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FLOWINGWATER's Recent Blog Entries

Spring Cleaning - Time for New Goals

Friday, May 20, 2011

I was watching the Spark Streak awards on my page and noticed that some of my goals were WAY out of date. I hadn't tracked many of them since February. I went to go catch up and realized that it was silly - those goals were meaningless to me because I had made them habits. It became an exercise in tracking rather than something to push me to improve. So, out with the old goals, in with the new!

It helps motivate me, if I make my goals public, so here are the new goals:

1) Get at least 7 hours sleep a night.
Boy, I struggle with this one. I just have very little free time, and I'd rather spend it doing things I enjoy than sleeping. Nonetheless, I know it's better for me, so I need to force myself to go to bed!

2) Strength train 2x per week.
I've really fallen off the wagon with my strength training since I broke my toes, then injured my finger. Climbing was always my main motivation for strength training - it's the reason I started climbing, because I HATE strength training so much. Nonetheless, I can feel myself getting weaker and I HATE that too! I must consistently strength train!!

3) Burn 2000 calories a week.
I'm actually doing this pretty consistently. This just gets it out there in public to keep me motivated, as I've been tending towards laziness on the weekends and not getting out there as I should. I may up this to 2300 to push myself a bit more. I'm actually on the fence, because I may have been over-training when I was burning that many calories. Still pondering...

4) Run 1x per week.
I was really enjoying running when I broke my toes. I've been struggling with consistently running since, because I got out of running shape and it got hard. But I know I need to be consistent for it to get easy again. Right now, I get pretty bad DOMS when I run, and the weekends are the only time I can run, since I bike to work other days, so the goal is at 1x a week until I can run without DOMS. If I can run without DOMS, I plan to up it to 2x per week. I NEED to run because cycling barely gets my heart rate into the target zone now. I'm limited by the pain in my knees, so I can't push harder. I need something else to help improve my cardio.

5) Devote time to spiritual growth 1x per week.
I used to read spiritual books all the time, and that was a time in my life when I was really growing spiritually. I'd like to spend just a little time every week, focusing on my spiritual health. It is so important, and I have allowed myself to stagnate spiritually over the years.

That's it! New goals, fresh motivation! Now, on to making it happen!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUBYTOOSHOES 5/22/2011 10:14PM

    Excellant idea, I'm going to do the same!

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ERIN4771 5/21/2011 1:03PM

    love that you are re-evaluating your goals!! we all need to do that to keep fresh i think!!

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WATERMELLEN 5/20/2011 9:46PM

    Excellent focus: good for you!!

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DDOORN 5/20/2011 9:18PM

    Looking good! You're not leaving ANY stone unturned...! :-)

Don

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MAKULEWAHINE 5/20/2011 11:48AM

    1. Sleep: I have the same problem. I need to turn off the TV and read or just relax before bed:((
2. Strength: I just discovered a class called Body Pump. I really loved it. It gets me to strength train in a fun atmosphere and I stay at it longer.
3. Calories: Wow!!! I have been trying for 1500 and I need to loose weight not just maintain. Sigh.
4. Spiritual: Oh yeah. I forgot about that. Maybe those spiritual books could be my night time reading.

Great ideas and you better keep moving because I'm coming to get you:) LOL

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Fats: Back to Basics

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I'm having problems with my knees, and my massage therapist asked me what kind of fat I eat. I told her that I use canola oil and olive oil, and I eat walnuts every day in my yogurt. This led to a discussion about fat, and I discovered a couple really interesting things:

1) Canola oil turns into a Trans Fat when heated (and all canola oil, even expeller-pressed, organic is subjected to heat in the deodorizing process - apparently it is really stinky without deodorizing).

2) Olive oil turns toxic when exposed to heat.

