Being thankful opens us up to receiving all kinds of wonderful blessings. When in a state of gratefulness, we acknowledge our true selves & radiate this energy to others

This week we are celebrating Thanksgiving. It is a time when families will gather together for a traditional meal and a time to give thanks for all of blessings. As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we will be perpetuating an early American custom begun over 370 years ago.

The Encarta Encyclopedia tells us, "After the harvest was completed by the Plymouth colonists in 1621, Governor William Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving and prayer, shared by all the colonists and neighboring Native Americans. In 1623 a day of fasting and prayer during a period of drought was changed to one of thanksgiving because the rain came during the prayers. Gradually the custom prevailed in New England of annually celebrating thanksgiving after the harvest." Also, in 1789 George Washington issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation for the young nation to be observed on the fourth Thursday of November of that year.

We have much to be thankful for. As we think of this Thanksgiving, I want to look at what it means to be thankful? I'm not talking about being polite after someone's opened the door for you. I'm talking about feeling thankful for the true blessings in your life. '"True Blessings" mean the things in your life that resonate importance in your life - the things that touch your core.

You may be wondering why it's important to feel thankful. Oprah talked about this concept a few years ago and she suggested having a thankfulness journal. This is a great idea because it keeps us focused on the positives in our lives. It helps us see the great things we have and do, and puts our frustrations and worries into perspective. But even if you don't have a journal, you can see the benefits of being conscious of thankfulness - again, it keeps us focused on the great and wonderful things in our lives.

Being grateful means recognizing and appreciating all of the abundance in our lives. We acknowledge our means and give thanks for them. Living in a state of gratitude means not only acknowledging those material and tangible things, but also acknowledging the intangibles as well. Those are the things we most take for granted because we cannot readily see and touch them in our lives. It is not until tragedy strikes that we begin to really see those things that are unseen to the naked eye.

It has been said that until we acknowledge the small things, the big things will continue to elude us.

How does being thankful affect your life? Let's look at it in terms of someone you may know. Imagine the person who is usually in a bad mood. They are always complaining about something, there is always someone who's done something to them and they're always getting the bum deal. This person is hard to be around and it takes a lot of energy to maintain a relationship with them. By the end of a visit, you're exhausted! Do you think this person is a thankful one? Probably not. In fact, if you asked them what they're thankful for, they may have a hard time telling you.

On the other hand, think of someone else you know. This person is energetic, and has a certain spark to them. They laugh a lot and have a "can-do" attitude. They may be afraid, but they are willing to try new things. If you ask them what they're thankful for, they will be able to list off many. And when you visit with this person, you feel energized, inspired and thankful to know them. It's safe to say that this person is more fulfilled in their life than the unthankful one.

Of course our lives are never perfect but we still strive for perfection. But you know how it is. You reach the top of one mountain and lo and behold! There’s another mountain to climb! Don't feel discouraged by this. Be sure to look back at all the mountains you've climbed and acknowledge the growth and progress you've made. Be thankful for the experiences because without them, you wouldn't be where you are today.

And what if where you are today is not where you want to be? Again, be thankful that you are where you are - because now you have a very clear idea of what you don't want. You can now work towards what you do want.

If you are wondering how to get started on this, begin with a list. Write down every little thing you're thankful for. Nothing is too small to put on this list. Include the mundane things like the first cup of coffee in the morning or the birds that were singing. Tell yourself that you're going to add to it all day as ideas pop into your head. Keep this idea in your mind all day. You don't have to be totally focused on it, just be open and know that at the end of the day when you read over your list, you're going to see that there are so many wonderful things in your life that you have to be thankful for.

You can even add things that you don't have, but want. This is important in manifesting our dreams.

"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

"When we live from that place of gratitude, then I can witness to the abundance in my life"


Life is like Coffee Movie

Life is like Coffee Movie: "Life is like Coffee. Do you know people that just seem to be happier in general? Do you say to yourself, "I want to be more like them"? Often, the happiest people in the world don’t have the best of everything...they just make the best of everything!"

Here is your Friday message,

Today I Will Make A Difference

Today I will make a difference. I will begin by controlling my thoughts. A person is the product of his thoughts. I want to be happy and hopeful. Therefore, I will have thoughts that are happy and hopeful. I refuse to be victimized by my circumstances. I will not let petty inconveniences such as stoplights, long lines, and traffic jams be my masters. I will avoid negativism and gossip. Optimism will be my companion, and victory will be my hallmark. Today I will make a difference.

