Apr 20

Why We Need to Take A Break

By Celeste DeCamps | General

"Sometimes Zoning Out Can Help You Zone In."

One night, years ago, I'm on stage belly dancing in a Greek restaurant with an incredible group of musicians. It's my second show of the evening, and it's past midnight. The place is packed, full of smoke and laughter. I'm enjoying the music when I feel myself go somewhere else. It wasn't an out-of-body experience, more of a meditative state. I felt timeless, relaxed, and peaceful. I was inside the music, and when it stopped, I was snapped back into reality. I stood in the center of the dance floor, striking a pose as the audience applauded. All I could think was, I hope I was dancing this whole time and not staring into space.

That surreal moment stayed with me. It was the first time I could honestly say I was in the present. I wasn't worried about how my costume was fitting or how my hair looked. I let all of it go. I've been chasing that sense of freedom ever since. I've been close with meditation, but my thoughts still wander. I easily go from dwelling on the past or get anxious about the future. It's fun.

I'm sure you're asking yourself, "Well, if dancing can put you in a meditative state, even in front of an audience, why aren't you doing that all the time?" Great question! I don't know. I think I look at dancing as a luxury that I can only do when I've got other more important work done, which is crazy. I don't have a boss. I'm the boss. Granted, running your own business takes time and effort, but that doesn't mean I'll get fired if I take some time for myself. When I was working for a company, I made sure I gave myself some downtime. I still performed in nightclubs every once in a while.

When I decided to become an entrepreneur, my mindset changed to a do-or-die one. There was to be no playing until I've answered every email, phone call, or text. Articles need to be written, interviews need to be set up, and presentations have to be ready. In other words, there was always something more urgent to do. It dawned on me that I have to give myself permission to step away from the computer and turn on music.

When I dance, I don't think about anything else. The best part, when I sit back down to work, my energy level is up. My creativity gets a much-needed boost, and I can get into a new type of zone. The present moment is filled with hope, and my stress level goes way down. I believe the body-mind connection helps give me a renewed sense of productivity.

Everyone should make time for any activity that will take you out of your head and be creative. I give you all permission to walk outside or get on your bike. Finish that painting you started or write in your journal. We can't take ourselves for granted. Being in the present, away from everyday worries, is a vacation we can go on anytime. It gives us a break in the day to focus on our breathing and find our center. You may be surprised by slowing down; you'll find inspiration where you least expected.

Of course, if you're dancing on stage for a large group of people, and you find yourself floating away, relax and enjoy the ride. It turns out you'll still get paid. 

Apr 14

How Was Your Day?

By Celeste DeCamps | General

"The Simple Question of 'How Was Your Day?' Is A Beautiful Expression of Love."

My brother, Stan, and I were talking about how great a conversationalist his young son is. He said, "The only thing that concerns me is that he gets quiet and shy when he first meets people." I explained, "It's uncomfortable for a child to meet someone new and know what to say. You can prepare him ahead of time with the questions he'll be asked so that he can have his answers ready. For example, "What grade are you in?" "How do you like school?" "What's your favorite subject?" This will give your son a chance to know his answers beforehand. He'll feel more confident interacting when he knows what to say."

A few days later, Stan told me that my advice worked well. He also explained to his son that he should let the person he's talking to answer a question. He said, "You should ask, "How was your day?" Stan told me that people were impressed with how articulate his son is and pleasantly surprised that he asked about their day.

Social and business situations can be stressful, even for adults. We don't always think about how we're going to respond when asked to speak about ourselves. Suddenly, we get tongue-tied, trying to remember the name of our favorite book or talk about the last movie we watched. It's easy to feel nervous when you don't know what to expect, but a little preparation goes a long way.

Take a moment and think about the people you're going to be meeting. Is it a networking event, a party, or a first date? If you're discussing your business, have a clear and concise message prepared. The last thing you want to do is 'um' and 'ah' your way through a conversation about your work. You don't have to memorize verbatim a written speech, but you should practice what you want to say so that it comes across naturally. You'll find yourself feeling polished and self-assured. Remember to take the time to listen to others and follow up with your new connections.

