The inner strength: patience and forgiveness



“Patience serves as a protection against wrong as clothes do against cold. For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases, it will have no power to hurt you.”
- Leonardo Da Vinci


To develop love, we also have develop forgiveness and patience. To forgive someone, it helps to see beyond their surface imperfections and appreciate the beauty that lies deep within. Love always goes hand in hand with this recognition of inner beauty inside a person, and when we can see this inner beauty in a person and appreciate it, we help bring that beauty to the fore and perhaps prevent whatever unfortunate thing that person might have done from occurring again.


This world of ours can seem like a downright unfair place at times, but developing this quality of love for everyone you meet allows you to rise above ‘the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’ that people might throw at you and still keep your faith in humanity intact.




If you don't reject yourself
then no one else has the power to do it.
Empower yourself with love
and you won't ever feel rejected.



It takes the balance of time and perseverance to find the work and life of your dreams.

Here are some characteristics to cultivate that will support you:

VISION ~ great clarity about what you want. Describe your vision in detail and visualize yourself in your new condition. The more you do this, the more possible , even probable, it seems that you will get there.

STRONG INTENTION~ determination to get what you want. Pursue your goals when you are thinking, writing, talking, exploring, reading and being, as well as in your actions. Be resolute that you will achieve your objectives. Be committed.

UNWAVERING BELIEF
~ a belief so strong that it stands up against challenges. Other people, sometimes believing they are being helpful try to persuade us to be realistic, meaning that we shouldn't aim too high. Successful people keep their goals high and their expectations inline. People may tell us we are being a dreamer. Successful people are practical dreamers. They have dreams, and they figure out how to make them come true

ACTION APPROACH~ know what you need to do and do it. If a person wants to drive a car, he gets behind the wheel. To dance, he moves his feet to the rhythm. To find a new job, career or better skills, he researches his options, decides on a plan and implements it. Everything requires movement. Move towards your goals, one step at a time.

FOCUS
~ stay on course. Don't stop on the way or get sidetracked by fear or the myriad other things that hold one back. Even the best get waylaid now and then, but those who are sure of the path they are on don't let themselves procrastinate for long. Pick one thing you can do, today.

FAITH~ truly believe you can do it. Know it is just a matter of time. If things don't work as fast as you would like, if something goes wrong , if you get unavoidably sidetracked, trust with a deep knowing that you can and will achieve your goals. Don't let the truth of your current reality stop you.

"Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence" –Aristotle




"There are no hopeless situations; there are only people who have grown hopeless about them."
Clare Boothe Luce
1902-1987, American Diplomat and Writer

How to face up to your weaknesses - and overcome them


Often we have a rather fixed concept of ourselves and how we would like others to perceive us. Hence, it’s a pretty painful experience when you are suddenly confronted with some unsavory aspect of your nature, and it’s doubly painful when it’s exposed for all to see. Some of us become resigned to saying ‘that’s just the way I am’ and claiming their weakness almost as a badge of identity, whereas others go to the opposite extreme, mentally flagellating themselves for every misstep they make in life.

Is there a middle path between these two extremes? Can you really overcome your weaknesses? From the changes I have seen in my life, and also from watching the lives of many of my friends who in one form or another have committed themselves to truly living at their fullest potential, I can definitely say yes to that one. And like many other things, it’s a question of how you do it. Here are a few observations:

Thinking about your weakness only gives it strength


When we hate other people, what happens? The thought of them pervades our mental space, and end up unconsciously guiding our emotions and actions. Similarly, forever thinking of how bad your weaknesses are give them power over you, and make you feel helpless in the face of them. It is better to always keep an attitude of pragmatism - the bad thing you did in the past cannot be changed now, but you can always work on avoiding a repeat in the future.

