Things I Love Thursday – Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

Today’s Things I Love Thursday – that I am writing on my Mac – is dedicated to the genius Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs, who was the mastermind behind Apple’s  iMac,iPhone, iPad, iPod, and iTunes, has died last night at the age of  56 after fighting advanced pancreatic cancer since 2004.

According to Apple’s official website: “Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

Apple website page

Steve Jobs changed the way I and all of us live, think  and how we operate, making our life much easier. No matter what brand of computer or smart phone you have, Steve Jobs made it better as other companies tried to keep up.  He changed the way we connect and work. He made things so much simpler, useful, functional… and so much beautiful. Technology will never be the same after Steve’s legacy .  Steve has always pointed out that the biggest difference between Apple and all the other computer companies is that Apple always tried to marry art and science.  In fact, the original team working on the Mac had backgrounds in anthropology, art, history, and poetry.  I absolutely love that! That is exactly why I love to work on my mac. I also really liked the way he dressed, a black T-shirt and jeans. No suits, no ties. He impressed with what he did, not with his image.  Besides that he was a very inspirational character who showed us what it means to follow your dreams and do the things you love.

I think everyone should watch the inspirational commencement speech Steve Jobs gave in 2005 to Stanford University students. Why?  Because he talks about the importance of living life to the fullest.

Here some of Steve Jobs quotes from the Stanford speech:

  • “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”   The idea behind the concept is that, as much as we try to plan our lives ahead in advance, there’s always something that’s unpredictable about life.  What seems like bitter and defeat in the moment, might be the seeds of your success years from now.  You can’t be too attached to how you think your life is supposed to work out and instead trust that all the dots will be connected in the future.  This is all part of the plan.
  • “Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”  Do what you love!
  • “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.  Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
  • “No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. “
  • “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.  They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”   “And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away.”
  • “Stay hungry, stay foolish.” Always keep wanting something more, something new and always keep an open mind, never think that you know everything.”

Thank you Steve, for Apple, Pixar, and inspiration to be the best you can be!

A young Jobs


As a runner I also wanted to share something that I am thinking of doing myself.  Joseph Tame, a marathon runner who wanted to do something special to pay tribute to retiring Apple founder Steve Jobs took a very creative and healthy approach to express his appreciation and support for Jobs, by running a 13-mile trail in the shape of the Apple logo. Armed with 2 iPhones and an app called RunKeeper, Tame ran 21 kilometers (13 miles) through central Tokyo to recreate a GPS path version of the well-known Apple logo.  Pretty awesome right!

 “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” ~ Steve Jobs

Thank you Steve! Your inspiration, passion, and creativity, forged a path for many of us to follow. You will be missed, but never forgot. RIP

Things I Love Thursday

It’s been a while since last Things I Love Thursday post and since I wrote in my gratitude journal.

Life got really busy with the new and old job and the fact that we are in the process of moving in a new place didn’t help at all keeping that routine going.  However, even if every night I didn’t actually write down what I was thankful for, randomly during the day I would actively notice of all the things I was grateful for throughout the day.  That kept me in that state of happiness as I become clearer about what really matters to me.  In fact, I can say that I’ve never been so positive in my entire life.  Even if I am worried about something, my worries seem to fade away much faster.

Practicing mindfulness of gratitude regularly make you more connected to life and realize that there is a larger context where  your personal story is unfolding.  Removing all of the endless wants and worries of your life’s drama, even for a limited time only, is liberating. Cultivating thankfulness for being part of this life and feel blessed also bring out feelings of generosity, which create additional joy. Gratitude can soften a heart that has become too defended, and it builds the ability for forgiveness, which creates the clarity of mind that is ideal for spiritual development.

Surround Yourself  With Positivity…

So now we all know that being grateful and appreciative is very beneficial, but have you ever noticed that it’s often easier said than done?  It is especially hard to find reasons to be grateful when you feel stressed out and overwhelmed.  Sometimes finding the good in a difficult situation can by pretty challenging.  For some reason we often tend to look at a situation with the ‘glass is half empty’ approach. This tendency to see the negatives instead of looking at the positives is deep down in most of us.  It can be very hard to resist take on the perspective of negativity when you are surrounded by it.

