Reduce Holiday Stress and Experience Peace of Mind

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Reduce-Holiday-Stress-Peace-of-MindWith holiday festivities to host and attend, families and friends to connect with and visit, gifts to buy, food to prepare, with time and money at a premium, you may find yourself tied up in ribbons.

The American Psychological Association, reported that one in three adults in the U.S. experience extreme stress on a continuing basis. I imagine these numbers are compounded during the holidays.

I invite you to remember that it is my true nature to be happy, healthy, full of energy, creative, expansive, inspired. It is my true nature to want connect with others, imagine what is possible and create it.I experience stress when I am out of alignment with my true nature.

  • I could be out of alignment because what I am thinking, saying or doing is really not true to me. It’s not what I envision or hope for myself and others.
  • I could be out of alignment because something is happening or someone is behaving in a way that is different than what I expect, what I believe, what I have learned, what I have practiced, what I value.
  • I could be out of alignment because I am in a state of force.
  • I could be out of alignment because of how I am thinking a thought.

When I am out of alignment for whatever reason, my brain acts as if I am in physical danger and, delivers to me the fight, flight, and freeze thoughts that I have practiced.

Of course, I am not in physical danger. My brain, bless its heart, doesn’t know that and goes into a state of flight, fight, or freeze anyway.  It delivers thoughts of worry, frustration, anxiety, anger, disappointment, insecurity, criticism, depression….and other fight, flight and freeze thoughts that I have practiced in similar circumstances.

Without self-awareness, that’s where I remain–in fight, flight, or freeze. With self-awareness, I can pause, take a breath, and add light to the situation. I can choose thoughts that move me in a direction that helps me create what I truly want and be my highest vision.

Here are some powerful thoughts to practice during the holiday season to rise to a new level of consciousness, restore your ability to discover what truly matters to you, receive ideas on what to do next, and experience peace of mind and the joy of the season.

  1. List everything you think you want to accomplish during the holidays, and ask yourself, “What does this bring me?” for each item. Keep asking and answering the question “What does this bring me?” until you get to the essence of what you want. If the essence of what you want does not bring you peace or inspire you, then you can cross the item off your list and wonder what you could think, say, or do to accomplish the essence of what you truly want.
  2. Notice  “I have to,” “I need to” and “I should” thoughts. As soon as you catch yourself thinking one of these forceful, often judgmental (and exhausting) thoughts, restate the thought using “I am,” “I choose,” “I am committed to,” “It could be great if” or “I wonder how I can” and finish the thought with what difference you are making for yourself and others by doing what you are choosing to do. Turning these forceful thoughts into thoughts of intention and wonder help us to reclaim our lives, discover what we really want and open us to the many ideas on how we could achieve it.
  3. Take a deep breath,  focus on the exhale, (holding my breath actually contributes to stress!) and think “I wonder what truly matters in this moment?”  Take as many breaths as it takes until you feel a click, back in alignment, true to you. Re-invoking the state of wonder is a sure-fire way to reduce stress, spark creativity, and  stay fully present and focused on what really matters, what truly brings peace and joy.

I invite you to practice any one of the above suggestions and see what happens.


© 2014 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

How Mandela Put Managing Thought® Into Practice

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Nelson MandelaNelson Mandela has died. Millions pay tribute to him around the world.

We say that he has changed the world. And he has. His thoughts, words, and deeds have created a ripple effect of considerable magnitude.

I remind myself of everyone who was, is, a part of that ripple effect. Every person who met Mandela, heard Mandela speak, learned of his mission – each person who Mandela touched – made a choice to think differently, powerfully, and create the next version of their highest vision of humanity.

Though it may seem unlikely, each of us is changing the world every day. Every thought, word, and deed each of us has as a leader, colleague, teammate, partner, parent, child, neighbor, friend, teacher, consumer, manufacturer, employer….creates a ripple effect of considerable magnitude.

