Something to Think About

Photo-from-ABM._V359247896_Let go of the CONTROL to hold on to the HAPPINESS.

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“Never allow anyone to rain on your parade and thus cast a pall of gloom and defeat on the entire day. Remember that no talent, no self-denial, no brains, no character, are required to set up in the fault-finding business. Nothing external can have any power over you unless you permit it. Your time is too precious to be sacrificed in wasted days combating the menial forces of hate, jealously, and envy. Guard your fragile life carefully. Only God can shape a flower, but any foolish child can pull it to pieces.” 
Og Mandino

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“The control center of your life is your attitude.”  -unknown

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FOCUS on What’s RIGHT!

ImageI recently heard a great podcast by a woman named Pam Grout. She is a travel writer and author of “E-Squared: Nine Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that prove your thoughts create your reality.”  It was a great interview and I wanted to share some of the highlights.

She shared some of her personal tips for getting things right:

ImageShe said a big one is to FOCUS on what’s RIGHT, instead of what’s WRONG.  I don’t know about you, but I have to catch myself sometimes from asking my daughter or husband, “What’s wrong.” Just the other morning, my daughter was looking a little down & just as I was about to ask [the dreaded questions] I caught myself and instead said, “What’s right!” My daughter gave me a strange look, but I smiled and focused on being positive—shining a light to something good, instead of opening a door to something harder, darker. 

ImageShe said every morning she wakes up and says “Something Amazingly Awesome is going to happen today.” I LOVE that!! Everyone can nay say or question good intentions, affirmations, etc. BUT I would rather have them on my side & use them. I can attest just waking up the last couple of days and saying this to myself—I feel better. Try it!!

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She said she has a posse of friends that she sends out NEW blessings every day. She said gratitude is always a good thing, but “scouting” out something NEW every day is harder than you think. It makes you truly become more aware. 

ImageShe said, Our minds and our thoughts are the ONE thing that we always have control over.  Take a minute and think about that! No one can take away your thoughts and how you choose to use them. You can choose to be a winner or a whiner. You can think you are beautiful or tell yourself you aren’t, no matter what–you are the one who controls what comes in and out of your thoughts. Choose wisely.

ImageShe suggested looking at problems as a trampoline or jumping point to newer thoughts or ideas. This could be something you need to work on at a different personal level.

ImageShe said, Say Thank you in hopes that you create the desired intention. She said, like when someone gives you a cookie, you say thank you before you have even enjoyed it. Say Thank you for things you would like to come your way. [the power of intentions]

She said, if we just continually want—we get stuck in ‘wanting’ BUT when we create intentions, things are on there way.

 

Hope these thoughts and ideas help you focus on good things—things that spring you to What’s RIGHT!!

 

What’s your LIFE motto

ImageImageI have been putting together a training program for my husbands work and I LOVE using commercials, great mottos, slogans, etc. 

So, today I thought I would share some of the good things I came across…because you can be inspired by many things!! Enjoy.

McCormick’s Live Deliciously slogan

Image Doesn’t this slogan just make you want to live better. Two words that go so well together, the very thought makes me want to bike an Italian Countryside or swim in an endless pool under the stars. Maybe, I just need a vacation [smile.smile] Then, there is the whole food factor because it makes me want to eat better, more deliciously—yummy salads with lots of fruit, fruit smoothies with umbrellas—sounds like a vacation again [smile.smile]

 

Hallmark’s Life is an Occasion

Image This slogan just makes me get grateful. It makes me think of every little occasion and how it should be made memorable. I just had someone tell me about a family friend who just found out she has stage 4 breast cancer, so it is in moments like this that you hold your blessed life a little closer & think of every moment as an occasion to embrace.

 

LOVE absolut vodka Doing Things Differently

This ad just yells creativity, inspiration, fun, whimsy, thinking outside [literally] and seeing things and doing it differently. Great ad!