Do you know someone who never has a bad word to say about anyone or anything? Someone who just naturally sees the sunlight, even around the darkest cloud? I do. My husband is.  How do I feel when I am around him?  I feel refreshed and positive!

What about on the other end of the spectrum?  For many years, I worked in an environment where there was always someone who always needed to point out the negative aspect of every situation.  How did that make me feel?  Definitely not empowered, especially since negative attitudes can infect those who are exposed to them regularly.

My point is that when trying to cultivate a greater sense of gratitude, we should seek out those whose has the tendency to be positive and upbuilding, and to avoid spending too much time with those who like to dwell on the negative. Choosing our peers wisely can really help us to cultivate greater gratitude and appreciation.

Change Perspective…

Another way to use giving thanks to appreciate life more fully is to use gratitude to help you put things in their proper perspective. When things don’t go your way, remember that every difficulty carries within it the seeds of an equal or greater benefit. In the face of adversity ask yourself: “What’s good about this?”, “What can I learn from this?”, and “How can I benefit from this?”

If you have problem at work, be grateful you have work.  Be grateful you have challenges, and that life isn’t boring. Be grateful that you can learn from these challenges. Be thankful they make you a stronger person. Think about people who have made life hard for you and all the things you accomplished because of them.  Even the negative things in your life can be hidden blessings, worthy of your gratitude.

When we practice gratitude, we take away the focus from the negative and focus on the positives instead, and we look at solutions rather than problems giving us more emotional balance.  The simple act of saying “thank you” to someone can make a big difference in that person’s life.  Just taking that minute out of your life to tell them why you are grateful toward them is important to them. For any  Thing, Being, Feeling or Event, big or small… every thanks you give ripples out like a pebble sends waves across the water.

This brings me to the why I wrote  this post…my friend Amanda.  Yesterday morning in my inbox I found a beautiful and powerful “Positive Vibration” message from Amanda, of whichI want to share with you as it left me speechless and grateful to have an amazing & special woman like Amanda in my life.  Amanda wrote:

Hey lovely Ladies! I’ve been in Florida the past few days for a conference and it has been wonderful. I’ve been running down to the beach every day….the water is so healing, it’s gorgeous, warm, just so warm and soothing and fantastic.   Yesterday, I was running along and saw a woman throwing something back into the water from the shore. I slowed down to see what she was doing and then overheard her explaining to two elderly women that she was throwing “fighting conchs” back in because the tide had gone too low over the sandbar and they were never going to be able to get back to the ocean themselves. There were probably about 7 or 8 of us all standing there looking at the conchs. The woman picked one more up and threw it back in and then one of the elderly women said, “Too bad there is so many of them; we’d never be able to save them all” to which i responded, “Haven’t you heard of that story of the old man throwing the starfish back in and the little boy telling him he could never save them all…..” then I picked a fighting conch up and threw it back in and said, “and the old man responded, “It mattered to that one didn’t it?” So, why don’t we all pick up just 6 and we could save most of them.  So, we all starting picking up conchs together and throwing them back in the ocean, and we got really into it and in less than 3 minutes we had saved them all.  It made me smile. But also, it made me think of you two beautiful ladies, and how your light and energy save me so frequently and throw me back into what matters most.

