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A Magic Potion to Combat Fear

Okay I want something to happen right now.  Really badly.  I mean really really badly!  It isn’t actually that I want it – it’s more like I NEED it to happen.  And it hasn’t happened yet.  So I’m full of fear – fear that it won’t and I (we) will be stuck.  Fear that it won’t and we will miss out on a current opportunity.  Fear that we are in a nose dive right now, heading straight for a crash.  I know we’ll pull out in time (before we hit bottom) but I’m feeling the fear of a hair-raising, white-knuckle ride along the way. 

What do you do when you are feeling like this?  (DO you ever feel like this??)  What do you tell yourself in those dark moments, when you are really feeling worried or afraid?  What do you do to combat the fear?

I SAY it’s all gonna be all right.  It’s all going to work out.  …

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Let Go of the Rice

There is a story my husband would tell me when we were first dating.  It had to do with monkeys out in the jungles of Africa (isn’t this what YOU usually talk about when you are first dating someone??).  It went something like this:

       These villagers in Africa were having a hard time capturing these monkeys.  Finally someone got wise and using some sort of container with a small opening on top (an empty gourd or carved out coconut – the story is a little fuzzy to me after all this time), they filled it with some rice and left it out for their “guests.” 
       The monkeys, being the curious little creatures that they are, would run over to it, and eventually stick their hand in the gourd to get the rice.  They would grab a big fist full of it and then go to pull their hand out, only to find their hand was stuck!  The hole …

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Stick to the Facts

What are you dealing with today?  Now that the New Year has started, with all the good intentioned resolutions that go along with it, are you feeling unhappy that you are in a particular situation? Are you mad or disappointed with yourself – after all, you KNOW better.  So why can’t you DO better?

Before you set out to tackle whatever it is you want to tackle, this time around why don’t you try something new?  How about considering that you need to straighten out your thoughts first.  First, you need to see the situation clearly – and chances are (if you are at all like me) you’re not.  Because you’ve intertwined your “story” all over the facts.  

The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral, which always is as it is. There is the situation or

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Planner or Participant?

Tis the Season….for those good ol’ control issues to flair up again.  Holiday festivities equal events where family gathers together, which means a variety of personal agendas and various power struggles.  Heck, you don’t even need the holidays to witness this; if you look carefully, these types of interactions are all around us.  How can we stay sane in the midst of all this hankering for control?  My oldest and dearest friend has talked me off the ledge numerous times with an interesting technique.  See if it might work for you.

My best friend sums it up like this, “You are either the Planner or the Participant.”  As the Planner, you take charge, figure it out, make the plans, have the control.  As the Participant, you go along; you are agreeable to what the Planner has worked out.  No fighting for the reins – you sit down, shut up and let the Planner steer the wagon.

As women it …

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5 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Holidays

I woke up in the middle of the night in a panic.  And no, it wasn’t just because I was coughing away due to this lovely cold I have now gotten from my dear family members. (Pass around the hugs and kisses all you want, but keep the germs to yourself!  This is another reason we are all getting flu shots this year).  It wasn’t a fever, however, that caused me to break out in a sweat – it was tidbits of an ongoing conversation my kids have been having lately that are now floating around in my head: what's on their Christmas lists.  My initial reaction had been one of happiness and relief; their lists were short, simple and not at all filled (yet) with the gimmies and holiday wants (or the Wii)!  But last night in my dreamland state, reality hit me like a wake-up call: oh no! the holidays are only 10 weeks away!

Are …

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Too Much Yakking at Your House??

Do your kids keep the noise level in your house on LOUD most of the time?  Do the basic cues like, “Inside voice please” or “Lower your volume”, or even a loud “SHHH-H-H-H!” just seem not to work?  Do you ever find family members RAISING their voices to be heard over the other ones – and nobody seems aware at how LOUD their volume really is?  Welcome to my world – and if my world sounds at all like YOUR world, you may like to hear that I have a solution for you…meet the Yacker Tracker.

The Yacker Tracker is an adjustable, sound-activated noise monitor.  We have ours prominently displayed on the counter nearest the kitchen table.  It is quite the topic of conversation when friends come over.  But I must say, everyone who has seen ours in action says they need to run out and get one for their family. 

It gets turned …

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More on the 29-Day Giving Challenge

I spent a good portion of our dinner table conversation last night talking to the kids about the 29-Day Giving Challenge.  I am really excited about this in a whole new way now – not just as something I want to do for me, but as a fabulous teaching opportunity for my children.

You should have seen their faces at first – when I said it is about giving away 29 things in 29 days.  I could see the fear gripping at them, thinking I was suggesting another cleaning out of toys and books for charity.  It was only just a few months ago that they started getting comfortable with that concept.  Up until then, if I tried to gather up some old toys to take down to the local charity drop-off box, they would immediately insist on playing with THOSE toys.  Toys they had not touched in years were now the ones they were attached …

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Up for a Challenge?

Are you up for a challenge?  Ready to try something that could not only help others around you but possibly change your life as well?  Are you finding yourself in need of a little something – like a life with a little more purpose, or a better feeling about the life you are living?  Do you sometimes feel like there is something missing – you are just not sure what it is or what to do about it?  Well, I may have found just the thing you (and I) need.               


                          Give away 29 things in 29 days.

I ran across this idea on a recent post by Morningside Mom.  I was intrigued and followed the link to 29gifts.org where Cami Walker, the Creator of the 29-Day Giving Challenge talks …

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Follow-up to “How to Save a Life”

What a great response to How to Save a Life!  I am so proud of so many of you who actually clicked your mouse and took action.  What a way to make a difference in the world!  Thank you.

Some of you emailed me directly saying you were having trouble on the NASCAR Foundation’s website completing the transaction for the free cheek swab kit to be sent out to you.  All I can think hope is that the response to their generous offer was so great that their site got overwhelmed at times. 

If you were not able to get through, please do not give up.  You were on a mission – you decided you were going to help those in need who are facing really tough odds.  It is still just as easy – still just a few clicks away.  Go to www.marrow.org.  You can still sign up online – or you can search for donor drives …

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What is Your Vision?

There is a lot of talk about Vision Boards lately.  Ever since they were mentioned on Oprah and in the bestselling book The Secret, more and more people are jumping on the board wagon.  It is actually not a new concept – most of us are familiar with that famous verse from the Bible, “As a Man thinketh in his mind and in his heart so is he!”   Regardless of the origin or who made it popular, vision boards are a powerful technique – for yourself AND your kids.  In fact, there is no doubt for this Zen Mama Wannabe that it could be one of the greatest gifts we share with our children!

Claude Bristol explains it simply in one of my favorite books, published back in 1954, that we don’t actually think in words…we think in pictures.

“…what you picture in your mind, if you picture it clearly and confidently and persistently enough, will

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