 

Smart Car

This ad made me smile & then it made me think how it shows each and every one of us that no matter what—we should focus on OUR strengths–No one else’s. We are unique, different, have had various life lessons & can speak from our own experiences. Focus on your individual strengths, instead of wasting time in places and things you don’t truly care about. Life is too short.

 

ImageSo, what mottos are you living by? What are you telling yourself? Are you living deliciously? Are you taking each day as a wonderful occasion? Are you telling yourself that you are amazing or mediocre? What do you believe about your life? What is your motto, slogan, mantra…Whatever it is—make it great!! Make it yours.

Well, that is it for today. Enjoy. Smile. Laugh and enjoy your fabulous, blessed day.  -Heather

See things differently

The new year is always a good time to come across anything that makes you smile, things that make you want to be creative, things that make you want to think outside of the box, to find a little inspiration in so many different places. I saw a new Coke ad over the weekend & was taken back by how creative and well done it was. It made me want to share—enjoy!!

A little inspiration and creativity to brighten your day, to help you look at things a little differently. Because if you don’t sometimes venture to see things differently–nothing will ever change.

New Coke Ads—LOVE IT!! Two AMAZING videos that make thinking differently memorable & AHH inspiring!

THINK DIFFERENT–Classic Apple Commercial. Always inspiring.

DREAM BIG I love big dreams, big ideas and the little places where inspiration and sparks begin. I LOVEd this ad that recently was put out by Dell. It is proof that big dreams can have small beginnings as long as someone is thinking differently to see the bigger picture.

To where dreams may begin…just loved the sentiment of this ad

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A little something to think about. A little something to inspire. Have a beautiful day.  -Heather

Do not ask “What are your GOALS” instead ask “What EXCITES you”

The new year always has us making to do lists, resolutions, goals, bucket lists…it is a great time to refocus, to evaluate things in your life, but I pose to you a different question.

11357579926_436a90fda7_bI just started reading Timothy Ferriss “Four Hour Work Week” & there is one statement that I found myself saying—YES!! FINALLY. YEAH!! HALLELUJAH!!!

The dreaded question everyone gets asked, may be the question that ties you to your job & you find yourself only able to describe yourself as your profession…“What do you do? or What do you want?” “What are your goals”…the questions go on and on, spinning you into a corner.  Some know what they want—happiness, love, a good job… BUT, I LOVE how Tim Ferris puts it: Let’s assume we have 10 goals and we achieve them—what is the desired outcome that makes all the effort worthwhile? The most common response is what I also would have suggested five years ago: HAPPINESS. I no longer believe this is a good answer. Happiness can be bought with a bottle of wine and has become ambiguous through overuse. There is more precise alternative that reflects what I believe the actual objective is.  Bear with me. What is the opposite of happiness? Sadness? No. Just as love and hate are two sides of the same coin, so are happiness and sadness. Crying out of happiness is a perfect illustration of this. The opposite of love is indifference, and the opposite of happiness is—here’s the clincher—boredom.

Excitement is more practical synonym for happiness, and it is precisely what you should strive to chase. It’s the cure-all. When people suggest you follow your “passion” or your “bliss”, I propose that they are, in fact, referring to the same singular concept: EXCITEMENT. The question you should be asking isn’t, “What do I want?” or “What are my goals?” but “WHAT WOULD EXCITE ME.”

I LOVE THAT!! WHAT WOULD EXCITE ME. What would excite you? Ask yourself that question.

ImageI just read a sweet article about Drew Barrymore and her passion for cooking that has ignited since she has become a new mother. In the February issue of Marie Claire, Drew opened up about her love of cooking: ”I looooove cookbooks. I cook a lot when I’m pregnant. When I got pregnant the first time, I couldn’t even boil water. Now I can make the most spectacular slow-roasted pork tacos you will ever have, an incredible verde sauce with ancho chilies—so good. [And I just learned to make] a Greek yogurt pie with lemon zest and pepper filling on a gingersnap crust with black seedless grape compote. Amazing!” she told.

Listen to that!! Can you hear the passion and EXCITEMENT!!