Self-acceptance


We often set unrealistic ideas of the person we should be, and a newly-discovered weakness often causes us pain because it jarringly conflicts with this idea. The first step in overcoming weaknesses is to lose these unrealistic ideas and accept yourself for who you are. By accepting yourself, warts and all, you are not giving up. No, it is in fact a realistic assessment of where you stand now in your life. Once you have learned to accept and love yourself for who you truly are, you can then work on the journey of self-improvement.

You are not your problems


When we are confronted with a particular weakness, it tends to crowd our mind that we feel that they are the sum total of what we are! This is absolutely not true. If a cloud temporarily covers the sun, it does not mean that the sun does not exist. Your problems are not ‘you’, they are merely temporary limitations and bad habits obstructing your true nature, and as such, can always be unlearned and transformed.

Focus on increasing the opposite quality

It is always a much more rewarding task to increase positive qualities than reduce negative ones. If you lose your temper easily, you can focus on increasing your inner calmness. If you are prone to criticize others, try and increase the number of good things you see in everyone you meet. Working on positive goals turns the situation around from a struggle with ‘the enemy within’ to a process of inner growth and blossoming.

Never give up

The process of human improvement is not like instant coffee, or a miracle pill. There are ups, there are downs, and there are times you wonder if you are any better than when you started. Yet bear in mind that anything we did that ever brought us a feeling of joy and satisfaction, only came because we committed to it and saw it through to the end.




“All personal breakthroughs being with a change in beliefs. So how do we change? The most effective way is to get your brain to associate massive pain to the old belief. You must feel deep in your gut that not only has this belief cost you pain in the past, but it's costing you in the present and, ultimately, can only bring you pain in the future. Then you must associate tremendous pleasure to the idea of adopting a new, empowering belief.”
Anthony Robbins quotes (American advisor to leaders)

Inspirational Quotes and Motivating Famous Sayings



Self Esteem Quotes:

•It's when we forget ourselves that we do things which deserve to be remembered (anon.)

•We have the power to shrink our dreams to fit reality or the power to stretch our reality to fit our dreams (anon)

•Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you

•Love yourself, for if you don't, how can you expect anybody else to love you?

•Nothing profits more than self-esteem, grounded on what is just and right (John Milton)

Opportunity and Success:

•Those who follow the crowd are quickly lost in it

•You will always miss 100% of the shots you don't take

•You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore

•Luck is when preparation meets opportunity

•Being right is one more good reason for not succeeding (Nicolas Davila)

•It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult (Seneca)


Decision and Direction:


•The great thing in this world is not where we are but the direction in which we are moving

•Obstacles are those annoying things we encounter when we lose sight of our goals

•It is never too late to become what you might have been

•The chief danger in life is that you may take too many precautions (Alfred Adler)



I won't have any money to leave behind. I won't have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind.
—Martin Luther King



“Ego could be defined as whatever covers up basic goodness. From an experiential point of view, what is ego covering up? It's covering up our experience of just being here, just fully being where we are, so that we can relate with the immediacy of our experience. Egolessness is a state of mind that has complete confidence in the sacredness of the world. It is unconditional well being, unconditional joy that includes all the different qualities of our experience.”

~Pema Chodron

How would it feel to live in a world where everyone was paying it forward from all over the planet?



Have you ever thought about that? What a life changing, amazing concept. Where we as beings are here to help and inspire each other. Our main pleasure in life is giving to others for the pure joy of it.

I really loved when Oprah decided to do a series of shows all about that concept. For me it really sunk in how wonderful giving with no expectation of return really is.

To watch all those people giving with such joy and to see the shock on the people’s faces when a complete stranger went up and gave them a hundred dollar bill, their reaction was priceless. We give everyday to our loved ones but when was the last time you also gave something, anything to a stranger?

I decided to implement this philosophy into my life on a regular basis. Not just one day or at a certain time but everyday all the time. I made a conscious decision that I would pay it forward everyday and with every opportunity that came up.


How I Started

How I started was simply by paying attention to others wherever I went. Really being there and seeing other people. Not walking by and staying in my own world but making eye contact with people I have never met.

