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To the Hawkeyes.

I appreciate this team and this post! Here’s to both of them!

Joe to the World

I woke up this morning, still in disbelief. I checked Twitter, Facebook, ESPN; they all confirmed what I had hoped was merely a bad dream.

The Hawkeye’s run at perfection is over. And as reality sets in for me (while, admittedly, my denial persists), I take to the only outlet I know: writing melodramatic, over-emotionalized, hyperbole-laden monologues. Sue me.

This monologue, however, is less never-ending list of what-ifs and hypotheticals, and more a toast to the best damn thing to happen during my college career:

Here’s to the 12 teams the Hawkeyes played first this year. To the 12 teams who, despite their best efforts, could not overcome the mighty Hawkeyes.

Here’s to the burning heat of September games and the freezing snow-covered games of November. To the fans that refused to leave night games and who shivered through snoozers to sing “In Heaven there is no Beer.”

Here’s to the 2014…

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Here’s your permission slip to have an amazingly awesome day

Such a great story of believing, getting rid of limiting beliefs and allowing all the good stuff in!

Pam Grout

“There is something more — it is the unseen essential, and everyone has access to it.” –Bryant McGill

Some people collect wine. Others collect old cars. I collect stories of the unseen, stories that the ancients called miracles.

My hope in sharing some of these stories sent to me by readers is that you will consider them your personal permission slip to find your own spiritual affinity for the unmarked trail that leads to joy and peace.

Here’s one that popped into my email a few moments ago:

“I find myself constantly asking the Universe for fun ways to show me my power to manifest things just for the fun of it. I ask for easy things ~ show me a purple car (I like purple better than “sunset beige”) or license plates with triple numbers or how about a rainbow today. Its just so fun to see how the…

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Negative Labels and Limiting Beliefs

Unique TwinsThis week I tuned into Joel Osteen’s television sermon about getting rid of negative labels. It spoke to me so much that I took notes, thinking that I’d get around to writing about it here.

So on what’s left of this Christmas Day/Evening, I am appreciating the way that Joel Osteen and others can deliver a message about a familiar topic in a way that it speaks to me in a new or renewed way. I always love Joel’s sermons as they are uplifting, positive and inspiring. I really love that he starts out with a joke, too. As a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader, I am very aware of the value of laughter: it truly is one of the best ‘medicines’ out there.

But this post is about appreciating the message he had in this sermon: that of ridding ourselves of negative labels, often spoken (either directly or implied) to us by others in our lives. Then we embrace these labels to the point of making them our own “story” about ourselves. Below are some of the quotes from his sermon.

“You cannot stop the negative comments. You can’t prevent the negative labels, but you can choose to remove them.”

“Words are like seeds. If you dwell on them long enough, they will take root and become what is said.”

“The only power that that label has over you is the power that you give it.”

“The real battle is taking place in our mind.”

“Nothing that was spoken over you has to define you – even if it was from people who raised you.”

“You are not who people say you are…Hurting people end up hurting other people. Bitter people are quick to stick on those negative labels.”

So in other words, we have the power to choose to think and feel differently than any negative label has over us. It is in our hands. If we buy into the negative label or image of ourselves and keep repeating it, it does take root and becomes a belief that limits us. Limiting beliefs are often there because we feel we’re not deserving or worthy in some way. The negative labels are just examples of limiting beliefs like: others are better than us, that we don’t have what it takes to succeed, that we’re not good, pretty, handsome or smart enough, etc…The key to understanding how limiting beliefs restrict us from living life to the fullest is that they are not who we truly are! We are not defined by these negative labels. We are all worthy and deserving and we all have unique gifts and purposes in life. So look inside yourself for your own inner beauty and discover your gift to this life that you are.

Today I appreciate Joel’s sermon for reaffirming that message. I appreciate people like him and the venue he has to reach so many people through his ministry. It is truly a blessing and I imagine that there are others out there who were touched by his words of encouragement. If not, I don’t think he would have a ministry that is so large.

I am grateful today. I appreciate positive messages that change peoples’ lives, from different people who deliver the messages. The world is full of many “teachers” and I appreciate that as we don’t all learn in the same way. We are unique and need diversity to thrive. No one “label” fits all!

I am particularly appreciating my own knowing that I can choose to change any belief that may be holding me back from my highest potential, too. I appreciate that I have the tools I need for myself and to help others in getting rid of these limiting beliefs and creating new ones that are positive, loving, inspiring, uplifting and fun.

Now that’s a good thing to celebrate as I end this year and get ready for another!

Today Is A Good Day!

It’s been awhile since I posted here. That seems to happen a lot with me. Having several blogs, a part-time business and a full-time job in a field I love means I do things when I feel inspired. Today I was inspired by my friends at GoodVibeUniversity, where I read a thread in the forums called “Today was a good day.” But rather than reflect on a day that still isn’t over,  I decided to call mine, “Today IS a Good Day!”

