Loving Life Blog

Spur of the Moment Reflections

Begin Again January 13, 2011

1.11.11 Begin Again. If you would write a new chapter in your life…

Herringbone path

THERE’S A HOLE IN MY SIDEWALK – Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
By Portia Nelson

Chapter 1

I walk down the street.

There is a hole in the sidewalk.

I fall in. I am lost. I am helpless.

It isn’t my fault. It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter 2

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again.

I can’t believe I am in the same place.

But it isn’t my fault.

It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter 3

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I see it is there. I still fall in. It’s a habit.

My eyes are open. I know where I am.

It is my fault. I get out immediately.

Chapter 4

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.

Chapter 5

I walk down another street.

 

…. what would be the different path you would take this year? This quarter? This month? This Week? Today? Starting now? Just do it. Try it. What’s the worst that can happen? Or the best…? ;)

Enjoy,

Johanna

 

Everything is Waiting for You June 3, 2010

I just finished a coaching call that had such a nice flavor. There was a calm peaceful clarity over the whole situation, role of self and the path forward.

One of the relief’s in the process for the client was the knowing of not being alone with the situation, the experience, the thoughts. That was probably the first step in breaking down one barrier after another to break free and get going on the path of creating what he wanted.

Witnessing the sense of freedom coming from the client, sticking hole in the bubble initially surrounding the old “reality” that no longer exist, is to me so beautiful and quite awesome actually. It makes my whole being smile.

After the session was over I came across a very nice and suiting piece from youtube on Facebook pointing out just that: Your great mistake is to act the drama as if you were alone.

This is an invitation to poetry as a life savior by David Whyte. An invitation to pay attention in a greater way. Everything is waiting for you.

Enjoy,

Johanna

 

Here is Your Life March 6, 2010

I came back from another movie by Jan Troell last night. The Spirit Awards that took place in Los Angeles had nominated the previous film I saw, “Everlasting Moments” for “Best Foreign film” – but Jan Troell himself was present with us in San Rafael.

The movie “Here is your life” (1966), taking place in the early 20th century was based on Eyvind Johnson’s semi-bioautographical books. The film was mainly in black and white and almost 3 hours long, with a built in 10 minutes break. Here are three things that stood out for me in the movie:

1) Business practice reminder. Olof, 16, was about to bike away to set up posters for the next movie at the Cinema graphic Theatre – the owner leans out the window and shouts, “The life of the nation is business! I want you to wear tie – remember that you represent the business.”

Not only is it important that you make sure your employees/colleagues have the same values and represent the company in a unified way – ultimately, you would also want to make sure that your 3rd parties represent the same values. That stroke me earlier this week when I went to yoga. Stressed from not finding parking and eventually finding out about the deal the yoga studio have with a garage close by, I pull up by the entrance to get a ticket by the gatekeeper. That man said “Welcome to your yoga practice” in a way and with a warm smile, so that I felt as if I had already come to the yoga studio. Brilliant. I’d be happy to park there again.

2) Make the Dream significant. As a special effect in the movie, there was a reoccurring sequence of a flying bird with a colored background, which gave a contrast to the otherwise black and white picture. In the Q&A Jan Troell gave the explanation why. The color was a symbol for the dream; the bird was a symbol for Olof’s longing for a new life and freedom; for this boy becoming an author or writer.

Intentional dreaming is powerful. Eyvin Johnson grew up from the working class up north, to receiving the Nobel price in literature 1974.

3) Freeze the frame. In a bicycle lecture scene John Troell had chosen to include a series of frozen frames. “The expressions in the face of the girl was so fantastic and they would just disappear if you did it the normal way.”

If you experience an extraordinary moment – take some time to freeze the frame and enjoy. Take a photo or a note to self, and make the moment last.

Coming home I researched the result from the Spirit Award and came over an article from New York Times with the below photo. I can’t help believing that there is no coincidence why Jan Troell is here right now. The man behind the masterpieces “The Emigrants,” “The New Land,” “The Flight of the Eagle” based on Vilhelm Moberg’s books. Just days after a conversation with Michael E. Gerber about the above, the Law of Jante in Sweden, and the question: where did the Viking spirit go?

Looking at the photos, I believe there are more things than the hat that the two gentlemen have in common. As the last comment was at the Q&A last night: “Jan Troell brings life [and soul] to the movie, and to us”. I would say: “Michael E. Gerber brings life and soul to business, and to us.”

