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.

 

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.

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.

Being vs. Doing

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Mary J Lore Being vs DoingIt’s self-awareness month and with the recent celebration of Labor Day, I am reminded that we are a nation of laborers. White collar, blue collar, working, not working—we labor. We are busy, busy, busy, doing, doing, doing.

When we find ourselves with a big challenge or facing a difficult situation, we have taught ourselves to labor, to do, do, do. We cancel vacations, skip lunch, work on the weekends, stay late, and force ourselves to think until we have our answers, solved the problem, put out the fire, accomplished the result.

We believe that doing, laboring – force – brings results. We do in order to be.

What if we started with being?

Think about it—when do you get your best ideas? When I ask this in a Managing Thought® workshop, most people say – When I am in the shower.  When I first wake up.  When I am on a walk. When I am exercising.  When I’m driving. When I am relaxing. When I’m on vacation. When I am meditating. When I’m having fun and doing something I love to do.

What’s in common with these responses? You got it — we let go of our thoughts! We’re not forcing ourselves to think our thoughts. We’re not doing. We are being. And because we are being, we gain access to our highest awareness and creativity and what inspires us.

When our channels are open, our minds are clear, the world changes, and remarkable things start to happen. Creative ideas emerge when we give our minds a rest, when we do what we love to do. We don’t waste time, energy, or money. Gone are the constricting feelings of heaviness, burden, and stress and the thoughts of struggle, striving, obligation, overwhelm and being a victim.

When we are being, we focus on what is significant. We start being who we wish to become and what we wish to create. What we do naturally follows, naturally flows. Our work becomes effortless and we become energized because our decisions and actions are inspired.

So the next time you notice that your thinking and doing is labored, instead, wonder what the solution could be, wonder how you could be who you want to be and what you wish to create. Then take some time to be quiet, take a walk, get some fresh air, exercise, do what you enjoy, and see what happens.

We all have the ability to ask ourselves questions, wonder and listen for the answers. We discover the right thing to do and how to do it.  We find a power within that indeed transforms us. We become inspired and inspire others.

What if you could BE who you truly are? Learn how at http://www.MindfulnessMonday.com

 

For daily self-awareness thoughts and inspiration follow Managing Thought on Twitter or “like” Managing Thought on Facebook to receive them as they post.

For additional ideas on cultivating your life-well lived, check out this inspiring video: Resolutions, Intentions and Affirmations for a Life Well-Lived.

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

Recapturing the State of Wonder

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Recapturing the State of WonderWonder is one of  the highest states of consciousness. Wonder ignites our creativity. Wonder lights our soul.

Our best ideas come when we wonder, in a childlike way, what the answer could be, what our next steps could be, when we wonder what’s possible.

I invite you to give it a try.

When I was stuck in a life and career that I thought there was no way out of, I wondered how I could make the highest and best use of my time on this planet. I woke up with the idea that I am responsible for my world, I create my world, and if I want to change my world, I change my thoughts, and so I did.

When I was encouraged by others to document what I learned and share it with others, I developed the workshops. For the first ten or so presentations, I felt fearful and nervous (which isn’t like me).  I wondered about that and woke up with “I am not presenting. I am sharing.  Do not attach to the outcome. Everyone has a duty to test what they learn for themselves, follow the path or change the path.”

When I wondered what to call my work, which could be considered “out there” in the business world,  to intrigue them, I woke up with the idea for Managing Thought®.

When I was asked to write the book, I wondered how others could hear this from ME. I was concerned that I didn’t have credentials on “thought management” and self-awareness. I woke up with ” Truth is truth. Sincerity is all that is needed. Gandhi was a lawyer. Teachers come from unlikely sources.”

When the first edition of my book was inexplicably delayed in the publishing process, I had thoughts of fear that someone else could beat me to the market with a book like this, and I woke up with, “There is no competition for your higher purpose.”

When I wondered how I could make my work available for free to those who might not be able to afford to buy my books or attend a workshop, I woke up with the idea for Page-A-Day and doing a PBS Show.

I have “wondered” my way through calculus and statistics classes, through grieving the death of my husband, through helping my parents through their life transitions, through what I say and do and write when someone asks me for guidance, through handling all kinds of opportunity and difficulty that comes my way. And I get my answers.

We all have the ability to wonder, in a child-like way and get our answers.

Don’t take my word for it. See for yourself. Instead of needing to solve a problem or having to come up with a solution or not having any idea what to do or where to turn next, I invite you to re-invoke the state of wonder — and see what happens.

The next series of daily inspiration thoughts of the day are powerful statements and questions on re-invoking the state of wonder.  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.

To subscribe for free to read a page a day of Managing Thought, click here.  To learn how you can help me with my PBS Show, click here.

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

The Power to Choose Significance

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Mary Lore and Gregg Simmons 9-18-2005On September 18, 2002, I was in Taos, New Mexico for a week-end retreat. At the time, I was in the process of dramatically changing my line of work, transitioning from the world of finance and crisis management to the world of Managing Thought®. I had never been to a retreat before and the only reason I went was to meet Taoist Master Ni Hua-Ching. He had fully dedicated himself to help people raise their consciousness and bring about a better world and I wanted to learn first-hand how he had constructed this life for himself.

