Gratitude


November 19, 2017

“Messenger of Happiness” by Kate Osier

“Oh!  Let me shed a little light

on someone’s path I pray.

I’d like to be a messenger

of happiness today.

It may be just a phone call,

a smile, or a prayer,

or a long-neglected letter

that smooths the edge of care.

I want to spread some happiness

in what I say or do.

I want to make life sweeter

for someone else. Don’t you?”

As we head into Thanksgiving week here in the USA, most of us are preparing to either play host or be a grateful guest at a gathering filled with family, food, warmth and joy. That is the ideal, anyway, although, as we all know, the realities of family dynamics and human interactions are sometimes far from ideal.

Still, gatherings like Thanksgiving and the rest of the Holiday Season give us the opportunity to practice a wonderful concept that I learned just this week from a story featured on my favorite positive TV news magazine, CBS Sunday Morning.

The billboard of a church in a poor part of Philadelphia that operates a daily free meal service for anyone who chooses to come in says simply, “All are welcome.  We practice Radical Hospitality here.”

 I looked up the word “hospitality” and it is defined as “A friendly welcome and kind or generous treatment offered to guests or strangers.” That’s a wonderful thing, no doubt.

 But RADICAL Hospitality goes beyond just being kind or generous to guests or strangers.  I believe it means putting your actions where your mouth is and doing something to PROVE to someone that you believe they are valuable. In fact, they are PRICELESS.  You may not know them personally, but you are willing to set aside your own Ego’s self-focus, personal judgments and typical conditions for reciprocating kindness in order to do something tangible to show them that you care about them and make them feel a sense of self-worth and value.

The featured church’s food program is supported by two restaurant partners, one of whom used to be a drug addict.  The two men own four successful restaurants and donate 100% of the profits from one of the four to the church. This support allows the church to feed a hot meal every day to the homeless, the elderly or anyone who just wants to come into a warm place for some camaraderie, amazing food and even more amazing service.

The restaurant supplies the same fabulous food to the church program that it serves to its own paying customers – far above the usual standards of a “soup kitchen.”  And the restaurant’s efficient young wait staff all volunteer unpaid on their own time to serve the “guests” (as they are always referred to), who are seated beneath beautiful stained glass windows in the sanctuary at big round tables covered with lovely linens, plates and silverware.

Some guests arrive trailing shopping carts filled with their belongings, while others look clean and presentable and may have been just living alone and in need of company. “They don’t care what you smell like,” as one older black lady said. The staff and volunteers don’t ask questions or judge them in any way; they simply practice Radical Hospitality by making them feel welcome and valued.

One homeless gentleman started crying on camera, saying that he didn’t think he’d be alive today if it weren’t for this program.  Not because he couldn’t get a meal somewhere else, but because he couldn’t be made to feel like a worthwhile human being anywhere else.

I think we are ALL capable of practicing Radical Hospitality.  It means going above and beyond – maybe in a small but a significant way – to make someone feel valued, appreciated and special.  That’s what my readers and I have been trying to do with our annual Pay It Forward Challenge.

 Your stories have been pouring in about the many wonderful big and little things you are doing to make others feel a measure of the joy that you feel as you count your blessings this Holiday Season. I find them SO inspiring!

Here are just two examples that illustrate beautifully the concept of giving Radical Hospitality:

  • One of my readers noticed an unkempt, clearly-homeless man sitting by himself in the café where she was having lunch. She went to the counter and told the owner she wanted to buy the man lunch AND a $25 gift card to use later.  The owner began to cry and told her that she had been trying to resist the urgings of other patrons who wanted the homeless man banned from the restaurant because his presence made them “uncomfortable.”  My reader’s support gave courage to the owner to continue to stand up for what she felt was right – offering kindness and hospitality to a fellow human being who needed it.
  • Another reader’s friend recently found the courage to end a toxic relationship and move herself and her teenage daughter into their own small apartment, leaving the emotionally abusive man she had been living with for years. Several of her friends pitched in to help her move, and as they were ordering pizza for dinner in her new place, my reader opened the refrigerator and saw that it was empty.  So she went to the store and bought everything her friend and her daughter would need to stock it.  Her generous gesture was a comparatively small sacrifice for her, but I am sure it gave a huge measure of comfort and hope to her friend, who was making the biggest change of her life.

Wherever you find yourself this Thanksgiving and the rest of the Holiday Season – with friends, family or just a beloved pet and the television — I hope you will be counting your own blessings and looking for ways to bless others with some Radical Hospitality, too.  That might mean preparing and sharing your favorite delicious dish or just listening patiently to an older relative who tells the same stories every year or a child who craves your attention and approval.

And even beyond that, how many ways can you find to express Radical Hospitality in your career, business or personal relationships?  What would it do to your sales results if you constantly looked for ways to make your customers feel valued and special?  How would it affect your business Team, prospective Team or work colleagues  if you made them feel they are the cream of the crop and you appreciate them every day?  And what about your own significant other, spouse or children? What ways can you find to surprise and delight those closest to you by treating them like treasured guests instead of taking them for granted?

