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THE "I CAN'T" FUNERAL

Saturday, October 20, 2012



THE "I CAN'T" FUNERAL

Donna's fourth grade classroom looked like many others I had seen in the past. Students sat in five rows of six desks. The teacher's desk was in front and faced the students. The bulletin board featured student work. In most respects it appeared to be a typically traditional elementary classroom. Yet something seemed different that day I entered it for the first time. There seemed to be an undercurrent of excitement.
Donna was a veteran small-town Michigan schoolteacher only two years away form retirement. In addition she was a volunteer participant in a countrywide staff development project I had organized and facilitated. The training focused on language arts ideas that would empower students to feel good about themselves and take charge of their lives. Donna's job was to attend training sessions and implement the concepts being presented. My job was to make classroom visitations and encourage implementation.
I took an empty seat in the back of the room and watched. All the students were working on a task, filling a sheet of notebook paper with thoughts and ideas. The ten-year-old student next to me was filling her page with "I Can'ts".
"I can't kick the soccer ball past second base." "I can't do long division with more than three numerals." "I can't get Debbie to like me." Her page was half full and she showed no signs of letting up. She worked on with determination and persistence. I walked down the row glancing in student's papers. Everyone was writing sentences, describing things they couldn't do. "I can't do ten push-ups." "I can't hit one over the left hand fence." "I can't eat only one cookie."
By this time the activity engaged my curiosity, so I decided to check with the teacher to see what was going on. As I approached her, I noticed that she too was busy writing. I felt it best not to interrupt. "I can't get John's mother to come for a teacher conference." "I can't get my daughter to put gas in the car." "I can't get Alan to use words instead of fists."
Thwarted in my efforts to determine why students and teacher were dwelling on the negative instead of writing the more positive "I Can" statements, I returned to my seat and continued my observations. Students wrote for another ten minutes. Most filled their page. Some started another. "Finish the one you're on and don't start a new one," were the instructions Donna used to signal the end of the activity. Students were then instructed to fold the papers in half and bring them to the front. When the students reached their teacher's desk, they placed their "I Can't" statements into an empty shoe box.
When all of the students papers were collected, Donna added hers. She put the lid on the box, tucked it under her arm and headed out the door and down the hall. Students followed the teacher. I followed the students. Halfway down the hallway the procession stopped. Donna entered the custodian's room rummaged around and came out with a shovel. Shovel in one hand, shoe box in the other, Donna marched the students out to the school to the farthest corner of the playground. There they began to dig.
They were going to bury their "I Can'ts"! The digging took over ten minutes because most of the fourth graders wanted a turn. When the hole approached three fee deep, the digging ended. The box of "I Can'ts" was placed in a position at the bottom of the hole and then quickly covered with dirt. Thirty one 10 and 11-year-olds stood around the freshly dug rave site. Each had at least one page full of "I Can'ts" in the shoe box, four feet under. So did their teacher.
At this point Donna announced, "Boys and girls, please join hands and bow your heads." The students complied. They quickly formed a circle around the grave, creating a bond with their hands. They lowered their heads and waited. Donna delivered the eulogy. "Friends, we gather here today to honor the memory of 'I Can't.' While he was with us here on earth, he touched, the lives or everyone, some more than others. His name unfortunately, has been spoken in every public building- school, city halls, state capitols, and yes, even The White House.
"We have provided 'I Can't' with a final resting place and a headstone that contained his epitaph. His is survived by his brothers and sisters, 'I Can,' 'I Will' and 'I'm Going to Right Away.' They are not as well known as their famous relative and are certainly not as strong and powerful yet. Perhaps some day, with your help, they will make an even bigger mark on the world. "May 'I Can't' rest in peace and may everyone present pick up their lives and move forward in his absence. Amen."
As I listened to the eulogy I realized that these students would never forget this day. The activity was symbolic, a metaphor for life. It was a right brain experience that would stick in the unconscious and conscious mind forever. Writing "I Can'ts", burying them and hearing the eulogy — showed a major educational effort on this part of the teacher. And she wasn't done yet. At the conclusion of the eulogy she turned the students around, marched them back into the classroom and held a wake.
They celebrated the passing of "I Can't" with cookies, popcorn and fruit juices. As part of the celebration, Donna cut a large tombstone from butcher paper. She wrote the words "I Can't" at the top and put RIP in the middle. The date was added at the bottom. The paper tombstone hung in Donna's classroom for the remainder of the year. On those rare occasions when a student forgot and said, "I Can't", Donna simply pointed to the RIP sign. The student then remembered that "I Can't" was dead and chose to rephrase the statement.
I wasn't one of Donna's students. She was one of mine. Yet that day I learned an enduring lesson from her. Now, years later, whenever I hear the phrase, "I Can't," I see images of that fourth grade funeral. Like the students, I remember that "I Can't" is dead.
~© Phillip B. Childs, A Course in Miracles Online