Then today, I was running along the beach just before sunset, taking pictures here and there and finding neat shells. I had been saying that the only thing I absolutely had to see while in Florida was a dolphin.  I came to a dead end and the only way to keep going was to wade through 3.5 feet of water and walk from sandbar to sandbar to get to other shoreline. So, I took off my running  shoes and socks and waded to the first sandbar, but felt compelled to stay there and just enjoy the water on my legs and feet and run my fingers along the thousands of broken shells on the sandbar’s edge. Then about 10 minutes later, I see something out of the corner of my eye, something moving, like a fish jumping out of the water. Could it be? yes, it had to be! I turned to a woman walking behind me and said, did you just see that? “see what?” I point in the distance and say, “It looks like dolphins, is it? Do you see them?” A huge smile comes across her face and she says, “Wow! Yes!” There were 4 or 5 of them swimming together and jumping out of the water at times. They took their time swimming across the horizon and I soaked in every minute. They went just out of sight as the sun began to set and right before they were too far to see, I turned to another woman and asked her, “Do you live here?” Yes, she does. “Oh, you must see dolphins all the time then, do they come here every night?” she replies, “No, I haven’t seen dolphins in this bay in about 6 months I would say.” I say nothing and point to the dolphins in the distance.  She becomes really excited and smiles, and says, “I am always so busy looking for seashells, thanks so much for pointing them out to me, I never would have seen them!  They’re usually down the coast by the pier, but haven’t been here in so long!”

I wanted to share this story with you, because I have been in a negative space for a few weeks now, and haven’t felt the synergy or connectedness that  usually am open to. I needed this time by the ocean to reflect and recharge and cleanse. One of things I reflected upon is my amazing friendship with both of you, and how you are both so skilled at helping me see things that I sometimes don’t allow myself to see….you help keep those doors open, and keep those positive vibes flowing.  What we want is always at our fingertips, thousands of broken pieces, like those shells, just waiting for us to connect the dots and feel how special this life can be. thank you for pointing out the dolphins in life to me – you are precious gitfs that I am always grateful for.

After I read that I felt an extraordinary deep sense of gratitude.  I felt more joyful, more attractive, more vibrant, more satisfied, and more present to giving and receiving love. Now, it’s your turn.  Take a deep breath, settle yourself for a moment and then complete the following sentence, I feel so very grateful for . . .Trust me this will help you begin, right NOW, your shift into more grateful living.

Things I Love Thursday

“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” ~Cynthia Ozick


This week has been a challenge to be grateful for anything.  Sometimes life  brings us challenging events (all at the same time too) that make us feel discouraged and ungrateful for the things in our lives, and it is easy to forget the many reasons there are to be thankful for.  Gratitude is something that I overlook at times; as I always want more than I have, and mostly I always strive to be my best in everything that I do.  So, this week I made an extra effort to embrace and cultivate an attitude of gratitude towards my life and others to get the inspiration I needed to help me during the challenging times.

There is actually a very funny interview Conan O’Brien did to the comedian Louis CK, who makes the observation that although we have so many amazing things these days – like high speed internet access on airplanes –  people still don’t seem to be happy. If you haven’t seen it already, I recommend you to watch “Everything’s Amazing, Nobody’s Happy ” .  It reminds me that it is very easy to take many wonderful things in our lives for granted.  As they say – you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.  Bottom line, remember no matter how bad your situation may seem, there are lots of things to be grateful for in life!

 

Let’s pause to appreciate what we have in life!

Things I am grateful for…

  1. Dustin, my soulmate – For being the one who understands everything I’m going through
  2. My beloved dog, Luna – Always excited to see me and for cuddling with me this week on behalf of Dustin.  There’s nothing like the unconditional love of a dog.
  3. Love – For letting me  feel what it means to truly be alive
  4. Tears – For helping me express my deepest emotions
  5. Disappointment – So I know the things that matter to me most
  6. Fears – So I know my opportunities for growth
  7. The Sun – For bringing in light and beauty to this world
  8. The Juke (car) – For making it easier to commute from one place to another
  9. Mobile phones & Skype  – For making it easy to stay in touch with my sister in Italy and Dustin who is away for work
  10. Life’s challenges – For helping me grow and become who I am
I am grateful for Life – For giving me the chance to experience all that I am  experiencing, and will be experiencing in time to come

“Everyday, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”  ~ Dalai Lama

Buona Notte!

