52 Real Women Archives

Book of Wisdom – Terri Closs

Book of Wisdom Have you ever come across an expression that made you stop in your tracks, ponder it for a moment, and then say to yourself “How true!”?  I love reading those expressions; they’re little bits of wisdom expressed so precisely that they give you insight into your own beliefs or teach you a…

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Book of Wisdom

Have you ever come across an expression that made you stop in your tracks, ponder it for a moment, and then say to yourself “How true!”?  I love reading those expressions; they’re little bits of wisdom expressed so precisely that they give you insight into your own beliefs or teach you a different perspective on an issue.

I’ve been collecting expressions since I was a teenager.  A number of years ago I began compiling them into one of those blank-pages books you can buy yourself at the bookstore.  I call it my “book of wisdom.”  Within its pages are pearls of knowledge that help me through situations that would otherwise drive me batty.

• When I talk too much or feel the need to gossip I think . . .       “I have often regretted my speech, never my silence.” –Publius
• When I find a situation too hard . . . “Being defeated is often a temporary condition.  Giving up is what makes it permanent.”  -Marlene vosSavant
• When I feel misunderstood . . . “Never explain – your friends do not need it and your enemies won’t believe you anyway.”  -Elbert Hubbard
• When I screw up . . . “A mistake is simply another way of doing things.”  -Katherine Graham
• And for my egotistical moments . . . “Always remember you’re unique, just like everyone else.  –Unknown

As I look through my pages, I find just the right bit of wisdom to suit the situation at hand.  I’ve enjoyed the discovery of each and every one of my entries.  I’ve also enjoyed going back and rereading these gems of knowledge suited just for me.  When I’m gone, my family will have this little book of hand-written sayings (and some poems) and once read, will get an idea of who I was and what I stood for.  I encourage each of you to find and embrace those things that bring you joy.  Remember… “Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation.”   –Unknown.

Guest Blogger Terri Closs has recently reinvented herself by becoming a Professional Organizer and starting her own business As You Wish Organizing, LLC.  – a company dedicated to helping Seniors and Boomers live the life they choose.  She has been a proud supporter of A Beautiful Me® since its inception.  

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In Less Than 2 Minutes – Sarah Zimmer

In Less Than 2 Minutes! My mom and I started a “Gratitude Journal” on a daily basis and the idea is that we email each other three things that we are thankful for that day.  So I email her three things I am grateful for and she replies with her three things.  They aren’t always…

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In Less Than 2 Minutes!

My mom and I started a “Gratitude Journal” on a daily basis and the idea is that we email each other three things that we are thankful for that day.  So I email her three things I am grateful for and she replies with her three things.  They aren’t always deep, meaningful and moving things, they can be simple things that made your day.  For example, today I was thankful for Starbucks coffee, the beautiful weather and my family.  We try to pick positive things that get us through the day.  Some days, it is very hard to think of things and on those days I look around; what do I have that others don’t, those are the things we really need to be thankful for.  I am learning to count my blessings on a daily basis, and to be thankful and happy with what I have.

Before we started this, I used to complain all the time, about the smallest, silliest things. It was common for my mom and I to complain on the phone for hours and we got sick of it.  So during our weekly yoga class, our instructor mentioned this idea and we wanted to give it a try.  Now, a few months later, my mom and I have found that when we are thankful, it changes our outlook on life, even if it is in the smallest way.  We have so much and don’t appreciate what we have, we just focus on what we want.  By appreciating what you do have, you will notice a positive change in how you feel.

Now it is your turn, you can start a Gratitude Journal yourself.  Maybe write your three things in a notebook before you go to bed, or think of your three things while getting ready in the morning.  I am very forgetful, so I included my mom, that way when one of us forgets, the other usually remembers.  Try not to repeat things because then it won’t have the full effect.  If you are struggling with it, email me and we can do one together!

Sarah Zimmer believes in “A Beautiful Me®” and works to give every baby a healthy start as the Community Director at the March of Dimes, Port Huron, Michigan. Her email is szimmer@marchofdimes.com if you have any questions or want to start a Gratitude Journal with her.

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Controlling Peace? – Jennifer Raybaud

Controlling Peace? I ADORE words!  I devour good conversation like others would a moist, delicious piece of chocolate cake.  So when I put the title of this piece together I felt discomfort when I placed those two words side by side.  Why?  Because one word has connotations of manipulation while the other evokes Zen-like feelings,…

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Controlling Peace?

I ADORE words!  I devour good conversation like others would a moist, delicious piece of chocolate cake.  So when I put the title of this piece together I felt discomfort when I placed those two words side by side.  Why?  Because one word has connotations of manipulation while the other evokes Zen-like feelings, but a few years back I had to make the above happen, so I thought I would share how “controlling peace” can add to yours!

I found myself for the first time, suffering from depression.  Now I grew up with parents who believed we could do anything we set our minds to.  So depression after having been blessed with so much positivity all my life was a new “beast” entirely.