In every role I play, every day, I am creating my world. I am creating the world – for better, worse, rich, poor, sickness, health. I change the world around me by changing myself.

Below I share a few stories of Mandela’s journey that exemplify lessons in Managing Thought® that apply to situations we face every day in work and life.

I invite you to pause and reflect: What am I creating? How could I be true to my highest vision of myself, my highest vision of humanity?

Just because something is common, doesn’t mean it’s normal, doesn’t mean it’s true, or that it has to be true for me. I am sure that Mandela wasn’t the only one who was aware that what was common was not what he wanted or envisioned for himself or others. Mandela took that idea, decided what he wanted: This is what I want. He intended creating it: I am creating this. He wondered how he could create it: I wonder what could I do, how could I be? He practiced and practiced creating it, because practice makes permanent. And he reflected on, celebrated, what was going right.

I often hear people citing statistics – industry, society, economics, cancer survival, personality traits, success rates, obesity – and saying, That’s the way it is. What can you do? You learn to live with it.

To me, statistics are measurements of people who are unconscious, unaware of how amazing we are — that we can create anything we can imagine. I invite you to wonder: What statistics am I citing? What is it I truly want? How could I create it?

Infinite patience brings results. Mandela was imprisoned for over 27 years. For 27 years he waited to assume his leadership role, to make his vision a reality. During that time, he cultivated himself. He cultivated his body. He cultivated his message. He cultivated his relationships. He cultivated his knowledge of the outside world. He quietly, patiently, continued to move in the direction of fulfilling his dream, his higher purpose.

Individuals and organizations often give up on their dreams because it will take too long, cost too much, take too much effort: I don’t want to go back to school. That’ll take five years. We’ve invested too much money in this equipment or this process. We can’t change now.

In our businesses, we look for short term fixes, often rooted in fear. In our lives, we take pills, get divorces – it’s faster than cultivating bodies, our minds, our spirit, and our relationships. We choose between short-term or long term-as if they are alternatives. And they are not.

What’s one thing I could do today that could create long-term and profound change for me?

I can re-act or create. I let go of the past and focus on what I am creating today. When Mandela was released from prison, a great many people wanted to focus on the injustice of his imprisonment, the pain and suffering endured by Mandela, and the oppression of the South African people during his imprisonment. Mandela made the decision and guided his followers to let go of the past and focus on the future they were creating.

We suffer loss, experience tragedy and disappointment in our lives and work. Stuff is always happening that is different than what I expect, I believe, I have learned, and what I hope and envision for myself and others.

When I catch myself angry, frustrated, complaining, blaming, being a victim, regretting, second-guessing, unforgiving – I know that these thoughts and emotions are telling me, at the essence, who I truly am and what I truly wish to create.

I can re-act my past or create. It is up to me. It is always up to me. What am I re-acting?  What could I choose to create?

I notice when I am in Fight, Flight, and Freeze and pause to add light. I change the world around me by changing myself. Many describe Mandela as saintly, citing his ability to forgive those who imprisoned him, tortured him, and oppressed his people. Those who were close to Mandela know that he was not a saint. He experienced anger. He experienced bitterness. He had thoughts of revenge and retribution.

He paused. He wondered what he wished to create and how to create it. He chose to acknowledge his thoughts and emotions privately. He knew that, as a leader, every word he spoke, every action would create a ripple effect of considerable magnitude.

He chose to assume his leadership role and lovingly guide others. He chose to serve as a prototype of a new age and be the change he wished to see in the world.

I notice I am in Fight, Flight, or Freeze. I pause. I wonder. I choose. I create.

My focus creates my reality. Prior to 1990, Mandela was often referred to by world leaders and in the media as a terrorist. Supporters of Mandela believed that it could be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve world wide support for a terrorist. On April 16, 1990 a music concert took place: Nelson Mandela: An International Tribute for a Free South Africa at Wembley Stadium, London, and was broadcast to more than 60 countries. It was held two months after Mandela’s release from prison. They presented Mandela as a hero and called for people across the world to continue pressing for apartheid’s abolition – to create a free South Africa.