Things I love Thursday – Special

Each week Things I love Thursday post is “Special” as all the people and things I am grateful for are unique and special in their own way!  However this week is extra special as it defines the start of a new and exciting journey for me!  This week was the beginning of my career transition from Ciclismo Classico to Lululemon Athletica, an athletic apparel company that makes technical athletic clothes for yoga, running, and working out.

Hefferon/Rugiero Family & Ciclismo Classico

Almost 11 years ago, Lauren Hefferon the founder of Ciclismo Classico, an American bicycle touring company that organizes active vacation by bike or by feet in Italy & Europe, gave me her 2 children, Lorenzo of 4 years and Valentina of 18 months, to take care of.  Few years later Luca was born and I was still leaving with the Hefferon/Rugiero family in the Boston area, an Ocean away from my family in Italy, being a nanny for those children that I came to love as they were my own.  Meanwhile, I went to college, I moved out from my host family house and moved to the North End (the Italian session in Boston), I met my husband Dustin, I took him to Italy for my younger sister Samanta’s wedding where all my family fell in love with this american boy, I moved in with Dustin, I graduated as a Graphic Designer, I got married to Dustin…three times (City Hall, Church in my home town in Italy, by our Marshall Point Lighthouse in Port Clyde, Maine).  Few years later we moved out from the city to Waltham, and finally we settled in Cambridge.  When Lorenzo, Valentina and Luca were old enough to go to school, I started to work at Ciclismo and in few years I got promoted to be the International Travel and Reservations Manager.  I am very grateful for the opportunity I had to learn, to grow within Ciclismo and mostly to have found a family in Lauren, Mauro, Lorenzo, Valentina and Luca!  However,  working in an office just does not feel like me.  And I am very happy I had the chance to discover that!

Ciclismo's Team

My passions

My real passion has always been in Fitness & Health and I knew that I always wanted that to be part of my life and if I could combine my love for health and wellness with my career that would be a dream come true.  As Confucius said “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”  The greatest change happens because of people that are deeply passionate, and have a great love for the work they do. So, I started to move on my journey to be the best I can be.  I explored my passions more deeply, what makes me come alive,  and with the help of my husband and my coach I wrote down my strengths and my goals.  I committed to it and as much as I wanted to make this change for myself, it was hard to let go of the old patterns and few times I found myself saying  “Just suck it up!”  But with the help of my husband who believed in me and also wanted to see me happy, I kept going on my journey to self discovery.  I got certified as a running coach and as a personal trainer.  However, I wasn’t satisfied with that.  From my personal experience I learned that it takes more than physical exercise to maintain good health.  Balance in a number of areas is the key to leading a healthy lifestyle.  Wellness coaching look at the whole picture, paying attention to the mind, body and spirit connection.  A coach has a much different approach than a personal trainer when working with individuals.  Essentially a coach assumes that you have your own answers.  There are still opportunities for education and sharing information when appropriate; however the focus of a wellness coach is to empower the clients to clearly see for themselves the most appropriate path forward such that they can make sustainable, long term lifestyle changes.  This is much different than telling them what they should do!   A coach provides tools for motivation, goal setting, self discovery and embrace the fact that each individual will need to have a different approach in making lifestyle change.  That is the reason why I decided to attend ICA, an International Coaching Academy, where I am currently studying to be a a Certified Fitness & Wellness Life Coach for Women.