A social event is a fun way to be introduced to different people. It's a more casual and relaxed environment. Still, it helps to relieve any anxiety you may have by visualizing the party and imagining what types of questions you may receive. Think about what interests and hobbies you have and how you'd describe them. Walk into the room with your shoulders back, your head lifted, and smile. Your body language will convey an openness that will attract people to you and put your mind at ease.

Listening to others as they communicate their thoughts on different subjects allows you to be mindful. Your focus is not on yourself anymore but on them. When we intentionally listen and not formulating what we're going to say next, we create a relationship with that person. We all appreciate being heard and not talked over while we're sharing our opinions. We develop mutual respect and have an enjoyable conversation.

It's easy to ask, "How are you?" and expect a simple answer, "I'm fine, and you?" The question, "How was your day?" and genuinely wanting to know is a beautiful expression of love and compassion. It means you're taking a moment to listen, and lets that person know they're valued. When my nephew asked me, "Aunt Celeste, how was your day?" I said, "It was perfect. Thank you for asking." He said, "Tell me why it was perfect."  Our conversation made my day.

Apr 06

I Want You To Like Me

By Celeste DeCamps | General

"We Need Validation of Our Existence."

"Why do you care what people think of you?" "Be yourself." "Real friends like you for who you are."

I've said the above quotes, been told the above quotes, and I've read the above quotes on lots of FaceBook memes. I agree that we shouldn't live our lives trying to be something we're not. We should strive to be our authentic selves and love who we are. Yet, we have an innate need to be accepted by everyone we meet. When we're not, we feel inadequate and worry that there's something wrong with us.

I've stayed up nights, going over conversations that I had with others throughout the day. Did I say the right thing at the right time? Did I listen closely enough? Did I come across confident or arrogant? It's incredible that I ever allow myself to be around people. I've had to learn to quiet the voice that constantly wants to second guess myself to death. I take a step back and ask myself, "Did you hurt anyone's feelings and say something rude or offensive?" If the answer is yes, then I make sure I apologize. If the answer is no, then I need to go back to sleep.

Growing up, we learn what behavior is appropriate and acceptable. I remember being in the store with my mother when I was four years old. There was a woman in line with us. I looked at her and said, "You're fat." The woman started to cry. My mother was furious. "Why would you say something so hurtful?" I didn't mean to. I was making an observation, but here I am, a half-century later, and I still feel bad I made that woman cry. It was a big lesson I learned that day of how harmful words can be. I may not always say everything right, but I know I would never intentionally insult anyone again.

I believe we all care about how others perceive us. We want to know that our contribution to society and to our family is valued and appreciated. We may not always say and do everything perfectly, but we try. The challenges we overcome and the accomplishments we make, happen because of the people in our world. We want to love and be loved. We want our life to have purpose and be meaningful.

We shouldn't conform to what someone else thinks we should be. We instinctively know what sides of our personality we share depending on who we're with. The professional mindset and attitude are for my business associates. The silly, playful side of me is for my young nephew. The 'take no prisoners' philosophy is reserved for my friends and family. It's all still me. I know it would be inappropriate to ask a client to go Zombie hunting with me. I'm pretty sure she wouldn't even know where to look.

Not everyone will like or acknowledge our gifts, that's okay. Some people are not meant to be part of our lives. They may show up to teach but are not going to overstay their welcome. We're the only ones that can decide how we want to improve and better ourselves.

I want you to believe in your strengths and abilities. Know that every day is a chance to learn and grow. Be grateful for the beautiful people in your life who love you for you. I know I do. 