Every time I say, I am, I can’t, I don’t, I am creating my focus and commanding my brain to help me create that reality. I am a loser, I’m getting old, I can’t lose weight, I don’t exercise like I should, I’m depressed, I suffer from anxiety, I don’t floss enough, I can’t sell, We can’t execute, We’re a commodity….

What labels am I using that are focused on what I don’t want? I wonder what I could want. What could be my new label?

I can create anything I can imagine. Mandela used sports to help his people, and the world, imagine a South Africa with blacks and whites working together to reach a common goal-and winning. The movie Invictus tells this story.

We often criticize ourselves, our lives, our organizations. We want more balance, less stress, better relationships. We want less debt. We don’t want to be a commodity….

Focusing on what I don’t want and don’t like, does not tell me what I do want. Focusing on what I don’t want and don’t like doesn’t help me to create my highest vision.

When I can imagine me being balanced, being at peace, cultivating a great relationship, growing my net worth and being of highest service and richly rewarded, then I can create it.

I wonder what being _____________ looks like? What are possible things I could do and be if I were living ____________? What’s one thing I could practice? What could be my ritual? When I notice I am not practicing, what’s my do-over? How can I celebrate my progress?

We are changing the world — one thought at a time.

May your thoughts bring you peace and inspire you!!!


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


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.

It’s Tax Time! Do Your Receipts Reflect What You Intend for Your Life and Work? Are You Focused on What You Want? Are You Focused On What Matters?

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Do Your Receipts Reflect Your Intentions?To me, digging through receipts and tax papers is a form of reflection. The receipts and papers are key indicators as to how I’ve focused my time, energy, and money.

Each year, I gather receipts and papers to prepare of my parents’ tax return.  In prior years, this process was a no-brainer for me. For years, my parents had pretty much been living each day like they did yesterday. Last year’s receipts and papers presented a much different picture.

There were receipts for prescriptions to calm my mom, so my dad could care for her in their home for as long as possible.

There were receipts for home daycare for my mom, who suffers from dementia, so my dad could run errands, visit with his buddy, and not have to worry about leaving my mom alone or being gone too long.

There were no receipts for lawn care, home maintenance, and repairs. There was paperwork for the sale of their home of 40 years and their move to the senior community so they could focus their time and energy on what matters.

There were receipts for ambulance and hospital stays for my dad who suffered his third stroke because he did not make caring for himself a priority.

There were receipts to move my mom to a new home she shares with other folks who also suffer from dementia and the move of my dad to a 1 bedroom apartment in independent living — all on the same campus. There were receipts for blood sugar test kits, Depends, and natural foods because my dad stopped thinking that he didn’t want to die and started thinking he wanted to live — be happy and healthy, taking care of himself, doing things he loved to do, so he could take care of mom and enjoy their time together.

There were less receipts for medications for my mom who is thriving in her new home where she feels safe and loved.

There were receipts for donations to their church and many other charities because they have always given to those less fortunate.

There were receipts from the bulk food store — for almond bark which my mom loves and my dad buys as a special treat for her.

There were receipts from the Henry Ford and Bob Evans restaurant — where my dad took his grandson who came to visit from Arizona.

There were receipts for a road trip my dad and I took to visit his grandchildren who were vacationing on the west side of the state.

There were receipts for guitar strings and art supplies — because my dad started playing his guitar and painting again.

There were receipts for the sale of my dad’s car — because my dad decided to practice “safety first!” and utilize a transportation service.

There were receipts for the cable company — because he can watch the war channel and the western channel with his buddy and record movies to watch with me on movie night — our weekend tradition.

These receipts and papers — if I just looked at them as numbers — then I’d be focusing on the “doing.”  When I look at the essence, I am focused on the “being.”

