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Breakfast with Buddha

I just finished reading a book and it had a very strong reminder for me.  The book is Breakfast with Buddha.  If you’ve read it, I want to hear your thoughts so make sure you comment below.  The book is about a man named Otto who’s parents died suddenly.  Otto has to travel halfway across the country to settle the estate and his sister asks him to bring a monk along for the ride.  Now, Otto has never met this monk and in the beginning, doesn’t necessarily believe in everything the monk stands for.  Along the journey, Otto tries to show the monk a little bit of the American lifestyle – tourist spots, the beautiful scenery and of course, food.  A lot of this book is how tasty food is or can be.  On the other side, the monk also tries to show Otto a bit about his practices.  They have to stop along the route at speaking engagements and while Otto resists learning, he comes around.  In the end, Otto learns a lot and realizes he needs to look at life differently.  Very differently.

The book had a very strong message for me.  And no, it wasn’t about practicing religion or becoming a buddhist.  The message for me was about gratitude.  That word is pretty big.  And most people, including myself, don’t take time to actually think about being grateful.  Think of the food you ate today.  Was it good?  Did it have flavor?  Do you even remember what you ate?  Were you grateful for the meal?  I remember what I ate, but. I definitely can’t say I took the time to be grateful for being able to buy breakfast and lunch and be fed.  Let’s think of it another way.

Most of us have cell phones.  Smart phones, at that.  We use them throughout the day, off and on, and some of us use them more than others.  When they stop working, we freak out!  The volume doesn’t work, the screen is cracked and your favorite app doesn’t open.  Ok, here’s the deal.  Why do we freak out?  This is a material thing and in all honesty, it’s not a priority.  Think of our parents or grandparents.  They didn’t have cell phones and they got by just fine.  I like to call this “First World Problems”…you may have heard of this phrase.  Do you use it?  I use it jokingly but it’s true.  This is a true problem.

Instead of thinking of all the bad or negative things that happen, let’s try to think of it differently.  With your food, savor every bite.  Experience all the flavors by eating slow and enjoying it.  But not too much.  With your modern day life, be grateful that you can have a smart phone.  Some people can’t even afford such a luxury.  With your friends and family, be present and live in the moment.  Enjoy your time with them.  Laugh a little.

My challenge to you is to start thinking of at least one thing to be grateful for each day and increase over time.  Start paying attention to the world around you – the colors, the smells, the senses on your skin.  And say thank you…a lot!  Start tonight!  Comment below with a moment of gratitude from today.  I’ll start…

I Stayed In My Pajamas Because…

Today, I stayed in my pajamas.  All day.  Yup…all…freakin’…day…

And guess what, I’m totally cool with it.  Why?  Because I was able to get a TON of stuff done.

I had a healthy breakfast.  I researched a topic for a few talks I have coming up in 2018.  I watched the Pats.  And I rested.

Rest is totally a part of the program.  And it should be a part of your life too.  Believe it or not, you can still rest while getting things done.  Life is never going to be stress free, but it can have less stress. The question is, how do you get there?  The first step is to make a decision.

Decide you want a change.  Decide you want to have less stress in your life.  Decide that you want to have one day a week, a full day, in your pajamas.  Once you do this, you’re on the right track.  What’s next?

Make it a habit.  Make the practice of taking one day a week to do what you want, even if it is staying in your pajamas.  Give the day a name if it helps you stick to it.  Get your family involved.  Over time, taking the day will become a normal practice for you…and your family.  Now what?

Now, sit back, relax and enjoy.  Enjoy your decision.  Enjoy your life.  And enjoy the new pajamas you’re about to buy for the next pajama day.

When I Grow Up…

When you’re a kid, adults always ask you what you want to be when you grow up.  Some some an astronaut, some say a fireman and some say a veterinarian.

When I was little, I didn’t want to be any of these.  I wanted to be a marine biologist.  But not just any marine biologist, one that was a helper.  I wanted to work at Discovery Cove, a place that allowed children with disabilities to swim with dolphins.  Now I’m not sure if they do this anymore, but the reason I wanted this job was because it was a magical place.  The act of swimming with dolphins had healing properties and while the children that swam with the dolphins wouldn’t necessarily be cured, they would improve.  Most importantly, I wanted this job because I knew it would make me happy.