Lululemon Athletica

Over a year ago, for the first time I went into the Lululemon store in Natick and I was blown away by the incredible experience I had.  The service there was absolutely the best I’ve ever had.  The girls were really helpful, friendly and most importantly genuine.  Which made me want to go back many times after that;  not only to buy their incredible clothes but also to talk about running and Marathons with Marisa with who I had established a real friendship.  One of my favorite things is the cute, environmentally-friendly bag, they put your purchase in.  If you look at it closely it is covered with inspirational messages like “Do one thing a day that scares you”.  I was very intrigued by this company and started to research it and it hit me!  Lululemon was totally me!  When I read Lululemon’s mission statement that says: “Lululemon athletica creates components for people to live longer, healthier and more fun lives. If we can produce products to keep people active and stress-free, we believe the world will become a much better place.” I couldn’t agree more.  Members of the lululemon community are encouraged to set your own goals.  You see, lululemon isn’t just a store selling clothes. It’s a place that is: “supportive, fashionable, empowering”.  Lululemon represents a lifestyle choice.  At that point I wanted to be part of the team and help elevate the world from mediocrity to greatness!  After interviewing with different members of the Lululemon team and hearing the challenging and supportive work environment it not only confirmed, but made stronger my desire to be part of this team.  They are really careful to whom they hire, as they really want to make sure you embody Lululemon values and live Lululemon culture.  Finally, after over a month Lululemon offer me the job!  This week I did my training and I loved every second of it!  Everyone is so special and has something unique, I am just very excited to work and learn with all of them!

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training

Team in Training, the 1st and largest endurance program for the fundraising, contacted me last week offering me a great opportunity to train the Boston team for the Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women that will be happening on October 10, 2011.  This decision too was a challenging one to take but with the support of my wonderful husband,  family, and the  lululemon team  I made the decision to take this leap…I know I’ve made the right choice for me!

A lot of things to be grateful for this week ah!

People I am grateful for….

  1. Dustin, without him I wouldn’t be complete.
  2. Lauren, Mauro, Lorenzo, Valentina & Luca
  3. Laura & Bob
  4. Tom & Laura
  5. Amanda
  6. Marisa, Jessica, Claire, Sarah, Tiffany, Hillary, Leigh, Chris, Theo and all the Lulu team.
  7. Rita of Team in Training
  8. Luna
  9. My mom, dad and my siblings Giuseppe, Samanta and Michele
  10. Mj, Marc, Joe, Christy, Lauren L.,Cristiano, Patria,Davide, Enrico & all the Ciclismo Team.

I am very enthusiastic and ready to start my journey.  Thanks everyone who made, make and will make an impact in my life.  You are a truly gift to this world!

Things I Love Thursday

“Therefore you must know that you are already inherently affluent, no matter how much or how little money you have, because the source of wealth is the field of pure potentiality – it is the consciousness that knows how to fulfil every need, including joy, love, laughter, peace, harmony and knowledge. “ Deepak Chopra (1994)

From my coaching manual:

Fear vs. generosity

Some people fear being generous because they think it will make them vulnerable.  Often they count the things they have done for others and simply don‟t see what comes back their way.  Or if nothing comes back their way, they feel like they have been taken advantage of.  They begin to harden their hearts to other people and focus on what they are not receiving rather than what they are.  Their lack of generosity with others is uninspiring and repels people. Their lives can become a self-fulfilling prophecy: they receive nothing back, and then think that this proves they were right not to be generous in the first place.

Giving unconditionally is the same as loving unconditionally.  If you give to receive then you give conditionally and this is not increasing energy in you but rather taking energy from you.  You may have observed people in your life who believe they give all the time but are resentful that they never get anything back in life.  This person does not value generosity, this person may value desire.  Desire has to do with accumulation and greed.  Do not be confused by this.

From my personal experience I can certainly say that when I am more generous with other people, I feel incredibly good, fabulous in fact!  When I interact with others, I try to notice the things I could do to make their lives easier or happier.  I like to think of ways I can be helpful to the people I know, like a friend or family member.  And when I am running or walking and I encounter to strangers, I always make sure to smile and/or say hello.  My husband Dustin whenever he can he let people go on to the  highway in front of  him.

My Ten Things I love Thursday for:

Things I am grateful for….