I can see and celebrate the intentions we set and fulfilled; the values my dad, mom, and I embody; the obstacles we faced and overcame; the sense of purpose we restored, and how we accomplished so much more than we gave ourselves credit for. I could appreciate each moment, and the flow and process of life.

It’s my intention to make every receipt count, to make every moment count.

Do your receipts reflect your intentions for your life and work? Are you focused on what you want? Are you focused on what matters?

For more on handling life transitions, click here.

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

How Could You Make Work Fun and Your Soul Sing?

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I caused quite a stir at the Baltimore airport this morning. The security guy was looking at my bag on the screen and said to me, “Is that Gumby in there?” I laughed and said, “Yes! You can see him?”

He said, “Yes. I couldn’t believe it. I’m looking and there’s Gumby waving at me. I could see him smiling, too!”

He raised the screen so I could see.  Others gathered around to see Gumby on the security screen — everyone smiling and laughing.

“What are you doing with Gumby in there?” I explained that I bring him with me because I always smile when Gumby’s around.  Everyone nodded saying, “Ain’t that the truth?”  Our day brightened, we all went on our way.

I bring my ten inch tall Gumby to all my engagements. He sits on my little table facing the audience, waving. He makes my eyes light up. He makes my soul sing. And he reminds me to be flexible, adaptable, and go with the flow.

How could you make work fun? What makes your soul sing?

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

The Winter Solstice: A Day to Pause, Reflect, and Feed Your Spirit

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Winter Solstice Mary J. LoreThe word “Solstice” is rooted in two Latin words: sol meaning “sun” and sistere meaning “to stand still” because it appears as though the sun and moon stop moving across the sky. To me, celebrating the solstice serves as a beautiful reminder that my life is a part of a larger order, always changing, always renewing. So it’s the perfect time for reflection and re-affirmation of what matters most and what I wish to cultivate in my work and in my life.

I use rituals to celebrate the winter solstice in ways that have meaning for me.

Me – I  make a day of it. That’s me. I’m on a mission.  :)

I light candles and play music that inspires me. I take a walk, take in the fresh air  and the magic and beauty of everything around me. I meditate longer than I usually do — with special healing meditations for myself and the world.  I drink special tea and I fast. I take my self-assessment and watch my video and I notice the thoughts that come to me:  The celebration of accomplishments; the recognition of the values I embody, the relationships I have strengthened, the obstacles I have overcome; and the observation of what’s lingering, what’s out of alignment with the me I am in the process of creating. I write in my thankfulness journal. I re-affirm my commitments, prepare new ones. I do a lot of wondering and  just going with the flow.

Again, that’s me.

What could your ritual be?

  • Visit a place outdoors that’s special to you—a trail you can walk or a field you can lie down in, a hillside or rooftop perch that provides the perfect view, or a quiet place in your mind.
  • Watch the clouds, the trees, the sunset
  • Take a walk
  • Write a poem
  • Read a book that inspires you
  • Reconnect with someone
  • Make a list of what you are thankful for
  • Make a list of loving wishes for your family, friends, co-workers or the world
  • Reflect on your aspirations for the coming months — creating the next version of your highest vision of yourself
  • Prepare a simple meal of organic grains, winter vegetables, and herbal teas
  • Eat alone and enjoy the solitude of your own company
  • Bathe in epsom salts
  • Breathe
  • Meditate
  • Be silent
  • Light a candle
  • Sing a song

If you have children in your life, you might organize some special activities to share with them, such as:

  • Identifying winter plants on a short walk
  • Spreading a pine cone with peanut butter and bird seed and watching from a window as the birds eat from it
  • Drawing pictures of winter scenes in your neighborhood
  • Cutting pictures from magazines that remind them of what they are thankful, pasting them on paper and then talking about it
  • Writing an acrostic poem in which you use “solstice” as the root word and use each of its letters as the beginning of a line in the poem.
  • Watch together from a warm window as the sun sets and give thanks for both the darkness and the light.

