Oh What a Night…

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

How do I even begin? What words can I use to describe what I am feeling right now?

You see, last Saturday was my birthday, and it was a BIG one. The day started out lovely, with lots of phone calls and texts from family and friends. They were all very sweet, but everyone had busy schedules and could not take the time to celebrate my special day with me. They all wished me well.

Then my husband said: “You have to be ready by 10:30 this morning.” I thought we were heading to one of the beautiful trails close-by, so I grabbed my tennis shoes.

Then suddenly, without notice, three of my friends walked in the door holding a huge balloon, crazy whimsical glasses, and big smiles. They drove all the way from Chicago – three hours away – just to see me. I let out a scream so loud I even scared myself.

Then one by one more people walked through the door. There were old friends and new friends and family and neighbors. They just kept coming. I later discovered that my husband had been planning this event for the last six months. I can’t believe everyone was able to keep it a secret.

It was a day I will never forget. I was surrounded by a love so thick you could feel it. I sincerely have never experienced anything like this. How did I get so lucky? How did I find such amazing friends and develop such deep bonds with my family? My only hope is that I can pay it forward and make others feel as loved and special as I feel right now.

A heartfelt thank you to my husband for making my life so rich and beautiful.

Categories: Personal Development Positive Attitude Professional Development Professional Speaker
Tags: , , ,

One Simple Step to Being Happier

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

What helps us lower our chances of heart disease, tolerate pain better and even extend our life expectancy? Friendships. Yep – you read that right. Hanging out with friends can help us lead a happier, healthier and longer life. According to research, friendships actually increases a feel-good hormone called oxytocin. It helps us strengthen bonds with other people in our lives and create lasting relationships.

In my humble opinion, hanging out with friends can be different than spending time with family. If you’ve ever been away on a “girl’s weekend,” you understand what I’m talking about. It’s an experience that makes us laugh a little longer and share a few secrets that we never thought we would. It’s a time for acceptance and bonding and just taking care of ourselves.

But in this fast-paced world, how do you keep up with friends? People change jobs, they move, they start their own families. Times change, and so do people. So it’s important to make the time to create experiences with those you really connect with. It’s not about the time we spend together but the bond that is developed. I couldn’t have said this better myself:

“Friendship isn’t about who you have known the longest–It’s about those who came and never left your side.

This is a quote that really touched my heart. It’s a great reminder to invest in the friendships that make you the happiest and brighten your day. I have been so fortunate to meet and become friends with some amazing women. Without them, I would have never survived some of the greatest challenges life threw my way. To all my girlfriends out there, may you all find the happiness and joy that you have brought into my life. I am a richer person because of you.

Categories: Personal Development Positive Attitude Professional Development Professional Speaker
Tags: , , ,

Take a Chance

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

In the wise words of…Abba

“Take a Chance on Me”

For some reason, that song kept playing in my mind as I took a trip with two new friends.  One woman was just an acquaintance – I hardly knew her.  What did she like?  Dislike?  How would it be to spend four full days with her 24/7?

The other woman is a newish friend.  We’ve spent some time together and a new friendship is budding but now we were planning to be together for several days!  Who knows what can happen.

But off the three of us went, driving from Chicago to Cleveland to see an art exhibit.  Was I sure it would work out?  NO!!!

But I took a chance.  I jumped in with both feet and focused on the positive.  And as the song says:

“Listen to some music, maybe just talking.  Get to know you better…”

That is exactly what we did, and as a result, a new friendship was formed and a second one was deepened.  They took a chance on me and I took a chance on two women who I shared four days of laughter, friendship and unforgettable experiences.

So, what do you think?  Is there something you’d like to take a chance on even though you have no idea how it will turn out?  Are you daring enough to take a chance on yourself?  I’d love to hear the new stories you will create.

Categories: Personal Development Positive Attitude Professional Development Professional Speaker
Tags: , , ,

You’ve Got a Friend

Professional Speaker-Positive Attitude-Personal Development

Has your confidence ever been shaken to the core?  Have you ever gone through a challenge so great that you doubted yourself and stopped believing in your own self-worth?

I know I have, and it’s a scary place to be.  As I look at my life now, it’s hard to believe that my confidence was shattered, but there’s no doubt that seven years ago my life totally fell apart.  And it all happened so quickly.  One day I was in a loving 15 year relationship, owned a successful business and lived in a beautiful home.  Then the next day – PUFF!  It was all gone.  And I never saw it coming.  The 2008 recession swallowed my business, all my finances and I found myself sitting in a bankruptcy office.  How did I get here?  What was I going to do next?

So how did you survive your life challenge?  Whether you lost your job, lost someone you love, or lost your home, how did you get up the next morning and put one foot in front of the other?

