you will connect with others on levels beyond your current understanding.

Listening to the world around us is a great way to get out of ourselves, to connect with the natural world and become more informed about what is happening around us. Most of us walk around in a fog and don’t hear what is going on in our vicinity. We miss the richness of our world. We don’t hear sounds that could soothe us. We miss important messages that could protect us.

Practice the skill and art of listening every chance you get and watch how your level of understanding dramatically increases

Michael

Stop – Listen – Observe – Part 1

Stop. Listen. Observe. These three simple techniques either used singularly or together can be a great way to get more in touch with yourself and your world around you. I’ve used them successfully for years.

Stop. We live in a faced paced and hectic environment. Always rushing from one activity to the next and taking very little time to stop and notice what is around us. Stopping means to literally stop what you are doing and sit still for a few moments. Take a few deep breaths. Let yourself come down from the high created by frantic, nonstop activity.

Most of us do not take time for ourselves. We continually push forward, relentlessly going at break neck speeds until we are exhausted, sick or just simply numb. When we stop and allow ourselves to slow down we can regenerate our bodies, our emotional state, our minds and ultimately increase our spiritual connection.

The first time you use this technique could possibly cause distressing feelings. When we are used to constantly moving and suddenly we stop, inertia kicks in and tries to keep us moving. Our minds work on overtime. We feel like we are missing something. We feel like we should be doing something, anything. We feel like we are wasting time. We feel disoriented. We are momentarily confused until we get used to the new pace.

Stopping is so vital to our well-being. When we stop and simply relax into the moment we re-charge our batteries. We gain increased perspective and get a hint that there may be more to life than we previously guessed.

Make stopping a regular part of your day. You can stop for as many times as you need. In fact, the more times you stop the better. It only takes a few minutes at a time. You’ll be surprised at how easy this gets as you practice; just like anything else.

Michael

Unconditional Acceptance

Total, unconditional acceptance of yourself is the first step in building a positive self-image. – Nido Qubein

Don’t you find this interesting? Unconditional acceptance of yourself is the first step of building a positive self-image, not the end result. As I think about this quote, the more it makes a lot of sense to me.

Anything you can’t accept about yourself keeps you in a place that holds you back from that positive self-image. Most of us have trouble accepting the parts of ourselves that we don’t like or judge too harshly. I know that sounds very obvious, but sometimes the obvious needs to be stated out loud to shake us up and make us think a bit. Unconditional acceptance means we accept or like every single thing about ourselves; all of our physical flaws, our choices, our behaviors, our heritage and our actions to name a few. Remember you cannot change anything until you accept it. Once you accept something, you can then move past it and make changes if you so desire.

Sometimes, consciously recognizing things you like about yourself is a good start for accepting things you currently don’t like. You can do this out loud or use your internal dialog. Once you get comfortable with this practice, start on something small that you don’t like about yourself. Find ways to accept where you are with it. In other words, don’t view the “problem” as a permanent thing but something more transitory. Once you find ways to accept these things about yourself, you will find that the realm of possibilities for change increases, solely due to the shift in your attitude.

Good luck with this important personal work.

Michael