ImageI came across some other celebrity passions: Did you know Vanilla Ice has a hobby of home renovation that has turned into a full-time career with his own show on the DIY network called “The Vanilla Ice Project.”  Who knew!!

Apparently Blake Lively loves to bake cupcakes, Neil Patrick Harris enjoys sharing his magic skills, and Jake Gyllenhaal said he would be a cook if he wasn’t an actor. Who knew!!

Did you know Geena Davis in 1999 became a finalist in Archery for the US Olympic team. Who knew!!

Did you know Jason Lee (father-figure of the Chipmunks) was once a sponsored, professional skateboarder. Who knew!!   [See the whole article with the above info http://magazine.foxnews.com/celebrity/celebrities-and-their-hidden-passions]

ImageAsk yourself, What do I want to do that I am a little afraid to try. Is there some idea I would like to play with or may want to just sit and think about for awhile? What is it? Does it EXCITE me? 

I jumped around to get some other peoples thoughts and ideas on things that excite & this is what I found…Experiencing new things, new places, new ideas, loving, being loved, growing spatially, and getting in touch with who I really am and want to be.  The end credits after the show is over, they show all the bloopers and mistakes. [funny]  The beauty of life. Thinking and learning. The eternal optimism of my children. Going on vacation. The idea of being stable forever. Travel. The idea of being able to get out of my depression (hope). Presents. Football. Surfing. Fitness. Doing things that seem inconceivable. Writing songs. Spending time with my family. Writing a novel that may never be published.

WHAT LIGHTS YOU UP? Sit down & think of anything that lights you up. Anything that would get you excited to jump out of bed and take a baby step towards realizing a passion. There are activities, places, people that light a spark in us, they help move us toward something that excites, that motivates, that propels us to a better self. Move towards those things that challenge, that teach, that will be a life lesson full of rewards.

Best to you. Heather

A LOVE story you can LEARN from…

ImageI woke up this morning thinking about a remarkable story…a remarkable man, named Nick Vujicic. Millions have seen his story, but this is one of my favorite versions of his love story. If you haven’t seen it. Take the time—it is worth every minute.

 

 

ImageI thought about him and his wife having a baby. It instantly made me wonder if he wishes he could hold his son in his arms. It made me think that I need to give my daughter more hugs—why? because I can! This morning I am making her crazy because I am grabbing her and giving her hugs & more hugs. Why? because I can!! Nick has made me think twice about the importance and the gift it is to have arms and legs, to hug my child, to hug my husband, to feel of that connection.

Thank you Nick for sharing your amazing, beautiful LOVE story.

DREAM. Follow your heart wherever it may go.

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I wanted to share a little story about following inspiration and continuing to follow it…Months ago I listened to a song called, Underwater, by Mika.  As I listened to this song I had a whirl of imagery, the images of a story that began to play in my mind. The music called to a part of me that wanted to create, so I sat back and enjoyed the inspiration, the flow, the beginning seed of a story. When the song was over, I instantly thought of the movie Mama Mia and how a writer took songs from Abba and weaved them into a story. I thought and wondered if Mika would have any other songs that could fit into a story. I did not know very much about Mika & wasn’t even sure if he had other songs, so I jumped on iTunes and the story came. Song by song I envisioned the scenes, the characters, what should happen, who was singing, on and on. It was a visual delight within my soul.

My mind began to want more and more, the passion began to take over as I needed to pursue costume ideas, see visuals of where this story should take place, piece the songs together and have the beginning seeds of a possible musical. I was creating for days.

WHAT WAS I THINKING began to set in & the usual gremlin thoughts tried to get in & make me question why I was wasting time on creating a musical. WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?? A writer, let alone a screenplay writer…the thoughts whirled, but I just wanted to see where the story went, what would happen to the characters, I continued on. I created an outline with visuals of a nine act storyline & then didn’t know what to do. WHAT WAS I GOING TO DO?

