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Who am I really?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

your toy surprise

From the Daily Om, comes this gem:

You Are Who You Are,
Not What You Do

It's from an article about "Becoming Your Wrong Decisions," And talks about how "there are no true right or wrong decisions. All decisions contribute to your development and are an integral part of your evolving existence yet they are still separate from the self. A decision that does not result in its intended outcome is in no way an illustration of character. Still, it can have dire effects on our ability to trust ourselves and our self-esteem.

A perceived mistake becomes a valuable learning experience and is, in essence, a gift to learn and grow from."

For today's focus, lets make a list (short or long) of the labels we apply to ourselves. A series of "I am" statements. Once you've got the list made, go back over it and find every negative statement and rewrite it in a positive way. Now ask yourself, "Who am I really?" And if you come up with that answer ... WOW!

Making Lemonade

Monday, April 27, 2009

your problem

Here's an interesting challenge for today's quest to focus on the good. We've all heard the saying, "If life hands you lemons, make lemonade." I'm thinking that it would be really beneficial to think of one problem or obstacle in your life, and make a list of all the ways it could benefit you, be used to your benefit, bring you hidden gifts or blessings, or in other ways enhance your life. When writing your list, don't be limited to practical, rational, everyday thinking. Be prepared to really get creative with your answers.

I'll go first:

My son-in-law started a grass fire that almost burned my house down. Thankfully, the house is still standing, but all the siding on the west side of the house has to now be replaced. Just thinking about it makes me tired, and I see it as not only an energy drain, but a financial drain as well. Definitely a lemon!

So... ways this could conceivably benefit me are:

  1. Because I am able to put insulation under the new siding, my utility bills are drastically reduced and I save a bunch of money.
  2. I get inspired to create a beautiful piece of art on the side of my home. It is so much fun that I continue with the art project until my entire home is completely refurbished in a really fun creative way.
  3. The house is so fun and cool and creative, that it becomes a major tourist attraction and I am able to charge a nice little fee for "tours" and sell lots of souvenir photos. This flow of money enables me to quit my job and make more art.
  4. I become rich and famous with my creative art home, get featured on "Roadside Revelations" on PBS, and am able to sell the property for millions of dollars and retire to the Bahamas on my own private island.
  5. When pulling the vinyl siding off my home, I find a secret stash of cash that's been there since the home was manufactured. (It's a mobile home.) There is so much cash, all of it in "unmarked bills" that I am financially fixed for life.
  6. Late one night I have a dream of how to make cool stuff out of the melted siding. It turns out to be really easy to do, and I am able to sell that cool stuff on eBay for astonishing amounts of money.
  7. Underneath the siding is a treasure map. Even though the map doesn't really lead to a real treasure, I am able to sell it thousands of dollars to a "bogus map" collector.
  8. Underneath the siding is a treasure map - amazingly enough, it's the real thing, and I find an amazing treasure thus solving all my other problems with money.
  9. I find out that melted vinyl siding is actually worth really a lot of money. I am miraculously able to cash it in for enough money to pay off all my debts, quit my job, and enjoy a life of leisure and fun.
  10. Extreme makeover home edition hears about how wonderful I am, and the producers really feel bad that I have such an idiot of a son-in-law, so they come and build me the house of my dreams... not only that, but they pay my overdue property taxes, and give me plenty of money so I can quit my job and commute to Texas on a regular basis.
  11. When I am at the "siding store" I happen to meet the man of my dreams, who is also a "handy man" with plenty of money and a really nice guy. We get married and live happily ever after.
  12. When I am at the "siding store" I happen to meet a really nice person who takes pity on me. They give me a whole bunch of money, and/or a winning lottery ticket, and I live happily ever after.
  13. Turns out that I do all the work on the trailer by myself. As I am working away on it, I spontaneously slip into a state of nirvana and become enlightened.
  14. Turns out that I really enjoy putting up siding, this leads to a new and lucrative career as a siding installer.
  15. I get so frustrated and upset by all the mountain of work to be done that I go outside and do REAL magic, and suddenly, spontaneously, like a miracle, the siding replaces itself.

