May 31, 2011

Embracing Forty

READY… “Maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had, and what you've learned from them, and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.” ~ Anonymous

AIM… Hooray, today is my 40th birthday! In my 40 years of life, I have crossed paths with many interesting people. At times I have been angry, sad, misinformed, scared, depressed, backed into a corner, intimidated, taken advantage of, hurt, challenged, lied to, taken for granted, intimidated and let down. However, more often than not, I have been happy, encouraged, supported, humored, trusted, hugged, kept in the loop, filled with joy, lead, followed, appreciated, inspired, strengthened, celebrated and loved. Most of all, over the past 40 years, I have been BLESSED. I have a God who loves me unconditionally, a wonderful family, an amazing husband, two incredible children and an enormous amount of fantastic friends. What more could I possibly ever want?? Truthfully…40 more years to do it all again and then some! Cheers to YOU and my future of being FABULOUS and 40!!

FIRE! Celebrate something special today! Did you accomplish something amazing at work? Did you save money at a fantastic sale? Did you simply get out of bed on time? Whatever smallish or largish event you choose to celebrate today, do it with exuberance and flair!

Be Excellent!

May 25, 2011

Live Like You Were Dying

READY… "Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives that we are
dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.” ~ Pope Paul VI

AIM… I couldn’t help but notice that the Rapture didn’t occur this past weekend as predicted by some. Either that or I’ve been WAY worse of a person in life than I remember and all the good folks are already gone!! Seriously, we are in the midst of the end times; however, no one will really know when it will truly happen. We could all wait for years and years or it could happen tomorrow.

What if, however, we really DID know when the end of the world as we know it was going to occur? What would you do differently? Would you continue working, going to school, raising your family and socializing exactly as you are today? Or would you choose to live your life differently? What would you do differently? Some people when given a terminal diagnosis suddenly decide to do all the things in life they’ve always wanted to do because they realize their lives are now limited and have a deadline. Why in the world didn’t they make that decision years before?

I know there are days when I don’t feel like I’m living like I would if I knew I was dying; however, there are days I know I wouldn’t change a thing. So…what are you going to do to live like you were dying today?

*Note – My daughter and I were in a bad car accident last evening. Thankfully, by the grace of God, we are ok with lots of scrapes and big bruises (p.s. It wasn’t my fault.) I wrote this message earlier having no idea what would occur later in my day. I am grateful this morning that I can live another day to send this to you and encourage you to LIVE EACH DAY TO THE FULLEST!!

FIRE! Choose to do something different in your routine today that will make you feel totally happy and fulfilled. Live and embrace life like there’s no tomorrow!

Be Excellent!

May 18, 2011

Clutter Chaos

READY… "The more you have, the more you are occupied. The less you have, the more free you are." ~ Mother Teresa

AIM… There it is…the looming pile of mail, papers, magazines and STUFF on your dining room table or kitchen counter. What is it that makes those areas such clutter magnets? Sure, there are other places where clutter piles up, but because the kitchen is normally the central hub for us, that’s also the location where we drop our junk. Why do you think every house has a junk drawer in the kitchen? Because that’s the place for items that don’t seem to have a place anywhere else in the house! Typically, we endure the mountain of clutter because once it starts to accumulate it becomes an overwhelming task to tackle. You simply have to pick a starting point, give yourself a time limit, and start sorting through it a little at a time. Trust me, inch by inch it becomes a cinch!

Professional organizers will tell you there are simple steps to decluttering your home. Check out this link for a few truly helpful ideas:

Just like our homes, we let our minds and souls get cluttered with too many thoughts, crazy gossip and unnecessary worries. We need to take time and declutter ourselves as much as our kitchen counters. What things are you storing up inside yourself that you can let go? Most days, this is easier said than done. I realize that. However, as the musical group En Vogue sang “Free your mind, and the rest will follow.” It’s true. When your brain isn’t overcrowded with junk, you feel better, you act better and you smile more often. Evaluate what you’re personally holding onto and start letting it go. Your life depends on it.

I’m excited for you and can’t wait to see and hear about your decluttering stories. Don’t wait another day; free yourself from being imprisoned by STUFF!

FIRE! Set a timer for 15 minutes today. Clear out as many things from your office, computer desk, or kitchen counter as possible. Make 3 piles: keep, throw away and donate. I just know you can do this and believe me, you’ll feel GREAT!

Be Excellent!

May 10, 2011

Living In The Fast Lane

READY… “Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.” ~Will Rogers, Autobiography, 1949

AIM… Zoooooommm! Recognize that sound? It’s the sound of your life rushing past you. Before you know it, it’s midnight and you’re still plugging away on that project for work, typing a report for a new class or attempting to clean the dirty dishes from the past few days. We fill our days with so many obligations and activities that we don’t allow for any down time. We have become so accustomed to shifting our lives into overdrive that when our bodies give us that uncomfortable check engine light signal, we choose to ignore that warning and continue operating on cruise control, or just shift into a higher gear. Sooner or later, if we don’t heed those warning signals, our bodies will literally shut down and stall out. Surely you’ve been in this situation before: You are coasting along at high speed and you just KNOW you need to slow down and shift into a lower gear, but you simply don’t know how to make it happen.

Friends, if we do not re-evaluate our life schedules and our commitments, our over-drive lifestyles will drive us right into an early grave. Heed the warnings. SLOW DOWN!! A speeding ticket is an expensive reminder to back off the throttle. A hospital or doctor’s bill is an expensive reminder to shift your life into low gear and reprioritize your commitments. If you don’t start taking time to slow down, rest and enjoy life, your body will come to a screeching halt whether you want it to or not. Look at your schedule and pencil in a 15 minute break to breathe today. You deserve to put your life in neutral for a few moments. As important as it is to schedule time for others, it is equally as important to schedule time for yourself. In a short while, life will be zooming past you again. Make time to back off the throttle and coast.

FIRE! Start carving out time each day, or initially each week, to rest. Your mind, body and spirit need to recharge their batteries to perform at their maximum potential. You car requires regular tune ups and maintenance, doesn’t your body deserve the same attention?

Be Excellent!

May 3, 2011


READY… “Reverend Mother always says when the Lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window." ~ Maria speaking to Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music

AIM… Life doesn’t always go in our expected direction. If you’ve seen the movie or the musical The Sound of Music, Maria doesn’t recognize God’s true calling on her life until well into her assignment with the Von Trapp family and she tries to change directions by making decisions herself. Of course, the movie has a happy ending, but when life throws YOU a curve ball, how do you handle the disappointment?

When we run after the desires of our heart and a metaphorical door gets slammed in our face, it is hard to muster up the strength to stay on that course. Our human nature is to run and hide and feel sorry for ourselves because the situation didn’t turn out the way we expected. However, did you realize that how you handle your disappointment is a direct reflection of your character? Yes, we are going to be disappointed. Yes, there are going to be times of sadness or anger. The true test of your personal integrity is whether you allow yourself to wallow in self-pity over your disappointments or if you choose to get back on your feet and take another step in the right direction.

Unfortunately, we cannot choose how other people act or some of the circumstances we’ll be faced with in life. However, we CAN choose how we REact to our situations and the folks who are involved. Remember, others are always watching our behavior. If we pause long enough to take a breath, and look for perspective, perhaps we’ll actually feel the breeze from the window God is opening around the bend of opportunity. Consider how many times you have had an opportunity pass you by only to be thankful when a better one arrived later.

FIRE! Don’t put a period where God places a comma! Give yourself about 60 seconds to have a little pity party and then stand up, pull your shoulders back, hold your head up and confidently go forward in pursuit of your dreams.

Be Excellent!