How are You BEING Today?

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Mary J. Lore How are You BEING Today?As I reflected on the recent Labor Day holiday, I realized that 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 fix the problem, put out the fire, accomplish the result.

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

Our heads are filled with what we need to, have to, should, and must do. We do things to force ourselves to get motivated. We even go into labor when we are giving birth to our children!

In my Managing Thought® workshops on Inspired Leadership, I ask everyone to think of the best and worst leaders they have ever worked with and what about these leaders made them the best and worst.

The big aha! is that nothing on these lists is about doing. It’s all about being:

Being of service.
Being honest, sincere, humble, trusting, consistent.
Being thoughtful, caring, compassionate.
Being thankful, appreciative, giving, and forgiving.
Being open, receptive, adaptable, curious.
Being a teacher and a continuous learner.
Being energetic, optimistic, fun.
Being on purpose, intentional, inspired, and inspiring.

It’s about BEING a leader.

As a nation, we tend to do in order to become. We have practiced and mastered believing that doing, motivating, forcing – laboring – brings results. It doesn’t. It brings linear, less than 10%, kind of changes, short-term results. And we find ourselves stressed, ill, unhappy, and uninspired.

Being brings step-function changes, profound change, significant and long-term results. And we find ourselves happy, healthy, and energized.

When we are being, we focus on being who we are and what we truly wish to create in any moment. The ideas on how to BE and what we could create naturally follow, naturally flow. Our channels are open, our minds are clear, and remarkable things start to happen.

We start being our highest vision of ourselves. We notice the difference we are making. Our work becomes effortless and we become energized because our decisions and actions are inspired.

Many of us do in order to become – at some time in the future.

When I am being, I am being what I am becoming-right now. I AM my highest vision, I AM inspired, I AM whatever I am choosing to become  right NOW-in this moment and in this moment and in this moment.

Stuff happens all day long. In every moment I have the opportunity to BE what I am becoming.No matter what has happened or is happening. I have the power to pause, take a breath, and wonder how I could BE a leader right now, BE a parent, BE a friend, BE of service, BE thankful, BE happy, BE healthy, BE the change I wish to see in the world…BE whatever I choose to BE.

I invite you to notice when you are operating from a love of labor-when you are busy doing, in a state of fear and force, trying to motivate yourself or others, in the need to/have to/must mode.

Change it to a labor of love and inspiration. Take a breath (perhaps several breaths) and wonder:

  • How can I BE my highest vision right now?
  • What can I create from this?
  • How could I be of highest service right now?
  • How could I help?
  • How could I demonstrate love and ignite inspiration?

Then take some time to be quiet. Take a walk, get some fresh air, exercise, do what you enjoy and WONDER.

We all have the ability to wonder and get our answers.

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

How are you BEING today?

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

Valuable Lessons I Learned from My Cousin Bernie

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Mary's Cousin BernieMy cousin Bernie died.  He was 69 years old.  Thirty three years ago, the doctors said he had six months to live.  When he was a child, the doctors said he wouldn’t live past twenty one.

Before the term was considered socially incorrect, Bernie bore the label “mentally retarded.”   Later, he was called “special” and that, indeed, he was.

I loved Bernie. I liked Bernie. I admired Bernie.  I learned a lot from him.

Take it All In

Bernie is the oldest of 23 cousins on my mom’s side of the family.  We gathered often—30+ Italians in close quarters—and it got pretty boisterous.  Bernie always had a sense of peace and content. While he didn’t actively participate with the many cooks in the kitchen, or the adults playing endless rounds of Canasta, or the kid’s games, or the singing and dancing, Bernie did participate. He was present. He had a twinkle in his eye and a satisfied smile, as he breathed in the “all” of everyone around him.

Listen

Bernie made it a point to have one-to-one time with me (and the other cousins.)  I always felt listened to when I was with Bernie. He adjusted our chairs so we were face-to-face. He looked me right in the eyes and used my name – Mary Jeannine – often. He asked open ended questions. He repeated what I said to make sure he understood it.  He started the conversation by telling me what we talked about in our last conversation and asking me what happened. Once, I hadn’t seen Bernie for over ten years and he remembered and asked me about our last conversation!

He expressed empathy and helped me to love and appreciate myself: Oh Mary Jeannine – you can run so fast, you love to sing, I love your smile, you must be so smart, you are so lucky…

When we were done talking, he always thanked me for the conversation and shared how much he enjoyed our little visit. Oxford once said, “Being listened to feels so much like being loved, we can’t tell the difference.” Bernie gave me the experience of being listened to. Bernie made me feel loved.

