A Month of Gratitude

Did you know November is National Gratitude Month? With Thanksgiving upon us, it’s a time to reflect on what we are grateful for in our lives.

Expressing gratitude can enhance mood, decrease stress and improve overall well being. But it shouldn’t just begin and end with November. The practice of daily gratitude can lead to a happier and healthier life.

We can all think of that person in our life who completely focuses on the negative. You know the one. No matter the conversation it’s complaint after complaint. Negative thinking and complaining gains strength in our mind when we focus our attention on it. Just like the muscles in our body, the more we work out, the more that muscle will grow. Negative thinking is the same. Continue reading

Book Review: The Energy Bus

We all face challenges and adversity in our lives. Negativity can take hold and sabotage your thoughts, health and happiness. We have a plethora of research at our fingertips that describes how positive energy and positive interactions can improve our lives, make us more productive and increase our happiness. To create success at home or at work we have to overcome the negative way of thinking and that can be a challenge.

Written by Jon Gordon, The Energy Bus is an inspiring story about a man named George who has challenges with his marriage, his team at work and his life overall.

The story begins with a Monday morning and a flat tire. That flat tire and subsequent car repairs change George’s life because that is how he met Joy, the bus driver. George had no choice but to take the bus to work until his car was fixed. And Joy was no ordinary bus driver because she made it her mission in life to be an Energy Ambassador. She tried to energize everyone who came on her bus. Continue reading

Designed with Heart: Inclusive Playgrounds

We spent all day at a playground when I was a kid. Running, climbing and jumping was what we did. I never gave the tanbark, metal equipment or two-step entrance a second thought.

Looking back, I can remember the kids who never played with us because they couldn’t access the playground. It wasn’t until my own daughter had so many challenges with play spaces I realized that a playground is not one size fits all.

Our daughter has intellectual disability, developmental delay and tremors along with balance and coordination issues. She couldn’t sit on a standard swing when she was younger. She fell easily on uneven surfaces and couldn’t keep up with her peers on most playgrounds. Our trips to the playground usually ended in tears. My son had a very different play experience since he could play on any type of playground. Continue reading

Tips for Going Back to School

I’ve been in corporate marketing for many years. I enjoy working for small companies where I feel I can make a difference and collaborate with cross-functional teams. I earned my bachelor’s degree at a time in my life when my complete focus was on school. That wasn’t the case when I decided for study for the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification online.

I’m a working mom with two active kiddos and a full-time job. The thought of squeezing one to two hours of study time into my day made my head spin. I was at a point in my career I felt I needed to up my game and gain new knowledge in the areas that interested me the most. Continue reading

Book Review: The Happiness Equation

Book Review: The Happiness EquationThe Happiness Equation is a practical guide to developing the happiness muscles in your brain. It gives the reader a framework with real, practical ways to train your mind for the positive.

The book outlines nine secrets for achieving  happiness. And while these “secrets” are really nothing new, the approach and framework provide the tools you need to build a grateful and positive mindset in your life.

Written by Neil Pasricha, The Happiness Equation is a research-based book that shares the insights from thousands of interviews and a range of resources.

Continue reading

How Do You Define Success?

It’s the million dollar question that you have to look from within to define. Success is subjective. It’s an intangible that to some is only defined by the tangible. To others it comes from a feeling of accomplishment.

However you define it, Success Magazine is a good place to find the cornerstones of self-fulfillment that defines how we view success. I started reading Success Magazine a few years ago and have found their podcasts really insightful.

I’ve always had a fascination with people who have achieved greatness in their careers and lives. I’m not so much interested in the money or fame part though. What’s always interesting to me is the path taken to get there. Continue reading

Benefits of Practicing Daily Gratitude

My 2018 gratitude journal. I started last year with these goals and added an entry every day.

We’re already a month into the new year. Hard to believe how fast time flew by this month. Resolutions were made and broken within the first few weeks of the year. One poll suggested that 80% of the people who set a resolution failed by February. Yikes!

Don’t despair if the resolution didn’t work out for you. We always go for the brass ring and create the lofty resolutions that are hard to achieve. It’s the consistent, daily efforts that turn into the big wins over time. The small practices benefit you more in the long run.

Gratitude is one of those practices that’s been part of my daily routine for years now. I’m not talking about daydreams with rainbows and unicorns, although I love both of those things. It’s the daily thought about what you are grateful for. And I get it that some days just really suck. I had a few of those days in January. Continue reading

Kids, Bikes and Adaptive Play

Riding a bike is like a right of passage for a young child. It’s the moment when the training wheels come off and they take off with that little wobble. I saw a father help his girl take that first ride in a field behind our house the other day. She was smiling and beaming with excitement. She fell once and then got back on long enough to ride away.

For moms like me, watching that moment is inspiring and also bitter sweet. It’s hard for me to imagine our girl taking off on her own two-wheeled bike.

She has balance and coordination challenges along with other conditions and intellectual disability. She tries very hard to ride her bike and she really just wants to join in play with others. Continue reading

Book Review: Live Happy

It’s not often I come across a book I want to read a few times over. Live Happy: Ten Practices for Choosing Joy is one of those books. I read it three times so far!

Live Happy combines the science of happiness and ways you can create joy each and every day. From an attitude with gratitude to finding meaning even in the darkest of hours, we can all improve the quality of our lives through small, daily practices.

The book includes stories from people who worked through life’s challenges by simple acts they made each day. Some of the stories you’ll read are from celebrities like Alanis Morisette and Hoda Koth. Best selling positive psychologist, Shawn Achor, offers his research on happiness and is among the 40 stories available from all kinds of people. You will feel inspired about your own journey. Continue reading

A Mom’s Journey into Inclusive Play, Advocacy and Partnership

Inclusive playground visit January 2017.

Advocacy has many meanings. When I think of that word, I imagine protests in the streets to build awareness or a fight to right a wrong with a certain issue. It’s a way we rise up to support people who are under served. It’s how we support a cause to achieve a common goal for the greater good.

Parents with children who have disabilities are the strongest advocates I know. Between medical appointments, school IEPs, state rights and down to daily interactions in the community, we advocate for inclusion, support and compassion. A simple trip to a playground can be a battle of sorts when it’s not designed for all.

Our small town started promoting a new park build with a 10,000 square foot playground in 2016. I was so busy between my kids’ school, the work schedule and life I didn’t think much of the call for community comments. Continue reading