Another example is going to the grocery store, if I get to the cart first and someone is behind me I give them a cart and then take mine.

The first time I did this I was surprised at how that small gesture really brightened people’s day. An older woman looked at me in disbelief and said, “Oh…that is really very nice of you, I can never get those carts apart."

I want to point out here that I didn’t have to spend any money or go out of my way to pay it forward. I continued to do things like that in the store that day and I have to share with you, it was one of the best grocery store trips I had ever experienced. I even bagged my own groceries because they were short on baggers. I walked out of that store glowing. Ever since I kept that attitude with me in everything I do.

I was amazed at the miracle of living an unselfish life

I was amazed at how my life changed as a result of living that type of unselfish life.

I really believe those daily experiences created a deeper love for myself. I liked who I was and what I was creating and that appreciation for my self spread to all the people in my life. When I love me it is natural to love everyone else.

Another experience of the pay it forward approach to life I had was in my business. I started giving first and not expecting anything in return.

This happened in many different ways. I would offer people the opportunity to have a dedicated page on my web site, with no expectation of anything back. I wasn’t expecting it but people’s offers back to me where even more generous. These types of things kept happening. The more I paid it forward the more the universe paid it back to me…I had no idea!

The process started to snowball and take on a life of its own. I thought this is really a wonderful way to live. That is when I knew that somehow I wanted to bottle this feeling of giving with no thought or expectation and share it with the world.

I wanted people to know that pay it forward doesn’t only mean going around with a thousand dollars and giving hundreds out to ten strangers on the street the way they did it on Oprah, although that was awesome, there are many ways to do the same thing.

My Invitation to You...Create Your Own Miracle!

I would like to invite you to start today with a pay it forward attitude and notice how life and the people in it respond back in like kind. I don’t mean to expect anything back; I mean notice how you feel after doing something nice for someone that you normally may not have done.

Even small things like letting in the car who wants to merge into your lane. The whole experience of driving for me is a pleasure when I take the pay it forward approach. You can make it into a game and see how many times in a day you can pay it forward.
I feel we can start today creating a world of love happiness and peace and that feeling can start with three little words…PAY IT FORWARD

I wish you all the success and happiness the Universe has to offer…Namaste!

Share with everyone about your experience with Pay it Forward. It is important for others to see what a difference it makes when you live a life of service and love. Tell us about how the challenge went for you.
*Pay it Forward
http://www.qualified-lifecoach.com/Pay_it_Forward.html

GRATITUDE

"It's the song in your heart that wants you to help make yourself a better person, and to help other people do the same. Everybody has one."– The late Mattie Stepanek






searchingwithin from the “Valley of the Subconscious" honored me with this brilliant award! Thank you so much - I am grateful.

Of all the things I love about my life and work is the opportunity to meet amazing and dynamic women. Coaching women to guide them to discover their passion and create a life of purpose and prosperity is the most rewarding thing I could do in life. Watching the women discover inner awarenesses, aha moments, and spiritual breakthroughs is a life altering experience for me


Uber (synonym to Super) Amazing Blog Award is a blog award given to sites who:
~ inspires you
~ makes you smile and laugh
~ or maybe gives amazing information
~ a great read
~ has an amazing design
~ and any other reasons you can think of that makes them uber amazing!

The rules of this award are:
* Put the logo on your blog or post.
* Nominate at least 5 blogs (can be more) that for you are Uber Amazing!
* Let them know that they have received this Uber Amazing award by commenting on their blog.
* Share the love and link to this post and to the person you received your award from.

Here are my nominations for the Uber Amazing:

A Diva's Hammer
Healthy Lifestyle Blogzine
House of Raquel
Ya-ttitude
The Partybluprints


Please take the time to visit these blogs, and best wishes to you all.


Also, Thank you Lucy from Longings, Enchantments and Scared Space for your gifted award as well. I appreciate it so much!