I will be grateful for the twenty-four hours that are before me. Time is a precious commodity. I refuse to allow what little time I have to be contaminated by self-pity, anxiety, or boredom. I will face this day with the joy of a child and the courage of a giant. I will drink each minute as though it is my last. When tomorrow comes, today will be gone forever. While it is here, I will use it for loving and giving. Today I will make a difference.

I will not let past failures haunt me. Even though my life is scarred with mistakes, I refuse to rummage through my trash heap of failures. I will admit them. I will correct them. I will press on. Victoriously. No failure is fatal. It's OK to stumble...I will get up. It's OK to fail...I will rise again. Today I will make a difference.

I will spend time with those I love. My spouse, my children, my family. A man can own the world but be poor for the lack of love. A man can own nothing and yet be wealthy in relationships. Today I will spend at least five minutes with the significant people in my world. Five quality minutes of talking or hugging or thanking or listening. Five undiluted minutes with my mate, children, and friends.

Today I will make a difference.

You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.

"A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing."

  "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be?" –Marianne Williamson

Maya Angelou

“Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time” – Maya Angelou. Maya Angelou’s famous quotes on love, courage, success, attitude, achievement and life are amongst the most popular inspirational quotes today. Angelou is a strong and inspiring woman, poet, author, actress and civil rights activist. Maya Angelou’s quotes, poems and famous sayings provide women and girls inspiring words of wisdom to live by.
Born Marguerite Ann Johnson in 1928, Maya Angelou is best known for her portrayals of strong African American women in her numerous writings. Angelou published her first widely-acclaimed autobiographical book “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” in 1970.

In the following year, 1971, she published her first volume of poetry entitled “Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Die”, which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. At Bill Clinton’s request, Angelou read her poem “On the Pulse of the Morning” at his presidential inauguration in 1993. Besides Maya Angelou’s famous poem Still I Rise and the poem wrongly attributed to Angelou A Woman Should Have, here is a collection of famous quotes and sayings by Maya Angelou to inspire and uplift women of all ages.

45 Best Maya Angelou Quotes
  1. If we lose love and self respect for each other, this is how we finally die.
  2. Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at it destination full of hope.
  3. If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don’t be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning ‘Good morning’ at total strangers. – Maya Angelou
  4. If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.
  5. Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time.
  6. The honorary duty of a human being is to love.
  7. Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage. –
  8. I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.
  9. My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.
  10. One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest. – Maya Angelou
  11. The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned. –
  12. The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.
  13. Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
  14. I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it. – Maya Angelou
  15. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. – Maya Angelou
  16. Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.
  17. My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
  18. You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you. All the other tangible rewards will come as a result.
  19. A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.
  20. I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
  21. Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud. – Maya Angelou (Letter to My Daughter)
  22. We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.
  23. You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.
  24. Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.
  25. The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise
  26. Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.
  27. You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I’ll rise!
  28. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life.
  29. Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.
  30. I sustain myself with the love of family.
  31. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.  Maya Angelou
  32. A Woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself.
  33. The ship of my life may or may not be sailing on calm and amiable seas. The challenging days of my existence may or may not be bright and promising. Stormy or sunny days, glorious or lonely nights, I maintain an attitude of gratitude. If I insist on being pessimistic, there is always tomorrow. Today I am blessed.
  34. The problem I have with haters is that they see my glory, but they don’t know my story…
  35. A woman who is convinced that she deserves to accept only the best, challenges herself to give the best. Then she is living phenomenally.
  36. The sisters and brothers that you meet give you the materials which your character uses to build itself. It is said that some people are born great, others achieve it, some have it thrust upon them. In truth, the ways in which your character is built have to do with all three of those. Those around you, those you choose, and those who choose you. – Maya Angelou
  37. Living well is an art that can be developed: a love of life and ability to take great pleasure from small offerings and assurance that the world owes you nothing and that every gift is exactly that, a gift. 
  38. Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.
  39. You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
  40. We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable. It would be wise to use that time adoring our families, cherishing our friends and living our lives.
  41. When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.
  42. This is my life. It is my one time to be me. I want to experience every good thing.
  43. I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.
  44. We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.
  45. You rose into my life like a promised sunrise, brightening my days with the light in your eyes. I’ve never been so strong. Now I’m where I belong. – Maya Angelou

