Express Your Joy

Feel The Wind Blow! © Natallia Vintsik Stock.adobe.com

 

Let the wind blow in your hair

Forget your troubles and feel your heart lighten

 

 

 

 

Express Your Joy! © sonsedskaya Stock.adobe.com

 

Express your JOY!

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

The Wisdom of Mr. Pooh

The Fabulous Mr. Pooh wishes you a day full of fun and joyful energy!

I first met the Fabulous Mr. Pooh when my sister rescued him from a bad home in Wyoming. I’d lost my best furry friend, Buddy, a few months before and was open to “meeting” a new dog. She assured me Marley (aka Mr. Pooh) was the same size as the 50-pound fur baby I’d lived with for over ten years.

They pulled into the driveway and I saw Pooh jump out of her vehicle. My first thought was “Wow. He’s big.” The Fabulous Mr. Pooh is a black Labrador and Great Dane mix. Our vet guesses a bit of Chesapeake Bay Retriever might be in there somewhere too. He is one hundred pounds of cuddly fun.

Pooh knew he was home the minute he walked into the door and jumped up on my (now his) puffy chair with ottoman. You guessed it. He takes up the entire space. My new gigantic furry baby rolled onto his back and stuck all four legs in the air. He wiggled when I rubbed his tummy, reminding me of Winnie the Pooh. That was it. Pooh adopted me right then and there.

I can be an overly serious person sometimes and I tend to live in my head too much. Mr. Pooh’s gift of being a good time wherever he has changed my life. Here are some tips I’ve learned from the Fabulous Mr. Pooh to shake off the blues:

Have Fun No Matter What You’re Doing – Whether it’s a short walk around the block or a trip to the mountains, Pooh shows the same level of High Octane enthusiasm

Silliness Is A State of Mind. Be Silly as Much as You Can – Stick your head out the window and let that tongue hang out. Splash in those puddles with all your heart. The worry and years of struggle will melt away

There Is Always Time to Chase Bunnies (even though we all know you can’t catch them) – Having fun is never a waste of time.

Be Pooh-sitive. Be Happy. Be Well.

Fighting Back Against Negativity

Be an Encourager © Photocreo Bednarek – stock.adobe.com

Maybe it’s the writer in me, but I believe the struggle between Positive and Negative is a war. Imagine two kingdoms fighting for control in the battlefield of human consciousness. One side wants to lift humanity higher and encourages us to follow our own dreams. It values freedom of thought, kindness, and creativity. The other side wants to control through fear, depression, and hatred. I don’t know why. I suspect there is a larger agenda hidden from us.

Negativity has powerful weapons. Fear-mongering can be a blunt instrument that smashes common sense. It can also use gossip to subtly undermine. Both tactics are part of Negativity’s Deception arsenal. Lies cause mistrust. Mistrust causes resentment and hatred. If you don’t trust anyone, you will become isolated and depressed. The energy to fight negativity is lost to you.

Positivity may seem to be losing the war right now, but our side has powerful weapons too.

  • Acts of Kindness outweigh violence
  • Truth spoken with Love cancels out lies and ignorance
  • Knowledge smashes the barbs of fear and misdirection
  • And the most powerful weapon of all? We have each other! Be an encourager. Lift someone else up!

No matter how horrible things get or how upset I feel, I refuse to feed the enemy’s forces. What about you? How will you stand in the face of Negativity?

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well. 

Finding Beauty in Surprising Places

It’s a foggy dismal morning. My Labrador Retriever, Mr. Pooh, doesn’t seem to mind. The new spring bunnies are hopping around the wet grass. He loves pretending to chase them. Pooh runs a few yards and then goes on point. We both understand it’s just a game and no fuzzy critters will get hurt. Bunnies are a great source of doggy entertainment on a Spring morning.

Giraffe – Unknown artist Aurora, CO

I tug at my coat collar and watch him sniff about as we walk. The coffee isn’t kicking in yet. I long for the sunshine and warmer weather. This damp gloom is souring my mood.

