The Value of “My”

There was a time in my life when I had forgotten to include me as an important part in my life’s plans.  Apparently, for a very long time, I had made choices based on other people’s happiness, their lives, and even on what they wanted for me.  It was only when I found myself on my own, with nobody to turn to, when I finally understood that my life and how I live it should be based on my goals, my dreams, and what could make me happiest.

No longer would I go to scary movies that frightened me.  Nor would I go to hear a band play, knowing they played their music so loud, that I could not enjoy talking with my friends.  It even meant that I would no longer hold back my emotions because they might make somebody else uncomfortable.  I understood that by placing my interests first that I was finally being true to myself and focusing on my happiness with no intention to harm others.

Life suddenly changed when I realized how easy it was to include me as an important factor in my plans.  By allowing the word “my” to be introduced in thoughts and conversations, I knew the end results would add to my personal happiness.

I share with you 50+ versions of how valuable the word ‘my’ is in different areas of life:

…my happiness, my goodwill, my food choices, my morals, my hairstyle, my vacations, my charities, my needs, my pets, my looks, my hopes, my vision, my doctors, my opinions, my home, my hobbies, my safety, my wants, my books, my desires, my community service, my love life, my movies, my sports, my clothes, my ethics, my friends, my jobs, my work, my neighbors, my car, my health, my manners, my time, my fashion style, my traditions, my colleagues, my education, my dance, my political views, my romances, my privacy, my family, my joy, my faith, my mercy, my viewpoints, my firm, my experiences, my investments, my dreams, my observations, my music, my service, my philosophy…

By empowering myself to recognize what is important to me and can increase my happiness, I am inspired to be more active with the roles and responsibilities which are also mine.  Recognizing how my food choices effect my wellness, my appearance, and my fashion sense empowers me to make menu selections that benefit me.  This can also be seen with my finances which are effected by my employment as it is my income which covers my expenses and, therefore, my responsibility on how I manage my money.

The power of “my” has given me a new lease on life and empowers me to be my best advocate in so many areas of my life.  I ask you, wouldn’t you like to live in a world where everybody can allow their own happiness to be a priority in their own lives?  With that thought, I share with you a quote from my Facebook page encouraging self-joy to be part of joyful living:

My desire sparks my joy.
Your desire sparks your joy.
By remembering that we can both be happy!

Whittling My Square Peg for The World’s Round Hole

There was a time that I did what everybody else did which was trying to fit in and be like the rest of the world.  This meant looking a certain way, thinking like others, and assuming others knew what was best for me.   It took years for me to realize that by living in a world where everybody looked and thought the same, there was no special place for me or for the things that were important to me.  It is only now that I see how conforming to the beliefs of others can limit joy in one’s life.

Seeing how I did it “their” way for as long as I did without the results intended, I am no longer whittling my square peg to fit into a hole shaped by others.  I am redefining who I am by remembering what is important to me and what feels good to me.  My emotions deserve my attention when they are guiding me on what is best for me at this time in my life.  They are my unique and personal guides keeping me focused or redirecting me when I do something that is in conflict with my true nature.

Knowing this has helped me to discover a new understanding as to what offers me the most joy in my daily life.  A joy that can change daily and could be missed if focusing on other people’s thoughts, experiences and discoveries. How can others determine what is best for me in areas such as love, health, and even my finances, if they think differently than I do?  This is the very reason that I designed a website called Em-Power Your Self.

For the first time since I began writing, let me share the reason there is a hyphen (-) in the word empower.  The hyphen is the link connecting two important elements, emotions and power.  There is nothing more important to self-empowerment than the understanding of how one’s emotions are the power (energize) behind thoughts and the inspiration to be active in your life.  Realizing that emotions of love and hope will benefit me, and emotions of fear or despair can damage me, it is up to me to let the “good” emotions energize my thoughts.

If you see yourself in a similar way, and realize that your emotions speak loudest to you, celebrate by living your life in whatever way makes you happiest.  Em-power yourself by remembering how only you know yourself best and what emotions and thoughts best inspire you to live your happiest life.  Wear the clothes that you love.  Date the people that make you happiest.  Spend or save your money however you would like.  By taking responsibility for your decisions, you will become responsible for your life in spite of whatever happened in the past.

