It’s a Wonderful World

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Over the Rainbow It's a Wonderful WorldIt’s been 8 years today, September 18th, since my late husband Gregg and I married. At the GOMF French Meadows Summer Camp in 2003, Gregg and I sang the first song we ever sang together–Over the Rainbow/What’s a Wonderful World. It became our song, with Gregg singing the lead and me harmonizing, and we sang it at our wedding two years later. Here’s the video of that special moment for me at Camp two months ago when I could finally sing the song by myself without crying. The clouds are indeed far behind me. Jason King of Portland Oregon is playing the ukelele. We’re at the campfire. Happy Anniversary, Gregg. I am so glad our paths crossed.

© 2013 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

Turning Tragedy into Inspiration: What is the Future you are Creating as you Experience the News of the Connecticut Shootings?

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Turning Tragedy into InspirationWe learn news of  the shootings and deaths of innocent children in Connecticut. We find ourselves filled with all kinds of emotions.

This is not surprising. Something has happened that’s painful and very different from what we expect, what we believe, what we have learned, what we hope for, and what we envision for ourselves and others. And when that happens, our brains do their jobs to keep us functioning efficiently and effectively, safe and out of danger. They immediately deliver to us fight, flight, and freeze thoughts and the emotions that go with them.

Anger, outrage, criticism, judgment, blame, revenge, hopelessness, powerlessness, sadness, despair, shock, and disbelief, are all fight, flight, and freeze thoughts.

Are these bad thoughts and emotions? No — they are not bad. They are gifts.

They serve as a moment of truth, a moment of grand awareness of who I truly am and what I truly wish to create in this world.

Anger, outrage, blame, criticism, judgment, and revenge for example, present the awareness that whatever I am experiencing is NOT in alignment with who I am and what I wish to create in this world.

Grief and sadness present the awareness of what IS important to me, what IS of value to me, and what I truly wish to create in my life and in the world.

This is true for us individually and collectively. Every event, particularly the tragic ones, serves as a defining moment, a significant opportunity to create the next version of the highest vision of ourselves as a person, a friend, a parent, a family, a teacher, a leader, an organization, a community, a nation, a world.

In this moment, I can choose to hold and re-act the fight, flight, and freeze thoughts or I can choose to focus on and create the next version of the highest vision of myself.

Re-act or create. It is up to me. It is always up to me.

Rather than label or judge a situation or a person as bad or good, I can decide who I am in relationship to it and choose the vision of what I wish to create from it.

I may think I am a victim. I am not a victim. I am a creator. I may think I can judge, even condemn. I am not a judge. I am a creator.

I create. Every thought I choose to hold is creating–for better or worse. Individually and collectively. And when it comes down to it, the essence of every thought I have is love or fear.

Fight, flight, and freeze thoughts are rooted in fear. Thoughts of vision, purpose, being of service and making a difference,  wonder and possibility, thankfulness, and joy are rooted in love.

Thoughts rooted in love bring us peace and inspire us and it’s when we are inspired that we achieve long-lasting, meaningful change and significant results.

I choose to create. I choose love.

So as I see, hear, read, and process the news of the Connecticut shootings,  I notice my fight, flight, and freeze thoughts and the emotions as they arise and continue to arise.  I feel them.  I own them. I take a breath and I wonder what I wish to create and I choose thoughts that move me in a direction that serves, contributes and creates the  next version of the highest vision of myself.

I pause. I breathe. I wonder. I choose. I inspire. I create.

These are some questions I can ask myself  when I notice I am in fight, flight, and freeze.

  • What can I say or do right now for the greater good?
  • How can I make a difference in this moment?
  • How can I be of highest and best service in this moment?
  • What could I be thankful for in this moment?
  • How can I demonstrate love in this moment?
  • How can I help?

I can ask these questions with respect to:

  • Those involved
  • My children
  • My family
  • All children
  • All families
  • My school
  • Our schools
  • My community
  • My country
  • All of humanity

For example, I may notice that I am profoundly sad for the parents and the loss of their children. When I take my breath and wonder, I may notice that I am inspired to love and appreciate my children or institute “date night” with my children.  I may notice I am inspired to help coordinate prayer vigils, or activities to write letters or help the families in some way. I may be inspired to help institute programs to help children be safe or learn how to choose peace over violence. I may be inspired to practice being in the moment and practice experiencing the joy and adventure of each stage of my child’s growth and development. I may want to start practicing being kind to myself and others.