media.radiosai.org/journals/Vol_06/0
1JUL08/12-funeral.htm






thanks for dropping ....
blessings and hugs...............lita

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHIROIHANA 11/10/2012 6:14AM

    I did this when I was a kid, but rather than burying I wrote my can't do's on a balloon and let it flow away. I wish I kept the list because I would've liked to have seen it years later.

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WIO_ALISA 11/4/2012 6:22PM

    emoticon emoticon

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GOSPELCLOWN 10/25/2012 4:14PM

    Great story to share!

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MELTEAGUE 10/24/2012 9:41PM

    Thanks so much for sharing!

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LORRAINE10141 10/22/2012 3:08PM

    Well done. :)

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3G1RLS4ME 10/22/2012 2:29PM

    Wow what powerful sentiment :)

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HOPESINGH 10/21/2012 1:24PM

    That's probably one of the best blog posts I've ever read. emoticon

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KELPIE57 10/21/2012 11:52AM

    And if people insist on using, I can't, then just adding the word, yet, opens, instead of closes the path.

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CATIATM 10/21/2012 10:51AM

    emoticon emoticon

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AHOLLAND0108 10/21/2012 10:08AM

    Thanks Lita. I always tell people that says I can't that they are not willing to try. Even as I write this, there are a few things that I thought of that I say that I can't. I can't run, I can't do that because of my weight and so on and so on. I will bury I can't and really move to I will try.

Andrea emoticon
emoticon

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HEALTHYNEWPAIGE 10/20/2012 11:41PM

    emoticon emoticon A timeless lesson for all of us! Thanks for sharing!

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BLUESKY104 10/20/2012 11:29PM

    emoticon thanks for sharing this emoticon

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LIVINHEALTHY9 10/20/2012 8:57PM

    What a great blog.

Thanks, Lita

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BUG6364 10/20/2012 8:33PM

    I tell my first graders that I kicked "I can't" out of my classroom a long time ago and he is not allowed in my room. I tell them that "I'll try" is always welcome! : ) I really like this version but it might be easier with the older students.
Thanks for sharing!
Christine

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AQUAGIRL08 10/20/2012 6:41PM

    As a retired educator, this blog touched me in ways you'll never imagine. I love the idea of getting rid of I can't and replacing it with I will. I will not forget this one. Thank you for sharing it with us Lita. It is very relevant to all of us as we pursue our journeys to health.

Comment edited on: 10/20/2012 6:42:41 PM

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SEAWILLOW 10/20/2012 6:09PM

    Great! I will bury the I can'ts too!

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 10/20/2012 5:37PM

    Excellent blog!!!e

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MILADY_LCF 10/20/2012 4:50PM

    Oh that was fabulous!

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CHUBRUB3 10/20/2012 4:39PM

    Oh I love this!!!
Thanks so much Lita!
Hugs,
Angela

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CORKYTHEMOM1 10/20/2012 12:16PM

    Lita, emoticon Blog!! emoticon

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WILLOW49 10/20/2012 11:19AM

    I love it! GREAT!
emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 10/20/2012 11:07AM

    AWESOME!

