Word-Of-the-Week #1041: Spontaneity

July 18, 2024 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #1041: Spontaneity 

Spontaneitythe ability to go with the flow.

How easy is it for you to “just go with the flow?” Do you find yourself so caught up in getting things accomplished or completing your to-do list that you have a hard time going with the flow? Do you get irritated, get angry or even worse, go into fits of rage when your plans don’t work the way you want them to?

Spontaneity is all about allowing yourself to accept what the universe puts in front of you. Sometimes you have no control over it. I love completing my to-do list and I love it when things work exactly as I have planned. But there are just times when no matter how hard I try, I encounter road blocks.

In order to deal with those little frustrations, I came up with a game that I call “Planned Spontaneity.” This game has saved me so much stress and unhappiness that I feel compelled to share it with you.

How many times have you had interruptions when you are traveling? I can’t tell you how many times one of my flights has been delayed or cancelled. And there isn’t anything that I can do about that. I have no control over the weather or mechanical failures. I don’t get to fly the plane! Nor am I qualified to do that!

And yet, I have seen people go into fits because a thunder storm has grounded the plane. Who wants to get on a plane that might crash? It always amazes me to see grown men and women have what appears to be a “temper tantrum” in public.

Before I travel I go right into my game of “Planned Spontaneity.” I do the same when I have company coming. When I set myself up to accept whatever happens, it is so easy to go with the flow.

Where in your life could you benefit by “Planned Spontaneity?” This week focus on going with the flow. How does it make you feel to not have a set plan and to experience being in the moment?

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Word-Of-the-Week #1040: Uncertainty

July 11, 2024 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #1040: Uncertainty 

Uncertaintythat which is not accurately known or predictable. 

This week I’m celebrating my WOW’s 20th anniversary! And this is the word that came up for me since I’m uncertain how many more there will be? 

How does it make you feel when a potential outcome is not predictable? Does it make you want to retreat or go for it? Would you feel any different if your life depended on it?

  • “Uncertainty is a potential, unpredictable, and uncontrollable outcome; risk is a consequence of action taken in spite of uncertainty.” – Wikipedia

I chose to again feature Alex Honnold. Any idea who he is? Did you happen to see the documentary Free Solo?

In June 2017, he became the first, and only person so far, to climb El Capitan without any ropes or safety gear. The 3,000-foot granite wall is higher than the tallest building in the world and towers majestically over California’s famed Yosemite Valley. Pretty incredible and sometimes hard to watch! 

These are some of my favorite quotes that I think everyone can relate too.

“If your life depended on it, would you keep doing what you’re doing…or would you change your strategy?” 

“You will always feel fear, but over time you will realize the only way to truly manage your fear is to broaden your comfort zone.” 

“I try to expand my comfort zone by practicing the moves over and over again. I work through the fear, until it’s just not scary anymore.” 

“The big challenge is controlling your mind, I guess. Because you’re not, you’re not controlling your fear, you’re sort of just trying to step outside of it.” 

“So I could just, like, not do certain things, but then you have, like, weird simmering resentment because it’s things that you love most in life have now been squashed.” 

And this from my long time speaker bud Steve Straus, “Life is uncertain.  

There are two ways to deal with life’s uncertainty. One is to fear it. The other is to enjoy it. 

Children have no concept of the future (or fear) so they gleefully experience the wonder and delight of uncertainty on a daily basis. 

The key question is, do you see the wonder and delight of uncertainty or the fear and doubt of an unknown and scary future? It really is only a choice you’ve made.

This week’s focus is on uncertainty. How good are you at controlling your mind in the face of fear? When was the last time you gleefully broadened your comfort zone? Have you ever felt resentment because you didn’t do something or were told you couldn’t or shouldn’t do it?

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Word-Of-the-Week #1039: Independence

July 4, 2024 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #1039: Independence 

Independence freedom from control or influence of others. 

Did you know that July 2nd was actually the day that the United States declared its independence from Great Britain? Are you thankful for your freedom?

While most people consider Memorial Day as the start of summer, those of us in So Cal feel like summer starts July 4th. Gray May & June Gloom means most days are overcast. But July is when we start seeing more sunshine. And summer typically means vacation time so I hope you are doing just that! I am keeping it short and simple for the next couple of weeks.

Independence Day FUN-facts from Wikipedia:

  • In a remarkable coincidence, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only signers of the Declaration of Independence later to serve as Presidents of the United States, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration.
  • Although not a signer of the Declaration of Independence, but another Founding Father who became a President, James Monroe, died on July 4, 1831, thus becoming the third President in a row who died on this memorable day.
  • Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President, was born on July 4, 1872, and, so far, is the only President to have been born on Independence Day.
  • In 1777, thirteen gunshots were fired in salute, once at morning and once again as evening fell, on July 4 in Bristol, Rhode Island. Philadelphia celebrated the first anniversary in a manner a modern American would find quite familiar: an official dinner for the Continental Congress, toasts, 13-gun salutes, speeches, prayers, music, parades, troop reviews, and fireworks. Ships were decked with red, white, and blue bunting.

