HOW DO YOU CHERISH?

I love this quote by Bob Marley. It causes us to take a step back and reflect how we treat the people in our lives. When you have a person with a certain skill set, do you cherish or use that skill? There is nothing wrong with ordering a cake from someone you know who has a talent at creating them, hypothetically. It is also important to cherish that skill and that person. What is the difference in this case? I think cherish can be replaced by the word appreciate. I think that is what is tricky in this situation. Even those of us, myself included, need a gentle reminder to cherish as well as utilize the people in our lives.

The obvious next question is how we can do this. I think this is where many of today’s technological offerings can be put to good use. If people only spoke with me when they needed some writing, that can go two ways. On one hand, it certainly is a compliment. You know my skill set and would like to make use of it. If, however, that is the only time you ever speak to me, after a while, I could feel somewhat used. If you were to blend this with a mention on social media, or even a compliment in person, that would mean the world to me.

Cherishing a person does not even have to be limited to professional avenues either. Do you have a spouse that is an amazing cook? A friend that is a great listener? Let them know! Maybe even get them a little card to say thank you. Send them an email. Buy your spouse flowers and let them know you appreciate their hard work in the kitchen. It can be easy to unconsciously almost take people for granted. Whether that is making a cake, writing, being a good cook, a good listener or just a good friend. It is for more likely for us to think, “I need someone to listen to me. I know Jane is a good listener. I am going to call her.” Than to make that same call to thank Jane for being a good listener. We often assume they know how we feel. They may not. Even if they do, it is good to both be reminded and cherished, or appreciated.

How do you appreciate all of the amazing people in your life? From the friendly bus driver to the helpful person at the coffee shop. How can you make them feel like the cherished people they are? We are always looking for good ideas. Please share yours.

REASON TO HANG IN THERE

Isn’t it rough when 2 tough days seem to come back to back? That is what happened to me the other day. Nothing too tragic, just feeling worn out and life putting me through the ringer. We have all had that sort of run of luck. One of the things I do in that situation is refer to my list of things that fill me with energy and joy. The day prior to this one, I had gone for a walk with my mother in the park. We usually see plenty of natural beauty and get a little fitness in as well. The day prior, for some reason, we did not see a single animal. I also seemed to have a tough time with the fitness part. My body seemed to ache everywhere. The weather here is up and down this time of year and I am sure that played into it.

I also love grocery shopping when I am in a funk. For some reason, that seems to lift my spirits. My mother and I had been meaning to stop by this small grocery store for a few months and both decided that this day would be a good one to do so. On the drive there is was raining and traffic was understandably slow due to the weather. No sunshine was to be had. It seemed even a trip to one of my favorite stores would be a trying journey. As we shopped, I did my best to be in the moment. I looked for fun new items to put into the cart to bring home to Margie for us to try. Slowly, the funk of the last 2 days lifted. I pushed the cart out of the store hoping the rain was not too bad. To my surprise, I saw the image above – a double rainbow! The mood started to lift even more. We stopped to take several pictures; as you can see. That had us feeling a little more cheery.

The next day when we decided to try our luck walking in the park, we saw 4 Blue Herons. This is my favorite local bird. Some sightings were rather close and they seemed generally unconcerned by our appearance. We both got to take pictures and spend some time gazing at this wonderful bird. We went on to see some green herons, a muskrat and two deer that seemed just as interested in watching us as we were in watching them! Just the day before, it had seemed if every animal had left the park and now we were able to see several! Proof if you stick out the tough storms in life there will eventually be a double rainbow (or a Blue Heron) to brighten your day. This also had me thinking of another factor. The day before, it was cool and gloomy and our mood was not the best. Did that have something to do with our luck? I am not sure. It does seem when you are in a good emotional state, more wonderful things seem attracted to you.

If you find yourself in a funk, do these 2 things. First, hang in there. The storms of life will come and go. Make sure you do not come and go with them. Stay strong and know the sun will return eventually. Also, do your best to find something to be grateful for and feel good about. Even if it is a little thing, it will begin to change your state. This will open the door to even more good!

