Tag Archives: mindset

Week 23 – Love is All You Need Part 2

A few weeks ago I watched the movie “I Am” by Tom Shadyac, and then wrote the blog post Love is All You Need.

That movie and the blog post I wrote apparently made a BIG impression on my subconscious.

My fiancé and I had been searching for a place to get married this fall.  We’re eloping, or having an “intimate wedding for two,” depending on what facility we’re speaking with.

We both wanted something simple…just the two of us…in a vineyard.  Something intimate, romantic, and all about us and the love we share.

Our first choice of location was outside the budget we were comfortable with…$3,200 to hold our wedding for two in the vineyard.  And that was just the fee for the location…everything else, including a required wedding planner, would be extra.  {Sigh.}  We were pretty disappointed to say the least.  Now I needed to find a backup plan.

If the MKMMA process has taught me anything, it’s the importance of having a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA).  So we held our heads high, confident that a location would  reveal itself as the perfect location for us to commit to each other as husband and wife.

The phrases “All we need is love.” and “I greet this day with love in my heart.” kept running through my head, both consciously and subconsciously.

Two weeks later something magical happened.

I saw this image on the Internet:

LOVE at Paradise Ridge

I was IMMEDIATELY drawn to this image, and thought “I LOVE that!  Where is it?  Wouldn’t it be great if it was at a vineyard in California?”  So I did some research, and found an image of a bride and groom with the sign.  “That’s so PERFECT for a wedding!  Where IS this place?  I want to get married there!”

And that’s when it happened.  I found where the LOVE sign is located:  Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa, California.  In Sonoma County…which is where we planned to elope!

Ooooooohhhh…now I’m getting excited!

I contact them to inquire about their elopement packages and find that the prices are very reasonable — for the location only, as well as the complete elopement package with everything we would need for our big day.

The excitement is building!

And then it hits me…“Hmmmm…How are the wines?”  (My fiancé and I are both wine lovers, so it’s important to us that the wines are good.)  I couldn’t find much information about the wines online.  Everyone raved about the beautiful location, but not much was written about the wine.

A search on my favorite liquor store’s website came up empty as well.  (Their main location carries enough wine to fill 3 Olympic-sized pools, so if anyone would have it, it would be them.  But no…)

I even made a post on Facebook asking if anyone had been to the winery.  But no one had.  Not even wine lovers who lived in the California wine country!  This could be very good, or very bad.

Still keeping a positive mental attitude about everything,  I thought “We’ve found a hidden gem…a winery with good wines that is a well-kept “secret.”

My fiancé and I love the setting, but we’re not quite ready to commit until we taste the wines.  So we decide we’re going to order some.  Their website lists several wines on their “Current Wine” list, yet only a few are available for sale on the website.  So we decide to wait and call with an order, hoping we’ll be able to get some additional choices.

And then some more magic happened.  

We’re at our favorite liquor store, in the wine department, and I turned my head and saw…Paradise Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, Winemaker Select!

I blink.  I rub my eyes.  I think I’m dreaming!  I read the sign below the wine, and it says that only 28 cases of the wine were allocated for the entire state of Texas.  And there are 8 bottles on the shelf, at $66 each.  (OUCH!  That’s more than we normally spend on a bottle of wine, but I guess we can bite the bullet for “research.”)

My fiancé comes over to see what has me so excited.  And that’s when I notice there was an empty space next to the wine for ANOTHER Paradise Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon…but it was sold out.  (Apparently a great bargain at $45 a bottle.)

One of the employees in the wine department approaches and asks if we need any assistance, and I say “We’re thinking about getting married at Paradise Ridge, but have never tried their wine, so I am excited to see it here since it’s not on your website.”

His response:  “Great choice!  They have some excellent wines, and we get very small allocations.  We also carry their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, but we may be sold out of those, as well.”   Sure enough, they were sold out of the Pinot Noir, but they had 2 bottles of Chardonnay left on the shelf.  SOLD!

Now we’re BOTH excited.  And a little nervous.  These two bottles of wine have the power to make our break our decision.

