Tag Archives: encouragement

encouragement for today

11 Nov

there’s something i want to remember every single morning.  

but i don’t.  i wake up and go through my programmed routine and i forget.  in the beginning i didn’t forget. and i made myself promise that i wouldn’t.

i don’t want to forget to remember to live this day as if i had 4 months left to live.  

like so many people out there, i learned this lesson the hard way.  it happened to someone close to me.  in fact, now that i think about it, it has been a similar situation for several people close to me.   why should you listen?  because i promise that if this news hasn’t crossed your path yet, it will someday.  

do you know what my dad did when he found out he had 4 months to live?  he moved, within weeks, two doors down from me in an OK apartment complex in dallas, texas.  do you know where he was living?  in a million dollar or so house on a golf course on hilton head island – away from his children – away from his family.

when he got the word that he was dying, his very first thought was me, my sister and my brother.   and my mom.  he didn’t give a shit that he was going to a rented one bedroom apartment – all that mattered was he was close to his family.  he didn’t care about feeling uncomfortable about asking our forgiveness, he did it.  and quick.

i could go on more about this but this encouragement for today isn’t about my dad.  it’s about you + me.  how can we live each day with this mindset?  here is what i thought about:

1. close your eyes.  you just got this horrible news.  what is very most important to you?  make it that important every single day and act as such.  pick up and move to dallas, so to speak.

2.  make it right.  if there is anything off kilter, make it right, now.  don’t wait for this day to come.  make it right RIGHT NOW.

3. make other people important.  taking a lesson from dad, i absolutely became the center of his life.  and i wasn’t before.  he was genuinely interested in what i was doing, saying, learning.  my favorite memories ever were in the morning before work, i would see his bald head bouncing down the outside walk to my house for coffee.  i loved it.  he couldn’t wait to wake up and talk to me about my day and what i was going to do.  i need to be like that every day with everyone i encounter.

4. get over yourself.  and your fears, insecurities and inhibitions.  it’s not about you.  it’s about your time with people important to you.  big difference.  so say i’m sorry, say i’m scared, say let’s pray, say i love you – stop with the inside voice telling you stupid things.  you only have a limited time.

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inspiration for today

15 Apr

today i’m in naples, florida with people I love. ROF arrives today and i can’t wait to see him!

i’m thinking about my wonderful aunt jeanie.  she passed away on wednesday. i loved her.  I used to stay at her house in columbus ohio when i handled the buick account at JTC Advertising.  she was always so excited to see me and hear about what i was doing.  she and I shared a love of books and movies.  she had so much life and interest in people and places!

she also could play the piano so well.  i snuck a video of her playing the last time I saw her.



i’m thinking of her sisters- my mom and aunt sally- and her kids, my cousins and her many grandkids.

oh! here are some things i’ve been meaning to tell you.  pass it on + be inspired!


  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  

heart attacks + fries

22 Feb

happy new year!

yes, i realize that it’s almost march but i haven’t posted since december.  i got a new job and started it in january and have been running ever since. (new job is awesome, by the way)

right now, i’m on an early morning delta flight out of dfw headed first to minneapolis and then to duluth. the cabin in this small plane smells like freshly brewed coffee and morning breath from the several men around me sleeping with their mouth wide open and head back.  from duluth i will rent a SUV and drive an hour and half to ashland, wisconsin.  otherwise known as God’s country.  look it up on a map.  it may be only 6 degrees up there but i consider it to be a huge perk of my job to experience the beauty which is northern wisconsin. then i turn around and drive back, stay by the airport and am on an early morning flight out of duluth to minneapolis and land back at dfw tomorrow at noon.

living healthy.

so at my age (46) i just realized i could die someday.  as a gen x’er (i’m stereotyping) the thought of dying or coming up on serious health issues could not have been further from my mind.  i was invincible and could smoke as much as i wanted (after all, the kids from my favorite movies did like st. elmos fire and singles.)

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drink wine as much as i wanted like carrie bradshaw in sex and the city and not care about how it affected me and my body.

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now i know.  and it’s a sobering fact of life.  you get old and your body and organs go along for the ride.

my brother who is four years younger than me had a couple massive heart attacks around thanksgiving. they had to shock him 19 times and his heart stopped beating for over 15 minutes.  my brother and i have a very strained and challenging relationship but it has made me sad for him.  it has made me think of me too.  that maybe it isn’t enough for me to just drink my trader joe’s super green powder drink every morning and “try” to walk 30 minutes before slumping back in front of my computer for the rest of the day.  maybe i have to do more and maybe it’s urgent.  maybe i better stop thinking that all there is what makes me happy now and think about the fact that what i do now will make me very happy in the future.

so i’m not a complainer or a whiner, i’m a doer and so i got a physical.  i’m on a plan to lose weight and eat right.  it is not going to be easy.  in fact, i forgot about eating right when i ordered a BLT sandwich and fries at st. pete’s dancing marlin this weekend. i only ate half.

