November 2015


“Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.” – Sally Koch

In the last blog, we discussed gratitude, which is of course what our USA holiday this week is all about. Feeling profoundly grateful and expressing our thanks to our Creator as we gather with loved ones around the table is wonderful. But I urged my readers to go further with their gratitude.

I challenged them to put the giving in their Thanksgiving by taking one specific action to bless someone else. Paying it forward to a fellow human being demonstrates our awareness of how blessed we are, regardless of our personal challenges and circumstances at the moment. I called it the “Pay it Forward Challenge” and asked those participating to let me know what random act of kindness or generosity they performed/planned to perform before Thanksgiving, so we could share some creative ideas.

I was truly overwhelmed by your responses! The wide range of imaginative ways you found to surprise and delight others inspired me to do even MORE. I hope they will inspire YOU to keep finding new ways to spread joy to others, as well. Here are some of my favorites:

Give Edible Kindness

  • I was eating with my kids at IHOP when I noticed an elderly man eating alone at another table, so I secretly paid for his meal. 
  • I paid $20 toward someone’s groceries who was in line behind me at the store. 
  • I got a windfall check and spontaneously took a co-worker out to a nice lunch. Also, at Starbucks, the barista made my drink wrong and said I could take the wrong one, too. Outside, I spotted a stranger sitting on a bench and surprised him with a free drink. 
  • As I entered a Carl’s Jr. to get an iced tea, I noticed a homeless-looking man sitting by himself nursing a cup of coffee. I had $15 left in my wallet and payday was a few days away, but I felt an inner prompting, so bought and handed him a $10 gift card with my note that said, “To a friend, from a friend.” 
  • Since they can’t go home over the school holiday, we are hosting two students from New Zealand and Australia for Thanksgiving with our family. 
  • I invited a single friend to join our family’s Thanksgiving meal. 
  • I invited several single men with nowhere to go (including my ex-husband) to have Thanksgiving dinner with our family.

Share Your Treasure

  • I am sending out Thanksgiving cards to all my customers. And I try to listen to my inner voice whenever I see a homeless person. Giving praise to God, I give them whatever I am led to. 
  • My grocery store charges 25 cents to get a shopping cart, so I put quarters on the handles of several carts to surprise other shoppers. 
  • School teachers are often under-valued, so I am giving gift cards to my children’s teachers with a handwritten note of gratitude – something special and unexpected before the Holidays. 
  • I teach at a Catholic high school. It’s an expensive year for the seniors, so I subsidized $100 towards the annual theater trip for each student, to ease the burden on them and their parents. 

Donate Your Talents

  • I volunteer at an organization that fights childhood hunger in the USA and globally. My Team and I are packaging meals to ship overseas. 
  • I am helping fill veterans’ Holiday stockings. 
  • My fiance and I own a remodeling and construction business. An old friend asked for a quote to install a new front door and outdoor light at his home. My fiancé said, “I don’t charge friends and family” and did the $1200 job for free. 
  •  My friend and I used our party-planning and catering expertise to put on a fundraiser for a local charity we love. It took weeks of effort and planning to carry it off, but the guests all had a great time. When we presented the charity’s staff with a check for $15,000, the look on their faces made it SO worth it!

All these imaginative ways my readers found to pay it forward make me want to be more present to who is nearby and what is going on for them. Now, I find myself just naturally looking for little ways to pass along God’s Good to others.

While Rick and I were at Disneyland this week, lined up along Main Street with the masses waiting to see the spectacular “Paint the Night” parade, I overheard a woman sitting near us with her family say to her husband, “Those light-up balloons are so cute! I wonder how much they cost?” She went over to the balloon vendor and soon came back empty-handed with a look of dismay on her face. “$14 dollars!” she exclaimed. “I don’t think so!” I felt such empathy for her, as I remember a time not so long ago when I would have had the same reaction.

A few minutes later, I slipped over to the balloon vendor and bought one. I wished I could have done it anonymously, but since I couldn’t, I handed it to her saying, “I bumped into Santa and he said to give this to you.” Her mouth dropped open and then she beamed from ear to ear. As they say in the Master Card commercials, “The cost of one balloon: $14. The look of joy on a fellow human being’s face: Priceless!”

I wish you and yours a very blessed, delicious and joyful Thanksgiving. May it be one of your most gratitude-filled ever! I hope you will continue looking for ways to pay it forward, spreading JOY throughout the Holidays and far beyond!

P.S. My own loved ones and I will be enjoying the Holiday, too, so I look forward to re-connecting with you on Sunday, December 6!

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching! It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached! And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift!

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call toll-free 888-503-8145.