Making those around us feel valued, special and appreciated is the essence of putting our own feelings of gratitude for our many blessings into Pay It Forward ACTION.  And, as the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) teaches us, showing Radical Hospitality to others will always attract more of the same to us.

I look forward to sharing more inspiring stories with you soon!  In the meantime, I wish you and yours a very filling and FUL-filling Thanksgiving.  The blog will be taking the next weekend off so that I can share mine with those I love.  Your next Cup of Caroll will arrive on Sunday December 3!

 If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

*************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ******************

To schedule a no-obligation, F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

“It is not enough to have lived.  We should be determined to live for something.  May I suggest that it be creating joy for others, sharing what we have for the betterment of personkind, bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely.” – Leo Buscaglia

In last week’s blog, I confessed to feeling rather sad and helpless lately about the seemingly-endless stream of bad news that has inundated us this year.  I declared that we “need a little Christmas, right this very minute,” as the tune goes. My solution was to kick off the blog’s annual Pay It Forward Challenge for my readers early this year, so we can stir up some badly needed Holiday Spirit right NOW.

The rules of the PIF Challenge are simple: Find someone who needs a little support or comfort and do something to help them, inspire them, support them or just make them feel cared about.  Your gift doesn’t have to involve much or any money.  It can be in person or anonymous.  It can be to a friend or a stranger. Your giving gesture may seem small to you, but it will undoubtedly put a surprised and delighted smile on their face.

Many of my coaching clients and readers have already messaged me that they are very much IN and are actively on the lookout right now for an opportunity to spread some love and cheer to someone who needs it.

The truly wonderful thing about the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) is that it’s impossible to pay forward the many blessings you have received in your own life without attracting even MORE blessings to yourself. That’s because whatever you think, feel and do will come back to you.  It may not return to you from the same person you blessed, but it WILL come to you through whatever means God/the Universe thinks best.

I recently had my own delightful experience of this PIF “gift return” phenomenon.  One of my long-distance friends, Bob Perks, is a mindset coach, writer, singer and DJ.  We’ve never met, but my wonderful husband Rick and I have been inspired by Bob’s positive outlook on life for years and have shared some of his personal experience stories in our blog and newsletter from time to time.

Bob’s American Legion post in Pennsylvania holds a small Veteran’s Day celebration for the veterans and their families every year.  There is little budget for it, but Bob has always done his best to make it as festive as possible, sometimes putting on a musical show and always whipping up some of his homemade goodies for a modest buffet.

We hadn’t been in close contact for a few months, but as I started thinking that Veteran’s Day was right around the corner, I got a strong inner urging to text Bob and find out what the Legion was planning to do to honor these wonderful veterans and their families this year. He replied that they were having a small hometown parade and then would come back to the Legion afterward for a little potluck.

Right then, it came into my head to send him $200 toward the cost of the food and decorations.  It wasn’t something I had planned on, and to tell you the truth, nearing the end of the month, it was a bit of a tight squeeze financially for me.  But that was the number that came into my head, and I’ve learned better than to question “Divine Inspiration” when it hits me!  I trusted that it was what I was supposed to do to Pay it Forward to these wonderful veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much to serve their country. So I hit “send” on PayPal and didn’t think much more about it.

To my surprise, there was a huge outpouring of gratitude from Bob, the post Commander, and all the vets that went far beyond what I thought my small gift deserved. Turns out, Bob’s Legion didn’t have any budget for a celebration and only three people had signed up to bring any food.  My modest gift provided a long table full of delicious treats and, most importantly, made the vets and their families feel truly valued.  The fact that a stranger clear across the country actually CARED was a “thank you for your service” that meant the world to them.

Bob sent me lots of pictures afterward, showing 50 or so attendees having a good time, including families whose loved ones were overseas at the moment, protecting and serving the rest of us.  The background on the picture I chose to illustrate this blog was provided by Bob.  Here’s what he said about the group:

“The Legion Riders are a nationally-recognized motorcycle club whose sole purpose is to support veterans’ causes.  They fundraise by doing rides and holding raffles.  Many are vets, but some are not. The national American Legion considers them an intricate part of serving veterans….They are my family.  That is why it was a thrill beyond measure for me to bring your gift to them.  You have no idea.”

Bob’s right.  I had NO idea.  But by following my inner wisdom and listening to that “still, small voice” that guides us, I found that my small gesture made a much bigger difference than I ever would have imagined.

And then, as the icing on the cake, my personal “gift return” came just a few days later.  A handful of my clients had recently taken a “holiday hiatus” from coaching, sitting out November and December and planning to resume coaching with me in January. That’s fine, except it also means that a fair portion of my income goes away, too, just as my own family’s Holiday expenses kick in.