Be the power in your world, and stop trying to fit into a hole that is not as fitted for somebody as magnificent as you!

Misguided Memories

Yesterday as I was reminiscing with my mother about my childhood holidays, she informed me that my recollection of the holidays were not exactly as I had remembered them.  It seemed that my memories about how my grandmother from Germany spent every Christmas with us were wrong.  When I was told that she was not there every year, my first reaction was that my mother had no idea what she was talking about, followed by a sadness on how she had forgotten such a wonderful time in our lives.  It irritated me until I admitted to myself that perhaps Mom’s memories might be more accurate than mine.  This is because I reminded myself how often my son and I remembered things differently about earlier times in his life.  It made sense to believe Mom might be right, and if so, I wondered how many other memories had I held on to which were distorted and maybe only splinters of what really happened in my past.

With a sense of doubt, I was concerned about if I then had created my adult life around false memories of a child, memories of my heart and not my head.  Taking time to reflect, I realized I may have been exaggerating my happier times in life until I decided memories of the heart are the memories that should be carried forward in life.  Because if a moment in time can create a long lasting effect, it is a very good thing to build a life around.  Not only did I feel a sense of relief, but was much happier knowing that my emotions kept, and will continue to keep, the happy images of my past alive in my heart.

Looking back, I remembered how my mother made birthdays very special.  Growing up, we woke up to presents wrapped and waiting for us, made to feel like the King of the Day, chose the menu for dinner, and enjoyed a favorite cake with the family, and knew a birthday party with friends was planned for the weekend.  I must have remembered that fondly because not only did I bring this celebration into my adult life, I upped it.  Somewhere along the line, I started to see birthdays as true holy-days (holidays!) for an individual.  In my household, I added how we decorate the different rooms and play songs throughout the day to play celebrating this special day.

Other memories reminded me of the little things in life including when my parents took us to movies, read us books, and played with us.  Those memories took hold because I became that sort of parent too.  When my son was younger and went to the movies, I would make sure we had movie themed candy when seeing movies like Willy Wonka or Harry Potter.  I would make him scrambled eggs with green food dye and a slice of ham as I read Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs & Ham.  Memories of Dad playing whiffle ball on the front lawn with the neighborhood kids and trying my skateboard still make me smile, with the hope that my son will have memories of me or his dad playing with him as part of his childhood memories.  I now understand that my misguided memories had not mislead me, they simply guided me in a better direction years later.

By allowing my memories to offer me emotions of pleasure, I can trust that those emotions of joy and love triggered something in me now, at this time, for a reason.  Maybe as times way of reminding us that happiness can never be forgotten.  I will keep the good memories coming even if time made them better because a good memory deserves a long-lasting thought.

The Myth of Negative Words

There is a rumor out there that certain words used during conversations will make life – ahem – challenging.  That is a belief (opinion) that if a person says negative words, the results will be negative.  It is time that I debunk this myth.

First, I share my belief that there is a tremendous power in the words we choose to use.  I also believe many words can be misunderstood or misinterpreted since words often can have more than one meaning.  It is not the words by themselves where I see the power; it is the message I intend and the words I speak with which have the greatest effect on me.

For the purpose of this writing, I am defining the word negative as something harmful, bad, or lacking.  Negative words that can cause a person to flinch or become defensive during a conversation might be less alarming when an entire statement is heard.  By focusing on a conversation and the message that the speaker is conveying, the negative word becomes less powerful as it is when by itself. It is also my belief that I speak with words, emotions, and intentions.  An example of a powerful word on its own can be found in the word ‘love’.  The statement “I love you” will change ‘love’ from a verb to a declaration because of the emotions and intentions which are attached.

Since we speak in sentences, it is the sentence that is important.  In the examples below, I focus on the word to show how words that can be construed as negative can viewed in a more beneficial way.

No may be defined as a preferred response to a request.  No, there is no money available for raises this year.” It can also be eliminate something and improve a situation. No work for me this week as I am on vacation!”