Or perhaps I notice I am critical of the educational system or the parenting of the shooter. When I take my breath and wonder, I may notice I am inspired to be a good parent and practice being a good parent. I may be inspired to teach my children about self-awareness and how to manage their thoughts and emotions. I may be inspired to become involved in a meaningful way with my children’s education or contribute to an organization that is dedicated to the treatment of mental illness.

The opportunities to demonstrate love, be of service, help, make a difference, and  affect the greater good are infinite–in any moment. And this is what lights our fire. This is what invokes our light and inspires us. We are all about creating the next version of the highest vision of ourselves.

What we do in times of difficulty can be our greatest success. For the experience we create is a declaration of who we are and who we intend to be.

Confucius said, “To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life…”

How are you being in relation to the news of the day? What is the future you are creating?

 

© 2012 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

It’s the Launch of Mindfulness Monday™- and You’re Invited!

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Change Your World with Mindfulness MondayEverything that we say, do, and create first begins in thought. Everything.

I can’t begin to describe how powerful each of us is – how powerful you are. Every thought we have is creating. For better or worse. Individually and collectively.

Most of us have no idea what we’re thinking. We think we’re thinking positively, we’re not. We think we are focused on what we truly want – we’re not. We keep living each day like we did yesterday – stressed, uninspired, trying to figure out our true purpose.

The good news is we all have the ability to be aware of our thoughts, know if the thought is working for us or against us, and choose powerful thoughts that serve our purpose.

Mindfulness Monday isn’t about thinking “happy” thoughts. It’s about choosing thoughts that are in alignment with who we truly are and what we truly wish to create in this world.

We all have the ability to turn worry into wonder, fear into inspiration, stress into purpose. We do. It takes practice.

We’ve mastered all the thoughts that are not working for us. Now it’s time to master thoughts that serve our purpose.

A Year of Mindfulness

With 60,000 thoughts a day, you may be wondering where to start. Many people, having read my book or attended one of my workshops, have asked me for support and coaching, on a regular basis, to help them deepen their experience and make Managing Thought a way of living.

That’s why I created Mindfulness Monday, my new 52-week online course in Managing Thought®. I believe this is the very best way to change the way you think and re-open your connection with your highest awareness.

Mindfulness Monday gives you training a little bit at a time, spread out over a whole year.

A Guided Experience

I am your guide and mentor for this year of Mindful Mondays and I am committed to ensuring that you get what you need from this course.

Each powerful thought brings significant results. As these powerful thoughts are repeated and mastered gradually over time, we start experiencing our true nature: We are happy, healthy, creative, expansive, full of energy, and inspired. We are fully present, on purpose, at peace, and playful.

Our lives and our work are filled with joy and aliveness.

In addition, through the Managing Thought Community, you also give and receive support of a whole community of men and women who are practicing managing thoughts in all sorts of ways and places—businesses, churches, hospitals, schools, meetings, improving their relationships, taking tests, and raising their children.

Every moment is a new moment. And every moment we have the ability to choose who we are and what we wish to create in this world.

When we manage our thoughts, it is the best gift we give to ourselves, our family, friend and workmates and through the ripple effect, the world.

Confucius said way back when: To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate ourselves.

It’s my personal mission to help change the world…one thought at a time.

I look forward to sharing this adventure with you and invite you to sign up today at a special VIP price.

May your thoughts bring you peace and inspire you.

 

 

 

© 2012 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

What’s Your Poem?

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In 2002, I  attended a leadership workshop. One afternoon, the facilitator asked us to reflect on what we truly wanted, what was standing in the way of achieving it, and to write a poem about it. At the time, I was in the process of documenting the Managing Thought® process and writing the workshops. Although I was very clear about my life mission, that I am doing what I am here to do, I was fearful. I had learned as a child, that if I wanted to be loved and accepted, it would serve me to keep my “out there” thoughts to myself. Now I would be sharing these “out there” thoughts with the toughest audience — CEOs– and putting it in writing–for all to see for all eternity! I cried as I got ready to conduct my first workshop. I felt like I was coming out of the closet.

So I wrote my poem. (I always write acrostic poems – where the first letter of each line of the poem, when read vertically, spell a word, that the poem is about.)

LETTING GO

Leaping from the top of the highest mountain into the sea of possibility,

Embracing all that there is–in the world and in my soul,

Trusting that the doors will open, and I walk

Through those open doors

Intuitively,

Naturally,

Gracefully, filled with faith and

Gratitude,

Opening myself to the experience of miracles…

I woke up the next morning with an expanded radiance and a knowing that it wasn’t about me being loved and accepted.  It was about me loving and accepting others. It wasn’t about me seeking to be understood. It was about me  seeking to understand and sharing what I am learning without an attachment to the outcome. And so it is!