"We did not come to this earth simply to do our job, make money, acquire things, and be like everyone else. We did not come to make ourselves so busy that we have no time to feel our soul, and to listen to its gentle guidance. We came to blossom into the fullest expression of our true nature, our authentic self-who we were destined to be before we were shaped into someone else. There is still time"

"When you paint success pictures in your mind, you initiate an inner process whereby your attitudes, hopes, aspirations, and enthusiasm are elevated in response to an image of a more promising future. Every person who aspires must first sell themselves hope, the promise of a better life."
U.S. Andersen
1917-1986, Author of The Magic In Your Mind 

“Twenty years from now you will be
more disappointed by the things
you didn't do than by the
ones 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

"Successful people decide how they are going to live; they are not victims of circumstance. In good times or bad times, they know where they are going and they know that they are going to get there."


"Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your mind. Put your whole soul to it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
1803-1882, Essayist, Philosopher and Poet

If we agree that the bottom line of life is happiness, not success, then it makes perfect sense to say that it is the journey that counts, not reaching the destination.

"Maybe you can't change the whole world, but if you have love in your heart you can make small differences every day, which really does change the world, one life at a time."

Your life right now is a reflection of your past thoughts. That includes all the great things, and all the things you consider not so great. Since you attract to you what you think about most, it is easy to see what your dominant thoughts have been on every subject of your life, because that is what you have experienced.
Rhonda Byrne

I'm a big believer in growth. Life is not about achievement, it's about learning and growth, and developing qualities like compassion, patience, perseverance, love, and joy, and so forth. And so if that is the case, then I think our goals should include something which stretches us.
Jack Canfield

"Keep away from small people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."
Mark Twain
1835-1910, Humorist and Writer


Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.  ~Leo Buscaglia

To All The MOMS...
Celebrate YOURSELF!!!!

Happy Mothers Day!!

“This is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, Love to complete your life.”

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir - 'Lux Aurumque'

How very clever and beautiful!!

Martin Luther King, Jr.: Inspirational Life Quotes
The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where the stand in times of challenge and controversy.

"A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown."
Denis Waitley

"It's the little things you do that can make a big difference. What are you attempting to accomplish? What little thing can you do today that will make you more effective? You are probably only one step away from greatness."

"Love is like the sun coming out of the clouds
and warming your soul." - Author Unknown


By Anne Lamott,
We begin to find and become ourselves when we notice how we are already found, already truly, entirely, wildly, messily, marvelously who we were born to be. The only problem is that there is also so much other stuff, typically fixations with how people perceive us, how to get more of the things that we think will make us happy, and with keeping our weight down. So the real issue is how do we gently stop being who we aren't? How do we relieve ourselves of the false fronts of people-pleasing and affectation, the obsessive need for power and security, the backpack of old pain, and the psychic Spanx that keeps us smaller and contained?

Here's how I became myself: mess, failure, mistakes, disappointments, and extensive reading; limbo, indecision, setbacks, addiction, public embarrassment, and endless conversations with my best women friends; the loss of people without whom I could not live, the loss of pets that left me reeling, dizzying betrayals but much greater loyalty, and overall, choosing as my motto William Blake's line that we are here to learn to endure the beams of love.

Oh, yeah, and whenever I could, for as long as I could, I threw away the scales and the sugar....

Becoming the Person You Were Meant to Be: Where to Start
By Anne Lamott

Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstances


"We cannot expect to change human nature overnight. If at first we don’t succeed, never give up. Don’t waste time feeling guilty, but instead just reassert you intention to try again. Steady perseverance is the key. This is especially important for habits like excessive worry or anger. It takes time to overcome this kind of habit. Rather than expecting an immediate change we should seek to make gradual process in reducing our bad habits."