The unexpected “return gift” from my Pay It Forward gesture to the veterans is that an unprecedented number of NEW clients have just come into coaching to take their place and replenish my own financial well-being, right before the Holidays!

What we truly BELIEVE is not demonstrated by our words, but by our ACTIONS.  By giving to the vets without fearing “will I have enough left for ME?” I was proving my faith in the Law of Attraction and the limitless abundance I believe is available to each of us.  It was the perfect Win-Win: Deserving veterans and their families thousands of miles away felt the love from my PIF gesture, AND that positive energy I sent to them returned to bless my own family, too!

I look forward to hearing from YOU in the coming weeks with your own personal anecdotes of specific ways you passed along help, love and goodwill to others. I will gather these stories and publish them in a future blog to inspire even MORE people to join us and Pay it Forward this Holiday Season. Together, we can start a chain of good vibrations that will bless many, many people AND come back to bless each of us, as well!

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

*************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ******************

To schedule a no-obligation, F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

“If you wait until you can do everything for everybody, instead of something for somebody, you’ll end up not doing nothing for nobody.”  — Malcom Bane

Even for me, a seasoned Life Coach with many tools at my fingertips to help me maintain a positive mindset and optimistic expectation for the BEST outcomes, 2017 has been one helluva challenging year.

I honestly cannot remember one single year of my 64 so far that has been packed with such a steady stream of dispiriting calamities – devastating natural disasters like fires, floods and hurricanes; man-made tragedies like the Las Vegas shooting massacre of innocents; terrorism and wars around the globe; and a dysfunctional government in Washington filled with politicians who seem far more focused on enriching themselves and getting good press than on actually helping the people who elected them.

As I was pondering what a crazy and depressing year it’s been, my subconscious mind suddenly began running through the lyrics to the catchy little song called “We Need a Little Christmas” by Shane Harper. In case you don’t remember it, here are a few of the verses:

“Haul out the holly;

Put up the tree before my spirit falls again.

Fill up the stocking,

I may be rushing things but deck the halls again now.

 For we need a little Christmas

Right this very minute,

Candles by the window,

Carols at the spinet.

Yes, we need a little Christmas

Right this very minute….

 

For I’ve grown a little leaner,

Grown a little colder,

Grown a little sadder,

Grown a little older,

And I need a little angel

Sitting on my shoulder,

Need a little Christmas now.”

 I am usually the first to complain that store displays, commercials and non-stop Christmas songs blaring from the radio start before Halloween nowadays.  But this year, I am looking forward to a little Christmas atmosphere just as soon as we can get it…Not the commercial “buy everything you can get your hands on” kind of atmosphere — But the REAL “Spirit of the Holidays” (which include Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa — every tradition that is celebrated around the end of each year).

That Spirit reflects our BEST human impulses — Gratitude, Giving, Caring and Sharing.  It’s the one season when we all seem willing to set aside our many differences and come together. We are ready to take a breath and just be kinder and more loving toward our fellow human beings. And I say that we are ready for a little of that Christmas Spirit right about NOW!

So I am going to start the ball rolling early this year!  For the past several years, this blog has had a holiday tradition called the “Pay-It-Forward Challenge” that invites YOU to participate.  I love hearing about the many creative ways my readers find to help someone else, show them that they matter to you, or simply brighten their day and put a smile on their face.

I got the idea for the Pay It Forward Challenge when I was at Starbucks during Thanksgiving week a couple of years ago. A stranger ahead of me paid $5.00 toward my purchase, which turned my frazzled, grumpy day around and put a smile on my face that never went away through the rest of the year.  That simple generous kindness inspired me to buy a bunch of $5.00 gift cards and begin giving them out every few days to the baristas at the register to bestow on random people in the line behind me.

I can’t wait to repeat that joyful practice again from this month through the end of the year!  I trust that each of those surprised strangers who receive my gift will also pay it forward to make someone else feel special and cared about. Last year, the baristas told me that there were a number of people doing the same thing, creating a big old warm chain of joy and gratitude, one cup at a time!

You can experience the joy of spreading around some “Holiday Spirit” in your own creative ways.  Your kindness and thoughtfulness doesn’t have to cost anything.  Here are few examples my readers came up with in years past:

  • Let someone who appears to be in a hurry go ahead of you in the checkout line. I promise they will beam at you!
  • Help a harried friend or colleague run an errand, or babysit their kids while they do.
  • Surprise your friends, family and clients with a snail-mailed or emailed Thanksgiving card this year! Few people think to send them, but this gesture says, “I am so grateful for you!” to friends and customers like nothing else can.
  • Use your musical, baking or crafting talents to spread cheer and delight to children, neighbors, elderly folks and the sick.
  • Help an older person or someone who is under the weather put up their holiday decorations or haul home their Christmas tree.
  • Donate some lightly-used warm clothing or blankets to an organization that serves the homeless.
  • Donate food or pet supplies to an organization that helps loving pets that are patiently waiting for their forever homes.
  • Surprise someone 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 are able, pay your own financial blessings forward by spreading the prosperity around a bit.  Here are just a few ideas:

