Posts Tagged ‘Valentines Day’

I was at my Dad’s house recently as he was doing some de-cluttering and purging. After 92 years of living, one collects a number of very interesting items. Two such items that caught my attention were some old stamp collecting books. I pulled them off the shelf in his basement anxious to see what I might find inside.


I wasn’t disappointed.


There were an untold number of beautiful stamps dating back almost 100 years that my Dad must have collected as a kid. I was fascinated by their beauty and age and started to wonder what they might be worth, so I made a note about a few of the oldest ones and decided to research them on the Internet.


I have to admit I was surprised by what I found.


These beautiful 100-year-old stamps were valued at only a few dollars. Sure from a relative perspective they were worth over 100 times their two cent face value, but still, that was hardly the fortune or undiscovered treasure I secretly wished for. But as I continued my research, I suddenly noticed that one of the stamps highlighted on the Internet had a value that would raise any eyebrow. Upon deeper review, however, I discovered that the reason for this was the fact that the highlighted stamp on the Internet had a defect.


This reminded me of one of the most famous and valuable stamps ever printed – the Curtis Jenny. This is a U.S. airmail stamp that recently sold for almost $3 million. Why is it so valuable, you ask? A defect, of course. The airplane on the stamp was accidentally printed upside down.


This got me thinking about all of us. When I started thinking about what makes my collection of friends and family so treasured and interesting, it is not the fact that any one of them is perfect, but rather that they are so imperfect. It is their quirks, “defects” and unique qualities that I most appreciate.


Simply put, your defect = your value. It is because of your imperfections that you are so valuable.


So during this month when we celebrate Valentine’s Day, be sure to take a moment to LOVE and celebrate every imperfect bit of you. Especially your defects. Chances are, that is the precise reason why people truly love you and value your presence in their life!


Define your uniqueness to define yourself.

– Debasish Mridha


For most of my life, I have wanted to blend in with the crowd. I didn’t want to be recognized or honored. I didn’t want to be considered different. I didn’t want to be unique or special. I simply wanted to be the common man.


Man, was that ever stupid!


There is nothing wrong with being “one of the guys” and living with the camouflage of being like everyone else. It keeps you safe. But rarely does one notice the lone blade of grass among a huge field. Or the lone black bird in a flock of thousands.


No, we tend to notice the oddity of the hummingbird, or the magnificence of a bird of paradise, or the uniqueness of a four leaf clover. It is not until you can identify and celebrate the unique qualities, characteristics and values you possess that you will shine most brilliantly in the world.


We all have some unique quality, but few of us are courageous enough to celebrate them like the peacock.


I encourage you to share your wonderful gift and spread your beautiful feathers like the peacock, for that is the greatest Valentine’s gift you could give to the world.


Here is a fun video about some characteristics that make some of us unique . . . but perhaps not as unique as you thought.

Read Full Post »

Last week I read a news article about this video. It is a short, 90 second, impassioned plea from a father asking a large corporation for a simple favor. The video plea went viral and received over 1.5 million views in just one day.



In a USA Today article about the father’s (John Berlin) plea, Berlin said, “I touched the hearts of a lot of people. I wasn’t trying to do that, but I did … I just wanted to see a one-minute video.”


The one minute video he is referring to are those magnificent “Look Back” videos Facebook is creating based on a user’s posts over the past 10 years. If you are on Facebook and haven’t done yours yet, I highly recommend it. Berlin wanted to see what the video would look like for his son who passed away in 2012. As often happens when one is led by their heart, Mr. Berlin received his miracle and Facebook agreed to overlook its current policies and create a “Look Back” video from his son’s postings.


Then I thought about the amazing work Maggie Doyne is doing in Nepal. You can see her impact here – http://www.blinknow.org. I remember way back to when she was just starting her non-profit organization in 2006, when it was little more than a pang in her heart. Overwhelmed by the thousands of orphans she saw in Nepal due to a 10 year civil war, she said something to the effect, “I don’t know if I can help them all. I just want to help that one right there.” She was referring to a young 6 year-old girl named Hema who she had connected with on one of her first visits to the country.


These two beautiful moments, and the impact they have had on the world, demonstrate the perfect model for changing the world. Simply put . . . stop trying to change the world.


If you really want to change the world, just focus on your passion. What calls most strongly to your heart? Focus on that. Focus on what you care about most, take one SMALL STEP toward that, and let the ripples that passionate and caring step creates do the rest. It will undoubtedly have an impact and will change the world around you.


So, what is it you care about most?


I can’t imagine a better time than Valentine’s Day to take your first step and send out that first ripple of love.


The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.

– Pablo Picasso


What good is a gift if you keep it beautifully wrapped, yet hidden in the back of a dark closet, never to be opened. A true gift is one that is shared with others, and when it is, it spreads joy to all those fortunate enough to share in it. Don’t keep the passions you hold deep in your heart from the rest of the world. That is your gift. That is what the rest of the world awaits for. And until you share it, neither you, nor the world will be complete.

Read Full Post »

Most people don’t know, or truly understand, the most important holiday in February. I am sure the lovers among us will proclaim that it’s Valentine’s Day. And the patriots among us would surely put forth Presidents’ Day as the most important holiday. But if you are truly seeking happiness in your life, both of these suggestions would be wrong.


The most important holiday in February is Groundhog Day.


Groundhog-Day 2Groundhog Day? Really? Yes, indeed.


If you have seen the movie Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray, you might know where this is going. If you haven’t seen it, then you might want to watch it this weekend and enjoy a fun comedy with an important message.


In the movie, the main character lives the same day over and over again, living a life filled with skepticism while continually making the same mistakes until he gets it right. Since the movie came out 20 years ago, the term Groundhog Day has taken on the meaning of living the same mistake over and over again.


