Friday, February 21, 2014
My wake up call this morning was my husband shaking me to ask me if I wanted to help him shovel. My first thought was, no I really do not want to help you shovel. But I knew the job would go so much faster if I did. So, I got out of bed...begrudgingly. We got quite a bit of snow and in order to make it out of our driveway we had to shovel the three foot pile of snow the snow plow so kindly left for us over the night. Not exactly the best way to start a morning, but at least it is Friday.
This winter has been a rough one. Between the snow and the constant sub-zero temperatures most people have had enough, which is not a good thing considering that we are about to head into Minnesota's snowiest month. But research has shown that negativity can impact our overall well being. In clinical research there is even a term for it. It is called the 'nocebo effect.' The short definition is a person's negative thoughts cause their health to decline. It is the opposite of the placebo effect where a person believes they are receiving medicine to improve their health and their health improves even though the medicine they were given was nothing more than a hard candy. It is the power of thought.
Now what does this have to do with shoveling snow and these hard winter months? Last night I looked out our kitchen window and into my neighbor's backyard. Our neighbor has the a huge river birch that has a huge canopy that covers her entire backyard. It has this perfect shape. It is my favorite tree. But last night it actually took my breath away. Before the snow started it rained. Because of the rain the snow stuck to every branch of the river birch. It was like someone had frosted the whole tree. It was stunning. I even made my husband go look at it. The snow made the tree almost glow. I wish I had taken a picture but I do not think that would have done it justice. Even this morning on our drive to work, the streets were lined with snow frosted trees. It really was beautiful. It made we want to go to the park and snowshoe.
That is when I realized the silver lining not only of last night but of the whole winter. Snow covered trees make for a a sight to be seen. Our sub-zero temperatures were an excuse for all of us to curl up on the couch together to stay warm. Since we couldn't go outside for fear of frostbite, numerous books were read, games were played and conversations were had. But best of all, every time it snows, there is a hot chocolate waiting for the brave ones who went out and shoveled.
As I was shoveling this morning I got crabby but then I looked at the beautiful tree and it brought a smile to my face. It is the silver lining that helps us to realize that there is a positive in all that is around us.
What was your silver lining? How did it change your perception? Leave a comment and let us know. Until then, stay warm and enjoy your hot chocolate.
Thursday, February 06, 2014
Over the last few days my best friend and I have been discussing creative outlets. She works in the health care field where her talents for film, theater, and photography do not get to be utilized. My day job of a management consultant limits my creativity to the Power Point presentations that I get to put together. However, that just does not really charge either one of us.
I consider creativity to be a mental and spiritual punching bag. At a previous job my coworkers and I would joke around about how great it would be to have a punching bag in the office. That way every time we got frustrated with the way things were going we could use the punching bag as a release for the extra energy we were feeling. This became such a running joke that I finally went out when day and bought a kid's punching bag. It was one of those inflatable bags that had the sand in the bottom so when you punched it, the bag would return to a standing position. As it turned out the punching bag was a huge hit. The bag because a way for people to have an outlet.
Creativity works in the same way typically because we are passionate about the creative medium we are using. It does not matter if it is painting, singing, acting, etc. All those pursuits are a way for people to loose themselves in the creative process and have an outlet for whatever is going on in their life and around them. In some cases creativity is an outlet for anger and frustration. In other cases it is an outlet for happiness and positivity.
My blog has become a huge creative outlet for me. Even when I am not sitting down at the computer to type a blog post, my mind is always thinking of topics for a post or ideas that would be interesting to explore. As a result I have noticed that I do not feel drained from my job the way that I used to. I do not get so upset when things go wrong or do not go the way I had hoped. I believe this to be because all of my energy is not spent on my job. I am able to utilize other sources to fuel my energy and passion.
Both my friend and I love what we do for a job. We have just started to realize that there are other facets of our lives that have been neglected and like a good gardener we need to tend to them. Creativity is becoming a lost art. Our days are so jam packed with running from this activity to that or from this meeting to the next that we are not taking the time to recharge or finding a way to release.
What do you consider you creative outlet? Leave a comment below. Maybe what you post will inspire others to find their creative outlet in a place they never thought to look.
If you like this post, check out my other blog posts at www.thecollectivegivingtree.com Have a wonderful day!
Thursday, January 09, 2014
Wow. It has been a really long time since I wrote a blog post. I honestly did not know it had been over a year. Huh. Time flies when you are busy not paying attention. Oh well. That is all about to change because I am about to do something that seriously scares the crap out of me.
I have started a blog. I actually started it over two months ago...but didn't tell anyone about it. Why? Because I am scared. I am scared to put myself out there and open myself up to have people comment on my thoughts. But now that it is a new year I have set a goal to set 100 followers by the end of the year. I would really your feedback. I cannot improve without help. So here we go. Please check out my blog...
Someone let me know when the scary part is over.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Here is the next installment of poems that inspire me. I hope that it inspires you as well.
Why Not You?
By Steve Maraboli
Today, many will awaken with a fresh sense of inspiration. Why not you?
Today, many will open their eyes to the beauty that surrounds them. Why not you?
Today, many will choose to leave the ghost of yesterday behind and seize the immeasurable power of today. Why not you?
Today, many will break through the barriers of the past by looking at the blessings of the present. Why not you?
Today, for many the burden of self doubt and insecurity will be lifted by the security and confidence of empowerment. Why not you?
Today, many will rise above their believed limitations and make contact with their powerful innate strength. Why not you?
Today, many will choose to live in such a manner that they will be a positive role model for their children. Why not you?
Today, many will choose to free themselves from the personal imprisonment of their bad habits. Why not you?
Today, many will choose to live free of conditions and rules governing their own happiness. Why not you?
Today, many will find abundance in simplicity. Why not you?
Today, many will be confronted by difficult moral choices and they will choose to do what is right instead of what is beneficial. Why not you?
Today, many will decide to no longer sit back with a victim mentality, but to take charge of their lives and make positive changes. Why not you?
Today, many will take the action necessary to make a difference. Why not you?
Today, many will make the commitment to be a better mother, father, son, daughter, student, teacher, worker, boss, brother, sister, & so much more. Why not you?
Today is a new day!
Many will seize this day.
Many will live it to the fullest.
Why not you
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