  • Surprise a friend on a tight budget with a supermarket gift card that will make their Holiday feast much brighter.
  • 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 $5 or $10 instead of spare change.
  • Contribute a little extra to your favorite charity or cause. I like to support local animal rescue organizations that are operating on a shoestring. $25 means far more to them than it does to the big animal welfare organizations, although I try to donate as much as I can to those, too.
  • This year, more than any other in recent memory, we have the opportunity to donate to the Red Cross and other relief organizations that are struggling to fill the needs of millions whose lives have been upended from so many back-to-back natural disasters.

It’s easy to fall into despair and think “What difference can I make in the face of all that seems so wrong and tragic in the world?”  But as this week’s quote reminds us, any little thing we do for someone else to pay forward all the many blessings we have received in our own lives is BIG to that person.  And if each of us makes it our mission to touch just ONE life this way, we can start a tidal way of Gratitude, Kindness and Giving that just might spread “a little Christmas” cheer far beyond the end of the year.

Please email me your own Pay It Forward Challenge story!  I will collect them and share them in a future blog to inspire others to do more of the same.

 If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

 *************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ******************

To schedule a no-obligation, F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

 

“Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.” – Earl Nightengale

I hope you are enjoying the final precious days of summer! Many of my clients tell me that, while they enjoyed the extra time and fun activities with their families, they also look forward to getting back into a more focused daily routine, once school starts.

Whatever the season, I believe that EVERY day should start with a personal practice to center, calm and focus you so that you can be as productive and happy as possible.  If you don’t take the time to prepare your mind and spirit each morning, it’s easy for your daily schedule to end up running you instead of you running it.

I hope this lightly-edited blog from two years ago will demonstrate how simple it is to master your mindset and energy by starting each day with quiet, focused time for yourself that will pay big dividends in prosperity, health and productivity!

May 31, 2015

A man is but the product of his thoughts.  What he thinks, he becomes.” – Mahatma Gandhi

If you are reading this, you are undoubtedly someone who cares about your personal development.  You believe that good ideas, tips, techniques and the experiences others share can contribute to YOUR success, well-being and happiness.

I would venture to guess that you also invest precious time and money attending workshops, trainings, webinars and/or reading and listening to a number of gurus, experts and inspiring speakers whose wisdom can help you reach your Big Goals and develop your personal potential.

If so, bravo!  You are one of the few people who are willing to go beyond the status quo and make a real effort to develop new skills, explore new ideas and even change any limiting beliefs that may be holding you back from greatness.  As a result, you could be delighted with your growth and progress in your business, family life and well-being.

On the other hand, you may wonder “Why am I not further along after spending so much time and money to learn all this good stuff?  Why isn’t any of it making a real difference for me?”

The Pull of the Same Old Same Old

As a “Workshop Junkie” for thirty-plus years, I can attest that simply paying the fee, listening carefully, taking good notes and underlining good material will NOT change your life. Returning home with a “workshop high,” then parking my notebook on the bookshelf and never opening it again is something I did many times.  Sure, some of the more vivid ideas from trainings and books stuck with me and I implemented a few here and there.  But unless I made a concerted effort to put what I learned into DAILY practice, all those great Ah-Ha Moments soon faded from my memory and I inevitably found myself reverting to my entrenched habits and comfortable old beliefs.

Unfortunately, after your thoughts and beliefs have been stirred up with something new,   your own Ego is pre-programmed to get you back to status quo as soon as possible because that’s what it thinks is the safest thing for you to do.  It knows you can survive your life just as it has been, but it’s worried that all those NEW ideas and tactics might change you in ways that could have dire consequences. Any time you try to implement something NEW, you are going to have a fight on your hands from your own Ego.

Installing New Thought Patterns

So how can you overcome this strong inner voice telling you to stay comfortably parked on the couch and not change anything about your life? The answer is simple: PRACTICE.  Training studies done by NASA on astronauts prove that it takes 25 to 30 days of consistent repetition for the human brain to build a new neural pathway for electrical thought impulses to flow through.  These thought corridors in the brain enable you to drive a car without having to consciously think about where your feet go on the pedals, or how each of your fingers should move to play a piano sonata or type an email message.  They form new go-to thought habits, if you will.  A single infusion of inspiration or knowledge – no matter how impactful – won’t stick around for long without being anchored in your brain via consistent repetitive practice.

I’ve found that while I’m learning an online accounting program to keep all my business records up to date so tax time will be a breeze, I must practice it regularly in order to master it.  If I don’t use it on at least a weekly basis, I inevitably forget parts of the process and have to refer back to my notes.

