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Mindset for Success

I know, I’m still lagging in posting but working my way back. It’s been quite a year so far, with tears of loss and pain mixed in with those of joy and success. It’s been that kind of year for almost everyone I know.

When you’re filled with self-doubt or a feeling of being “stuck” you really need to be your own best friend. Allow yourself some time to absorb the feeling and if you can, use it to fuel your desire to move forward. Surround yourself with people, places, and things that inspire you. It’s amazing how sometimes just one small thing can bring back your inner passion.

This past weekend I took some time for myself and went to see Nickelback in Irvine and San Diego. People seem to love them or hate them. As someone that’s followed their career since the 90’s when I could only hear them on Canadian Internet radio, I fall into the love camp – for a few reasons. Besides being a longtime fan of their music, my hat has always been off to them for ignoring their critics, following their passion and playing full-out doing what they love. It’s been a blast to watch them grow from their earliest days asunknown artists to the incredible multi-award, multi-platinum level success they’re enjoying today.

They always remind me to go after your passion in life with everything you have, to tune out all the negative chatter from others, to surround yourself with like-minded success driven people and dare to dream really big!

Me, Surrounded by success.  😉

Me Surrounded by Success ;)

Denise and Nickelback

When I first moved to San Diego in the eighties my family and “friends” told me I’d be back home to Michigan in year. I was told that it was too hard to make it on your own in a place like this, that it was too expensive, that I was too young, or that I wasn’t cut out for it. I always have to smile a little when I think back to those days because I’m always here
Del Mar CA Beach

when that thought crosses my mind some twenty-five years later….;)

Focus, Balance and Death

It’s time to come back to my poor neglected blog. I’ve written a million posts in my head between the last one and now. One of the posts was about staying focused which related to my training for the marathon in memory of my mom-in-law. I’m happy to say that I completed it and will do it again next year in her honor.

Another post was about balance and how it doesn’t mean that you have to balance each individual day into equal and exact parts. Just that you have to balance it out over the long haul. John Assaraf once told me that there will be times that we have to focus on a particular goal and it may seem to dominate our time – that doesn’t mean we’re out of balance as long as we turn our focus back to the other aspects of our life once that goal is completed. In my case that was devoting my full attention to training for the marathon, now I’m back to the rest of my life.

I’ll have to end on a note I didn’t see coming.. I really dislike that part of life sometimes – at least at first. Eventually I settle in, find my lesson and move on as much as I can. Sometimes it takes much longer than others.
I went to Colorado for a family gathering and for some much needed down-time. While I was there, I received a call that one of my aunts passed away. My Aunt was from the side of the family that raised me and the side that is dwindling rapidly. The celebration of life took place before I was able to get back for it, although I was able to come to terms with it in my own way. That was last Wednesday. Today, a week later, I received a message that still has me reeling.

My Uncle Frank was our family patriarch, historian and caregiver. He was the glue that held us all together regardless of how old we were. He was a WWII vet who served in counter-intelligence, and at 89 was still living on his own and mowing his own lawn! Up until a few years ago he was walking more than a few miles a day – his physician asked him to slow down. He’s one of the people that I’ve admired the most over the years. He was still very active socially and had beaten heart attacks, congested valves, and got a kick out of the fact that his pacemaker sometimes set off security alarms. He had a sense of humor that comes from appreciating life and all its bumps and quirks.

Yesterday, I lost my uncle to of all things, a car accident. His car was T-boned and unfortunately this time he didn’t pull through. I’m still in shock, dazed and it all seems very surreal. I feel like a melted clock in a Dali painting. I expected a midnight phone call telling me to come home, or racing the clock to get there in time. I prepared for a hospital visit or a quiet goodbye.
As life will have it, I was not prepared for this. At this point it just feels senseless. I am, however, eternally grateful that a couple of years ago when we lost another close family member, I wrote my Uncle Frank a letter. In it, I told him how much I loved him and how much he meant to me. I thanked him for everything he had done for all of us over the years. I can’t begin to tell you how much peace that single act has given me today and how much it meant to my uncle when he received it. It doesn’t make the loss hurt any less, but it does give me peace of mind that my uncle knew what he meant to me and how much I appreciated him. It’s my quiet reminder to anyone reading to take the following quote to heart. 😉

Death is a challenge. It tells us not to waste time… It tells us to tell each other right now that we love each other.
Leo F. Buscaglia

Mindset of Gratitude

Lilly Pads Balboa ParkThere are certain topics that are timeless. The one that has been on my mind for quite some time is one that feels most appropriate for my life right now – The mindset of gratitude.

