Jul 05 2017

Telomeres Are Telling on You

Category: Health & Wellness,Positive ThinkingPatricia @ 5:34 pm



You may be guilty of killing your cells! Destroying the building blocks of your body! And you may be doing it without even knowing! Researchers have found that negative thoughts can lead to premature cell death. You don’t want your cells to die! Dead cells equal aging! The lifespan of a cell is dictated in part by a cellular structure called a telomere. The telomere protects your genetic data and helps cells to divide. But, every time a cell divides, the telomere gets shorter. After a while, it becomes too short and it is unable to divide. When this happens, the cell dies.

In addition to negative thoughts, it’s also been noted that hostile thoughts shorten these cellular structures. This leads to premature aging of cells, which means premature aging of you! A recent study published in Journal of Behavioral Medicine found that cynical men had a much higher risk of heart attack and stroke. When compared to less skeptical people, those who think cynical and hostile thoughts create a negative impact on their telomeres. This impact results in high levels of cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease, and depression. Hostile, cynical people die at a younger age.

Maybe you’re not hostile, but are you pessimistic? In research from 2014, investigators measured pessimism and telomere length in 490 men. Not surprisingly, more pessimistic men have shorter telomeres. And size matters! In another study, researchers found that pessimism could not only create poor health, it could cause an illness to progress at a far faster rate. When pessimists developed cancer or heart disease, they died sooner.

Perhaps you’re guilty of over analysis? Even though something may have happened years ago, you continue to analyze the situation. This miserable and purposeless rumination can kill you! Let it go! Forgive! Agonizing over the past creates anxiety and depression, which leads to production of high levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. You are shortening your telomeres, slowly killing them. And you know what happens next…

The good news is that you can take action to lengthen your telomeres and keep them functioning for a longer period of time. The actions are not difficult or demanding. You’ve probably heard it all before. I’ll remind you again. Control your stress. Sleep. Exercise regularly. Eat foods that are high in antioxidants, vitamin C and vitamin E. Practice mindful meditation. Think good thoughts. I’ll repeat. Think the thoughts that make you feel good. Hopeful thoughts. Loving thoughts. Forgiving thoughts. Focus on what you want. Focus on the positive. It’s not just about the lala woowoo everybody be happy now. It’s about your health and longevity. And you contribute to it. One way or another.

Your thoughts matter! Negativity. Cynicism. Hostility. Pessimism. Rumination. Stop. Just stop. Stop hurting yourself. Your thoughts influence your actions. Your thoughts influence your health. Your thoughts create your reality. Now you know better. Do better.



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Mar 09 2017

Do This. Live Longer.

Category: Health & Wellness,Positive ThinkingPatricia @ 1:33 pm

happy face


An optimistic outlook helps you live longer. Expecting good things brings good things. Positive thinking is a powerful medicine…with no negative side effects! A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health states that case. It was found that factors such as optimism, life satisfaction and happiness are associated with a reduced risk of cardio-vascular disease. This reduced risk is regardless of other factors such as smoking or weight or age.

Eric Kim, research fellow in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and co-lead author of the study said, “Our new findings suggest that we should make efforts to boost optimism, which has been shown to be associated with healthier behaviors and healthier ways of coping with life challenges.” It may be that higher optimism has a direct impact on our biological health. Apparently scientific studies show that more than any other factor, it is positive thinking that enhances longevity.

The science of happiness is increasingly suggesting a link between happiness and health. A study analyzed data from 2004 to 2012 from 70,000 women enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study. Josh Richardson in an article in Prevent Disease reports that “The most optimistic women had a 16 percent lower risk of dying from cancer; 38 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease; 39 percent lower risk of dying from stroke; 38 percent lower risk of dying from respiratory disease; and 52 percent lower risk of dying from infection.”

It appears that optimism, happiness and good health go together hand-in-hand. Scientific studies have been finding that happiness can make our hearts healthier, our immune systems stronger, and our lives longer. Positive thoughts actually affect and enhance our cellular structure.

Do you want to live longer? Do you want to be healthier while you are living? And just what is optimism? The dictionary defines it as “a disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome”. It’s about focus on what you want and the belief that it is possible. If you don’t believe it is possible, you don’t have faith in the outcome. Optimism is a state of having positive beliefs. It is based on confidence, enthusiasm and trust. Remember, a belief is simply a thought you think over and over.

You may be aware of some thoughts about optimism which are part of our culture. Thoughts like, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” “There are plenty of fish in the sea.” And of course, “Look at the glass as half full instead of half empty.” I prefer to think of my glass as re-fillable!

You can write your own prescription for this “miracle” of longevity. Your optimism can be altered with a few simple interventions. Remember everything begins with a thought. And everything good begins with a good thought! Lao Tzu tells us, “Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success.”  Life is but a dream.

Give your attention to what you want by acknowledging and focusing on the positive things taking place in your everyday life. Be present in the now moment. Focus on your loved ones. Enjoy the beauty of nature. Watch a funny movie. Read an inspiring story. Become more aware of the moments of your life and engage your senses as you appreciate the good, exciting and notable events happening. The essence of all you appreciate is constantly flowing into your reality. When you pay attention, it becomes obvious.

What are you choosing to think about? Remember there is no one else in your head but you. You are creating the thoughts. And the thoughts are creating your reality. And apparently the thoughts you are thinking are also determining how long you’ll be around to think about things.

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Dec 21 2016

Season ForGiving

Category: Choices,Positive ThinkingPatricia @ 11:18 am




We often speak of this time of year as a season of giving. We get caught up in purchasing the perfect present for our loved ones. We give more to charities. We feel as if we have an endless list of people we want to gift with something. We feel the need to recognize their presence in our life. Giving is a good thing. We enjoy it. It feels good. But there is something even better you can do at this time of year. Adopt a new tradition for the season: ForGiving.

Forgiveness is not simple. “It is much more agreeable to offend and later ask forgiveness than to be offended and grant forgiveness,” said the philosopher Freidrich Nietzsche.  It may be difficult to stop feeling angry or to stop blaming someone. It’s hard to let go. When you forgive someone, you give up the right to hurt that someone in retaliation for hurting you. Remember, forgiveness is not granted because a person deserves it. Forgiveness is not an act of weakness or submission; it is an act of love, mercy and grace. When we forgive others we gain control of our lives and let go of painful emotions.