What You Think About, You Bring About

As Gandhi said, we are each a product of our own thoughts. The Law of Attraction (which states that energy attracts like energy) dictates that the people, resources and circumstances that habitually show up in your life are a reflection of your inner reality.  For things to change in your outer world, you must habitually think new thoughts and feel new feelings in order to attract what you want in your life.

But how do you develop consistently positive thoughts and energy?  I believe it is through simple Daily Personal Practices. If you will discipline yourself to spend just 30 to 60 minutes each morning on your own personal practices, they will help you turn many great ideas you are exposed to into consistent, habitual thoughts and actions that will set you up for success and inner enrichment.

Develop A Daily Personal Practice

Here are four simple but powerful Daily Personal Practices that I recommend to all my coaching clients:

  • Read or listen to an enlightening, uplifting message each day. This can be religious or something secular that is positive and uplifting. There are scores of  books, message texts or emails you can subscribe to for a positive daily thought or affirmation. I particularly enjoy both Joel Osteen’s daily messages and the affirmations in the Daily Word put out by the Unity Church, but they don’t necessarily have to be spiritual or religious. Reading any inspiring and uplifting messages will expand your consciousness and empower you to handle whatever challenges or opportunities you may face that day.
  • Pray or Meditate for a few minutes. After putting some good thoughts into your head, you can close your eyes and pray or meditate for maybe five minutes to let them sink in.  The goal is to stop your Ego’s monkey-mind chatter for just a few minutes so you can receive valuable guidance from your Higher Power or Higher Self.  It has been said that “Prayer is talking to God and meditating is listening to His reply.”
  • Maintain a regular Gratitude practice. I love to keep a Daily Gratitude Journal in which I list 10 things I am grateful for in my life right NOW. I learned this from Oprah, who said that just knowing she was going to have to list the things she was grateful for that day before she went to bed made her NOTICE all the good things in her life, which made her happier with her life.  And, of course, the Law of Attraction causes whatever energy you are sending out into the world to come back to you. So, whatever you feel grateful for now will attract even MORE of the same to you – like money, for instance!
  • Get some kind of exercise every day. Just 30 minutes of walking has been shown to provide substantial health benefits for people of all ages.  If you claim you “don’t have time” to exercise, you are REALLY saying, “Health and well-being are not a priority for me.” You can get up 30 minutes earlier or spend an extra 30 minutes after you drop the kids at school before you start in on your daily routine IF you value your health.  I walk for one hour six days a week and use this time to do a walking meditation and prayer session.  You could also listen to a daily positive message while you walk or do yoga. So you see, there’s really no excuse for not getting all four of these beneficial personal development practices done in just 30-60 minutes every morning!

Be Patient and Keep Practicing

Like any other habit, developing your Daily Personal Practice takes time, so be gentle with yourself as you explore different ways to fit it into your day and make it a priority. (One client listens to her recording of a weekly business training call each morning while putting on her makeup.) Just don’t let your Ego fool you into thinking you can do it once in awhile and still get meaningful results.  If you consistently do your Daily Personal Practice, your thoughts and energy will inevitably grow more positive and help you to get The Best results from your day.

One of my clients recently shared some major positive shifts in her life, which she attributes mainly to consistent Daily Personal Practices helping her develop a more positive mindset: “My business has really taken off, yet I feel so much less stressed than I used to be! I am sponsoring the right people with more ease. My life feels more balanced between work and family.  My Team and I are having FUN together and they seem more motivated.  I even took the whole Memorial Day Weekend off with my family and just enjoyed being together in the outdoors. There was no cell service, so I was completely cut off from work, and yet I still met a great new prospect for my business while we were fishing!”

 If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** 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.

 

“Any fact facing us is not as important as our attitude toward it, for that determines our success.” – Norman Vincent Peal

I am happily busy preparing more lessons for the Prosperity Summer Camp webinar that kicked off last week.  Therefore, I want to share with you a lightly-edited blog from two years ago that demonstrates just how much influence our expectations and attitude have on what happens to us. That’s a key concept we will soon be covering in the summer manifesting course. I hope you enjoy it (or enjoy it again)!

June 28, 2015

“Your expectations set the limits for your life.  If you never expect anything good, you’re never going to receive anything good.  If you don’t expect things to get better, then nothing will get better.” – Joel Osteen

I just had one of my most memorable and wonderful birthdays.  My heartfelt thanks go out to all my friends, family, readers and clients who sent me your best wishes, cards and gifts!  Rick and I spent the day at our favorite recreational spot, Disneyland, and experienced a number of mini-miracles that made our day extra-special.

We go every month with our Annual Passes, and some visits are more crowded times than others.  This month, not only are all the kids out of school, but it’s also Disneyland’s 60th anniversary and there are lots of “Diamond Jubilee Celebration” attractions and events designed maximize attendance.