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baby steps.

i also have a cardiologist who is going to run all the tests and wants to see me every 6 months.  she’s awesome.  my mom had her first heart attack at only 49.  and i’m 46.

it’s a journey,right?  that’s what they say.  i hope that i can do this and have encouragement along the way.

happy new year!

encouragement for today

30 Oct

my encouragement for today is for you, girl.

yes, you.

the woman who does it all.

chin up.  don’t get discouraged.  don’t get down.

if you don’t get encouraged by me, at least listen to one of my heros at the end.

have a great day!

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now, if you’ve made it this far, listen to maya.  miss you.

 

encouragement for today

17 Sep

ok, so i went a little crazy on pinterest

this weekend and pulled some goodies.

it’s thursday, so read and be encouraged – or at least laugh!

make today a great day.  xoxo

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what keeps me motivated.

15 Jul

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my weight loss journey has been a long one.  as is it with most people.  but the one constant that keeps me focused and on track is God.

right now i’m into running and yoga.  running is extremely hard for me.  it’s boring and the minute it starts to get hard i want to quit.  now, if ROF is reading this (and he probably is) he might think that i motivate myself by the way i scream at the top of my lungs while i do my couch to 5K running app on the treadmill.  it cracks him up to hear me bellow out rap lyrics and mix in random spurts of  YOU CAN DO IT and ONE MORE MINUTE!  and KEEP RUNNING to myself.  

it’s fun, but not my real motivator.  my real motivator is saying this over and over to myself:  “you are fearfully and wonderfully made.”  that is what keeps me going.  i am fearfully and wonderfully made.  really?  you mean i just don’t willy nilly exist from an evolved ape?

it’s from psalm 139 and it is one of the most comforting passages in the bible to me.  here, read the NIV version for yourself:

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

how does that knowledge motivate me?  because they are words ordained by God and spoken by one bad-ass dude – David.  and it isn’t about just me and what i want for me but what God wants for me.  he put a lot of thought into me and i was fearfully and wonderfully made.  so push on because i was made for it!

 not that it matters, but bono is moved too by the psalms…

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i have this book right on my nightstand.  it’s just the psalms alone with an intro by bono.  i’ve had this book for a long time and it’s dog-earred and highlighted and torn.  i didn’t even know that U2 based their song “40” on a psalm!  here i was in my 20’s, screaming “how long” in soldier field in chicago and waving my hands in the air (probably sloshing my beer all over everyone) not knowing how much this book of the bible would influence me in my future.
“So then we had this slightly unusual piece of music and we said, ‘OK, what are we going to do with it?’ Bono said, ‘Let’s do a psalm.’ Opened up the bible and found Psalm 40. ‘This is it. Let’s do it.’ And within forty minutes we had worked out the last few elements for the tune, Bono had sung it, and we mixed it. And literally, after finishing the mix, we walked out through the door and the next band walked in.”
– The Edge, U2 By U2 2006
this is a snippet of how bono tells his story in the introduction of this book:
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anyway, in addition to running, i have been loving yoga.  probably because i’m just able to move now better than i used to.  but it is a great way to connect with my body in a loving way, not a hurtful way like in the past…”you can’t wear clothes like that….you can’t do this….you can’t do that…i hate my body…” but it is a way to meditate on this psalm.  even though yoga stems from a different belief system than Christianity, I totally can respect it’s origin and people but continue to silently meditate – while i sweep my hands in the air and take a long stretch – on the fact that i was “fearfully and wonderfully made…”

have a great day!

losing 75 pounds + what i’ve learned

10 Aug

so far,  i’ve lost a little over 75 pounds.

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that’s a shitload of weight, if i do say so myself.  i’m far from done too and have at least 50 more pounds to go.  i felt like sharing some of the things i’ve learned about myself during this process.