Before you tell your life what truths and values you have decided to live up to, let your life tell you what truths you embody, what values you represent.
—Parker Palmer



"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed.

Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude."
~ Denis Waitley

FIND YOUR PASSION




No matter who you are, where you live, how rich you are or what your age is, life happens to all of us! However, we are all different and we need to find your own way. “One size fits all” as they say, does not apply here. There are so many preconceived notions about how life ‘should’ be lived.

How to begin:

Transformation begins when we stretch our boundaries and ask basic questions: What's my role here? What do I really want? What are my passions? Where am I going?

The million dollar question is “are your living your best life”?

What would your life be like if you were doing what you love, with the people you love, in places you love? It's called a passionate life and there is a simple, effective way to discover your passions so you can create that kind of life.

Combine purpose, awareness and dedication to guide your future. Strategy is a necessity for victory in personal life and business. Focus on something greater than yourself and bring integrity into every aspect of life. Investigate your ideals, ethics, principles, then learn to cultivate the passion and the clear thinking which will lead you to your highest goals. Be clear about your methods.



Be victorious. When we recognize our desire to matter, to make a difference, when we are in touch with the yearning in our hearts and souls to be a contribution to life, we want to be worthy of that charge. We become more aware of our talents, the possibilities that we have to make a difference in the lives around us whether in small daily actions or in large strokes. We feel a part of the world around us and want to do our part to make it a better place. We start to develop our gifts and remove the blocks to being the best person we can be”.


If you feel you compromising, use these three steps to restore your integrity!


Step One: Create a Life Purpose statement that gives clarity about your beliefs, vision and desires.

Step Two: Ask yourself: When your 95 years old, what will you want to say about your life?

Step Three: Identify where you are not being truthful in your life.
Your mission is not where you currently are, but where you want to be. Be sure to write all of these things down in the present tense—claim it!


How do you know whether you’re on the right path, with the right person, or in the right job? The same you know when you’re not: You feel it.


Each of us has a personal greatness- and because yours is as unique to you as your fingerprint, no one can tell you want it is.



As you give love out, it's received and reciprocated--and it grows. That's the beauty of it. Love is an energy. You can feed it to people, and they in turn feed it to others, and eventually it comes back.
—Hill Harper

The Paradox of our age :




We have bigger houses but smaller families;
More conveniences, but less time;
We have more degrees, but less sense;
More knowledge, but less judgment;
More experts, but more problems;
More medicines, but less healthiness;
We’ve been all the way to the moon and back,
but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor.
We build more computers to hold more information to
produce more copies than ever but have less communication.
We have become long on quantity,
but short on quality.
These are times of fast foods but slow digestion;
Tall man but short character;
Steep profits but shallow relationships.
It’s a time when there is much in the window,
but nothing in the room.




If there is righteousness in
the heart there will be
beauty in the character.
If there be beauty in the
character, there will be
harmony in the house.
If there is harmony in the
home, there will be order in
the nation. When there is
order in the nation, there
will be peace in the world.

Confucius
(551-479 BC)

The Power of Intention



“Your purpose will find you…When you’re awake enough to question your purpose and ask how to connect to it, you’re being prodded by the power of intention. The very act of questioning why you’re here is an indication that your thoughts are nudging you to reconnect to the field of intention. What’s the source of your thoughts about your purpose? Why do you want to feel purposeful? Why is a sense of purpose considered the highest attribute of a full functioning person? The source of thought is an infinite reservoir of energy and intelligence. In a sense, thoughts about your purpose are really your purpose trying to reconnect to you. This infinite reservoir of loving, kind, creative, abundant energy grew out of the originating intelligence, and is stimulating you to express this universal mind in your own unique way.
Dr. Wayne W. Dyer “The Power of Intention”



Variety is usually thought to be the spice of life, however that is not always the case. Too much variety can lead to too much, where we don’t exercise temperance.