  1. Unexpected call from my dear friend Anna, who is from Italy and lives in Italy.  I met Anna in the US 8 years ago, and we’ve been friends since then.  We spent a lot of time together here in Boston doing things we both love.  We went to many musicals here in Boston and in Broadway, we  traveled on those scary chinese busses that take you to Manhattan, we ate ice cream and watched movies, we went to San Francisco together, we had a road trip to Washington DC and many more!  She definitely made my life happier for that time being until each one of us follow its own path.  Now she lives in Italy, she is married with “Il Coccolino” (a nick name I gave her husband Federico) and she has a beautiful baby girl name Matilde.  Our friendship is one of a kind though, even though we have an ocean in between and we don’t talk on the phone very often, every time we talk it is like we are picking up conversation from yesterday.
  2. Another great unexpected call from my sister Samanta, my brother Giuseppe and Michele.  Together with their spouses and kids, they all went “Al Mare” which literally means Sea but in reality American would say a beach vacation.  It was so great to talk to all of them together, I miss them all so much and that was a gift from the Universe.
  3.  Finding my first peer client and having a great first session.
  4. Our Luna officially becoming a big girl…hmmm maybe not quite yet.  On Friday night, we went out to eat and for the first time EVER we left her home out of her crate.  Well, let me tell you how proud we were of her when we got home and the house was like we left it, no surprised chewed furniture.  I couldn’t stop hugging her and with tears in my eyes saying:” Our baby is growing.” Ha ha I know I am a cry baby =)
  5. Laura for passing her very very hard test and getting her PTA license!
  6. Watching two very inspirational and motivational movies, “Prefontaine” and “The Spirit of the Marathon
  7. Amanda for making me so proud and killing that 21 miler!!
  8. Great Sunday racing, using running as a transportation system, watching the incredible art of Chihuly , great food, great dessert, and just being with the people that I love.
  9. Winning the raffle for a free entry into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Providence 1/2 Marathon at the Somerville Road Runner Track Meet.
  10. Last but not least, everyday I am grateful for being so lucky to be married the most amazing man I have ever met in my entire life.

Bellissima Matilde; Anna's baby girl

“Some measure their lives by days and years,
Others by heart throbs, passion and tears;
But the surest measure under the sun,
Is what in your lifetime for others you have done.”
— Ruth Smeltzer

Things I Love Thursday

It’s that time of week again! Time for…..

I want to share with you another powerful piece from the gratitude chapter in my coaching manual that I find really helpful.

Life Lessons

Sometimes we don‟t notice the things that we should be grateful for; we simply forget them or take them for granted.  Other times the wonderful blessings we have in life are obscured by other negative experiences, which seem to overpower them and skew our focus.  For example, the pain of going through a divorce will often make people forget the many wonderful times they experienced in their marriage.  A person who experiences a loss or tragedy may forget everything good that happened during the whole period surrounding it.  When people go through difficult times, they tend to want to put the whole experience behind them.  Unfortunately, this sometimes includes putting the many opportunities to be grateful behind them as well.

A powerful activity to do is to write down an experience in the past year where things went wrong.  Then write down all the lessons you learned from the experience.  This activity helps you to identify past events to be grateful for.  Even more powerful than that, however, it trains you to seek out opportunities to be grateful in the future even when you are going through challenges.

A similar phenomenon occurs in our interaction with people.  Often when we experience a hurt from another person, the emotion of the hurt makes us forget any positives about that person and we cease to even see their good points.  We can become imprisoned by the past, unable to get past the hurt.

If this is the case, take a piece of paper and write the other person‟s name on the top.  Write the hurt in the middle of the page and put a circle around it.  Then write down all the things the other person may have done to be kind or helpful.  This activity is not designed to have you gloss over unacceptable behavior or to make you vulnerable to further hurtful incidents.  It is designed, rather, to put hurts in context.  By doing so, we grow the amount of the things that you have to feel grateful for and help you to salvage positive experiences to reflect on.

My Ten Things I love Thursday.

I am grateful for….