Mar 30

Talking About My Generation

By Celeste DeCamps | General

Talking About My Generation
Talking About My Generation

Why do we pit one generation against another? Everybody grows up with different circumstances, but there's no reason to decide that one age group had it better or more challenging than another. We can go back centuries, and I'm sure someone is saying, "Oh, look how easy your life is now that the wheel has been invented. We used to have to carry everything we owned in our bare hands. We had to pull and push our belongings across the ground. Kids today will never know our hardships."

It's the same complaint I hear now. Why does it bother anyone if life is made a little more convenient with technological advances? We're supposed to be constantly innovating and creating. That's what our imagination is for. Growing up, I had hoped that my world would be filled with remarkable discoveries. We not only landed on the moon in my lifetime, we have a camera on Mars! It's incredible. Why does the next generation get belittled for it?

I've had conversations with my friends that complained that kids all expect a trophy just for participating. I would ask them why did they give their children participation trophies? I've never once heard a child insist on getting an award because they showed up. It was the adults who decided that for them. You can't blame a kid for something you did. By the way, I think children should receive recognition for their work. If they showed up and did the job, what's the harm of letting them know their efforts were appreciated. Not everyone will cross the finish line first, but they did try. Why not encourage children to strive for greatness even in the face of failure?

No, you're not supposed to understand the music, clothes, or slang that the new generation enjoys. It's theirs to develop as they see fit, just like we did. I still remember my mother telling me to put my headphones on when I wanted to listen to Led Zeppelin. She said she couldn't stand to hear the shrill static sounds coming from the record player. My aunts and uncles would shake their heads when I left the house wearing hip-huggers and a cropped T-shirt. They told my mother my generation was doomed because we grew up watching television.

My favorite is adults complaining that young people stare at their phones all day. Really? You're looking at your screen right now. We all do it. It's not true that children don't go outside and play anymore. Video games, like watching television, are a great escape and fun to do. Most kids, though, if given a choice, will want to do something enjoyable with their parents. I live by several parks, and on sunny days they're packed with families running around, flying kites, and throwing frisbees. Of course, there's always one parent videotaping all of it. That's definitely something I envy. I have very little documentation of my childhood. The few bits of film my dad took of us is all I have, and most of that is movies of fountains. I don't know why.

In many ways, I'm glad I'm not growing up in the twenty-first century. I would never get through this weird new math children are being forced to learn. I still remember the school board giving up on teaching us the metric system. We probably should've stuck that one out, considering the rest of the world uses it. I still don't understand why children aren't learning how to write in cursive. I guess with electronic signatures, signing your name is now a lost art.

All I'm trying to say is give the new generation some slack. I didn't appreciate my elders looking down on me and my own for having a different perspective from theirs. Fashion, music, language, technology are forever changing. The only constant we have in the human race is to continue to grow and learn to love each other. That basic need is within all of us and the only thing that really matters. If you don't want to listen to your teenager's music, tell them to put their earbuds in while you crank up Led Zeppelin. It's only fair.

Mar 22

Let Me Fix You

By Celeste DeCamps | General

"I'll Fix Your Life If You Fix Mine."

I want life to be like the fairy tales I grew up reading. We start out with various struggles like a fire-breathing dragon, a mean step-mother, or a fight to extend our car warranty. Eventually, a magical being shows up, our problems disappear, and we live happily ever after. For some reason, that's not what happens in real life. I have challenges that I eventually overcome, but then new obstacles appear. When will the perfect shoe fit? When will the pumpkin turn into a golden coach? When will I have my happily ever after? For that matter, I want everyone I know to live pain-free and be content all the time. This is why I do my best to help my friends extend their car warranty with as little hassle as possible.

I did try to be everyone's fairy god-mother for years. I wanted to "fix" any and all of their problems. I would feel guilty about any success I had if a loved one was struggling. It took a long time to understand that my "help" was not what they needed. I kept them from having breakthroughs and a sense of accomplishment by solving their issues on their own. We're on this plane of existence to learn and grow, and we can only do that by being allowed to fail. We don't need saving as much as we need encouragement to continue on our path.

