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Hopeful Notes

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Seven and a half years ago my intention to bring hope and inspiration to people launched Hopeful Notes into the world and into your morning mail.

Today my intention is still alive and well and now, during this time of reflection, it calls for a 'time In' allowing for, when ready, a different kind of expression to emerge.

My attitude today is not to push things along like I have a wheelbarrow full of stuff and somewhere to get to.

It is more a process of feeling the winds of change and allowing them to soothe and (maybe rattle the windows) of my soul.

I am so grateful for my life, for you my Hopeful Note readers and the possibilities that lay ahead.

I am not saying goodbye, just so long for now.

We will meet again.

I honor and cherish you for who you are.

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Calmness Arrives

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A calmness settled in today. 

The last few days have been busy in my head with thoughts of regret, analysis and futurizing about my life.

This inner banter, of course, is the ego voice attempting to return to the status quo, set the ship back on course.

However my wiser self wonders what will my life be like if I am willing to question it and look for possibilities lying before me I cannot yet see.

In order to do that quiet reflective time is needed.

This is somewhat unnerving because I am accustomed to the chaos and analysis.

I realize, however, in taking time for reflection this morning that for as long as I can remember I have wanted to make people think about their life, laugh about the funny things and be grateful for the abundance.

And most of all, I have through Hopeful Notes, intended to have you question the format of your life from a place of inspiration rather than desperation. 

So following my own intention...taking my own advice, that is what I am doing.

We have one more day together but it will not be good-bye it will be “see you again soon.” A calmness settled in today. 

The last few days have been busy in my head with thoughts of regret, analysis and futurizing about my life.

This inner banter, of course, is the ego voice attempting to return to the status quo, set the ship back on course.

However my wiser self wonders what will my life be like if I am willing to question it and look for possibilities lying before me I cannot yet see.

In order to do that quiet reflective time is needed.

This is somewhat unnerving because I am accustomed to the chaos and analysis.

I realize, however, in taking time for reflection this morning that for as long as I can remember I have wanted to make people think about their life, laugh about the funny things and be grateful for the abundance.

And most of all, I have through Hopeful Notes, intended to have you question the format of your life from a place of inspiration rather than desperation. 

So following my own intention...taking my own advice, that is what I am doing.

We have one more day together but it will not be good-bye it will be “see you again soon.”

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It Is Time To Pause

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It Is Time To Pause

When we are conscious in our lives, we see and feel when the time has come to make a change.

It is time for me to step into the turmoil of change without knowing all the steps on the path, recognizing that life is a journey of transition not destination.

I feel a powerful motivation to step toward the change in energy I feel in my life.

No matter how hard I have tried lately, I can’t shake off the impetus to stop, surrender and listen carefully to the voice of transition that is constantly giving me guidance to move in a new direction.

For this reason, my final Hopeful Note, at least for the time being, will be published on Friday, December 19th just before the winter solstice.

The winter time is a time to put certain things to bed, like our garden, so that in the spring the plants may flourish again.

However, this does not mean I will lose consciousness about my journey or isolate in my bedroom.

 I will  be pursuing new interests, gathering my energy and consciously paying attention to the path I am on.

I will emerge in a new way.

I don’t know what that is at the moment but I am consciously engaging in the process in a mindful way.

In the next few days before our time together draws to a close I will let you know as best I can the aspects of my journey of which I am aware.

I am grateful to you for being my fellow traveller.

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Be An Explorer

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Be An Explorer

There was a time when people thought the world was flat because they could not see beyond their horizon.

The world expanded when explorers took to their boats and went seeking a new world.

When you take the attitude that you are an explorer of your world you are willing to open your mind and heart to see beyond where you can see right now.

Be curious about your world.

Ask some questions like:

  1. What is it I love?
  2. What I am I doing here?
  3. What is my vision for my future

These questions are there basis for exploring your world and seeing beyond your current horizon.

You may discover a new world for yourself.

This is who you are.

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Where Is The Peace We Seek?

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Where Is The Peace We Seek?

My observation of the world at the moment is of people running around trying to find peace.

In fact, peace is not out there. Peace is in here...it resides in all our hearts, we just don’t realize it all the time.

In the world of the one person there is dissatisfaction with career or family or health or whatever.

A continual litany of something being wrong while proclaiming to find the place of peace.

To find peace within we have to know peace is within ourselves.

If it is something new that is desired in our lives then we must know the place that thing comes from.

It does not come from racing around.

It will not show up if you keep throwing all kinds of crap at the wall and hoping something will stick.

