Valentine’s Day – A Day of Generosity And Love

In the spirit of generosity, I’m sharing this previously published post. If you read it before, please share it with your friends to remind them to practice generosity every day.

Valentine's Day On Valentine’s Day, instead of the usual flowers, cards and other sentiments we usually give to loved ones, what if we all practiced a different kind of generosity. What if we were extra kind to everyone we meet today?

Valentine’s Day is most often thought of as a time to show love and affection to the people closest to us by bestowing them with flowers, chocolates, romantic dinners, notes and cards.

This excerpt, from a blog post by Sasha Dichter, offers us another option to celebrate Valentine’s Day;

Barely three days before Valentine’s Day, Sasha Dichter,
Chief Innovation Officer for
Acumen Fund, decided to convert his month-long
Generosity Experiment” into a global Generosity
Day. The idea was simple: to reclaim Valentine’s
Day from the clutches of commercialization and
turn it into a day of “sharing love with everyone.

This is a great idea not just for Valentine’s Day but for other holidays as well.  It would certainly eliminate the commercialization of holidays and instead promote generosity and love on every day.

Dichter suggests that people are hungry for more connection and meaning in their lives. So, instead of filling up on flowers, candy, cards and extravagant gifts, he proposes that we show more generosity by dispensing love to everyone on Valentine’s Day – not just those closest to us.

Here are some ideas you can use to celebrate Valentine’s Day:

• Tip extra generously when you are out enjoying your Valentine’s Dinner. Your server will appreciate it.

• Take “thinking of you” cards to a nursing home and have the staff write the name of a person on the envelope. Most people in nursing homes rarely receive mail.

• When you are getting your morning coffee, pay the check for the person behind you.

• Place a place a tin of cookies at your neighbor’s door to thank him/her for just being a good neighbor.

• Donate your gently used clothes, appliances, furniture, etc. to a non-profit organization.

• To ward off the flu bug and germs, pass out small bottles of hand sanitizer to people you meet at the doctors, dentists, hair salon, supermarket, etc.

This Valentine’s Day, celebrate the day by making it a day that you show generosity and love everywhere you go.

How will you spread generosity today? Please share your thoughts with us.

For more tips, tools and insights, I invite you to get my book, Master the Genie Within: Uncover, Embrace and Celebrate the Real You.

Jellybean Facts


What’s our fascination with jellybeans?

Is it because they are colorful, super sweet and readily available for a quick sugar pick me up?

Or is there something more to our attraction to jellybeans?

Here are some interesting facts about jellybeans for you to ponder:

• Jelly Beans were first introduced to the Easter scene in the 1930’s patterned after the popular Mid-eastern confection known as Turkish Delight. This was a popular egg shaped candy in America and sold primarily in glass jars that sat atop counters in stores all over the country.

• Jellybeans became linked to the popular Easter Bunny after the Civil war as a forerunner to Easter. Eggs were considered a symbol of new life during the spring season and the two seemed perfectly matched. Consequently, Jellybeans stuck as one of the classic Easter candies. Currently, 16 billion jellybeans are made for the Easter holiday with “red” being the most popular color.

More Interesting Jellybean Facts

• Most of us use, or are at least familiar with, Google’s Android operating system called Jelly Bean. Google’s Jelly Bean is a module that is widely available to lots of applications—as though it might be grabbed out of a jar in handfuls when needed. In fact, the Android logo, shaped like a large jellybean jar, is also part of the Android lawn statues on the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California.

• Ronald Reagan, the 40th US president, had such a fondness for jellybeans that he had three and a half tons of red, white, and blue Jelly Belly jellybeans shipped to Washington, DC for the 1981 Inaugural festivities.

• One of the space shuttles even took up a bunch of jellybeans for the shuttle crew to snack on.

• The term jelly beaning is American corporate slang for small talk with a client, getting to know them on initial meeting, before trying to make a sale, close a deal etc.

• Every year, there are more bizarre jellybean flavors introduced than the year before. For example, the Jelly Belly Company has such flavors as ”toothpaste” which supposedly is similar to gum.

• The notion that jellybeans, in the shape of an egg, are symbolic of new life or rebirth does not go unnoticed. Spring is said to be a time of new beginnings, a shedding of the dull colors of winter and a bursting forth of vibrant and lively hues.

• Considering the example of jelly beans as given by Google – grab a handful out of the jar when needed – I think we could use the jelly bean metaphor for those times when we need a little lift. For example: Reach your hand into a jar of jellybeans and take what you need to feel alive and energized. You can just play with them. Count how many colors are in the jar; count how many jellybeans are in the jar. You may just find yourself more relaxed and less stressed.