A few years ago, I spoke to a couple of new parents. They were concerned that their two-year-old was not talking or trying to make sounds. I said that their little boy is quite observant. He understands everything you're saying. When he wants something, all he has to do is point, and you go run and get it for him. Why should he speak? Try not to be so accommodating and see what happens. Sure enough, their son started to talk in complete sentences. Sometimes, we need to step back and trust that there is a process in place. By constantly coming to the rescue, we don't allow others to find their voice and purpose.

I still daydream of winning the lottery and gifting everyone I know enough money to make their lives easier. The reality is I would be robbing them of finding their pot of gold. There's nothing more rewarding than creating our unique talents and being successful. Stories of overcoming and beating the odds are more interesting than "I was handed a pile of money that I didn't work for." (Already, I know you're shaking your head and saying, "I'm fine with someone handing me a pile of money. I can always make up a good story about it.") Trust me, creating your wealth is a fantastic feeling that no one can take from you. You'll inspire others to do the same.

I've learned that to have my happily ever after is to be in the present. When I take a breath and take stock of where I'm at, I realize I'm healthy, and my family and friends are safe. It gives me a sense of contentment. I want to always be there for support and encouragement for everyone, but I try to be careful not to overstep boundaries. Of course, I'm available if you want to talk about extending your car's warranty, including golden coaches that used to be pumpkins. 

Mar 13

What Kind of Leader Are You?

By Celeste DeCamps | General

 "I'm not weak because I'm nice. I'm actually quite terrifying when you're mean."

"As a leader, is it better to be loved or feared?" This quote from Niccolò Machiavelli has been debated over the centuries. I think many people in a leadership role want a little of both. They worry that if they're too friendly, they'll be taken advantage of. If they're too intimidating, they'll foster resentment. How do we strike a balance between the two? I believe it comes down to respect. No matter what position in the company we have, we should hold everyone in high regard. It creates an atmosphere where everyone feels valued. We can show strength and competency without being a tyrant.

I do my best to show respect to my clients. I want them to know that their needs are important to me. What I never understood is when someone will try to bully or talk down to me. One situation comes to mind. It was when I was a salesman. I had a customer get angry because his delivery had not arrived. I went to his restaurant to meet with him face to face. I apologized that his order didn't show up, but I made sure it was on a truck to come in later in the day. He decided to get in my face and scream that my company and I were incompetent. He threatened to cancel his business with me. I calmly told him that I was on top of the issue but would understand if he wanted me to stop his shipment. I told him his behavior toward me was unacceptable, and I walked away. He called me later and said he shouldn't have spoken to me that way. He will keep me as his salesman and was happy that his delivery came. After that incident, he was careful to never raise his voice with me again. It surprised me that I needed to stand up to him to gain his esteem. What he didn't know was that I lost all respect for him.

It never ceased to amaze me that I've had to prove I wasn't a doormat to be respected by other people. I believe their thought process is that they won't get what they want unless they're demanding. I also think they don't want someone to end up not liking them, so they bend over backward to prove they're not mean. What they don't understand is that respect is a two-way street.

I realize that some people mistake kindness for weakness. I do not. I will go over and beyond for anyone who treats me with courtesy. I want to be around people who want to work on solutions and gives everyone a chance to be heard. I don't get upset if someone makes a mistake with my order or purchase. It happens, and it's not the end of the world. I appreciate it when someone does their best to help me, and the problem is resolved. Of course, if my request to rectify the situation is ignored or blamed on me, then I make it clear that I want a refund. I won't bother to do business with them again. The message is clear. They don't need me as a customer.

Standing up for ourselves and not being taken for granted takes courage. It isn't easy going up against someone who wants to belittle you into submission, but it's the only way to get them to see your power. What they lose by mistreating you is your regard for them. What you gain is a new-found sense of your self-worth.