What’s standing in the way of what you truly want? What’s your poem?

 

Thanks to my Facebook friends Macrobiotic Guide for sharing this photo with us.

© 2012 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

Transforming Guilt

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Transforming Guilt by Mary J. LoreToday is the 64th wedding anniversary of my parents. It’s also been two months since my dad made one of the most difficult decisions of his life. Recovering from his third stroke in six months, he decided to move from my parents’ new independent living apartment, to a small apartment, and move my mom to a home that specializes in care for those with dementia. This blog is seventh in a series on my parents’ recent move from their home of forty years and handling big changes in their lives.

When a counselor asked my dad how he was doing, he said that he felt the best he has felt in years. Then he added, “There are times I feel guilty.  When I’m enjoying myself, I feel guilty.  I think about my wife being alone, wondering why we’re not living together, feeling abandoned, thinking she’s been put away.”

The counselor said, “You shouldn’t feel guilty.” She went on to describe how well mom is doing, how well she is cared for and how much fun she’s having dancing and participating in activities. She then told my dad that he needed to take care of himself and finished with, “You shouldn’t feel guilty.”

Of course, after the first, “You shouldn’t feel guilty,” all that my dad heard was, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” And after the second, “You shouldn’t feel guilty,” his brain was busy delivering to him his entire archive of thoughts and feelings of guilt and now he really felt guilty!

I later explained to my dad that guilt is a fight, flight, and freeze thought that his brain is delivering to him because something is happening that is different from what he hopes or expects or believes or has concluded from past experiences.

He shared that he never dreamed that he and my mom would end up like this.

I asked him, “What do you truly want?” He said when they got married, he vowed to take care of my mom, no matter what.  I asked him, “What are all the ways you can take care of Mom?”

He had a long list – he’s made sure she’s in a great place, with great food and company and care, he visits her every day, tucks her in at night, brings her chocolate, holds her hand, takes her to church and on a lunch date every Sunday, plays bingo with her, puts her on the phone with her sisters, tells her jokes, helps her to feel safe and loved.

I asked him, “What are all the ways you can take care of yourself so you can take care of Mom?” Again, he had a long list of things he could do to take care of his mind, body and spirit, which of course, included being with friends and enjoying himself.

Then I asked him what he could practice thinking when he experiences guilt. He decided to acknowledge the guilt thought, without blame or judgment, and remind himself how much he loves his wife and how he’s fulfilling the promise he made 64 years ago–to take care of her, no matter what.

What are you telling yourself you should or shouldn’t think? And what could you prefer to think?

© 2011 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

What is the Future You Are Creating?

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What Future Are You CreatingI hear the news that Osama bin Laden is dead. What do I think? What do I say? What do I do?

If I truly want to be the grandest vision of myself, if I truly want peace in this world, this is the opportunity for me to practice self-awareness, see who I really am, and decide who I intend to be.

Every event is an opportunity for us to remind ourselves of who we truly are as a person, a friend, a parent, a family, a teacher, a leader, an organization, a community, and a nation.

Rather than label or judge a situation or a person as bad or good, we can decide who we are with regard to it and choose the experience we wish to create from it.

I may think I am a victim. I am not a victim. I am a creator.

I may think I can judge, even condemn. I am not a judge. I am a creator.

I create.

Every circumstance is an opportunity for me to create who I am and intend to be and what I want to experience in this world.

Everything I say, do and create in this world first begins in thought. What I think about, I create. What we think about collectively, we create. What we focus on becomes our reality.

Every thought is rooted in love or fear.

As I hear and process the news of the death of Osama bin Laden, do I choose to re-act thoughts rooted in fear? Or do I choose thoughts rooted in love?

I choose love. I choose peace.

So I ask myself:

  • What can I say or do right now for the greater good?
  • How can I make a difference in this moment?
  • How can I be of highest and best service in this moment?

What we do in times of difficulty can be our greatest success. For the experience we create is a declaration of who we are and who we intend to be.

Confucius said, “To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life…”

How are you being in relation to the news of the day? What is the future you are creating?

© 2011 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

Overcoming Obstacles

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Overcoming ObstaclesPicture this:  It’s packing day. Moving day is tomorrow and I get a voicemail from the realtor to say the sale of my parents’ house has fallen through! The buyers’ bank, which had pre-approved the mortgage, has discovered that the buyer had co-signed on a loan that went south and is now backing out of the deal. This blog is fifth in the series sharing lessons in Managing Thought during the recent sudden move of my parents from their home of forty years.

My eyes opened wide.  My jaw dropped.  I gasped.