Wow! Canola oil is the main oil that I use! I did some of my own research on the subject and, of course, there is much controversy around canola oil. I couldn't find any long-term, peer-reviewed studies on it, but here's my general take on considering the source, when I'm researching food issues. I don't trust the government or the FDA. Sorry, but our government is highly influenced by big business and money. Look how long they let us eat Trans Fats before the truth got out... So, I'm more likely to believe holistic authors - the authors who have been promoting eating organic, and non-processed food all these years. Those authors agree that canola oil isn't as good for us as we're led to believe. They also say that butter and coconut oil are not as bad for us as we're led to believe.

Butter has vitamins that our body needs - like vitamin E. Canola oil, by contrast, has been shown to lead to vitamin E deficiency in studies on rats. Coconut oil is great for our joints, hair, skin, and is said to boost metabolism, because our bodies more efficiently use that fat rather than just storing it.

My massage therapist said that the problems with my knees could be affected by eating canola oil. Apparently, it's not as good for our joints as the basic oils our grandparents ate - like butter and coconut oil.

Finally, my general belief is: the less processed, the better. Canola oil is HIGHLY processed. Margarine is highly processed. Butter and coconut oil are minimally processed. So, I have gone back to basics, and as soon as the margarine and canola oil that we have on stock are gone, we'll be using butter (gasp!) and coconut oil. And, with regards to saturated fats, I'm back to the old adage of "everything in moderation". As long as I keep my fat intake down, in general, I think I'll be fine.

It's funny how things come full-circle, isn't it? More and more, I'm finding that the old ways really were the best. Our technology has brought us many advances that have been beneficial, but, it has also brought us so many that are ultimately harmful. Back to basics is the way to go!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 5/17/2011 10:08PM

    I've always stuck with butter (in small quantities) -- nevr used margarine -- and extra virgin cold pressed olive oil, which I think is also minimallyh processed.

All best with getting those knees happy again!!

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DDOORN 5/17/2011 1:49PM

    Sorta makes sense...yep, agreed on the mistrust of government being "owned" by corporations, thus lacking in objectivity. Keeping it simple makes sense to me!

Don

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VEGGIE_POWERED 5/15/2011 7:37PM

    I agree, big agriculture leads us to believe a lot that just is not so. Though it creates more questions than answers, I really enjoyed the documentary "Fat Head" (available on Netflix streaming) [http://www.fathead-movie.com/]. The guys voice can get a bit annoying, but there is some great points made, many facts that have proven out, and it plants the seeds of more questions regarding fats in your head. Good luck on your quest for a more ideal fat and hope you enjoy the film. For the record, I now get most of my fats from seeds, nuts, and flax.

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MEADSBAY 5/15/2011 5:42PM

    Interesting!
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OMAHAMAMA 5/15/2011 12:08PM

    It's all true! I've been following this for a few years now and I always use butter when possible. Believe or not but lard is even better for you with less sat fat! Also all oils go rancid and become toxic but most are already so by the time you buy your Wesson bottle at the grocery store. Its because they are sold in clear plastic which allows light to pass through to the oil. That's why most premium olive oils are sold in dark glass bottles. You can slow the process with refrigeration. I wish I could afford to buy premium coconut oil but my budget is a bit tight right now. I've used it in the past and rather enjoyed cooking with it. It does give off a coconut flavor in mild flavored foods but I liked that. There are tons of studies coming out that it and palm oil (as long as they've not been processed) are great for your body. I recommend this site http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/<
BR>for quality stuff or go to a trusted health food supplier. Pass it on, this info is being treated like some sort of hippie cultural thing because the gov't gives huge subsidies to corn and soy growers to promote their oil. Also interesting is that canola oil is derived from the rapeseed plant - they changed the name to make it easier to advertise to the public. I believe the "can" in canola comes from the fact that a lot of it is grown in Canada. If you've not read it, check out The Omnivore's Dilemma and other awesome books by Michael Pollan. He is a biologist who has written a lot on the subject of what Americans should be eating and how we came to the place we are at now with our health in relation to food and eating. Good luck!

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HEATHER_RUNS 5/15/2011 11:48AM

    I've been using coconut oil as a hair conditioner, and I love it! My hair just drinks it up, and it feels thicker and smoother. Great stuff. I haven't tried cooking with it, because I'm concerned that it will add a coconut flavor to things; please let me know how you like it!