You know, that was really fun. Most of those ideas are beyond the realm of possibility, I know, but I just spent a delightful 10 minutes thinking about a problem that usually leaves me tired and depressed. How about you guys? Anyone up for trying it?

I'm so glad I can...

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Things you are glad that you can do... how often to we think of what we wish we could do, what we can't do, what we used to be able to do, what seems impossible to do, etc etc.

I thought it might be beneficial to make a list of the things that we CAN do that we are glad to be able to do. Let's shoot for a nice long list. Here are some ideas to get us started:
  1. I'm glad I can breathe. Ah... nice deep breath.
  2. Delighted that I can still access the internet.
  3. Happily I can read this actual post.
  4. Smile - I can smile too! How cool is that?
  5. I can blink... imagine how disturbing it would be if I couldn't blink! But hey! I can - so that's pretty nifty. Here I go blinking blinking blinking... fun!

Silver linings anyone?

Friday, April 24, 2009

I actually got somewhere

Here's a challenge. Can you think of any experience that you've had that started out badly, but turned out to be good?

So many times, our "worst case scenarios" turn out to be blessings in disguise. And I was trying to think of actual times when things seemed really bad, but turned out to be for the best - not having a lot of success yet. I think this is kind of a brain stretcher because once we've had our good outcome, we tend to forget the rocks in the road that we stumbled over on our way to come to that good end.

So what do you think? Does every dark cloud indeed hold a silver lining? What are your experiences? Any words of wisdom? Aha moments? Thoughts or ideas?


Thursday, April 23, 2009

I got my

Some days it's hard to feel cheerful or positive. It helps if you have a list of all the things that make you smile when you think about them. Post that list somewhere that you're sure to see it. Pretty soon, you'll be smiling.

Have a Wonderful Day

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

How about something short and simple today? I'd like to see everyone post their top five reasons to have a wonderful day.

Here are mine:

  1. Because it feels good.
  2. Wonderful days are way better than crappy ones.
  3. I like them.
  4. When I am having a wonderful day, everyone around me benefits.
  5. Oh... and did I mention how good it feels to have a day that's wonderful?

Ok... that was harder than I thought it would be. Anyone else got anything better?

100 Really Good Things

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I beleeves I haz

I spend an inordinate amount of time fretting over problems and situations that haven't happened yet. What if this... probably that... OMG what will I do if this and that... stuff like that. So, for today, I thought it might be a good idea to make a "what if" list of the good, the fortunate, the lucky, the happy things that might happen. And I was also thinking that the longer that list gets, the better we'll feel.

So, are you guys up for it? Grab a piece of paper and title it: "100 Really Good Things That Might Possibly Happen Later On Today or Even Tomorrow." I think this will be fun! Be as unrealistic, outrageous, as fanciful, as ridiculous, as silly, as wild as you want. The idea is to find a way out of that habitual "worst case scenario" thinking.

Something Good About You

Monday, April 20, 2009

cousin cat

I think it's helpful to take the attention off of ourselves and focus in a good way on the people around us. Here's a great little exercise called "I Know Something Good About You." This is something I love to do at birthday parties. We put the birthday person into the center of a circle, and everyone takes turns saying what they know to be good about her (or him).

So, how about it. Think of someone in your life who presents a challenge. It can be a family member, friend, or coworker. Doesn't matter who. Make a list of all the good things you know about them. Once your list is made, think of ways to tell that person at least one of those things every time you see them. Alternatively, you can enclose your list in a card and give it to them.

That's not good - or is it?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sadly for Marshall

I am finding that this project is not working all that well for me. And I think it's because it's still too easy. Each day, I think of a few good things, and then that's it. I'm back to whining and complaining and freaking out and all my other negative thinking. It's like I know there are some good things in my life but they are not nearly as interesting or as immediate as the stuff that's not so good.