1. boy, do old habits run deep.

i kind of pride myself on remaining relevant.  whatever the hell that means… i guess i never wanted to be one of those people that gets stuck in their way and goes through life on auto-pilot.  and, i’m not.  but this process i’ve been through has taught me how important it is to recognize a negative pattern and revise it.  revising it means evolving your thinking and replacing that habit with something else.

let’s think about that negative habit.  it may not be something your spouse or family think is negative – it may not be “bad” in the world’s eyes – but for YOU and your new vision of yourself, it’s not good.  i’ve needed to lay down the law to myself.  here are some of my bad habits:

* mindless snacking.  i now share an office with my team in a big room because i’ll be commuting from dallas to detroit each week except for two days.  so i gave up my office.  so my team-mates are probably snickering right now because they have witnessed this first hand.  mindless snacking to me is having my hand in a popcorn bag 24/7 because i’m typing and thinking and writing and talking and my hands/brain always have to be doing something.  damnit to hell.  hate that!  because i recognize that, my solution is to drink more water instead and walk more.  i also track all the mindless shoving of snacks in my mouth in myfitnesspal app and punish myself with watching the calories add up.

* exercising. losing over 75 pounds makes exercising a lot easier.  and this is what i’ve learned.  my body WANTS to move.  all the time.  my energy level is so high now that exercise is almost a given.  but my negative habit is deeply, deeply engrained into my head.  and that is “i just don’t exercise”.  never have, never will.  boooorrring.  it was not stressed growing up and i do not stress it to myself.  when i played tennis in high school i used to do everything possible to get out of the sprints and the running.  i used to HIDE IN THE TENNIS CURTAIN!  <confession> so turning around this thinking is really hard.  when you tell yourself something that “you’re just not this or you just don’t do that” it is really debilitating.  so i just do it now.  i tell myself “i am a walker”  and that I love to move.  and i’m starting to believe it!

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2.  all the things they tell you to do on a diet really do work.  

the simple things like drink a lot of water, eat protein, chew small bites, eat slowly, get daily exercise and avoiding processed food.  all that works and works really well.  it took a lot for me to learn that – a lot.  but one way i’ve lost the weight is focusing on these things.

3. forget vanity, life is much better minus the weight. 

life really is that much better now that i’m lighter.  i’m just being honest.  this has nothing to do with trying to fit in because  fitting in, to me, is so easy and extremely boring and un-creative.  <had to get that in>.

but something i’ve learned is that the mean-girl voice in my head has gone away.  you know, that inside voice that said things that kept me down + held me back.  all that conflict is gone.  poof-bam-blitz!  and on top of that, getting dressed for work in the morning is a lot more fun.

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4. just get through it. 

it’s been a long journey, i’m still on it and always will be.  it’s amazing what you can do just by telling yourself to get through it. tomorrow is a new day and i want to be in a new place.  it’s not as simple as it sounds.  but no matter what you’re going through, you’ve got to hope that tomorrow will be different.  so push through, endure + persevere.

thanks for reading!

encouragement for today

4 Feb

this week has been filled with encouragement.

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and it’s only tuesday!

sunday’s sermon was excellent about God giving you courage and encouragement when you need it and pray for it.  ROF and i did a bible study last night based on the sermon and it asked us to name some times when God gave you a small responsibility to test you before He gave you a big one.  it’s just encouraging to me to know that He is so very intimately involved in our lives and not just a thing you do on sundays.  if you want to read more on this, click here.

next, my sister reminded me of something i found and sent to her last month.  I love this stuff.   this is by dan waldschmidt.  it gave her encouragement at the exact time she needed it.  maybe it will do the same for you.  thanks dan!  looks like he has a new book coming out.

YOU HAVE TO DO THE HARD THINGS.

You have to make the call you’re afraid to make.
You have to get up earlier than you want to get up.
You have to give more than you get in return right away.
You have to care more about others than they care about you.
You have to fight when you are already injured, bloody, and sore.
You have to feel unsure and insecure when playing it safe seems smarter.
You have to lead when no one else is following you yet.
You have to invest in yourself even though no one else is.
You have to look like a fool while you’re looking for answers you don’t have.
You have to grind out the details when it’s easier to shrug them off.
You have to deliver results when making excuses is an option.
You have to search for your own explanations even when you’re told to accept the “facts”.
You have to make mistakes and look like an idiot.
You have try and fail and try again.
You have to run faster even though you’re out of breath.
You have to be kind to people who have been cruel to you.
You have to meet deadlines that are unreasonable and deliver results that are unparalleled.
You have to be accountable for your actions even when things go wrong.
You have to keep moving towards where you want to be no matter what’s in front of you.
You have to do the hard things.
The things that no one else is doing. The things that scare you. The things that make you wonder how much longer you can hold on.
Those are the things that define you. Those are the things that make the difference between living a life of mediocrity or outrageous success.
The hard things are the easiest things to avoid.  To excuse away. To pretend like they don’t apply to you.
The simple truth about how ordinary people accomplish outrageous feats of success is that they do the hard things that smarter, wealthier, more qualified people don’t have the courage — or desperation — to do.
Do the hard things. You might be surprised at how amazing you really are.