• To get over hurt and anger, try what I call the jelly-toss. Reach deep and grab a big handful of jellybeans. From the handful, pick a color that represents your strongest feeling. Toss that color in the trash until you have exhausted that particular color. Pick another color and do the same until all the jellybeans are gone. Now, didn’t that make you feel better? And it didn’t add one calorie to your diet.

• In a dilemma – can’t decide between two similar choices? With this method, you simply select the first jellybean color that catches your eye. Select the next color that attracts your attention. Assign a choice to each color jellybean selected. Count each of the colors and the one with the higher tally is the one you go with. Of course, this is not the best way to make a major life decision. But for decisions such as “should I wear the blue shirt or the red shirt”, this is easy peasy…

• Keep a jar for jellybeans with a small scooper on your desk for visitors as a conversation starter. Ask their favorite color and let them tell you why.

Whether you celebrate Easter or not you may have indulged in this popular treat at some time or another and wondered how jellybeans came to be so popular. Now you know…

If you have other tips or interesting facts about jellybeans, please share them with us in the comment section. I would love to hear from you.

To stay up to date with the latest insights, self-care tips and more, I invite you to join our self-care circle.

Light My Fire

4th_July fireworksTalk about “light my fire”! I recently participated in a riveting 30-day challenge – “Reclaim Your Sass” – with awesome, Jennifer Boykin. I was faced head on with the reality of my fears, self-doubt and indecisiveness in a most gentle, caring authentic way that resonated deep within me. I usually shy away from these kinds of challenges because I get bored, think they are too hokey or require more time and energy than I’m willing to invest but something about this challenge peaked my interest.

I had already started the process of probing deeply into my fears and transparency,  which I shared with you in an earlier post.  So Jennifer’s challenge resonated with me in a profound way.

I completed the 30-day challenge on Sunday and  this Fourth of July weekend reminds me to light my fire and get on with the business of living fearlessly, joyfully and authentically.

Here in the USA, the Fourth of July is celebrated with sparkling fireworks, parades, grills fired up to cook our favorite barbecue and reconnecting with family and friends.  And, it keeping with the theme of fire( works), I thought this would be a good time for me to light my fire so I can sparkle and turn that smoldering flame into my own personal fireworks.

Do you need to light your fire?

If you are willing to light your fire like  fireworks decorating the sky on the Fourth of July, here are some tips to ignite you:

1. Rescue your sparkle – your sparkle is not gone, you just need to reach deep inside to reclaim it. Could it be it’s concealed under layers of self-doubt? If so, let’s start today peeling away just one layer.

2.Turn up the heat – If you cook, you know that the higher the heat the more of a risk you have of burning your food. The same principle applies when we move at record speed with no down time for self-care. It leaves us susceptible to burnout and fatigue. Perhaps starting a morning or evening ritual such as a brisk walk or quiet time will help reduce the chance of burnout.

3. Sing your praises – It’s not conceited or arrogant to honor your accomplishments. In other words, pat yourself on the back when you complete a specific undertaking.

If this post rings a bell for you, please take a moment to connect with us by sharing your comments, reactions or questions.


Mother’s Day is Every Day

Mother's Day Rose

Mother’s Day is everyday for the brave, loving, supportive, sacrificing and caring women who fill the role of mother. Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother’s day is every day if you are a mother or mother figure. Every day mothers are privileged to receive sloppy kisses, heartfelt hugs, handmade gifts, pampering and an outpouring of love and affection.

Sunday, May 12 is the day set aside in the United States to honor, celebrate, pamper and shower mothers with gifts, phone calls and cards of appreciation.

Whether you’re being feted with sloppy kisses, treated to a lovingly prepared meal, given a fragrant bouquet of your favorite flowers, you are blessed to witness mother’s day every day.  Every day is Mother’s Day when we stop to celebrate the joys of motherhood.

A mother is someone who dreams great dreams for you, but then she lets you chase the dreams you have for yourself and loves you just the same.” – Author Unknown

Here is a different way to celebrate Mother’s Day or any day:

Write about your experiences, joys, memories, hopes and dreams on being a mother.

One of my most treasured possessions is a handwritten letter my mother wrote to me before she died. I often think about doing the same for my daughter.  Maybe writing a letter or short booklet is not for you but perhaps this idea will prompt you to create a video or voice recording to tell your children what it means to be their mother, your hope for their future, parenting tips or anything else you want to share.

You may not complete this project by mother’s day and if not consider it a worthwhile goal to achieve later.

Mother’s Day is every day when you bask in the knowledge that you are an amazing mother, special, loved, honored and appreciated – not just on Mother’s Day but every day.