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JUSFOLK 10/20/2012 11:06AM

    This is so great, and such a good idea to implant these thoughts in tender young minds, hoping they'll carry this lesson into their adult lives!

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HARTINGL52 10/20/2012 10:57AM

    I am an educator and I just liked this so much. I like the idea "I can't" and just bury it away. This is an awesome blog and I will not forget it. Thanks so much for sharing this. I have learned so much today reading this that I will not forget. emoticon emoticon

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As You Travel Through Life….

Saturday, October 13, 2012




As You Travel Through Life….
By Unknown

As you travel through life there are always those times
When decisions just have to be made,
When the choices are hard, and solutions seem scarce,
And the rain seems to soak your parade.
There are some situations where all you can do
Is simply let go and move on,
Gather your courage and choose a direction
That carries you toward a new dawn.
So pack up your troubles and take a step forward -
The process of change can be tough,
But think about all the excitement ahead
There might be adventures you never imagined
Just waiting around the next bend,
And wishes and dreams just about to come true
In ways you can't yet comprehend!
Perhaps you'll find friendships that spring from new things
As you challenge your status quo,
And learn there are so many options in life,
Perhaps you'll go places you never expected
And see things that you've never seen,
Or travel to fabulous, faraway worlds
And wonderful spots in between!
Perhaps you'll find warmth and affection and caring
And somebody special who's there
To help you stay cantered and listen with interest
To stories and feelings you share.
Perhaps you'll find comfort in knowing your friends
Are supportive of all that you do,
And believe that whatever decisions you make,
They'll be the right choices for you.
So keep putting one foot in front of the other,
And taking your life day by day...
There's a brighter tomorrow that's just down the road -
Don't look back! You're not going that way!

thanks for dropping by .........
blessings and hugs.............lita

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHIROIHANA 10/18/2012 8:23AM

    emoticon

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SHARON10002 10/14/2012 10:39PM

    "Perhaps you'll find friendships that spring from new things
As you challenge your status quo,"

"Perhaps you'll find warmth and affection and caring
And somebody special who's there
To help you stay cantered and listen with interest
To stories and feelings you share.
Perhaps you'll find comfort in knowing your friends
Are supportive of all that you do,"

You've done all of these for me, Lita. Thank you for your loving support and advice.
I am very grateful to call you my Spark Friend".
emoticon



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CHUBRUB3 10/14/2012 12:11PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CATIATM 10/14/2012 8:03AM

    One of my favorite books ever!

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KELPIE57 10/14/2012 5:32AM

    Thank you

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TRYINGHARD1948 10/13/2012 9:07PM

    Definitely a blog I needed to read.

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AQUAGIRL08 10/13/2012 6:39PM

    What a lovely blog! Thank you so much for sharing such a sweet message of hope.

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 10/13/2012 6:26PM

    EXCELLENT blog!!

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PLAYBLUES22 10/13/2012 4:49PM

    Sweetie this was great, thank you for sharing it emoticon

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SUSANSERENE 10/13/2012 4:12PM

    Love this! Thank you for sharing! emoticon

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SEAWILLOW 10/13/2012 3:02PM

    Bravo!

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WILLOW49 10/13/2012 12:21PM

    Love it! Thank you; you always post the greatest blogs!

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NANAW12001 10/13/2012 12:00PM

  I enjoyed reading your blog. Thanks for sharing.

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GOSPELCLOWN 10/13/2012 11:05AM

    Oh, the places I have been! Where to next?

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Failure.......

Saturday, October 06, 2012





Failure
By Tim Connor
Failure
It's only a word.
But it carries with it so much pain
and so little concern
so much frustration
and so little respect,
so much stress and so little
understanding
that people spend their lives
running through their days
in the hope of avoiding the long arm
of this little word.
To test our vision, you must risk
failure.
To temper your ego, you must attempt
the impossible.
To tell your story, you must
take a chance.
To see beyond the horizon, you must
spread your wings.
To be all you can be, you must
stretch, flex, try, and go beyond
your proven limits.
To bridge the silence, you must risk
rejection.
To advance into the unknown, you must
risk the peril of all your
previous beliefs and emotions
that feel so secure.
Failure is not negative. It is a teacher.
It molds, refines, and polishes you
so that one day your light will
shine for all to see.
It isn't the failure you experience
that will determine your destiny,
but your next step and then the next
that will tell
the story of your life.

thanks so much for coming by.....
your support is greatly appreciated.....
blessings and hugs........lita




  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHIROIHANA 11/10/2012 6:15AM

    emoticon

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CATIATM 10/10/2012 10:19PM

    Wonderful! Thanks, Lita!

