19 More Days….

19!!!

Only 19 more days….

To hang the wreath, drape the lights, and display your entire collection of Santas

To purchase a tree, string popcorn & cranberries, and hang the ornaments

To find the perfect gifts for your children, family, neighbors, teachers, and best friend

To bake the sugar cookies, gingerbread men, and 7-layer bars

To take a family photo, create a holiday card, address and drop them in the mail

To wrap, hide, hand deliver or ship all your gifts

To attend the neighborhood ornament exchange, office party and book club luncheon

To be enticed by holiday pastries, gourmet food gift baskets, and home baked treats

To hear Winter Wonderland at the grocery store, in the mall, and on the car radio

Only 19 more days…..

The mere thought of it is enough to send you crawling under a rock to hide for the next 19 days!  Or overwhelm you into paralysis!  But neither of those are viable options.

So how do we really live, embrace and find joy during the holidays – instead of feeling burdened and simply surviving the next 19 days?

Here are some awesome actions to create a holiday season filled with peace and joy.

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To Do List

Get that long list of things you have to do out of your head and onto paper (or into your computer).  Write down everything you can think of that you need to accomplish (in the next 19 days, the next week or even just today!)  Then prioritize the list from most important to least important.  You can only DO one thing at a time, but having a list of items swirling around in your head tends to create chaos and ultimately inaction.  End each day by updating and re-prioritizing tomorrow’s To Do list, so you can sleep with an uncluttered mind, and wake knowing with clarity what your day holds.

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Pause, Breath, Be Grateful

If you enjoy roller coaster rides as much as I do, you know you can’t stay in your seat and repeat the ride over and over again.  Part of what makes the ride so awesome is getting off the roller coaster, returning to the line to wait with anticipating for the ride to start all over again.  This gives you the chance to pause, catch your breath and acknowledge how awesome the ride was before you continue on.  It’s no different than life!  When you start to feel that holiday panic creep in, the stress and overwhelm that can accompany what’s intended to be a beautiful time of  year, simply stop what you are doing! Sometimes we have to step back from the action of our life, take a few long deep breaths and be grateful in that very moment for all that we have.  I haven’t been able to find the words to explain WHY this works, but I know from experience that it does – it works like magic!

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Random Act of Kindness

Practicing kindness changes the world – one smile, one touch, one small act at a time!  Assuming that most people are experiencing an increased level of stress and overwhelm with all the holiday expectations, one little random act of kindness could make a world of difference!  Not only would it positively impact someone else, but it will alter your perception and experience of the holidays.  A random act of kindness isn’t measured by it’s size – it is measured by your intention and desire to make a difference.  Give the gift of kindness – be friendly, be generous, be considerate – Kindness is contagious!

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These simple strategies may not fix everything, but they will certainly help!  Now let’s go embrace and enjoy this holiday season!

with Joy & Gratitude,

Awesome Action – LOVE!

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LOVE…..

LOVE is a verb

LOVE is expressed as an action and experienced as a feeling

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Our AWESOME ACTION assignment is TO LOVE!

Don’t just feel love for others, but express your love as an action, actively love your family and friends.  In his book “The 5 Love Languages”, Gary Chapman explains that there are five distinct ways to express one’s love.

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Words of affirmation – acknowledge someone, tell them why they are special

Acts of service – do something helpful and kind for someone

Gifts – give a gift, store bought or home made, as an act of love

Quality time – spend intentional, focused time with someone

Physical touch – hold hands, give a bear hug, sit side by side and cuddle

The idea of LOVE as a verb, not a noun, needs no further explanation.  It simply requires us to be intentional.

DO LOVE – BE LOVE – GIVE LOVE!

John Mayer – Love is a Verb

with Joy & Gratitude,

Awesome Action Friday – Treat Yourself!

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We are quick to lend a helping hand to a neighbor in need, write a note of appreciation to someone that matters to us, or purchase that perfect little gift that jumps off the shelf screaming your best friend’s name.

We give our time, attention, money, and friendship to other people.  We care for, nurture, support, laugh with and love those around us.

Why then do we not afford ourselves the same kindness and generosity?  Why do we give to others yet withhold from ourselves?  Why do we treat other people like they are more worthy than we are?

Deep questions to ponder, for sure!  As much as I love to contemplate the ‘why’s’ of life, on this one – I think we just need to get into awesome action now, and ask the hard questions later.

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PRACTICE RANDOM ACTS OF AWESOMENESS….

This week’s awesome action is to do something nice for yourself!  Pamper yourself, take time for yourself, buy yourself a gift.  Treat yourself the way you would treat your best friend!