So we buy two bottles of Paradise Ridge wines.  Wines that the store’s website didn’t say they carried.  Wines that I wasn’t looking for.  Wines that I just “found” by chance.

And you know what?  They’re very good wines.  Wines that were good to the last sip.

So with that, the decision was made.  We’ll be getting married later this year in our own little paradise — AT Paradise — with LOVE in our hearts.

All we needed was love.  And we found it.  (A pretty big “LOVE,” too!)

 

 

Week 21 – Love Is All You Need

On a cold and rainy day, do you ever just feel like curling up on the couch, lighting a fire in the fireplace, popping some gourmet popcorn, and watching a movie?

Well…that was definitely me today!

What shall I watch today…comedy?  No.  Action?  No.  Drama?  No…

Nothing seemed “just right.”

And then I saw these two little powerful words that spoke to me:  I AM.

“That’s it!”  I thought…I AM.

I AM is a documentary by Tom Shadyac.  You may or may not know his name, but you’re probably familiar with his movies, which include Ace Ventura, The Nutty Professor, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, Patch Adams, and Bruce Almighty, (to name a few).

And then he suffered a “nasty concussion” as a result of a biking accident.  During his recovery, he began to question his life, his priorities, and the world around us.   So he set out with a film crew of four to interview authors, journalists, historians, scientists, and academics in search of answers the following questions:

  • What’s wrong with our world?
  • What can we do about it?

There are several lessons to be learned in this documentary.  These are the ones that really spoke to me:

Together or Separate?

There is something fundamentally different between machines and life…you can disassemble a piece of machinery and put it back together and it works just fine, but you can’t disassemble a living thing and put it back together and have it work just fine.

Yet we are running our society as if we are pieces of a machine…and the world is a machine.

TRUTH MOMENT:  I spent years on the hamster wheel that is corporate America.  Going to work day in, day out, just doing my job…just another cog in the wheel.  Many days I felt like a robot could have done my job…and I’m probably right.  There was no heart…no soul…in the job.

Wealth AND Happiness vs. Wealth OR Happiness?

Iconic Slogan by Barbara Kruger
Iconic Slogan by Barbara Kruger

Our society places a high value on “stuff.”  In fact, wealth and happiness are in many ways synonymous in our society.  Yet “stuff” doesn’t make us any happier.

Think about it:  have you ever noticed how many people are UNhappy in heir lives, even though they seem to have it all?

At any given point in our life we have a certain amount of stuff.  If we had 10x more stuff, would we be 10x happier?

Society would make us believe that’s the case.  Oh, and by the way, I’m a marketing professional…I’ve been making people believe they need stuff for DECADES!  But I’m not alone in that venture…

  • In the movie Wall Street, Gordon Gekko says the famous line:  “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.”  
  • George Carlin had a whole sketch on “Stuff” that’s pretty funny (and not safe for work!)
  • When many people get depressed or upset, they opt for “Retail Therapy.”
  • And even a whole movie about consumerism, and “Keeping Up With The Joneses

TRUTH MOMENT:  I must admit, I watched this documentary right after a shopping trip to Costco…home of the “gotta have it now, and gotta have lots of it now” stuff.   Even if that “stuff” is food and cleaning products my family uses on a daily basis…and some wine.  🙂  But now I’m thinking about all the times I’ve said to myself “If I only had ____, I’d be happy.”  And I wasn’t.

Have a Heart!

3314737024_4ea1f1671f_zMy favorite part of the documentary is learning that we – as a human race – are HEART based.  By that I mean that the heart is the access point to our higher self.  What’s interesting is that the heart just might be able to predict the future.  [Studies have shown that the heart knows what’s going to happen 3-5 seconds into the future.]

Because we’re all interconnected at a fundamental level, our thoughts and emotions affect the thoughts and emotions of others.  What we do as individuals affects the global environment…the world we live in.

And that means that everyday acts — even small acts — can build up over time into a great movement.  If you change your perceptions the world changes.