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HOPESINGH 10/9/2012 5:16PM

    I think they wrote this poem about me emoticon
emoticon

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VELVETLADY1950 10/8/2012 2:47PM

    Great Words of Wisdom. Thank you for sharing so much! Sparking for sparkles... Velvet emoticon

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CASE4GRACE 10/8/2012 9:18AM

    Thank you for sharing this, Lita. I miss you!

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PLMITCH 10/8/2012 8:40AM

    emoticon

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TEXASGIRL48 10/8/2012 7:43AM

    Thanks Lita for a thought provoking poem. You always come up with one at the appropriate time. Hope you are doing well.

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LIVINHEALTHY9 10/7/2012 8:10PM

    Thanks, Lita

Love This!

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SEAWILLOW 10/7/2012 2:27PM

    I love this! Thanks for sharing!

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AQUAGIRL08 10/7/2012 1:58PM

    Thanks, Lita! The only way we can learn is from our own mistakes. Turn your failures to your own advantage and learn from them.

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 10/7/2012 10:25AM

    Thanks Lita!!

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WILLOW49 10/7/2012 8:57AM

    Thanks for sharing with us :)
emoticon

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KELPIE57 10/7/2012 2:36AM

    Thank you

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MILADY_LCF 10/7/2012 1:12AM

    emoticon

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ERIECANALGAL 10/7/2012 12:23AM

    emoticon blog. Very interesting.

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SHARON10002 10/7/2012 12:22AM

    Great blog, Lita. I know I have been guilty of self sabotage because of fear of failure. This is well written and helps us point our compass back to true north. Thanks for the reminder.
Love the new look of your page. The colors are very calming and soothing . . .
emoticon

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FLEMIDG 10/7/2012 12:14AM

    It's funny how one little word can cause so much fear in a person, isn't it? Thanks for the lovely blog. We all need to think about this.

Darlene

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DOLPHINSINGER72 10/6/2012 11:54PM

    I am always scared of failure. I will actually stop doing something because of fear of failure. Things I really want to do and care about. It is horrible. Thank you for reminding me that risks are worth it!

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My A to Z of Life......

Sunday, September 30, 2012



My A to Z of Life
by M. K. Soni

Life is like a multifaceted prism, which gives different colored images, when viewed from different angles. Look how it appears to different people:


a. Life is a struggle, face it.
b. Life is a brief intermission, between birth and death, enjoy it.
c. Life is a lesson, learn it.
d. Life is not a joke, take it seriously.
e. Life is work, work is life.
f. Life is a dream, to be realized.
g. Life is to be lived, enjoy it.
h. Life, without a wife, is no life.
i. Life is not a bed of roses.
j. Life is an ocean, fathom it.
k. Life is an opportunity, don't miss it.
l. Life without love is desolate.
m. Life is a goldmine, exploit it.
n. Life is what you make it.
o. Life lies in optimism. Be a positive thinker.
p. Life is like a game of snakes and ladders; one faces many pitfalls before one reaches the top.
q. Life will be a pleasure, if you love your work.
r. Life without goals, is groping in darkness.
s. Life without trust is a life in turmoil.
t. Life is a journey; make it as pleasant as possible.
u. Life doesn't mean bread alone.
v. Life is meaningful, only if there is a mission.
w. Life is enriched by good friendship.
x. Life doesn't mean years alone: "IT IS THE LIFE IN THOSE YEARS"
y. Life is useful, if you contribute something, that will outlive it.
z. Life lies in diversity, not in monotony.


thanks for dropping by ....
blessings and hugs............lita

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAKONOLADY 10/5/2012 11:21AM

    awesome motivation Lita!! Thank you-Crystal emoticon

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CATIATM 10/2/2012 6:15PM

    emoticon

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SEAWILLOW 10/2/2012 5:40PM

    Life is richer for having wonderful friends on SparkPeople!