There is an abundance of research being done on the science of forgiveness. It shows that forgiveness makes us happier. And research suggests that happy people are more likely to forgive others. It’s not surprising to note that forgiveness helps to sustain relationships. We are more likely to forgive those closest to us. Forgiveness can stop us from undermining feelings of trust and commitment and help us to repair a relationship. In marriages, it has been shown that spouses who are more forgiving are better at resolving conflicts in their marriage and build stronger, more satisfying relationships. Forgiveness boosts a feeling of being more connected to others and therefore, promotes kindness.

Forgiveness improves our health and strengthens our immune system. In the article, “The New Science of Forgiveness” by Everett Worthington Jr., at Virginia Commonwealth University, references a study at Hope College where people were asked  “to think about someone who had hurt, mistreated, or offended them. While they thought about this person and his or her past offense, the researcher monitored their blood pressure, heart rate, facial muscle tension, and sweat gland activity.”  It was found that when “people recalled a grudge, their physical arousal soared. Their blood pressure and heart rate increased, and they sweated more. Ruminating about their grudges was stressful, and subjects found the rumination unpleasant. It made them feel angry, sad, anxious, and less in control.” When asked to try to empathize or imagine forgiving their offenders, the participants showed no more stress reaction.

To ruminate on an old transgression is to practice unforgiveness. Thinking about it brings the negative emotions of the past into the present moment. Worthington goes on to state, “unforgiveness might compromise the immune system at many levels. For instance, our review suggests that unforgiveness might throw off the production of important hormones and even disrupt the way our cells fight off infections, bacteria, and other physical insults.”

Apparently, the physical benefits of forgiveness increase with age. According to a recent study led by Loren Toussaint, a psychologist at Luther College, a national survey of nearly 1,500 Americans was conducted. Participants were asked the degree to which each person practiced and experienced forgiveness and also reported on their physical and mental health. It was found that people over 45 years of age who had forgiven others “reported greater satisfaction with their lives and were less likely to report symptoms of psychological distress, such as feelings of nervousness, restlessness, and sadness.”

Forgiveness usually takes time as well as effort. But it is well worth that effort! Forgiving others is important. Forgiving yourself is essential. There are four key elements in the therapeutic process of self-forgiveness. These elements are responsibility, remorse, restoration and renewal. You must take responsibility for your actions as the first step towards genuine self-forgiveness. You must recognize what you have done and how you have hurt another individual or hurt yourself. When you accept responsibility, it is natural to feel remorse. These feelings can be processed and expressed. In order to make the necessary amends to the offended individual, the act of restoration is necessary. An apology or restitution is offered. And the final component of self-forgiveness is renewal. When you forgive yourself of your past actions, you are able to feel compassion for yourself and engage in behaviors that promote self-kindness now. You get to begin again.

During this season of giving, I encourage you to give yourself the ultimate gift of love. Forgive others. Forgive yourself. Make that choice. Negative emotions of anger, disappointment, resentment, guilt, shame and remorse are toxic to your health and well-being. Offer an apology or accept one. Take a look at your emotions and let go of the ones that cause you pain. Forgiveness may not come naturally, but it is something that can be learned. Take a moment to see things from the other person’s perspective. Be kind to yourself. And above all, keep in mind that we are all doing the best we can.





















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Dec 20 2016

Happy Holidays! Or Not?

Category: Choices,Positive ThinkingPatricia @ 3:00 pm




Happy Holidays. Merry Christmas. Happy Hanukkah. Feliz Navidad. Celebrate the season! It’s a wonderful time of the year to appreciate each other. We all have many memories attached to this season. I think most of them are good or we wouldn’t continue with the traditions. Because of the feelings attached to these memories, at this time of year, our emotions can get a little out of whack. We are more sensitive. Hopeful. Things seem bigger. More dramatic. Everything is magnified. Good things are better. Bad things are worse. During the holiday season, some of us may not feel like celebrating. Extra time and effort are required and we are already overwhelmed with the necessities of life. It’s been a difficult and divisive time in our society. There are many among us who face a personal challenge this year.

We may have lost a loved one and the world is a different place than it was last year. It is emptier. We mourn what was. And sometimes reminders of past joy can bring pain. We don’t want to look. We don’t want to feel. Maybe we have less money to spend on our loved ones. Or maybe we have less time to spend with them because they are scattered all over the world. Or could it be that they are right next door but the emotional distance is just too far to travel? Maybe we feel we are all alone with no loved ones.

All feelings are valid and need to be acknowledged. You deserve to feel your emotions. It’s the only way you can process them and let them go. The season reminds us of Joy – the #1 emotion. It doesn’t get any better than Joy. If you’re not feeling Joy, what are you feeling? If you’re feeling Fear, Grief or Depression, you’ve hit the bottom. You’re at the lowest end of the emotional scale. There are many emotions you could consider feeling. You could move on up to Insecurity or Jealousy or Anger and it’s not too much of a stretch to get to Blame or Disappointment. As bad as they are, these emotions are better than Fear. As you move past Frustration and Pessimism, you will find Hopefulness and Optimism. You can make the conscious choice to move up to Enthusiasm where you will find that Passion is within reach. From there, you have nowhere else to go but up – to reach Joy. Although you may have reason to deserve to feel any emotion, remember you deserve to feel Joy.

The holidays are a symbol of hope and a promise of miracles. That alone is worth celebrating. The American essayist, Hamilton Wright Mabie reminds us, “Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”  As we enter the holiday season, I encourage you to select what you love about the holidays and reinforce it or recreate it. You can choose to participate or you can choose to remove yourself. Whatever you choose to do, do it with your heart. Do it because it feels good for you. Let the stress go. Stress was never the intention of a holiday.

Like it or not, the season will be over before we know it. Just like everything in life, it is temporary. There is great value in recognizing the reality of impermanence. When we remain in the now moment we are able to cherish the people and circumstances which bring joy and we acknowledge that difficult times will pass. Remember that your feelings matter. Treat yourself with love and respect. And find your Joy. It’s the best holiday gift you can receive. It’s worth celebrating.