  • In 1778, General George Washington marked July 4 with a double ration of rum for his soldiers and an artillery salute. Across the Atlantic Ocean, Ambassadors John Adams and Benjamin Franklin held a dinner for their fellow Americans in Paris, France.
  • In 1779, July 4 fell on a Sunday. The holiday was celebrated on Monday, July 5.
  • In 1781 the Massachusetts General Court became the first state legislature to recognize July 4 as a state celebration.
  • In 1783, Moravians in Salem, North Carolina, held a celebration of July 4 with a challenging music program assembled by Johann Friedrich Peter. This work was titled, “The Psalm of Joy”.
  • In 1791 the first recorded use of the name “Independence Day” occurred.
  • In 1820 the first Fourth of July celebration was held in Eastport, Maine which remains the largest in the state.
  • In 1870, the S. Congress made Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees.
  • In 1938, Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday.

This week’s focus is about celebrating Independence Day and our “unalienable Rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” I hope you have a fabulous & FUN day and appreciate how lucky you are to live in the best place on the entire planet. God Bless America! 

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Word-Of-the-Week #1038: Vacation

June 27, 2024 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #1038: Vacation 

Vacation time devoted to pleasure, rest, or relaxation. 

How much vacation have you taken this year? How much time do you devote each week for pleasure, rest or relaxation? Can you turn off all of your devices and just have some quiet time?

This week features “A vacation may be what the doctor orderedby Sarah Paper, LP, PsyD

More than 765 million vacation days have gone unused by Americans.

People in the U.S. are working more hours and taking less time off, which can add stress as well as mental and physical health challenges. When your job is overwhelming and your work-life balance feels out of whack, it’s time to ask yourself, “Should I go on vacation?” While I recognize that not everyone can afford to take a trip or the time away, if you can, you may find mind and body benefits. 

7 health benefits of taking a vacation 

Studies have shown that taking time away from the job and everyday stress can have physical and mental health benefits. Vacations are linked to:

  • Lower stress
  • Less risk of heart disease
  • Better outlook on life
  • More motivation to achieve goals

If you still need a little convincing, here is a list of some additional benefits of taking time away from work.

  1. Improved physical health: Stress can contribute to heart disease and high blood pressure. For both men and women, studies show that taking a vacation every two years compared to every six will lessen the risk of coronary heart disease or heart attacks.
  1. Improved mental health: The University of Pittsburgh’s Mind-Body Center found vacations increase pleasant emotions while reducing depression. Vacations also provide a greater opportunity to experience moments of awe, which have also been researched and found to generate a boost in mood.
  1. Greater well-being: One study found that three days after vacation, people’s physical complaints, quality of sleep and mood had improved compared to before vacation. These gains were still present five weeks later, especially in those who had more personal time and overall satisfaction during their vacation.
  1. Increased mental motivation: Studies have found that chronic stress can make it difficult to achieve certain tasks and cause memory problems. Taking time off can be like getting a tune-up for the brain, improving your mental health and cognition.
  1. Improved family relationships: One study found that couples who participated in interesting, challenging, and exciting activities on vacation experienced greater relationship intimacy and satisfaction even after returning home and resuming typical life routines. Vacations also can be a time for siblings to connect in ways they are not likely to do in day-to-day life.
  1. Less burnout: Employees who take regular time to relax are less likely to experience burnout, making them more creative and productive than their overworked, under-rested counterparts.
  1. Boosted happiness: Research shows even the process of planning a vacation can boost your happiness. Some people experience an elevated mood up to eight weeks before the trip.

The bottom line

Take a vacation if you can, even if it’s a staycation. Time away from the stresses of work and daily life can improve your health, relationships, job performance and perspective. A well-timed trip can help you feel refreshed and more prepared to handle whatever comes when you return.”

This week’s focus is about giving yourself permission to take a vacation. Do you ever feel burned out? When was the last time you experienced moments of awe? Would you like to have greater intimacy and satisfaction in your personal relationships? 

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Word-Of-the-Week #1037: Angry

June 20, 2024 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #1037: Angry 

Angry feeling or showing anger; incensed or enraged.

How well do you handle your feelings of anger? Are you able to express them without being reactive?

This week features another great article from The Better Newsletter by Sam Horn.

ANECDOTE

While doing interviews for my Talking on Eggshells book, this story stood out. 

“I let a friend use my lake cottage, for free. When I arrived the next weekend, I couldn’t believe what a mess he left! I’m so angry that I’m not sure I’ll ever talk to him again.” 

When someone takes advantage of our kindness, it’s important to address it instead of simmering in silence. 

After all, anger is our original warning system letting us know a line has been crossed.

 The thing is, some people have been intellectualized OUT of their anger. Somewhere along the line they were taught anger is an “unenlightened emotion.” 

What I’ve come to understand is that there are times when expressing our anger is not only appropriateit’s imperative!

The good news is, there are ways to express our anger responsibly rather than reactively. Get some helpful tips in our ACTION below. 

ACTION 

  • Reflect on how you “normally” handle anger?
    • Deny it. (I am not angry.”)
    • Pretend it doesn’t exist.  (It doesn’t bother me.”)
    • Excuse it.  (He didn’t mean to be mean.”)
    • Dismiss it.  (There’s no reason to get upset.”)
    • Dwell on it.  (I can’t stop thinking about what she did.”)
    • Brush it off.  (They’re just having a bad day.”)
    • Stuff it.  (I think I’ll eat some ice cream.”)
    • Sedate it.  (Make that drink a double.”)

Then download my free A.N.G.E.R. Method infographic for some helpful tips to express your anger in a proactive (instead of reactive) way.
(** Feel free to share on social as well **)

This week’s focus is all about feeling anger. Have you ever had someone take advantage of your kindness? Were you able to address it instead of simmering in silence?

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