“Do Your Words Hurt or Heal? Understanding The Language of Mending Feelings”




The words we use when we try to express ourselves has an impact on the people around you. We have all met individuals who are seemingly unaware of how their words affect others. How about you? Do you use your words to uplift others or tear them down?

There are precious few times in our lives that being the smartest, or the quickest wit in the room or meeting helps to resolve any issues. More often it ends up putting someone off, or worse, putting them and their ideas down. And, all this without offering an alternative concrete solution.

A great deal of thought needs to go into how we communicate with people. Just as we talk a great deal about listening, (see, The importance of active listening), we should be careful to put just as much effort we put into how we communicate, and therefore how we are listened to and received.

Perhaps you have been thinking about mending a few fences lately. Maybe you just want to ensure that you are using the most supportive and healing language you can come up with to speak your mind.

Whatever the case, here are some words to use often and generously in your conversation. These terms usually make others feel great and go a long way toward mending relationships that require fixing.

Words to Keep in Mind:

1. I am listening. Sometimes, when someone important to you is trying to share their feelings, you might be busy or distracted with something else… like your phone. If you can switch your attention from what you are doing to your loved one momentarily, they will feel like they really matter to you.

2. I am sorry. One of the most healing things you can do for another person and yourself is to say, “I am sorry.” Even if you have been stubborn and working hard to avoid saying it, try it out a few times. It will make you feel like you are wiping your slate clean of the error you made. Plus, when your apology is truly sincere, it will encourage you to be more careful of your words and actions in the future.

3. I forgive you. Getting to the point of forgiving someone else can take a lot of time and soul-searching. However, when you truly accept and forgive, you are freed from the weight of your own hurt, resentment, and anger. It is a humbling, yet positive experience to forgive others for something they did that upset you. You already have the power to mend an important relationship by using three simple words: I forgive you.



4. I appreciate what you do. According to the Wordbook Dictionary, to appreciate someone is to value, admire, honor, or take notice of them.

  • Wouldn’t it feel great if someone you love or respect told you that they actually appreciated something you did?
  • When you tell others you appreciate them, they see that you have noticed what they do. You will appear optimistic and spread that optimism to the other person.
  • To begin healing a less-than-satisfactory relationship, add this simple sentence, “I appreciate you” to your vocabulary and use it often.

5. I know you can do it. Directly expressing your confidence in someone can buoy their spirits and boost their confidence. When you hear that someone else believes you can achieve something, don’t you begin to feel and believe more in yourself too? So does everyone else.

6. I love you. When you cherish your close relationships, you will want to use caring and supportive words often. Saying, “I love you” is just about the most emotionally supportive and caring words you can say. When a loved one is having a tough day or just for no reason at all, these spoken words can bring warmth, joy, and solace to their day, and to their aching heart or pride. When you say, “I love you,” it is a simple expression that transmits so much. Your connection is strengthened by it.


Using the language of mending feelings each day can be one of the most soothing and supportive habits you can develop. Speaking words like, “I’m listening,” “I’m sorry,” and “I forgive you” heals.

Saying, “I appreciate what you do,” “I know you can do it,” and “I love you” can turn shed a little light into someone else’s terrible day.

Share your love and joy for life by using more of the language that mends and uplifts the souls of those you care about. Your kindness will be returned to bring you even more happiness.

And, yes, it is true that we do not always have the right words to help put things back together, but we can always have the right heart, the right intentions. And, sometimes words are not the answer. Just be present.

Choose to be present. ~ Doc

Choose to be present. ~ Doc



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3. Doc :)


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Affirmation: Goals

The lack of clarity is the poison.

The lack of clarity is the poison.

Questions to ask yourself:

A. Do I have clearly defined goals?

B. Do I know what I am working for?

C. On a daily basis, what kinds of things do I do to keep my goals at the forefront of my thinking?

D. What do I need to do to ensure that my goals are clear, concise, and consistent with my life plan?


We have talked this week about to-do lists, values and goals. When we know what we value, we can match that up with the time we actually have available. When we can see clearly that some things are of lesser, or no value, we can drop them or bypass them.


Be. ~ Doc

Be. ~ Doc


Learning our values, and realistically placing them within the bounds of time that we have available to us, we can move toward the true goals of our hearts, and the success as we each choose to define it.