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Oct 17 2016

Face the Strange

Category: Choices,Control,Positive ThinkingPatricia @ 12:18 pm




Embracing change is not easy. In general, we don’t like it! We do our best to avoid it! Change makes us uncomfortable and uneasy. We are unsure about what to expect. Sometimes it makes us fearful. Regardless of how we feel about it, change will happen anyway. Guaranteed. Change makes life different. It alters things; modifies and transforms. And often, it makes things better! In order to make change a little easier, I suggest you consider the following advice.

Change is the only constant in life. You can depend on things changing. Change can not be avoided. Everything in life is change. And growth is a renewal. Perspectives shift. Perception adjusts. You learn. You become better. When that happens, you want things to change in order to better suit you.

Change creates excitement and adventure. It gives your life momentum. You have to move forward when change is happening. You can be bored and stagnate without change. Comfort is your enemy. A change in location or career or relationship helps you to progress in life as you are exposed to new experiences.

Change will show you who matters in your life. It reveals your champions and defenders and positive influences. It also reveals those who do not support you or those who create a negative influence. Change helps you to let go of those relationships. Those who love you always want the best for you

Change is an opportunity to re-invent yourself. It allows you to become someone new. You can try on a new role, a new look or a new routine. You decide how you present yourself to the world. When you change, people notice. You attract new friendships and opportunities.

Change adds to your life story. It brings more lessons, people, places and experiences into your life. It makes you more interesting; more compassionate; smarter and better prepared for what is coming next.

Change is the universe’s way of preparing you for something better. It shakes things up so you no longer have a choice. Sometimes when we become too comfortable and perhaps too lazy, situations will arise that force us to do things differently. You lose your stressful, low-paying job and something better comes along. Your worthless boyfriend breaks up with you and you have the opportunity to meet someone new. Change creates.

Embracing the change ensures you receive the positive benefits that will happen when the change has been complete. When life is changing quickly or abruptly, do your best to accept and embrace the transition you are experiencing. Trust that good things will result from the change and that you will benefit. Relax and go with the flow. Everything is unfolding just as it is to be. As David Bowie said, “Ch-ch-ch-Changes. Turn and face the strange.”



Mar 08 2016

Teachers Can Be Frustrating!

Category: Positive ThinkingPatricia @ 2:12 pm



Are there people in your life who are creating difficult situations for you? Are you unhappy with their behaviors? Are you frustrated by them? Maybe you’re disappointed. You expected more.

When we love another person, we are affected by their behavior, actions and life decisions. If your child is suffering from drug dependence, you suffer their pain. If your roommate is irresponsible, you may need to pay all of the rent and suffer financial instability. If your mate ignores health problems, you may suffer the loss of your loved one. When we suffer because of the thoughtless and inconsiderate actions of others, we get frustrated. And when we get frustrated, it’s difficult to feel loving towards those individuals who are causing our pain. We get a little cranky. We lose patience.

I like to remind myself that everybody is doing the best they can. Sure, some people appear to be doing a really bad job but I don’t think anybody wants to be a failure. Nobody wants to be an alcoholic or morbidly obese or unemployed. No one wants to feel fear or shame or grief. Life happens and we respond to situations based on our subconscious programming. We react the way we believe we are supposed to react. We make decisions based on what we believe to be the truth. Everybody has their own truth…their own reality.

Since I want my reality to be peaceful and loving, I strive for compassion towards everyone. I recognize that we are all on our own soul’s journey. Each being I am blessed to encounter on this journey is a treasure…a teacher. When you are annoyed with someone, you are taught to be more patient and understanding. If you have been abandoned, you have been given the opportunity to gain independence and self-reliance. When you feel angry, you have the option to exercise compassion and forgiveness. Relationships teach. We grow or expand our consciousness through interactions with others. It may be painful to experience a relationship where someone exerts power over you and creates fear. But that relationship allows you to learn how to take your power back. It teaches you courage and reinforces your self-determination. Learning that you can’t control others allows you the strength to let go.

When we can look outside of ourselves, we can see that each one of us is struggling to figure out how to be in the world. We’re all the same. One. Nick Polizzi, Director of The Sacred Science offers the “Just Like Me” Mantra.” He suggests using it when you are frustrated with an individual.

Just like me, you are seeking some happiness in your life.

Just like me, you are trying to avoid suffering in your life.

Just like me, you have known sadness.

Just like me, you want to be loved.

Just like me, you were once an innocent child.

Just like me, you are a spirit on a journey.

Be good to one another. We’re all in this together. You are just like Me. We have a lot to learn.



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Feb 03 2016

A Length of Rope. A Brick Wall.

Category: Positive ThinkingPatricia @ 10:59 am



Sometimes we cannot see the way out of a situation even when it is right in front of us. We feel trapped by circumstances, unaware that we have the ability to change them. We create false limitations and erroneous beliefs. We build prisons and lock ourselves in. As humans, we are really good at it! Apparently, we are not alone in this behavior. Bruce Lipton is a biologist and researcher of behavioral epigenetics. To illustrate a point, he tells a story about an elephant. “Captors tie a young elephant to a tree with a length of rope around his leg. No matter how hard he struggles to free himself, he cannot, and so he eventually gives up. Then as a massively powerful adult, by simply feeling the rope tied around his leg, although it is no longer attached to the tree, he believes he cannot escape and remains a captive. He no longer realizes his own intrinsic power to improve his life by changing his perception. This happens to humans, too, because of our two minds.”

If there is something blocking your way to a life of joy, look for a way around it! Don’t let past programming limit your abilities now. And never give up. I remember a client who was feeling that there were many obstacles in the way of her success. During a therapeutic imagery session, I asked her to allow an image about obstacles she was experiencing in life. When prompted, an image of a brick wall appeared. I asked if there were any cracks in the mortar, perhaps a loose brick or some other way through the wall. I asked if there might have been a way to climb over the wall or perhaps some way to go around it. None were found. After some time in the meditative state in a place of emotional acceptance, the client was able to notice a vine which wound itself around the wall. Maybe it was ivy. When she looked further, she found that there was indeed a crack in the wall. The ivy had pushed itself through the cement to make its way to the other side. In the process, it had loosened the area around it, making it easy for her to move a few bricks out of the way. When she was able to look through the wall, she found what she had been searching for in her “real” life. Her subconscious mind provided her with an image of a small obstacle course. The course had signposts with specific instructions about each step to take in order to make it through the maze. She was able to “see” herself executing her plan to start and succeed at a new business venture. Her subconscious mind gave her conscious mind the information and the confirmation she needed in order to feel confident to proceed.