So... here's what I came up with for today:

Think of something in your life right now that's NOT good, it could be a recurring problem, (such as unpaid bills or a job you dislike), or it could be a situation or circumstance (maybe you're sick or unemployed), it could even be a pervasive uncomfortable feeling (depression or guilt), doesn't matter what you pick. Just pick something that you find yourself focused on a fair amount of the time.

Got your NOT good thing?

Now, sit down and make a list of all the reasons why that NOT good thing is actually GOOD. How does it help you? What good does it pull into your life? What are you getting out of it? What are the benefits? How is it useful? How could you be grateful for it?

This one is a brain stretcher, and it's okay to really stretch when reaching for answers, it's okay to be sarcastic and silly. The important thing is to start making that list. And let's work on making it a nice long one too. How about don't stop until you have at least 7 good things.

Stumped? Here are some examples to help you get started:
  • My job (that I hate) is good because every morning I see the sunrise on my way in to work.
  • Yes, I might be sick, but I get to watch every episode of America's Next Top Model.
  • Sure my life sucks, and that's great because I now have something to talk about when my ex calls.

Something fun and fabulous

Saturday, April 18, 2009

brush my hair

Today is "fun and fabulous" day. What fun and fabulous thing did you do this week? How many cool and interesting experiences did you have? Did something good happen? If you tried really hard, could you come up with five good things?

What I like about Friday

Friday, April 17, 2009

what the

Today is Friday. TGIF! So, I thought it would be fun to think of at least 5 things that are good about Friday, and then extend that thinking through the rest of the day to see just how many things we can come up with about how cool it is that today is Friday.

On a side note: In astrology Friday is connected with the planet Venus. This associates Friday with love, peace, and relaxation, as well as with emotional intensity and quashed dreams.

Did you get what you wanted

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Here's something that might be fun. Look around the room. From where you are sitting, how many things can you list that you wanted and then received? More than 10? More than 20?

That was easy! Now, pick out several of those things and think about how much you wanted them, how long you had to wait to get them, what were the circumstances that allowed you to receive them?

I don't know about you, but it felt really good to me when I thought about how I got this computer, my file cabinet, the really cool dragon on the dresser, and the four little kittens on my lap.

So, today, let's keep our focus on how good it felt when we received the things around us that are ours... and let's try to keep that good feeling going all day long.

Oh, by the way!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hey guys, check out this post over at the Daily Om.
And we're DOING it!
Cool, huh?

Not only that, but we've got the LOL cats helping us with it!
Here's today's kitteh.

iz defective

So, I think I'm going to take the easy way out today by encouraging everyone to enjoy the Daily Om article, and leave it at that.

Favorite Things

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Today, let's think about our favorite things. And I'm not talking about things that we like but don't have. I'm talking about favorite things that you have access to, or that you own. Plus, let's see if we can come up with things that begin with the following letters:

T . U . E . S . D . A . Y

Yes, I know that's seven things instead of five - but hey, I think we can do it. So, how about it? Can you think of a favorite thing that begins with the letter T? What about U?

If you work at it all day, and still haven't up with all seven - that's fine! You will have focused on something positive for a whole lot longer than you might have otherwise. And, if you'd rather just come up with a list of your five favorite things, well, that's fine too.

Enjoying Your Work

Monday, April 13, 2009


Ok guys, I'm going to change it up a little bit. Seems to me that this month's exercise is just a bit too easy. It takes me five minutes to think of my five things, and then I'm back to the same old stuff.

With that in mind, for this week, I've come up with a way to really challenge us to come up with new and creative ways to focus on our five good things. Here's how it works:

Today, I'd like us to be thinking about all the things, people, circumstances, etc that make our work enjoyable AND to come up with stuff that begins with the following letters:

M . O . N . D . A . Y

Yes, I know that's six things instead of five - but hey, I think we can do it. So, how about it? Can you think of something enjoyable about your work that begins with the letter M? What about O?

