grateful that I was too poor to get to art school
was 21. . . . I was old enough when I got there
how to get something out of it.
who never sacrificed a present to a future good,
or a personal to a
general one, can speak of happiness
only as the blind do of colors.
we express our gratitude, we must never forget that
the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but
to live by them.
Things to Enjoy at Any Age
Louise Morganti Kaelin
No matter how old we are, there are several
things that we get to enjoy. It is this enjoyment
that is the key to a happy life. If you can
appreciate the following, you'll be set for life!
Whether its sunny, cloudy, rainy, snowy, extremely
hot or extremely cold, every morning that we wake up
and can be grateful for another day is a good day!
These mornings become sweeter as we grow older, and
therefore probably elicit more appreciation.
Over and beyond being grateful for waking up this
morning, the weather outside is something to enjoy.
Interestingly enough, it's not necessary for the day
to be sunny, with blue skies and a nice little
breeze to be beautiful. In fact, when everyday is
sunny, it gets kind of boring. Having lived in New
England for 30 years, I know the truth of "If
you don't like the weather here, just wait 10
minutes and it will change". To me, that's the
most perfect weather of all, when it changes
frequently and I get to experience a ton of
different atmospheric conditions.
While we might not always enjoy our family when we
are younger, most adults enjoy their family
Whether it's our birth family or our
own family, there are many experiences we can share
only with those closest to us. To paraphrase an old
proverb, "No man is a hero to his family".
This is an added benefit as we can 'be ourselves'
with family as we can't be with anyone else.
Most of us have communities of varying sizes.
Because it is a personal preference, it may be one
or two very close friends up to large numbers of
groups we surround ourselves with. It all depends on
where we feel comfortable. The important thing is to
enjoy whatever relationships we have. If we don't,
the best gift we can give ourselves is to let go of
non-productive or constantly negative relationships.
Sense of humor
A sense of humor is something we all have, although
there is quite a range in exactly what that means to
each of us. Again, the important thing is to have
opportunities to laugh, chuckle, howl, grin or smile
on a regular basis.
A deep relationship with God
Our spiritual life is an important piece of our
daily enjoyment. Again, I don't believe there is a
'right' religion or spiritual practice, as long as
you have some deep bond with a source bigger and/or
greater than yourself.
The drama of life
Being able to take several steps back and look at
life as an uninterested bystander has its perks.
Seeing the big picture allows one to realize how
human nature works and to notice repeatable
patterns. It's another great way to stand back and
enjoy the drama that we call life .
As many say, "without your health, you have
nothing". Do what you need to do so that you
can enjoy your life with the energy and vitality
that keeps it that way!
* * * * *
Louise Morganti Kaelin. Louise was a life
coach who passed away several years ago. Rest in
people behind the words
and excerpts - Daily
Two - Year Three
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Key to Building Your Personal Power
Self-esteem is the immune
system of the mind and of the spirit. Self-esteem is our
experience of feeling competent to cope with the basic
challenges of life and feeling happy and worthy and deserving of
happiness. People who have the greatest sense of self-esteem are
those who feel they are doing their life's work. Genuine
self-esteem is what we feel about ourselves when things are not
Self-respect has to do
with our value as a person, an inner certainty, a sense of
happiness, a feeling of success about life, and feeling worthy
enough to attract, allow, and receive love into our life. People
with a lesser sense of self-estimate — or esteem — find it
easier to give love than to receive it.
If you have a healthy
immune system, does that mean you will never get sick? Of course
not. But you will be less susceptible to illness and you will
experience a faster recovery. Having a high level of self-esteem
doesn't mean you will never be anxious, miserable, depressed, or
overwhelmed on occasion. The advantages of having a strong sense
of self and worthiness is that you have good shock absorbers. If
you are attempting to achieve a goal and hit a wall, you will
persevere. You may not always succeed, but you will succeed more
often than you fail. A top manager in one of the executive
seminars I was conducting said to the group, "I have been
knocked down five times — but I got up six." The average
CEO has had 3.2 major failures before succeeding.
People with a low sense of
self-estimate will go through the motions of persevering but will
fail more often than succeed. Our self-esteem generates a certain
level of expectancy, and expectancies become self-fulfilling
While our sense of
self-efficacy shows up in different areas of our life, it shows up
most prominently and consistently in the area of relationships and
love. If a person doesn't feel he or she is worthy of love, the
person will find it hard to believe someone else loves him or her
and will usually find ways to trust test — or sabotage — the
relationship in some fashion. Have you ever tried to tell or
convey love to a person who doesn't feel lovable? There just isn't
much you can do to convince that person.