In many cultures, the elephant is revered as an animal of great strength and long memory. It is considered to be a symbol of wisdom and power. I hope you remember Lipton’s story of the elephant who forgot his own strength. Learn the lesson. Do not create limitation and imagined restraint. What’s your excuse? What has you all tied up? Who created those limitations? Is there a brick wall standing in your way to success?

Your subconscious mind has all the answers. Get out of our own way. Go beyond the imaginary boundaries and limitations. Look a little deeper in order to understand where you are right now…not where you were in the past or where others tell you to be. We need to acknowledge our strengths and power. To acknowledge that we hold the key to our own freedom. No one can imprison us but ourselves.


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Dec 16 2015

Doing the Holiday Thing

Category: Positive ThinkingPatricia @ 4:10 pm


If you celebrate the Christmas holiday, the calendar is a constant reminder that there are only so many shopping days left. Time is running out! The days are flying by! You have gifts to buy. Cookies to bake. A tree to decorate. There are parties to plan and to attend. Christmas happens on the same date every year, but somehow, it’s crept up on you. You’ve lost track of time and now you have to hustle to get everything done! Do you? A 2014 survey from Think Finance reported that forty-five percent of Americans would prefer to skip Christmas. They would rather forget the whole thing! That tells you something about society’s ability to handle holiday stress. We are not thinking about good tidings of comfort and joy. We need new coping mechanisms.

Most of us want to believe that holidays are a joyful time. Seventy-eight percent of us report positive emotions such as happiness and love. We obviously like the whole holiday thing or we wouldn’t continue to do it. We need to learn how to do it better, because the stress is hurting us. Nearly a quarter of Americans report feeling “extreme stress” during the holidays. Extreme. Women feel it more. They say they have a hard time relaxing during the holidays and they are more likely to take on all of the tasks associated with family celebrations. Apparently Santa is a woman. The American Psychological Association reports that 69% of people feel they have a “lack of time” and 69% also perceive they have a “lack of money.” Who is feeling that way and why? And whose perception is it? Fifty-one percent of us are stressed out about the “pressure to give or get gifts.” Who is creating that pressure? It is you. You are always the cause. You are making the choices.

We all want to put together a memorable holiday for our loved ones. We want to give the kids the special present that they want. We want to travel to visit with friends and family. We want to enjoy some time off to have fun. How do you do that when it all takes time and money and you are already tapped out? You make choices.

Being present is a whole lot more valuable gift than anything you can purchase at the mall. Being present doesn’t cost a penny. When you are present, you are in the now moment. The clock and the calendar don’t matter. During this holiday season, make an effort to be present to the sights and sounds of the season. When you experience the beauty of a Christmas tree adorned with ornaments and sparkling with lights, consider that it is so much more than a holiday decoration. Evergreen trees, wreaths and garlands symbolize eternal life and the decorative lights symbolize the eternal light within. Consider the tree as a present to you and your family from Mother Earth. Be grateful for your abundance. Be uplifted by your faith.

Take another look at your holiday traditions and decide what matters…what is worth your effort. You may find that on further examination, your “to do” list dwindles. You make choices as to how you celebrate the holiday season. You make choices about who you spend time with and what activity is worthy of your time. You make choices about your budget and your need to buy things you can’t afford. And each choice you make brings you a little peace of mind. Because after all, it is the season of Peace on Earth. Give yourself permission to be included. Or give yourself permission to skip the whole thing. Make a choice about how you do the holidays. And then enjoy it!

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Dec 07 2015

Your Mind’s Medicine Cabinet

Category: Positive ThinkingPatricia @ 4:22 pm

medicine cabinet.1


Are you aware of the happy chemicals that live in your body? Did you know that you produce your own medicine? And you can write your own prescription! Dopamine, Serotonin, Oxytocin, and Endorphins are responsible for your feelings of happiness. Many things can trigger these neurotransmitters. But did you know that there are ways you can intentionally cause them to flow? These happy chemicals create a positive state of well- being in body and mind. This positive state impacts motivation and productivity, health and happiness. Let’s take a look at how to hack into this state of being.

Dopamine has a number of important functions in the brain including regulation of motor behavior, pleasures related to motivation and also emotional arousal. It plays a critical role in the reward system. Dopamine motivates us to take action toward goals, desires, and needs. It also gives us a surge of pleasure which reinforces the motivation when we have achieved our goals. Studies show that low levels of dopamine are linked to behaviors such as procrastination, self-doubt, and lack of enthusiasm. To ensure a continual flow of experiencing dopamine, create a series of little achievements by breaking big goals into smaller ones. And allow yourself to celebrate that goal whenever you meet it! Before you achieve that goal, make a new one to ensure that the flow continues.

Serotonin flows when you feel significant or important. It regulates your appetite, sleep and body temperature. Serotonin regulates your  mood. Whenever you need a boost, remind yourself of your past achievements and success. Allow yourself to re-live the experience and the positive emotions connected to that experience. Remember that your mind doesn’t know the difference between what you imagine and what you perceive to be reality, so your brain produces serotonin in either case. A gratitude journal can help with this. Loneliness and depression appears when serotonin is absent, which is why most antidepressants focus on the production of serotonin.

Oxytocin has been referred to as the “cuddle” hormone. It’s released during orgasm, and by women during childbirth and breastfeeding. Oxytocin creates intimacy, trust, and increases fidelity. It builds healthy relationships and strong bonds. And it reduces cardiovascular stress and improves the immune system! Dr. Paul Zak recommends eight hugs each day as a simple and effective way to keep your oxytocin flowing.

Endorphins help to alleviate anxiety and depression. They act as an analgesic and sedative and are released in response to pain and stress. Endorphins are actually similar to morphine in their effects on diminishing perceptions of pain. You can induce endorphin release with regular exercise. And one of the easiest ways to increase your levels of endorphins is to laugh. Even the anticipation and expectation of laughter will do it.

Take advantage of this amazing ability to create a happier, healthier, more successful life. You have everything you need within. Don’t wait for happiness to magically appear in your life! Use some strategies to help yourself to help yourself!


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Nov 17 2015

Is Happiness the Opposite of Success?