It will come in the quiet moment when you stop, take notice of where you are, who is speaking to you and what your consciousness is about your gifts and talents.

No one is devoid of peace.

Everyone has it.

It resides within each one of us waiting like a beautiful flower to be discovered among bushes.

This is who you are.

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What Is the Opening?

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What Is the Opening?

What is the opening you are looking for?

What is the opening you are hoping for?

There is nothing to wait for because the opening to your wisdom is always there.

This is who you are.

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Two Phrases That Change Your Day

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Two Phrases That Change Your Day

There are two phrases that when used with gratitude and connection create something positive that was not there before.

The phrase is “thank You.” 

This is an acknowledgment of something done for you for which you are grateful.

Many people in our fast paced world do not get acknowledgment for the things they do.

I have noticed this with store clerks, nurses, teachers, doctors, husbands and wives  and many others who are of service.

The service is provided by the person because it is their job or their responsibility or a desire to help, not to get the acknowledgement.

A deeper connection is formed, good will is created and stronger relationship are forged when “Thank you” passes between them.

In many cases it is the people closest to us we forget to say, “Thank you” to. 

In a way we have taken the relationship for granted by forgetting how important acknowledgment is to the other person.


The other phrase that will change your day is to address someone by their name.

If you don’t know their name, just ask them.

An instant bond is created.

When you use another person’s name with respect, connection and authenticity you are saying something to them about how much you value them.

It provides the opportunity for a happier and more connected moment.

Many times the people closest to you are craving your acknowledgment.

Don’t forget them just because they are beside you all the time.

Familiarity is the reason to be more aware of how you acknowledge them.

Two phrases to use to change your day. “Thank you” and addressing someone by their name.

This is who you are.

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Little Bits of Change

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Little Bits of Change

As you know, everything changes over time.

It happens in small bits so much so you hardly notice it.

For example, I used to have a great head of hair. Now I have more hair growing in my eyebrows than on my head.

How does that happen?

Little bits of change over time.

This is how the journey of life works.

Some changes you have control over, like what you eat and some you don’t like getting older.

However, the ball is in your court to decide how you handle the bits of change you can.

You see it is not the changes themselves that are bothersome, it is how you handle them.

Isn’t it great to realize you are in charge?

But now the problem arises that if you are in charge then you are also responsible.

You are the captain of your own ship.

One little change a day...eventually...makes for a big change in direction.

When you add them up over a lot of years you create your life.

Love it or not your ship sails with you at the helm.

This is who you are.

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Chocolate cake...Please!

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Chocolate cake...Please!

The mind obsesses about the delicious butter cream topping chocolate cake sitting on the kitchen counter.

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The mouth waters just seeing the velvety, smooth dark chocolate treasure awaiting the first bite.

Ok, enough obsession, there really is no chocolate cake although your mind might want one.

However, the human mind has a capacity for obsession about many things.

Thoughts come through the mind at a rapid pace and it has the capacity to process huge amounts of information.

However, the mind loves to stop and focus on one thing and play with it like a kid with a toy.

Over and over the story plays out in thought with the physical body reacting to the delicious promise of food, status, recognition or anything else it has been taught to value.

You see the mind does not know the difference between real experience and imagined experience. 

The result is you have put yourself through the wringer obsessing about whatever it was that caught the attention of your mind.

It is like a runaway train heading for nowhere.

Controlling obsession leads to freedom of thought and body. You release yourself from the powerless feeling of someone else driving your bus.

Try these ideas to give yourself a sense of being free:

  1. Stop - take time to stop and notice your mind is in obsession mode. It may be about chocolate cake or something else.
  2. Observe - how you feel when your mind obsesses. The obsession actually creates physical reactions.
  3. Trust - your intuition to know what you need in the moment other than obsession. 

Freedom from obsession allows for more space to connect to your intuitive knowing about what is right for you right now.

This is who you are.

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Expectations

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Expectations

Do we get what we expect?

Expectations are not always fulfilled because there are circumstances we cannot control.

However, expectations are a filter through which we see and act in the world.

This filter prevents us from seeing and experiencing what is really going on...what else is possible.

It is a limiting way to live.

Can we live without any expectations?

I think we can learn to love living without expectations if we are prepared to be present in each moment and act accordingly.

Thich Nhat Hanh says, “The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence.”

Unfortunately many of us are not practiced enough at being present in the moment.

We bring our expectations wrapped in agendas, attitudes and success goals along with us at every turn and...miss the moments.