Not is understood to negate a statement.  “I am not able to sleep.”  It can also nullify something. “I am not mad at you.”

Never places a thought of no time in the past or future.  “I am never going find a job.”  It can also mean there is ‘not for a moment’  “Never forget that I love you.”

Should is used to imply an obligation.  When this word is used and based on another person’s opinion and suggestion.  “I have been told that I should save my money for a rainy day.”  Maybe, a better suggestion could be, “I should find ways to increase my income so I can spend more money on me.”

Need can mean essential, important, necessary, or requiring an action.  If somebody uses need as a form of self-talk and as a threat, it becomes a fear.  That is when a person may say “I am broke and need money.”  By recognizing that it can be turned around and used in a positive way, the message is much better. “I need money for food and want to explore ways to obtain it.”

I define negative words as words of contrast.  They are not negating statements.  They can be used to clarify and nullify thoughts, concepts, actions, and preferences.  If we can nullify thoughts that cause us harm by using negative words, they become words of empowerment.  If used to prohibit something beneficial, they can energize thoughts that serve no good purpose.  This is why I choose to speak and think with my intention louder than my words and focus on the what I want to say regardless if common thought that words are good or bad.

When a negative word can benefit me and build on my intention to create love, hope, or joy, I will not be afraid of my words.  This is because when I speak with love, hope, and joy as the spaces between my words, life will become even better for me.

Consideration: The Forgotten Gift

There are certain gifts that people can share with others that cost no money, require minimal time, and have an impact that is beneficial to more than one person.  Examples of this can be found with acts of forgiveness, appreciation, gratitude, and kindness.  These thoughtful acts allow better feelings and thoughts to be created in others.

It was only this morning when I realized how the absence of consideration can have the opposite effect creating negative thoughts in others.  This may be because the good acts are a result of thoughts based on  good intentions, and the thoughtless acts are unintentional and individual, without any thought, may not even know how they are the cause of stress and anxiety in others.

This epiphany came to me very early this morning, as I was caught in traffic entering an airline terminal.  Originally, I had planned to pick up my mother last night at 8:00pm for her summer visit with us.  Due to inclement weather, flights had been cancelled and rescheduled throughout the evening. My mother finally made it out of Florida and landed in New York at 1:30am.  Presuming the traffic would be very light, I was surprised when I approached the airport and saw cars lined up as if parked in the right driving lane as I passed by in the left lane.  I realized these were drivers waiting for arriving flights.

My surprise turned to shock when I realized further up that the left lane entering the terminal was also at a standstill for what seemed to be a mile long.  Since I had time, I was able to remain calm, knowing the left lane would open up momentarily.  After about 20 minutes, I began eyeing an escape route to the parking lot if there was no further movement once Mom’s plane landed. Others would not be so lucky, because they were trapped between the four foot cement walls along both sides of the road which I only noticed when I heard an ambulance way behind me.

Looking around, I noticed a driver behind me had left his car and was walking between the cars to see the cause of the hold up.   Shortly after passing my car, I saw him go towards a car where he started talking and gesturing with his hands to move out of the way.  On his way back, I learned that this car was parked in our lane waiting to squeeze into the illegal ‘standing’ lane on the right.

The frustration I had felt towards this inconsiderate driver grew when I realized how he was oblivious to the effect he had on all the cars behind him including an ambulance still blasting its siren still way behind me.  The man in the street helped me to maneuver my car so I could pass the cars trapped between me and that car.  I squeezed past it and drove along the empty lane ahead of me.  Looking in my rear view mirror, I saw an exodus of cars behind me that seemed endless.  I felt like a hero who had slayed a monster.  We were freed!

It took me a couple of hours before I realized how the driver was not a monster.  He was probably no different than the rest of us.  Most likely, he too had to change his plans to arrange a different pickup time, he too was recovering from a hot day, and might even had to wake up four hours later to start his work day.  There is a very good chance that he had no idea that the cars behind him could not see how he had left room for cars to pass him, nor do I think he had heard the ambulance.  He was not a monster, he was only a person oblivious to his surroundings and focused on his needs.