TRUTH MOMENT:  Throughout the MKMMA course, I’ve been experiences changes that have been small, incremental, and nearly imperceptible (at least to me)…but the grand sum of ALL these changes has been noticed by the people closest to me.

Love is All You Need

Tom Shadyac may have set out to discover what was wrong with the world…but instead he learned what was right with it.

  • The science of connection and unity.
  • The universal nature of compassion and empathy.
  • The mystery and magic of the human heart.

What’s wrong with the world?

I am.

[Yikes!  That doesn’t feel good, does it?]

So how about what’s RIGHT with the world?

I AM.

I love that!  And…

All You Need Is Love.  Love Is All You Need.  John Lennon

 

Week 18 – Choosing Happiness

If happiness is on the other side of success, your brain never gets there.  ~Shawn Achor

Yikes!

Once again the MKMMA lesson of the week hit me over the head like a ton of bricks.

I’m talking about Happiness and “Moving the Goal Post.”

I’ve always set goals.  And usually I achieved them.  But rather than be happy about the achievement, and celebrating my success, I set the next goal.

And then I’d be happy…when I achieved that.

I know what you’re thinking…“Yeah, right!”

And I agree.  Now I know that by continuously “moving the goal post” and setting new goals, without celebrating the achievements and successes, I was setting myself up to be UNhappy, and didn’t even know it.

Now, to be fair, I wasn’t exactly UNhappy.  I just wasn’t truly happy.

Nothing was ever good enough.  I was never satisfied.  I always wanted “more” or “something different.”

I’m hearing Charlie Brown exclaiming “Good grief!” in my head right now…

Though I’ve heard it said many times that “You have to BE before you DO and HAVE.”

I guess the words went in one ear and out the other, or perhaps I didn’t know what I didn’t know…

And that is that happiness comes from within, and it MUST come first.  You have to BE happy…FIRST.

I’ve become a MUCH happier person as a result of the MKMMA Experience.  And to take my happiness to a new level I decided I would create a list of 100 Things That Make Me Happy.  Not just things I’m grateful for…but things that make me happy.

The first 25 or so were easy…the next 25 were more difficult…and then it got harder.  I would have to put the list down and do something else, which would ultimately lead me to an “a-ha” moment that sent me running for a pen and my list.

When I completed the list of 100 Things That Make Me Happy I was stunned.  I stared at the list in disbelief.

There were things on the list that I had full control over, such as:

  • Spending time with a friend
  • Watching the Minions in the Despicable Me movies and wishing I had my own
  • Watching a funny movie I’ve seen 100s of times
  • Volunteering
  • Champagne (what’s NOT happy about champagne???)

What stunned me is that many of the things that made me happy are external, and beyond my control…but when they happen they make me happy:

  • Enjoying a cup of Butter-Nut hot chocolate and having the hot chocolate trigger fond childhood memories.  Of course, that requires being able to actually FIND the Butter-Nut hot chocolate!  (And no…other hot chocolates just don’t trigger the memories…)
  • A beautiful, colorful sunset…which requires a sunny day, the right clouds, and the right weather conditions.
  • Making a sale.  Hey!  I’ll admit it…it’s fun to make money.  Yet I’m only one party to the transaction…and it takes two (or more!) to tango!
  • Hearing my fiancé hum while he cleans or does the dishes…it always makes me smile!
  • Receiving a compliment.  (Yes, I could demand someone give me a compliment, but that would defeat the purpose now, wouldn’t it?)

So the question becomes “What is the definition of being happy within, or being happy first?”

Do I need to have control over these things that make me happy?  Or is the fact that I appreciate things, and the process of appreciation is the happiness within?  Or both?

All I know, and all that matters, is that I’m happy.

Happiness is a CHOICE, and I CHOOSE happiness.

And speaking of Happy…

I gotta end this with the Minions.  Because no matter WHAT mood I’m in, they always make me HAPPY!

Week 17a – I’m Dying a Little

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks.  I’ve been struggling to keep up with the group in MKMMA.  I had trouble doing all the daily exercises.  And for some reason I felt alone, sad, and even a little lost.

Well, come to find out that’s NORMAL!