Here are some ideas to let go of expectations:

  1. Focus on what you want and take a small step toward it without pre-engaging in the outcome.
  2. Release yourself from judgement as to how you think your life should be.
  3. Trust yourself to know when you pay attention, the answer you need in this moment will show up

Start exploring life without the chain of expectations.

You will feel free.

This is who you are.

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The Body beautiful

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The Body beautiful

Do you know the song of your life?

It’s the theme running through the lyrics of your day that keep you going.

Many people are not aware of their song.The need to rush is too strong.

They run here and there trying new things, staying with the old, resisting change because it is too hard to craft a new tune.

Yet, the old lyrics don’t match you any more.

You can feel it in your bones as you try to sing the same old song day after day.

The opening to a new song is what is called for now.

This means not only shedding the old but actually writing new lyrics.

How will you do that?

The new song shows up when you decide you are ready. It is a conscious choice.

This means recognizing the delusion of continuing to sing the same old tune.

Sit down, take the time to see what lyrics show up now.

They are there.

They show up through the turmoil and the uncertainty when you allow it.

The time is here for a new song of your life.

Let it come.

It is in your heart.

Listen for it.

This is who you are.

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Dreams Unfulfilled?

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Dreams Unfulfilled?

You have a dream.

You want something to change in your life but you don’t know how to do it.

The harder things get, the harder you try.

That’s because of how you have been trained.

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You are frustrated because you are not acknowledged for what you have done.

The effort you have put toward your dream is the best you have ever given.

Here is what is getting in your way:

  1. The training that says the harder things get the harder you should work.
  2. The way you keep analyzing the results. It’s like pulling up the roots of a baby plant to see if it is growing.
  3. The judgement you place on yourself for not being good enough.

Here is an alternative way to look at and fulfill your dream:

  1. Acknowledge you don’t know the answer and let that be enough.
  2. Keep putting your effort into your dream by taking the next step.
  3. Understand and know that if you take the next step you have already fulfilled your dream. There is nothing more to do

This is my philosophy of fulfilling my dream. 

When I acknowledge the step I have taken today then I know I am fulfilling my dream because that was what I was supposed to do today.

Do not lament on yesterday or leap into tomorrow.

Your dream comes true in this moment as you take the necessary action.

This is who you are.

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The Game Changer

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The Game Changer

Pete Carroll, head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, has a lot to say about mindfulness and how it applies to life.

First, let’s review...what is mindfulness?

My definition is being present to whatever is going on in the moment without judgement.

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Sports coaches have been described as “my way or the highway” type of guys with a hard hitting attitude in a rigid system.

Pete Carroll has taken the concept of mindfulness and applied it to the creation of a winning football team with players who know how to be present in the moment.

There is lots for us to learn using Pete Carroll’s philosophy about living our life.

First, he coaches the whole person so that the player can bring his best strengths to the game. You can apply this by understanding your best strengths and bringing them to the game of your life.

Second, he embedded the concept of being a competitor as a key to his philosophy in his coaching practice. His concept of competition is not about beating others but about being the best you can be. He develops his players to access and stretch into the potential he knows is inside them. 

Mindfulness training develops our ability to do just that...access our own highest potential and act accordingly.

Third, Pete Carroll believes focussing on results is counter productive. He says when we focus outside ourselves we get distracted and lose focus on what is happening in the moment. Instead, visualize the results but focus on yourself and what is happening in the moment.

He doesn’t win every game but he and his players are fully engaged in what they are doing. His level of success on and off the field is testament to his coaching strategy.

I wonder how our lives would be if we took these ideas to heart?

This is who you are.

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Blind Spots

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Blind Spots

We all have blind spots.

One type of blind spot is physical and the other is made up from our adaptations while growing up.

We humans accept the physical blind spot easily enough. Most of us don’t even think of it as a problem. The brain does the work by filling in the blind  spot based on surrounding landscape.

However, the blind spot we developed growing up has a lot to do with how we see the world.

That’s why putting several people together and asking them their opinion will result in several different answers.

Your internal blind spot can lead you to limit your perspective and thus limit your possible results.

Here are some ideas to consider in facing your blind spots:

  1. Look at how you judge people and circumstances. Chances are those judgments cloud what might be possible.
  2. What are you afraid of? Childhood fears go into the background as people grow up. Yet they lurk inside you adjusting the way your world is experienced.
  3. What kind of thinker are you? Some people can see big picture and others can only see what is in front of them. Neither one is good or bad It’s just that your view of the world and what is happening gets adjusted according to the way you think. Thus a blind spot occurs.

Recognizing your blind spots is a wise thing to do.

When you understand where they are you open the door to more possibilities.

Now, that’s a good thing.

This is who you are.

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