The purpose of this story is not to criticize or berate one person but to draw attention on how the absence of thought by one person can cause a negative ripple effect in others that goes unnoticed by the “root” of the angst  The lesson for me, which I share with you now, is to be aware of your surroundings, look around and recognize how we, as individuals, affect others sharing in our environment.  An act of consideration may not be as obvious as other acts of love, but it can become a powerful and positive difference in the world.


Sweet Mindlessness

If I could do something that could make my life easier it would be to allow others to make my decisions and tell me what to do.  Now that I am an adult and responsible to make all my decisions and take whatever actions are needed in daily living, I find that I no longer have the answers which I once had.  You see there was a time when I thought I knew all the answers and had all the solutions to my life’s challenges.  Boy, was I wrong and how I had wished I still had that undeniable belief in myself.  What happened to me?  Who had I become that could no longer serve my best interests the way I once had?

The answer came to me when I had been reminded that I am not alone and can turn within for a guidance which is always available to me. That is why I share with you that even when a person may feel alone, there are answers to all of our greatest needs within ourselves communicating through our own thoughts and by understanding how we are feeling at a particular moment in time.

I have always known what to do when I had been in a better frame of mind.  Seemingly, I had all the answers on how to have a happier life whenever I felt happy.  That was when I questioned myself with “If I can find the answers and ways to be happier when I am happy, then why do I sometimes find myself without any answers?  Does that mean I am not happy?” 

The answers to both questions was a loud YES and I was not happy.  I could not find a happy answer if my thoughts were focusing on the less-happy areas of my life.  During times of confusion and trouble, I realized what I felt had created emotions of fear and anxieties.  How could I have forgotten that I am the thinker who creates the life that I am living?

Since I thought my best when I felt my best, I would have to find a way to “think better.”  For me, it was a two-step process.  The first was to simply stop the current thoughts from continuing and building a mountain of negative thoughts and energy. The next step was even easier, allow a new sense of hope to fill my mind and allow comforting emotions to step in by doing nothing. No thinking.  No planning, No strategizing.  Nothing.

That is why whenever I find myself feeling lost and confused, I stop asking myself “what am I feeling?” because if the answer is anything but good, I am building on a negative suggestion with a loaded question.  Instead, I take a quiet moment and slowly breathe in and out through my nose a few times, allowing me to concentrate on my breathing.  That is it.

The purpose of this writing is to remind myself that when I am troubled and looking for the answers to my problems that I can take two minutes to sit quietly and allow an inactive thought to help me to stop thinking and enjoy the peace that sinks into my body.

By allowing my mind a few minutes here and there through the day, I have recognized that my version of mediating is silencing my mind.  You can choose to find a comfortable place to sit or even put on soft music, but for me it truly was a simple as closing my eyes when I was parked in my car and allowing deep breathing behind closed eyes to offer me a new way to allow hope to become present in my life.  Maybe by allowing a few minutes of quiet into your day, you too can feel the benefits of a moment of mindlessness.

What is ‘Write’ for Me

There was a time in my life when I had written detailed letters to family and friends about my adventures and experiences in my travels and everyday life. These were the happiest times when not a single negative word or thought could flow from my fingertips onto paper. As time passed, and life became a bit more challenging, I realized that my writing style became equally challenged.

Just today, I experienced this when I remembered I had not yet replied to a lengthy email from a dear family member in Germany. Normally, I try to reply within a day, but that particular day I had not been at a great place. Here it was almost a month later, with me in a much better mood, when I decided to write a response equal in length to her letter.

I had started to fill her in on all that had happened since my son left for college back in September. I mean all of it! When I saw all the details I had shared and about things that no longer mattered, I decided to delete some details. Thinking that I had answered her questions and reacted to most of her updates, I felt better with this final and shortened version. When I looked up and saw how long it took me to write, or not-write, this email, I was surprised until I realized how much I had pruned by trimming details, unnecessary words, and some of the images I had described. By removing some less-then-happy events, which are in my past, I was able to hold on to the good feelings of now and offer just-as-good a feeling to her.