Rick is a native New Yorker, so jostling crowds don’t bother him.  I, on the other hand, was raised in the wide-open spaces of the Southern California suburbs, where I never saw a parking meter until I was in my 20’s.  Crowds bother me.  A lot.  I hate to admit it, but hot days, jostling crowds, long lines, crowded restaurants and baby strollers bumping my heels sometimes make me feel pretty cranky.

Anticipating that the day was going to involve crowds, I did my early-morning prayers and preparation to focus my subconscious mind to expect THE BEST from the day, regardless of whether it was hot, the lines were long, and other guests were less than polite.  No matter what outer circumstances would be, I reminded myself that my own ATTITUDE would be the #1 factor determining my experience.

I stated my INTENTION aloud (so God/The Universe and my own subconscious mind would be sure to hear and remember the BEST scenario that I wanted to experience): “Today, we have a great time at Disneyland. My birthday is fun, light, and happy.  People are kind and thoughtful. I am patient, relaxed and grateful. I am Priceless!”

It was Tuesday, but when we arrived at 11:30am, it looked more like a normal summertime Friday. We just waded in with a smile and the crowds parted. We walked right up to the hostess stand just as our favorite restaurant opened and requested the first available reservation at noon. That turned out to be perfectly timed for the arrival of our dear friends, who came all the way to the Park just to have lunch with us and then had to run off to a family function.  How kind and thoughtful!

While we waited for our friends, Rick bought me a cute Minnie T-shirt (yet another in his week-long extravaganza of birthday presents for me). Since there was nobody else in the shop, the two salespeople were relaxed and chatted with us for quite awhile, even giving us the “insider” scoop about the best days and times to avoid crowds in the Summer. How kind and thoughtful!

After lunch, we found one of our favorites rides temporarily closed, so we opted for a spin around the nearby Rivers of America on the S. S. Mark Twain steamship, an authentic replica of the three-story paddle wheelers Samuel Clemens used to pilot on the Mississippi before he became the famous Mark Twain.  I always assumed it was on a track, but on Rick’s birthday a couple of years ago, someone told us that guests can request to steer the boat.

Rick went up to the Pilot on the dock and asked if we could steer on this trip, but she said, “Sorry. We don’t take requests anymore. We just pick people at random now.” We didn’t allow ourselves to feel disappointed.  We just smiled and relaxed on a nearby bench, looking forward to the trip.  I was just hoping there’d be room in the shade on the second deck because it was a warm day.

Just before boarding, the Pilot approached Rick and said, “Nobody has been picked to steer on this trip. So I guess you’re it!”  We had a blast, with Rick steering and me chatting with the Pilot in the wheelhouse, enjoying the best view of the river imaginable. Before we left, she took our picture holding our official “Pilot’s Certificate” dated June 23, 2015, with both our names on it, stating that we are “qualified Pilots of the S.S. Mark Twain.”  It is now proudly displayed in our Disney curio cabinet – a unique Diamond Jubilee keepsake that we couldn’t buy in any store. How kind and thoughtful!

Before the evening finale to our special day, we went to our favorite restaurant adjacent to Disneyland, the Napa Rose.  A full dinner in the four-star restaurant’s lovely dining room was a tad too pricey for this trip, so we decided to splurge on shared appetizers and a couple of glasses of good wine in their comfy lounge.  The servers are first-rate professionals, and ours couldn’t have been nicer or more attentive.  Unfortunately, she misheard our order and brought out the wrong appetizer. She took it back to the kitchen for a replacement while we relaxed and enjoyed our wine. We had plenty of time, so no sweat!

After a leisurely, delicious meal, including two great desserts, the check came.  Without saying a thing, our server had comped our appetizer and my “birthday” dessert. As a result, our tab was about half of what we expected.  How kind and thoughtful!

At the end of the evening, as we waited for the tram to take us back to the parking structure, I felt tired, happy and entirely fulfilled.  This turned out to be one of the happiest, most memorable birthdays I’ve ever had.

I choose to believe that’s because I EXPECTED the Best and I was determined to be MY Best.  And that’s why I GOT the Best in return!

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** 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.

 

“We do not remember days; we remember moments.” — Cesare Pavese, Italian Poet 

As I pondered what to write about this week, I realized that what I REALLY wanted to do instead of writing the blog was to play hooky! I guess it’s a case of Spring Fever, but I felt myself daydreaming about what it would be like to have an entire day completely OFF.  I know that a lot of my coaching clients also feel they have to work constantly to make their Big Goals happen. I advise them that they need to relax and recharge for at least ONE day a week, if they are going to have the right attitude and energy to be productive.

So, I decided to take my own advice: I want to share with you a lightly-edited blog from early 2016. It’s a great reminder that we ALL must take it easier, both mentally and physically, if we want the Law of Attraction to work for us.  I’m going outside now to savor life’s little moments. I hope you enjoy your day!

Yesterday, my wonderful husband Rick and I spent our monthly “Big Kids’ Play Day” at the Happiest Place on Earth. The sun was shining, lovely flowers and trees were blooming, birds were chirping and Spring was in the air.  My soul felt a renewed lightness in these joyful surroundings and I felt more grateful than ever that we live so close to Disneyland that we can go whenever we want to “lighten up.”