This is another way to practice the art of appreciation EVERYDAY. I may not write it here, but I do find things and people to appreciate everyday. I’ve made it a habit.  And you know what happens? My days get better and better! I “see” things that I never noticed before and often they are really beautiful.

So today IS a good day! It’s  a holiday and I’m enjoying another day off, snuggled in my warm home, while I appreciate that I don’t have to go out in the cold today! I’m also loving those kitties that have made my back yard their home. I haven’t seen one of them in awhile, so perhaps someone took him in as their own. (He was my favorite and the most beautiful.) But 3 of the kitties remain and are growing!  I love how we look at each other through the kitchen window and love sending them love (and receiving their “thanks” of appreciation for the food I’ve let out for them, too).

I have been wanting a pet again for awhile now and have been going back and forth between dogs and cats (not to mention that I’d have to negociate it with my landlords). But today I realized that these are my pets now! While they may not be in my home, I’m quite attached to these little creatures and am enjoying having them around. They are getting more comfortable with me, too.

While today is quite cold for New York City, the sun is stunningly beautiful. The kitties like to perch themselves on top of a plastic bin that my landlady has on the back porch. The sun hits the bin for some hours during the day, so it’s warmer there for them, and higher up (as cats love it to be).I added an old afghan to the top of it to keep them warmer.

Yes, today is a good day! And in the spirit of Access Consciousness, which I’ve just recently became aware of, I’m asking: What else is possible for today? How does it get any better than this? I can’t wait to see what’s next!

The Value of a Team

Photo courtesy of Dreamstime

Today I am appreciating the value of a team. I am currently Chair of my professional association for New York and New Jersey and responsible for this conference that I am at right now. We have a core team of people from both states, each with their different roles. None of us get paid for this additional responsibility: we are all volunteers and most positions are at least two year commitments, and some are as long as three years (as in my case). So the commitment that people sign up for when they join the team cannot be understated.

I so appreciate the different personalities, work styles and leadership from this experience.  I am learning a lot about myself as a leader from this process, as well about how varied each person’s style is as well. While team members don’t always agree when we are making decisions, each person  brings a value to what we are creating.  While some “do” more than others, I appreciate everyone for their role, no matter how much time they had to put forth or what their responsibility is.  It really takes a team to pull a conference together!

Cooperation is a quality that I adore and cooperation is a quality that good teams have. I love my team members and wanted to take this space to tell them so! So no matter what type of team you are part of, I invite you to pause and take time out to appreciate each member for the value they contribute as part of a larger whole.

If you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to my conference!

Until tomorrow,


Aw, Fridays!

Green Calendar Courtesy of Dreamstime

You know that feeling at the end of a work week, in anticipation of a weekend of relaxation and fun? It’s that feeling many of us who work a Monday through Friday routine get on Fridays. The “Thank God It’s Friday!” comments we hear and speak conjure up feelings of relief that the work week is coming to an end, with an eager anticipation of what’s to come over the next two days. While I’m a huge fan of appreciating EVERY day of the week,  I’ve dedicated today’s post to an appreciation of Fridays.

I love the feeling of Fridays – There’s often a more “casual” feel to Fridays, and people seem to be more relaxed. In some work spaces, employees actually dress more casually, too. You hear people talking about their plans for the weekend and it often means less meetings at work for me. There’s a lot of  excitement in the feeling of Fridays, and often, at the end of the day,  people rush out the door to go out for a drink, shopping, meet up with friends or family, take off on that weekend trip, or just to go home and relax. It feels different than the end of a weekday where you have to return to work the next day, because Fridays feel  more like “mini-vacations” with two full days (and 3 nights) to play!

I love the feeling of Fridays because they feel “freeing” – where we can anticipate the weekend with eagerness as we go through our day. While we all have the power to appreciate ANY day like Fridays, many of us do not. (How many of you feel the same about Mondays as you do about Fridays?) Yet we would be so better off if we could master that feeling everyday of the week. After all, who doesn’t want to feel free, relaxed and excited for what’s to come? That’s the key to happiness, my friends!

So I heard Joel Osteen has a new book out called “Everyday is Friday.” While I haven’t read it yet, I’m imagining that he might be sending a similar message that we have the ability to make anyday like Fridays with our attitudes and faith. When I think about it, when I regularly practice appreciation on the other days of the week, Fridays don’t really feel so special because everyday is wonderful! After all, I’m alive! I can appreciate that on Fridays as easily as Mondays or Thursdays. But I admit there is something extra special about that Friday “feeling” and finding it on other days may be the key to loving your life more fully. So make the choice that everyday is freeing, fun, relaxed and joyful and your life will dramatically improve!

Aw, Fridays! Can you feel it?