Too much variety can stop us from committing. We will never be happy with what we have because we will always seek more. So how can we be happy with what we have and maintain a comfortable equilibrium between what we desire and what we pursue?

Getting familiar with the following tips can help to create an acceptable balance in our spiritual livelihood.


Drive - We can’t drive if we have no drive. When we take the road to anything worth pursuing and we approach a curve, we must hold on to the steering wheel and negotiate that turn. Do we accelerate through it or stop?

If we stop, we won’t see what’s around the bend. If we go into a skid, we are going too fast. We must slow down, take our foot off of the accelerator and brakes and turn the steering wheel in the direction that we want the front of the car to go. Specifically, this means aligning our tires with the direction of our intended travel. As the vehicle turns back in the right direction, we must counter steer in time to stop the turning and stay on our desired path.

Harmony - to achieve overall harmony, we must achieve harmonious moments. Major musical scales are made up of a series of tones or pitches placed in relationship to each other.

The perception of harmony is also very dependent on the timbre of a sound. If we confine ourselves to thinking about the relative consonance and dissonance between certain sounds, we can reveal a relationship between a sound's timbre and the pitches of that sound that produce harmony when heard simultaneously.

When dealing with people, we must be aware of our tone (our sound) - our ability to harmonize with them. Dissonance is caused when frequencies in one sound are only slightly different from the frequencies of another. When songs are sung in harmony, there is a rich smoothness to the sound of music. Let that harmony play in your heart.

Kindness
- handle everything with care - people we come in contact with on the phone, or in person. It’s nice to have a little love in our heart. Love can travel to the furthest destinations. If the post office can use a sticker that reads, “Handle With Care,” for its delicate packages, then it’s good enough for human beings - also delicate packages.

Negotiation
- negotiating is not only for shopping, it’s for creating our employment, relationships, enjoyment and anything that we want in life. The law of attraction is the law of negotiation along with knowing how to compromise. Often times we get more than we expect when we surrender.

Opinions - too many cooks spoil the soup. If we ask too many people for their opinion, we are not taking responsibility for deciding what is best for us. We have to assess our needs and act accordingly. It’s fine to listen to some opinions to get feedback on our own, but the ultimate decision is up to us.

Humility - there is nothing more beautiful than an inactive ego. It doesn’t offend, hurt or clash with the world of matter and emotion. It serves a higher purpose of being.

Gratitude
- be grateful for everything. It’s really as simple as that. Start and end each day with a thank you. Kiss your spouse. Hug your kids. Open your heart. Gratitude makes the heart grow fonder.




“Men spend their lives in anticipations - in determining to be vastly happy at some period when they have time. But the present time has one advantage over every other - it is our own. Past opportunities are gone, future ones have not come. We may lay in a stock of pleasures, as we would lay in a stock of wine; but if we defer the tasting of them too long, we shall find that both are soured by age.”

~Charles Caleb Colton

Ditch the Superwomen Syndrome.


“One’s Philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices on makes. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And, the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”

~ Eleanor Roosevelt
1884-1962, American First Lady, Columnist and Lecturer




Give yourself permission not to be superwomen…As a way of honoring yourself;
I encourage you to practice some of these self care strategies that have been helpful for me and my clients:

1.Give yourself permission to add self care to your life. It’s OK for it to be all about you sometimes. Think of self care as any act of nurturing, meaning anything that enhances your level of health, wellness and happiness. Look at all areas such as physical, mental, social, spiritual, and financial. Paying an overdue bill can do just as much for your level of wellness sometimes as a warm bath.

2.Recognize and blast the barriers. Ask yourself: what is preventing you from making self care an everyday occurrence? Some of my client’s barriers that we often work through are feelings of guilt, lack of time, finances, lack of support or the need for perfectionism. If any of this ring true for you, take some time to determine a plan as to how you can overcome the. As Dr. Phil says…”You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.”

