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2012 Bluebird Calendar – My Gift to You

Described below are two gifts for you (a calendar and an invitation to a teleclass:  New Year’s Evolution:  Evolve Instead of Resolve)

Screen shot of blue bird calendarTo show my appreciation for you and your subscription to, I’d love to share this year’s beautiful “homemade” Bluebird of Happiness calendar.

Here are two printing options:

Option 1: Just click the link below to save the pdf to your computer and print on nice, medium-weight paper.

Option 2:  Or for a more beautiful and dramatic effect, save the file to a CD or flash drive and have it printed in high resolution (11 x 17) for just $1.78 at Kinkos.   Framed calendars make great gifts!  I purchased a bunch of inexpensive 11 x 17  frames and delivered several framed calendars to friends and colleagues in Lawrence and they loved them.

2012 bluebird calendar (download PDF – it’s a large file so give it a little time to download).

Gift #2:  Wednesday, January 18 (10am PT | 11am MT | 12pm CT | 1pm ET) I’m offering a FREE teleclass:  New Year’s Evolution:  Evolve Instead of Resolve!  Here’s the link to more details and to register.    Hope to meet you on the call!  This class is over, but here is a link to the notes and audio from this class:  I hope you enjoy it!

Happy New Year – 2012 is the year of power and action!

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Let’s Talk About Fun (notes from the first tele-conversation)

Let's Talk About...

Just finished the first tele-conversation in the Let’s Talk About Healthy, Happy Living series (1st and 3rd Tuesdays each month).  Our topic was having fun.  Here are some great quotes about fun and highlights of our conversation. 

" He who does not get fun and enjoyment out of every day…needs to reorganize his life"
-George Matthew Adams

"If I were a toy, I would say ‘Press my Play button’."
Julie De Koven

"The human race has only one effective weapon –and that is laughter."
Mark Twain

"People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing."
Dale Carnegie

"Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."
Abraham Lincoln

"Happiness is not having what you want. It’s wanting what you have."

"It is a happy talent to know how to play."
Ralph Waldo Emerson quoted in Joy by Beverly Elaine Eanes

Notes from the Conversation….

Things people shared that were fun for them:

  • hitting the bike trails on a sunny day
  • hiking (with great weather, scenery, friends)
  • road trips with favorite music, no time table – freedom!
  • cleaning, organizing, clearing the decks (fun checking things off a list, satisfying results)
  • playing with cats or other pets
  • listening to shape note singing group
  • hoola dancing for nursing home, party, other event
  • reading a good book
  • enjoying a spa bath or massage
  • winter camping
  • going on retreat

What can keep us from having more fun – perceived obstacles

  • Money can be an obstacle if we can’t shift our mindset about what we want and about money worries.  One participant talked about  how she’s tuning in to the essence of what she really wants for a 3-day vacation that she can afford.  Her creative juices have been activated and she’s having fun doing the research for local activities accessible via public transportation (inspiring story/reframe)
  • Inflexibility – if we have our heart set on one way to have fun and it doesn’t work out that way, it can be hard to switch gears (but switching gears is possible)
  • Unhappiness and unmet needs – can learn to meet our own needs with a meditation technique to provide comfort to yourself by Pete Sanders Access Your Brain’s Joy Center
  • Drama and family upset – one participant shared that they just went with the drama and chaos and turned the opera music up really loud.  That shifted the family energy/dynamic and they all enjoyed the Valentine’s Dinner (another inspiring story/reframe)
  • Clutter – makes us feel guilty, overwhelmed, so less likely to be free spirited and think about having fun (split a 3-day holiday into one day of cleaning/organizing and two days of fun!)  The cleaning and organizing clears the deck for guilt-free fun.
  • Feeling out of Control – use mindfulness and meditation to tap into personal freedom and peaceful relaxation (includes mindful breathing).  One participant said that meditation is an awesome all-purpose tool and I agree.

How we can build more fun into our lives

  • Hang out with fun people
  • Have a fun buddy to do things with
  • Make a list of fun things to do – create a fun menu to remind us of fun things when we’re feeling blah or blue
  • Post inspiring quotes and affirmations to remind us to have fun
  • Schedule fun activities into our calendars
  • Visit the Chamber of Commerce or Visitors Center and pick up brochures on 100 things to do for free/fun in your town
  • Create a “fun” file
  • Practice mindfulness (to become aware of pleasure)
  • Do some biblio-therapy (hang out in a library or bookstore and read while sipping a hot cup of tea or coffee.  Read something you wouldn’t ordinarily read.  “Borrow the book” for a coffee break so you don’t have to buy it or check it out.
  • Unpack the good China and use it.  Set a nice table with candles.  Wear lipstick, a cool pin, put on a fragrance.  Make life an occasion.

A few takeaways from the call:  not as lacking in fun as we thought but need reminders to build fun in.  Also, we can be more in control of our lives than we sometimes think – even if we have a challenging life.

If you missed this conversation and would like to sign up for the series (it’s FREE!), visit this link:

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Let’s Talk About Having Fun!

I don’t know about you, but I tend to be a bit serious about life—I could use more fun in my life.   But what?  How? Let's Talk About Healthy Happy LivingWe’re kicking off our Let’s Talk About Healthy, Happy living series talking about fun.   

Here’s who needs to come to the call, Tue. Feb 15:

• You, if you’re good at having fun (we need to hear your secrets)

• You, if you seldom have fun (we want to inspire and expand your world)

• You, if you are in the middle like me (we want to tip you onto the fun end of the spectrum)

Come to the first call in the series this Tuesday, February 15 and share your take on fun (Do you know how to have fun? Are you fun-deficient? Do you have suggestions for having more fun?)