When people feel safe to voice their opinions and share their ideas, everyone wins. People who feel constantly threatened by their boss only have anger for them, not admiration. Industries that want to grow economically need to invest in their employees' sense of well-being. Everyone should feel supported and encouraged in their work, and that comes from the top. Compassion, empathy, and respect are the traits of a great leader. What kind of leader are you?

Mar 09

Her Story is Our Story

By Celeste DeCamps | General

"We never know how one idea can change the world until we try."

I want to introduce you to three remarkable women inventors in honor of Women's History Month. Mary Anning, Maria Beasley, and Sarah Breedlove/Madam C.J. Walker. I hope their stories of perseverance against all odds will be an inspiration to you.

Mary Anning (1799-1847) was born in Lyme Regis in Dorset, England. Her parents, Richard, and Mary were interested in uncovering fossils to sell as curiosities to tourists. Mary and her older brother Joseph would accompany their parents to help them find and clean the fossils. When Mary was twelve, she and Joseph discovered a four-foot skull that belonged to ichthyosaur (an extinct marine reptile). This find was evidence that the religious belief that the earth was only a few thousand years old was not valid. She continued to unearth more fossils and began educating herself by reading all the scientific literature she could get her hands on. She became an expert on fossils and geology. Her reputation grew, and many scientists and geologists would seek her advice and knowledge. They would publish papers based on her discoveries and not give her any credit. Even though she was considered the top expert in this new paleontology field, Mary was not permitted to join the Geological Society of London because she was a woman. Her research laid the groundwork for Charles Darwin's book on "The Origins of Species." Recently, scientists have recognized the critical contributions Mary Anning has made to advance our understanding of paleontology and evolution. It's a shame that she didn't get the recognition she deserved when she was alive, but I'm glad that we can know her story today.

Maria Beasley (1847-1904) was born in Philadelphia. According to the 1880 Census, she was an unemployed housewife. The reality was a little more interesting. She was an inventor and entrepreneur. Maria held seventeen patents and made an excellent living from her inventions. Her first patent was for her barrel-hooping machine that speeded up barrels' manufacture to 1,500 a day. She also developed an anti derailment device for trains, cooking pans, and a foot warmer, to name a few. Her most famous plan was reinventing the life raft. At that time, the raft was made of planks and hollow floats. Maria created a compact, fire-proof raft with guard rails, and could be quickly unfolded for emergencies. Her reimagined design is what saved hundreds of people on the Titanic. Not bad for an unemployed housewife.

Sarah Breedlove/Madam C.J. Walker (1867-1919) was born near Delta, Louisiana. She was one of five children and the first to be born free because the Emancipation Proclamation had just been signed into law. She was an orphan by the age of seven and had only three months of formal education. Sarah was married at the age of fourteen, widowed with a two-year-old by twenty. After a divorce from her second marriage, she married Charles Joseph Walker and became Madame C.J. Walker. Sarah worked as a commission agent selling for Annie Malone, an African American hair-care entrepreneur. Dealing with a scalp disorder that caused her hair loss, Sarah soon developed her own hair-care line. She worked to find more natural ways to groom her hair without using harsh chemicals. Her company grew by advertising and selling her products door to door. She opened a factory, a beauty parlor, and a college to help teach other black women to become financially independent. Her company employed thousands of women as sales agents, and Sarah became the first African American millionaire. She was also known for her philanthropy. She provided scholarships for students to Black colleges and gave financial support to orphanages, retirement homes, the YMCA, and the NAACP. An amazing woman who devoted her life to giving back to her community.

We all face different challenges in our lives, and I feel even more determined to reach my goals when I read other people's stories of success. Each of us has unique talents, and I want to encourage you to share yours. We never know how one idea can change the world until we try. Happy International Women's Month!

Mar 02

Use Your Energy For Good

By Celeste DeCamps | General

"Be the one who lights up the room with infectious optimism."

