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.

Guest Blogger Kris Taylor Asks: What Word Should (Might) You Want to Remove from Your Vocabulary?

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No ShouldingToday’s guest blogger is Kris Taylor, the founder of Evergreen Leadership. Kris is a respected colleague and friend with a proven track record of promoting, leading, and implementing positive change.

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I had the opportunity to meet a brilliant young man this week. His list of accomplishments was long, his skill-set was broad, and his impact on others was positive and deep. Yet it was clear that he was struggling with a bad case of the “shoulds” – and the second-guessing that came with it. He should have gone to college sooner, should have had a better idea of where he was headed, should have stuck with his business venture longer, should be in a better job…

We all carry around some “shoulds” – both past and present. The list of past ”shoulds” is long and may include: I should have gone to different school, followed a different major, pursued a different career, tried harder, risked more, married differently, taken that opportunity, stayed with it longer.  And we all have an equally long list of present ”shoulds”.  They might include: I should make more money, have a better house, be a better boss, be a better parent, spend more time at work, spend more time at home, go back to school, exercise more, eat less, be kinder, make more money, work harder, relax more.

I’d like to suggest that you banish the word should (and even need to) from your vocabulary. The words connote an obligation or duty, rather than a choice or free will. “I should get a new job.” is heavy and onerous,  and conveys inaction and guilt. The “shoulds” wear us out – make our load heavy. Our past “shoulds” have us looking in the rear view mirror and beating ourselves up for missed opportunities or perceived missteps. Our future “shoulds” burden us with obligations that may or may not serve us well.

Contrast the thought “I should get a new job.” to these:

  • “I am choosing to stick with this job for the next year.”
  • “I am committed to making the best of this job, even if it is not where I want to be forever.”
  •  “It’s time for me to find a job that is a fit for me.”
  • “I wonder what steps I might take to find a job that is a fit for me.”
  • “I am curious about what I would like in a different job.”

Mary Lore, whose work on Managing Thought inspires me, provides a list of substitute words – that are accountable, freeing and focused. Instead of using the words need to, have to or should – try these substitutes:

  • I am choosing…
  • I am committed to…
  • It’s important to me that I…
  • I could…
  • Based on where I was, I chose to… Today, I am choosing…
  • I wonder how I can…
  • It could be great if…

When I began to substitute these words for my “shoulds” – there was a little jolt. This was followed by a sense of freedom – and letting go of some guilt and pressure I put on myself. I began to forgive myself and let go of past decisions and actions – and make conscious choices in the present. And I began to own the choices I was making – and make them with intention based on what I really wanted, rather than an amorphous obligation weighing on me from some other source.

So see if you can shed some “shoulds” and see what happens.

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

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Kris Taylor has brought together her keen insights about organizations, change and leadership to create Evergreen Leadership.  Over the past 9 years, hundreds of leaders from 50 companies across the country have worked with Kris and her talented associates for help in successfully implementing large scale, mission critical change initiatives. Evergreen Leadership reflects Kris’s signature talent of creating high impact learning programs where leaders emerge with deep insights about their own personal leadership and learn how to lead others in today’s fast paced and uncertain environment.

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.

 

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.

 

September is Self-Awareness Month

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September is Self Awareness MonthAre you self-aware?

When I ask this question in my workshops, and it doesn’t matter if I am with CEOs, management teams, educators, parents, medical professionals, graduate students, or teens, the answer is a resounding: I don’t know. I haven’t thought about it.

Yet, according to various studies and authorities, self-awareness is the:

  • #1 characteristic of a successful entrepreneur
  • #1 characteristic of a high performing leader
  • #1 characteristic of an authentic leader
  • #1 factor of predicting success in business

And we have been hearing in the spiritual realm for thousands of years that self-awareness is the #1 characteristic of a successful human being.

This is not surprising to me. Because everything we say and do first begins in a thought. Everything.

In my experience, most of us have not thought about our thoughts. We have no idea what we are thinking.

We don’t realize that we are making thousands of choices every day, thousands of decisions every day.

We don’t realize that most of our thoughts are rooted in fear, focused on what we don’t want –They’re not moving us in a direction that serves our true purpose.

We don’t realize that we’re not inspired.

I can’t even begin to describe how much power each and everyone of us has.

Every thought we have is creating — for better and worse — richer and poorer — sickness and health.

Individually and collectively.

We all have the ability to be self-aware, to notice what we are thinking, how we are feeling, and if we are in alignment with who we truly are and what we truly wish to create in this world.

We all have the ability to choose the thoughts we wish to hold, to create health and happiness and be creative, inspired, and impactful in everything we do.

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; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate ourselves.