More info about the series and signup:

When you sign up, you’ll receive an email with the call-in details.  If you’re not sure whether you have signed up for this series yet, go ahead and sign up.  You’ll get just one notice (unless you use a different email). 

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Tired of Winter?

Tired of Winter?

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Got Collections, Got Clutter?

Just saw a hilarious video about the collections we hang onto long after the enjoyment has dried up—much like the glue in that collage you made in the 70’s. 

All of us collect things – even neatniks and health nuts (think organic soaps and lotions, organic coffee and teas, Birkenstocks, tunics, glass food containers, floor cushions, yoga mats and essential oils…..).  I collect vases – all sizes, shapes, and colors.  Try wrenching them out of my hands.  You’d lose. 

Watch this little video and share at the comment link below what collections you have.  And then skip to the bottom of this post to find out about a freebie I’m offering this Thursday.

zenbannerFREE Teleclass – Zen in 2010 (Thursday evening, September 30) 

If you’d like some inspiration for “managing” your intentional and unintentional collections, sign up for the free Zen in 2010 teleclass – we’ll talk about collections and a whole lot more!  Here’s the link to read more and sign up:

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Clean Up, Clean Up, Put Your Things Away

Some of us didn’t learn this little clean up song when we were young.  It’s not too late.  Cleaning up is a skill; it can be learned.

If you want to learn to clean up your messes, put your things away, see the freebie below this video. 

Zen in 2010 Free Teleclass FREE TELECLASS – Zen in 2010, Thursday evening, September 30

If you’d like to clean up your inside and outside spaces (think inside your head and inside your house), join me for a free teleclass.  All you need is a telephone.  Here’s the link to read more and sign up:

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Are you always running late? Wanna Change?


How dinosaurs became extinct—one theory

Running late is not very Zen.

Sometimes I plan to be late, but when I want to/need to show up on time, it’s easy for me.  Don’t be jealous.  I came by this in an unpleasant way.

Every Sunday when I was a kid my dad would polish the headlights on the car while waiting for my mother to come out so we could go to church.  My sister was late too.  He was upset and impatient every Sunday, for years.  He’d honk and grouse as I sat nervously in the back seat vowing to always be on time—and for the most part, I’ve kept my vow.  I saw first hand, week after week, the stress effects of being late (and of being impatient).  My dad wasn’t right about pacing and frothing at the mouth, but I understood it. 

In the spirit of full disclosure, here’s what I do when I choose to be late:

  • I plan one more thing I want to get done before I leave for the event/date/appointment.
  • I “forget” what time I’m supposed to be there or I forget to check for directions.
  • I know what time I’m supposed to be there but think what I’m doing is more important than what somebody else is doing (the one who’s waiting for me).
  • I lose my keys or notebook or cell phone so I have to spend time looking for things. 

If you see yourself in this list, here are a few things you can do to be on time (if you want to change).  Just do the opposite of the list above.

  • Instead of planning one more thing to do, head off to the meeting or appointment – early!  Gasp!
  • Keep a calendar (electronic or paper) of all of your commitments so you’ll know when you have engagements.  Check the calendar at the beginning of the day so you know what’s up ahead.  I also scan the week ahead so I have a sense for how busy or available I’ll be so I don’t overbook.
  • What I’m doing is really important.  But what my friend, colleague, boss, dentist is doing is really important too.  If your friends and family and dentist are important to you, it might be a worthy goal to work on being on time. 
  • Being organized helps.  If you have a special hook where you hang your car keys, you’ve got a planning system, and you don’t overbook, you should be good to go (and be on time) .  :)


Zen in 2010 If  you’d like help being more Zen in life, check out a free teleclass I’m offering Thursday, September 30 at 7pm CT.  Would be great to have you join us:

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Celebrating 90 Years – my mom

At age 90, finding out you’ve got an aggressive rare cancer (stage 4), moving from one assisted living apartment to another one several states away with a husband who has dementia and congestive heart failure–that’s a lot to take in, but mom’s doing it.  She comes from pioneer stock to be sure. 

In the past month,  mom and dad moved from their assisted living apartment in Sanford, NC to their new assisted living apartment in Chelsea, Michigan to be near family for mom’s remaining weeks or months.  The surgeon removed a third of her colon and discovered that it had spread to her abdominal cavity.  She was hopeful that she could do chemotherapy but was recently informed that chemo was not recommended in her case.  She’s taking it like a trooper but confessed she wishes she had a couple more years.  Her family does too.   Her kids are heading to Michigan this weekend to celebrate her 90th birthday.  Dad turns 87 in August so we’ll be celebrating his birthday too.

The video below was made last year when mom was released for a few hours from the rehab hospital where she was recovering from a stroke.  My sister Diane and I were visiting and clearing out their home of 24 years so they could move into assisted living in Sanford, North Carolina.   She has a missing tooth (it broke when she bit into a biscotti biscuit she received in a birthday basket—tough luck!).  Other than that, she looks pretty good for 88 don’t you think.  This little snippet is so funny – she has an infectious laugh and sense of humor.

I welcome your comments and stories about your family. 

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1 Dress, 365 Days – the Uniform Project

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Have You Had Your Laugh Today?

My dad was a salesman for close to 60 years.   Most of his clients were men and humor was an important part of their language.  He told a wide variety of jokes – some of them shared in private, just for men.  I used to roll my eyes.  I was such a snob.

Dad has dementia now and can remember only one joke.  So I no longer groan when he asks “Have you had your laugh today?”  I act like I’ve never heard his joke and he gets a big kick out of it.  And so do I.  Here’s the joke:  Do you know how to make holy water?  No, how?  You boil the hell out of it.  See why I used to roll my eyes.

So if you haven’t had your laugh today (and you love dogs), watch this short video.

Do you have any funny jokes to share?  See the comment link below….share your humor there.

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