Our self-esteem of course
will vary in different areas of our lives, and our effectiveness
level, performance, or success will correspond to our self-esteem
in that particular area. For example, you may have high
self-esteem as a manager and communicator of ideas, and your
performance or effectiveness level will correspond to your
self-estimate. You may have low self-esteem with mechanical things
or replacing parts and putting gadgets together, and your friend's
may lovingly call you a "klutz" in that area. You may
have average self-esteem as a parent or spouse, and your
competence in that area will correspond accordingly.
If you take all the areas of
your life and make a bar graph of high- and low effectiveness
levels, you will probably end up with a zig-zag profile.
Psychologists would average that out and come up with what is
called a "g" factor — or general level of self-esteem.
Of course, if you want to raise your self-esteem in a particular
area of your life, one approach would be to begin improving your
Perhaps taking a course on
effective parenting, joining Toastmasters, or taking a continuing
education course on public speaking and effective communication.
Not a good money manager? Take that night-school course on
financial planning . And so forth. As you raise your performance
and effectiveness level in different areas of your life, your
self-estimate in that area should go up accordingly.
In contrast to the
"bottom up" method of changing self-esteem is the
"top down" approach. Utilizing certain exercises to
change limiting beliefs in certain areas of your life — and of
course, re-educating and re-programming your subconscious with
affirmations, visualization, and/or self-hypnosis — will also
work in improving your effectiveness level in different areas of
Thus, self-esteem is the
reputation we acquire with ourselves. Our self-concept is broader
than self-esteem and is the umbrella, so to speak, that subsumes
our beliefs, our ideals, our body image — which is an important
part of our self-concept. It includes our liabilities, assets,
limitations, and capabilities, and self-esteem is one of its major
Everyone, of course, is born
with 100% self-worth. You cannot pour more water into a glass that
is full to the brim. There are no "better thans" — or
"less thans." However, as we are growing up and begin
acquiring certain beliefs about ourselves — primarily from
well-meaning parents, teachers, friends, and so forth — we begin
to assess our value, our worth as a person. Some people
metaphorically take on so many barnacles, wounds, traumas, and
insults that they begin to re-evaluate and devalue their sense of
worth. Some people — despite their cruise ship of life being so
overburdened with barnacles — somehow develop survival skills
and go on to succeed. These people are called invulnerables in the
literature — and these are the people we should be studying.
What is it that these people are doing right despite horrific and
brutal histories filled with abuse and shame? We need more studies
of success — not just of pathology, which unfortunately is the
way most of us are trained.
The importance of
self-esteem was first drawn to national attention more than 40
years ago following the publication of Psychocybernetics by
cosmetic surgeon Dr. Maxwell Maltz. He described how he would
volunteer one morning a week and do cosmetic surgery on prison
inmates in the local penitentiary. After two years or so, the
warden called Dr. Maltz into his office and pointed out how the
men whose nose jobs and facial disfigurements were improved
through plastic surgery were not committing more crimes and
returning to jail following their release from prison. Dr. Maltz
realized that by changing their body image — which, as I noted
earlier, is a very important part of self-image — the convicts
felt better about themselves. He went on to describe self-esteem
as "the most important discovery of the 20th century."
However, this is not necessarily true of everyone.
In later writings, Dr. Maltz
described two female patients who had radical cosmetic surgery on
their faces. In assessing themselves after the bandages were
removed and all the swelling disappeared, the women looked and
looked at themselves — and very sadly and disapprovingly said,
"I don't look any different; not much has changed. I still
feel the same about myself." That was when Dr. Maltz realized
that self-image — for most people — was internal, not the
external trappings of what we call beauty.
Along the same lines, I
remember an almost painfully candid interview in which Elizabeth
Taylor described herself as "short, pudgy, awful thighs, I
hate my nose, my eyes are too far apart, I don't like the shape of
my face, I wish I could change my whole appearance at times."
That self-description — from one of the most beautiful women in
the world. No wonder she had such a series of self-destructive
behaviors: eating binges, drug and alcohol abuse, a number of
accidents and multiple surgeries, eight marriages, and so on.
Self-esteem is an inside job.
Let us now move on and look
at some of the qualities that people with high self-esteem share
to varying degrees.
The first quality is
that they are continually seeking the challenge and stimulation of
worthwhile goals. Goals, of course, are the purpose to all
human activity. It is not necessary or even possible to achieve
all our goals, but their purpose is to help us become more than
what we were. Goals are like dreams, and many people, rather than
dreaming their own future, ,allow themselves to be woven into
other people's dreams. There are two ways to create our reality:
to set goals and program an optimal future or to simply allow
whatever comes your way. Both are programs. Both work. High
self-esteem people love themselves enough to dream — to create
the future they will be stepping into.