3.Ditch the Superwomen Syndrome. This syndrome is adding unnecessary stress and sickness to our lives. We place such unrealistic expectation on ourselves. The quilt we feel often fuels this Superwoman Syndrome. Start letting go of your mental chatter; practice saying NO and remember no one’s life is perfect. We need to take Superwomen off the pedestal and start putting a more realistic, imperfect, yet happier women up there.

4.Remember that small acts of kindness and compassion can have big pay offs.

5.Allow yourself to dream. If you are craving something new in your life, ask yourself what are some of the dreams you have been putting off.

6.Get yourself a pair of rose colored glasses. Having a healthy perception of life and a positive attitude is one of the best self care strategies you can practice. It is universal laws that what you focus on expands so what are you focusing on? Is your glass always half empty? Do you complain about everything and everybody? Take some time to see what you inner chatter is saying. Then consciously take steps to changing your thoughts and seeing the glass as half full. A daily reflection of gratitude and appreciation goes a long way towards improving yourself care, yourself worth, and your whole life.

I acknowledge all women out there who on a daily basis…participating, engaging in the present moment. Take an opportunity to acknowledge yourself for many big and little things you do. Honor yourself from a place of kindness and gentleness. We do what we know to be the best at the time. Forgive yourself when needed and celebrate yourself whether you think you need it or not. We all deserve to be celebrated. Here’s to you…Cheers!!!

What will you do today, to give yourself permission not to be a superwoman?




ARTICLE POSTED ON http://chicgalleria.com

INTUITION AND THE FLOW OF LIFE



“THE INTELLECT HAS LITTLE TO DO ON THE ROAD TO DISCOVERY. THERE COMES A LEAP IN CONSCIOUSNESS, CALL IT INTUITION OR WHAT YOU WILL. AND THE SOLUTION COMES TO YOU, AND YOU DON’T KNOW HOW OR WHY.”
~ALBERT EINSTEIN


Intuition occurs naturally when you are living in a fluid way. Detached from” Shoulds,” and strong opinions and belief systems. The flow of life is a very simple pattern of movement. Imagine a funnel. Below the funnel is the subconscious, where intuition is born. Where conscious and subconscious meet is what we refer to as intuition. At this point we have a Conscious Awareness; a creative “seed” is planted. As that idea grows in our consciousness.

Simple and Practical Ways to Live a Better life



•Listen to the promptings of the heart a little more, and listen to the complaints of the mind a little less.

O my mind,
You talk too much!
Do follow my heart
That lives in silence.
- Sri Chinmoy

•Value Inner Peace above all other desires. – If we have inner peace we will be content no matter how many material possessions we have.
•Be a good listener. Don’t always talk about Yourself.
•Don’t expect from other people. If you expect from other people you will be disappointed at some time.
•Be willing to do things without demanding recognition. It is only the ego that wants recognition.
•Think of others more than you think of yourself. Self-giving is the secret of happiness.
•Avoid acting or speaking when angry or upset. If you wait your mood will improve and you will avoid regretting it later.
•Be Tolerant of Others. People are trying in their own way to do the right thing.
•Don’t try and do two things at once. If you are with someone, give your whole attention to them, - don’t be planning how to pay your gas bill.
•Don’t Try to Impress Others. There is no need.

“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.”
- Lao Tzu


•Don’t Be Jealous. Feel other people’s success as your own.
•If you make a mistake don’t dwell on it. Resolve not to repeat it, then forget all about it.
•Don’t be inflexible - Be Willing To Change.
•Keep fit. Don’t neglect the body. Being active helps to avoid lethargy and boredom.
•Don’t count your Happiness through material accomplishments. Happiness is everyone’s birthright, no matter what our outer prosperity.

Success is not the key to happiness.
Happiness is the key to success.
If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.
- Albert Schweitzer



•When you act. Act with enthusiasm. It never helps to be half hearted.
•Love what you Do. – Even if it is the smallest of actions.
•Do Not Give up! See obstacles as opportunities to transcend yourself.
•Spend some time in solitude for reflection and meditation.
•Live in the Present Moment

Life can be found only in the present moment.
The past is gone, the future is not yet here,
and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment,
we cannot be in touch with life.