Many people consider a pattern like this to be a message of some sort and an opportunity to learn a life lesson. In his book Conversations with God, Neale Donald Walsch wrote, “You will get the message as many times as you need it in as many different forms.” In my coaching, I add one little, but very powerful phrase – “However, each time you don’t get the message, the Universe turns up the volume.”


The question you must ask yourself then is, “How loud must that volume be before you get the message, stop making the same mistake, and make the necessary change(s) in your life?”


Groundhog Day is a great opportunity to reflect on your life and notice where you are continually making the same mistakes or find yourself being the most skeptical? Is there anything you can do differently to get yourself out of that maddening pattern? Is there any action you can take to break the infinite loop and start living a life you prefer?


Don’t wait until the volume gets so loud that you go deaf! Why not give Groundhog Day its due and finally make the changes you need to make in order to live a happier, more fulfilling life?


If you keep making the same mistake; what lesson have you learned? You can’t get through the book of life if you’re always stuck on the same page.

– Unknown


Life is never fun when we are living with the frustration that accompanies continually making the same mistakes over and over. Thankfully, the solution to such frustration can be as simple as:


first generate an awareness of the pattern;
second, understand the costs of that pattern to your vitality;
third, create some new possibilities;
• and finally, make a conscious choice to live differently from that moment forward.


Believe it or not, it can be that simple.


If you want a little laugh, click on the Groundhog Day trailer below!

Read Full Post »

I’m not sure why we do it, but we humans – or at least most of us – tend to belittle, put-down, diminish and doubt ourselves. I wish I could say we did it out of humility, but I don’t think that is the reason.

This limiting behavior, more than anything, is one the key challenges I address with my clients. Sadly, this self-doubt is devastating to our human spirit and all that we are capable of achieving.

I think a major reason we do this is because we have these little voices in our heads that we choose to listen to and believe more than listening to our own heart and intuition. These voices often are the “shoulds”, “coulds”, “have tos”, and “this is what society/my parents/my friends/’they’ expect of me” messages we pick up along the way as we are growing up. And without knowing our own heart, they are extremely powerful voices and can drown out what we know to be true about ourselves.

But underneath all of those external influences, there is the purity of who you really are in this world. That one contribution that you are destined to make. That one desire you wish to live.

That is who you really are. And that is the soul that truly wishes to shine through emitting its brilliance into the world. The good news is that it is not hard to find your way back to that person. You can most easily find that person when you are still, when the only sounds that can be heard are the whispers of your heart and soul, directing you which way to turn.

This February, why not give yourself the best Valentine’s gift ever . . . the opportunity to rediscover your heart and once again believe in yourself.

Why not take a moment this Valentine’s month to quiet all the noise that is swirling around you and listen to the whispers of your heart and soul. In today’s busy world, those whispers are most often found in a fleeting moment, but you are sure to recognize them when you unexpectedly find a smile dancing across your face.

That is the real you! Never lose sight of that person.

If you believe that the most important thing is inside you, then you lack nothing.

                                                                                              –  Maharishi

As soon as we turn outside of ourselves for validation or love, we begin to create a void that can never be filled.  Yet, we still do it and then spend a large part of our lives trying to fill that void.  A belief in yourself never comes from filling a void created by looking “out there” but rather by looking inward to truly understand who you are and what you want, and then challenging yourself to achieve it.


And just in case you need a reminder of the power and inspiration of Being You and Believing in Yourself . . . (Make sure to click through to YouTube)


Image Design: Brads1Star, spreadshirt.com

Read Full Post »

About a month ago I had lunch with a friend and witnessed an unbelievable transformation occur before my very eyes.  For the most part, it was a delightful lunch filled with great conversation, laughter, an exploration of life and self, and some tasty food.  But then it happened.
She received a text message on her cell phone. 
Her attention was immediately drawn away from our connection and conversation and was now being split.  Ultimately, the cell phone won out as she proceeded to respond to the immediacy of the text.
Considering the possibility that perhaps this was an emergency, I allowed some space for her to respond.  In the meantime, however, I thought I would get myself some water.  And, being the kind person that I am, I asked if she would like a glass as well.
No response.  In that instantaneous moment, it was as if I was vaporized from the planet and disappeared. 
I actually found this amusing and decided to have a bit of fun with her distracted state.  I next asked, “I’m going to strip naked and grab some mustard.  Would you like me to pour it on you?”  Still no response. 
Now, before you judge this person, I ask you to examine your own life and behavior and see if you have ever found yourself torn away from those you are currently with to respond to your cell phone or hand-held device.
The irony of this situation is that one of the things my friend is working on is to be more present.  I proceeded to take out my own hand-held device – a pen and a piece of paper – and wrote a message for her.
“You cannot be present to the moment until you are in the moment.”
The more I thought about this, the more I realized how our current technology and multi-tasking tendencies rip us away from the beauty and peace of the moment.  They rip us from the gifts and connections to our loved ones.  They steal our opportunity to be present to the miracles of life.
With that in mind, I invite you to put down your cell phone and be more present with those you are with.  Rather than being with your machines, be with the people around you, nature, your thought or the moment.  Be fully present to all that is around you.   

Men have become the tools of their tools.
                                   –  Henry David Thoreau 

I am continually amazed at how distracted we are in life.  It seems that with each passing year we are given more technological tools to stay connected.  Yet, the irony of that is the more “connected” we are, the less connected we seem to be.   


Leave a comment below sharing a story you experienced where a friend or loved one vaporized you from the planet as they became absorbed in their cell phone or hand-held device and became disconnected from you and life.


Photo Credit: Kristin Murphy/Desert News/AP

Read Full Post »