  1. Dustin for surprising me one night and coming home from work with all the groceries (which was a lot) we needed and cooking me Naan pizza dinner that night=) Also, for taking good care of me when I wasn’t feeling good!
  2. Having few great long runs, included the one where I run to Dustin’s parents house (about 9 miles) for our usual Friday Night BBQ.  An awesome track workout.  Altogether having great runs all week long and feeling my speed coming back.
  3. Receiving the job offer letter I was waiting for and all the great and empowering people I will be working with!
  4. Spending great time with family and friends and for all being so supportive and proud for my career change. I love you all!
  5. Being by the ocean.
  6. Soft serve ice cream.
  7. Spontaneous Mani & Pedi date with my best girlfriends.
  8. Fireworks
  9. A great 6 miles walk with Dustin & Luna around the Fresh Pond Reservoir.
  10. SYTYCD – So You Think You Can Dance for an incredible contemporary dance number, choreographed by Mandy Moore, danced by Caitlynn & Mitchell with the music by Céline Dion, ” To Love You More”.  Definitely my favorite number of the Night that gave me chills!

 

What or Who are you grateful for today?

 

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. ~ Epictetus

 

 

Things I Love Thursday

I am blessed with many generous people in my life that are fully open in giving me love, kindness, care and concern, without expecting anything in return. You know who you are…thank you!

Another powerful piece from my coaching book:

“A natural extension of gratitude is generosity. Grateful people notice the contribution of others to their success. They see when others are behaving at their best and, when others make mistakes, they look behind the mistake to the other person‟s intent. They give others “the benefit of the doubt”. They so clearly see the “gifts” that others give them that they automatically want to give something back.

Generous people live the concept of “win-win”. They believe that as they give to others, they will receive good things back. The beautiful thing is that they do receive good things back, partly because others feel inspired to be generous back, but also because they notice the things they are being given. Even if they don‟t receive good things back from the particular person that they gave to, they see so much around them to be grateful for, that the individual giver doesn‟t matter. In fact, many people get to the point where they are grateful for being able to be generous in the first place. As the old saying goes, virtue really does become its own reward!”

We tend to think of generous people as those who donate money or give expensive “things”. Generosity is much more than that. Many generous people do tend to give gifts because they remember significant events in the lives of others, but they are just as likely to give the gift of their time, their attention, a shoulder to cry on or a few words of love. Generous people share their ideas and their emotions because they believe that abundance creates abundance.”

Stop for a moment and imagine creating each day where you are committed to giving to each person you meet. It may be the gift of a flower, a compliment, an acknowledgement, a caring thought. It isn‟t about the commercial giving of gifts or physical things. In giving you create a dynamic exchange in that you also open yourself up to receive. Giving creates confidence in giving. The more you receive the more you will give.

My Ten Things I love Thursday for:

People I am grateful for….

  1. Christina from Sisters Running the Kitchen for writing about gratitude.
  2. Amanda, Amanda and Amanda and you know why=) Let me just mention the 18 miles run…amazing and the kind words you shared with “others” about me.
  3.  Marisa and Peter of the Boston Ballroom Dance Center .  For reuniting with them at the Health & Fitness Expo in Boston and leading me (and lots of other people at the expo) dancing salsa with my loved one.
  4. My body. For delivering a great 10K race making me place 3rd in my age group.
  5. Dustin for the support, (as always)the love, the laugh, the cooking, the awesome hugs and for taking care of me this week when I was not feeling good.
  6. My Italian and American family.  For always being there emotionally for me, for supporting me and mostly for believing in me.  For spending quality time with them either in person or through Skype/cellphone.
  7. Luna.  Sleeping outside the crate and waking us with kisses in the morning(instead of wining).  Running 3 mile at an average pace of 8 minute/mile.  Cuddling and making us laugh.
  8. My colleague for being supportive of my decisions and for laughing at work.
  9. Lauren to keep me posted on FB with wonderful photos of their vacation in Sardegna.
  10. UPS to deliver my books I was waiting for.
Who are you grateful for today?

 

“There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life – happiness, freedom, and peace of mind – are always attained by giving them to someone else.” ~Peyton Conway March