If I can bring just a little bit of joy and love of [or in - or both?!] life to you – I would be happy. Ultimately, I would love for you to capture your journey. Here is your life.

Stay tuned,
Johanna

Michael E. Gerber - Author to "Awakening the Entrepreneur Within"

Michael E. Gerber, author of The E-myth and Awakening the Entrepreneur Within.

Jan Troell filmin "Everlasting Moments"

Jan Troell filming "Everlasting Moments"

Johanna Nilsson and Michael E. Gerber

 

Toast for Spontaneity! November 21, 2009

I so wish I had had a camera to capture the moment… I just came home from an excellent brunch at Pamelo, a small cozy place in Noe Valley. Accompanied by Fran and Zack.

Fran I know through four different connections. She showed up at my a cappella groups concert because she knew one of the singing group members, she came with a colleague of mine and recognized me from the Nia class. Most recently I met her when she was performing in a singing workshop that I also did a couple of years ago. The world is very small. Apropos spontaneity and singing – without getting to far out from the story line – the singing workshop we both did was led by jazz, R&B and soul singer Jesse Foster. The concept is very cool – you work with Jesse as a vocal coach in individual sessions and four Sunday afternoons in a row you perform with his band at  Rasselas Jazzclub on Fillmore in the jazz district together with other vocal students of his. Prepared in the sense that you have chosen and worked on the songs to sing, spontaneous in the sense that there is no practice with the band ahead of time. You just do it. And it is fun! So talented musicians, wonderful people, supportive audience. Safe. I can warmly recommend it!  (Check out the links if you are interested to step out of the shower singing stage and do the same!) Soon you will see Fran on the music scene in San Francisco.

Zack is a multi doer. I participated in one of his first Nia classes at Dance Mission when I was just about to move to San Francisco. The theme was “Transition” – how appropriate. Today he had another excellent class – the fact that he is also an actor and brings in that spontaneous playfulness in the room makes it a lot of fun. And so to the story… towards the end of the brunch today he suddenly reaches for the spoon in my cafe latte, takes his water glass, clinks the glass while standing up. The murmur in the room stops and he has full attention: “I just want to toast for spontaneity!” he says with a steady voice and a big smile and raises the glass. Facing the wall, I’m turning around and every face in the room cracks up to a big smile and a common toast, laughter and joy.  There are many ways you can show up in life. Such a small gesture – such a great impact.

The sense of joy created in the room reminded me of the sense of joy created by the movie Validation (below). Take a moment to watch it – get inspiration and share the beauty! Who can you make smile today?

Zack and Fran, you are awesome!
Cheers,

Johanna

 

Chant Before You Can’t! October 26, 2009

Filed under: coaching,Health,Inspiration,Promotion,Swedish-American — Johanna C. Nilsson @ 11:09 pm
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Keeva! We just had the last rehearsal yesterday before our coming Friday night concert. With wide open windows after a truly hot Indian summer day in San Francisco, the neighbors across the street got a private performance.  They seemed to enjoy it as much as we – because it’s fun! Music is good for you.

There is research showing that music is good for your health and well-being. A year ago there was a World Conference on Health held in the UK that aimed to pave the way for “singing on prescription”. Earlier this year, the Swedish Medical Doctor and Professor Töres Thorell released a book on music and health. Basically – whether you attend a Bruce Springsteen concert, sing in a choir or listen to a Mozart symphony – you’ll get reduced stress, improved immune system, and a sharper mind! If you enjoy music that is. My friend said “- oh, my dad is tone death, but he loves going to the symphony hall. Yes, it’s very likely that he will fall asleep – but he still enjoys it”.

Being brought up in Sweden, where we have a song for every season, the largest per capita number of amateur choirs in the world and being the third largest music exporter in the world (surpassed only by the US and the UK) – I know that music matters. During the first dinner in San Francisco with new connections I was posed the question: “Among all the things you used to do in San Diego – what do you miss the most?” “I’m looking for a group to sing with.” “I’m part of a small group of Talisman Alumni’s from Stanford who has formed an a cappella group. We are looking for a female singer – what part are you?”… Synchronicity – I love it. And I love singing not only because I enjoy it and I feel good doing it – it is also an excellent way to meet great friends, socialize and have fun.