I assume some of you are cringing in pain at the thought of being nice to yourself, while others are jumping for joy at the prospects of being given permission to treat yourself to something extra, something fun, something you deserve!

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The ultimate goal is for you to want to treat yourself and to need permission from no one other than yourself!  In the meantime, allow me the pleasure of reminding you how AWESOME you are, how much you deserve to be treated with kindness and respect, and how worthy you are of your own time, attention, money and friendship!

So get into some awesome action and TREAT yourself!

What does that look like?  Whatever you want!  There are no rules….

Treat yourself to…..

* your favorite cup of coffee * a fun lipstick color * a new cookbook or novel * a pair of cowgirl boots * that big splurge item you’ve been saving for *

Treat yourself to….

* a pedicure * a new haircut and highlights * a facial or massage * a whole spa day *

Treat yourself to….

* alone time reading in your favorite chair * an extra hour of sleep * a walk in the park * a bike ride * a day without cooking, cleaning or doing laundry *

Treat yourself to….

* an uninterrupted phone call with your best buddy * lunch with friends * dinner and a movie * a weekend away at a quaint B & B *

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Treat yourself to whatever it is that will make you feel loved….by you!  There’s no time like the present.  If you don’t nourish and honor YOUR mind, body & soul – how can you possibly give what you have to offer to other people, without completely depleting the tank!  It is NOT selfish to put YOU first….it’s mandatory!

with Joy & Gratitude,

Awesome Action Wednesday – Bucket List

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Do you have a BUCKET LIST?

Not just a thought or two floating around your head, but a real list of things you’d love to experience or accomplish before you kick the bucket?

I don’t have one either!

As I creep closer to the half century mark I’ve found myself more aware of my mortality.  None of us know when our time here will come to an end.  I hate to be morbid, but it’s the reality of life.  I don’t want to have any regrets.  I want to live like I was dying, instead of waiting until I’m actually dying to wonder what my life could have been like if I had really lived it, full out.

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What I love most about the concept of a Bucket List is that we are totally and completely free to include absolutely anything we can think of.  There are no boundaries, no limits, no judgement, no rules.  Your bucket list can be filled with wildly crazy ideas, as well as the simple and mundane.

It’s YOUR life….

It’s YOUR bucket list….

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PRACTICE RANDOM ACTS OF AWESOMENESS

No surprises here!  Today’s awesome action is to create YOUR bucket list!  It doesn’t have to be complete, but at least start it….NOW!  If you wait, if you put it off until tomorrow, then it just becomes a great idea that will probably never come to fruition.

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Relax, play and have FUN with your bucket list.  You can start one master list, or you can categorize and design multiple lists.  For example, you could have a summer bucket list, a date night bucket list, or a travel bucket list.

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You can simply write a numbered list on a piece of notebook paper.  But if you are more creative, record your list in a journal or scrapbook,  write it on a chalkboard or white board, post it on a bulletin board or use an actual bucket as a storage place for your must do items.

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If the thought enters your mind….write it down.  Don’t edit, don’t question, and don’t worry about what you are adding to your list.

Since I don’t have a bucket list, and there’s no better time than the present….I’m going to literally make this up as my fingers type.

Here are the first 10 items on my bucket list:

1.  Ski the Alps

2.  Attend a concert at the Red Rocks ampitheater in Colorado

3.  Grow a vegetable garden

4.  Explore the United States in an RV

5.  Mountain bike through New Hampshire, Vermont & Maine

6.  Have a 48 hour long movie marathon in my pj’s

7.  Travel to Costa Rica, Bali, Tahiti, & Bora Bora

8.  Go to the Olympics (as a fan!)

9.  Sleep on the beach, watching both the sun set and rise

10.  Drive a convertible sports car through the country side at speeds over 100 mph

Wow – that was a little more challenging than I expected.  But also way more fun!  I’d love to start with #10 – driving really, really fast through back country winding roads in a convertible!

*Awesome Action BONUS*

Want to really immerse yourself in the concept of a bucket list?

I would recommend Tim McGraw’s song “Live Like You Were Dyin” as well as Rob Reiner’s movie “The Bucket List’, in which 2 terminally ill men (played by Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson) go on a road trip to do the things they want to do before they die.

 

“Live Like You Were Dyin” – Tim McGraw

He said I was in my early forties,
With a lot of life before me,
And a moment came that stopped me on a dime.
I spent most of the next days, lookin’ at the x-rays,
Talkin’ ’bout the options and talkin’ ’bout sweet time.
Asked him when it sank in, that this might really be the real end.
How’s it hit ya, when you get that kind of news.
Man what ya do.
And he says,

I went sky divin’,
I went rocky mountain climbin’,
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull name Fumanchu.
And I loved deeper,
And I spoke sweeter,
And I gave forgiveness I’ve been denying,
And he said someday I hope you get the chance,
To live like you were dyin’.