If you work at it all day, and still haven't up with all six - that's fine! You will have focused on something positive for a whole lot longer than you might have otherwise. And, if you'd rather just come up with five or more things that make your work enjoyable, well, that's fine too.

It's Good to Have Friends

Sunday, April 12, 2009

o hi

"It's good to have friends, even in hell." I love that quote! I also read somewhere that in order to survive in life, there has to be at least one person, somewhere, who loves you. Equally important to have someone to love, I think. So, here's our opportunity to put some good focused attention on those people around us who we really appreciate. Can you think of five people you're really glad to have around?

Need a bit of a list to help you get started?

1. Of course there's ....
2. And ....
3. I also really appreciate ...
4. Plus ... is a great person to have around!
5. And, I thank God every day for ...

five things you enjoy doing every day

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Today, let's put our focus on fun, and the various ways we enjoy life. Can you think of five things you enjoy doing every day? I'm not talking about things you might enjoy doing, or things that you could enjoy doing - I'm talking about things that you actually DO enjoy doing every day.

Let's get started on our list right now:

  1. I love to ...
  2. Every day I do enjoy ...
  3. It's also fun to ...
  4. And then there's ....
  5. Not only that, but I thank God every day for the LOL Cats

Bills are good because...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Abstract Painting

Today we're going to do something really tricky and brave. Let's see if we can come up with five things that are good about our bills! What do you think? Is that possible?

Hmmm... I'll see if I can get us started:

  1. I guess it's good that ...
  2. And I suppose another good thing might be ...
  3. Plus ...
  4. I can also say thank you for my bills because ...
  5. And I am exceedingly grateful, happy, and pleased that I don't have even more of them!

What I like about my car

Thursday, April 09, 2009


Your car, now that's something important to think about. Someone once told me that you should always take care of your car first because if something happens and you lose your house, you could always live in your car - but if something happens to your car, you certainly can't drive your house to work!

So, today, lets focus on 5 things that we like about our cars. And if it happens that you don't have a car, you could put that same focus on whatever vehicle it is that gets you around.

I'll help you get started:

  1. The best thing about my car is that ...
  2. And I also like ...
  3. Thankfully, the ... works really well.
  4. I'm so glad that ...
  5. Not only that, but I love it when I put the key in the ignition, and it starts right up.

Appreciate The Skin You're In

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

big butt

When we are healthy, we tend to take our bodies for granted, and don't really do much to show our appreciation for how good it feels to feel good. Alternatively, when the body is suffering or not functioning properly, it can be even more difficult to appreciate what we do have.

So, today, lets take a look at our physical selves and find at least 5 things that we appreciate and love about our bodies.

Need some examples?

  1. I love that my fingers (toes, knees, ears, etc) can ...
  2. I have an excellent sense of ....
  3. Wow, it feels good to ...
  4. Plus, I'm really glad that my ... still works!
  5. And I thank God everyday that ...

Home Sweet Home

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

bed and breakfast

The saying "Home is where the heart is." may or may not be true for you. It is, however, the place you come to at the end of the day. So, lets make note of at least 5 things we like about our homes.

If you are happy with your home, this will be an easy one, but if you are less than satisfied with your living arrangements, here's a little something to get you started:
  1. One thing I like about my home is ...
  2. And it's also ... , which is good.
  3. Another thing appreciate about the place I live, is ...
  4. Plus, I think it's great that ...
  5. And above all I thank God every day that I do have a front door that opens and closes!!

What I Like About My Job

Monday, April 06, 2009


It's Monday morning. For many people, this is the beginning of yet another work week. So lets begin our project with the five things you LIKE about your job! I'll help you get started:

  1. What I like about my job is ...
  2. And another thing about it that's good is ...
  3. Of course, I'm really grateful that ...
  4. What else? Hmmm... Well - I do like ....
  5. And lastly, I thank God every day that I don't LIVE there.
And I think it would be really helpful if you go ahead and write your five things down. Better yet, post it here on the project!