This is true for us as individuals and as organizations, particularly in such fast-moving and volatile times.

I change the world around me by changing myself. And I change myself through self-awareness, self-mastery, and being on-purpose.

Are you self-aware?

 

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

I have dedicated my life and work to helping individuals and organizations develop self-awareness, think differently, think powerfully, and achieve significant, meaningful, and long-lasting results. If you are truly interested in practicing self-awareness and being inspired and impactful in everything you do, visit www.MindfulnessMonday.com and www.ManagingThought.com

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.

 

 

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.

It’s Time to Plant Your Seeds and Cultivate Your Intentions

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Cultivating IntentionsHaving once owned a garden center and nursery and having a huge passion for gardening, I know this weekend is THE weekend to get our gardens growing. Now to me — growing gardens, growing companies, growing ourselves — it’s all the same. That’s the reason I use so many gardening analogies when I talk about developing self-awareness, self-mastery and being on purpose.

I approach Managing Thought® as if I were pruning a tree. When I prune a tree, the first thing I do is decide what I want to accomplish. Do I want to remove the dead wood? Create a certain shape? Bring in more light? More fruit or flowers? Growth upward or outward? Once I have my purpose, I begin to prune, first removing the dead and diseased branches. I then prune the branches that are crossing other branches, sticking straight up, or shooting from the base of the tree. These are appropriately called suckers because they suck up the water, nutrients, and sunlight from the viable branches. Once these branches are removed, I then prune and shape the tree to fulfill my purpose. After completing the process, I turn my attention to the daily culti­vation of the tree—how it is fed and watered and its exposure to the elements. This helps the tree resist stress and develop a strong root and trunk system. With less stress, the tree resists insects, disease, and damage. It thrives in its full glory.

To manage our thoughts, we can follow the same process. Before we plan or strategize anything—a career, vacation, marriage, education for ourselves or our children, a corporate initiative—we can decide what we want. Before we say or do anything, such as interact with our family, children, or signifi­cant others, or converse with a customer or coworker, we can decide our purpose. We decide what is of significance. We decide what we wish to create in our life and our work.

Then we watch our thoughts and prune those that are destructive and diseased –the thoughts that don’t bring us peace or inspire us. We notice and prune the thoughts that are at cross-purposes, or sucking up our time, energy, and money. These are the thoughts that block our light—our true reality. We practice shaping our thoughts, creating our intentions, and focusing our thoughts, and ultimately our actions, on what matters to us.

In doing so, we accomplish our purpose and fulfill our intention in each moment. We cultivate ourselves daily and develop a strong mind, body, and spirit. We resist stress, disease, and damage. We thrive in our full glory.

What seeds are you planting? What intentions are you cultivating?

The next series of daily thoughts and inspiration are on self-cultivation.  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.

What Could You Do with Your Bonus Day?

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Today’s the day! It’s leap year and here we are with the extra day we have always wanted.

As a kid, I thought it was so cool to get an extra day and, with a sense of adventure, I wondered what I could do with the extra day.

As I grew older, I kept the tradition wondering how I could enjoy this free gift of a day. I have used the day to pen thank you notes, treat myself to hot baths, extra meditation and naps, re-connect with friends and family, read a good book, sing and dance like crazy, wonder about my next adventure in life….

Years ago, as I was savoring my extra day, I realized that every day is a gift. Let me put that in capital letters: EVERY DAY IS A GIFT!

And I wondered what my life could be like if I approached every day, every hour, every moment as a gift. How amazing could that be!

I became inspired to practice being fully present, pausing, taking a breath, noticing all that is around me, making every moment a gift to myself and others.

When I practice being fully present – and I do mean practice! – I find myself inspired by everything around me.

And that is indeed a gift. I guess that’s why it’s called being present!

This year, I am using my bonus day to create the next level of Managing Thought® teachings and tools.

Today and every other day, I am using my day being on purpose, loving, thankful, wonder-full, creative, impactful, inspired….

What could you do with your bonus day?

For ideas on what you could do with your bonus day, watch this beautiful, inspiring YouTube video with intentions and affirmations for a life well-lived.

 

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

Resolutions, Intentions and Affirmations for a Life Well-Lived

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I am delighted to share this YouTube Video I prepared as a gift to my friends, family, clients and colleagues.

I hope you enjoy it, share it and view it again and again as you continue to sculpt the work of art in progress that is you.

What one thing could you practice to create your life well-lived?

 

The next series of blogs and daily thoughts and inspiration are powerful statements, intentions, resolutions, affirmations and questions on creating a life well-lived. 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 the Twitter feed in the right-hand menu bar.

If you would like to help me help others create their life well-lived, go to Mary’s PBS Pledge Special to learn four ways you can help.

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