Daily Joys and Simple Pleasures

Daily Joys and Simple Pleasures

Between Friends – Stories for the Holiday

My Friend, and phraseologist with Focus Phrase™ is Ellen Lambert.  you can follow her at:  http://www.braveheartwomen.com/ellenoutloud    Also you can review her Focus Phrase options on Facebook at A New Way – Radmacher Focus Phrase
She shares her holiday views today:

Somewhere in my collection of precious keepsakes is a photograph of my Sister, Grandmother and I, snuggled up on a red paisley sofa in identical Lanz of Salzberg nightgowns. They were oversized, exceptionally soft, and cozy as all get out.

That’s one of those memories so indelibly printed in my mind that any trigger – like a loveseat, a paisley pattern, or a flannel nightgown, can conjure up that moment. I guess some moments are just snuzzier than others!

Those nightgowns were Christmas presents, opened early. Funny how the best memories aren’t so much about the presents as the memories we make with them.

That year it was snuggling on the couch with Grama. Another year it was a ping-pong table. The table was cool, to be sure, but it was the memories made playing with my Dad when he got home from work that I treasure the most.

One of the least expensive gifts I remember getting were these plastic water rockets. My Dad worked in aerospace, so he spun some story about them being top-secret prototypes for the Apollo missions. Hey, I was seven. I believed him.

Anyway, you filled these toys with water, pumped several times, pushed in a lever and whoosh! They soared really, really high. Naturally, the first couple of missiles went right on the roof and ours was not an easy one to get on to or off of. Surprisingly, my Dad didn’t grouse or fuss. Guess he was having too much fun. We spent hours playing with them.

Which is all to say, this Christmas? Maybe we need to focus less on what’s hot and what’s not, and more on what’s going to be remembered twenty years from now.

Let’s consider getting the kind of gifts that make memories, especially the snuzzy kind!
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Watch For Signs

I was speaking with noted NPR radio host, Ben Merens, of Wisconsin Public Radio.  He referenced an experience of the previous day  – “noticing the signs.”  He read a random license plate and it seemed, at the time, like a message just for him.

This is an experience common to my days.  Sometimes even road signs seem well-timed, in terms of my train of thought or position or attitude.  Does that ever happen to you?  On the way to work this morning, I laughed out loud at my attitude.  I observed, in my  mind, that I was acting a little like my dog when she’s bent on barking.  A car pulled in front of me and their bumper sticker read,

WAG MORE.  BARK LESS.

Yes.  That’s the joy of a perfectly placed message.  Watch for signs.  They are everywhere if you are willing to see them. 

Get Your Enthusiasm On!

My friends at The Leadership and Personal Development Center of
WalkTheTalk.com generously shared this information from:

180 Ways To Spread Contagious Enthusiasm:  The “How To” Book for Everyone.

This advice is oriented toward business
settings but the concepts translate just as well in to your personal and home
life.  Enthusiasm is a key element
of my most enjoyable moments and days. 
In fact: it’s my focus word for this week:  all I have to do is glance up from my work arc (that’s what
I call the area of my  desk  where I do all my writing) and there is
the reminder:  Enthusiastic!  And the picture is backed up by another
important quality (Gratitude featured on my Bold Inspirations interactive art
block from Demdaco).

Want to build contagious enthusiasm
with your team and throughout your organization?  Here are a few of my
favorite tips and techniques for your consideration:

               
Start every meeting with 3 minutes of “Good News.”
Ask people in the room to share any good thing that has happened to them, to
their family, in their community, or in the world.

               
Have a bulletin board where you post pictures of
employees’ families, weddings, graduations, vacations, new grandchildren, and
other successes.

               
Sponsor community service projects with employee
participation – clean up litter, help feed the homeless, build houses with
Habitat for Humanity, hold educational fairs for the community.

         Hold
“grapevine” meetings (informal meetings with an open          agenda giving all
employees a chance to set rumors straight) at          least
once a month to enhance communication and get worries          and concerns out in
the open.


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How Do I Start My Day?

I am letting you glance up at the shelves to the immediate right of my working desk.  This is the desk where I spend the bulk of my professional day.  Each day begins with a similar practice.
 
I choose my focus via a set of cards that reflect my fundamental philosophies:
a pink set of “angel” cards that my dear friend, Kelly Rae B., made for me over a decade ago;
a set of quality cards that a circle of friends made, along with me, for a birthday celebration some years ago;
sweet angel cards that are widely available;
a set of affirmation cards beautifully designed by Christine Mason Miller (aka swirly girl) which I received as a gift earlier this year;
a quote drawn from a hand formed mug (yay Tracy) that has been very meaningful to me.
The cards are intentionally selected at a single point in time, but they are drawn arbitrarily.

The bright pink and orange holder I call a altarium. That was the prototype for a series of five that I made with my creative friend, Julie Piggot and that series is available on our ETSY shop if you would like to have one of those for your own morning/focus practice (http://www.etsy.com/listing/63616037/intention-focus-altarium) or just search altarium!

It is a consistent grace in my day, when I feel tension rising or sense that I may be losing my perspective, that I am able to glance up and have the presence of so many faithful friends, my own self included, to draw me back to the basics of my own beliefs.

Could something like this work for you?

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