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Posts Tagged ‘the secret’

‎”The road to abundance is a happy one. If you’re not laughing pull the hell over…” -RW


Many years ago I was sitting in the back of a Greyhound bus on my way to Richmond, Virginia, to visit a friend.  At that point in my life, I was jobless as well as careless and felt that I’d pretty much lost everything.  All I had at that point was a copy of Norman Vincent Peale’s book “The Power of Positive Thinking”.  While reading the book I started to realize my thoughts were negative, needy and unfocused.  Most days they were, “Why isn’t this happening for me” or “I don’t have enough” and “Why does everybody else have more?”  My driver’s license said Rick, but it should have said VICTIM. It was everybody else’s fault.  It was my location.  It was my girlfriend.  It was my job.  It was my boss.  It was my cat (I’m so glad I got rid of that cat).  Reading the book helped me to see that my thoughts were the foundation of my life.  If my life sucked it was because I fundamentally believed it did.  If I said to myself, “I’m never going to find the right person,” that’s exactly what would happen.  Why am I always so bored?

The next day my car broke down.  I thought I was acknowledging reality, but it never occurred to me that I was creating that reality.  Slowly I started to turn my thoughts to ones of aspiration, abundance and joy.  As corny as this may sound I had to learn that happiness is the soil of any abundance garden and that I had to be happy before I could grow abundance, prosperity and joy. Not to mention it put me in a much better  mood.  Another lesson I had to learn was to allow others in my life to be as unhappy and nasty as they needed to be.  I didn’t have to participate with that bad behavior.  That didn’t mean I woke up in a good mood all of the time or that I didn’t ever get angry at myself.  But I committed to memory that in that moment maybe I needed to listen to a great song or watch a funny Youtube clip.  Whatever it would take to turn my attitude around is what I did.  Doing it on my own wasn’t going to work either. 

I decided to surround myself with people I wanted to emulate and that were happy with their lives.  Then I’d quite simply ask them how they did it.  People that are experiencing joy and abundance are usually very happy to share their story with you!  Many of them taught me to focus on how to do something instead of finding ways not to. My words had real power.  I have never forgotten that.   My old vocabulary consisted of words like can’t, don’t know and scared.  I have new words.  Will, show me the way and passion.

The true power of positive thinking has brought me to a place that, at one time, I thought I’d never get to.   G-R-A-T-I-T-U-D-E.  I am now grateful for it all – my mistakes, financial woes, and everything that brought me to this point.

From gratitude grows passion and with passion you can do ANYTHING!

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You know,you know you are
Be still and know you are
Your life is meant for joy
It’s all so deep within, oh


Your life is beautiful
A seed becomes a tree
A mountain into a sky
This life is meant to be, oh

“Be Still” – The Beach Boys

I don’t know about you, but when things aren’t going my way I try everything in my arsenal of self help; mantras, books, meditations, and affirmations. Usually they work, when they don’t I want to slam my forehead into my well used copy of the “The Secret.” It doesn’t occur to me that patience with myself is one of the most efficient paths to stress reduction that I know.

I am one of those people that believes that coming up with solutions is better than complaining and whining any time. My problem is that I don’t suffer well. I expect solutions to come instantaneously and the problem with that is I am really not listening.

God has a great way of answering questions, it is pretty simplistic. Yes, no, and wait. The last part is the toughest because it requires faith. Thinking positively is pretty useless without faith. My dog Angel has plenty of faith, she knows that when you say “treat” we’re going to give her a little snack. She doesn’t worry about what kind of snack or if it is a big enough snack. Me on the other hand, worries how many snacks, will I get enough snacks, and if they are organic. All that worrying has gotten me nowhere. My stepdaughter also has non-complicated tools for dealing with this type of stress, it is called play. Kids can find joy in staring at a bug, coloring a picture, or singing to themselves. In these moments Cassandra is the perfect picture of self-awareness and joy.

So for today, I think I will go have a snack and sing to myself ( I don’t care if the snack is organic).

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Five long days and I’m tired of working
I’m going to see my boss today
In fifteen minutes I’ll be on the train
‘Cause I just got my pay

Now I could take and sock away my dough
And make me six percent a year
But it’s not much fun to wait around for that
When I can spend it while it’s here

“Just Got My Pay” – The Beach Boys

I had a great conversation with Angela Yasulitis and Dr. Nikki Pellas the brains behind Styrve Lifecoaching. These two women have become an incredible resource for networking and creating abundance in all areas of life. Angie has a great philosphy for creating more abundance and decreasing financial stress. I think these tips are practical and are part of a great foundation in personal finances. Once again Angie you’ve given me a lot to think about!