In a different setting – going to a yoga session that incorporates chanting gives you all that. Meeting great people, having fun, feeling good. And by no surprise – I am having Rusty Well’s yoga as my reference. Recently the session started with the chant “Loka samasta sukhino bhavantu…” [May all beings everywhere be happy and free.] But the 100 students didn’t really give it all… Have you ever experienced a hesitation to sing? Rusty goes: “Do you care about being here? Give yourself the benefit – sing! Stretch your mind, stretch your heart, stretch your voice – what happens is that you stretch your breath. Just try. You made it this long, all the way here. Tall spine close your eyes, and chant before you can’t! All right…”

So where ever it is – in the shower or in the car… chant before you can’t – or you can come and enjoy the Keeva concert this upcoming Friday. See details below!

Enjoy,

Johanna

Come hear the Richter Scales and Keeva sing an evening of “Trick or Treat A Cappella” the night before Halloween in SF’s Mission District.

The Richter Scales: So what if many of us are a decade or more past our prime? We still possess the ability to bring an audience to tears. Whether they are tears of laughter or tears of horror is another matter. You’d best hope for the laughter tears.

Keeva A Cappella: A group of SF Bay Area professionals and graduate students who have been singing world music and other culturally significant songs (e.g. “Oh Mickey you’re so fine”) for more than a decade.

Date: Friday, October 30th
Time: 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM

Place: Noe Valley Ministry, 1021 Sanchez Street at 23rd, San Francisco 
Price: Free for folks in costume; suggested $7 donation for all others
Food: Various tricks and treats will be available

All ages are welcome. We’ll have candy for folks who want to warm up their trick-or-treating muscles. Costume-wearers welcome.

And as a bonus – why not use music changing one or two habbits?

 

Risen From the Dead October 3, 2009

Filed under: coaching,Health,Inspiration — Johanna C. Nilsson @ 12:22 pm
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“I am in a dead man’s pose – not by choice. I agree that relaxation is important. We take too little time to do that in our everyday living. However, what is the recommendation for the opposite situation? When you are stuck in a “dead man” situation and can’t move out of it? Is there a…pose?…for getting yourself moving again? Energizing your brain? Stimulating your thinking to maximum creativity instead of numbness?”

This was a comment from Hannah on my previous postings “When Life Gets Busy” and “Dead Man Attracts Love“. There were 3 distinct actions that came to my mind as a response:

1. Stimulating the thinking – Yes! – The Artist Way

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron is a process that will unleash your creativity, and you can make it into a really nice routine. Read about the two basic tools here – they are 1. Morning Pages and 2. The Artist Date. I had heard about The Artist Way several times before, bought the book a couple of years ago, and kept seeing quotes from it (still do today) everywhere - during the passed spring a decided from curiosity to give it a shot – what could come out of it?

As often as I could I started the morning with making myself a cup of tea and a toast (or Wasa Hard bread with Swedish cheese!;), put some nice meditative music on in the back-ground, removed the blinds so I could see the sun rise over the skyline, and sat down comfortably in my reading chair by the window and wrote the 3 morning pages. You are supposed to just write whatever is on your mind, don’t stop and it doesn’t need to make sense, and what ever you write – you are not supposed to go back and read it. 3 pages. 12 weeks. Or however long you want; once you started you may want to continue.

The second tool is the Artist Date. Set a date with yourself once a week and do something that feeds your soul. It could be anything. Visit a museum, hike in the nature, enjoy a concert, paint a painting, cook food, dance on the roof… create a Burning Man Art Car! :O

All I know is – had I not gone through that process – this blog had not been created. Not that fast. ;) I knew I wanted to do it – just not how and exactly about what. And voila! Here it is. What would come out from your creative self?

2. Self-Healing Ritual to get moving – Nia and the 5 Stages

Nia is an expressive workout and lifestyle practice that uses the body’s way to achieve physical, mental, emotional and spiritual fitness and well-being. It combines the grace and spontaneity of dance, the power and explosiveness of martial art and the stillness and concentration of yoga and tai chi. One of the components of the healing art movement forms included is the Feldenkrais Method, which inspired the 5 stages exercise.

clipped from www.nianow.com
Nia 5 stages
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The Nia 5 Stages is an integrative movement practice based on the five stages of human development: Embryonic, Creeping, Crawling, Standing and Walking. Practiced with awareness, these stages have the power to facilitate optimal alignment, improved function and comfort in the body. Whether practiced at length or for as little as five minutes a day, this system provides a tool for reclaiming and sustaining mobility, flexibility, strength, agility and stability.