Give and Receive Compliments and Mean It

At some point in life, I started the practice of deflecting compliments. I didn’t say thank you. I’d point out how I could have been better. I’d say I was lucky or I didn’t deserve it. I felt obligated to come up with a compliment in return.

Then I had a visit with Bernie, who was full of compliments for me. As I deflected each compliment, he paused, looked me in the eye and said, “I mean it, Mary Jeannine.” And he repeated the compliment – with emphasis.

He was steadfast in helping me to receive and absorb the gift of his compliment and give him the gift of my “Thank you.”  He helped me to really see and appreciate the “all” of me, the true me, and build upon that me to create the next me.

Focus on What Truly Matters

When Bernie asked me about my work, he asked a lot of questions. What set Bernie apart was that he didn’t ask about the doing. He asked about the being.  He had a knack for getting to the heart of my work:  Wow –You get to be around all those beautiful plants!  Wow—You grow flowers that go into bouquets! Wow—You get to fly in an airplane and meet new people! Wow—You help make machines that keep people alive! Wow—you wrote a book that people can go to a library and read! …. When Bernie talked about his job, his face lit up as he spoke about how glad he was to help others.

Bernie helped me focus on what truly matters. He helped me rise above the doing and reminded me of the joy and significance of every job I had.

 It’s One Thing to Be Intelligent and Another to Be Happy

When I was ten years old, Bernie said, “I’m not smart like you, Mary Jeannine.”  I was taken aback. I hadn’t really thought about being smart—or not. I tried and couldn’t imagine not being smart. Nor could I imagine how I could handle knowing that I wasn’t smart and worse (in my mind), others knowing I wasn’t as smart as them.

I didn’t think that if I was told I was mentally retarded, that I could love myself, be content, or have the courage or strength to be with other people. At that moment, I felt a profound respect and admiration for Bernie.  He wasn’t smart.  He was kind and loving and compassionate. He appreciated and expressed appreciation for everyone and everything around him. He was happy and he brought happiness to others.

Remembering Bernie

Andy Rooney once said, “Most of us end up with no more than five or six people who remember us. Teachers have thousands of people who remember them for the rest of their lives.”

I am certain that Bernie has thousands of people who will remember him for the rest of their lives. And I am one of them.

I am so glad he was born, that our paths crossed, and that I got to experience and learn from the miracle of Bernie.

 

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

Reflection is a Powerful Action

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Power of ReflectionMany of us don’t have much patience for the process of reflection. We say we want results, yet what we’re really saying is that we want speed.  Einstein said, “There is more to life than increasing speed.”

We’re also saying that we want action. We believe that if we’re not busy doing, then nothing is happening, which is not true. We get our best ideas when we are not busy doing – when we’re driving, showering, running, playing, meditating, relaxing, waking, or falling asleep.

We get our very best ideas when we’re inspired. And one of the most powerful ways we become inspired involves the process of reflection.

Reflection is an action, a very powerful action. Taking a moment to reflect not only brings invaluable learning and opportunity for growth. Reflection invokes a power within ourselves to expand upon what really matters, on what is significant to us, as organizations, families, and human beings. When we know who we really are and what we really want, as organizations, families, and human beings, we become inspired, and our goals and action plans become inspired, meaningful, and purposeful. We stop wasting time, money and energy living each day as we did yesterday, wondering what the heck happened, not noticing the difference we are making, and not experiencing the joy of our work.

When we take a moment to reflect, without blame or judgment, and in a state of wonder, on significant events, triumphs and challenges we experienced during the year, we often discover we’ve accomplished so much more than we have given ourselves credit for.  We discover how much strength we have and we see the values which we embody. We realize the valuable lessons we have learned. And in these moments of acknowledgment and celebration, we receive ideas on how to build upon and expand these strengths and accomplishments.

When we take a moment to reflect, without blame or judgment, and in a state of wonder, upon how we spent our time and money, and what and who influenced us (the economy, a customer, a family member, a friend, a book, an advisor, a competitor, fear, worry, creativity, inspiration…), we see very clearly what we focused on. We then discover we are in alignment with what truly matters – or not –and we receive ideas on how to move forward in a way that serves our purpose.

When we take a moment to reflect, without blame or judgment, and in a state of wonder, on what happened with our relationships with customers, suppliers, the community, family, friends, and co-workers, we can see the difference we have made – for better or worse -and receive ideas on how to move forward in a meaningful way.