Growing up, I was very shy. I felt uncomfortable around most people. The only thing that got me out of my shell was dancing. I would feel electricity run through my body, and it made me feel powerful. That energy seemed only to happen when I was performing on stage. I remember walking into the crowded, smokey nightclubs with my head down. My only objective was to get to the dressing room and get ready for my show. The funny thing was nobody bothered to look in my direction. I didn't attract anyone's attention, and they certainly didn't take me for the bellydancer. After my show, I changed and sat at the bar until it was time to do my next set. I didn't look around the room or make eye contact with anyone. The exciting energy I had on stage diminished while I waited. No one in the audience recognized me at all. The bartender laughed when somebody asked, "Where did the bellydancer go?" and he would nod in my direction. They still didn't see me. 

It took me a long time to find my confidence in everyday life. The more assertive and self-assured I became, the more positive energy I put out. I started to recognize the power we all have within us when we take the time to notice our emotions. I realized I needed to build up my enthusiasm for performing before I left my house. I decided to put on fun music. I visualized the audience and danced around my room. When I entered the club, I would walk in with my shoulders back, my head up, and I smiled. It was the same posture I took when I performed. I looked at the customers, and they would immediately smile back. After my set, they would invite me to sit at their tables. They told me that they enjoyed my dancing and that it put them in a great mood. 

I realized that positive energy is infectious. When I go out, I try to be aware of how I'm feeling. I think of my friends who make me grin as soon as I see them. I want them to feel the same way when they meet up with me. It's more than plastering on a disingenuous smile. It's about believing, inside and outside of yourself, this incredible, happy sensation. 

We tend to gravitate towards people who are on the same wavelength as us. It's easy to work or hang out with people who have an all-embracing outlook on life. They tend to be uplifting and encouraging. Being around good vibrations makes us feel marvelous. On the other hand, I tend to avoid people who are constantly complaining and only see the negative aspect of their lives. I find myself either sinking into their low power or fighting hard to keep myself up. Their energy can be draining because they're not pleasant to be around. 

I try to be mindful of other people's energy. Understanding how we affect each other is a fantastic tool to have. I'll try to reassure someone coming across as nervous or encouraging someone who has exciting news to share. Being in tune with others helps solidify relationships because we're able to empathize with them. It lets the other person know they are valued and important to us. 

The next time you meet with others, whether in person or virtually, take a moment and see how you feel. Are you upbeat and full of life, or are you not feeling your best? Those near you will perceive your emotional state of mind. If you need a boost of positive energy:

  1. Put on some music and dance.
  2. Call your best friend and tell her you need a laugh.
  3. Recall a joyful memory that always puts a big smile on your face.
  4. Be the one who lights up the room with infectious optimism.

Trust the superpower of love and understanding that resides in all of us. That's the kind of electric power we can all benefit from. 

Feb 23

Book Review: Voices of the 21st Century: Resilient Women who Rise and Make a Difference

By Celeste DeCamps | General

"Nothing is set in stone as long as we use our experiences to step into new chapters of our lives."

Everyone I'm speaking to has been in a funk. It's understandable. We're in the middle of a pandemic, and many of our plans have been thrown out the window. There's very little good news these days. I feel, now, more than ever, we need to be connecting. "Misery loves company" for a reason. No one wants to think they're alone without anyone to comfort them. I'm always looking for an uplifting account of triumph or a funny story. 

I'm a big believer in sharing our stories. I think that's how we inspire and motivate each other to be our best. We all face unique challenges, and our experiences shape our perception of the world. We learn empathy and compassion when we take the time to read or listen to another person's journey. I want to recommend a book that is compiled of forty short stories by forty different women. I'm not an affiliate or receiving a paid endorsement for this book. I just liked it and thought you might too. 

"Voices of the 21st Century: Resilient Women Who Rise and Make a Difference" was the salve I was looking for. This heartfelt book is full of small slices of life. Each woman gives a synopsis of who they are and where they come from. Their message is one of hope and belief in themselves. If you only read their credentials, you would never believe the adversity they had to overcome to find their success. The focus isn't on their hardships but what kept their determination alive. 