Basically, the story I remember was that Moshé Feldenkrais became immobile and reached self-healing by studying newborn babies, observing how they with very fine movements become aware of their bodies, muscles and bones, and gradually increase their ability to move and develop as human beings. Imagine that you are a baby in the womb of your mother. Supported, warm, fed. Moving in water. Use your imagination, be curious about your body, explore and seak awareness of all parts and see what you need to do to move through the five stages above. What are the emotions that arise in the different stages? The Nia Technique book elaborate a little bit on the excursive on page 306-308 for further reference.

This was one of the most profound exercises during my Nia White Belt teacher training in San Diego. Today Nia have developed a certification program for this movement practice alone!  If you want to find out more about that or to find a class in your area – check out the Nia website. This passed Monday Nia was featured in San Francisco Chronicle. I just need to add – Nia needs to be experienced to get it. For those of you who live in San Francisco – go to the Nia Jam tomorrow Oct 4th at UC Berkeley. Soon I will arrange for my favorite teacher Rocco from San Diego to come up and teach – that will be another treat.

And by the way – the five stages are pretty much as the reversed evolution of a photographer below… add that exercise and you can loop back in!

3. Pose that can bridge to action

The more advanced pose after bridge pose is the Upward Bowl or Wheel Pose: Urdhva Dhanurasana. I hear Rusty’s comments from the evening yoga classes “if you don’t won’t to stay up late tonight, don’t do this one [pose], it will give you energy”. Now, I don’t recommend to go straight into an upward bowl pose – the you can risk being stuck in a dead man’s pose even longer – but incorporate the pose in your daily yoga routine. Starting out with warming up your body in a few sun salutations would probably be a nice segway.

Here are the benefits that the Yoga Journal lists for the Upward Bowl pose:

  • Strengthens the arms and wrists, legs, buttocks, abdomen, and spine
  • Stretches the chest and lungs
  • Stimulates the thyroid and pituitary
  • Increases energy and counteracts depression
  • Therapeutic for asthma, back pain, infertility, and osteoporosis

These would be my personal tips and recommendations for a roadmap back to creativity, healing and activity. However, we are all different, and the bottom line is to listen to your body, get active your body’s way, and do what feeds your soul.

And finally, to rise from a Dead Man’s Pose: roll over to your right, put your right arm under your head for support and bend your knees in a comfortable position. Rest here for a while. Take a moment to think of an individual in your surrounding to whom you would dedicate your yoga practice, or for whom you would want to rise up, be present with and support. Slowly – your body’s way – bring your self up to a seated and standing position. Thank you for being here. Now, the practice of yoga begins – bring it to the world!

Enjoy,
Johanna

clipped from lh3.ggpht.com
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From American Idiot to Great American… September 19, 2009

Filed under: coaching,Entrepreneur,Swedish-American — Johanna C. Nilsson @ 1:30 pm
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I had the privilege to get tickets to the World Premier of the Rock Opera “American Idiot”, based on the hit album by Green Day of the same name. It was a tempo filled performance at Berkley Repertory Theater Wednesday night by a very talented group of musical artists. The anticipation was high, the house was full and the standing ovations rocking. So was the opening party. I can warmly recommend the show!

You may recognize this song, Boulevard of Broken Dreams:

However, American idiots and broken dreams were not what I intended to write about – rather the contrary. Something that captures the spirit of the American Dream. One lesson the entrepreneur & CEO freedom fighter Christine Comaford learnt by Bill Gates in terms of growing a business, reducing risk and securing revenue was “Sell first, build later”. Ask provocative questions and find the need of your individual clients. Find the pain of the clients, come up with and sell the solution that will remove it. Know that you with your commitment, capability and connections can make it happen.

You could also market your idea and create a buzz before it actually has been materialized. One individual who did just that was the now entrepreneur and CEO Coach Mark Friedler. As an exchange student [correct me if I’m wrong Mark] in Stockholm, Sweden, 22 years ago he realized in essence that Swedes “suffer from the pain” of not having American Chocolate Chip Cookies. After a successful sample test serving cookies in Humlegården, by the Royal Library in Stockholm, he happened to step into the same elevator as a visiting journalist from the Wall Street Journal. That is literally when an elevator pitch comes handy! Sharing his story resulted in the below notice in the WSJ and later on the creation of what today still exist as American Cookies in Gallerian in Stockholm.

