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.

What’s Your M.O. – a Love of Labor or a Labor of Love?

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Mary Lore Labor of LoveReflecting on some recent interactions got me to thinking—We have become a nation of laborers.

We love to labor. We are busy, busy, busy, doing, doing, doing.

When we face a big challenge or a difficult situation, we labor. We cancel vacation, skip lunch, work through the weekend, and stay late to solve the problem, put out the fire, accomplish the result, fix it.

To succeed, we labor. We strive, do whatever it takes, put in the hours, persevere, expend blood, sweat, and tears—no pain no gain!

And our heads are filled with all the things we need to, have to, should, and must do.  We even do things to force ourselves to get motivated!

We believe that doing, forcing – laboring – brings results.  I wondered – what if we approached our work and life as a labor of love?  Here are stories of those who took the labor of love challenge.

  • A stay-at-home mom dreaded bathing her two year old. Forcing her child to take the bath, scolding her child for making a mess, and mopping up after made bath time a labor. When she made the bath a labor of love, she took the opportunity to enjoy being with her toddler. They splashed, giggled, and squealed with delight. Bath time became an anticipated event and cleanup became a joyful reminder of quality time with her daughter.
  • A runner realized she’d lost the enjoyment of running. She had to motivate herself to run and force herself to run great distances. She criticized her performance, continually pushing herself to do better. When she chose to run as a labor of love, she went back to her original routine—enjoying the sights and smells of nature as she ran through parks, enjoying the landscaping, and seeing kids play and adults chat as she ran through neighborhoods. Running became fun again, effortless. She looked forward to it and started running marathons.
  • The sales and production team at a firm that publishes several monthly magazines found it hard to meet their sales targets and production deadlines and they struggled financially. Their mantra: You get burned out in this business. You finish a magazine and move on to the next. Your work is never done.  They celebrated hard work and motivated themselves to work harder. When they changed their approach, instead of producing thousands of magazines, they made a difference in the lives of those who read the articles, attended the events listed in the calendar, and utilized the products and services that were advertised. Instead of selling ads, they helped their advertisers grow their businesses and fulfill their dreams. Instead of increasing sales by a certain percent, they were of highest service and in return received dollars, which they used to pay the team for their talents and contributions, who in turn spent their earnings on who and what they loved. They no longer NEEDED to make a sale or a deadline. They were inspired to make a difference and contribute the livelihood, education, well-being, and joy of others. Exhaustion turned into energy and creativity.  Struggle turned into flow and survival turned into thriving.

Deadlines, needing to or having to do something, and making a number are, in and of themselves, not inspiring. They are about doing. Not about being.

We get inspired by helping others so I could get inspired by working together to meet a deadline or to achieve a number – maybe once, twice, or three times.  Meeting deadlines month after month and year after year becomes a burden and uninspiring if the objective is just to meet a deadline or make a number.

I become inspired and achieve significant results when my goals are meaningful, when I truly know that I am being of service, contributing, making a difference, helping – when I do what I love and love what I do.

What’s your M.O.?  Love of labor or labor of love?

I invite you to take the Labor of Love Challenge:

  • Notice when you are operating from a love of labor—when you are in a state of force, trying to motivate yourself or others, in the need to/have to/must mode.
  • Change it to a labor of love – Wonder what difference you are making, how you could help, how you could make it fun.

See what happens.

 

© 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.

Self-Cultivation: A Gift to the World

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Self-Cultivation is a GiftA woman emailed me. She said she was exhausted and frustrated by a laundry list of problems. People in her field of work were burnt out and she was burning out.  She  took a few days to visit some friends, to get some rest, think, and hopefully become unstuck.

Her friends left a gift for her on the bedside table — the book, Managing Thought. As she read the book, she realized that some of her problems, and of those in her profession, were creations of limiting beliefs they had cast upon themselves.   She realized that her real answers to her question, “How to get unstuck?”  involved thinking differently about who she is, what she wants, and how she works with those she serves.

She was thankful that her friends were aware of the book, read the book, and gave her the book. It changed her life. And it’s changing the lives of many, because this woman leads an association of teachers, administrators, social workers, principals, program directors, and librarians who are dedicated to the education of young children and their families. The ripple effect is of considerable magnitude.

Wow! I love this story because it brings to life what I say at the end of every workshop I do: Practicing self-awareness and managing my thoughts is the best gift I give to myself, those with whom I live, work, and play, and through the ripple effect, the world.

Confucius once 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 (I add organizations to this); to put the family in order, we must first cultivate ourselves.

We cultivate our selves by managing our thoughts. We change the world … one thought at a time.

What thoughts are you cultivating? What gift are you giving the world?

PS   I invite you take advantage of the special offers to give the gift of Managing Thought to yourself, your friends, your family (age twelve and up), colleagues, management teams. Choose whatever style works for you–hardcover, digital, kindle, nook, online, audio, video, print: The Multiple Award-Winning Book, Audio Book, workshop DVD, the new  Thankfulness Companion Guide Audio Book and PDF and the new Mindfulness MondayTM online course in Managing Thought.