Lately I’ve been seeing my unique flaws more so than my gifts.

What I didn’t know then — and I thankfully know now — is that these “flaws” are my call to greatness!

My feelings of isolation, sadness, and loss are a result of the “old” me dying on the inside, and my subconscious struggle to let go of that “old” self and allow space for the “new” self to enter.

But that transformation isn’t easy…I am subconsciously hanging on to my “old” self and resisting change.  My “old” self wants to fight for self-preservation…even though I consciously want the changes to occur.

And so, the struggle begins.

There are 4 Stages of Death:

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Grief
  4. Acceptance

Throughout the process, I have never felt anger, so that’s not it.

In the past few weeks I have felt sadness and loss, so grief may play a part.

But I am stuck in Denial.  I know this because I haven’t been as committed to the exercises as I have been in the past.  To be here — especially at this point in the game — and NOT be here 100% is to be in Denial.  And, since harmony is a requirement, I must commit to change.  And I commit to that change consciously…and just have to wait for my subconscious to catch up.

There’s a story about how to catch a monkey:

You put a banana in a jar with an opening just large enough for the monkey to put his hand in.  When the monkey grabs the banana, his fist is too large to remove his hand and the banana from the jar.  So the monkey is “trapped” by the banana and gets captured.

Just like the monkey, we humans can get “trapped” by our thoughts and beliefs.  We get stuck and don’t see a way out, when in reality all we need to do to get unstuck is to change our thoughts and beliefs.

If we wish to change our thoughts and beliefs, we must give ourselves permission to be happy, and we must learn the art of forgiveness.  Forgiveness relieves depression, anger, and hate.  Forgiveness frees the mind.  So if you can forgive then you can be free.

Drop the banana.  Be free.

story_monkey_jar

Week 17 – Being YOUnique

Now that we’re in Week 17 of our 26-Week Master Key Journey, we are nearing our “destination” of a new self.  And we’ve been advised that temptations may arise to slip back into our old habits.

As a result, Paul Simon’s “Slip Sliding Away” has been running through my head all week.  I haven’t been able to get it out of my head!

Perhaps it’s because we ARE nearing our destination, and perhaps it’s because it has been a challenging week for me on a person level.

While there is much to be thankful for about my present, recent events have reminded me of feelings of sadness, loss, and isolation…especially because I’ve been reading:

Since the beginning of time never has there been another with my mind, my heart, my eyes, my ears, my hands, my hair, my mouth.  None that came before, none that live today, and none that come tomorrow can walk and talk and move and think exactly like me.  All men are my brothers yet I am different from each.  I am a unique creature.  I am nature’s greatest miracle.
~ Og Mandino

These words have spoken to me this week.  Not in a subtle, quiet, whispering voice, but a loud, booming, in-your-face voice that forced me to stand up and pay attention.

Why?

My whole life I’ve felt out of place.

Different.

As a young child I wasn’t allowed to play with the kids in my neighborhood because we “lived in a bad part of town.”  I went to a private school, and none of the kids that went there lived near me.  (I refer you back to the fact that we lived in a bad part of town.)

So I was isolated.  I was alone.  Books, music, and TV were my friends.  (Perhaps that’s why I think in songs and movie quotes, and tend to sprinkle them into conversation often.)

Even though my family later moved to a “good” part of town, I never got past those feelings of isolation and being different.  (I also never got past quoting books, music, and movies…but that’s not the point.)

Throughout high school, college, grad school, and even to this very day I’ve always felt like “there’s no one like me.”

I think different.

I act different.

I AM different.

I could have embraced my uniqueness…

…but I didn’t.

Instead I felt left out.  Isolated.  Alone.

Many times I was made to feel like my uniqueness was odd, weird, or just plain wrong.  To quote a “classic” phrase from my youth, I felt like people were essentially saying:

Well, because these feelings have been bubbling up this week, I’ve been flipping through my “flash cards” more often, and you know what?

It’s made me realize I Don’t Give a Damn About My Reputation, because I am Whole, Perfect, Strong, Powerful, Loving, Harmonious, and Happy.