He said I was finally the husband,
That most the time I wasn’t.
And I became a friend a friend would like to have.
And all the sudden goin’ fishing,
Wasn’t such an imposition.
And I went three times that year I lost my dad.
Well I finally read the good book,
And I took a good long hard look at what I’d do
If I could do it all again.
And then.

Like tomorrow was a gift and you’ve got eternity
To think about what you do with it,
What could you do with it, what can
I do with with it, what would I do with it.

I went Sky divin’,
I went rocky mountain climbin’,
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull name Fumanchu.
And I loved deeper,
And I spoke sweeter,
And I watched an eagle as it was flyin’.
And he said someday I hope you get the chance,
To live like you were dyin’.

To live like you were dyin’.
To live like you were dyin’.
To live like you were dyin’.
To live like you were dyin’.

The Bucket List – Two Questions

As always, I’d LOVE to hear what you put on YOUR Bucket List!

with Joy & Gratitude,

Awesome Action Monday – Pick 2

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Being inspired is defined as “the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially something creative.”

You can feel inspired, but a feeling doesn’t last.  It’s like eating ice cream.  You have it, you enjoy it and then it’s gone!

Feeling inspired is temporary, unless you let that feeling motivate you into action.  Use the feeling of inspiration to DO something of value!

Feelings don’t change your life – Actions do!  Which is why I love AWESOME ACTION days, because they challenge us to do something that will make us better.

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PRACTICE RANDOM ACTS OF AWESOMENESS!

Today’s Awesome Action is a PICK 2!

The following is a list of the awesome actions I’ve shared with you over the past few weeks.  You can take them at face value, or revisit the original post (each is a link) if you want to feel inspired first.  PICK 2 – you choose which actions inspire YOU into awesome action!

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Be grateful

Write a love list

Acknowledge someone

Breathe

Choose your ONE word

Play

Have a vision

Be quiet 

Practice random acts of kindness

* Awesome Action BONUS *

Your bonus is to Share 2 – share this awesome action challenge with 2 people in your life!  The more of us in ACTION, doing things that inspire us, and those around us – the more AWESOME our world will be!

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with Joy & Gratitude,

Awesome Action Monday – Random Act of Kindness

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One of the attributes parents teach their children from a very young age is to be kind to others.  Kindness is defined as being friendly, generous and considerate.  It’s really quite simple, it means thinking about other people and their needs.

Kindness is a quality we all posses, and yet the pace and intensity of life often gets in the way of us being kind to others.  When we live in a constant dialogue with ourselves, focused on our individual responsibilities, challenges and concerns, we put a wall up and inadvertently shut the rest of the world out.

Day in and day out, we encounter many strangers.  We allow the fact that we don’t know someone to translate into the belief that they don’t matter, or worse yet, that they don’t even exists.  This results in a selfish existence, one I’m sure we’ve each personally witnessed and experienced.

Practicing kindness changes the world – one smile, one touch, one small act at a time!

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Kindness is a state of mind

Kindness is a choice

Kindness can be seen

Kindness is a way of being

Kindness is intentional

Kindness can be felt

Kindness is contagious

awesomebadgePRACTICE RANDOM ACTS OF AWESOMENESS

Today’s Awesome Action is to be KIND – to be intentional and purposeful with your kindness.  Simply put, to practice random acts of kindness!

Be friendly!  Being friendly means exhibiting the attributes of a friend, regardless of who you are interacting with.  Friendliness isn’t a quality limited to just people you already know.

Be generous!  Generosity can be expressed in more ways than just giving away money or something of monetary value.  We can be generous with our time, our words, and our actions.  Being generous means giving away more of something than was expected.

Be considerate!  Being considerate is to be aware of other people’s feelings, needs and circumstances, and acting on it.

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A random act of kindness isn’t measured by it’s size – it is measured by your intention and desire to make a difference.

  • Grab your neighbor’s newspaper from the end of the driveway and hand deliver it to their front door
  • Pay the tab for the stranger in line behind you at the coffee shop
  • Smile and say “Hi” first, to the people you encounter on the street, in a store or at work
  • Help an elderly customer unload their grocery cart onto the checkout counter
  • Pick up a piece of trash on the ground and throw it away

Get creative and have fun sprinkling your random acts of kindness into the world!

*Awesome Action BONUS*

Don’t stop at just one random act of kindness today, stretch yourself and perform 2, 3, even 4 random acts of kindness in the world today!

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Kindness is contagious!

with Joy & Gratitude,