This book gives you a sense of the power we all have inside us to take that leap of faith, to chart a new course for ourselves. It's not pretty, and it's not without fear, but when we move forward with a purpose, wonderful things may happen. It's taking that first step, stumbling and cursing, and worried that we made a big mistake. It's having the courage to ask for help and being open to constructive criticism. It's ignoring the good intentions of others and decide to go after your goals anyway. It's about making a plan and working that plan all the way through. 

I related to many of the stories and was inspired by all of them. I'm reminded that no one walks this plane of existence perfectly. We all face self-doubt and insecurity at different times in our lives. We can choose how we approach obstacles in our paths by how we frame them in our minds. If it ends up being the wrong choice, we still move forward with a lesson learned. Sometimes admitting defeat and changing course can be how we find our purpose. Nothing is set in stone as long as we use our experiences to step into new chapters of our lives. 

If you're in need of uplifting and inspirational stories, do yourself a favor and pick up this lovely book. You might be motivated to share your message as well. We all need light and happiness. The best way to brighten your day is to brighten someone else's. 

You can find the book here: Voices of the 21st Century

Feb 16

What is Your Five-Year Plan?

By Celeste DeCamps | General

"Where do you see yourself in five years?" The best answer I've ever heard to this question is "I want to be happy." We're so caught up in our heads about predicting the future that we tend to scare ourselves silly with it. We go down a rabbit hole that leads us to believe that we're doomed forever if we don't find our passion right now. We worry that if we find our calling, we may be a complete failure at it. We'll let everyone down in our life and become worthless. It's incredible how quickly we can go to the dark side. It's this fear that will keep us from trying for a promotion, going after our dream job, or starting a new chapter in our life.

I've read about people reaching their goals and then becoming depressed right after. They finally wrote their book, completed an artistic endeavor, or finally got the corner office, and the anxiousness of what's next hits them hard. Now you're probably wondering if it's possible to ever feel fulfilled. I wouldn't bring you down this road to upset you. I'm here to be your fairy bliss finder.

What if we reframe our thinking into wanting to be content, satisfied and joyful? I know, that's absolutely crazy. It's like I'm begging for the universe to turn my world upside down. That's the problem. Many of us are reluctant to believe we deserve to be happy because we think if something good comes our way, that means the bad is just around the corner.

I remember my mother telling me a saying her mother told her. "Laugh today, cry tomorrow?" What? Wow! Really? Talk about never wanting anything good to happen for fear of what's in store if it does. What a sad way to see your life play out. Unfortunately, we tend to expect the worst instead of the best.

Is there a safe way to feel optimistic about our life without worrying about the world ending? I believe I've found the way. It starts with writing down what is filling you with dread and what lights you up with hope. You didn't think you were going to get away without making a list, did you? Writing down what's worrying you allows you to look at it and get it out of your head. You may find that your concerns are unfounded and could be traced to a belief that has outlived its use. Next, jot down what you want to achieve now or in the near future. The sky's the limit, which means you decide what will make you smile.

We live inside our heads and let our emotions get the better of us. We spend time taking care of our business, and our family, leaving very little time to ourselves. It's easy to fall into a funk and feel that our lives aren't going in the direction we envision. Putting pen to paper is a powerful tool because it makes us sit with our thoughts and put into words how we're feeling.

After taking stock of what we're anxious about and what we do want in our lives, it's time to call a trusted friend. Everyone needs a confidant that will not judge but listen as we put a voice to our thoughts. Sometimes we need a second pair of eyes to see our silver lining. The more we can help and encourage each other, the more we all reap the benefits of optimism.

We have the power within us to choose to be content. That's not to say that we won't face challenges and have concerns about how it will all turn out. Surrounding ourselves with people who care and love us will help us meet the battles ahead. Make your five-year plan around what will make you happy and help others do the same. 
1 2 3 13