- Thich Nhat Hanh



•Do not Feel you are indispensable. This creates feelings of pride.
•Offer Your Goodwill to others. But, don’t feel responsible for the problems of other people.
•Replace a negative Thought with a positive Thought.
•Smile. - Smile sincerely and many of your illusory problems will disappear.
•Be Patient with yourself and understanding of others.
•Value the beauty of simplicity.
•If something is worth doing, it is worth doing now. Don’t Delay and procrastinate.
•Never underestimate the beauty and power of gratitude

“A Moment of gratitude
Gladdens
My entire day.
- Sri Chinmoy

Put Yourself First



Reach Other Goals by Starting with Your Self
-- By Rebecca Pratt

You're a parent, school volunteer, Little League coach, and trusted assistant to your boss. You've been up since 6 a.m., made breakfast, packed lunches, cleaned the house, chauffeured the neighborhood kids, helped with homework, read bedtime stories, and finished extra work from the office. It's 11:30. You're exhausted. And, in about six-and-a-half hours you'll begin the whole 24-hour cycle?again.

If you find yourself saying "Stop the merry-go-round, I want to get off!" you're not alone. Most of us-especially women-have at some time found ourselves at the bottom of the heap when it comes to taking care of our needs.

The problem with that is that if we don't take care of ourselves, sooner or later we won't be of much use to anyone else-or to ourselves. Just as the airline attendant tells you to put on your own oxygen mask in an emergency before helping a child with theirs, you must take care of your own basic needs before you can attend to the needs of others. What's more, being busy is not necessarily the same as being productive with meaningful activity. (Do the workaholics you know really accomplish that much more in proportion to the time they invest?)

If "putting yourself first" (a common admonition) sounds too selfish or too hard, try something simpler: put yourself on an equal footing with those you love and tend to. Do you insist that they get enough sleep? Start making that a priority for yourself too. Do you give them time for fun and socializing with friends? Then you do the same! Remember Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs: human beings must meet their basic needs before they can move on to higher-level goals.

Since most of us already know that we should take care of ourselves-but often have trouble figuring out how to do it, here are some guidelines for getting there:


•Preserve your physical health with adequate sleep, exercise, and nutrition.
•Value your emotional health as much as the physical, with a support system of friends and a willingness to laugh-especially at yourself.
•Schedule fun activities on a regular basis-it's just as important to plan pleasure as it is to plan work.
•Identify "busy behaviors" (or people) that drain your time and energy but aren't really important, then dump 'em, or at least minimize their hold on you.
•Kill two birds with one stone, combining family time with exercise, for example, which benefits everyone involved.
•Try to look at the problems in your life with new eyes to find solutions. If you're a new mom, for instance, see if you can trade childcare with another new mom to get some time for yourself.
•Learn to say "No!" Your "yes" is valuable and should not be automatic. Instead, reserve it for the things that are most important to you.
•Don't try to change every problem area in your life all at once. Start with one or two items, then expand as you get things under control.


Your life should be like a checking account, balancing out on a regular basis so that you always have assets to draw upon. By making even small deposits-taking care of yourself with a 10-minute walk or a nutritious meal-you'll be amazed at the interest you'll reap.




Carlo Franzoni
Marble
1819
National Statuary Hall

Clio, the Muse of History, stands in a winged chariot representing the passage of time and records events as they occur.




"Every memorable act in the history of the world is a triumph of enthusiasm. Nothing great was ever achieved without it because it gives any challenge or any occupation, no matter how frightening or difficult, a new meaning. Without enthusiasm you are doomed to a life of mediocrity but with it you can accomplish miracles."

Og Mandino
1923-1996, Speaker and Author of The Greatest Salesman in the World