Striving to live the life of your dreams takes some reflection, planning, and effort. Know that you are responsible for creating the existence you yearn for. Therefore, thoroughly understanding what you want to achieve is a necessary place to start.

In order to continue on a path to the life that you seek, special efforts must be made to clarify your goals.

Regularly reflect on your hopes for the future. Consider what it feels like to achieve a personal or professional goal. Those feelings of personal pride, integrity, and success will spur you  forward.

Visualize your goals so you know exactly what you are seeking.

Each day, engage in some type of planning to help you achieve your current goals. Whether it involves making a phone call, researching a topic on the internet, or jotting down some notes, see your goals more clearly because of your ongoing planning and action.

Put forth the necessary effort to be aware of your goals at all times.

Place visual reminders throughout your home, car, and briefcase regarding what you am working toward. In this way, you not only visualize your goals, but you will also see some continual reminders of them throughout your day

Clearly-defined goals are important to you and aid you in putting forth considerable effort toward achieving success.

Review your goals.

Know that you can clarify each of your goals so that you can see specifically what you are working toward.

You have the opportunity to fill your life with meaning when you have understandable, well-defined, and actionable goals.


See Your Goals with Clarity

See Your Goals with Clarity


BTW: Which of the “Questions” is a stumbling block for you? A, B, C, or D. Where are you getting hung up? Maybe we can help…


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Moving from To-Do Lists to Goals and Values: Boundaries of Time and Value



“Try not to become a man of success.

Rather become a man of value.”

Albert Einstein


Yesterday , we talked about why to-do lists, especially lengthy and elaborate ones, fail us. Why they become the masters of our lives, rather than the other way around. It doesn’t really matter if it is on paper, on your computer desk-top, or an app on your smart phone.

What you do, whether you make a list or not, needs to have the realistic boundaries of time and value. What does that mean?

If you have a list, of say, 10 things, they do not all take the same amount of time to complete. And, no matter how you slice your day, there are still only 24 hours in any given day. So time must be allotted. Here is a link to a post about figuring out how you do, and how you can use your time.

Nor do all of the items on your list carry the same value for you. Some things are important for a short time, like a short-term project you need to get done at work. Some things are of value for a lifetime, like being the best parent you can summon up for your children. And, many, many, many things that we have on our lists, and rattling around in our heads, have no value at all. But we keep sticking them back on the list! Lots of these are on the “should” list. Things you feel you really “should” do, but haven’t. Because, quite frankly, you either don’t care enough to get it done, or not doing carries few or no consequences, or you cannot even remember why you “should” be doing it in the first place.




Most of us work for a living. Some for other, some for ourselves. And, time has a value of its own. It is an expensive coin to waste, because we cannot get it back.

Let’s look at a fairly typical scenario of how many mornings go:

Have you ever found yourself scrambling, looking for the right clothes, and discovering they are not work-ready? And, as if by magic, you are completely out of your favorite breakfast food. You look in your wallet to see if you have enough cash to cover your lunch and your daughter’s. Did you pick up the copies of your presentation? Silently asking yourself why your son is wearing a wrinkled T-shirt on picture day, which you just now remembered. And, where the devil are my keys? Finally, in the car, and wonder of wonders, you hit the rush hour, even though you thought you started out in time to beat it. Once again, sliding into your seat just under, or over the finish line. But, sadly, it is not the finish line, it is just the beginning of your day.


A successful work day, in my opinion, begins the night before.

It only takes a few minutes.

After dinner, I want you to mentally walk through tomorrow. If you have children, summon the troops. What’s on everyone’s agenda? Work? Special school event? A lunchtime talk? Picking up the kids from soccer practice? Drinks with friends after work? A long-overdue date with your significant other? Bible study? Bowling? I want you to think about the significant things that you need to get done tomorrow.

Write them down if you must, but, don’t panic. This all gets easier each day you practice. And, yes, it gets easier for everyone as it becomes a routine.

And, this is not a process of making a new list of things to do. You know what you need to get done. Set aside a time period for everyone to go get prepared.


All hands on deck

All hands on deck

Make a plan, not another checklist:

What’s for breakfast? Do we have what we need at home? If not, put it on the shopping list for another day and choose something else that you already have. My parents lived through the Great Depression. From them I learned to try to minimize my choices when I can. Yes, I have graduated between the two meal choices of “eat” or “don’t eat.” But, I have found that by limiting choices, it helps me save money and a lot of angst.

What is everyone wearing? Is it clean and pressed? Is it appropriate for the whole day, or will you need something else for later? If you have to change, will it be at work/ school or at home? Are those clothes ready?

What are the meal plans for the rest of the day? Trying to save money, so are you eating at the office? What are you eating, and is your lunch kit ready to roll? You have chosen your chosen food and drink from what you have available, and all you need do is to toss them in your lunch kit on your way out of the house. I actually leave my open, packed lunch-kit in the fridge overnight. All I need do is add is the ice-thing that keeps it chilled all day.

Buying? Do you have extra money? In your wallet?

Don’t have what you want? Put it on a shopping list, choose something else, and move on.

Briefcase, backpacks, purse. Homework done and in backpacks? Do you have the notes you need for your own presentation? If you need to use your own electronics, are they charged up and ready to go? Got cords? Have you packed the right laptop? Do you have a backup of your stuff on a thumb drive which you have put someplace easy to remember?

Review the day’s schedule, and let it go.

The goal is not to spend the rest of the evening fussing over it or picking at it. Check what you need, put it where it needs to be, move on.

Make a plan. Set it in motion. Move on.

Move on to resting and spending time with those you love and care for. This includes you! Do the things you value most, with the people you value most.

Chillin' Out

Chillin’ Out


Affirmation, coming up …



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2. Photo Credit: OC Always via Compfight cc

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Are You Enslaved By Your To-Do Lists?

To Do List

To Do List


We all learned about to-do lists early in life. Write out a couple of things, to keep you focused. Check them off, and move on. But this is not how most of us have approached getting life done, nor the more important tasks of finding joy, peace and happiness.

I quickly graduated from a simple pad to something much more elaborate and “refined”. My “logical” mind said that I needed to make sections. Don’t laugh, I know that you are right there with me. A section for work- projects, and their progress, committee meetings, surgeries, scheduled vacation days, etc. Another for the house- like cleaning, laundry, getting stuff ready for the cleaners, etc. Personal work- getting to the gym, bible study, time for writing, and all the other hobbies I think I want to try. There were several more sections, and sub-sections, but you get the point.

We get sidetracked with the doing, Swept along with the monumental number of tasks we face daily, and almost constantly feeling overwhelmed with how we will get it all done. But, along the line somewhere, we often edge out the “being” of life. Being in the moment. Having fun. When’s the last time you had a belly-laugh? Or snuggled with your children for no good reason? Or really played with your pet? Went out to a movie or to eat on a whim? Or, just plain relaxed?





These are the things that often fall off the list, because there is not enough time in the day. Or worse, never make it to the list to begin with. But, they are the very things we tell ourselves that we are doing all this other stuff for. These “being” things  get tucked into the nooks and crannies, and bits of time left over. And, that is not what we wish.

Yes, get organized, so that you are not constantly flying around in a frenzy getting everything half done. But be sane about it. The devil is in indeed in the details. But when we make too many details, we are in a fight we cannot win.

Tomorrow, we will talk about healthier ways to look at getting life done.


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“How to Free the Beast Inside: The Therapeutic Benefits of Writing”

Writing helps Perspective

Writing helps Perspective


Writing is a way to help us keep things in perspective. When we write, we have only our internal critic to deal with. Whether journaling for personal reasons, or writing to share, we are able to unleash those pent up feelings. Some things we would never share with another living soul, as well as those things that bring a smile to our faces or a sparkle to ur eyes pour out onto the paper when we let go.

Getting your own story, in your own words, down on paper is a process that can bring you a great deal of insight and peace. You will learn a great deal by just by doing it. This is one of many cases in which the journey really is so much more important than the destination.

You probably do not think that your history is particularly interesting or full of adventure. However, your life story is important because it, like you, are unique. No one else would be able to write it as you can. Only you have the intimate access to your unique cornucopia of thoughts, feelings, and experiences! And, only you can see the true connection to who you were then, and who you are today.


Writing About the Past and the Present can be Therapeutic, Restorative and Healing:

1. Writing helps you remember.

  • When you reflect on something that has happened in your past and start putting facts on paper, you will often be stunned to see that you will recall more and more details over time.
  • At first, you may feel like you cannot remember enough specifics to write the story, but, as soon as you begin, you will find that more memories pop through and just keep surfacing. In a sense, just by starting to write, you have “primed the pump.”

2. You will be able to reflect back on your childhood with adult, more mature, eyes.

  • You can use your adult knowledge and maturity to “review” your childhood.
  • Processing these experiences at this stage of your life will change how your see those early situations, and can change how you see things going forward.
  • This has the ability to bring healing, hilarity, or even just a sense of peace.

3. You can gain insight and correct errors.

  • Remembering now how you felt as a child will bring further insight into your own adult feelings and reactions.
  • New light is shed on your past when you write out your story.
  • You will experience some “aha” moments when you reflect on your past and record it.
  • For example, you might now come to see that even though you were afraid of your Aunt Sarah, she was actually a kind and considerate adult in your life. It was simply her size, loud voice, and demeanor that frightened you.
  • With newly found insight, you may be able to re-connect with some of the people from your past.
  • This new insight may also reveal why you react to certain situations and people the way you do. This may be an opportunity to view current, and past relationships, with new eyes.

4.  Get a fresh understanding of your history.

  • When you reflect on your life and write things down, you can begin to understand more about your family, what your parents were going through, and what you were going through as a youngster.
  • Feelings of confusion about your past may dissipate and be replaced with deeper understanding.

5. Renew relationships with family members by asking for help.

  • You may want to tap into their memories to help you fill in details of past situations.

6. Learn to let go of old hurts and fears.

  • Using your adult mental and emotional skills to “go back” and see what happened in your life may help you resolve an old hurt or fear.
  • You will accept that you cannot change what has already happened and that it likely was not your fault because you were only a child at the time.
  • And, you can give yourself a chance to start fresh.

7. Re-discover and renew loves and topics of interest.

  • Recording your “memoirs” will spark memories of how much you loved a certain hobby, idea or person.
  • For example, perhaps you had an early love of  painting and yearned to be an artist long ago. Recalling and writing about those experiences might re-engage your love of art. This may prompt you to visit a few art museums or stop at your local museum to take a few painting lessons to again enjoy one of the early loves of your life.


Journaling with Bits ~ Doc

Journaling with Bits ~ Doc


Putting together your own life story, past and present, can be a powerful experience with enormously positive results. And, let us be honest. There will also be some negative that will pop up. But, you come to your story with fresher eyes, a bigger heart, and a more mature and different mindset. All of these things can help you put, and finally keep, these things in their proper perspective.

And, it is not just writing. It is doodling, drawing, saving newspaper clipping, pictures, postcards, ticket stubs, match boxes, anything that helps you remember and tell your story. My friends call mine, “journaling with bits.”

The Kabuki mask map above, is an example. Here is another:

Journaling with Bits 2 ~ Doc

Journaling with Bits 2 ~ Doc


Consider writing to help bring the light of clarity into your life.

You deserve to live a life filled with insight, self-discovery and passion, and writing on a regular basis can usher in all of those experiences.


 Read more here …

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Dearheart: Pruning is Hard Work


Pruning is hard work



Cutting away the deadwood, the unserviceable branches, the lovely, but deadly and dangerous weeds is grueling work. But it’s not the trees or plants that we are talking about, is it? It’s the people in our lives who seem to take so much more than they give. Or, those few that we are not even sure why we are still friends. Were we ever? Yes.

People float in and out of our lives. Some pass out of the light because of changes in their circumstances, sometimes the changes are in ours.

But, as we get wiser, whether form age or experience, we become a little more selective about what we will allow. We learn that everyone we meet on life’s journey does not have our best interests at heart. We often learn this the hard way. And there are some who genuinely do care about and for us; treasure these. Some people are on a totally different page or agenda. Sometime, we just drift apart through no one’s fault. Sometimes we lose interest in the activities, and realize that this has been our only connection.

It is that annoying pull that we contend with for those situations and occasions that we still show up to, but we know it has become habit or routine. We no longer feel invested in the people, places, or events. One, or all three.

We try to hide from the painful truth that we need to figure out how to deal with it all differently, or better, or not at all. Dare we choose to let them go? Yeah, that is a tough call and an even harder step to take.

Pruning is hard work.

It is hard interior work because it breaks our hearts. It is hard exterior work because it makes for uncomfortable conversations.


But, whether you choose to stay or to go, to keep doing what you’re doing, or to take a different path, Dearheart, choose to be honest with yourself. Things will never be absolutely perfect or easy, but stop telling yourself that something is what it is not.

If we cannot learn to trust ourselves, who can we trust?

Why is this important? Because we all need sunshine in our lives.

We all need a little sunshine

We all need a little sunshine


(Martina McGowan, MD)


See: Notes to Dearheart


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Affirmation: I Live My Life at a Comfortable Pace

Find Your Pace

Find Your Pace


Questions to ask yourself: 

1. How do I feel about the rhythm of my life?

2. Do I take responsibility for the pace that I keep on a day-to-day basis?

3. What steps can I take in my daily life to ensure that my pace is as comfortable for me as possible?


Affirmation: I live life at a comfortable pace.

Life is full of highs and lows, tides and ebbs, demands and downtime. We each find our comfort at a different place and pace. There are two tricky things. First, we must learn our own natural, and optimal rhythms, and, trust it. And, second, we have to find the sweet spot between a pace that suits us most of the time, and getting things done.

There are precious few things we can control in life, but those that we can, we need to grip firmly.

The very nature of life is an ever-changing rhythm. Sometimes, the tempo is at break-neck speed. Other times, life slows to a grinding halt. Yet, we can choose each day to pace our lives in ways that soothe and provide us with some level of comfort.

For me, my calendar is an important tool in helping me live more comfortably. Living life at a comfortable pace means that I need to keep a close watch on my schedule.

When life becomes overly busy, I have have become better at telling others “no” if they want to plan a meeting or outing with me during an already challenging week.

I also use Trello, and almost anything else I can write on to capture ideas, interesting phrases, potential writing topics.


Each day, you should try to schedule time to rest, reflect, and recover from the events of the day.

Regardless of how busy your life may be at the moment, when you allow myself enough time to rest, you will feel more tranquil and calm. Stress will melt away during this time and you will have an opportunity to be replenished, ready to greet whatever joys and challenges may come your way.

Know that you can make small changes that will help you to live your life in a stride that supports YOU – both mentally and physically.

Know that you are worth the effort that it takes to establish and maintain a comfortable pace to your life.


In the Questions above, which one trips you up most often?


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“Life’s a Bumpy Road. Learn to Release the Pressure in Your Life.”

Release the Pressure

Release the Pressure


Pressure is All Around Us

Pressure comes to all of us in many different ways. For me, pressure often comes, mysetriously, with the things I enjoy… but, in excess. For instance, I enjoy writing. I enjoy helping others.

But when my space begins to feel crowded or crammed with too many deadlines, too much micromanagement, too many places to be, it disturbs my spirit. And, the spirit I think we would all like to maintain is one of peace, as much as possible.

What do I do when I feel this internal un-ease?

First, I check my internal guide. I check in with my mind. Am I adding to the process, helping the process, or am I struggling to reach that unattainable goal of perfection. (see Gilding the Lily).

Second, I check in with my spirit. Is this activity bringing me joy? Now, let’s be reasonable, every activity will supply us with joy, but they should also not feel like crushing or guilt-ridden obligations, all the time. Perhaps this is where we need to throw in a few more “No” answers, to the proverbial question, “Can you help/ fix/ do this?” ( see Say, “No,” so that You can say, “Yes” to Opportunities)

Third, I check in with my heart, my motives. Why am I doing this? What is the final goal?

Now, if I have no joy, and my motives are in good shape, then something else has to give way. I ask myself;

  • “How can I change things?”
  • “Can I change how I am doing something?”
  • Or, and here’s the big question, “Do I need to change me?”

Release Valves: Me

When life becomes a burden for me, I usually turn to writing, reading, drawing, a walk in nature, or a conversation with a friend who always makes me laugh. Then:

Take a breather.

Take a new look at the situation.

Take the next step.

What about You?

What is your go-to method for relieving stress?

Share. We do best when we learn from and with each other


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Read more about how to relieve pressure over at Dare Whimsy: Between Us Girls


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Dearheart: Live Your Purpose


Dearheart: Live Your Purpose

Dearheart: Live Your Purpose


Plans fail us. People often fail us. Sometimes we even let ourselves down. But, if we have an underlying belief in ourselves, and a compelling “why” we want to pursue our target, then we have a choice to make. Sometimes one we must make every single day of our lives.

Lie there in what’s going on, accept it is as fate, and stop whining about it.

Or, get back up, one more time, breathe, and raise your banner high, and vow to continue to fight your good fight.

Know why you’ve come!


There are a lot of things stirring around in our minds and hearts. Let’s begin a conversation, to share and help carry the load.

What’s on your mind and heart?


(Martina McGowan, MD)


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Affirmation: Every day, I strive to learn something new.

Affirmation- Learn something new @MartinaMcGowan

Last week, we talked about how we learning styles, and how we learn things best.

Life changes quickly, and new information is coming at us all the time. We must be selective in when, how, and which information we wish to incorporate into our lives.

Every day, I hope, and usually succeed, at learning something new. It does not always have to be on a grand scale. Perhaps a new bit of interesting information, or read a slightly different perspective that makes me ponder, or discover a new author or artist for myself, or that I can share.

But, I also practice some selectivity. I spend some time on Social Media, but probably less than most. My interaction tends to come in spurts and  small time gaps throughout the day. I do not wake up checking my email. That is important quiet time to get focused on how I am feeling, where I am going, and the days major goals. It is time for silence, reading, prayer, thinking. I cannot remember the last time I intentionally watched network news. It has been some decades. Even before social media began to play a large part in people’s lives, I found the news sensation, irritating, and always seemed to strike some discordant chord in my spirit. So, first I stopped the evening news, and got better rest at night. Then I let go of the morning news, and gave that time over to a much more pleasant morning. My philosophy has become that if something happens that will affect my life, someone, in real life, or on social media, will bring it to my attention. Then I can choose to investigate it further, or file it away and move on.

I seldom become bored because I believe that there is always something interesting to learn.



You need only take notice of the things around you, even in the details of your normal daily routines, to discover learning opportunities.

When you pay closer attention to how the sun rises each morning, you can begin to realize that you can learn something new about Mother Nature’s creations. You can see how the colors of the sun’s rays vary depending on the morning’s weather.

There is really nothing which crosses your path that you should take for granted. Even when you are busy with your work, acknowledge some of the interruptions that come your way.

Sometimes divine intervention shows itself in very unexpected ways to give you the guidance and assistance you need. Take a moment to focus on the distraction and try to hear what it is telling you.

Each day brings experiences that can help you develop into a stronger, more beautiful human being. You will come to anticipate those experiences with excitement.

Today, commit to learning something, even if the situation makes you uneasy or angry.

Know that negative situations sometimes show themselves in order for you to learn how to exercise patience, kindness and trust.


Questions to ask yourself:

1. Am I always able to learn the lesson when it is occurring?

2. How important is reflection at the end of the day to my ability to learn something new?

3. Do I endeavor to share my knowledge gained with others around me?

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How Do You Learn?




The question posed today asks us to look inside ourselves and evaluate our learning techniques. We have all been trying to figure out how to learn since we started going to school. And, as adults, we realize that to keep up with our little corner of the world, and to continue to move toward our own version of success, we must continue to learn. We must become life-long learners. There is always something new on the horizon, or a different perspective to stumble over, so we must remain open.

We also know that we cannot learn and know everything. Although, we all have at least one person in ur lives who seems to think they have accomplished this. :) For the rest of us, we know that we have to develop god resources. If I do not know an answer to your question, I can probably come up with 2 or 3 places we can seek an answer.

But, back to the how…

There are many methods of getting information into your mind. YOU have to choose which works best in each situation. It is reading, writing, listening, walking around talking out loud to yourself? Or, is it some combination? Certainly practice and routine play apart, but you have to find that initial spark that lights the flame. It is also the one you can return to for review, or even just visualize, to bring the information up.


Mostly, I write. I write out the things I need to absorb. I make notes in books. I make notes on index cards, called a “Commonplace Book.” I also have occasion to use Evernote. (And, yes, the Evernote link is a referral-affiliate link. If you use it to sign up, I will get a few more points to use on my own account.)

If I am going over a talk, I walk around, talking to my imaginary audience. I listen to the inflections in my voice, the feel and flow of the words, the gestures that come spontaneously. I sometimes record it and listen, but that is rarely needed. To me, this is a kind of full-body kinesthetic (movement) kind of learning, which I had not realized I have used my whole life.

Growing up in church, we frequently had to give speeches and recite poems. Without an ounce of exaggeration, my mother would always choose the longest and most complicated. And, I had to know it! There was no plan B. I didn’t have notes, and she had no intention of coaching me from the congregation. So, for weeks, I would walk around our living room, reading and reciting it over and over. The poem became “locked” into certain cues within my head, certain gestures of the hand. Remember these always got me back on track.

For math and chemistry, and the like, I had to “see” what was happening. Then write it out, manipulate it, and play with it until it made sense to me.



It serves us best in our pursuit of life to be life-long learners. Figure out what works best for you, hone it, and begin to consciously apply it. Every time. The work gets easier, and your thirst for more becomes an insatiable pleasure once again. Learning can and will become fun. You will get more out of your reading. You will upgrade your conversation

You will be making an investment in your most important and most valuable asset.



Read more at Dare Whimsy.

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4: “How to Become More Successful at Saving Your Money”

2308403045_f2d30d24ec_b piggy bank


Keep your eyes on the price when spending,

don’t regret later to find that you have

nothing for tomorrow.

Auliq Ice


Are you a good saver?

Few people save enough money to maintain a reasonable level of financial security. Many seniors need to continue to work well into their golden years to make ends meet. Adopting effective habits can make saving money a great deal easier. A few small changes may be all you need to have a financially abundant future.

Saving is a slow process and requires years to see some impressive results. However, your habits dramatically influence your results over time.


7 Habits that will Help:

1. Savers pay themselves first.

  • Our instincts can steer us into unproductive directions. Many of us feel compelled to pay all of our bills first before putting anything into saving. It is a great feeling to be out from under the mental burden of bills and other financial obligations. But , for most, there is rarely anything left at the end of the month to put into savings.
  • Make a habit and commitment to save a percentage of every single dollar you earn or receive.
  • Start with 2% if that is all you can afford, but make a serious effort to increase the amount in the future.
  • Avoid spending this money on anything else!

2. Savers save automatically.

  • It is much easier, as well as more effective to simply have the money removed from your paycheck before you have the opportunity to spend it.
  • Most employers are willing to split your paycheck and send a portion to a separate account. This may be the easiest way to save.

3. Savers keep their spending in check.

  • The less you spend, the easier it is to save.
  • Go through your spending over the last month and determine if all your money was well spent.
  • If you find that it was not, start carefully monitoring your spending next month.
  • Think about how much your spending is costing you.
  • Shop with a list. We have all gone to the store for a few small things and come home with far more. Make a list of what you need and stick to it.

4. Savers avoid debt.

  • Trying to save while in debt is like walking up a hill and never getting to the top.
  • Consumer debt is an obstacle to achieving any financial goal.
  • If you are unable to pay cash, you simply cannot afford it.
  • Unless it is for something very important that needs to be paid for immediately in an emergency situation, avoid accumulating any unnecessary debt.

5. Savers have goals.

  • Saving is easier if you have a clear picture of the reason.
  • The objective of a comfortable retirement or sending your child to an Ivy League school can help you maintain your focus.

6. Savers take regular measurements.

  • You will find that most savers are very aware of how much money is in their accounts and how much they have saved and spent.
  • They are on top of their income and expenses.

7. Savers are financially responsible in general.

  • They pay their bills on time.
  • They know how much debt they are carrying.
  • They have an emergency fund for the future.
  • Do you know anyone that saves well, and the rest of their finances are a mess?


Take full responsibility for all aspects of your financial life.

It is possible to save enough money to secure your future. Having more effective habits will enhance your results. With a few minor adjustments to how you are spending and saving, you can watch your savings grow.

Our lives are the result of our habits.

Create habits that support your financial well-being.

Photo Credit: Ken Wilcox. via Compfight cc

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Affirmation: I am Confident in My Ability to Follow Through.

Follow through Jarod Kintz @MartinaMcGowan



In life, as we are presented with opportunities, they fall into our laps, or even when we stumble over them, we presented with the choice of taking them or not. Some will be difficult, some will be simple. Some will advance us in life, and many will not, but still may be worth doing.

Once we have made the external ascent to doing something, we have to make the internal choice that we believe in ourselves and that we can do the task before us.

Especially in team situations, there comes a time that you have to project the confidence that you can follow through on your commitments. Even if you are not feeling 100%, you owe it to yourself, and your team, to give your best effort.

Because, basically it comes down to this: If I do not believe in myself, or cannot even muster the courage to act as though I believe in myself, why should anyone else.


“It is not enough to have a roadmap to know

where you are going.

It is important that you actually

begin the journey.” 

Martina McGowan


This week’s Affirmation: I am confident in my ability to follow through.

“I know I can follow through on my promises because I only make promises that I know I can keep. Before I make a promise, I check my schedule to ensure it is something I can find the time to work in. If it is not, I do not commit to it in the first place.

I find it is better in the long run to learn to say “no,” rather than to over-extend myself with too many commitments. This way, when I do make a promise, others know that they can count on me to follow through with it as well.

In order to fulfill my commitments, I keep my planner up to date and work on my time management and organizational skills daily. Flexibility is also important, so I strive to include some wiggle room in making my schedule to accommodate unplanned events.

Some promises are free from time commitments and require instead, honesty and strength of character to fulfill. Since truth is one of my most important personal values, my promises are always made and fulfilled with honesty.

I consider it just as important to follow through on promises that I make to myself. If I cannot keep a promise to myself, how can I keep my promises to others? Even if I am the only one who knows about my vow, I will still make it a habit to follow through.

Today, I intend to take an honest look at my planner, and my promises, so I can ensure that I will successfully follow through.


Questions to ask Yourself:

1. Is it important to me to follow through on my promises?

2. Do I fulfill my promises to myself as well as those made to others?

3. How can I make sure that I do not over-commit myself to too many obligations?

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Easter: A Process



A  man who was completely innocent,

offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of  others,

including his enemies,

and became the ransom of the world.

It was a  perfect act.

Mahatma  Gandhi


Text: John 20:15-7

15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who is it that you are looking for?” Thinking that he was the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you are the one who carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will take him away.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means “Teacher”).

17 Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”


We Have to Get From Here to There…

The work on the cross was part of a process. It was completed over the course of about 43 days.

Days after the crucifixion, the women went to the Tomb to mummify Jesus’ remains. They were intercepted and interrupted during the process…by Jesus! Jesus is hanging around the Tomb, and He reveals Himself to Mary.

There is a difference between resurrection and ascension. Both are essential elements, but they are not the same thing.

The definition of resurrection is being raised to a previous state of being, to a former life. Resurrection is not a singular event. And, there are other examples of resurrection in the Bible. Jesus resurrects a little girl, and He also resurrects His best friend, Lazarus. Elijah resurrects a little boy.


The body has the ability to spring back to its former state.

In verse 17, Jesus says to Mary, “Do not hold on to me.” He is telling her to not cling to Him, don’t cling to this mortal shell.

And, the lesson for us in this tiny passage is that we should not cling to or try to hold onto former things.


Jesus is not impressed with being raised from the dead. In fact, He seems to have a rather dismissive attitude about it all.

Jesus didn’t just come back, but He came back better!

Sounds a little like that old MC Hammer song, “You can’t touch this.” I know, you’re shaking your head… but bear with me, because the message in both instances is the same.


We do not, and should not, hold onto stuff because of what it used to be. We hold on to stuff because of what it is! What it is in the here and now.

Even though Jesus was great in His ministry, He was even greater in His mastery.


In John 3, Jesus, in speaking to Nicodemus says that “you must be born again.” You must be born again into a new condition.


Jesus is saying, in effect that He is not satisfied with what He used to be, because there is so much more…

He is pressing on to greater heights.

Jesus has been cleared for a higher, and more exalted place.

And, ascension is required….


Keep moving forward!!


Happy Resurrection Sunday.


Photo Credit: Glen’s Pics via Compfight cc

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