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The Naked Spa

Friday, December 03, 2010

The spa I went to last night is a Korean, woman-only spa. The spa has heated rooms that have different temperatures and cleansing properties - one has sand on the floor (under a canvas covering) and charcoal on the walls, one has salt on the floor (under a canvas covering) and something else on the walls - I can't remember what, and one has jade on the floor (under a mat covering) and something else on the walls. My favorite room is the sand room, because it feels like lying on the beach...ahhhh.... (that's why I know what's on the walls there...lol!).

The spa also has an area with a heated granite floor and has pillows and blankets around so you can lie on that floor and read magazines and relax. It has an area where there are couches and foot massagers and magazines. And finally it has two saunas - dry one and a steam one, and several different temperature hot pools.

You can also purchase facials, foot treatments, body treatments, massages...the works. It costs $30 to get in and stay as long as you like.

When you check in they give everyone matching robes and caps to put your hair in, which everyone wears around. The area where the pools are, though, and the saunas are no clothing areas. My friends and I call it the naked spa. emoticon

Ladies, I'm hear to tell ya, if you want to become more comfortable with your womanly shape, you must go to a woman-only naked spa. There are always women there of all shapes and sizes, they are all beautiful, and guess what? There aren't many who have flat bellies. You know why? That's not a womanly shape! Even the most slender women have a bit of a pooch. A flat belly on a woman is very rare...so those pictures in all the media that we're being brainwashed with...they're unrealistic...and even...unnatural! And guess what? We women have hips, and cellulite, and not all of our breasts are perky!

I love the woman's spa because it puts me in touch with a REAL woman's shape. My friend, who is one of the wisest parents I have ever met, brings her teenage daughters there - to give them some perspective on what REAL women look like - not just the unrealistic images from the media that they are innundated with most of the time. She is wise, indeed.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUBYTOOSHOES 1/25/2011 5:01PM

    Wow, I wish I could find a place like that, where do you live? What a great service your friend is doing for her daughters.

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ELEPHANTGIRL75 12/7/2010 8:27AM

    Sounds like a great place!

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BEXT135 12/6/2010 5:24PM

  Love it. I think your friend who takes her girls there is a smart woman indeed!

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JHADZHIA 12/4/2010 12:18AM

    Wonderful post!! A great way to lose inhibitions over imperfect bodies! this sounds like an amazing place! We sure have nothing like that here :(( Shame.
Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

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MELTING2SVELTE 12/3/2010 8:12PM

    Great post!

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MEADSBAY 12/3/2010 5:51PM

    YOU are wise, as well.
That naked spa sounds heavenly- never heard of such a thing.
Are you in a city?
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QUEENJEANINE11 12/3/2010 3:24PM

    Its true woman with flat bellys are rare to come by and woman come in all shapes in sizes! Its good to put things in perspective and no not one single person is perfect and to embrace the flaws that make us who we are!

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TAFODIL24 12/3/2010 1:14PM

    Thank you for this post ~ it is refreshing to hear that no matter what shape, we are all beautiful. But I really want to know more about this spa ~ where is it?

Hugs~Taffi emoticon

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ERIN4771 12/3/2010 12:28PM

    i want to go to there....... emoticon

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ROCKINFOX 12/3/2010 11:17AM

    It's only $30? Did you forget another zero lol?

You are so right about the whole women have flat bellies...some do, but many don't. I actually like my pooch and my curves...losing weight will just accentuate them more. emoticon When I took belly dancing I noticed that there were women of different sizes and shapes which made it comfortable to show your belly.

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*MADHU* 12/3/2010 10:52AM

    Well said about womanly shapes and our acceptance of the same emoticon

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I couldn't resist...

Thursday, December 02, 2010

I have learned a way to resist the nummy mochas from the coffee shop in our building. We can't afford them, so that helps, but it also prompted me to learn to make my own mochas. Now I like mine better, AND they're less calories! WIN!