As it turns out, Master Ni didn’t show. He returned to China and put the retreat in the hands of his two sons. My first thoughts and emotions were of disappointment. I wanted to speak with Master Ni. Only Master Ni could make this retreat worthwhile for me!

I quickly recovered and with full faith that something valuable and meaningful could be gained, I wondered what it could be. I went to breakfast, sat down and looked across the table into the eyes of an amazing man who I married three years later, on September 18, 2005 – Gregg Simmons.

During our time together, I gained so much.

  • He helped me expand my capacity to love deeply, laugh heartily and live life fully.
  • He saw the love and light in me, held up the mirror so I could see it too, and he encouraged me to share this light with others.
  • He introduced me to his friends who are now my friends.
  • When he died suddenly just three months after our wedding, friends and family said it was a shame that our time together was so short. Because we were so in the moment in each of our moments, it felt like we were together forever. He helped me experience the true power of being in the moment.

As I reflect on this, I find a valuable and meaningful lesson.

On the surface, it seems that September 18th is a day of great significance for me.

To me, the real significance is in the moment, in the choices I made when I learned that I wouldn’t be meeting Master Ni. In that moment, I could have chosen to remain disappointed or get angry, leave the retreat or skip breakfast. I could have been so caught up in my emotions that I didn’t notice Gregg, or listen to him, or caused him to be disinterested in me.

Because I chose to wonder how I could gain something valuable and meaningful from the retreat to help me be of service to the world, I met the man who helped me to do just that.

I have the opportunity for significance all day long every day. As “stuff” happens, I always have the opportunity to choose who I wish to become and what I wish to create in this world.

I have the power to choose significance.

How can you choose significance today?

For more on this, read or listen to the Forward Thinking™ Reminder, Choosing Intentions.

P.S.  Gregg Simmons, it is my honor and joy to have been your best friend, lover, confidante, teacher, student and fellow adventurer.  Thank you for introducing me to carrot cake. I am enjoying a piece as I write this and I raise my plate to you!

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

Making Powerful Statements

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Making Powerful StatementsOur brains look for, and focus on, things that are consistent with our experience. In other words, our brains perceive a reality that is consistent with our past experience. Then it stores this reality and inevitably reinforces the experience.

Even though that’s how our 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 minds. We are the ones observing our thoughts and we have the ability to choose to utilize or discard what our brains present to us. We have the ability to our shape our thoughts.

We shape our thoughts by choosing our intentions, by asking ourselves powerful questions, and by making powerful statements to our selves.  Powerful statements are those that remind us of how we choose to think. Powerful statements keep us focused on the moment and  remind us of our intentions and what truly matters to us. As we go about our day and experience what others do and say, we can consciously, purposefully, make powerful statements to ourselves that remind us of how we choose to think, feel, act, or react.  We don’t waste time, money and energy thinking and acting in a way that moves us away from what truly serves our purpose.

We can have powerful statements ready for those moments when we are challenged by old thought patterns.

The current theme of my Daily Inspiration Thoughts of the Day is Making Powerful Statements. There are three posts a day offering guidance on how to turn what is significant to you to reality by making powerful statements. Follow or visit Managing Thought on Twitter 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 additional practical guidance on making powerful statements, check out Chapter 14 of Managing Thought.

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

Asking Powerful Questions

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Asking Powerful QuestionsThe questions we ask ourselves have a powerful impact on what we feel and what we experience everyday. The questions we ask ourselves, and how we ask those questions, are key to whether or not we take action to fulfill our intentions, or how much time, money or energy we may waste attempting to fulfill an intention.

Changing the questions in our heads changes what our brains see, which changes our perceptions, which changes our experiences, which changes our focus to our intentions and what matters to us. This is how we achieve significant results.

Powerful questions do not involve making other people or situations change. Instead, they involve helping to change the world by changing ourselves. They all are asking, “What can I do?” and “How can I help?” They involve being proactive vs. reactive. They bring about an inner peace. They ignite wonder, creativity and move us toward what inspires us.

Powerful questions guide us to our vision of who we intend to be and who we intend to become.

The current theme of my Daily Inspiration Thoughts of the Day is Asking Powerful Questions. There are three posts a day offering guidance on how to turn what is significant to you to reality by asking powerful questions. Follow or visit Managing Thought on Twitter 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 additional practical guidance on asking powerful questions, check out Chapter 13 of Managing Thought.

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

Choosing Our Intentions is One of the Greatest Powers We Possess

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As I talk about in my Managing Thought workshops, what we feel and what we experience depends on what we choose to focus.  We have the ability to choose our focus and ultimately our reality. We choose our focus by choosing our intentions.

During difficult times or when we’re in a low period, our brains can present thoughts to us that may not be useful. When we practice self-awareness, even in difficult times, we can see our thoughts for what they are—thoughts. We know that we are the observer of these thoughts and we can choose whether to utilize these thoughts or not. We can choose our intentions.

The current theme of my Daily Inspiration Thoughts of the Day is Choosing Our Intentions. There are three posts a day offering guidance on how to transform negative thinking and focus on what you want to achieve significant results. Follow or visit Managing Thought on Twitter 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 want more on choosing intentions, click here to listen to audio, download a PDF or read online.

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