Onward to Christmas!

I love Christmas! My middle daughter really makes it special. She’s on countdown, and is really ready for the season. My youngest is her partner in crime when making the season festive. To say that we love Christmas is an understatement. It’s our season, and we really love to make great memories. This is the time of year that we love to come together and have a really good time. Family time.

Thanksgiving was our time to be thankful. Christmas is out time to feel grateful. It’s not the presents, the shopping, or even the food that we love. It’s the spirit of the season. The giving, and the sharing. We are grateful for the time we get to spend with everyone that we love, and the ones that love us. It’s bliss, and it really lets us know who we mean something to. It’s a great feeling, and this is the season to remember those that you love and love you. If  you’re not that fortunate, that’s a shame.

It’s also a time for people to get ready for the new year. Are you ready? This year was a crazy year in more ways than one, and it’s almost over. Love is truly lacking in this world today. Funny how it makes the world go around, yet, so many people have no clue what real love is. For many of us it’s the time of year to remember the real reason for the season according to our faith. For others, it’s a time of giving and serving. It really doesn’t matter who you are, or what you believe: the spirit of giving is in the air.

I’m really grateful for the love of my kids. I love them and they know it. As a parent, it’s my job to make sure my kids understand that they are worthy of my: time, attention, affection, sacrifices, blessings, love, and hard work. I brought them into to this world, and I have a duty to make sure they get what they need. No matter what I have to give up to do it. That’s service.

I think it’s crazy how so many people don’t get that once you become a parent, it’s no longer about you. I understood that the day my oldest was born. The price they pay? Children that don’t: respect, adore, admire, want them to be around. And even more sadly, don’t like or love them. What a legacy. You only get one chance to be a good parent. Once you blow it…

Kids have lifelong memories. It’s really sad when neglected as children elderly people are still ruminating about: selfish, self-serving, self absorbed, immature, lacking remorse, unloving moms and dads that failed them while they were still alive. People that still have a hold on them from the grave. Kids love unconditionally, it’s adults who are the ones who need to get a grip. Unloving, selfish parents do end up having to face the music eventually. Attempting to reconnect with someone that has written you off, and has no interest whatsoever in you? That’s one painful reality check.

So Christmas for me is about making sure my kids understand what real love looks and feels like. It’s not the gifts, the food, or even the people that we are surrounded by. It’s the spirit of love and caring that are the most important. My girls really understand these days what love is all about. They understand what it means to be grateful for what you have, before you lose it. They understand sometimes you don’t get second chance to make things right, you just roll with the punches. Get up, dust yourself off, and keep it moving.

Good will to all men is the theme of the season. They understand that everything happens for a reason. There are just some people in your life that leave, and are others that will fill in the gaps. Christmas shows who they are. These are the people in life that are the keepers. This is the season to count your blessings, and focus on them. That’s what we’ve done, and it’s been fantastic. Don’t let their misery become your company. This is the season of love, joy and peace, and boy do we enjoy it.

We have peace, happiness, and loved ones that really care for us. And, vice versa. This is going to be one of the best Christmases ever. Why? Because we really get the reason for the season, and that’s a good thing. I taught my kids that love is something that you give, and you don’t have to earn it. It comes back to you in the end. Guess what? They really know how to love people. We love Christmas for this reason. It really does bring out the best in my family.

 

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Cheers!

There’s nothing better in life than to have truly good friends. The ones that inspire you, tell you the truth when you need to hear it, that are there for you when times are tough, and when the best memories are made. I don’t know about you, but I have some of the best friends imaginable. They are part of my inner circle and make my world better.

It’s the holiday season and having friends around makes it fun. We eat too much, laugh a lot, and take in the sights of the season. It’s just something we do. Going to see the lights in different neighborhoods, and at the different amusement parks in the area that have the best light shows. All just because we can.

So this is just to say “Cheers!” to everyone who has great friends to spend the holidays with. Eat, drink and be merry. More importantly enjoy your time together. Keep your inner circle tight, and loyal. Enjoy them, and the season.

What Are You Thankful For?