Category: Positive ThinkingPatricia @ 12:44 pm

extreme yacht


The conventional idea of success has many factors. Is it wealth and material status symbols like a big house and a fancy car? Is it experiences of traveling the world? Is it long-term relationships and a sense of belonging? Is it a prominent career? Does it look like “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”? The most important question is, “What does success mean to me?” If you don’t identify what success means to you, how will you know when you have achieved it? And once you have achieved your personal vision of success, do you think you will be happy?

I’d like you to consider that happiness may be the opposite of conventional success. Happiness is not about having things. It’s more about ceasing to want things. Satisfaction. When you stop caring about attaining everything that could be…and focus instead on enjoying what is… you are happy.

Sometimes you could become unhappy when you are thinking that life isn’t the way it should be. You are judging and comparing. You may decide that you need to change something before your life can really begin. You may think you need to lose 20 pounds before you can meet Mr. Right. Or you may believe that you need to leave Mr. Wrong before you can be happy. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that way. This is your life, right NOW. The only time there is. If you decide you can’t be happy until…then you will be disappointed. THIS IS IT! Are you happy?

Being happy can be the simplest thing in the world. You just need to do something that completely occupies your attention. You need to shut down the mind chatter and focus within. Some people do extreme sports to quiet their internal monologue. The danger requires their complete attention so there is room for nothing else. Then the thoughts about everything that they think is wrong in their life quiets down. Unfortunately, some people use destructive means to do the same thing. Drugs. Alcohol. Gambling. Sex. Sometimes we feel the need to escape our perceived reality.

We all have an experiencing self who lives in the present and knows the present. The experiencing self is capable of re-living the past but basically it lives only in the present moment. It is fully aware and conscious of events and perceptions right now. As you read these words, you are in the experiencing self.

We all also have a remembering self. What we decide to keep from our experiences becomes our memory, the story. This is the self that maintains our story. It is the self who repeats our story to our self and to others. It reinforces our belief in the way things are or were in the past. But, our memories are adaptable and flexible. Each time we remember something we recreate it.

Our stories are defined by significant emotional moments and changes. Mostly, our stories are defined by how they end. Endings are very, very important. The remembering self is the one who makes the decisions about what to do in the present based on how the story ended in the past. It decides whether we are happy with our memory of what happened.

Daniel Kahneman, Nobel laureate and founder of behavioral economics, says that our experiencing selves and our remembering selves perceive happiness differently. Your experiencing self is the part of you who is happy in the experience of life. You are enjoying the moment. Your remembering self is the part of you who is happy with your experience of life. You are enjoying the story you are telling because you like the way it ended.

So, are you happy in the experience of your life? Know that you can always go within to experience a sense of peace and happiness. Are you happy remembering the story of your life? Know that you decide on your story and how you tell it. You have great power to create happiness. You choose. And perhaps that is really the meaning of success.



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Sep 22 2015

Good Riddance!

Category: Positive ThinkingPatricia @ 4:17 pm


Recently, I read this bit of wisdom. “Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.” We could all use that thought as a guideline to approach the task of freeing ourselves from troublesome people or unwanted things. As summer comes to an end we may think about doing a little fall cleaning. It’s time to get rid of what we don’t need any more and to make room for what we will need in the coming season.

On the physical level, in order to make room for what we will want and need in the future, we need to prepare now. We need to rid ourselves of the past in order to move into the future. There is no need to bring our baggage along. The next time you are at home and have the presence to be aware, look around you and consider the physical area nearby. Are you surrounded by things you no long need or want? Maybe you’re stepping over things which no longer serve a purpose. Is your closet full of clothes that don’t fit you or look out of style? Or maybe there are garments that are more tattered and worn than a charity will accept. Is your home a storehouse of outdated gadgets and regretful purchases? Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I won’t ask you to justify your beautiful clutter or untidy mess, but otherwise, why are you keeping things that are not useful or joyful?

On the emotional/mental level, we need to get rid of any thoughts or feelings from the past that are no longer useful, or beautiful or joyful. In order to have what we want right now and in the future, we must let go. Again become aware. Look within to consider the thoughts and emotions nearby. Are you surrounded by ideas and beliefs that no longer serve you? Are your beliefs about success or failure creating more harm than good? Are you harboring thoughts that make you feel as if you don’t fit in or that you are worthless? Are you living with habits you regret beginning? Do you regret the consequences of actions you’ve taken? Have you forgotten how joyful life is? Do you know how beautiful you are?

Your outside clutter is connected to your inside clutter. The invisible thoughts and emotions become visible things and experiences. Maybe your closet is full of nothing to wear, because you don’t think you deserve new things or you live with poverty consciousness. Maybe your clothes don’t fit because you’ve been feeding your emotions or swallowing your pride. Negative feelings weigh us down. If there are unread books lying about, read them! And then pass them on. You have already gained the knowledge and entertainment. There is no need to hold on to the physical reminder of the experience.

You might tell yourself that you don’t have the time to go through all the stuff. You don’t have time to process your emotions or really get in touch with your feelings. It’s difficult. You tell yourself you’ll get to it one of these days when you have extra time. (There is no extra time. Everyone gets 24 hours to spend each day. How you choose to spend those 24 hours is entirely up to you. You will never get 25.) If the stuff has been sitting around in a pile for years, you can be very confident that you do not need it. And you do not need to go through it just in case there is something precious there. It’s not precious! If it was precious, you would have been aware that you were missing it. You would have treated it with respect and reverence. It is not precious. Get rid of it. Get rid of all of it. If you’re living with a relationship that is not working and you don’t care to spend the time and effort to make it good, it must not matter to you. It is not precious or joyful or beautiful. Perhaps you should get rid of it. Or consider why you think it is useful.

Holding on is holding on. Doesn’t matter what it is…old clothes, unread books, broken gadgets or harmful relationships. Let go of the clutter. Hold on to the useful things and let the other stuff go. Leave more space in your life for the beautiful and joyful. Be free.




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Jul 06 2015

Finding Joy, Bringing Joy

Category: Positive ThinkingPatricia @ 5:13 pm


The ancient Egyptians believed that one’s afterlife depended on answering two questions. “Did you find joy? Did you bring joy?” It is so much easier to find joy and to give joy when you live from the inside out.

