personal development

What Mr. Rogers Taught Me

What Mr. Rogers Taught Me

A few days ago I saw a preview of the new documentary about Fred Rogers called, “Won’t You be my Neighbor?” Instantly, I remembered being a small child, excited to turn on our old black & white TV and see Mr. Rogers smiling face as he invited me into his living room. With fondness, I recollected watching him take off his “street clothes” and put on his sweater and tennis shoes.

Then when I was about 11 or 12, I was rummaging through my father’s stack of albums and pulled out Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. I started belittling him, saying his show was for babies. It was stupid. And then my father’s stern voice rang through the hallway. “Mr. Rogers is an exemplary human being. His show is intelligent, thoughtful and fun. And his message is one of universal love.”

That shut me up.

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     In today’s bully infested world, kindness is seen as weakness.  You and I both know that simply isn't true.  AND  Who wants to live in a world where we pull each other down and make each other wrong?   Instead, let's support one another, help us reach up and become our higher selves.  Which is why I'm making a stand for kindness.  Think about it.  How do you feel when you’re mean or cruel to someone?  Now think about how you feel when you’re kind.   Like fear, kindness is contagious.   It can shower the world like water quenching a wild fire.  And, it really is easy.  It starts with a smile.  A caring word to a stranger.  A “thank you.”  That feeling of gratitude in your heart.  Doing something because.  Handing a stranger a tissue.  Holding the door open.  Waving at a car.   Kindness is like a secret weapon. Not only does it impact the receiver, it impacts the giver too.   So today, I have 2 special kindness offerings.  The first is access to a meditation guiding you through the  Metta Bhavana , a Buddhist phrase and practice that means loving kindness.  This is a specific Buddhist prayer to help you foster loving kindness. The idea is to cultivate this feeling within your self and then express it to all sentient beings.   The guided meditation follows the steps as I learned them:    1.  Focus on yourself. Feel love, compassion and caring for YOU.   2.  Now imagine a loved one standing in front of you. Shower this person with that same love, light and healing.   3 . Thirdly, envision in front of you a person with whom you have no relationship – think about your postal worker, a shopkeeper or bus driver. Send this same love and healing light to this person.   4.  The next person to come before you is someone with whom you have a conflict or issue. Imagine that person standing directly in front of you. See him or her surrounded by love, healing, kindness and light.   5.  Lastly, send this beautiful energy out to blanket the entire world.   You can download the meditation here  OR listen to it on  Insight Timer .  Practicing the Metta Bhavana will help you create and stay in a place of kindness throughout your day. It's a powerful prayer and practice. Every time I do it, it profoundly alters my day.  And as a special bonus, I’ve added a poem for you called  Kindness  by Naomi Shihab Nye. I heard it over the weekend and learned that it has provided much solace to people over the years.  Here is a beautiful link to it,  enjoy.  Join me is fostering living kindness within your own being. Both yourself and the world will be grateful.            Be sure to continue receiving my weekly emails. Sign up FREE.

In today’s bully infested world, kindness is seen as weakness.

You and I both know that simply isn't true.

AND

Who wants to live in a world where we pull each other down and make each other wrong? 

Instead, let's support one another, help us reach up and become our higher selves.

Which is why I'm making a stand for kindness.

Think about it.

How do you feel when you’re mean or cruel to someone?

Now think about how you feel when you’re kind.

Like fear, kindness is contagious.

5 Major Blocks to Happiness & How to Release Them

5 Major Blocks to Happiness & How to Release Them

When people are asked what they want in their lives, it’s always more happiness.

So then why aren’t we as a society happier?

According to research, happiness levels in industrialized countries have stagnated since the 1950s and are now actually declining.

And it isn’t about needing more stuff, earning more money or having a bigger house.

As many of you know, I’ve been actively studying happiness since 2011 when I became a certified happiness coach. Since then, I’ve taught workshops on happiness as well as continued to dive into the practice of daily happiness on a deeper level in my life.

And here are the 5 biggest blocks to happiness.

5 Tips for a Stress Free Holiday 

5 Tips for a Stress Free Holiday 

We’ve hurdled past Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday!

Now on to Chanukah, Yule, Christmas and the New Year!

Take a minute.

How do you actually want your holidays to be? Fun, relaxed, enriching?

How do you actually want to feel? Happy, satisfied, warm?

Unfortunately, how we want to experience something and how we actually experience it, can often be worlds apart.

Right?

So in an effort to really create exactly what you want this year, here are my top 5 ways to have a stress free, relaxed and wonderful holiday season!

What’s Your Preference? Routines or Goals

What’s Your Preference? Routines or Goals

Tell me about your schedule:

  • Do you wake up everyday at exactly the same time?
  • Often eat the same meal for breakfast?
  • Don’t particularly like it when there are last minute changes in your day?
  • Work best knowing there’s a deadline?
  • Enjoy crossing items off your To Do List?
  • Prefer projects with clear beginning and end dates?

If the first 3 questions resonated with you, you’re likely more of a routine person. Meaning that you like life to be consistent, regular. You do your best work when things are humming along and you are in your flow.