The ability to discipline yourself to delay gratification in the short term in order to enjoy greater rewards in the long term is the indispensable pre-requisite for success
Brian Tracy
I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.
Helen Keller
There is no failure. Only feedback.
Successful leaders have the courage to take action while others hesitate.
John Maxwell
Success, real success, in any endeavor demands more from an individual than most people are willing to offer-not more than they are capable of offering.
James Roche
Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose.
Bill Gates
How many a man has thrown up his hands at a time when a little more effort, a little more patience would have achieved success?
Elbert Hubbard
Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.
There isn't a person anywhere that isn't capable of doing more than he thinks he can.
Henry Ford
Never stand begging for what you have the power to earn.
Miguel de Cervantes
It's never crowded along the extra mile.
Wayne Dyer
A ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.
William Shedd
There is plenty of room at the top -- but no place to sit down.

 Success is a choice. You must decide what you want, why you want it, and how
you plan to achieve it. No one else can,will,or should do that for you.

A close relative to being decisive, but your ability to sustain you focus
from beginning to end determines the timing and condition of your

The fundamental question is not whether you should accept failure. You have
no choice but to except it as a temporary condition on the path way of
progress. Rather, the question is how to anticipate failure and
redirect resources to grow from the experience.

Your mind while blessed with permanent memory is cursed with lousy recall.
People forget things. Avoid temptation of being cute. Write down you

Planning saves 10 to 1 execution. Proper planning prevents poor performance.


Nobody goes through life alone. Establish your own "Personal Board of
Directors", people whose wisdom, knowledge, and character you respect
to help you achieve your


Success is not a spectator sport-achievement demands action. You cannot expect
to arrive at success without having made the trip.

Rewards work! Think of what you will give yourself as a result of you hard work, focus and persistence - you deserve it!

The shelf life of all plans is limited. No plans holds up against
opposition. Everything changes. Therefore inspect frequently and
closely, it's an insurance policy of your success.

Maintain your commitment to your commitment. Set your goals; promise yourself
that you will achieve them. Eliminate wiggle room and excuses.

"Your power to choose the direction of your life allows you to reinvent
yourself, to change you future, and to powerfully influence the rest of
~ Stephen R. Covey

I Might Be Wrong

We often make mistakes when we are wrong, but the greatest mistakes are made when we are sure that we are right. It is unfortunate, but true, that so many friendships and families are needlessly broken apart due to one person being sure that they are right.

We sometimes mistakenly feel that as long as we think our motivation for speaking and standing up against another person is right and just then, “let the chips fall where they may, I will do what is right…” It seems like such a proper and correct position. But what we must learn is that we are too often completely blinded to our true motivations. We might honestly and truthfully think that our motivations are pure and just but in truth somewhere deep in our heart, what is pushing us to cause separation and to speak ill of another person is a negative feeling that we are completely unaware of.

If we are blind to our blindness then we will barrel through life getting hurt, falling and always blaming others for our pain.
The most important lesson is to always tell ourselves:

“I might be wrong”.

Many great souls throughout history made terrible mistakes, thinking that their actions were true and just, while being blind to their true motivation. We should all be awakened from this understanding. We are blind in ways that we do not know, therefore we should never act in ways that cause others pain and separation.

No matter how clearly we believe we see the situation, no matter how right we believe we are, we never know - we might be wrong.

This is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, Love to complete your life.”

Be Kind to Yourself

Increase Hope, Think about what you need most, and then do it.
Is it a cup of tea, a brisk walk, some downtime, quiet music, a little rest, or reading inspirational literature?

Whatever it is, grant yourself permission to do it, even for just a few minutes.
If you're at work, take a "care-break" where you take care of you for a brief moment. These small moments accumulate and transform the texture of our days.

Have The Right Attitude

Much of what you experience in life can feel more stressful or less so depending of your point of view. Looking at things from an optimistic frame of mind can not only decrease your stress level, but bring you more success in life and more. You can become more of an optimist by following these tips. You can even change ingrained negative thought patterns to more positive ones by using positive affirmations.

•Make a conscious effort to replace your negative thoughts and actions with positive ones. Instead of looking at a task and saying, “It’s impossible,” just commit to doing it and enjoying the challenge of a job well done. Instead of viewing an illness as “proof” of how hopeless your life is, look at it as your body’s way of telling you that something needs to change, and then work on changing it.
Every hardship, every seemingly impossible thing is actually a brilliant opportunity for you to show just how far you can push yourself to accomplish your goals. Expect some curveballs along the way and accept that they are an inevitable part of life.