PARKS,PIZZA, AND WEED KILLER

I had the most amazing day, the other day. The picture above gives the answer why. It is not only that I really like Winnie-the-Pooh and his attitude towards life. There was much more that went into this amazing day. Have you ever had a moment that changes your whole day? I had one of those. Normally, this would have to occur early for this to happen. That is one of the many things that made this day different. It happened late at night. Still, it transformed the entire day. The other different thing about this day was that it involved the three things mentioned in the title. Parks, pizza, and weed killer are normally not the recipe for success. Please allow me to explain.

My day began at 4:45am, as it does most weekdays. I woke up to my alarm and prepared to go to my day job at the post office. Once there, I went through my normal routine. Towards the end of the day, I noticed the weeds were getting out of hand and decided to take care of the matter. There were some containers of weed killer. This particular kind had a sprayer that allowed for a continuous spray. I walked around the entire post office taking care of all the weeds. This took roughly an hour. It was nice out and there were plenty of birds to keep me company. I listened to an audiobook as I sprayed.

Later in the day, my mom and I went on one of our nature walks. We choose a path that we both enjoy, but had somehow avoided the entire year. The weather was perfect. There was green growth everywhere. Plenty of birds of all different kinds. Everywhere we looked, nature seemed to be providing a scene that could be turned into a jigsaw puzzle. The picture above is just one example of what we saw as we walked along. We ended up doing a little more than 4 miles when neither one of us thought we would be able to walk very far when we started. My mother even mentioned just doing a mile. We were so caught up in enjoying the scenery we forgot to stop.

After our walk in the park, we stopped at the grocery store. Margie had found a good sale and my mom and I were going to pick up some things we needed. It ended up being more than just a few things. This often happens when you go to the grocery store with an appetite worked up by a 4 mile walk. By the time our shopping trip was done and I returned home, it was a little to late to prepare the delicious meal that Margie had been planning. I was a little disappointed until we settled on ordering….a pizza! Little not so secret about me – I could eat pizza every meal, every day of the week if given the chance.

As we both sat enjoying our delicious pizza and salad, it happened. I was thinking how delicious the pizza was. It was fresh, the perfect temperature and had all the ingredients I love on it. Then, I looked up and thought how delicious the lady next to me was. She looked so beautiful, has all the ingredients I enjoy and is always hot. I thought how lucky I was to be enjoying such a moment. Then, I thought about the walk through the park. I literally was beauty in every direction. My mother and I shared some great conversation and got some exercise in as well. Even the trip to the grocery store was fun. I saved a lot of money and got some good deals. I was grateful I could afford to do so. I pushed back even further and thought about the morning spent with the weed killer, the birds and the audiobook (another possible title for this blog) and thought what a wonderful day this had been.

The feeling that overcame me was one of extreme gratitude. Not everything worked out as I was hoping. I would have liked to be able to sleep in and not have to go to work. I would have liked to have seem some deer on the walk. I would have enjoyed the wonderful meal Margie and I had been planning. If I had thought about all of that, the day would have felt like a miserable failure. What changed everything, was focusing on what I was grateful for. I had a nice day at work that included time outside to myself. We had a great walk that included beautiful scenery and plenty of birds. I was able to afford the groceries I did get. We did end up eating pizza which I love and I have that amazing meal to look forward to tonight. Plus, I get to enjoy them both with the most beautiful woman.

The fact here is that the power of focus and the power of gratitude can transform any day. Had my focus been on what the day lacked, it would have turned a great day into one that felt like a failure. By focusing on gratitude, it transformed my day into one of the greatest I have had in a long time. It also allowed me to enjoy everything and everyone in the day more. I wrapped my arms around Margie and slept more peaceful than I can remember doing in quite some time. Now, thinking about that, I am already looking forward to today! It is amazing how powerful gratitude and focus can be. I am grateful for this reminder!

