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Trying Helps, But Doing is What Matters + 5 Tips to “Do” Happiness

We've all heard it a million times: "Actions speak louder than words." Action is dynamic. It moves and morphs with life. And yet at times we fall back onto "trying" to make something happen as opposed to proactively doing something about the trying. Have you been using a lot of “couldas”,” wouldas”, “shouldas”, maybes, tries and mights lately? It’s time to ditch the conditional-speak. Thinking in this frame of mind puts us in a bind. Why try when you could simply do? Why would when you can? By allowing our lives to be framed in maybes, we’re giving away all…

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Sponsored: Inhabiting Life + Tips for A Transformational Experience

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about this quote from poet Christian Wilman: "Let us remember... that in the end, we go to poetry for one reason, so that we might more fully inhabit our lives and the world in which we live them, and that if we more fully inhabit these things, we might be less apt to destroy both." Christian isn’t just talking about poems and prose here. What he’s trying to say is that art, creativity and things that inspire thought help us engage with our lives so that we treat our existence with more care, respect…

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When was the last time you called or emailed just because…?

When was the last time you just called or emailed to tell someone, Thank You, I Love You, I Appreciate You, just because, and for one other reason? In today's day and age of the world of technology and internet, we often forget and  take for granted the people around us, who support us. I write a lot about Paying it Forward and The Ripple Effect. Think about this. Imagine if every boss, friend, mother, father, said Thank You, anytime you did something that supported them or helped them in any way. Imagine what a society we would have, if we all…

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Surrender Equals Peace

The other night I had such a moment of clarity and sense of surrender that it took my breath away. I was listening to a track from West Side Story, "Somewhere" (Music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim). Here are a few lyrics: There's a time for us, Some day a time for us, Time together with time spare, Time to learn, time to care, Some day! Somewhere. We'll find a new way of living, We'll find a way of forgiving Somewhere . . . As I listened to the lyric: ‘we’ll find a way of forgiving’, my epiphany…

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Under Construction: The Sign I Wear Mentally !

A famous psychologist (his first name is Phil) talks about the fact that we all have pivotal points in our lives; crossroads, if you will, where we can turn down a path of self-pity, victimism, feeling anger at the world and an urge to 'give up'. Or turning the other way and seeking empowerment, happiness, and a full life. In August of 2006, I experienced a harsh, heartbreaking pivotal point in my life when my husband of thirty years died suddenly. He took his own life. Sure, I knew he was going through some kind of mid-life crisis or other.…

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What Ripple Effect Are You Creating ?

It always amazes me when people give me the following reasons why they cannot give... I am just one person I don't have enough money I am not educated enough Who is going to listen to me ? Etc... Etc... Etc... EVERY person on this planet, no matter how rich or how poor, can do SOMETHING.... Get creative. Think of ways you can give without spending a dime to ways you can contribute if you are a Millionaire. We all have something to give-contribute. Do you know one of the greatest gifts of giving is an EAR...? Listening to someone,…

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Overpower the past… Empower the Present!

I was the baby in the family, born 11 and 8 years, respectively, after my siblings. Not until just a few years ago did I hear that my mother "farmed out" my sister and brother to strangers. The term usually referred to children who were sent to a relative back in the day, but in my siblings' case it was an indenture. My brother and sister had to work for their keep,  ages six and 11. They told me these stories as part of my research while writing Wild Violets, a romanticized version of my Mother as a flapper and entrepreneur in the 1920's in…

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Do You Doubt Yourself? Life Lessons from Great Authors

I ran across a description of one of my enemies... DOUBT! Author Jacqueline Winspear wrote: "Doubt. Was it an emotion? A sense? Or was it just a short stubby word to describe a response that could diminish a person in a finger snap?" And while I most times write my blog and how it relates to the art of writing, I had a thought.  THIS COULD APPLY TO LIFE [AND HOW WE LIVE IT]  AS WELL! I've written before about my being in good company.  Regardless of whether we writers are obscure or famous, we all doubt ourselves and our work.  What if Henry Charles…

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Open

By B. Lynn Goodwin. I know I've shared a gratitude list here before, but I always think of November as gratitude month. Maybe that’s because it’s the month of Thanksgiving. Or maybe it’s because so much in nature goes dormant, but I get to keep going on. This used to be the month when my high school actors performed the fall play, sometimes a drama and sometimes a comedy, but never a musical. Later my college students were putting together the student directed one acts in November, working frantically to have them ready to perform during the first two weeks…

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Today’s Brilliance from Erik McShirley

There are lots of sad, depressed, and/or angry people out there, but who says you have to be one of them? Easier said than done, you say? I've said that line a thousand times myself. But it's been proven that you are healthier if you have a good attitude. So why not do something relatively small, compared to things like marriage, or going to the moon, if it helps your health? (I mean that changing your attitude is small and good.) Try using humor to lift your spirit. If you want, try a joke book, or a comic book (the…