However, the evil owner of the coffee shop (he isn't really evil, he's a sweetheart, but I tease him about being evil) makes homemade brownies to sell in the shop. Since he's on the ground floor of the building and we're on the 5th floor, the smell wafts up the stairwell and into the hallway on our floor. He really IS evil!! And, of course, the brownies are DELICIOUS!! (Yeah, he put little tasters out, so I could know that - evil, right?) Chocolate with chocolate chunks...heaven in a little square. AND, they are only 75 cents!

I have scoured every penny out of my wallet in pursuit of little chunks of heaven, so I've been safe for a while because I don't have any cash left. However, the other day on my ride into work, I found a dollar on the ground. It has been in my jacket pocket, taunting me. Saying, "I'm a brownie in disguise".

I think I resisted for 2 days.

I'm not one of those that eats when I'm stressed. I'm the opposite. I don't eat. However, AFTER the stress, THAT'S when I go seeking treats as a reward for "job well done". (I'm sure it's my ex-boss's fault. He used to bring me chocolate whenever he asked me to do a difficult task.) Anyway, I had a really stressful presentation yesterday, and the "brownie in disguise" in my pocket, AND, the last straw, I discovered that I had my second flat in as many days (due to all the gravel that the street cleaners so kindly swept off the streets after our snow and ice and right INTO the bike lanes emoticon - we cyclists just don't get no respect! emoticon). So, on my way back from taking my bike to the bike shop for repair, I had to pass the coffee shop, and...I just couldn't resist! It had been a long, hard week, the dollar in my pocket was practically already smelling like a brownie and I convinced myself pretty quickly that I deserved that brownie!

Right into the shop I went, reminded Chuck how evil he is (he just gave me an evil grin) as I snacked on one of his brownie tasters, and bought myself a 300-calorie little chunk of heaven.

Every other time I have done this, I don't even make it up the elevator before I have devoured the whole brownie - despite my best intentions of only eating half. I did have a little victory yesterday. I took the stairs so I couldn't eat the brownie on the way up. When I got to the office, I promptly cut that baby in half and stored half of it for later. Then, I warmed my half in the microwave, and enjoyed my piece of warm, chocolately, heaven!!!

Yeah, maybe I need to learn to not reward myself for "job well done" with chocolate, but at least this time it was a treat in moderation. Or, maybe that's good enough. After all, if I feel too deprived, that's what will cause me to give up. So, I'm thinking moderation, not deprivation, is the goal. That means that the half brownie yesterday wasn't a failure, it was a success!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROCKINFOX 12/3/2010 11:27AM

    Moderation is key. Like you I don't really eat when I'm stressed (anymore lol), but I do get those serious cravings around TOM. Sometimes I just have to give, but in moderation. emoticon You're doing great!!

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ERIN4771 12/3/2010 9:38AM

    yep...moderation, not deprivation is the key, although i am still working on this one....i am a brownie junkie, just ask the hubby, so congrats on avoiding the temptation for 2 days, i am not sure i would have lasted 1 hour emoticon
bummer about the bike tires chica...hope you got them fixed and are back on the road!!! have a great friday!!

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VEGGIE_POWERED 12/3/2010 9:33AM

    First, I'd begin by saying you resisted pretty well - 150, not bad all in all. Second I hear ya about the street sweepers (and roads in general). Its amazing how many bits of metal, plastic, glass, rock, AND GARBAGE THROWN FROM CARS finds it's way toward the edge of the road. Personally, I ride in the "middle right" (where most cars passenger side tires roll). Keeps you out of the debris, makes you more visible, gives you more room to maneuver, and forces passing vehicles to yield more significantly. Sure you get honked at more often and get a few more things thrown at you, but the way I see it that just means they know I'm there. emoticon

Also, I don't know what kind of tires you're running, but it might be worth looking into a set of armadillos (Specialized) or black chilis (Continental) or similar - spendy, but definitely worth it. Also, also, I'd do a blood test on your tire and make sure you don't have a bit of debris protruding through the wall of the tire and grinding on your tube. The folks at the shop should have done this for you, but never a bad idea to ask or do it yourself.