Joy is different from happiness. Happiness can come from outside circumstances. You can feel happy because your child succeeded at something. You can feel joy just because you love your child. You can feel happy because you are on vacation, away from the day-today responsibilities. You can feel joy just because you are splashing in the ocean or lying in the sun. Joy is a state of being. Happy is an emotion. Of course, if you are in a joyful state, you are also experiencing happiness. The writer’s thesaurus entry for the word joy offers the synonyms of delight, ecstasy and bliss. The entry for happy offers the synonyms of cheerful or content.

We create our own joy. You know it. You’ve felt it. That almost indescribable feeling of being in just the right place at just the right time doing just the right thing. Joy comes from within when we are aware of who we are; a spiritual being enjoying a physical experience. En-joying is being in a state of joy. Consider what you enjoy doing. I enjoy dancing. It feeds me in some way. I feel connected to the movement of my body. I feel my physical self energized with life. I feel the beat of the drum…a primal force that joins the musicians and dancers in the same way that babe and mother are joined together in a single heartbeat. The sound of the guitar tugs at my heartstrings; its power to awaken my emotions is not only able to send my spirit soaring but also to make me weep. The saxophone stirs my soul and resonates through every cell of my body. When I am dancing, I am in a state of joy. Although the music originates outside of me, the vibrational qualities feed my inner being. Not everybody wants to dance. It doesn’t bring them joy, or even make them happy. Some actually avoid it, vehemently stating, “I don’t dance.” But for those of us who en-joy it, we find it essential to life. So, if I were an Egyptian being asked the question about finding joy, I could enthusiastically say “Yes, I found joy in dancing”.

What could you do today to find a little joy in your life? Your action doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else. It doesn’t need to be practical or cost any money. Give yourself permission to just do it. Trust that you know best about how to be the best you. Go look for your joy and find it! When you review your life and the time of judgment comes, you’ll be able to answer “Yes”.

Now, let’s move on to the next question, “Did you bring joy?” How do you bring joy to others, if joy doesn’t come from the outside? Joy comes when you live from the inside out by following your heart and trusting your gut feelings. It comes from inner silence and knowing. Consider this…you bring joy when you love. When you love, you live from the inside out. When you love yourself, you accept yourself. When you love, you make choices to bring joy to others. When we love our lives, we create a more abundant and joyful world. Today, may the love in your life fill your world with joy. I think once you find joy, you can’t help but bring it with you wherever you go! Maybe the ancients were speaking about this simple rule… “Love one another.”



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Jun 04 2015

5 Ways to Maintain a Positive Attitude

Category: Positive ThinkingPatricia @ 1:53 pm



If your life is not the best you can imagine, perhaps you need an attitude adjustment. It’s not difficult to create a positive attitude but it does take a little effort. That little effort might be all it takes to create a major shift in your life.

  1. Choose the good thoughts.

What are you telling yourself? Pay attention to your thoughts and how they affect your body. If it doesn’t feel good, choose another thought. You can make yourself sick.

Think about what you want. Think only in terms of the positive. It is far more powerful to be in favor of something positive rather than to be against something negative.

  1. Praise Yourself

Eliminate negative self-talk! Appreciate your talents and gifts. Acknowledge your skills and abilities; your strengths and positive attributes. Treat yourself with the same loving respect you give to others. Love and accept yourself as you are right now.

Daydream and imagine yourself as the ideal…physically, emotionally, and mentally. If you can see it, you can be it. The mind doesn’t know the difference between what you imagine and what you perceive as reality.

When you see yourself as healthy and successful, your mind becomes comfortable with it. Your confidence is boosted and you are able to achieve your goals.

  1. Practice Gratitude

Note five things every night that you are grateful for. The essence of all you appreciate is constantly flowing into your reality. “This. I want more of this.”

Grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, vitality and life satisfaction and lower levels of depression and stress. They tend to exercise more and feel better physically.

Robert Emmons, a psych prof at UC Davis research found that a 21-day gratitude intervention produced high energy, positive moods, greater sense of feeling connected, more optimistic ratings of one’s life and better sleep duration and quality.

  1. Focus on the solution, not the problem.

Einstein said that all of his most important and productive thinking was done by “combinatory play” with “images” in his mind. Thought experiments. Ask a question, Visualize a situation and perform experimental action.

Whatever you are thinking about is literally planning for the future. When you are worrying and doubtful, you are planning for and attracting something you don’t want. Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what is thought about. Choose the good thoughts.

  1. Be present in the Now.

Stay focused on the present moment. Life begins now. Life is happening right now. If you are thinking about the past, you are thinking about it now. If you are thinking about the future, you are thinking about it now.

Life is a series of moments. Each and every moment is an opportunity for choice. Focus on what you can do today, right now.

Breathe. All is well.


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Mar 24 2015

How to Stop Your Head From Exploding!

Category: Positive ThinkingPatricia @ 12:20 pm



Einstein tells us that “Imagination is more important than knowledge. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” What are you imagining? Are you thinking about what you want or about what you don’t want? The life you imagine is the life you live!

Do you realize you have a choice about what you are thinking? And you get to make that choice… one thought at a time. In 1994, I didn’t know I could make a choice. I didn’t know that I had the power to control my thoughts. Instead, I let them control me.

It was a very stressful time. The Northridge earthquake…perhaps some of you remember. Well, I experienced some personal aftershocks. My husband was injured. It was a minor injury but there were complications. Flesh-eating bacteria! Eleven Days of ICU. Survival not guaranteed. And even though my prayers were answered, there was recovery and rehab and the stress didn’t end.

During that time, I would say to anyone who was listening, “If I have to take any more of this, my head is going to explode.” In November, it happened. I had a mini-stroke. A T.I.A. A little explosion left me with the inability to speak or move. Distorted time. After a moment or two or… an eternity, it passed. I re-wired. I was one of the lucky ones. I recovered completely. Stress didn’t kill me… but it did inspire me to learn better ways to cope with it.

Are you suffering from stress? Are you thinking about things that you don’t want to happen? Are you worrying about the future? Napoleon Hill says “If you don’t control what you think, you can’t control what you do.”

With more than 12 years of clinical practice, I’ve developed a lot of tools to help you take control of your thoughts. I know secrets! I’d like to share 3 tips to help you let go of some stress.