 

 

“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can.” – John Wesley 

I hope 2015 has been a wonderful year so far for you and yours, as it has been for my family — a year of fulfillment, abundance, adventure and opportunity. But perhaps it hasn’t been so wonderful, as you may have experienced a profound loss, health challenge, financial deprivation or worry that someone that you love is grappling with a serious illness or addiction.

Whatever you are experiencing, I am confident that you know you are still profoundly blessed. Just living in Western Civilization affords us personal freedoms, security, comfort and economic opportunity far beyond what most of the rest of humanity enjoys. Simply having a roof and four walls, potable water, indoor plumbing, electricity and food in the refrigerator makes us look like royalty to billions of people who share our planet.

With Thanksgiving fast approaching in the USA, I want to share one simple idea that can make this a joyful time, regardless of your present circumstances: Pay it Forward. 

Rhonda Byrne, author of The Secret, also wrote a book called The Magic, which asserts that GRATITUDE is the most powerful positive emotion we can feel. Being grateful for whatever you have now puts the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) into action to attract MORE of what you love to you. This book teaches many, many ways to rev up your capacity for gratitude and attract more good into your life.

But there is a step beyond simply feeling grateful that can make your life overflow with abundance. Putting your gratitude into ACTION proves your commitment and faith that unlimited good is on its way to you from God/The Universe. This Thanksgiving is the perfect time to go beyond simply saying a special grace at the table. However big or small your current resources, you can actively DO something to bless someone, which will inevitably bless you as well.

Yesterday, Rick and I went to Starbucks for breakfast. I only had a few minutes before I needed to start walking in order to get back home in time for my first coaching call. I now realize that by distractedly checking my watch and focusing on what was coming next in my day, I was missing out on fully savoring the small delights of a good cup of coffee, a delicious treat and a lively, warm environment – not to mention the sparkling company of my wonderful husband!

When the line thinned, I impulsively grabbed one of the last bags of my favorite Thanksgiving Blend beans in the remainder bin. I was surprised (and, yes, a little annoyed) that they were still full price, since the shelves were already overflowing with their Christmas Blend! As I pushed my Starbucks gold card across the counter to pay, the barista said, “The gentleman in front of you paid $5 toward your purchase, so this is only $9.95.” 

I was momentarily speechless that a total stranger had shown me such a generous kindness for no special reason! All feelings of time pressure and distraction disappeared, replaced by profound GRATITUDE. When I figured out who it was, I walked over to the gentleman to thank him. He smiled and said, “Someone did that for me and I was just paying it forward.” 

Today, Rick and I returned to enjoy breakfast at a more leisurely pace and I impulsively purchased four $5 Starbucks gift cards. Then I pushed one of them across the counter to the barista and asked her to give it to the next person who came to her register. Moments later, a stranger approached our table with a cup in his hand and a big smile on his face saying, “Thank you! I will be sure to pay it forward!” 

I can’t wait to repeat this joyful practice at least three more times between now and Thanksgiving! I trust that each of those strangers will also pay it forward to make someone else feel special and cared about. Just think! We could create an endless chain of joy and gratitude inside Starbucks, one cup at a time!

So here’s my Thanksgiving Challenge for YOU: Take one small, specific action to demonstrate your profound GRATITUDE for all your many blessings. It doesn’t even require much or any money! For example, most of my coaching clients are sending Thanksgiving cards to surprise their customers with a heartfelt expression of gratitude for their friendship and support.

You could invite a single friend with no family nearby to join your Thanksgiving celebration.   Help someone put up the Christmas lights, haul home their Christmas tree or take them on errands if they don’t drive. Cover for a colleague at work or babysit someone’s kids while they do their shopping. Surprise an elderly neighbor with a tin of tea and a plate of homemade holiday treats. Better yet, sit down and listen to them while you enjoy the goodies together.

If you have the wherewithal, consider making a donation or volunteering at a local charity. Big national non-profits do a lot of good, but local charities often struggle at this time of year when their need is greatest. When you are at the gas station, if you notice someone in an old car with kids in the back, surprise her by paying for a tank of gas. Astonish a homeless person by handing them $10 or $20 instead of spare change.

In whatever way you choose, if you will do just ONE thing to pay it forward for all the good you have been blessed with, I guarantee the joy you feel will be PRICELESS!

P.S. Please let me know what you did or plan to do and I will share all those wonderful ideas in the next blog, right before Thanksgiving!

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching! It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached! And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift!

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call toll-free 888-503-8145.

 

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I am writing this on Halloween, just a few hours before the doorbell will begin to ring and little Ghosts and Goblins will appear on the doorstep to scare us into handing over the chocolate.