Penguin – Unknown artist Aurora, CO

Then I see it. Some talented soul has painted art on a little hope rock and left it to cheer their neighbors. One…Two…Three little gifts of beauty. I take pictures to share with you. And I wonder if I’ve missed other signs of Love, Hope, and Joy when I was stuck in my own gloomy thoughts.

Gnome – Unknown artist Aurora, CO

How about you? Are you seeking out little signs of beauty and joy?

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

How Nature Teaches Us About Resilience

© C.Pavletic – Stock.Adobe.Com

Colorado has seen its fair share of destructive hail storms this summer. My vegetable garden was decimated during a particularly nasty one in which we had several minutes of white hell fire. In some parts of our state, it broke windows, smashed big dings in cars and even killed two animals at a local zoo. Nature can be destructive, but she can also be resilient.

Back to my veggie garden: My poor cucumber plant was stripped of its leaves and flowers. I cut it back to a stub, leaving a few undamaged leaves. Saying a prayer to the cucumber plant gods, I gave it up to Nature. A month has passed. Not only has the plant grown double its pre-storm size, I’m harvesting cucumbers.

What’s the take away (besides delicious veggies of course)? We can model Nature’s resilience in our own lives. Cut away the parts or people who no longer promote growth in your life. Find a new place or situation that encourages positive growth. Then watch yourself bloom!

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

 

Are You Celebrating The Important Things?

Happy National Tequila Day!

© Igor Normann – Stock.Adobe.Com

I celebrate this awesome holiday every year. In 2017, I spent the evening sipping Tequila Blanco on my back patio in the shade. This year, I went for marqaritas at a Latin/South American Cantina. Why do I get so excited about this holiday? First: I enjoy a good tequila with a slice of lime. Second: Any excuse to eat Mexican/Cuban/South American cuisine is a good excuse. Third: Celebrating the little things is critical to our happiness.

Why not act a little silly? Make a special meal just because its Tuesday. Go out with your friends on a Sunday just because you can. Live your life with the intent to find joy.

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

 

Habits are Habitual

My cat crushed his yearly vet check up last week. The vet lifted him off the scales, kitty grabbed it and threw it off the counter like a boss. Grrrr! The vet was all smiles and told me kitty has now reached his perfect weight. After struggling since 2008 to get rid of that pesky extra pound, we finally made it! My geriatric dog, Buddy, has also reached is ideal weight. What changed over this year? I feed them the same amount. We’ve kept to our walking routine though Buddy has slowed down and his distance has shortened (he’s well over 90 in human years). So what changed?

KittyMonster

ME! My eating habits and the way I think about food has changed. What I didn’t realize until this vet visit was just how much my habits – good and bad – impact my pets.

This new revelation got me thinking about my role as a leader. Attitude is also habit. We’ve all seen how infectious a negative person’s attitude can be to a team. It spreads faster than the flu. Whispered gossip and petty bickering between team members will derail a project faster than any risk. If allowed to run wild, the team’s chance of successfully reaching project goals severely decreases.

The leader’s attitude can make or break a project.

Runners

I’ll be honest. Leader is one of the toughest roles I have to play in life. Nothing irritates me more than a negative team member who uses passive-aggressive behavior to spread drama and negativity. I’ve seen this taken to the extreme. One person was so entrenched in her spiteful behavior, she was willing to actively work on destroying a program rather than allow others to be successful. This person was finally removed. The simple change turned the team around and they were successful.

One powerful secret weapon I use as a leader is my habitual positive attitude. Being positive allows your mind to remain open to new ideas and opinions. Most folks would rather follow a leader who exudes positive thoughts and encouragement. They shy away from the old grump who insists on continuing down the same comfortable, but unproductive path.

Remember: Being positive isn’t always easy. Everybody has their bad days. If you work at staying positive and being an encourager to your team, it will eventually become a useful habit. Promoting a positive environment results in increased productivity and more job satisfaction for you and your team.