You don’t have to remind little kids to lighten up. They are all about play, fun and using their imaginations to find adventure everywhere they go.  As we stood in line for the Storybook Land canal boats, Rick chatted with a small boy whose shirt was covered with  buttons proclaiming that he was celebrating both his first visit to Disneyland AND his birthday.  It didn’t take much coaxing for him to excitedly relate all the rides he had been on and the ones he was still looking forward to.  Some of the adults in line looked tired and frazzled, but there was not one iota of resignation, worry or negative energy in the little boy.

This got me thinking about some of my clients who seem to struggle with how to lighten up.  They take their Big Goals very seriously, and sometimes feel frustrated when things don’t seem to be progressing fast enough or according to their own plans.

I understand, believe me.  For five years during the Great Recession and its aftermath, I had to focus every single day on releasing heavy feelings of fear, worry, disappointment and frustration that my coaching practice was just barely surviving and Rick’s real estate business seemed dead in the water.

When I couldn’t see any visible progress being made, what enabled me to face each day in a positive frame of mind was my faith that God/the Universe was on my side and that if I just kept doing my BEST, the solutions would come at the right time and in the perfect way.  Even when we can’t see it with our eyes, we have to keep the faith that there is progress being made  behind the scenes.  I kept reminding myself that the “How” is up to God/the Universe and MY job was simply to stay positive, stay alert  for Divine direction, and feel gratitude for every good thing in my life.

Despite our shoestring budget, Rick and I made it a priority during those tough years to keep up the monthly payments on our Annual Passes and take at least one day each month to play at Disneyland and to regularly do other things that made us happy. We knew that by “lightening up” — focusing only on the positive and choosing to be happy, no matter what our circumstances were — we would attract the people and resources we needed to turn our financial situation around. Eventually, that’s just what happened. One friend’s referral led to another and another, and without warning or build-up, both my coaching practice and Rick’s real estate business took off at the same time and haven’t stopped growing since.

If they express frustration that their dreams are not manifesting as fast as they would like, I tell my clients that they must lighten up – let go of all heavy energy produced by worry, frustration and discouragement and rev up the light energy of joy and gratitude.

The Law of Attraction says that “energy attracts like energy.” If you are pursuing your goals with grim determination, attachment and clenched teeth, what kind of people and situations do you think you are going to attract into your life?

If you want to attract what and who you want more quickly and easily, the first step is to express sincere GRATITUDE for all the wonderful things God/the Universe has put in your life thus far.  Expressing gratitude for all the good we have NOW attracts even MORE good things to us.

Next, you must create a genuinely positive, light energy that will be a magnet for the serendipitous people and resources that can help you reach your goals.  One of my former clients recently discovered how well this approach works.

Before our coaching, she struggled with feelings of anxiety, stress and frustration about the pace at which she was building her network marketing business. She didn’t enjoy her business the way she did her day job. I encouraged her to stop pushing to try to make things happen and instead to go with the flow and allow God/the Universe to bring the “How” to her.  I suggested she approach her network marketing business the same way she did her day job – with a feeling of relaxed confidence in her own skills and true joy at being of service to others.

We completed our coaching and I didn’t hear from her for a couple of months. Recently, I got this email, proving to me that she truly has mastered the art of reaching her goals with grace and ease:

“Hi, Caroll:  I’m really excited and had to share.  I feel things are really shifting for me: my attitude is positive and non-attached to the outcome.  I’m getting things done quickly. I’m getting things done with ease.  I’m contacting more people, talking to more people, scheduling more appointments and I’m headed toward month-end without my usual anxiety….

I’m continuing to read my [Daily Success] Script two times daily and listening to The Power [by Rhonda Byrne, author of The Secret.]   Is this how it normally goes for your clients? That it just kind of ‘kicks in’? It feels very different this time and I’m feeling momentum in my team, too.”

Here’s one simple but powerful way you can rev up your own positive energy: If you aren’t currently taking at least ONE DAY off from ALL work each week, I highly recommend you begin doing so. Taking regular breaks to engage in self-care, play and activities you enjoy with people you enjoy will actually make you more productive and help you to reach your goals faster.  It’s time to shake off the winter doldrums and lighten up!

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website at http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached!  You can give this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (If you haven’t been in coaching with me for a while, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!)

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

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” – Napoleon Hill

Spring is around the corner, at last!  I know for many parts of the USA, it may seem like it’s still a long way off.  But the early signs are definitely here in Southern California.

We have had our share of the wettest winter in the state’s history, although my friends in Northern California have been drenched far more than we have.  Our unexpected record rainfall has been a mixed blessing. It pulled California out of a five-year drought, for which we are very grateful.  But, at the same time, it has caused considerable destruction and loss of life, especially up north.