And when we step back, reflect upon the reflections, and notice what we are thankful for, we become truly inspired-in touch with our highest awareness and creativity. Our vision and purpose becomes clear and we develop goals and action plans that are inspired

I invite you to include reflection in your family life, in your work life, and for yourself, at the end of the day, so you can begin to see difference you make, move powerfully in alignment with who you truly are what you truly want, experience the joy of your work, family, and friends, and be inspired.

It is when we are inspired that we are unstoppable. It is when we are inspired that we achieve significant, long-lasting results.

 

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.

If you’d like to reflect on living a life well-lived, take the free How Do Your Thoughts Rule Your World?® Self-Assessment at www.managingthought.com. For daily inspiration and more ways to practice Managing Thought, follow Managing Thought on Twitter or “like” it on Facebook.

 

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

Daily Thought Cultivation

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Daily Thought Cultivation Mary LorePracticing Managing Thought is a lot like pruning a tree. When I prune a tree, I first decide what I want. What’s the purpose? Do I want fruit or flowers? Health and vitality? More or less shade? A certain shape? Height or width? I decide what I want and prune accordingly. I take out the dead and diseased wood. I take out the suckers – the branches that are sucking the water, the nutrients, the light from tree. I prune to fulfill my purpose and I pay attention to the daily cultivation of that tree—how it’s watered, how it’s fed, its environment, and its exposure to natural and unnatural elements. In taking care of the tree’s daily cultivation, the tree resists stress and is less susceptible to insects and disease and can thrive in its full glory.

When I manage my thoughts I decide what I truly want, what truly matters to me in my life and work. I watch my thoughts and let go of the thoughts that are dead and diseased and the thoughts that are sucking up my time, energy and money. I choose and focus on the thoughts that serve my purpose. I pay attention to my daily cultivation, how I’m fed and watered, my internal and external environment. Less things bug me or dis-ease me, I fulfill my purpose and I thrive in my full glory!

The current theme of my Daily Inspiration Thoughts of the Day is Daily Thought Cultivation. There are three posts a day offering guidance on how to turn what is significant to you to reality by daily cultivation of our minds, bodies and spirits. 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 additional practical guidance on cultivating your thoughts, check out Chapters 16-18 of Managing Thought.

© 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.

Spring is a Great Time for Renewal and Achieving Balance

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BalanceI always look forward to the coming of spring. It’s a time of renewal and growth. And just as I choose the seeds I wish to plant in my garden, so do I choose the thoughts I intend to cultivate.

Many of us wish to cultivate balance in our lives. We say that other priorities get in the way or that we lack discipline and thankfully, these are not the reasons that balance evades us.

The current theme of my Daily Inspiration Thoughts of the Day is Balance. There are three posts a day offering guidance on how to transform the thinking that actually gets in the way of achieving balance. 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 really want to cultivate balance in your life, click here to listen to audio, download a PDF or read the online version of my newest Forward ThinkingTM Reminder, Want Balance? Here’s How to Make that Goal Stick.

I also did an interview on balance on my Heartbeat Radio show with Michelle Wargo. Click here to listen.

© 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.

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.

Thinking Powerfully is Positive Thinking on a Whole New Level

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Powerful ThinkingIn my own journey, when I started practicing self-awareness and managing my thoughts, I was surprised to discover that I was making thousands of choices and thousands of decisions every day. I was surprised to discover that in one moment, I could dramatically change the course of my life, my work, my relationships, just by understanding and changing how I choose to think. I also realized that practicing “positive thinking” or thinking “happy thoughts” as we are often taught to do just doesn’t work.

So I don’t use the term positive thinking in Managing Thought®. I use the term powerful thinking.

There is a distinctive difference between thinking positively and thinking powerfully.

Positive thoughts often do not work. Often, if they do work, they work only temporarily. We’ve all experienced this when we get all motivated to make a change after we have listened to a speaker, read a book, made resolutions, or heard a rah-rah pep talk. Two weeks later, we’re back to the way we were.

Powerful thoughts, on the other hand do work. Powerful thoughts inspire us, spark creativity, access our highest awareness, and bring us ideas that move us in a direction that serves our purpose.

The current theme of my Daily Inspiration Thoughts of the Day is Thinking Powerfully. 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 thinking powerfully, click here to listen to audio, download a PDF or read online.

© 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.