Another trick is to align the label of the tire with the valve stem when putting tires on. If you flat out, remove the tube and tire in the same alignment they were on the bike. When you locate the puncture in the tube you can lay it over the tire and rim. this gives you a much smaller area of the tire and rim to inspect for tire wear, debris, nicked rims, worn rim tape, and other nasties that can cause flat after flat if not taken care of.

Ride well, ride safe, and don't sweat the occasional brownie. emoticon

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MEADSBAY 12/2/2010 5:20PM

    LOVE you logic, girl!
So, how do you make your low cal mocha?
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MAKULEWAHINE 12/2/2010 1:54PM

    Oh my that sounds wonderful. What a great idea to half it and then warm it up!! Yum. We all deserve a treat now and then and you surely earned it. I finally got a mountain bike to ride in this weather. There is so much junk in the bike lanes I might as well be out on the trail:(

Happy trails to you:)

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MANDERSON19 12/2/2010 1:37PM

    I'd say it's a win. You only had a 150 cal snack and have another one for another day. Definately moderation not deprivation is key!

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TOTHEPEAK1 12/2/2010 12:30PM

    I tell my kids all the time about finding balance. Many things in moderation are ok. PS---I say this from a do as I say not as I do point of view, but I am changing. Last night was bowling night for me and I typically have 3 or 4 beers (usually the only time I drink)and then go home and pig out. I have been seeing some success on the scale this week which has motivated me, so I only had 2 beers last night and no snacks when I got home.

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JHADZHIA 12/2/2010 11:28AM

    You ex-boss sounded like a kind and generous man!! (why couldn't I get a boss like that??? LOL) That would be pure torture smelling all that chocolate wafting up all day long! Yikes! Way to stay disciplined!! You work out hard enough you earn your brownie treat! I have my dark 90% cocoa chocolate every night. But not the whole bar.
All things in moderation does work and you don't feel deprived, but satisfied.. That is the whole point of stopping 'dieting' and start living!
Keep up the great work!!

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DDOORN 12/2/2010 10:59AM

    Kudos to you! I've yet to be able to pace myself with such indulgences...which is why I continue to try to avoid them at all cost! :-)

Don

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RUFFIT 12/2/2010 10:56AM

    Good for you!! We all need rewards now and then. And yes a treat is ok. I found when I deprive myself then I go nuts and eat the whole thing in one bite!! Now I eat things in moderation. Take care, Moni emoticon

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Choosing to be Happy

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A couple months ago, I was feeling pretty down. I was still recovering from broken toes and couldn't exercise. My husband has been laid off 17 months out of the last two years, and times are tight. My job is tenuous (because the company is struggling to survive), and I'm really sick of it anyway (I need a new career - one that I don't hate). I was pretty much letting circumstances drag me down.

But, then I decided to start practicing what I KNOW to be true. Your attitude makes all the difference! We have the choice. We can choose to be unhappy, which I was doing a couple months ago by only choosing to see the negative. OR, we can choose to be happy by thinking happy thoughts. Our mind is a very powerful thing, and our thoughts CAN affect our reality.

These days, the only circumstance that has changed is that I can now exercise (which really does help my attitude). My husband is still laid off. I still don't enjoy my job and it's still tenuous. BUT, I'm WAY happier. That's because I am really striving to see the positive and maintain a positive attitude every day. When I catch myself having negative thoughts, I try to turn them around.

My husband is still laid off, but guess what? He hated his job, too, and he's using this opportunity to pursue a new career path that he LOVES. He's going to school to become a massage therapist, and it's a PERFECT fit for him! Life really does give us what we need. AND, even though he has been laid off for so long, we're still able to pay our bills, we're still doing ok. We're very fortunate, really.

I still am not super fond of my job, BUT I LOVE the people that I work with. I LOVE the company that I work for. AND, I'm so very fortunate that I still have a job. I KNOW that when the time is right, I will be presented with an opportunity that will take me in a new direction - just as that opportunity was presented to my husband.