One HUGE thing that helped me was my friends.  Never questioning me or judging me, they were just there.  One helped me pack my boxes to move, another held my hand as I looked for a new place to live, and others invited me to dinner and just let me ramble about my heartache.

Above all, they made me believe that I wasn’t alone.  And in the end, it has made me a better friend to others.  Now when someone calls me with a problem, I just listen.  Although I may be tempted, I don’t offer advice, and I certainly don’t interject my own stories of “you should hear what happened to me.”

I think that’s what I’m most grateful for – learning how to be a better friend to others. Learning to listen, tune in, and just BE there. 

For me, this quote says it all: “Friendship isn’t about whom you have known the longest–It’s about those who came and never left your side.”Mikaela Tiu

Thanks to all my dear Friends who never left my side!

Categories: Personal Development Positive Attitude Professional Speaker
Tags: , , ,

I Would Walk 500 Miles

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

I LOVE that song – I Would Walk 500 Miles by The Proclaimers.

As the song says:
I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more…

Who or what would you walk 500 miles for? Who or what would be worth the pain and the sacrifice?

Now don’t be so quick to answer the question. Really think about it and the commitment it would take.

When I first saw this picture of a sculpture by artist Frances Bruno Catalano, it really took my breath away. I read that his reason for creating it was to capture the vacuum caused by being forced to leave your land, your life, or your people for any reason.

However, this piece of art had a different message for me. This sculpture made me wonder about times when there was a void in my life, and the people I surrounded myself with to help me fill that void.

Motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, once said: “We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with”.

That’s right! We are greatly influenced by those who are closest to us. They affect our way of thinking, our self confidence, and the decisions we make.

Hopefully you can look around and breathe a sigh of relief. However, if you look around and scream “Yikes, what was I thinking”! it may be time to make a few changes.

So it is those people in my life who helped me fill the void of loneliness, confusion, self-doubt, and so much more that I am truly grateful.

After all, “Friendship isn’t about who you have known the longest… it’s about those who came and never left your side”. (Mikaela Tiu)

And for them, and the hope they gave me, I would walk 500 miles!

Categories: Personal Development Positive Thinking Professional Development
Tags: , ,

Friends are Fragile: Handle with Care

Motivational Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

There have been times in my life when I have been disappointed by a friend. Times when I thought they should have been there for me, and they weren’t.  Those were the times when I was self-absorbed and it never crossed my mind that they may be going through their own challenge, fighting their own battles, and just didn’t have enough energy left over for me and my needs.  Many times it changed the course of our friendship.

More disturbing, though, are the times when I was the one who disappointed my friends.  When I was the one who said something I shouldn’t have said, or didn’t do something I should have done.

I never meant for this to happen. I don’t think any one of us get up in the morning, saying: “Let’s see who I can disappoint today”.

But in this day of emails and texts, words can often be misunderstood. With no facial expressions or friendly smiles to share, we sometimes “hear” words that were not meant the way they appear to be.

I once heard a saying:

There are three things that you can’t take back. I never remember what the first two are, but the third one has sunk into my soul and I will never forget it:

You can never take back the spoken word.

And in today’s world – you can never take back that email or text after you hit that send button.

So the next time you feel disappointed by a friend, before you say something or send something you may regret, take a moment and think it through. Otherwise, be ready to live with the consequences those words may bring.

Do you have a story of a friendship that was misunderstood?  Maybe a friend you miss but the disappointment is so great that the friendship is gone forever?  I’d love to hear how you resolved it.

Categories: Personal Development Positive Mindset Positive Thinking Professional Development
Tags: , ,

My Best Friend Forever

Personal-Development-My-Best-Friend-Forever

Right now I am visiting my friend in Seattle. I’m sitting on her patio and looking over Puget Sound. Absolutely beautiful! But the best part of it all – the very best part – is the friendship we share.

I have been blessed with the best friends anyone could ever ask for. They have been there for me to dry my tears when my heart was broken, they have shown up on my doorstep with packing tape in hand to help me move when I just didn’t want to go, and they have shared belly laughs so intense that tears ran down our cheeks. I couldn’t have survived without them.

And now, my very best friend of all times is the same person who walked down the aisle with me last year. He is my rock, my safe place, my #1 fan. He is teaching me to love unconditionally – something that isn’t easy to do. Believe it or not, he will even do the Macarena with me. Now, that is true love!!!

Don’t know what the Macarena is??? You don’t know what you’re missing!

So, who’s been the rock in your life? What stories can you share about your friends? Right now I have a huge smile on my face because of all the crazy experiences I have had with mine. I hope this post brings about some memories for you, too.

Categories: Personal Development Professional Development
Tags: , , ,

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Categories

Archives