What’s one thing you could do to re-establish your connection with nature and family and what matters most to you? What’s one thing you could  do today to feed your spirit and nurture your soul?

For additional ideas and inspiration, take a look at these:


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

Fun and Meaningful Activities to Express Thankfulness

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Practicing Thankfulness Every DayI am so excited to announce the release of my new book which includes hundreds of activities for families, organizations, and individuals to express appreciation and ignite the power of thankfulness.  It’s an audio book and a PDF all in one! So I can be with you in your car :)  and you can print out the exercises and facilitation guidance.

Here’s a fun one to use this weekend  to help family and friends know the difference they make in our lives, and create a ripple effect of considerable magnitude.

1. Give everyone a blank 8-1/2 x 11 piece of paper and a pen. If you have a large group, you may want to give everyone two pieces of paper paper-clipped together (You may want to splurge for nice paper and Sharpies of various colors.)

2. Have everyone write their name at the top of the paper (or both papers if they have two) and then pass it to the person on their right. (If someone refuses to participate or is absent from the gathering, write their name on top of a piece of paper for them.)

3. Give everyone a minute or two to write at least one thing they are thankful for about the person whose name is at the top of the page. It could be something about their personality, a talent or skill they have, how they touched you or helped you in the past or present (If you have young children at the table, you may want to allow more time so an older child or grown-up can write what they want to say for them.) Ring a bell to indicate they have about 30 seconds left and ring the bell to indicate that time is up.

4. Instruct everyone to pass their paper to their right.

5. Continue steps 3, 4 and 5 until everyone has the piece of paper with their name on it back in front of them.

6. Give everyone a minute or two to read what’s been written for them.

7. Invite everyone to read aloud what’s on their sheet of paper. Ask who wants to go first, and next and so on until everyone has shared.

8. To conclude, thank everyone for sharing and thank them for the difference they make in your life and in the lives of others.

9. You may want to provide a folder, an envelope or a plastic sleeve for them to put their paper in or a ribbon to tie around the paper rolled into a scroll.

This activity works great around the dinner table, around a conference table at work, in a circle in a classroom, in any group to which we belong.

When we invoke the power of thankfulness we tap into an incredible power within ourselves and others. We rekindle the spark of love, re-ignite our creativity, re-invoke our state of wonder and restore our sense of purpose. We become inspired.

And it is when we are inspired that we achieve significant, meaningful, long-lasting results.

How could you express thankfulness at Thanksgiving?

For more on thankfulness and to purchase the digital download of the new Managing Thought Companion Guide: How to Access the Power of Thankfulness, click here.

©2010-2012 Managing Thought. 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.

The Pursuit of Being Truly Happy

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Mary Lore Pursuing True HappinessEvery July 4th, I am thankful to our Founding Fathers for their passion, their commitment, to our freedom to pursue that which makes us happy –our freedom to be who we truly are and to create what we truly wish to create in this world.

Are you exercising the inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness? Are you truly happy?

It is our nature to be happy. That’s our nature. If we are not, something is amiss.

I invite you to read or listen to this Forward ThinkingTM Reminder on the pursuit of happiness. It covers the difference between emotional happiness and true happiness.

I am having carrot cake today – to celebrate my independence, my freedom to BE happy, and sculpt the work in progress that is me.

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

What Inspires You?

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What Inspires you?I am so fortunate in my work. I get to travel to such beautiful places and meet with amazing people who make such a difference in this world.

My next series of daily thoughts and inspiration are photos I took during my travels in the last few months with my accompanying thoughts of vision and purpose, wonder and possibility, thankfulness and celebration.

I make it a practice to pause throughout my day, take in my surroundings, and breathe life in fully.

I find myself inspired by everything around me.

I invite you to pause, breathe, look at all that is around you — what inspires you?

Follow or visit Managing Thought on Twitter or “like” Managing Thought on Facebook to receive my daily inspiration shares as they post or come back to this blog daily and view the Daily Inspiration on the Twitter feed in the right-hand menu bar.

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