High self-esteem people
realize that material things such as a fancy car or a mountain
condo are symptoms of success — but not true success. True
success is intrinsic — the way you treat yourself, your family,
People with a strong sense
of self-worth live consciously as problem-solvers —
having a respect for facts, for truths, being present in the now
when someone is talking to them. They have a passion for
self-awareness, for honest self-examination, an awareness of their
inner world — not just the external world. And they don't
anesthetize themselves with denial or addictions such as drugs or
Most importantly, they are
quick to forgive — themselves and others. They release the past
and don't try to make the present conform to the past by hanging
on to grudges or seeking revenge. They realize that it is not the
prisoners who spend more time in prison — but the warden. If you
are keeping someone as an emotional hostage, then you are the
prisoner. All healing has to go through the door of forgiveness.
High self-esteem people have
good boundaries. They can say no to what doesn't fit or seem right
for them. They can draw the line in the sand and firm their
boundary. The person who doesn't value himself or herself enough
to say no accepts an intrusion simply in order to please and adds
to the stresses of his or her life, unfortunately.
Another quality is that
people who value themselves value others and treat them with
respect. You will never hear racist, sexist, or ageist remarks
from people who feel good about themselves. They go out of their
way to honor, respect, and nobilize all people.
As indicated earlier, high self-esteemers form nourishing rather than toxic
They have open, honest communication skills and look for clarity
rather than fearing it. If giving feedback, they take
responsibility for their feelings and instead of a
"you"-blaming remark will preface it with an "I
feel this way for what just happened."
Another component is
humility. That doesn't mean false modesty or apologizing for being
who you are, but regardless of how many times you have experienced
a person in a certain way – say, for example, the person is a
gossip or bossy — humility is being open to each moment in life
as something new — by not prejudging that so-and-so is a bore
but rather having the humility to let that person be different
this time. Humility is seeing each moment or experience as brand
new without judgment.
Altruism is another
quality of high self-esteem. Altruism is being helpful or of
service to others — whether by doing volunteer work, being a big
brother/big sister, or whatever you choose to contribute to create
a higher sense of well-being or even excitement. Women in one
social helping program reported that by volunteering for service
at a convalescent home for older folks, they felt a long-lasting
sense of deep inner satisfaction — even exhilaration — and an
increased sense of self-worth, less depression, and fewer aches
People with a higher sense
of self-estimate also have a higher sense of accountability. Let
me give you an example. One of my friends called me not too long
ago, offered to buy me lunch, and wanted to talk about how
devastated he was, as his wife had run off with his best friend. I
thought "oh no! He wants to get into blame and
self-pity." So much for my humility in this instance. Instead
— despite his torment — he said, "Lee, you have known me
for a long time and you have been with my wife and me on many
occasions. What was it about me — what could I have done — or
didn't do that caused her to leave me?" I was almost in tears
— as I could feel his pain — yet he wanted to take
accountability for what had happened rather than give his power
away to blaming or "poor me's." In other words, he
acknowledged that he is accountable for creating his life, his
reality, that whatever he did — or didn't do — led to a very
sad chapter in his life, but also, he ended up, over time,
learning a great deal more about himself.
Finally, high self-esteem
people will argue for their magnificence and the magnificence of
other people — rather than for their limitations.
often ask me, "Is all this concern about self-esteem
something recent that has come about with the New Age
movement?" I always chuckle when I hear that because I know
that more than 2,000 years ago, one of the greatest Teachers of
all time said, "Love thy neighbor as thyself." You
cannot love thy neighbor if you don't love yourself. You cannot
give away what you don't have.
Wallpaper! Just click below
the size your desktop is
right-click on the
picture that appears
in the new
window, and choose
"Set as background."
photo's from a spring
day at Lake Louise)
x 800 - 1440
We use odd expressions to talk about patience that
make it sound like a
storable commodity like olive
oil, gasoline, or money in the
bank: "I'm getting low
on patience." "My patience is coming to an end."
"I am about to run out of
. . I don't think we have an internal
reservoir in which we store
up Patience for a
time when we'll need it. I
think it's more
like the energy-saving water heater I have
at my house.
There is no holding tank of hot water. The heater clicks on when I turn
the hot water tap on, and the cold water flowing
through it gets heated
en route to
the shower. It keeps on
heating water as long as I'm using it,
and then it clicks off
again. I don't need hot water in the middle of the
while I'm sleeping,
and I don't need Patience then, either.
always admired farmers and their perspectives on
life. I've noticed that because they have to
be very much in tune with the cycles of the seasons,
they also tend to be in tune with the cycles of
life, the ways that things change regularly and need
to be accepted for what they are, when they
are. There are times in life when it's
important to sow the seeds, or the growing season
will be missed and the harvest will come too late,
and possibly be destroyed by frost. There are
times when we have to be patient and let the crops
grow, tending to them and giving them water and
nutrients, but letting them do their thing without
trying to force it. And then there's time for
harvest. The crop is ready to be used, and
it's important to gather it at the right time if it
really is to be useful. In the north, that
usually happens in the fall, and then it's time to
let winter take over, and move to tasks other than
sowing and reaping.
of the concepts that I find most fascinating about
farming, though, is the idea of crop rotation, and
even of letting land lie fallow for a season.
