Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Fun of the Yankee Swap

Okay, so I feel that I have been a little too serious lately on Christmas giving……

Last night my local Toastmasters held its Holiday Party. We had to bring a Yankee Swap gift that was odd, fun, and something that we definitely wanted to regift. We turned this into an amusing table topics discussion.

Well, I tell you, I originally opened a little clock radio quite nice, definitely a keeper. But no…… My eyes got greedy and I saw the lovely vase that someone else had and swapped it. For those who don’t know me, I love flowers, so I thought to myself, Wahoo! I scored. Yeah that cockiness was short-lived as someone opened their gift and swapped with me. You want to know what I got! I received a set of four miniature ceramic non-matching cowboy boots. What a hoot! We all laughed. I tried to hawk like an auctioneer telling folks they would just love to have this one of a kind item. We had so much fun. The spirit of this is to not take life seriously and enjoy the moment.

What fun and outlandish Christmas grab gifts have you received?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Giving with Heart

You know I was in a toy store the other day, to pick up a gift for our church’s giving tree. The giving tree grants holiday gifts to children in need. As I was trying to decide between a couple of items for a little girl, I asked woman who I was in conversation with what she thought about this present or that. Her answer alarmed me, "For a giving tree? I wouldn’t spend a lot of money on it? Wow! I thought, if we are giving a gift shouldn’t it be from the heart. Why participate in charitable giving to anybody and give them something that you would not want to receive.

That is why so many of us are royally disappointed with Yankee swaps, Kris Kringles, and holiday gift exchanges. We often buy the gag gift or something we definitely wouldn’t want to get as a gift and feel smug that we participated in the annual event.

This year, give with your heart, with love and with joy!
“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35 (New International Version)

Monday, December 10, 2007

One More Day

I read Mitch Albom’s book "For One More Day" recently. Then I watched Oprah and she had an emotionally charged episode about if we could have just one more day and it got me to thinking. If I could spend just one more day with someone, who would it be? Hmmmm.

When we knew my mother was dying, she had been ill for a while, I said to my sister that I wasn’t ready for her to die yet. My sister said, “When would you be ready,” and I told her that “I would tell God when I was ready.” Well she laughed and said, “So you are trying to micromanage God.” And I said yes!

Isn’t odd that most of us want to micromanage the Universe and to control what will happen and when. I suppose we all want that one more day to say the extra I love you or a heartfelt I’m sorry.

For one more day, I would love to tell all the people that I loved or who touched my spirit for a moment, what a great impact they had in my life and their life on earth mattered.

Thursday, December 6, 2007


One of my favorite things to do is clip coupons and find bargains. During the holiday season, our emails are bombarded with coupons and special offers from our favorite stores. What I like to do is print out several coupons for the store that I am going to. When I am in line, I look around and give the extra coupons to others so that they can share my joy in saving a few pennies. It doesn’t cost anything on your part and you can share the gift of giving with someone else.

Happy Shopping

Saturday, December 1, 2007

World Aids Day

Today is World Aids Day. This is a day to celebrate life and hope for all of those living and surviving with this disease. It is also a day of reflection. A day to remember all of those who light was extinguished from this world way too soon.

This day is personal for me. My favorite sibling, my big brother who I loved dearly and hero worshipped, is one of those who left this earth way too soon. He, I think more so than my parents, helped shaped the person I was meant to be. His caring spirit for those less fortunate in the world, his love of education and learning, his sage advice (which too my regret I often ignored) and his ability not to prejudge others is a model I now try to emulate.

If the spirit moves you, please give to one of the many charities working tirelessly to eradicate Aids and to help those living with the disease.

As you go about your day try to do something for someone that will matter.

Friday, November 30, 2007


So...I received a call the other day and the person said, “hey excuse me are you the Sandra that”…and I laughed. She had an old business card tucked away and had written on the back of it that she wanted to chat with me at a latter date. Well I had moved on and she skillfully tracked me down.

So many times we meet people and think oh that person is interesting. Oh I want to meet with them and tell them about what I am doing; and that sad part is that we never follow through.

Today is that day. Connect with someone you have been trying to reach. Has there been a mentor, friend, or even someone that you briefly ran into that you wanted to pick their brains? Follow through on your impulse; you never know where it may lead. You may be inspired to a new action, new idea, or just reacquaint with the familiar.

So the rest of the story... We met for coffee (one of my favorite things to do) and connected for over an hour. She shared her dreams with me and I shared my visions with her.

“Networking with integrity creates a greater willingness of all parties to be part of a human conduit to serve as energy and resource to one another. Sometimes you will give more than you receive and sometimes you will get back more than you give. It’s not about keeping score." Chris London, MANHATTAN SOCIETY: The Art and Spirituality of Networking

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


According to the dictionary the definition of gratitude: the state of being grateful: thankfulness.

This word gets bandied about especially this time of year. During the Thanksgiving Holiday, people greet each other with Happy Thanksgiving. My translation of this greeting, I hope you have a great day and that you are truly thankful for everything in your life. We should be grateful for being alive and working each day to make a conscious contribution to the planet.

Think of this day as a day of gratitude. Today be really grateful for every moment of your life.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Healing the Broken Spirit

You know when we have been hurt by others or have been victimized in a situation; it is often so hard to rebound. First off, breathe! Whatever the situation, in this great world that we live in, you are not alone. Right now on the planet there are approximately 6,628,238,381inhabitants. Trust me, you are not in this universe alone, and your situation, no matter, what you may think is not unique. Somewhere, someone has had similar experience

People ask all the time, how you get through. There is really no easy answer. My sister would often tell me that we have tears that are unshed stuffed all the way down to our kneecaps. Hmm…

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Yeah that might sound fine but how do you get through the rough patch. For me, prayer is the answer, for others, meditation, and for some pure anger. The point is not to run away from the feeling but to feel it intensely and then work through it. Yeah, I know, it sounds easier said than done. But get angry, cry the messy tears, talk it out… just do something. When we take action, it moves us through a situation. Don’t stop to analyze whether the action is right or wrong.
Take action and remember that in every situation there is a lesson to be learned.

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning (Psalm 30:5)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Vision Boards

You know everyone is talking about Vision Boards or Treasure maps. What in the world are these things?

For me a Vision Board is learning how to play and have fun with your subconscious. You can use poster board, constructions paper or even a notebook; and glue, scissors and whatever magazines or newspapers you have on hand; and get to work to create a picture of what you desire most. It is your personal collage that enables you to visualize your dreams in a creative way.

Now the most important step….. Look at your Vision Board and focus your energy on a daily basis with true intent and this will help you attract your goals. It is not just the board but how you feel when you look at the board that does the trick. Try it! It works!