 

 

© 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.

Resolving Balance? Here’s How to Make That Goal Stick!

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Resolving Balance Mary LoreI will be more balanced.

Does that sound familiar? It may be one of the most popular resolutions made among those who are busy at work and in life. Many of us make this resolution year after year and some of us have gotten to the point where we don’t even bother.

We say life happens or that other priorities get in the way. Thankfully, these are NOT the reasons that this resolution doesn’t work. It’s how we’ve framed the resolution and evaluate our progress that’s the problem.

We are torturing ourselves!

We instruct our brains to point out every time and every evidence that we are not balanced. So they don’t point out any of the times we are balanced and they certainly don’t give us any ideas on how to be balanced or point out any opportunities to practice being balanced—because that isn’t what we instructed our brains to do.

At the end of the day, when we reflect on how we did, we instruct our brains to focus on everything we did wrong, so we don’t see anything we did right. We feel like failures and berate our selves for not being balanced. We’re not in a state of thankfulness, wonder, vision, purpose or possibility (which brings about transformation) The whole process is a downward spiral and uninspiring.

It is when we are inspired that we achieve significant results. It is when we are inspired that we transform.

If you really want balance in your life, there are some specific ways to powerfully re-frame your resolution.

  • Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want.
  • Focus on the NOW.
  • Describe the ripple effect – the difference you’re making by fulfilling your resolution of balance.
  • Tell the story.
  • Acknowledge your progress and do do-overs.

For specific tips on how to re-frame your goals and resolutions to achieve balance,  Click Here to read, print or listen to my full Forward ThinkingTM Reminder, How to Resolve Balance and Make it Stick.

More resources to create balance in your life:

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

Manage Stress During the Holidays and Every Day: Focus on the Essence of What You Want

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With plays, parties and events to attend, cards to mail, gifts to buy, guests to prepare for, and year-end initiatives at work, you may find yourself tied up in ribbons. Focusing on the essence of what you want is one of the most powerful ways of thinking to reduce stress and bring about peace of mind and happiness during the holiday season and throughout the year.

During stressful times, we may find ourselves consumed with thoughts of worry, self-criticism, frustration, and even anger. We may feel we have too much to do. We may feel we’re doing things we don’t want to do or not doing the things we want to do. We can rise to a new level of consciousness, restore our sense of purpose and reclaim our peace of mind by focusing on the essence of what we want.

For some practical tips to help you discover the essence of what you want, click here to read Mary’s blog in its entirety on the Vistage Executive Street Blog.

My next series of blogs and daily thoughts and inspiration is focused on managing stress. There are three posts a day. Follow or visit Managing Thought on Twitter or “like” Managing Thought on Facebook to receive them as they post or come back to this blog daily and view the Daily Inspiration on Twitter feed in the right-hand menu bar.

For more on reducing holiday stress, listen to my Forward Thinking™ podcast.

 

If you would like to help me help others restore their sense of purpose and reclaim their peace of mind, go to Mary’s PBS Pledge Special to learn four ways you can help.

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

 

Peace in the World Starts with Me

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We say we want peace in the world. I wonder how can we expect the world to be at peace when we are not at peace? If we can’t even be at peace when we’re standing in line? When we’re driving  in heavy traffic? When a customer calls and complains? When someone makes a mistake? When we make a mistake? When anything happens that’s different from what we expect or believe?

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.”

If I want peace in the world, it starts with me. I create my world and through the ripple effect, I create the world.

I can’t even begin to describe how much power each and everyone of us has. Every moment, we are creating the world. Every thought we have creates — for better or worse. If you want peace in this world, then create it!

We all have the ability to experience peace and happiness and joy every day. That’s right — every day. In fact, being happy and at peace is our true nature. And when each of us starts practicing being at peace and happy throughout the moments of our day, we create a ripple effect of considerable magnitude. When I am at peace and happy it has a powerful effect on everything I do and everyone I touch, which in turn, affects everything they do and everyone they touch.

Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Here’s your chance to be that change.

Are you game? How could you practice being at peace today?

 

My next series of blogs and daily thoughts and inspiration is focused on reclaiming our peace of mind. There are three posts a day. Follow or visit Managing Thought on Twitter or “like” Managing Thought on Facebook to receive them as they post or come back to this blog daily and view the Daily Inspiration on Twitter feed in the right-hand menu bar.

 

If you would like to help me help others restore their sense of purpose and reclaim their peace of mind, go to Mary’s PBS Pledge Special to learn four ways you can help.

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

Breaking Old Familiar Patterns at the Holidays

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Have you noticed that as you move into the holiday season, old, familiar patterns emerge? For example, when you get together with family and friends, do you revert to a certain dynamic? Perhaps you feel sad and alone at the holidays, or maybe you often get sick or worry about money. There’s a reason that we have the same experiences over and over again, and with a little self-awareness, a little self-mastery and a little being-on-purpose, we can break those patterns.