At my lowest point, I remember saying “What can you control to get out of this?”  Because as sad as I was; there were still options.  So I began with controlling what I put in my mouth because all those carbs and sugar were doing NOTHING to help me climb out of this.  Then I thought if I could muster up the energy to go outside and take a walk that would bring me endorphins that would be the perfect foe to some of the chemicals the depression was bringing me.  I stopped listening to the news and many more things that in the end…brought me out of my depression.  I felt like there was nothing available to me but victimhood when that couldn’t have been further from the truth.  So I ask you to ask yourself the same question I did when you’re overwhelmed: “What can you control to get out of this?”  It’s amazing how much you can come up with.  Lean to control what you can control and leave the rest in peace so you can find yours!  Controlling peace . . . ahhh, yes!

Jennifer Raybaud is a truly blessed woman who loves her family, her friends and her position as “Co-Conspirator” with her very best friend where their unique workshops are designed to uplift, inspire and motivate! Their regular antics can be found at www.loseyourexcusenow.com or www.facebook.com/loseyourexcusenow!  Jennifer applauds everything “A Beautiful Me®” strives to accomplish as she believes that each of us has a birthright to feel valued and appreciated for our individual qualities.

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Being Here NOW – Dr. Lori Warner

Mindfulness & the Modern Woman: Being Here NOW “The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”  ~ Buddha Are you “here”? Or are you feeling like a rushed zombie?  Churning…

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Mindfulness & the Modern Woman: Being Here NOW

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”  ~ Buddha

Are you “here”? Or are you feeling like a rushed zombie?  Churning through the endless to-do list, only to add more?  The other day I arrived at an appointment, with almost no memory of having driven there.  Hmmm. The typical solution? WORK HARDER. Multitask. Sleep less. Rush through.

Ram Dass says, “The next message you need is always right where you are”. But those messages are missed when you’re barely attending.   But there is an answer: You can begin to balance your life through mindfulness: being aware of the present moment, nonjudgmentally. It can be hard! Thoughts arise, pulling us off into internal dialogue. “I need to return that call…” Mindfulness acknowledges this and returns to being fully present and aware.

Here’s how:

1.) Breathe. Deep breathing (“belly breathing”) has calming and health benefits.
2.) Notice.  What do you see, hear, feel?  Recently, I paused while buzzing around the house and just noticed the beauty of my kids playing and laughing together. Amazing!
3.) Slow down. You certainly can mindfully enjoy fast-paced activities but at first, it’s best to take it easy.
4.) Release judgments.  Our brains are amazing judging machines–important for survival but robbing us of experiencing NOW. Even when the present moment is less than joyful, being fully “there” allows more effective problem-solving.
5.) Practice.  No one is the “most mindful”. Practice makes progress, and you will discover what truly matters, now.

“The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love they will bloom like flowers.”          ~ Thich Nicht Hahn

Dr. Lori Warner is a supporter of “A Beautiful Me®”. She is a clinical psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst, director of Beaumont Children’s Hospital’s Ted Lindsay Foundation HOPE Center, and an instructor at Oakland University’s School of Professional Development. Her private practice offers Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for adults, and writes a blog called “Smidge of Happiness”.

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LIfe’s Lemons – Linda Angér

Life’s Lemons We call the bad things in life “lemons.” We say, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade,” meaning throw a bag of sugar over it so you don’t see the dysfunction, the mechanical failures, the sourness of your situation. Lemons grow in warm climates, their juice sour and acidic – much like the…

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Life’s Lemons

We call the bad things in life “lemons.” We say, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade,” meaning throw a bag of sugar over it so you don’t see the dysfunction, the mechanical failures, the sourness of your situation.

Lemons grow in warm climates, their juice sour and acidic – much like the emotions we experience when things that we perceive as “bad” happen to us or around us. But that sour taste, that lip-puckering tartness, can play another role – an amazing role – if we embrace it. Lemons are teachers, messengers, angels sent to reshape us. We learn and grow when we welcome them, love them, and squeeze out every bit of juice they offer.

I was handed a life-sucking lemon – a diagnosis of Stage 3C uterine cancer – in July 2009.

I could have viewed cancer as a death sentence, but chose instead to take myself on a wild and dangerous adventure that would prove my tenacity and strength.

After the radical hysterectomy, I could have handed my life over to my oncologist.  I didn’t, opting instead to research treatments and creating – with my oncologist’s hesitant agreement – a plan that worked for me instead of the standard protocol.

I could have isolated myself to avoid infection or, even harder to endure, the fears of family and friends.  I didn’t do that, either. There were weeks during the year of chemotherapy that I was trapped in my home with dangerously low blood counts. The rest of the time, I was out as often as my energy level allowed.

I chose to turn the sourest time of my life into a positive, life-affirming experience. It wasn’t always easy, but this is what I learned:  When life gives you lemons, find someone to whom life has given vodka, and throw a party.

Guest Blogger Linda Angér is a supporter of “A Beautiful Me®” and owner of The Write Concept, Inc., a marketing communications company. Her clients have included Chrysler Corporation, The Crittenton Hospital Medical Center Foundation, HAVEN, The Royal Park Hotel, and hundreds of small businesses across Michigan. She is the current President of Detroit Working Writers.

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