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LORRAINE10141 10/1/2012 10:56PM

    emoticon

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 10/1/2012 12:23PM

    Very lovely Lita, like YOU!!

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SHIROIHANA 10/1/2012 9:44AM

    What a beautiful blog, Lita. One of my favorites from you.
emoticon

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FLEMIDG 10/1/2012 12:31AM

    Words to live by. Thanks for sharing, Lita.

Darlene

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DIDMIS 9/30/2012 11:11PM

    emoticon

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JAMER123 9/30/2012 10:37PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon LITA!! I enjoyed it!

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EVWINGS 9/30/2012 8:42PM

    Great list, Lita. I really enjoyed your message.

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AQUAGIRL08 9/30/2012 8:33PM

    Lovely! Thank you for sharing with us!

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WILLOW49 9/30/2012 8:21PM

    Thanks for sharing :)

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FATHINSN 9/30/2012 7:59PM

    Good list of life! I love the most - x, j and f :D

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CHUBRUB3 9/30/2012 7:33PM

    Great as usual Lita!
Thanks for sharing.
Hugs,
Angela

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100 Ways To Be Happy

Sunday, September 09, 2012



100 Ways To Be Happy

1. Never put yourself last.
2. When you extend a helping hand to one person, be careful not to kick someone else in the teeth.
3. Always own a pair of old, faded jeans.
4. Count your blessings every day.
5. Acknowledge your successes along with your downfalls.
6. Burn the candle that has been in storage for the last two years.
7. Strive for progress, not perfection.
8. Remember, the voice telling you that you cannot do something is always lying.
9. At least once a day sit and do nothing.
10. Don't close your heart so tightly against life's pain that you shut
out life's blessings.
11. Celebrate all your birthdays no matter how old you get.
12. Examine your life for limitations and ask yourself why you put them there.
13. Plant a tree, pull weeds, or get your hands dirty.
14. Diminish your wants instead of increasing your needs.
15. Cry when you feel like it.
16. Rejoice in other people's triumphs.
17. Don't wait for someone else to laugh or express joy.
18. Forgive yourself for any mistake you make, no matter how big or small.
19. Keep good company.
20. Never take a pill for a pain you need to feel.
21. Use your enthusiasm to put yourself in forward gear and give yourself a spark to move ahead.
22. Look in the eyes of the ones you love when you are talking to them.
23. Remember that one is a whole number.
24. Walk in a summer rain shower without an umbrella.
25. Do a kind deed for someone else.
26. Keep your eyes and ears open to get the messages you need from people and events in your daily life.
27. Be patient.
28. Eat something green.
29. Change what you can and leave the rest alone.
30. Walk hand and hand with truth.
31. Make laughter and joy a greater part of your life than anger and grief.
32. Embrace solitude instead of running from it.
33. Be zealous, not jealous.
34. Forgive anyone you've been holding a grudge against.
35. Slow down and enjoy the present.
36. Walk in others' shoes before judging them.
37. Send yourself a kind message.
38. Remind yourself that the company you keep is a reflection of what
you think of yourself.
39. Go on a picnic.
40. Accept your fears, no matter how crazy they seem.
41. Don't let other people's opinions shape who you are.
42. Say a prayer.
43. Never attribute your accomplishments to luck or chance.
44. Know when to say no.
45. Look at the positive side of negative situation.
46. Remember that you are a spiritual being in a physical body.
47. Avoid seeking out other people for constant approval, because it make them the master and you the slave.
48. Go fly a kite.
49. Avoid fads and bandwagons.
50. Accept the things you cannot change.
51. Look inside instead of outside yourself for answers to life's problems.
52. Remember that all feelings are okay.
53. Shield yourself from bad influences.
54. Stand up for what you believe in.
55. Respect the wishes of others when they say no.
56. Seize every moment and live it fully.
57. Give away or sell anything you haven't used in the past five years.
58. Never downgrade yourself.
59. Take responsibility for what you think, feel, and do.
60. Pamper yourself.
61. Never say or do anything abusive to a child.
62. Let yourself be God powered instead of flying solo.
63. Volunteer to help someone in need.
64. Refrain from overindulging in food, drink, and work
65. Finish unfinished business.
66. Be spontaneous.
67. Find a constructive outlet for your anger.
68. Think about abundance instead of lack, because whatever you think
about expands.
69. Think of yourself as a survivor, not a victim.
70. Cuddle an animal.
71. Be open to life.
72. See success as something you already have, not something you must
attain.
73. Experience the splendor and awe of a sunset.
74. When you score a base hit, don't wish it were a home run.
75. Learn to be in the present moment.
76. Instead of believing in miracles, depend on them.
77. Take a child to the circus.
78. Change your attitude and your whole life will change.
79. Never turn your power over to another person.
80. When your heart is at odds with your head, follow your heart.
81. Always remember that the past is gone forever and the future never comes.
82. Live your life according to what is right for you.
83. Acknowledge your imperfections.
84. Plant a tree and watch it grow.
85. See "friend" instead of "enemy" on the face of strangers.
86. Watch an army of ants build their houses and cities and carry food
ten times their weight.
87. Believe in something bigger than yourself.
88. Let the playful child within you come out.
89. Make haste slowly.
90. Work through your problems step by step and one day at a time.
91. Accept compliments from others so you can see the truth about yourself.
92. Sit on the lawn without worrying about grass stains.
93. Don't condemn yourself for your imperfections.
94. Do a humility check periodically by loving the truth about yourself.
95. Tell someone you appreciate them.
96. Never live your life according to what is right for someone else.
97. Talk less and listen more.
98. Admit your wrongdoing and forgive yourself for it.
99. Thrive on inner peace instead of on crises.
100. Affirm all the good things about yourself.