I knew nothing would happen without Mika and any thoughts, permission or direction would go nowhere without getting in touch with him and finding out if there was any interest. I tried and tried to locate him. I even sent some info. to his fan club, hoping to get something to him, but to no avail.  [So, if anyone out there knows how to contact Mika or his managers–please pass it along. thanks]

I was at a standstill, unable to go forward, unsure why I had this inspiration drop into my lap & what was it meant to be?? I looked up to the heavens and said, “God, I am listening, creating, trying to put something out there, but I don’t know where to go from here.”  I put the idea aside.

Last week my daughter wanted to watch the movie Mama Mia (because it is one of her favorites & we had not seen it in awhile) & we enjoyed every minute.

My mind began to whirl again with ideas of getting in touch with the screenplay writer of Mamma Mia to see if she would have any insight or direction for my musical idea. Granted, my mind began again with thoughts of, why would she talk to you, she has written the largest grossing film in the UK (Mamma Mia) & has done numerous plays all over the UK. She doesn’t have time for you.  

I carried on wondering how I would find her, if she would have the time…I emailed a couple of people I thought may know how to locate her & yesterday I received an email from her. Yay!!! It was like the best New Years present ever & yet she didn’t even know what I wanted. I sat and read everything I could find about this woman & was so inspired by her rags to riches story, so my hope was she would see my passion for an idea & help me in any direction.

I wrote her an email and shared with her my inspiration that came to me after hearing one song & asked her for any direction or advice she would be willing to share. She had been through every stage of creating, writing and putting together the unbelievable experience of Mamma Mia, so I knew it was a long shot that she would even reply, but I hoped.

I got her reply at 4 this morning!!! I am truly grateful to her and her guidance. I read her email to my husband & he said, “Wow, she is a woman who is paying it forward. She didn’t even have to help or respond. She could have just told you she was too busy.”  I am truly grateful for her advice and direction & will keep plugging along in the directions she has given me & hopefully this little idea will blossom.  If anything, this experience has shown me to never doubt or question, to follow feelings and desires, because that is where inspiration lives. Follow your dreams.

ImageSo, here is a little more inspiration–the amazing story of Catherine Johnson, the writer of Mamma Mia. Enjoy!!  part of an interview with the guardian.com

Catherine Johnson is downing an energy drink that promises to provide “energy, stamina, focus and drive”. But does she really need any more? The Bristol-based playwright went from being a tearaway teenager, expelled from school after a stand-off with the headmaster over a revealing top, to the author of Mamma Mia!, one of the most successful musicals ever. Johnson also wrote the screenplay for the film version, which became the highest-grossing British movie of all time.

It’s a career trajectory most writers could only dream of. Yet Johnson, 51, with a glossy, chestnut bob and a warm, open manner, says she still sometimes gets out of bed feeling like a failure. “Every time I start a new work, I feel a complete lack of confidence,” she says. “It must be because I’ve had less years of being a success than I had of being a failure. For a lot of my life, I felt a complete letdown.”

Johnson left school with little to sustain her but a couple of O-levels and a love of writing that had been encouraged by weekly visits, with her father, to the Bristol Old Vic. For years, it seemed that success as a writer was beyond her grasp. “Writing was the only thing I was good at,” she says, “but I also wanted to hang out with the bad boys. I had a good few years when I ran away from things and sometimes life ran away from me.” An early marriage ended in divorce; when another relationship broke up, she found herself a single mother in her 30s, barely able to afford nappies.

She was considering training to be a probation officer when another trip to the Bristol Old Vic – to see Jim Cartwright’s 1980s play Road, about northern working-class life – changed her life. “I suddenly realised I could write about people like me, living real, messy lives,” says Johnson. She rushed home and, within two weeks, had written Rag Doll, a play about child abuse in a West Country family. It won an award and went on to be a success at London’s Bush theatre. Other successes at the Bush followed. Then, in 1997, the playwright and director Terry Johnson, her sometime mentor, heard about a proposed musical based around the songs of Abba – and recommended Johnson to the show’s producer, Judy Craymer. Mamma Mia! was born.

You go Catherine!! Thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU.