Monday, August 22, 2011

Fear – A Debilitating Emotion

I was a fearful child. Bad dreams and monsters in the closet kept me awake at night. Worrying about my big brother and parents troubled my days. I don’t know what caused these fears, but as I matured I conquered most of them. As a grown up I know there are no monsters in my closet, but fear still threatens to disrupt my life experience.

As adults, many of us fear failure, criticism, rejection, or just being wrong. This emotion gets in the way of adventure, personal growth in trying new things, and sometimes being ourselves. But how do we cope with our insecurities and self-doubt? One way may be to get over ourselves. Do we consider ourselves so important that others will care about our mistakes? Most people are busy worrying about their own issues and are not focused on anyone else. And what if someone does criticize or snub us? Ask yourself who are they to judge? In these cases, as with bullies on the playground, they are trying to feel better about their own insecurities.

None of us is perfect. We all make mistakes. The key is to learn from them and move on. Usually what we are afraid of is not as destructive as the fear itself. Don’t let fear rob you of reaching your full potential. Take a deep breath and meet every challenge that comes your way. What have you got to lose?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Quote of the Week

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the things that you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."            ~ Mark Twain

None of us want to end our life with regrets. Follow Mark Twain's advice and go for the gusto! Reach for the stars and you might just catch one. Don't let fear and insecurity cheat you out of being all you can be. Every experience is a chance for learning and growing. Set goals and do the things you have always wanted to do. What is the worst that can happen? Even if an event goes wrong, it is an opportunity to gain experience and wisdom.

I hope to end my life with a cache of memories to savor, and no regrets.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Old Friends Are The Best Friends

For the last four days my home has been filled with family and life long friends. The last couples left yesterday leaving our home feeling empty, quiet, and lonely. We miss our loved ones with whom we share so much history and can be completely comfortable around. With travel plans, food preparation, sleeping arrangements and making sure everyone is entertained, a lot of work goes into planning these family reunions. I am worn out physically today, but at the same time I am strengthened from the laughter, togetherness, and knowledge that I am part of a caring extended family.

Maintaining family bonds and staying connected to our friends takes work, but if we don’t make the effort, a very important part of our life experience is lost. The benefits of maintaining relationships are far reaching. We human beings need each other. Knowing there will be someone there in times of trouble is comforting, and sharing memories and laughter is critical to mental well being. A good laugh is great medicine and with a steady dose of laughter, you will be a healthier person.

As I reminisce about the past weekend, I am looking forward to another reunion, an annual event with my high school girlfriends who are like sisters after all these years. I know there will be a lot of that good medicine, laughter, while they are here.

Stay connected and reap the rewards. Reach out to someone you have not contacted in years and have some laughs. It may seem like work to reestablish old relationships, but it is really a gift. Give yourself the gift of love and laughter and be happier and healthier for it.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


The information super highway was supposed to make our lives easier. In fact, we can bank, shop, and connect with people around the world, without ever leaving our homes. On the other hand, we now have to find time to deal with computer technology, emails, text messages, cell and land phones ringing, I-pods, I-pads, Kendles, DVR’s, and on and on.  All of this in addition to our existing information sources consisting of television, radio, magazines, newspapers, snail mail, etc. These technical advances have definitely changed our lives, but for the better?

On the surface, our lives are enhanced in many ways, but if not managed responsibly, information overload can do very real harm. Our brains like to organize incoming information systematically. Some of us, including me, are not capable of handling the barrage most of us deal with on a daily basis. Our brains send us alerts that they are receiving too much data to organize efficiently by way of stress and anxiety attacks, which many of us are experiencing. The remedy is quite simple. Unplug for a while.

Turn it all off. Computer, cell phone, I-pod, television and radio. This is almost impossible for some to even consider, but giving your brain time to ‘catch up’ can make a world of difference to your state of mind. It may take a little time to adjust to being unplugged, but once you leave the electronic world, you will discover another world full of nature, weather, and peace and quiet. This other world is very nourishing and should be as important as the technical world. 

Try unplugging on a regular basis and see if you are a less stressed, happier person. I know I am.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Quote of the Week

"You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." ~ Mae West

Mae's quote is brief, clear, and pointedly profound. We tend to rush through our days working, parenting, homemaking, fretting, and taking care of the business of life. But do we take the time to really live? Even when we are busy we can put more living in our daily activities.

Make a point to connect with the people you encounter each day. Really look at them and take an interest and you will be rewarded by the response you get. Challenge yourself when you have a difficult job to get done and then be proud when you succeed. Find opportunities for growth when times are tough. And don't forget to stop and smell the roses, figuratively and literally. Moments of pleasure throughout your day will help your feel good Endorphins stay elevated and you will be happier. And that is doing it right.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Positive Choice

Some time ago, while being faced with a difficult decision, a very wise friend gave me a piece of advice that has impacted my life ever since. This little gem of wisdom was simply to make the positive choice. Do I go to the party (the positive), or stay home (the negative)? Do I call my grieving friend (positive), or let her grieve in peace (negative)? Following this rule has opened my life to new experiences, people, places and events. What powerful advice.

Not only is decision making easier, I have attended some fabulous events, and made new friends that I may never have met. Even when I think I am too tired or may be out of place, I now choose the positive and almost always have a wonderful time, meet an extraordinary person, or make an impact on someone's life. In other words, I am living a richer, fuller life. The only drawback to this rule is that you can wear yourself out. Sometimes the best choice is to rest up and be prepared for more positive choices.