It's all in the way you choose to see things. As my husband and I were outside trying to get into our car that was frozen shut the other day, he said: "I HATE SNOW!!!". It was pretty cold out there, the car was frozen shut - I could have easily gone there with him, and led myself on a spiral of negativity for the day. Instead, I looked around and saw the beauty, and said: "But, look at how the sun is sparkling on the snow, hunny. It's beautiful!" And just like that, my day was happier (and so was his, I think).

Positivity begets positivity, happiness begets happiness. The happier I THINK, the happier I AM, and the happier those around me are! It's a win, win, win!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JEALOUSBAKER 12/4/2010 5:16PM

    I'm finding your blog very inspirational as I am trying to be more positive. Hopefully I can get to where you're at now!

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ROCKINFOX 12/3/2010 12:29PM

    So true!!! Positivity and happiness is all about your outlook on things. On rainy days/nights instead of thinking, yuck this is nasty weather, I think what a great night to stay in and cozy up with my blankets. We all have our off days, but staying positive is a state of mind. Great blog!!!

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SOLUCKY12 11/29/2010 7:50PM

    You're practicing the best therapy for your soul. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts, especially because not too much has changed in general, but you're enjoying each day as it is meant to be. emoticon

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BETHV10 11/29/2010 6:45PM

    Your blog is so very true! We can choose to be happy or not. There is always something to be thankful for if we look for it. emoticon

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DITZYCHICK 11/29/2010 3:33PM

    You know...you need to make those calendars with the daily words of motivation. You're very positive in everything you write and it definitely is catchy. Way to make the best of what life dishes you!

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MANDERSON19 11/29/2010 11:53AM

    A lesson so many of us could use and take to heart. Thank you for expressing it so well!

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SHANNONSTILLS 11/29/2010 9:20AM

  "Positivity begets positivity, happiness begets happiness. The happier I THINK, the happier I AM, and the happier those around me are! It's a win, win, win!"

YES!!!!

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GLO1979 11/29/2010 8:16AM

    Thanks for reminding me - it is so true!
I was ok a few days ago but this weekend I let myself think negative and here I am feeling bad.. I used to have a list of things I am grateful for - I think that I will put it up to date today - this should work for me.
thanks again!

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MEADSBAY 11/26/2010 10:44PM

    This is sooooooooooooooooo true!
Loved this blog, my friend.
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SUZYMOBILE 11/26/2010 8:43PM

    Thinking positively does make all the difference!

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DDOORN 11/25/2010 9:19PM

    Half-empty, half-full...same circumstances, but a WORLD of difference in how it feels as we make our way through the day!

Don

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VEGGIE_POWERED 11/24/2010 12:44PM

    So true - my wife and I always try to "be the stream". I cannot remember the precise reference, but someone tried to equate serenity with being a bit of cork flowing in a stream to which the teacher observed that the cork must react. It must bounce off the rock or the branch, it may get caught up in the grasses, or worst of all wash up on the shore. So, rather than cork in a stream, become part of the stream itself (oddly appropriate for your handle), you will flow around the rock, carry the branch, bend the grasses, and flow along the entire length of the shore day in and day out. At time things may be turbulent, but will return to calm shortly.

Stay positive, find the good in all things, and happiness will find you as clearly it already has! Inspiring post.
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SANDYBRUNO 11/24/2010 11:53AM

    You are so right. I lost my job 2 years ago and still can't find work. My husband lost his job 6 months later when they closed the plant where he worked. Luckily we were able to pay off the house and 1 car so we too have been able to make it. It is a little rough right now with 3 kids and Christmas coming but we will make it. I too try to keep a positive attitude. It does no good to sit around and grump.

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MAKULEWAHINE 11/24/2010 11:52AM

    OMG! What a great thanksgiving mantra. It is so true and I forget that sometimes, especially when I am house bound and alone. But the truth is that we are only as happy as we allow ourselves to be. There is great beauty and opportunity in this world if we will only open our eyes.

Enjoy the rain tomorrow:))) I am going to Birch Bay and am taking my bike with me. How's that for optimism?? It IS a beautiful day.

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