IT’S THE WEEKEND. THINK LIGHTLY

This weekend, keep it simple. Fill your heart with gratitude and appreciation. The 3 feelings of gratitude. 1.) Gratitude for everything you’ve been given in your life. 2) Gratitude for everything your currently have in your life. 3) Gratitude for all the blessings on their way.

Keep your focus on being grateful this weekend and watch your heart fill with joy.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT TODAY🌞

How many of these things could you accomplish today? Refuel your soul. How do you do that? It can be as simple as a walk in nature with someone you love. Time with just a good book and a glass of lemonade. Simply avoiding the harsh news and realities of the world for a day.

Be grateful for your blessings. We have covered this one several times in this site. Gratitude has life transformational qualities. There is always something to be grateful for. A few years ago we did a monthly grateful exercise. We are coming up on a new month, so why not get your practice in today?

Take a deep breath and relax. In our go,go,go world, we have lost the ability to have quality relaxation. I’m guilty of this. With 7 jobs i pursue, there is seldom a moment off. This is why learning how to make those moments quality ones is so important. Plus, researching the best way for you to relax can be fun!

Spend time with family, friends and a good cup of coffee. When you do this, keep the conversation positive. Don’t waste time discussing politics and other topics that can create stress. Spend the time encouraging and lifting each other up. Enjoy the smiles and the love.

This Sunday, recreate and recharge yourself. You deserve it!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!πŸ₯³

Today is my birthday! This is not a post about celebrating that, however. It IS a post about celebrating. Once, listening to a talk by Michael Beckwith, I heard him suggest asking yourself 3 questions a day. I dive deeper into this in my second book, Living the Dream, but one of those questions is “What can I celebrate?”

Today, for my birthday, that’s what I’m asking all of you to do. Today, ask yourself what you can celebrate. There is always something. Do you have people in your life you love? People you can learn from? Do you have a way to make a living? Do you have something that can motivate and inspire you?

I certainly wouldn’t mind you celebrating the birth of a charming author and blog writer. Better still, I would like you to find and celebrate something in your own life. Don’t just acknowledge it, celebrate it! Please share what you are celebrating and how you are doing it! Add to my reasons for celebrating today.

WHAT CAN I CELEBRATE?πŸ₯³

Here is a great question to ask yourself daily – what can I celebrate? Living life in a constant state of celebration can certainly make it amazing. Truth is, there is always something to celebrate!

You can celebrate the birth of your favorite author (mine is next Friday) you can celebrate one of the odd holidays that they come up with. Just Google “what holiday is today” it will be national chilli dog day or some other celebration you can join.

These are all great ideas. (I especially enjoy the author birthday one) In my humble opinion, the best way to find something to celebrate is to ask the question, “what am I grateful for today?” Whatever answer you come up with, celebrate that. One thing you are grateful for a day and just find ways to celebrate. I would LOVE to hear what you are going to celebrate today!

YOUR JOB THIS WEEKEND

I know, I know. Nobody wants to work on the weekend. You at probably thinking, “Neil, I just put in 40+ hours this week. I deserve a break. ” This is certainly true. What else you deserve is an amazing life. That is why I created this site, secret2anamazinglife.com, to share what I have learned in my 20+ years of research on the subject.

One of the best ways to start enjoying your life more is to stop and appreciate all the little things, as we refer to them. They are actually not little at all. You see the picture of a sunset i took while leaving the movies with Margie the other night. A sunset, a little thing. Yet, we could not recreate it with all the money in the world. It only lasted a few minutes, but is a memory that will last forever. So is the picture below of a wall I was on with my mom.

This weekend, your job is to stop and really appreciate one of the little Miracles in your life. If you would like, share with us what that might be, as I have shared my two with you.

GET OFF TO A GOOD START!πŸ˜ƒ

If there is one trait that you should work on develop, it is gratitude. It is important to remember the greatest gift we receive is the opportunity to wake up another day. We may not have everything we want, but if we wake up, we have the potential to create it.

Today, as often as you can, take a moment and be grateful you are here. You have the gift of opportunity!