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A Gratitude List

I'm in a unique and special free-writing group. Our rules are quite simple. We follow Natalie Goldberg’s practice of doing timed writings. I bring in prompts, which are sentence starts like the ones in my book. One woman reads one, while another woman sets a timer. When it goes off, we go around the circle, reading what we wrote. We don’t comment. Sometimes we respond to each other’s writings during the next round of writing, offering sympathy, understanding, and occasionally offering advice, if it is requested. After eight years, I think of these women as my writing sisters. We’ve seen…

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Hidden Blessings

Gratitude is the answer, no matter the question. When life throws you a curve ball, be grateful that you have the hands to catch it- for there is always blessing in every circumstance, even if we can’t see it in the moment. On this past Easter Sunday I was reminded of this, as I had a skiing accident. Not being one to complain or be a baby, I got back up and skied down the rest of the hill after skiing way too fast and wiping out into a snow bank. Two days later when I was convinced to go…

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The Best Year Ever

By Sheevaun Moran. If you're sitting at your desk or on the sofa reading this, know that having the best year ever is entirely possible. The possibility of an entire year can last far beyond the first two weeks after New Year's but you will have to do a few things to make that happen. Most of them are as simple as brushing your teeth and done as regularly as brushing your teeth. Receive yourself the gift of knowledge that your body is giving you the signals about an issue or situation. Give what you want most – if you…

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Can Gratitude Come Naturally?

"My thoughts of joy and peace are fleeting. Usually I am thinking and thinking. Unable to stop and smell the flowers. Although I do work on feeling grateful. Do you think it will start to come naturally?" ~ Linda Linda, any time we start a new practice, it takes a bit of time before it becomes a natural process. Our brain is literally wired the way it is because of the thoughts and  habits that we have formed in our past. The good news is, we can rewire it at any time simply by consciously changing the way we think.…

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Gratitude: The Fastest Way to Where You Want To Be

The greatest gifts, the most meaningful lessons and the most intense personal growth in my life, have come from the conscious practice of gratitude. I've found that no matter where I am in life or where I want to be, the fastest way to get there is with an attitude of gratitude. There is always a reason to be grateful, for when we appreciate and celebrate what we already have in our lives, our hearts open, our blessings multiply and we discover a greater capacity for generosity, cheerfulness, and contentment. A few years ago I had an experience that demonstrates…

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Post a Note – Sentiments That Stick

By Michele Howe. I was telling a good friend how much I had been appreciating reading two books on gratitude - the kind of gratitude that is not dependent upon having good things happen or experiencing favorable circumstances. In other words, developing an attitude of gratitude that “sticks” no matter what. This friend (whom I am always so grateful for…) recommended another book on the same theme called 365 Thank Yous by John Kralik. The timing of this book was perfect because this author, a lawyer, discusses his 15 months of sending out 365 thank-yous to different people who touched…

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A Mother’s Day Tribute- 100+Tweets of Gratitude to Mom

Happy Mother's Day! As a tribute to all of the great mothers, @InspireMeToday reached out to our friends on Twitter and asked this question... What's the #1 thing that your mom taught you, that you are the MOST grateful for? Just reading the tweets as they arrived, I smiled, laughed, shook my head in agreement and most of all, felt warm inside with the outpouring of such love for our Mamas. Enjoy it and share it with you mom or anyone else you know who has a mom. :) Here's what more than 100 folks who responded had to say....…

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Abundance or Vision… Which Comes First?

Sometimes I wonder which came first, the chicken or the egg. Recently I had an experience where a woman, Sue, visited our home and saw our vision board hanging in our bedroom. Sue was the wife of a contractor who was doing some repair work at our home and stopped by to visit with her husband. Sue works as a cleaning lady and in her mind, had already categorized us as "rich people".  I know what that's like, for I spent my childhood and the early part of my adult life thinking that I too was separate from the abundance around…

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Grateful to be “Home”!

I'm so grateful to be able to share with you that finally, we've found HOME, in Whitefish, Montana. Wooohooo!!! After more than six months of looking, some part of me is fulfilled knowing that I can unpack and just "be". For those who have been following this blog, I owe you an apology. I disappeared for the last month, as my days were filled with packing, moving and unpacking. After months of "frustration and fascination", we moved into our new home last week. We bought a home that was owned by a bank, having been foreclosed on more than a…

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Cornocopia

My Thanksgiving Gratitude List

On this Thanksgiving Eve, I am feeling very blessed. I took a few moments to make a list of what I am most grateful for and wanted to share it with you, in the hopes that you'll be inspired to create your own "Gratitude List". It's always good to remember how much we all have to be grateful for... Happy Thanksgiving with love! My Gratitude List (not in any specific prioritized order): My husband and our family Koda, our amazing dog, and his unconditional love and affection Deep friendships Our amazing InspireMeToday.com community Hot chocolate (can you tell it's -9…

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Friendly Reminders from a Montana Huckleberry Patch

Living in Montana definitely has its perks- especially this time of the year- during huckleberry season. A few days ago, my son, his girlfriend and I went into the mountains of Montana in search of huckleberries. We drove for a few miles up a dusty, dirt road, then parked the car and hiked into the woods. For those not familiar with huckleberries, they grow on bushes usually not more than 18" off the ground and produce a somewhat tart berry, most closely resembling a blueberry. As usual, I couldn't help but relate this experience- in this case berry picking- to…

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