Whatever comes your way, exude positive energies to those around you, and it will be reflected back to you!

•Creating optimism depends on our own efforts. We cannot count on other people such as our spouses, parents, or close friends to make this positive attitude well up inside us. If we do that, we are turning our lives over to others and putting our own happiness at the mercy of someone else.

Creating optimism means learning to look inside ourselves for that joyful energy that we have only allowed ourselves to experience once in a while. It means learning how to access that without having to wait for a wedding or a new promotion or a lucky lottery ticket. We make the decision to become the creators of our own happiness by directly accessing the source of that happiness that lies inside of each of us. This only becomes possible, however, by first looking at the negative thoughts and feeling that are blocking this energy from coming to the surface. The more we examine our own thoughts and emotions, the more we begin to see how our minds function and we slowly become the experts at accessing the joy within.

"Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be."
George Sheehan

"No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change."
Barbara DeAngelis

Spreading the LOVE

Get ready to put your 'Boogie' boots on!


"Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won't come in." ~Alan Alda

Perspective is simply a viewpoint or a way of looking at things. The area of perspective is so important in self-growth and development because as we know, how we look at things is what determines our experience! We are often stuck with perspectives and belief systems that we think are a concrete part of us never to be changed. This could be not be further from the truth, if one is willing to change and at least look at other and different perspectives. Limited perspectives keep us from getting what we want. They stop us from getting different results not matter how hard we try.

If you were your own coach, what coaching would you give yourself right now?

Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole, clear, glorious life lies before you. Achieve! Achieve!
Andrew Carnegie

Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.
Martin Luther

Success is 99% failure.
Soichiro Honda

Genius is one percent inspiration, and ninety-nine percent perspiration.
Thomas Edison

When you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, 'Certainly I can!'
Then get busy and find out how to do it.
Theodore Roosevelt

Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many -- not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.
Charles Dickens

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

The essence of optimism is that it takes no account of the present, but it is a source of inspiration, of vitality and hope where others have resigned; it enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not to abandon it to his enemy.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The man who acquires the ability to take full possession of his own mind may take possession of anything else to which he is justly entitled.
Andrew Carnegie

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
Albert Einstein

Nurture your mind with great thoughts;
to believe in the heroic makes heroes.
Benjamin Disraeli

All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.
Orison Swett Marden

Act as if it were impossible to fail.
Dorothy Broude

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Always look at what you have left. Never look at what you have lost.
Robert H. Schuller

Throw back the shoulders, let the heart sing, let the eyes flash, let the mind be lifted up, look upward and say to yourself ...
nothing is impossible!
Norman Vincent Peale

10 Ways to Handle Change

Life's transitions are ultimately positive, even if they don't always feel it. Here's how to navigate them gracefully.

By Ariane de Bonvoisin

Everyone experiences change--it may be a job change, relationship change, health change, or a change you've initiated that suddenly seems daunting. If you find change difficult, you're not alone. Many people think change is hard. But it's possible for the change you're going through to be easier, smoother, and less stressful--you can find the positive in transitions and learn to love your life more... you can become a Change Optimist.

Remember That Change Happens to Us All

Change happens every day, to everyone; it's the one constant in life, the thing that connects us all. And whether life has thrown a change at you or you've sought one out, it's natural to find it difficult.

But I believe change is positive, that anyone can change (you're never too old or too young), and there are always ways to make change easier. It's time to learn one of life's most important skills: how to navigate change!

From Every Change Something Good Will Come

People who are good at change always focus on the positive that will inevitably come from any transition. The gift that comes from change may not be related to what you're currently going through. For example, you may lose your job but find yourself in a rewarding new relationship that you wouldn't have had time to pursue.

Change may lead you to new people, help you develop a stronger faith and belief in yourself, give you new opportunities, or inspire you to live a healthier life. It's important to be on the lookout for good changes, and not necessarily where you expect to find them!

Your Beliefs about Change Are Your Foundation

What you think about change will have a direct effect on how easy or hard you find the process. If you believe that change is difficult and terrible, then you will probably have a difficult and terrible time. But if you believe that change exists to teach you something--to make you a better person and put you on a new path--the transition will not be so daunting. Identify your beliefs--what you think and say to yourself and others during change--and turn them around.