  1. Use your inner eye to create your outer world.

Your imagination uses your mind to think and your heart to feel. When you focus on what you don’t want, you feel stress, anxiety or worry. Worrying is literally planning for things you don’t want to happen! When you focus on what you do want, you feel good, empowered, and confident. Anything you want to do or have or be is possible. Positive thoughts have a positive effect. Make a choice! The mind doesn’t know the difference between what is real and what is imaginary.

  1. Thoughts are powerful. Think thoughts of gratitude.

Become more aware of people, places and things which affect your life experience in a positive way. When you pay attention, you experience more appreciation. Make note of the positive things happening in your everyday life and expect more of the same. Look for the happy place! Recognize and appreciate that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped fo

  1. You are a creator. You create with every thought. And you do it Now.

Whatever you are thinking about, you are creating. You are literally broadcasting “this…bring me more of this…” So, don’t say things like… “If I have to take any more of this, my head will explode!”

If you think about the past, you’re thinking it about it now. If you think about the future, you’re thinking about it now. We often create by default because we are getting whatever we are giving our attention to – wanted or unwanted. All the time. With every thought you think. If you want to create a stress-free future, you must do it now. And there will never be a time when it is not now.

Are you living your best life? If not, why not? Are you willing to invest in yourself? Invest in your future? The future is Now. Use your MindSight and take advantage of the power of your subconscious mind! Remember, the Mind Matters!

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Nov 12 2014

Before Its Too Late

Category: Positive ThinkingPatricia @ 4:39 pm



This morning when I picked up my broom to sweep the kitchen floor, I heard my mother’s presence echo in my mind. I felt a great sense of gratitude for this simple act of sweeping. I can do this. She no longer can. She can’t sweep the floor or wash the dishes or any of the mundane household acts we take for granted. Having suffered a stroke, she can no longer stand. I think if she could stand, she would be excited to sweep because she’d be able to get all the things that others had missed. Sweeping would be a joyful act. I doubt she realized it when she swept the floor for the last time. I wonder if she was mindful of the simple joy of tending to things. That’s how life happens. We experience things and then we realize that the experience is done. Over.

As I gathered the remnants of yesterday, I thought not only of my mother, but of others who no longer walk the earth or sweep the floor. My gratitude expanded as I realized the gift I was experiencing. I considered that I had a home with a floor. And it was located in a beautiful city in an amazing state in an incredible country. I owned it. And I had a broom, a tool to do the job of sweeping. And that my home was filled with the family who created the dirt on the floor. I felt joy for the ability to physically do the job. There have been days in my life when there was no time to sweep…or no energy. Yet today, I was given the time, the energy and the desire. I was given the gift of life.

Sometimes we’re not paying attention. We miss out on our experiences. When we are not mindful, we don’t see the whole picture in all its’ glorious details. And then when the experience is over, we have a vague memory and we wish we could fill it in. The problem is, you’ll never know when the experience is happening for the last time. Until there are no more times. And it will take you a while to realize that. Before it’s too late, remember that there are only so many times, and when they are gone, you will yearn for more.

It has been said, “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water”. May you chop wood, carry water and sweep floors for many more days. And may you find joy in the simple acts of living. Every last time.

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Sep 11 2014

Precious Words

Category: Positive ThinkingPatricia @ 5:10 pm



My mother recently reached a milestone birthday – 90 years. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to really comprehend that. Like so many of the elderly, her body continues to be here even though her mind has moved on to other dimensions.

Strokes. One little brain explosion at a time has left their toll. I’ve lost count. We were talking on the phone when it happened the first time. She recovered completely from that one but another one happened which began the real decline. A few months later, she broke her hip and then Daddy died. Little by little she slipped away. Last year another stroke impacted her ability to swallow or speak. It was so bad, I asked for Hospice. Her speech was reduced to that of a 2 year old. Sometimes it is just gibberish, yet she is so physically expressive of her emotions, she makes her point known. Sometimes an entire sentence is clear and succinct. Sometimes it is just a word or two.

After a year of Hospice care, Mom graduated. Apparently she has no intention of leaving the planet yet!

Mom and I have had an interesting relationship. She’s been a difficult woman, to say the least. At times, my friends were a little frightened of her. She could go on a rant! As she lost her mind, her judgments and her negativity, we became very close. I was blessed to rediscover my mother.

When I last visited, I wasn’t sure if she would know me. Sometimes she forgets that I’ve grown up. When I approached her, she was sitting with a group of residents in the reception area. She looked up at me with clear recognition and absolute delight. The woman who had criticized me, yelled at me, accused me for most all my life; this woman was now bursting with joy at the mere sight of me.

Clearly and succinctly, she spoke to me. She said, “Daughter! Daughter! Beautiful! Love! Love!”

Precious words. There is great power in words. There is an even greater power in speaking words of love. I know my mother always loved me the very best way that she could. But she didn’t say it. She didn’t know how to say the words “I love you”. Don’t wait until you’re 90. Say precious words. Do it. While you can.

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Jul 24 2014

60,000 Thoughts Every Day

Category: Positive ThinkingPatricia @ 10:24 am



Scientists have determined that you think over 60,000 thoughts every day. That’s 2500 thoughts per hour which means that you’ve already had 41.6 thoughts since you starting reading this. Amazing! Unfortunately, out of those 60,000 thoughts you had today, 98% of them are the same thoughts you had yesterday.

Are you living the same day over and over? Going to work day after day at an unsatisfying job? Spending day after day in a bad relationship? Or in no relationship at all? Do you wake up every day wishing life were different, yet doing the same actions 98% of the time? If you’d like any external circumstances in your life to be different, it’s time to consciously make an effort to choose some new thoughts. You certainly have plenty of opportunities – more than 60,000 of them every day!!!!

When you change the thoughts you’ve been thinking, you change the internal cause of the external circumstances. When you change the cause, you change the effect. You get a different result. Try it!


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Feb 16 2014

Happy or Not? It’s Your Choice!

Category: Positive ThinkingPatricia @ 6:00 pm

happy face

Research tells us that there is a happiness formula (H=S+C+V). Happiness = Set Point + Conditions of Living + Voluntary Choices. We are born with our own happiness meter. Some of us are just born happier than others, regardless of life circumstances. We have a happiness set point that accounts for 40 to 50% of our overall happiness.  A measly 7 – 12% of our happiness is the result of conditions of living – our home, our car, our job, our relationships. The remaining 40 to 50% is based on our voluntary choices – how we think and feel about our lives.