Halloween got me thinking about the emotion of fear and how pervasive it is in our lives.   One of the things the human Ego seems to be hardwired to fear most is loss. Whether it’s a personal relationship, our health, a job, or a financial loss, our first reaction is likely to be fear that we won’t ever be able to replace what we lost with something that is equally good.

(I should clarify here that I am not talking about the death of someone dear to you as being simply a “loss” to be replaced. No individual can ever be “replaced” because we are each unique and special and priceless. And while a breakup or divorce can be as traumatic as a death, we must still believe that when our grieving process is complete, we will one day experience love and joy again, perhaps with another unique and special person.)

What I have discovered over the many years I have been a student of prosperity consciousness and personal development is that our attitude about a loss has everything to do with whether it eventually opens up the space for a new blessing or becomes a slippery slope to further loss.

If you can come to accept that your loss is simply what’s so for right now, you can then turn your thoughts and emotions to focus on what you WANT to have happen next, instead of expending precious energy on useless denial. I personally find that my greatest ally in this is my faith. Like most of my clients, I believe in a Higher Power (I call it God, but you may call it the Universe or something else) that has my back and wants me to succeed. My faith (and past experience) always reminds me that a loss is not going to doom me. It’s a temporary condition. I choose to believe that something just as good or even better is on its way to me right now.

I choose to believe that God/the Universe always knows what I am going need even before I know it, so the NEW Good was already on its way to me even before my loss took place.   God/the Universe is always looking for ways to match us up with others who need what we have to offer, so we can create a Win-Win together. All we have to do is let go of trying to force our own solution, and instead listen carefully for the “still small voice” that is whispering the perfect “How” in our ear, guiding us to be in the right place at the right time to receive our good that’s on its way.

I had a delightful experience of this phenomenon just this week. Well, didn’t start out as delightful. One of my favorite clients texted that she was not going to continue our coaching for the foreseeable future, due to dealing with serious personal matters that had her too distracted to focus on the Big Goal we were working on.

At first, I was really taken aback. Texting? Really? Why wouldn’t she choose to tell me this on the upcoming call we had scheduled that she had already paid for? It was hard not to take it personally. I felt like the heroine in an old television show whose boyfriend broke up with her via a Post It note stuck to her computer screen!

Still, I knew I wasn’t truly feeling upset with my client. She’s been working hard for many months and making a lot of headway pursuing her goals, and I know she didn’t make the decision to take a break from coaching lightly. I trusted that she knew what was best for her. When I examined my emotional reaction to this loss more closely, I discovered an old fear coming up for me.

Even though my practice has been nearly full for some time, around Halloween, the past still comes back to haunt me. My husband is a Realtor, and the fall and winter months tend to be quieter times for his business. For several years during the Great Recession, his real estate income was very sporadic, so my coaching income paid most of the bills. Every Holiday Season, I was terrified that all my clients would go on an extended vacation in December and we wouldn’t have a turkey on the table or any presents under the tree.

Although our reality may change, our Ego’s Old, Limiting Beliefs are hard to shake.   Remembering a few challenging Holiday Seasons from the past was enough to set my fearful Ego off because it is still looking for ANY sign that we could once again be financially insecure.   Thankfully, I recognized the Old Limiting Belief resurfacing and reminded my fearful Ego that Rick and I are both prospering in our careers, have plenty of savings in the bank, and our past is not in our future.

One of my favorite tools to help my Ego relax so I can listen for God’s “How” is the affirmation: I hereby give up my Old, Limiting Belief that there is never enough and life is a constant struggle. My New, Empowering Belief is that I am prosperous, with never-ending abundance to spare and to share!” I repeated this aloud and went on with my day.

Just two hours later, I had a free coaching session with someone I had never met who was referred to me by a colleague. Our session had originally been scheduled for a few weeks ago, but she had to cancel at the last minute due to a family emergency and we rescheduled for the same afternoon that I received the “Dear Jane” text from my client.

Our free session went great. There was comfortable rapport and immediate trust between us, and I was delighted to learn she embraces the Law of Attraction and many of the tools I use to help my clients turbo-charge their results. Without hesitation, she was ready to sign up for coaching.

When I gave her a choice among my few remaining timeslots, she chose the one that my former client had graciously made available that very day. Thus, what had looked like a loss just a couple of hours earlier was transformed into a Win-Win-Win for my new client, my former client and me.

And once again, I was reminded that if we can have faith, calm our Ego’s fear of loss, and expect something GOOD to take its place, it will!

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching! It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached! And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift!

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call toll-free 888-503-8145.