For example, if you are having financial trouble, you may think "I am incapable of managing money." Or if you're going through a difficult break-up, you may believe "I am unlovable." But you can trade these disempowering beliefs--and their accompanying negativity and complaining--for thoughts that will give you strength and hope.

Get Unstuck with the Change GPS

Because of emotions brought up by change, it's easy to get stuck in the past and to lose your ability to move forward. You may feel trapped by these Change Demons, but you can get unstuck by turning on your Change GPS! A GPS navigator only asks two questions: "Where are you now?" and "Where do you want to go?" Your Change GPS helps you move through transitions by alerting you if you're off-course and encouraging you to focus on your final destination.

If you're hoping to lose weight, for example, be honest about where you stand today (how much you need to lose and the most realistic approach), then create a plan and stick to it. The GPS won't tell you what you did wrong yesterday or what you could have done differently; it simply keeps you moving along the path to your ultimate goal.

Turn to Your Change Support Team

It's normal to feel isolated during change. We often think what we are facing is so unique that no one else can help or understand us. But change is easier when you let other people in. Whatever the situation, there is always, always, someone who can help.

One of the quickest ways to embrace change and move through it is to surround yourself with a team of supportive people. They can be family, friends, clergy members, therapists, co-workers--or anyone else who might help you through a change. These people are there to listen, support, and encourage you. They believe you can change, they want you to change, and most importantly, they will keep you on a path of hope and optimism as you move through the transition.

Change Demons Are a Healthy Part of Change

Change Demons are disempowering feelings that arise during any change. These emotions--fear, doubt, impatience, shame, blame, and guilt--can wreak havoc with your self-esteem and destroy hope. But they also remind you how you don't want to feel during change so you can return to how you do want to feel.

When Change Demons visit, remember: 1) they are temporary; 2) they encourage you to make a choice--you can choose to feel better or worse than the emotion you are currently experiencing; and 3) they can be replaced with better, brighter emotions that will help you move through change with ease and grace. Faith, patience, endurance, and honesty are some positive emotions that can replace Change Demons.

Use Your Spiritual Strength

When everything is changing, it's important to find the part of yourself that doesn't change--your calm, centered, spiritual side, your higher self. It's the part that's connected to something greater and uses your intuition as a guide. You need to reconnect to it through prayer, meditation, nature, silence, or journaling...anything that helps you go back inside, where your true spirit and power reside.

While your lower self may slip into self-pity and hold grudges, your higher self doesn't allow you to become a victim, to blame someone else when things get difficult, or to get lost in anger. This side helps you shine in strength, compassion, and clarity. During change, make an effort to act from your higher self and ask: "What would the better, wiser, calmer part of me do or say or think right now?"

You Have a Change Muscle

Everyone is born with a will to survive, get better, and be happier--I call this the Change Muscle. It helps you accept the reality of your situation and find your center again. Every time you are faced with a change and move through it, you are activating that muscle. And once you flex it, it's strengthened for life--you can never lose all that you have gained from experience. Next time you're faced with transition, remember that your Change Muscle will give you the strength to get through it.

Accept Change

When change happens, you often look longingly back to what used to be. You don't like where the river of life seems to be taking you, so you cling to the rocks or row vigorously upstream--that's what makes change tough! Accept change by taking in your new circumstances without fighting, arguing, explaining, or asking "What if?" It may be difficult at first, but you will soon see that life will lead you through this change and into a place of greater happiness and peace.

Go in the direction that life is taking you. If it's a divorce, accept it; if it's a health diagnosis, accept it--only then can you focus on re-aligning yourself with a plan and an optimistic view that focuses on the future, not the past.

Take Action

People who are good at change stop talking and take positive action. Whether life has thrown you a change or you want to make a shift, get a journal and start writing down your feelings. Then make a plan that feels right and is realistic and hopeful. Next, start moving physically. Getting some form of exercise is an absolute must when going through change--don't forget the S.E.E.D of all change. (Sleep, Eat Well, Exercise, and Drink Water).

Doing something for someone else--helping a neighbor, calling a lonely friend, spending extra time with your child--will also help to keep you moving forward during change. You can also try something brand new--a new route home, a new class at the gym, a new restaurant, to get things flowing. During transitions it's also helpful to create a "wall of change" with images of what you want to shift and work towards.