Inherent in this idea is the reality that the soil
needs to work with different kinds of plants if it's
to maintain its vigor and even its basic ability to
supply nutrients to the plants that are growing in
it. A crop such as rice will drain the soil of
certain nutrients during its growing season, and if
the farmer plants rice there again next season, the
plants will drain even more of those nutrients from
on the other hand, the farmer plants a crop such as
cotton, the cotton will use different nutrients,
while replacing the nutrients that had been drained
by the rice.
still need more healthy rest in order to work at
my best. My health is the main capital I have
and I want to administer it
often, the farmer will let a certain patch of land
lie fallow, or unused, for an entire season.
The farmer knows that the money that he or she could
earn from that land isn't as valuable as allowing
the land to regenerate itself, to build up nutrients
without being drained further.
found in my life that it's important to stay dynamic
if I want to keep growing and learning. Many
people are comfortable with staying at the same work
for their entire lives, doing the same job each day,
and to them I send my blessings--and in many ways I
envy and admire them. That kind of stability
can bring a lot of good things to life.
the other hand, I know that by changing what I do
from time to time, I learn more about life and
living and other people because I'm exposed to many
more ideas of how things should be; I work with
people who have taken different paths in life, and
who see the world in very divergent ways. When
I was in the Army, for example, I worked with people
who had very different ways of looking at the world
than did the people with whom I taught at
colleges. Since I've been teaching at the high
school level, I've been working with completely
different groups of people, and learning from and
about students who are much younger--but who have
fascinating ideas about life and living--than did my
students at college.
valuable thing we can do for the psyche, occasionally,
is to let it rest, wander, live in the changing light of room,
not try to be or do anything whatever.
don't have to change careers or move to new places
in order to rotate what goes on in our lives.
Perhaps it's time to spend a season reading in the
evenings instead of watching television. Maybe
it would do us good to join a club that focuses on
something that's always interested us, but which we
haven't explored yet. We could even attend
another church for a few weeks, to get a different
set of views on how things are and how they could
know that as a teacher, the summer break is
invaluable because of the burnout that takes place
over the course of the school year. During
that time, I leave behind teaching and try to focus
entirely on other things. The rejuvenates and
re-energizes me, and allows me to begin again fairly
fresh when school starts up again. During the
summer, the part of my brain that works on teaching
lies fallow, and I don't try to make it do any work
so that it can recover from the school year.
Then, when the new school year begins, it's ready to
start all over again.
of the most important things to remember, though, is
that everything must have its season of growth,
too. A farmer isn't going to sow corn and then
try to harvest it three days later. Likewise,
we can't just jump from thing to thing, place to
place, and expect to get anything out of the
experiences. There are times when we must
simply stay where we are, as we are, and allow
ourselves to grow. Our trials are our
rainstorms and our winds and our frosts, our
challenges are our times of drought, our obstacles
are similar to the weeds and insects that like to
feed on plants. We, though, have much stronger
defenses than plants do against the things that
threaten us, and it's important to use those
Rest when you're weary. Refresh
and renew yourself,
your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work.
principle illustrates why vacations are so important
to us, but also why so many people don't benefit a
bit from the time they take "off."
With the Internet and cell phones so dominant in our
lives, many people these days take vacations in name
only; they tend to bring their jobs with them and
don't allow their minds to focus on other
things. They're still worried about earnings
and contracts and other people's performances when
they should be worried about what they want for
dinner after they take the nice long walk on the
beach or through the forest.
a runner, I know that one of the best things I can
do to improve my race times is to take a day off
from running a few days before the race. My
body appreciates the rest, and the muscles recover
and allow me to perform at the peak of my abilities
only going to help ourselves if we create fallow
areas in our lives, places and times when we allow
ourselves to escape from our normal tasks and
challenges, when we can relax and let our bodies and
minds and emotions recover. We'll be much
better in all ways, then, when we get back to work,
and the work we do will be of much higher
quality. And that can be quite important to
all of us.
of the most important elements
of living life fully is
awareness-- awareness of our surroundings, of other people
and their motives and fears and desires, of the things that
affect us most in our lives, both positively and negatively.
In the twelve years of livinglifefully.com's existence, this
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Life Fully, the e-zine
exists to try to provide for visitors of the world wide web a
of growth, peace, inspiration, and encouragement. Our
are presented as thoughts of the authors--by no means do
mean to present them as ways that anyone has to live
from them what you will, and disagree with
whatever you disagree
with--just know that they'll be here for you
cannot fail at
yourself. A cat
to be a
tiger, and you shouldn't
try to be something
process, not a
what you are and to
create that creature.
it is about
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