Mark was this weeks keynote speaker at the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce (SACC) San Francisco/Silicon Valley’s monthly luncheon with the topic “10 tools to grow your bottom line”. Life was too busy to let you know ahead of time – but keep your eyes open, I’m sure he will appear elsewhere. The next mothts speaker will be the founder of Craigslist!

What is the pain that you can identify with your clients? What could you create as a solution to remove it? What do you need to do to sell it and close the deal?

I went to the concert yesterday with “The Pain of Being Pure at Heart” at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. The concert was OK, but I have secure sources that say the group will become very big, so I kept the ticket ;). I loved the facility. The promoter in me looked around with the eyes of “what event can be created here?” It would be perfect for a US release party of Spotify – I guess I should sell them the idea! Anyone wanna join?

Go painkillers!
Johanna

WSJp1_blowup2-2WSJp106081988-2

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Dead Man Attracts Love September 10, 2009

Welcome! I thought I would become a journalist – what do you think of my headline? Seriously, please read on – there lies something in it, as we would say in Swedish…

I started writing this last time I came back from yoga. Relaxed and happy – the session ended with a nice Savasana – dead man’s pose. Apparently it is the most challenging pose of them all, although it’s the one that seems the easiest. B.K.S. Iyengar wrote: deadmanspose

In this asana the object is to imitate a corpse. Once life has departed, the body remains still and no movements are possible. By remaining motionless for some time and keeping the mind still while you are fully conscious, you learn to relax. This conscious invigorates and refreshes both body and mind. But it is much harder to keep the mind than the body still. Therefore this apparently easy posture is one of the most difficult to master.

Keeping the mind still. It is good to practice. Not only to learn to relax, and refresh your body and mind, but also to allow things to happen. As Rusty put it at that time: “the biggest favor we sometimes can do to ourselves is to step out of our own way. To stop thinking, forcing or manipulating something to happen. Sometimes the quickest way to create what we really want is to step out of the way and let it happen.

The following evening I attended an entrepreneurship event organized by TiE – The Global Network of Entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley.  The title was “Wisdom From Past Entrepreneurs – The Dirty Little Secrets that No One Talks About” presented by the CEO Freedom Fighter Christine Comaford. Christine is a business accelerator referred by individuals such as Bill Clinton and Bill Gates. She has track record like few – check this video for a taste of her wisdom to help you as an entrepreneur avoid the mistakes that keep you overworked, underpaid, and feeling trapped by your business. As a former Buddhist monk (aside from software engineer, geisha trainee, entrepreneur and venture capitalist) one of her key tips at the end was “keep the mind still daily”. She recommended Eckhart Tolles latest books “Stillness Speaks”, and she reiterated what I have said beforeit is so often in that stillness that you find a great idea or the solution you have been looking for.

Next morning I receive an email from my leadership group where one individual shares along the same lines on a personal level:  “Awareness is just that…staying without judgment, feeling without adding shoulds, and in the end, being able to look into my own eyes and see the joy and strength and beauty of the moment – awareness of the moment is the connection to the heart…. connection to the heart is connection to everything else that exists in the Universe.  [...] I have gained quite a swatch of grey hairs over the past year – and the peace I feel in my heart is allowing me to step into my role as an elder with courage and incredible enthusiasm.  While I have lost what I thought was the love of my life, I have gained what I know to be the life of my love.” So beautifully put. It made me think of the introductory words of a book I had just come across: Enchanted Love, by Marianne Williamson. “Forget logic. Forget your head. Open your heart, and come with me.” Now I am curious what more it has to say.

Dead man’s pose in reality – how attractive is that? Maybe more than you think.

With love,

Johanna

 

Who Sets the Limits? August 29, 2009

During my five years living in San Diego – nothing could beat kicking off the weekend with a 9am Saturday Nia class with Rocco Ragano at Eight Elements West. Outstanding Nia teacher and excellent dancer. Rounding it off with a Cafe Latte from Vahik’s Coffee brought down to Windansea Beach to breathe in the ocean breeze, watch the surfer pro’s and catch up on life with the girlfriends or myself. Unbeatable. Keep your eyes and ears open – Rocco will be visiting San Francisco to teach Nia this fall. I’ll let you know the details.

Rocco posted the below youtube movie on his Facebook wall. Beautiful and very touching. It is quite an inspiration and great reminder of: What is really possible? Who sets the limits? Take a moment to watch it!