Coming Home

Sunday, April 05, 2009

You know she is getting

Homecoming. How is it for you? What are the best things about it? Do you zoom home from work eager to get back to your "nest?" Do you dilly dally along, not quite ready to jump into the fray? Is your home the rock you crawl under at the end of the day? If your home is your haven, this will be an easy sort of task... if not, it might be an interesting exercise in finding and focusing on the good.

I'll go first:

Coming home... that's what I'm doing today. I've been in Texas saying goodbye to my Dad. I don't expect to see him again in this life, so it's been a sort of amazing time. Not as hard as I expected in some ways, but harder in others.

So... now I'm on my way home and feeling a deep resistance to the leaving and kind of dread of the chaos and unfinished business I left behind.

Good things include:

  • Peace of mind with regard to my relationship with my Dad
  • A nice long drive during which I can process the experience
  • I get to drive a nice car (it's a rental)
  • My animals and pets will really appreciate having me around after having been gone for over a week.
  • Maybe I'll have some renewed energy with which to tackle my "shit" at home
  • I'll have some "distance" from the chaos and clutter, and maybe some "energy" with which to tackle some of it.
  • The grass is actually greener on my side of the fence - (Missouri vs El Paso)
  • I'm bringing art projects and ideas with me that I can actually begin working on
  • The people I left behind really missed me - and it will be good to feel the love when I get back.
  • Renewed energy and a better perspective on what I want my life to look like
  • Plenty to do, so at least I won't be bored
  • My Sim game awaits - Yea!!

OK.. so I think that's plenty of focus on the good... How about you? What's your story about coming home and the good things that surround it?

A Warm Up For Our Next Project

From the Daily Om:

Five Things
A Self-Esteem Exercise

Our primary relationship in life is with our selves. No one else goes through every experience in life with us. We are our one permanent companion, yet we are often our worst critic. To remind ourselves of our magnificence, we can do this exercise: “Five Things I Like About Myself.”

Begin by writing down at least five things that you like about yourself. This is not the time to be modest. If you are having trouble coming up with a total of five items, you know that this exercise can really benefit you. Be sure to include more than your physical attributes on your list, since our bodies are only part of who we are. If you are still struggling with what to include on your list, think of what you like about your favorite people, because these traits are probably qualities that you possess too. Another way to complete your list is to think of five things you don’t like about yourself and find something about these traits that you can like.

Continue this process for a week, thinking of five new things you like about yourself everyday. At the end of the week, read the list aloud to yourself while standing in front of a mirror. Instead of looking for flaws to fix, allow the mirror to reflect your magnificence. You may feel silly about standing in front of a mirror and reading aloud a list of your admirable attributes, but it might just bring a smile to your face and change the way you see yourself. Remember, it is when you feel the most resistant that this exercise can benefit you the most. Because we are constantly looking at the world, instead of looking at ourselves, we don’t often see what’s magnificent about ourselves that others do. When we take the time to experience ourselves the way we would experience someone we love and admire, we become our best companion and supporter on life’s journey.

Our Next Project Starts

move closer

Our next project will start bright and early tomorrow morning. We're going to focus on the good in our lives because, as we learned from our previous project:
"The moment you permit your mind to dwell with dissatisfaction upon things as they are, you begin to lose ground. You fix attention upon the common, the ordinary, the poor, and the squalid and mean; and your mind takes the form of these things. Then you will transmit these forms or mental images to the Formless, and the common, the poor, the squalid, and mean will come to you."

My idea for how to organize this project came from a post on the Daily Om, and I'm going to post it here this evening as a sort of "teaser."

Daniel suggested that it's much easier to focus on the good when you already have a smile on your face, so I've spent the last few days collecting silly LOL cat pictures to go with each post. So, if you're not familiar with the LOL cats from I Can Has Cheezburger", you will be by the time this project is finished. I've also found a few little video clips that I'll throw in here and there.

And, as always, feel free to share this link, this post, and this project with anyone that you know who might be interested in joining us.

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