The voicemail continues as the realtor explains that they have eight people who want to see the home immediately. She is confident they’ll have another offer soon. And all I am hearing is blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…because I am busy thinking thoughts that are much louder – Oh my God! What do I do? Everything is almost packed. When my dad hears the news, he could have another stroke! How could this happen? They pre-approved the loan! I can’t show the house now. It’s a mess…..

I took a breath, exhaling deeply, and thought about what I was thankful for. Immediately, I realized I was thankful that the realtor called me, and not my dad. And I was thankful that I knew how to manage my thoughts, that I could see these fight, flight, and freeze thoughts for what they are, just thoughts, not reality, and that I could choose powerful thoughts of vision, purpose, and wonder…which led me to wondering what was possible.

I asked the realtor what the quickest possible close with a new buyer could be. She told me a cash sale with no inspection. I wondered how we could find such a buyer and let it go.

Now on to the big question – to move or not to move?

I knew my dad would be worried about the money. The plan was to sell the house first and then move so they wouldn’t have the expense of two homes and so they could use the proceeds from the sale to purchase the long-term care guaranty option, which guarantees their care for the rest of their lives.

I reflected on the original vision, purpose, intention, of the plan to move right away.

In moving now, my parents qualify for independent living. If my mother’s dementia progresses or my father’s health deteriorates, they would not qualify for independent living, and then would not be eligible for the long-term care guaranty. The long-term care guaranty brings my father peace of mind and the ability to fulfill his intention of taking care of his wife and himself until their death.  The new home, with all of its services, allows my dad to focus his energy on what matters most and to have some fun. The new home allows my dad and mom to get out, interact with others, take part in activities, go on dates and have a great quality of life.

I became inspired and decided to move forward with the move, trusting in the process.  I shared all this with my father including the wondering about the cash sale buyer. My dad then said his neighbor had expressed interest in buying the house several months back. I called the neighbor.

The end result – We moved the next day. My parents got their first month free in their new home. And in that month, the neighbor bought the house for cash with no inspection! My parents purchased the long-term guaranty and all is very well in their world.

We often set goals expecting things to happen a certain way to achieve the goal. Invariably, something happens that’s different than we expect, and our brains deliver us fight, flight and freeze thoughts. Without self-awareness, these thoughts of worry, frustration, blame, fear etc. can rule our world. When we practice managing our thoughts, we know that life isn’t always in a straight line. It can be curvy. And when something happens that’s different than we expect, we can pause to add light, take that breath, choose powerful thoughts of vision and purpose, thankfulness and wonder and be amazed as remarkable things start to happen.

How can you practice self-awareness to overcome obstacles?

© 2011 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

The Power of Imagination

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This blog is blog number four in a series of reflections on lessons in Managing Thought during the recent sudden move of my parents — lessons we can apply every day at work and in life.

When I was helping my parents with the move, I found bags and bags and bags and bags of bags! I share this to give you an idea of what my dad was feeling when he said, “What am I gonna do with this stuff? It won’t fit in the apartment. Maybe we shouldn’t move.”  He was clearly experiencing the flight and freeze of fight, flight or freeze.

As he started rummaging through it all, he became increasingly overwhelmed, “Why did we keep this? We don’t need that,” criticizing himself and my mom.

I suggested to Dad that he focus on what he wanted to keep. I imagined Dad doing what he loves to do.  He loves to cook, golf, read, listen to music and educational tapes, go on walks, exercise, tinker, purify his water, watch war movies.  He often said he’d like to get back to doing water color.

We had agreed to take this “journey of a thousand miles”, one step at a time. So I first suggested he gather everything he wanted to keep relating to his art supplies. When that was done, he focused on his golf keepers. Then he gathered the books and tapes he wanted to keep …

As he gathered these things, he perked up. He started talking about what he planned to paint and how he could set up his bench in his room. He spoke of the golf league he wanted to join and jotted down a note to himself to call about signing up. He wondered how he could practice French and put that on a list to talk about with the activities director at his new place. He was no longer stressed and concerned by all the stuff. And he was developing an action plan to accomplish his vision. The stuff that was left was what was left! He could choose to give it to friends or family, donate, sell, recycle or put in the trash.

When we take a moment to imagine ourselves doing and being what brings us joy and inspires us, then we become inspired and we receive ideas on how to create what we imagine. When we stay focused on what we truly we want, on what really matters, in work and in life, we receive ideas on how to create and expand upon what we really want.

We don’t waste time, energy, and money, getting rid of or letting go of what we don’t want. What we don’t want or what doesn’t matter is no longer a focus and shows itself out.

Einstein said, “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it.”

Are you focused on what you really want? Or on what you don’t want? What could you imagine?