In your situation right now – what is really important to you? What would you like to achieve or create? With a beginners mind, what do you commit to?

You set the limit. Don’t let anyone else do it. Lift the bar! You can do it!

Johanna

 

Full Stop August 22, 2009

Filed under: coaching,Entrepreneur,Health,Inspiration — Johanna C. Nilsson @ 9:17 am
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Time to reflect. I have gotten a lot of interesting and motivating comments and messages sent to me relating my blog. This one was sent yesterday, which made me want to comment.

“It is easy to be loved when one’s young, when employed, when healthy… when beautiful, when blond, when twenties, when wealthy. Actually one of the hardest thing for wealthy people is to find out who their real friends are. Who are the people around them, friends or beneficiaries of their wealth?”

Thank you for sharing! Several thoughts are coming to me as I read this and I am going to dissect this a little bit.

It is easy based on the look of things to assume that someone is young, healthy and wealthy. It is easy to assume that “love is easily accessible for them, but not for me”.

What does that assumption serve? Who is really talking – you or your gremlin? I would say that it is a limiting belief by the gremlin that would cut you short by listening to it. So please don’t. Open up for love. It is here for all of us!

And would it make a difference if that one person in reality were getting closer to the forties, gray hair and unemployment? Or is it the attitude and energy that the person is radiating that is of importance?

From that perspective I do agree on most of your points – it is probably easier to be loved when one is young, employed, healthy, beautiful and wealthy. Let me clarify my definitions when I say that: Young in mind. Employed by something you enjoy. Leading a healthy life. Beautiful soul. Wealthy at heart. We all can strive towards that.

Talking about Friends and Wealth…

I can’t personally relate to your example – but I have seen with my own eyes examples of friends disappearing when personal success or health is gone. It may be difficult – but it is the remaining friends that matter. This is another way to look at it:

To have a friend is great. But, to be a friend is the most helpful thing anyone can be. In doing so, the one who is being the friend is also the one who is for sure enjoying the friendship.

What is wealth to you? To me, being financially astute whatever amount of funds you have is far more desirable and attractive than being rich. I am not denying that money helps, but it is not the most important thing. “Rich is a matter of the heart”, as the artist and painter from La Jolla, California, Sally Huss expressed. I just visited her website, and would love to share some happy musings of hers:

clipped from www.sallyhuss.com
The accumulation of wealth looks a lot like a gathering of friends.
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What Real Wealth Looks Like
“The accumulation of wealth looks a lot like a gathering of friends.”
Better than a friend is a group of friends, the more the merrier. To gather friends is a great art. Dennis Wood is such an artist. Although Dennis has never met a stranger, he has also never met a person who was not his friend.
Dennis came to work for our company 20 years ago. It didn’t matter what he was asked to do, he figured out how to do it and do it well. But one of the best things that Dennis figured out how to do was make friends. Everyone who worked for us loved Dennis. The suppliers loved Dennis. The customers loved Dennis. UPS and Mail Clerks loved Dennis. There was not a place where Dennis went that he didn’t leave a trail of friends.
There was another interesting thing about Dennis. He had a key ring filled with keys. He was in charge of a lot of things, but there were more keys than there were things to be in charge of. The keys hung on Dennis’ belt and made their presence known as Dennis walked about.
There always seemed to me to be a correlation between the many keys and the many friends. I thought perhaps that Dennis had many answers, therefore many keys to creating friends. Maybe it was just one key – Dennis, who knew that being a friend first guaranteed that the other person in the equation was automatically captured. In this way they became a part of his inner key ring – the one around his heart.
Dennis has moved on to his own endeavors, but we are still attached with hardly a beat skipped, even though we may not speak with each other for months at a time. Dennis is one of the wealthiest people I know. And he makes me wealthier myself for having him as a friend.

clipped from www.sallyhuss.com
Your friends are your assets. Guard them well
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Count Your Friends, Count Your Assets
“Your friends are your assets. Guard them well.”
Friends are assets whose values are unknown. But they are assets for sure. I remember reading a story of a man of great wealth who lost everything he had in the great depression of 1939. At the moment the market crashed and he realized all his money was gone he remembered he had friends – and he had an idea.