This is very encouraging! A large part of our happiness is based on choice! It’s based on what we can control! As psychologist William James says, “The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human can alter his life by altering his attitude.”

In order to boost your happiness set point and change your attitude, there are a few things you can choose to do.

Be Patient. Every moment is precious. Don’t waste your time being angry, upset or frustrated.

Praise Yourself. You deserve it! And besides, who else will praise you if you don’t bother to do it?

Tell 3 People You Love Them. A simple act that not only makes you happy, it makes at least 3 more people happy as well.

One Hour Each Day For You. There are 24 hours in each day. Surely you can find just one for you. Take the time to do whatever you want or even to do nothing at all.

Be Compassionate. Everyone is experiencing life. Sometimes the experiences are difficult, demanding and painful. Treat everyone you meet with the same understanding that you would want.

Forgive the Past. The mind replays what the heart can’t delete. Let your heart be free and your mind will follow.

Set Goals & Affirmations. When we envision the future and imagine our success, we experience the joy now. We become inspired and act on our desires.

Practice Gratitude. The simplest way to achieve a sense of peace and happiness is to focus on what you are grateful for in your life. It’s also the simplest way to insure that you will receive more of what you want.

If life is getting you down… choose a different attitude. Practice reminders of grace. You’ll be happy you took control and made the choice.

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Jul 30 2013

The Secret Recipe

Category: Positive ThinkingPatricia @ 3:47 pm
8 Muffins + 72 Blueberries = A Plate Full of Love

8 Muffins + 72 Blueberries = A Plate Full of Love

Families and food are woven together in a tapestry of cultures, traditions and beliefs. We all have “family recipes” passed down from generation to generation. Some have secret ingredients or require elaborate preparation. Some come with stories about their origins while others seem to have no beginning. All have an emotional attachment to the food – a connection to the cook or to the tradition or the memory of family gatherings that taste like love.

Food and love come together in many ways. Why do you think it’s called “comfort food”? This summer, I visited my 86 year old Aunt Alice who is the epitome of home cooking and family recipes. All of her recipes are in her head. She’s happy to share but it takes a moment while pen and paper in hand, she mentally prepares the dish as she painstakingly lists all the ingredients and instructions. Aunt Alice loves to cook and bake. She loves to love and this is her way. When I arrived I was greeted with a favorite yellow squash (never use zucchini) casserole. I was reminded that it was the original recipe. Not like the way her sister, my Aunt Helen might have prepared it for me. Helen is always trying to mess with a recipe, which doesn’t set well with Alice.

While the casserole was baking in the oven, I spied the other treat awaiting me. A bountiful plate of blueberry muffins! Yum!  Aunt Alice offered one before lunch. I offered no resistance. I took a bite, savoring the taste of summer blueberries contrasting with the texture of the cake.  I took a good look at my muffin; “feasted my eyes upon it”, so to speak.  And as I admired it, I had to make a comment.

“There’s the perfect ratio of blueberry to muffin,” I proclaimed.

“That’s because I put 9 blueberries in each muffin,” she replied.

“What do you mean, 9 blueberries? Do you count them out for each muffin?” I asked as I giggled with the thought.

“Why, yes! You can’t just put them in the batter all at once. They lump together! That’s what Helen does. I put half the batter in the tin and add 5 blueberries. Then I put the rest of the batter in and add 4 blueberries,” she said.

“That’s hysterical! “ I couldn’t contain the laughter and she joined in. “That’s not written in the recipe! Doris gave me the recipe. I haven’t made it yet, but I’m sure glad I didn’t. I had no idea it required counting 9 blueberries! Why do you do that?”

And with authority, she said, “That’s the way I like it.”  Who am I to question why?

Later that day, we visited my Aunt Helen who is now 90 and confined to a retirement home. Sadly, her muffin baking days are over. Cousin Doris was there. I questioned her regarding the recipe and shared the story of my discovery. As I told the story, I watched her nod in agreement as I noted the specific counting and baking procedure.

“Do you put 9 blueberries in the muffin too?” I asked.

“Of course!” she responded in a very matter of fact manner. “That’s what fits!”

And there we sat, a family of women connected to each other by common ancestors and DNA. But more than that, connected by memories of cooking together and sharing food. Family connected by this recipe and the silly “secret” secret of 9 blueberries. We laughed and laughed and laughed.

When I returned home, I felt the need to bake the muffins. I followed the recipe as I was taught by the master. Trust me, its’ worth your time to listen to Aunt Alice. The next time you bake muffins, count your blessings.

There are many secret ingredients in a family recipe.  The most flavorful, satisfying and nourishing one is the power of love.

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Jul 15 2013

3 Ways to Create Happy

Category: Positive ThinkingPatricia @ 10:33 am

Are you happy? If not, perhaps you need to practice. Happiness is relative. The external world is not the cause of your happiness. Research tells us that only 10% of your happiness is based on things, other people or experiences in the external world. The other 90% is based on how you perceive or process your internal world – your subconscious mind and your thoughts.

Be Happy Now

To activate the happiness energy, you only need to make small changes in your thoughts and actions to magnify the happiness within. It’s a matter of becoming more mindful.

1.            Take two minutes every day to think about something that makes you happy. Imagine all the details of the experience. When we re-Mind ourselves of past happiness, we enjoy all the benefits of the first time and double our joy. If we imagine being happy about something in the future, we experience the joy now because the mind doesn’t know the difference between what we imagine and what we perceive as reality.

2.            Be mindful and become aware of creating fun. Look for extraordinary ways to experience the ordinary. Make time for at least 15 minutes of active fun every day. Give yourself permission to play. Having fun is really good for you!

3.            Smile. Enjoy a shot of dopamine while you share it with others. Smiles are contagious, forming a network of happiness all around you. You receive the benefits as you give.

When we follow the rule of 21 days of action, we have created a new habit and programmed our subconscious mind to achieve our goal. We actually feel happier!

Happiness and Unhappiness is all about how you think about situations. Starting a happiness practice helps you to make that choice. Choose your thoughts. Choose your life. A happy one!



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