Next week is Turkey Day as we call it in my family. And, we can’t wait to get together, eat, and spend time to together as a family. My kids love to eat my famous homemade rolls, my daughters’ will make their sweet potato casserole and pecan pie. My dad will smoke a turkey, and my mom will make her famous apple pie. And that’s just a few of the items on the menu. We have a lot to be thankful for this year, and next year is looking even better.

With so many ungrateful, unappreciative, and entitled people in the world, it’s not wonder people look forward to Thanksgiving. The original Thanksgiving was supposed to show gratitude, appreciation, and goodwill. It’s become very commercial over the years, but the spirit in many homes is the same: thankfulness, gratitude, and appreciating what you have.

It’s been an eventful year. Lessons were learned, patience was tested, changes abounded, and life was just life. In the end, the kids and I are happy. We have each other, and we are starting a new and more fulfilled life. The challenges that we faced have yielded needed changes, and outstanding personal growth. We’re grateful to have each other, and have overcome tests that have had some positive results. We’re grateful.

Appreciation is something that is learned at an early age, and with time can be cultivated to bring on gratefulness. Grateful people make life satisfying, and really show you the bright side of life. This year has also yielded great new friends and colleagues. I have an inner circle that is: loyal, loving, encouraging, respectful, considerate, caring, inspiring, we can depend and rely on each other. It really is true what Jim Rohn said, I’m paraphrasing: you are the sum of the 5 closest people to you. Watch your circle, it will either make or break you. My circle is making me.

This year I learned that intention is important. You have to beware of what you put your energy into. Watch your thoughts. I’ve learned that there are just some things that I just don’t have the time, brain space, or energy to waste on. I’ve learned what it means to feel good from the inside out. The energy you put out, is the energy you get back. So, I stopped dealing with things that drained me. That meant that there were things, places, and people that I just don’t pay attention to any longer.

Negative energy needs to stay with the negative source it comes from. Period. You can’t be thankful, grateful, or appreciative if you only look at what you don’t want. I only focus on what I do want, and it’s worked wonders. I’ve never been one to care what other people think, but I do pay attention to how they feel. This helps me to become a better person. It’s an attractive force, and it helps others to know that they have value and worth. I use things, not people, and I’ve reaped the harvest of having help and opportunities come in at the right time.

Being thankful fills you up with positive vibes. Who doesn’t want that? Negativity effects the brain in destructive ways. Avoid negative people and places when you can. Don’t feed drama, and none will come to you. Feed gratitude and appreciation, they’re priceless. So this holiday season, look to the ones that build you up, hug you when you’re down, and bring out the best in you. It’s worth it. And, be thankful for it.

 

 

 

It’s All Good

Life is good. Do you believe this? I know I do. When you’re ready for a change, especially a positive one, it comes. Being open to change makes it possible, and it will come quickly. Are you programmed for positivity or negativity? Which one have you allowed to rule over you? The side you’re on will determine how you live your life. Happy or hopeless? Angry and bitter, or forgiving and able to let go? It’s really up to you. Choose the high road, it’s easier to navigate, and gives you much more in return.

It’s the holiday season, and time to spend with family. My family and and I love to cook and spend time together. We reflect on all the things that we’re grateful for, and what we appreciate. It’s a time for us to really show each other how much we love each other. And, we do. It’s also a time for us to think of others, and what we can do to make someone’s life better. We give our time, money, and a shoulder to cry on if necessary. In other words: it’s not about us.

Life is good because so many great things are happening. Even if you don’t like how the election turned out, you still can live a great life. Our leaders don’t have total control over us, and it’s up to us to do what we need to do for ourselves and others to prosper. That is the truth. You can either be angry and spend your time and energy protesting, or you can get out there and prove that you are the one that determines your future. It’s an inside, not an outside job.

Are you looking at the things you want, or the things you don’t? Are you looking towards the things that help you or hurt you? Life is too short to let the small stuff get in the way. It’s also too short to be worry about what you can’t control. So, don’t give it a second thought. Are you living with and creating healthy boundaries that are creating a life that makes you a better person? Or are you so limitless that things aren’t working out, because of recklessness? Are you willing to take a good look in the mirror and be honest with yourself?