One of the most important gifts we can give ourselves is the ability to be grateful for what we DO have, especially in the toughest of times. The ability to steer your attention to the positive things in your life doesn’t mean being a Pollyanna or living in a state of denial, it’s a learned skill that will change your brain chemistry, energy, and the way you interact with others.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
~ Melody Beattie ~

As I fall asleep tonight, my thoughts will be that:

    • Although a dear friend was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, I am forever grateful that it was caught at the earliest stage.


      • My mom in law lost her battle with leukemia in January yet I am thankful that I am healthy enough to participate in a marathon that will raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society while allowing me to honor her life.


        • I am surrounded by wonderful friends and family who are helping me meet the above goal and are who are the best people I could ever hope to have in my life during good times and bad.


          • Our schedules at this time of the year make it much harder for all of us to sit at the table for dinner but it’s something we all work at and want to do. I am grateful for the love and laughter when we are together – especially the times that make me laugh so hard it brings tears.


            • Even though my dog has been having seizures, the worst case scenarios have been ruled out and she’s on medication to control them.


              • Interruptions keep me from finishing my book as quickly as I would like, but wouldn’t trade the fullness that those “interruptions” bring. They are the chapters of my life.


              While it’s sometimes a struggle to carve out the time to post , I am grateful for each and every person that stops by – I hope that you can take what serves you best from it. I wish you a lifetime of happiness, gratitude and abundance.

              Valentines Day Mindset

              candy-heartsNo, I haven’t completely lost my mind. I know Valentines Day is over, that’s actually the point of this post.. The flowers are starting to fade and wither and the cards and gifts are already becoming a distant memory. So what are you doing to keep the Valentines Day mindset?

              For one day of the year, as a nation, we focus on our loved ones. Everywhere you turn there is an abundance of hearts and flowers, candy, cards, and gifts of every kind. All attention is focused on the special person in your life. The next day we wake up and perhaps start to fall back into old habits. The “I love you’s” and sugar coated sentiments are behind us and “real life” comes back into motion. Why?

              Our relationships like anything else in our lives are victims of habit, good and bad. Habits are much like an addiction – defined as something we can’t stop doing. All of the days, months and years we spend thinking and acting in a certain way eventually get programmed into our brain – literally. We create neural pathways that can lead to habitual negative views and reactions to our loved ones. Ever have the same old arguments with the same old results? You feel yourself falling into it, your head tells you to stop yet you can’t, you get sucked into the energy of the moment and go down that well traveled path to nowhere.

              Is it possible to stop? Yes, most definitely. You will have to work at it though. Just like that well worn path, it took a long time to become that way and it will take focused effort to move it in a new direction. It may sound cheesy to some, but visualization – also known as “mental rehearsal” can work miracles. It’s a well documented tool used in training athletes for peak performance. That peak performance isn’t limited to sports or physical activity; it can be anything you want to achieve – including a better relationship.

              Try visualizing the desired outcome to your age old argument. What is it that you would love to say (that’s positive) if you weren’t caught up in the moment of the argument? How would you like to see your partner respond? What would you say in turn? See it in your mind, and let yourself feel the emotion as if it were really happening.

              Keep repeating this process every chance you get. You are literally changing the neural pathways of your brain. Practiced consistently, the next time you start to engage in that same old argument, you will have developed new patterns of thinking and a new response. Done faithfully, you will end up with your desired result.

              Remember, you need to change the way you are feeling, thinking and responding. The goal is NOT to change your partner. The change will occur when you change YOUR pattern of thinking and reacting. It’s a great way to keep the Valentines Day mentality going all year long. Reprogram the bad habits with good ones, your relationship could depend on it.

              Taking Action

              Time to literally walk the talk! I’m going to be walking the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in memory of my mom-in-law, Bryna Kerska, whom I mentioned in an earlier post.

              I have asthma and even though I am active and walk on a regular basis, this distance while trying to make good time, will be a stretch for me. I’ve signed up through Team in Training and am looking forward to the kick-off tonight along with the official start of training on Saturday.

              While I still grieve the loss, taking action and fundraising to help find a cure for leukemia and other blood cancers allows me to focus on something positive while stretching my own personal boundaries. I’m looking forward to participating in a worthy cause and would love your support along the way. The donation is 100% tax deductible and any amount helps. Corporate sponsorships are welcome!

              Live Inauguration Feed

              Regardless of your political affiliation, today is a momentus day in our history. Enjoy the live feed.