And if you’re looking for a special way to celebrate your mom, mother figure or yourself on Mother’s Day or any day, I suggest you get a copy of my book, Master the Genie Within: Uncover, Embrace and Celebrate the Real You.

Have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

Celebrate International Women’s Day Every Day

Alice Walker

Alice Walker was born on February 9, 1944, in Eatonton, Georgia. She worked as a social worker, teacher and lecturer, and took part in the 1960s Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi. Walker won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her 1982 novel, The Color Purple, and is also an acclaimed poet and essayist.

March 8th is the day designated to Celebrate International Women’s Day – a global day of celebration to inspire and honor and support the achievements of women throughout the world.

In some countries, the day is an official holiday where children bestow gifts to mothers and grandmothers.

While it’s nice to receive gifts, how else can you celebrate International Women’s Day?

Here are a few ideas:

Take time for self-care
While celebrating the great accomplishments of other women throughout the world, remember to celebrate YOU by taking time to relax and consider YOUR accomplishments. Make a list of your accomplishments, treat yourself to a massage, buy yourself a bouquet of flowers, indulge in your favorite food, or write a thank you note to yourself thanking you for being who you are.

Make a difference
There are many women’s organizations looking for volunteers and/or donations. One such organization devoted to empowering women around the globe is Kiva connects you with women in developing countries who need small loans to provide for them and their families.

Donate your gently worn clothes to Dress for Success, an organization that promotes independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire for women who are entering or returning to the workplace.

Send a note to a women who influenced your life
We all stand on the shoulders of someone who made a difference in our lives, taught us a valuable life lesson, or supported us through a difficult time.  Send her a card or note to let her know how much you value having her in your life.  Your note doesn’t have to be long or “mushy”. It could be something as simple as “Thanks for being a part of my life”.

Read a book such about women’s accomplishments
A great reminder of the accomplishment of women can be found at your local library, bookstore or Amazon.  The stories of countless women make for a reminder of just how far we’ve come and also how much more work there is to be done to insure equality for all women everywhere.

Celebrate your girlfriends
Pick one or more of your girlfriends and schedule a lunch date or coffee break and tell her how much you cherish her friendship.  In our “busy” lives, we often don’t make the time to nurture and enjoy our friendships.

These ideas are not only to celebrate International Women’s Day.  You can use these suggestions to Celebrate International Women’s Day Every Day by expressing your appreciation, support and acknowledgment to women everywhere.

For more ideas about how to celebrate YOU and the accomplishments of women, I invite you to get my book, Master the Genie Within: Uncover, Embrace and Celebrate the Real You.

Make Commitments Not Resolutions

At the beginning of a new year, most of us focus our attention on how we can make meaningful changes in our daily lives (e.g., wipe the slate clean and start afresh) by changing some aspect of who we are – what we do, how we do things, when we do certain things and exploring why we act and respond in the ways we do.

You may call this process of introspection as making a new years resolution or you may call it something else. I prefer to look at this process as making a commitment rather than a resolution. The beginning of 2013 is the perfect time to refocus, think deeply and make a commitment to be the real you.

I believe a commitment is stronger than a resolution because you are the central character and the commitment is a pledge or promise you make to yourself. Although you can share your commitment with a trusted friend, it’s not necessary.

On the other hand, a resolution usually involves expressing to someone your resolve to do something (e.g., loose weight, exercise more, etc.).

A commitment to yourself means that you are taking responsibility for who you really are. It means you are committed to being your true self.

In essence you are writing a prolific script for your life. You get to design the scenes, choose the actors and you are responsible for the desired outcome.

Wouldn’t you rather write your own script than have someone else write it for you?

Make commitments not resolutions.

Here are some commitments you can start making today to discover your true self:

1. Shed the Superwoman role. Remember, superwoman was the figment of someone’s overactive imagination. She was not human. You are not superwoman. If you have the idea that you can do and be all things to everybody commit today to let go of the superwoman mindset.

2. Show gratitude. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have or what you think is missing in your life, learn to appreciate the abundance you already have. Everyday, write down five things you are grateful for.

3. Be open to new experiences. Only you know what inspires and excites you. Explore a hobby or activity you’ve secretly wanted to experience and commit to engaging in it.

4. Make self-care a top priority. Nourish your body, soul and spirit so you can be re-energized, refreshed and ready to step out in the world as your true self.

And, when you’re ready to learn more ways to commit to being your true self, I invite you to get my book, Master the Genie Within: Uncover, Embrace and Celebrate the Real You.

Holidays Wishes For You

holChristmas wreathe and candles [Flickr by jj busy on and off]

Warmest thoughts and wishes for your happiness this holiday season