Life is good when you let it be so. Don’t force it. If you’re not good on your own, you won’t be any good with anyone else. So, you might as well start looking at life as a gift. Respect it, and honor it. Loving yourself is also a great start. Take care of you, and the people you care about. Be good to others, and good comes back to you. Reaping and sowing is real. Provoke people to love. Karma comes back in the way it was released, so put out something that you want to recevve. These days, I’m finding that life is really good. I’m glad that I’ve put out good things, because now those things are coming back in a loving and positive way. Yes, life is very good.

Who Are You Listening To?

There are many teachers in life, some good some bad. But, all have something to teach you. The real question is how do you know who to listen to and who not to. Most people love to listen to people that tell them what they want to hear, and at times that’s a good thing. I really all depends on the situation. The problem is when they are telling you something that’s not good for you, and gets you into a bind. So, who do you listen to? The people with real results. Look for the diamonds, glitter blows away when things don’t work out.

I just met one of my newest teachers/business partners. This guy really know his stuff, and I really respect, and admire him. He’s going to teach me a lot about a new business venture that I’m really excited about. One that I researched a few years back, but had no idea how to break into. Hence, the old saying, “When then student is ready the teacher will appear.” Lately this has been happening to me often. I’m finally meeting people that are helping me to achieve my business goals.

It also helps that he’s a great listener, and open to feedback. This will definitely help our business relationship. Feedback helps people with blind spots, and to see around corners. If you’re open to it. All too often, people put on an “ego filter”. You know, anything that bruises my ego won’t be considered or tolerated. It doesn’t matter if it’s for my own good. If it hurts my pride, view of self, or just goes against what I think of myself: forget it. Ego driven people are usually the most unhappy ones. They don’t get that they’re the problem. So they don’t listen, and blame everyone but themselves. Don’t listen to these types, they’re doomed to fail no matter what’s put in front of them.

So, who am I listening to? I love to meet smart, results oriented, achievers. They’re fun to work with. Not much negativity when dealing with these folks. Just a willingness to help, teach, and get you launched. Who knew that finding mentors could be so much fun, and rewarding. They understand wanting to do something to leave an impression, and a legacy. They also really know who to pay it forward. That’s the most important thing. Being able to pay if forward is what it’s all about.

There are universal laws in place that all of us are bound to, and if you meet the right people, you learn how they work. Not only to better yourself, but to help others get better as well. Who you listen to will affect all areas of your life, so, make sure you don’t listen to those who will make your regret your life’s decisions later. People who aren’t living your life are great at telling you how to live it. Why? They don’t have to suffer the consequences when things don’t work out. They just shake their hands with the usual, “Well you didn’t have to follow my advice.”, cope out. All while you’re left grasping at straws.

If you want to be successful, look at people with a true success record. Don’t look at potential. Many have not lived up to their potential due to listening to the wrong people. And, potential is overrated. Guess what? We all have potential, but we don’t all have results. Results are really the only thing in life that matters. If you want to know if someone is successful, look at their past and what they’ve achieved. If it’s very little and they haven’t helped anyone else become successful beware: they’re blowing smoke.

Listening to the right people promotes growth and will get you out of your comfort zone. So many love to live there, and can’t understand why they’re not satisfied. Comfort is deadly to success, it’s just that simple. Personally, I think that if it’s too easy to get something done, it’s too good to be true. Simple is different than easy. Things should be simple, not easy. Simple has staying power, easy usually means convenient, so it won’t last.  Most of the things in life worth doing will be hard. If it doesn’t put up a fight, it probably won’t last when things get rough. Adversity builds character, something lacking in today’s world.

So, who are you listening to? Are they helping you to achieve your goals, or are they just feeding your day dreams? Are they helping you to become a better person, or just letting you get away with with being mediocre? Are they building you up, or buttering you up? Do they tell you the truth, or just what you want to hear? Do they call you on your BS, or just let you do what you want? Who are you listening to?