Horseracing had become legal again in America and he wanted to build the finest racing establishment in the country. He no longer had financial assets, so no banks would loan him money. Instead, he took his idea and began knocking on friends’ doors. Many were not interested, but a few were, including the famous crooner Bing Crosby and the owner of one of the top racing stables, William Howard. Monies were gathered. Ranch land was purchased near the San Gabriel Mountains in California . And the magnificent Santa Anita Racetrack was created. It has been one of the primer racetracks for over 60 years and enjoyed by millions of people during that time. It came into being because a man with an idea had as his only assets, friends.

clipped from www.sallyhuss.com
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“You can find something beautiful anywhere you look, if you are looking for something beautiful.”

I remember long ago in Psychology 101 my teacher explaining how a need or intention alerted the subconscious to bring to the forefront those things that fulfilled that need or intention. The example he gave at that time was that if you were driving along a highway and became hungry, you would continually notice restaurants along the way. Naturally, that’s an easy one and one that we have all experienced. But, in the same way you can find something beautiful anywhere you look, if you are looking for something beautiful.

Right now, it is very important to look for something beautiful, something positive, something uplifting. These things are everywhere. The intention sets your sifting mechanism and the things you are looking for will be found. There is much to see and much to distract us from the better things in life. Sometimes those distractions are of the coarsest, loudest and most unseemly of things available in our realm. But we can make adjustments — change channels, change stations, change locations, change friends. As we do, we make way for the beautiful things.

The really good things are the subtle things, the sweet things, the things that lift our spirits. We need to look for them. They are there in our surroundings whether those surroundings are of nature or are filled with high rises and people.

This idea of looking for something beautiful must also be applied to ourselves. How important is it that we see our own beauty? Very. Not that we created it, but we can certainly appreciate it and find it by looking for it.

I knew a woman once who was brimming with self-appreciation. She and her husband ran a popular restaurant in Palm Desert, California. She was just beautiful! Yet her face was covered with wrinkles. She was a great skier, tennis player and swimmer and obviously, lover of the sun. Not one wrinkle covered her beauty. I always admired her because she was as she was, which was an exception to the local women who tended to try to correct every “blemish” with cosmetic surgery. Yes, it was easy to see this woman’s beauty, even if you were not looking for it.

When I look in the mirror, I could see only the wrinkles on my face. But then, I would miss the light in my eyes or the underlying beauty of the life that is within that is forever working towards well-being. So, I honor that life by smiling at this hidden beauty.

You can always find something beautiful anywhere you look, if you are looking for something beautiful because it is looking for you.

clipped from www.sallyhuss.com
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How To Get Your Man (or Woman)
“If you wish to have a love in your life, because you wish you will. And because you know this is true, smile until you do.”

There are too many people out there without a close friend or a loved one in their life. Yet as life on the outside gets tougher, colder and more demanding, the needs of the heart become even greater.

We all need warmth and we need to share our warmth. The sun in the sky warms us on the outside, of course, but it is the sun on the inside that really warms us. It is the sun in our own hearts that likes to shine, expand and share its contents. It also likes to receive the same. Why not? That’s the way we are constructed. A heart is not meant to languish. It needs to be used and exercised. Love is the answer.

Why are there so many people without love in their lives? Too busy? No! Too disconnected? No! Too discouraged? No! Too unworthy? Not really! Too afraid of rejection or being hurt? Not buying it! It is forgetfulness!! They’ve just forgotten how to use the heart. Again, love is the answer.

Love first and all good things will come to you, including that special person to be in love with. That’s the thing: be in love right here, right now.

What about love? Love is that effervescent feeling that wafts from the heart, leaving you on top of the world and better for it. The beauty of the heart is that it is so close. Open its door and let the contents spill out. Practice on small things like a flower, a peach, a dog, then move to grander targets like a walk on the beach, a starry sky, or a heavenly concert. Beyond this, that love can grow to all sorts of things and all sorts of people, until the whole day is filled with love.

Not only is the heart close, but it is in the center of a person, more precisely, is the center of a person. So, as a person loves, he or she benefits by its emanations first and foremost. Those vibrations go through the loving person on the way to something or someone outside. That’s how to be in love. Create your own ocean of this good stuff. Let it fill every nook and cranny of yourself and then spill out to all that is around you. At that point your special person, who is meant just for you, can’t help but show up. He or she will be caught up in the stream and whirled into sight.

So there, go ahead, be in love now, and then you’ll be ready to truly be in love with. Because you know this is true, smile until you do!

Much love to you all!
Johanna

 

 
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