The economy has clearly taken a turn for the worse.  I am sure many of you think that is an understatment.  My question for you is, “what have you done about it?” In a study done in the 90’s over 85% of Americans suffering from anxiety and depression admitted that the anxiety they were feeling came mainly from financial stress. This stress carried over into the workplace in the form of absenteeism and low productivity.  With that in mind, at strYve, we believe those figures are even higher today.  It is time that every family and every company implements a Financial Wellness Program as part of their overall Wellness Campaign.
It is important to know that being a Financial Wellness Coach or expert is NOT the same as being a Financial Planner.  Financial Wellness is creating a plan that will get you through the hard economic times.  That same plan will help you prosper during the up times.  It may include working with a trusted Financial Advisor – but that is only one component.
Strong Financial Well Being Programs include the following components:
1.) Do you have a Household Budget? If so – do you track it and use it – making changes based upon your current economic status. In other words, many families say they have a budget – but they do NOT update it weekly – nor do they allow it to impact financial decisions.  If your budget says you can not afford an item – you should NOT buy it.
2) Do you have a plan for saving money RIGHT NOW? This plan can include anything and everything from putting energy savings light bulbs throughout your house, cutting coupons, taking your own coffee in the AM, packing your lunch, and shopping at discount stores.   This savings plan can greatly impact your future.  Many households, taking this serously can come up with $300-$500 extra dollars each month.  That money can and should be part of your savings plan and for many can create an emergency fund that is so needed in today’s economy.
3) Do you know your Net Worth? Even if it is not what you want it to be – you should know it.  You should have a feel for what you own outright with equity and what you have coming in – versus what you have going out.   Knowledge is power and it will not get any better without taking the first step to acknowledge where you are.  Once you do that – you can create a plan for where you are going.
4) Do you know your Credit Score? It is imperative that you know your credit score.  You may have mistakes on your report.  In addition, it can give you insight into past mistakes – so you do not make the same mistakes again.   Once again, it is part of the path…part of being better.
5) Don’t Rely on More Credit. If you can help it – try to address your financial issues by changing your household budget and your lifestyle.  I know it may not be fun, but if you use #1 and #2 to address these issues – you can avoid borrowing money to get through the tough times. This is a big contributor to our current financial crises.  Getting more money is often too easy.
6) Make sure you trust your Financial Advisor and know what he/she is doing for you. Ask about their education, years in the business, designations, professional affiliations, and their belief about what to do with your money during hard economic times.  Make sure they are asking you questions – instead of telling you what to do.  A trusted advisor should always know your current situation and where you want to be in 5 years, 10 years, at retirement.   Don’t wait until you have money to seek out an advisor.  I talk to so many people who tell me they never consulted anyone because they didn’t have enough to put away.  I say it is your right to put away something – $100/month, $50/month – get something started. And if that is not enough money for the advisor you are speaking to – they are not the right person for you.
Just like your own health and fitness – you are in control of your Financial Well Being.   Start today – by putting yourself on a 90 Day Financial Well Being Program – you may be surprised that knowledge is power.
strYve recommended reading – The Millionaire Next Door – by Thomas Stanley and William Danko.

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Sunday, back in D.C. and hanging out with a lot of old friends and loving it!

It seemed that I was surrounded by a sea of loving, gifted, and creative energy. People living by example and not opininon. Especially my old childhood friend Tony Powell. Tony’s energy was positive, almost contagious! He eagerly wanted to sop up every aspect of positivity around him, and convert it into “life excitement”.

This is definitely a man who made a clear decision to embrace family and friends, using them as a pool of wisdom AND knowledge.

He’s even been dubbed “a 21st Century Renaissance Man” by the Washington Post.  Powell is a choreographer, composer, painter, sculptor, photographer, filmmaker, graphic designer, and writer.

He is a 1995 graduate of the Juilliard School and directed his own dance company, Tony Powell/Music & Movement, for 10 years. This native Washingtonian has won numerous awards from the Maryland State Arts Council for his choreography, and his 4th String Quartet received the first ever Metro DC Dance Award for Original Music.

He has written three scores for the Internationally-renowned Parsons Dance Company, and he has created over 100 ballets for companies including The Joffrey Ballet, The Washington Ballet, The Maryland Youth Ballet, Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, Ballet Theatre of Maryland, The Manassas Dance Company, and Odyssey Dance Theater.

His largest commissioned piece, Contredanse, for 18 dancers of Odyssey Dance Theatre, premiered in March 2007. “Impulse,” his most recent work for Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago was selected to illustrate the cover of the August 2007 issue of Dance Magazine. He currently has commissions to create works for Philadanco, the Ailey School , and Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Company in Denver, Colorado.