Our brains are constantly searching for what to focus on. If we are not practicing self-awareness, then our brains choose the focus for us based on our past experiences. Then they put slides into our ViewMasters®–slides of our past experiences, the meaning we attached to these experiences, the emotions that went along with them and there we go! We end up re-acting our past. (That’s where the word reaction comes from!)

Our brains look for, and focus on, things that are consistent with our past experience. Put another way, our brains perceive a reality that is consistent with our past. Then it stores this reality and inevitably reinforces the experience. So if our brains are  choosing a focus based on experience, and what we focus on is what we perceive to be reality, it’s no wonder that we fall into old, familiar patterns.

Even though that’s how are brains work, we are in control. We are in control of our thoughts. We are in control of our focus. We are in control of our brains. We all have the ability to pause and look AT the slides our brains present to us, as an observer of our thoughts and emotions. We also have the ability to choose to utilize or discard these slides and create new ones.

Today is a new and wonderful day! It’s time to stop re-acting and start creating! In every moment, with every thought, I have the opportunity to create who I aspire to be and what I truly want to create in this world.

Remember that your brain is a tool, just as a computer is a tool. Your brain’s job is to take in information, process it, store it and retrieve it. You can choose to utilize the information offered by your brain; to control and direct the focus of your mind, and see and experience  a reality that is very different from your old patterns.

This is a gentle reminder to choose your intentions for this holiday season. Have powerful thoughts ready for those moments when you are challenged by old patterns, and be thankful for the ability to choose your thoughts.

What old familiar patterns could you stop re-acting? What new, powerful patterns could you create?

 

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

Where Did That Thought Come From?

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What-was-I-thinking-Mary-LoreAs I boarded the plane, the gate agent said to me: You have to check your bag. I said: This is my purse and my brief case! She said: Then you have to check your briefcase. If you have a computer in it, take it out!  I took it out and said to her: I can’t believe you’re making me check my briefcase!

On the way to my seat, I told each flight attendant I met: She made me check my briefcase!

I opened the overhead bin and discovered room enough for both my bag and my briefcase! I showed the attendant and asked if I could get my briefcase, knowing full well that it was too late. As I seated myself, I said several more times: I can’t believe she made me check my briefcase. I then told the guy next to me, I have two million miles with this airline, I booked my ticket a month and a half in advance, I get a middle seat AND they made me check my briefcase! I’m seriously thinking about switching to another airline.

I wasn’t screaming. I didn’t even raise my voice. My heart wasn’t racing. My chest wasn’t pounding. In fact, I felt fine. The flight attendants and gate agent were all gracious and reassuring. I had full faith my briefcase was going to be just fine.  I was even thankful I didn’t have to lift it into the overhead bin.

I was also aware that many times before, when agents asked me to check my briefcase, I just smiled and said, I’ve flown two million miles with you guys, I guarantee, I can find room for it. They always obliged.

This time, it was as if I was just going through the motions. I wasn’t really in fight, flight or freeze, yet my brain kept delivering to me the victim thought I can’t believe they made me check my briefcase! And I went along with it  – at least for a couple minutes! :-)

So what was my brain doing giving me these thoughts? Answer: It was doing its job. My brain’s job is to follow my lead, helping me to create whatever I want. It brings to me thoughts and emotions I had in the past that are stored in compartments that my brain believes are circumstances similar today’s circumstances.

If I act on what my brain delivers to me, then I am no longer creating. I am reacting – re-acting past experiences.….which brings me back to the story.

My brain knows my feelings were hurt when this airline “lost” one million of my two million miles and with other policy changes, I didn’t feel valued or special any more. It knows I was considering not making this airline my primary carrier, that I took a few flights with another airline and really enjoyed the entire experience.

My brain, bless its heart, finds these circumstances similar to those in compartments I formed in my teens! My brain thinks I am “breaking up” with my long-time preferred airline! To “help” me make that a reality, my brain delivers to me the thoughts and emotions from way back then  – Point out everything that’s wrong with the airline, maybe start a fight, to justify breaking up and going with another carrier! LOL!

I consider myself pretty practiced in Managing Thought®. Had I not been so exhausted, those slides would not have made into my ViewMaster® and certainly not crossed my lips.

Do I criticize myself? No! I thank my brain for sharing! Chuckle at myself. I’m thankful that I’m aware of my thoughts and that I can choose the thoughts I want to rule my world. I acknowledge I am exhausted and I make rejuvenation a priority. I state my intention, my highest vision of myself, in bringing this relationship, any relationship, to a graceful conclusion which gives my brain a new slide to put in my ViewMaster. :-)  I thank the guy next to me for hearing me vent, smile at the flight attendants, put my tray table up and sit back and enjoy the flight.

What’s in your ViewMaster®?

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