-Author Unknown-


many thanks for dropping by....
blessings and hugs to all....
lita

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATIATM 9/28/2012 7:28AM

    Great list!!!!

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DANIE11ECINCY 9/21/2012 1:53PM

    "Strive for progress, not perfection" - love this!

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4THEONESILUV 9/13/2012 1:30PM

    Thanks so much for sharing this, Lita! emoticon

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GOSPELCLOWN 9/11/2012 9:29AM

    Our group should try to compose a list of Everyday Happy Things! We could borrow some of the listed items, but I'll bet we come up with many of our own....

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KIWIANN 9/10/2012 4:24PM

    Great list, thank you for sharing it!

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CRAFTINWIFE 9/10/2012 10:50AM

    emoticon for sharing.

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 9/10/2012 10:35AM

    Love love love!!!! Thank you Lita!!

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EGALITAIRE 9/10/2012 10:24AM

    So true

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CHUBRUB3 9/10/2012 10:19AM

    101. Be Lita's friend!

Awesome!
Hugs,>Angela


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1AVERY 9/10/2012 7:41AM

    You are amazing and always posting the most interesting articles to sparkpeople. Thanks so much for taking to do so much for all of us. You are a great person and I am looking forward to meeting you soon. Teri emoticon emoticon

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SEAWILLOW 9/10/2012 7:40AM

    Words of wisdom..Thank-you

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FLEMIDG 9/10/2012 12:44AM

    Beautiful Lita. Thanks for taking the time to post these.

Darlene

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NANCYRUBIO 9/9/2012 11:35PM

    Yes, Yes, Yes!

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JAMER123 9/9/2012 11:10PM

    I JUST read this the other day and liked it very well. Glad you posted it. Some excellent suggestions!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/9/2012 11:10:37 PM

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WILLOW49 9/9/2012 10:43PM

    Just what I needed to read tonight! Thanks for sharing :)

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MILADY_LCF 9/9/2012 10:22PM

    emoticon
and emoticon for sharing this!

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