I am ME.

And I am UNIQUE.

 

Week 14 – Cool Runnings, Mon!

This week we had an “assignment” to watch a movie and then observe and report the 4 Tiny Habits that create persistence.

Oh, no!  Watch a MOVIE???  Don’t throw me in that Briar Patch!  😉

I’m somewhat of a movie junkie…I’ve even been known to quote movie lines in everyday conversation…OFTEN.

So I chose the movie “Cool Runnings.”  It’s based on the true story of the 1988 Jamaican Bobsled Team.

Now, if you’re thinking “Jamaican Bobsled Team?  WHAT???”  Then you’re right there with me when I heard about the story.  If you’re familiar with the story, then I guess you were paying attention to the Olympics in 1988.  (I, however, was in my first year of college, and lived in what was affectionately known as “The Baylor Bubble” where only select information made it through to us students…)

But I digress…

THERE ARE 4 TINY HABITS THAT CREATE PERSISTENCE

  1. A Definite Purpose, Backed By a Burning Desire For Its Fulfillment
  2. A Definite Plan, Expressed in Continuous Action
  3. A Mind Closed Against Negative and Discouraging Influences (A Positive Mental Attitude)
  4. A Friendly Alliance With One Or More Persons Who Will Encourage One To Follow Through With Both Plan And Purpose

HABIT #1
A DEFINITE PURPOSE, BACKED BY A BURNING DESIRE FOR ITS FULFILLMENT

Derese was a track star and Olympic hopeful whose dream was to compete in the Olympics.  He “knew” he would make the Olympic team at tryouts, yet his dreams of running in the Olympics turned to dust as a fellow Olympic hopeful tripped and took down two additional runners…including Derese.

Yet Derese didn’t give up.  Far from it!

He was inspired by a photo of his father — a fellow track star — standing next to a man who was an Olympic Gold Medal Winner…in the Bobsled.  This gentleman wanted Derese’s father to be a bobsledder, as he believed that sprinters would make the best bobsledders.  Yet Derese’s father stuck to what he was good at…running.

With just 3 months until the Olympic Games, Derese set his mind on a new goal:  representing Jamaica in the Olympic Games…as a member of Jamaica’s first bobsled team.  And he convinced his friend Sanka — “the best push cart driver in all of Jamaica” — to join him on his journey.

Derese located this man, Irv, who, conveniently, lived in Jamaica, and “stalked” him until he agreed to coach Jamaica’s first bobsled team.  Derese then held a meeting to find teammates, and Irv did everything in his power to convince the attendees NOT to join the team.

Somehow they found two teammates (the other two Olympic hopefuls who lost the opportunity to compete in track and field), and a team was born.

The odds were stacked against them:

  • They were track stars…they could run…on LAND.  But what about running on ICE?
  • They didn’t know what a bobsled WAS…three months before the Games.
  • They didn’t have the ability to practice in the snow.  (Forget “snow”…they didn’t even know “cold!”)
  • They had a reluctant coach.
  • They didn’t have a bobsled.
  • They didn’t have the money to get to Calgary.

But they had the BURNING DESIRE to get there.  Each of the team members had their own burning desire, and their combined desire led to their living their dream.

HABIT #2
A DEFINITE PLAN, EXPRESSED IN CONTINUOUS ACTION

These young men knew NOTHING about bobsledding.  They had to start from the very beginning learning the fundamentals of the sport…with just 3 months until the games.

I’m reminded of Vince Lombardi, who was passionate about the fundamentals:

Gentlemen…this is a football.

These men had to start with the fundamentals:

  • What is bobsledding?
  • Who are the team members, and what are their roles?
  • What is a push start?
  • The importance of cold weather endurance.
  • Running…on ICE.
  • The responsibilities of the Driver.

On top of the fundamentals of the sport of bobsledding, they team also had to raise the money to get them from Jamaica to Canada.  In the movie, the team raised money by street performances, arm wrestling, a kissing booth, and selling a very expensive car.  The first-hand participation in the fundraising events is proof of the BURNING DESIRE these men had to attend the Games.