As I’ve gotten older, that’s one thing I’ve noticed one important thing about this question that gets asked.  Not many people say they want to be happy.  It’s sad but I have a feeling many people don’t even know what happy really means.  As kids, we have it made!  We gt to play with our friends, learn new things in school and don’t have to get up and go to work every day.  But part of America’s culture is that we have to grow up, get a job and start making money to better yourself.  I know this is how it was for me.  And now looking back, I realize it was a good thing, but it was also a downfall too.

I think we grow up too fast in America and as a result, we don’t get to know what happy really feels like.  We all have our own definition of happy but as I get older, I am realizing that’s my ultimate goal.  And for me, that’s living a life that has more meaning.  It’s about giving back to my community and leaving my footprint on this planet.

So here’s my question to you.  What do you want to be when you grow up?  You might still say a profession, but whatever it is make sure you really go after it.  Give it everything you’ve got to truly be what you want in life and don’t let anything stop you!  If you don’t know the answer to this question, do some personal digging.  find out what you love and what you wanted to do when you were little.  See how that relates to you as an adult.  Remember, you only have one life to live so live it to the fullest!

And please, share with my what you wanted to be when you grew up!  I’d love to hear your childhood dream and help you relate it to your life today.

Find a new way to THINK!

A while back I signed up for Oprah’s Thought for Today newsletter.  This quote came in back in 2013 and made me smile.  It also got me thinking.  In order to make our lives better and find out who we really are (or are going to be), we must change the way we think about things.

Let’s say I’m a “glass half empty” kind of person.  If my whole mindset is that of a pessimist, I will think that everything is going to go wrong.  I’ll think that things will never go the way I want or dream of and life is just going to be stagnant.  And I’m going to be honest, I used to be this way.  When I was young, I went through a major depression and because of this way of thinking.  It took me a very, very long time to to realize that my life is mine to make.

Today, I’m a “glass half full” kind of person.  Today, I see the positive things in life and it helps me push aside the negativity.  I now realize that the world is my oyster and I can take from it what I want and give back to help the world be a better place.  Don’t get me wrong, though, I’m not perfect.  I still have moments when things aren’t going my way and I get sad, or angry, or frustrated.  But I have a great support system around me to help me bounce back.

What this quote should help you realize is that if you want ANYTHING in life, you need to start THINKING differently.  Do not let negativity run your life.  Don’t let it ruin your life either!  One tough moment does not not have to destroy your whole day.  It can hurt or sting, but it will pass.

Your first action…surround yourself with people that will support you and help you see the beauty around you and IN you!  These people will be your tribe and you’ll never want to let them go.  I have a few people that are in my tribe that I cherish dearly and I would be lost without them.

Who do you have in your tribe?  Tell me about them.  I’d love to know how you’re supported day in and day out.

 

You only live once…

Don’t be a fraud to really live.  I was afraid once.  Then I found some friends that were like-minded and wanted the same things I did.  They helped me to open up, see the world for what it’s really like and help me see what I could really do.

Rightnow, my life is getting to a point where I feel like I have everything I need.  I have a home that I love, I have close friends and family and most importantly, I have my health.  Without my health, I would be nowhere.

Life goes by so fast that we don’t have time to let things just happy.  We need to grab the bull by the horns and do what makes us happy.  We need to stop worrying about things we cannot control and just live.  I’ve discovered that having people around me that want the same things makes me happy.  That being healthy makes me happy.  That having enough money to not worry about anything makes me happy.  And that attempting to live by my own morals and values makes me happy.

I’ve been wondering what the next stage in life is going to be and where it’s going to take me.   What makes you happy?  If you don’t know, you need to find out.  One of my goals is to help people get to a place that is fulfilling and makes them happy.  If you’d like to find out more about working together to achieve this common goal, comment below.  I’d love to hear what you’re working toward.

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