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top photo credit to: henry stern

getting better and brighter

21 Apr

this past week i was fortunate to be forced out of my comfort zone.  

if you remember, i like turbulence on a flight because it shakes me out of my thoughts and forces me to be present.

frazzled

 

well, that is kind of how this past week was for me.  i’ve worked in the automotive advertising industry for 21 years now (hard to believe) and because some of the programs i’m doing, i was invited as a guest to attend the WFF annual conference in orlando.  i felt as if i was undercover, a poser, a faker.  however, when i shared who i was with some of the incredible women i met, they were impressed!  they thought it was a great idea that i was learning about their industry and they were, in turn, interested in mine.

i had the privilege of sitting through 6 one and a half hour long seminars taught by leaders in their field:

 

1. excavating the future: interactive session for reflection and planning for the year ahead (kellogg school of business professor)

2. seeing the big picture by kevin cope

3. courage, credibility and stretching your comfort zone

4. 21 ways to connect in business in 90 seconds or less (excellent)

5. taking the stairs: success means doing things you don’t want to do

6. accelerate your impact as a business leader

 

the goal of the program is content and connection so in each of these, I did exercises with and met women in the foodservice industry.  i have to say it has opened my eyes to what a great industry it is.  here are my scribbles of notes from the seminar.  they provided full decks and overviews but i listen best if i’m writing at the same time.

  • Sustained high performance requires rest
  • Productivity goes in 90 minute cycles
  • An impression happens in 2 seconds:  I trust you, you make sense, you move me.
  • Difference between motivation (money) and inspiration (create unstoppable employees)
  • #1 predictor of a successful person: Ability to Speak Up
  • 5 superpowers: Enthusiasm, Curiosity, Feedback, Empathy and Imagination
  • If people like you, they want to say YES to you, if they don’t they want to say NO to you.  They decide this very quickly.
  • 5 ways to make lasting impression: Attitude, eye contact, smile, open body language, synchronize.
  • Leaders speak in the positive, because people only process positive information.
  • Know what you want in the positive (horse example)
  • 55% of people are visual, the rest are kinetic or audio.  If you’re talking to a group, you need to engage all of them.  Tell a story
  • IAKOLA.  stands for I’m Am Kind Of Like A…. fill in the blank. (pit bull example)
  • It is key to understand how a company makes money.
  • Key that EVERYONE knows how a company makes money
  • Everyone needs to know their role in actively improving that process
  • Selling or supporting someone that is selling is key to increased revenue
  • Companies pay slower and collect faster for cash flow purposes
  • No margin, no mission  Stephen Covey
  • If you’re not unique, you better be cheap
  • That which you measure, you damage, that which you manage, you improve
  • Growth is important to a business because it attracts and keeps the best people
  • People work hard for a paycheck, harder for a person and hardest for a purpose
  • People want the big picture, need to engage employees hearts AND minds
  • Problems that are procrastinated on are amplified
  • Buffalo run into the storm to get through it, cows run from the storm and end up running with the storm for long periods of time.
  • Short term choices lead to difficult long term consequences
  • Leverage long term vision to endure short term sacrafice
  • You need to CONSTANTLY REMIND PEOPLE OF THE VISION
  • The more we have invested into something the less likely we are to let it fail
  • Neutral thinking always becomes negative
  • Increase your commitment by asking the question HOW can I do this rather than SHOULD i do this
  • Some of us care so much about success that we procrastinate and wait for a perfect time
  • Cultivate a habit of action
  • Demand progress rather than perfection
  • Comparison is not only the thief of joy but the definition of mediocracy
  • Success is never owned, it is rented and the rent is due every day.  
  • or being healthy is never owned…
  • or leading a team….

overall it was a great sunday, monday and tuesday with 2600 bright women.

appreciating this: be good to yourself, for once

7 Jun

we all need to hear some kind words.

and sometimes you need to be the one who needs to say them

to yourself.

see if you can pick up what i’m putting down here. happy almost friday!

hope that felt good! rinse, rewind and repeat as necessary.

all these great images and where they came from are on my “words” board on pinterest here

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