The team — especially Derese, as the driver — continuously visualized their goal.  Derese studied photographs of the turns and mentally went through the motions of navigating the turns.  And the entire team went through the turns sitting in a bathtub.

Nobody had that much fun in a sled since Santa Clause!  ~ Sanka

HABIT #3
A POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE

Everyone laughed at these men for being the pioneers from their country in the sport of bobsledding.

They were different.  People are afraid of what’s different.

But they never lost sight of their vision…competing in the Games.  Representing their Country.

Other teams laughed at them.  These men brushed off their negativity, because they had a BURNING DESIRE to achieve their goals.  They KNEW they could do it.

Rise and Shine!  It’s Butt-Whipping Time!

HABIT #4

A FRIENDLY ALLIANCE WITH ONE OR MORE PERSONS

Sure, these men had a BURNING DESIRE to achieve their dreams of competing in the Olympics, but they couldn’t do it alone.

They needed the support of others.

They supported each other as teammates.

Yul to Junior:  

I see pride! I see power! I see a bad-ass mother who don’t take no crap from nobody!

They returned to their roots and expressed their authentic selves:

 All I’m saying, mon, is if we walk Jamaican, talk Jamaican, and *is* Jamaican, then we sure as hell better bobsled Jamaican.

When they became JAMAICAN bobsledders, they released their TRUE power.  Ah, the power of authenticity!

They changed their push-start lead-in from “eins, zwei, drei” to…

Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up, its bobsled time! Cool Runnings!

That’s more like it!

Their bobsled was named “Cool Runnings,” which translates to “Peace Be The Journey.”  (Hmmm…talk about being in harmony with MKMMA!)

Even though the team lost control of their bobsled and never finished the race, they still won.  While they may not have won their medals, they won the respect of the world that watched.

WHAT’S IT ALL MEAN?

The bottom line and moral of the story is summed up in this quote from Irv:

A gold medal is a wonderful thing.  But if you’re not enough without one, you’ll never be enough with one.

It all starts from within.

Cool Runnings, mon.

jamaicabobsled

Week 7 – Looks Like I Picked The Wrong Week…

Do you ever start a project and then think “I picked the wrong week to start this!”

I certainly have!  And this week is no exception. That phrase went through my mind SO MANY TIMES this week! Between the stress of having my house on the market, helping my boyfriend get his house ready to put on the market, buying a house together…

…it made me wonder “What was I thinking taking all this on at the same time?”

While the truth is that there’s never a “perfect” time to do anything, all I could think of wass the movie “Airplane!”

So, here’s the deal…

This week we were challenged to go on a 7-Day “Mental Diet” to eliminate negative thinking from our lives for 7 days.  OK, I’m a pretty positive person, I can do this…

WRONG!

The point is to catch ourselves entertaining negative thoughts and to get rid of them by focusing on something positive…it’s a chance to change your mindset.

IT’S A DO OVER!

I’m in the process of selling my house. I got the inspection report from the buyer.

DO OVER!

Dealing with Xfinity/Comcast over billing issues…for the 3rd month in a row.

DO OVER!

My coffee maker died. (On a morning I REALLY needed coffee!)

DO OVER!

A rare south Texas freeze warning requiring me to drag the plants around the house to the garage in cold, windy, wet weather.

DO OVER!

Getting sick from running myself ragged and spending the day in bed rather than packing.

DO OVER! DO OVER! DO OVER!

Well, you get the idea.

It’s an interesting experiment, and one I will definitely be continuing beyond the 7-days…even if it’s not a requirement for the MKMMA course.

Why? Because I’m learning a few things about myself in this process.

  • It’s becoming easier to catch myself CREATING the negative thoughts, so I can stop them from entering my subconscious mind.
  • When I don’t catch myself creating these thoughts, I can at least banish the negative thoughts from my mind fairly quickly.
  • I’m becoming hyper-sensitive to negative people, and they’re just not fun to be around.

…And I Am A Fun Person People Like To Be Around!