A sign of Spring I always love to see is the tiny green buds on the trees and bushes. New plant life is a reassuring sign that Earth’s cycle of life continues, no matter what.  A few weeks ago, our gardeners pruned all the rose bushes back to what looked like dead stumps — so dry and sad, it was hard to remember the lovely blooms we had enjoyed right through Christmas.  But gardeners know that it is essential to prune rose bushes before Spring comes. The temporary pain of cutting back the branches spurs the plant to put out new green twigs, followed by lush leaves and finally some lovely red and pink buds.

Our lives are full of “pruning times,” too.  We never find them pleasant, and we often resist and struggle against them, but they are just as necessary for our growth and development as for the roses.

Facing a major health challenge is a type of radical life pruning.  People suddenly faced with the possibility of death or permanent disability and their loved ones quickly discover what REALLY matters in life.  All the “small stuff” they were sweating on a daily basis suddenly feels ridiculously unimportant.  They become laser-focused on a single goal — recovery.  Although it is certainly a painful lesson to endure, many survivors see their health challenge as a blessing that taught them how strong they really are and what truly matters in life. They are grateful for  their newfound faith, inner peace and strength that can never be taken away.

Severe financial challenges can also be seen as a kind of strengthening pruning. I can tell you from experience that when keeping a roof over your head becomes your primary focus, petty obsessions like keeping up with the Joneses and worrying what others think of you become laughable.  Before the Great Recession took two homes and a car from us, I would have spent $100 on some silly luxury item without a second thought. During that time, having $5.00 left in the checking account at the end of the month was cause for celebration.

But five years of struggle to regain our financial health, while painful, also brought my family many blessings. Now, I am more grateful for every dollar that comes to us than I could have ever imagined.  And I am much more aware of the plight of others around me.  When I see a homeless person, I always give them some money and a blessing.  When we learn that someone is struggling to make ends meet, we share what we have with them.  It is second nature to us now to be Go-Givers, and as a result, more prosperity has flowed to our family in the past three years than ever before.  Most importantly, our faith in God/The Universe as the Source of all our good is unshakable.

I am particularly inspired and gratified when I see one of my coaching clients make a positive mental shift after they have been tested by a life pruning such as a serious illness, job loss, divorce or discouragingly slow progress toward a Big Goal.

At the beginning of this month, one of my newer clients told me that she was feeling distressed about the lack of progress she felt she was making in building her networking marketing business.  She had been working diligently and trying to stay positive, but was getting the door slammed in her face at every turn.  She felt stuck and disappointed that “Nothing is coming to fruition.”  (Interesting choice of words, huh?)

I reminded her to use the mindset tools I had taught her to put the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) to work connecting her to the right people who will appreciate the opportunity she has to offer. I reminded her that declaring aloud the specific qualities or attributes she needs to embody in order to give her BEST in a given situation will direct her subconscious mind to help her produce the outcomes she desires.

So she chose to state aloud, “I am a patient, unattached, committed Leader.  I am PRICELESS!” That declaration gave her subconscious mind a blueprint for creating the ideal words and right actions that a patient, unattached, committed and priceless Leader would use. Those ideal words and right actions, in turn, will become a bright beacon of positive energy to attract individuals whose energy and desires are a match for hers.

Does that mean it will happen the minute she declares it, or that she won’t have any further setbacks or disappointments during her quest?  Nope.  “Pruning” was still taking place in her belief system, which was necessary in order for her to blossom into the kind of Leader who will attract the quality people she wants on her Team.

A few weeks later, she told me she had been reading more about the Law of Attraction and was doing mental “experiments” to test it out in small ways. She was amazed at what she felt were clear signs that specific, unusual things she focused her mind on were showing up in her life.  Her belief in her ability to attract to her exactly what she wanted was becoming much stronger.  Instead of skeptical, discouraged energy, she was now giving off excited, positive, expecting-the-Best energy. I could see that her internal Belief Switch was about to be thrown, and once it was, I knew she would start to make real progress toward her Big Goals. That’s how it works – first she must BELIEVE it is going to happen for her, and only then will she SEE it become real.

The following day, she sent me this email:

“Just wanted to share something that happened today! This morning I prayed for a new customer to reach out to ME!  This afternoon, someone did!  She was not exactly new; she was one of my very first customers who felt as if the products were way too expensive and she ended up cancelling her account. 

She called me out of the blue and I have to confess that I didn’t recognize her number….I just kept listening to her speak and finally figured out who she was!

Everything that you said to me yesterday hit me. Today, I started to read The Power [by Rhonda Byrne].  Not even 5 minutes into it [the customer called me].

So my conclusion is, I finally Believe what you are telling me, and I am so incredibly happy that I am recognizing it!”

Looks like the pruning phase of her business development may be nearing completion…. I can’t wait to see the wonderful fruit it is going to produce for her!

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website at http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** 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 a while 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.

 

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