Support for the creation of his work has come from The Cafritz Foundation, The Washington Post Company, The Meyer Foundation, Verizon, Philip Morris, The Mead Family Foundation, Allesee Family Foundation, The Dreyfus Foundation, and The Philip L. Graham Fund, among others. He has taught ballet and modern dance techniques at The Washington School of Ballet, The Academy of the Maryland Youth Ballet, Towson University, Harrisburg Dance Conservatory, Manassas School of Dance, Joy of Motion, Feet First, The Duke Ellington School of the Arts, and Jones Haywood School of Ballet. Also Tony has a new blog http://wwww.tonypowell.wordpress.com its a work in progress.. and it may already be up and running as I type this.

Once again Tony, good luck on all your ventures! It has been a pleasure and most of all….FUN!

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It was one of those days. The offices were dead and Dr.Andy and I were watching the paint dry and wondering why IN TEENAGE AND BABY JESUS’ NAME IS IT SO FREAKIN’ SLOW! We tried blaming the economy,we tried blaming the weather, we cursed both John McCain and Mother Theresa! When we realized that Mother Theresa was dead and Senator McCain was really,really old – we knew we had slipped into the nasty galaxy called “negativity”. We put down our breakfast of Hostess Ding Dongs and vodka,prayed to both Saint Theresa and Saint McCain, got into an “attitude of gratitude” and started typing…

Positive Thoughts……Do you think the glass is half full or half empty? Is the world out to get you or do you view every issue as a way to learn and grow from your experiences? Are you waiting for the other shoe to drop instead of looking at the silver lining of that cloud?

The purpose of this post is to make you think about how you think. Most of us go through the day on autopilot and do not know what we are really thinking and how it is affecting us physically. When you have a thought, your brain releases chemicals that will go to your cells and elicit a response that can alter the actual physiology which in turn can be either harmful or helpful. When you get angry or have a negative thought, it alters the overall physiology of you. This could become a stress response, result in depression, and various health problems. There have been recent studies that show that about 80% or more of all ailments and diseases are stress related.

When you are in a positive frame of mind, you release chemical messengers into the bloodstream that signals the cells to go into a state of growth and repair. The body is in a state of de-stress so to speak.

If you are out there and you are a happy-go-lucky, roll off your back kind of guy or gal, then great! If not, how are we going to change this? I suggest a few options:

  • Find an outlet, this could be exercising, meditation, yoga, counseling, finding a hobby, anything to provide a way to channel any negative thoughts into positive energy
  • Be more conscious of your surroundings, learn what triggers you to have negative thoughts- is it a co-worker? spouse? sibling? job?
  • Be positive! Don’t let things get to you. Try to cut off the negativity before it starts. Try to look at things from a different perspective or angle. You are already taking the wrong look at things, why not the 180 degree angle from that?
  • Hostess Ding Dongs,Scrapple and Mountain Dew… just wanted make sure you were paying attention! No one should use these three items in combination without the supervision of a licensed practioner.

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Crayon sun above you
In a blue crayon sky
Little one, I love you
You’re the reason that
I am here.

Once inside just close the door
Leave the world behind.
Love is what we’re living for
Love and love alone
To be safe at home.

Crayon Sun- Michael Franks

Have you ever seen this type of face before? This is the type of look that can lead to frustration, anger, and adoption or at least some type of grandparent foster care. This is the look of my step-daughter relating how ‘freakin bored’ she is. This face cannot be soothed or comforted by games, snacks, or movies. For a 12 year old you’ve got to provide something different.

So… on a lazy Saturday afternoon Mom, Cassandra, and I sat down to do individual vision boards. I told everyone to grab poster board, magazines, scissors, and glue. To cut out words and pictures that would show their dreams, aspirations, and desires.

Something seemed to change about all three of us. We became more engaged, there was more laughter, and more creativity. It was wonderful to sit back and watch the two people that I love the most put together a collage of what ‘happiness’ meant to them. You can find out a lot by what people put on their vision boards. Creating friendships, creating more wealth and abundance, and health.

A little over two hours later, we were finished and we happily placed our visions up for everyone to see. I noticed the girls had big smiles on their faces. I would suggest that this is a great way for the family to spend time together that doesn’t consist of a TV or Playstation.

The end result was quality time and a much happier twelve year old!

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I love this post. Just take the time (maybe a couple of minutes) to jot down what inspires you…it would be great to see responses from all over. Check it out……

Call for Inspiration

I’m asking you to jot down the things, ideas, people, and dreams that light your fire. This is a call for ideas. A request for quotes. A cry for truth. A wish for hope. Yes, it’s a fluffy request, but I’d like to know…

What inspires you?

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