© 2011 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

The Power of Purpose

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The Power of PurposeThis blog is third in a series of reflections on Managing Thought – lessons learned during the sudden move of my parents from their home that also apply to big changes and challenges we face every day at work and in life.

Picture this: My father is 85, recovering from two minor strokes, fatigued and stressed from caring for my mom, 83, suffering from dementia. Now he and I are faced with the daunting task of downsizing and moving in just three weeks.  As we looked around the house filled with forty years of stuff accumulated because “we might need it someday,” my dad could feel the blood pumping in his neck.

Dad said, “Maybe we shouldn’t move.”  When I asked what he meant, he said, “It’s just too much. Where’s the furniture going to go? It won’t fit. What are we gonna do with all these books? And the garage and basement – how am I going to get through all that? Maybe we should just stay put.”

I exhaled deeply, acknowledged his fear. At any age, moving is a major task, a major life event and a major source of stress. For my dad, caring for my mom, taking care of the house, managing the house, and worrying about their future is also a major source of stress.  To him, with moving or staying put, he was choosing the lesser of two evils. Using logic, he decided to move forward with the move because the stress of moving lasts a month and the stress of staying put continues to build for the rest of their lives.

I asked Dad to tell me the purpose of living at the retirement community. What could it bring to him and mom.“ Mom will feel safe. I can run errands and visit with friends and know that if she needs help, there is always someone there. We get to “go out” to eat and go for walks every day. It’ll be like we’re dating again.  I can make new friends. We can have company and invite them for a nice meal. When it’s time for Mom to move into the special care facilities, I can see her every day … The list went on and on and with each item, Dad’s eyes grew brighter and his posture straightened.

Then ideas started flowing. “I can pick out the books I want to keep and the rest I can donate to the friends of the library. I might be able to get back to painting – do you think there’s room in the new place for my art supplies? There are some tools I want to keep. I can invite my grandson and my neighbor to pick out what they want. Are there companies that help with selling stuff?”

What we feel and what we experience depends on our focus. When Dad focused on the difficulties and choosing “the lesser of two evils,” his thoughts caused stress and shut him down. When he focused on his vision and purpose, he became inspired. Inspired, he became energized and creative. Instead of contracting, he expanded in a direction that served his purpose.

What’s your focus? What’s the purpose of what you’re doing? What does it bring you and others?

© 2011 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

Changing Overwhelm to Wonder

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This blog is the second in a series of reflections on the lessons in Managing Thought during the recent sudden move of my parents—lessons that apply equally to the big changes and challenges we face every day at work and in life.

When my 85-year old father learned he had three weeks to move out of his house of forty years, he was paralyzed. Recovering from two minor strokes, caring for his wife, my mom, suffering from dementia, living in a house with forty years’ and four children’s worth of stuff, it’s not surprising he was overwhelmed.

When he asked me to help, I wasn’t surprised when my brain also bombarded me with thoughts of overwhelm. I deeply exhaled, invoked the state of wonder and asked myself, What can I say or do in this moment to help my dad? Out popped Lao-Tzu’s wise words, The journey of a thousand miles begins in a single step, and together we decided to take this journey of a thousand miles one step at a time.

I then wondered, What could the first step be? Out popped the wise words of Confucius – To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life.

So I suggested he start with his bedroom.  He went through his drawers and closets and desk, and removed what was to be discarded, donated or sold. When his room was in order, he woke up in the morning and went to sleep at night with the constant reminder of the completion of that first step. He breathed out a sigh of relief, breathed in the power of his accomplishment and felt empowered to take the next step.

When something happens that is different from what we expect or believe or concluded from past experiences, our brains present us with fight, flight or freeze thoughts. Thoughts of overwhelm, paralysis, avoidance, anxiety, fear, this can’t be done, and worry, for example, are all fight, flight and freeze thoughts. When we re-invoke the state of wonder, we receive answers that move us powerfully from fight, flight or freeze in a direction that serves our purpose.

We don’t suddenly accomplish a huge undertaking, we accomplish it in steps.  And when we acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishment of each step, no matter how small, we become inspired and invoke a power within to envision and accomplish the next step. Often, it’s helpful to start with something small that’s highly visible so we are constantly reminded of and celebrating the accomplishment of our first step and subsequent progress. In doing so, we become inspired and wonder what the next steps could be.

My Dad very simply and powerfully, with a bright smile and a twinkle in his eye, said, “Okay, Mare, what’s next?”

What huge undertaking overwhelms you? What one step could you take? How can you celebrate your progress? How can you turn overwhelm into wonder?

© 2011 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.