If, instead, the latter 3 seemed more fun and fitting to your personality, you’re likely to be more goal oriented.

3 Steps for Anxiety Free Decision Making

3 Steps for Anxiety Free Decision Making

What if you’ve spent a ton of time heading down the road to your awesome new promotion, house or relationship when you realize it’s going south fast?

Do you keep your head down, stay on track and ignore the whisper that’s telling you something is wrong?

Or do you cut your losses and come up with a new game plan?

This was me last Saturday.

Finding Real Belonging

Finding Real Belonging

Feel like you don’t belong in your family? In society? In the world?

Me too.

I used to think it was just me. That something was terribly wrong with me. I was flawed, broken because I felt disconnected. Everyone around me seemed content, loved, successful. They were all normal and happy. Why wasn’t I?

Then I convinced myself that there must be a place, an actual physical place, where I could feel all of that- where I genuinely belonged.

So I went looking. First I crossed the country, from Boston to Portland. Then I went to Asia- Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia. I even tried the Middle East and Europe.

I thought I’d found it in Bali, but no…

It took fifteen long years for me to clue in.

Feel More Deeply Connected: 3 Simple Ways

Feel More Deeply Connected: 3 Simple Ways

Let’s face it, life, especially in the USA, has felt polarized and chaotic. Even Mother Nature seems to agree. Forest fires from Montana to California, and TWO Category 4 Hurricanes making landfall in a matter of weeks.

This is NOT a political message, this is a call to action.

Because when I think about the devastation in Houston, along the coasts in Florida and in swaths of land across the west, the message seems loud and clear.

All it took was seeing the Facebook video of the line of pickup trucks towing boats toward Houston to know.

These disasters are a reminder for us to come together.

What The Eclipse Taught Me About Faith

What The Eclipse Taught Me About Faith

The week before the eclipse life felt tense, unsettled, frustrating. Curiously, the eclipse seemed to clear the air! So why not use it as a reset?

Because, more than anything, the eclipse experience reminded me to have faith.

What is faith?

Faith is a decision to believe in something you cannot verify.

For me, it is an act of letting go of fear, of control, of a desired outcome, and relaxing into a space of grace, of knowing that all is well, that I am safe and life is good.

I’d heard about the eclipse for months but had blown it off until a few weeks ago when my husband was eager to go. Since we waited so long to make plans, the closest motel we could find was 3 hours from the path of totality in Oregon.

Live a Passion Filled Life In 3 Simple Steps

Live a Passion Filled Life In 3 Simple Steps

Have you ever met someone and been truly inspired?

That happened to me with my first yoga teacher, Jayanta. His classes immersed us in bhakti or devotion. With every pose that we did, it wasn't about sweating or getting a work out, it was prayer in motion. It was an act of connecting to the divine and expressing that love through movement.

Recently I reconnected with him, and it inspired me to remember to infuse life with love and embrace prayer in action.

Because everything we do – from brushing our teeth, to mowing the lawn, to making a phone call - is an opportunity to share the love of God and to celebrate being alive.

3 Must Haves For A Happy & Rich Spiritual Life

3 Must Haves For A Happy & Rich Spiritual Life

What does it mean to be “spiritual”?

That word gets thrown around a lot.

Sometimes spirituality can sound serious. Like the word mindfulness. Maybe you imagine a room full of conscientious people, sitting and breathing in silence.

Other times it can sound airy-fairy, when people talk to angels, or leave food out for the little people.

For me, leading a “spiritual” life means committing to God but also to humanity.

A Love Contract? 4 Ways to Write One

A Love Contract? 4 Ways to Write One

 

I’d never really though about having a contract for an intimate relationship until I read an article in the New York Times about it.

At first, it seemed crazy to “formalize” love. But then I realized Mandy Len Catron's idea had merit. And, it reminded me that, in essence, my husband and I have this.

Well, not exactly.

We never created a written contract that we sign and annually review, like the one Mandy has. Instead, we have agreements or tenets that define our relationship.

Get Your Groove Back: 3 Easy Steps to Re-Awaken Creativity

Get Your Groove Back: 3 Easy Steps to Re-Awaken  Creativity

Stuck in a rut?

Feel like you’re creative juices have dried up?

Let’s face it. This happens to ALL of us especially if you have a deadline or are starting a fresh, new project.

But here’s the great news. It’s actually pretty easy to fan that flame.

Check out these 3 ways to get going again:

5 Secrets Successful People Know

5 Secrets Successful People Know

Have you ever asked yourself what success really means to you?

Look around. People hurry and rush, busy chasing someone else’s definition of success – be it a parent, society, or cultural expectation.

Isn't it time to define success for yourself?

Take a minute, well okay, maybe 20, and dive in.

Ask yourself:

3 Ways to Be More Mindful Every Day

3 Ways to Be More Mindful Every Day

Are you ready to feel more aware, caring and mindful?

Do you want to appreciate the spring flowers, savor that fresh cup of coffee, or be fully present with others?

Instead, you find yourself distracted in the moment, either internally by the cascading river of thoughts, or externally by demands from traffic, job, family, smartphone… in other words, the chaos of life.

What if there was a way to step into the silence even if only for a moment?