Realizing the power of words and recognizing how written words can lose their meaning, I suggest that more people read what they are writing and then reread the words from another person’s viewpoint. Because, as we all know, from misunderstood texts or fast-fingered emails, some words cannot be taken back once the Send button is clicked. Take time to prune and trim away the words that cause you or the person you are writing to uneasy feelings. My thoughts are that negative words create a negative feeling; eliminate the words, eliminate the feeling.

Another way to view the power of your words is how they are delivered. The words I use in a two-minute conversation will sound different than the same exact words written on a piece of paper. My spoken messages are words accompanied with the tone of my voice, the speed of my words, and the length of pauses between statements. When written, the same exact words, lose any placed emphasis, emotional tones, and intention as indicated by my volume.

When I was younger, I said and wrote whatever came to mind because, back then, life was less challenging and joy seemed to punctuate everything. Now that I am older and wiser, I realize how speaking and writing are two very different modes of communication which causes me to simply become more aware of my messages. The good news for me is that I discovered that by removing negative words from both modes, messages of a better nature can be sent and received.  Imagine how good I can feel knowing my words can have that same effect on others.  Good is good, and that is why I try to write what is right for me.

Empowering Myself with Me Time

As I enjoy some end of summer free time…or me time…if you are looking for some interesting reading, please visit the REFLECTIONS page and enjoy a past article.

10 Things I Nearly Forgot
A Want-To-Do To Do List
ABC and What they do for me
Anchoring Hope
Anchors ‘Away’
Baby Steps
Calling All Readers – What Should I Be When I Grow Up…This Time?
Calling All Writers
Consideration: The Forgotten Gift
Council of Support
Dare to Jump   [Guest Writer]
Decoding Laughter & Tears
Do What You Love
Echoes of Our Words
Finding My Way Back to Me
Friends With Benefits
Get That “Smart Phone” Off Your Back
Good Intentions
Happily Ever After
Happy Earth Day!
Hope Always Wins…Always
I Am the Mastermind of My Life
I Am the Thinker
I Am What I Am
It’s No Longer a Barbie Doll World
Let’s Play “Never Too Old”
Life as a Card Game
Life as a Jigsaw Puzzle
“Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh, My!”
Living Like Jasper
Living Like Lefty
Living My Best with Better
Mighty Minutes
Misguided Memories
My “Special 10”
My Happy Place
My Life as a Country Song
My Magical Manifesting Minutes
My Way
Oh, That Brilliant Little Me
Pamper Me…Somebody…Please
Passion…You Are Mine
Play With Me
Questions Give Us Answers
Reclaim Your Weekends
Selfie Empowerment
Self-Talk Creates Self-Love
Social Me(dia)
Stop, Drop, and Roll
Sweet Dreams
Sweet Mindlessness
Thank you for my Peace and Quiet   [Guest Writer]
The Achievement Factor
The Boomerang Effect of Words
The Chalkboard of Life
The Chuck-It List
The Daily Do-Over
The Healing Element of Time
The Healing Element of Time
The Kindness Rocks Project   [Guest Writer]
The Lost Balloon Effect
The Midas Voice
The Music is Me
The Myth of Negative Words
The Power of “Stop”
The Power of Words
The Q-TIP Reminder
The Value of My
The Wonderful Way of Wanting
They Don’t Know Me
Three Sides of a Coin
Through the Eyes of Love
Time Is On My Side
Time Is On My Side
Time’s Nemesis (Deadlines!)
Trapped Between Time and Space
Trust in the Process   [Guest Writer]
Trust Your GPS
Using Mindfulness to take back your power   [Guest Writer]
Wagging My Tail
Wednesday’s Words: I AM – The Dynamic Duo
Wednesday’s Words: Simple Words Become Powerful Statements
Wednesdays Words: The Wonder of Words
Weekend Wonderland
Welcome Letter
What is ‘Write’ for Me
Whittling My Square Peg for The World’s Round Hole
Who Comes First – Me or You?
Who is Sitting on Your Shoulder?
Why Not Why
Wisdom of the Ages

Wishing all a great end of summer!