Book Review: The Energy Bus

The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy

by Jon Gordon

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My Rating: ***** (5 stars out of 5 stars)

Why Did I Read:

I read this book because it was recommended to me by several friends who also enjoy books about personal growth and inspiration.

Summary (from Goodreads)

The Energy Bus, an international best seller by Jon Gordon, takes readers on an enlightening and inspiring ride that reveals 10 secrets for approaching life and work with the kind of positive, forward thinking that leads to true accomplishment – at work and at home.   Jon infuses this engaging story with keen insights as he provides a powerful road map to overcome adversity and bring out the best in yourself and your team.  When you get on The Energy Bus you’ll enjoy the ride of your life!

What Did I Think/Recommendation

I enjoyed this book a lot!  It was a very quick and easy read.  Although there wasn’t anything in there that I hadn’t already heard or read before, it never hurts to reinforce positivity and inspiring ideas.  I really enjoyed the way the information was presented.  It was presented as a story rather than just listing the 10 steps, and that held my interest more than typical self-help books do.  I would read this again, and I would definitely recommend this book to others who enjoy reading books about positivity and personal growth, especially those in a leadership position.

A few quotes I enjoyed:

“First decide what you want.  Then you can start creating it.  Don’t let the world create you.  You create your world.” – p.31

“If you build it in your mind, focus on seeing it, and take action, the success will come.” -p.44

“Invite people on your bus and share your vision for the road ahead.”

 

Find out more about the book at www.theenergybus.com, and read more reviews about the book at Goodreads.

Book Review: The Gift of an Ordinary Day

The Gift of an Ordinary Day:  A Mother’s Memoir

by Katrina Kenison

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My Rating: ***** (5 out of 5 stars)

Why Did I Read?

I bought this book at a library book sale several years ago, and it has been sitting on my bookshelf ever since.  Whether I purchased it because of the title or because of the cover (yes, I do initially judge books by their covers), I don’t remember.  I had never heard of it before, so it wasn’t because of a recommendation.  It may have just called out to me, as books often do.  So, I bought it, and it sat on my shelf for years.  The reason I chose this book to read among all the books on my shelf at home is just as puzzling to me.  It just had a way of calling out to me, saying “now is the time to read this.”  When that happens, I trust…because those are the books that often have the greatest impact on my life.  This one did not disappoint.

Summary (from Goodreads)

The Gift of an Ordinary Day is an intimate memoir of a family in transition-boys becoming teenagers, careers ending and new ones opening up, an attempt to find a deeper sense of place, and a slower pace, in a small New England town. It is a story of mid-life longings and discoveries, of lessons learned in the search for home and a new sense of purpose, and the bittersweet intensity of life with teenagers–holding on, letting go.

Poised on the threshold between family life as she’s always known it and her older son’s departure for college, Kenison is surprised to find that the times she treasures most are the ordinary, unremarkable moments of everyday life, the very moments that she once took for granted, or rushed right through without noticing at all.

The relationships, hopes, and dreams that Kenison illuminates will touch women’s hearts, and her words will inspire mothers everywhere as they try to make peace with the inevitable changes in store.

What Did I Think/Recommendation

I loved this book!  This book must have been calling out to me because I chose to read it at a time in my life where I could really relate with the author.  As her teen boys approach the end of their time living at home, she feels a desperate need to spend more time being present with them, holding onto what is left of their time together under one roof, and appreciating every moment of it.  My daughters are a few years younger than her boys were when she wrote the book, but I still feel the urgency of savoring those moments, those “gifts of an ordinary day.”  I really loved the author’s writing style, and I felt like I was right there with her throughout the entire story, feeling her every emotion.

The author offers so many valuable insights in this book!  I recommend that every mom of a teenager read this book.  Although I imagine nothing can really prepare us for the inevitable day when our children leave the nest, this book helped to remind me that every stage of life is a gift, and learning to slow down and practice presence and gratitude in each stage will help to ease the transitions.

Find more reviews about this book at Goodreads.

Some of My Favorite Quotes from the Book:

“When we focus on what is good and beautiful in someone, whether or not we think that they ‘deserve’ it, the good and beautiful are strengthened merely by the light of our attention.  When we choose to see and appreciate what is good and beautiful in our children, that goodness can’t help but grow, and their beauty blossoms forth.” (p.169)

“The life we have right here, right now, is the best life there is.” (p.209)

“Grace is available for each of us every day — our spiritual daily bread, but we’ve got to remember to ask for it with a grateful heart and not worry about whether there will be enough for tomorrow.” ~Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance (p.264)

“Do your work, then step back.  The only path to serenity.” ~Tao Te Ching (p.231)

“The only trust required is to know that when there is one ending there will be another beginning.” ~Clarissa Pinkola Estes (p.197)

 

EVERYTHING is a gift!

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Everything that has happened to you so far in life has happened FOR you.  It is the combination of every single event and every single person you have met so far in life that has made you into the person you are today.  You may not realize it in the moment, and it may take a very long time to find the “good” in some situations, but trust that everything that happens is for a reason — to help you grow and become the person you were meant to be.  Learn to embrace each experience and situation that happens to you and view it as a gift to you and the world.

This is THE mantra that gets me through the tougher days in life.  When something unfortunate happens in my life that is out of my control, I remind myself that it is a gift.  And I truly DO believe it.  Some of my most difficult situations have turned out to be my greatest blessings.

Eventually, when we look back on our lives, we will be able to understand the gift in each situation, no matter how unfortunate it may have seemed in the moment.

Try it now.  Identify one event in your life that seemed unfortunate when it happened, but it turned out to be a blessing.

The next time something unfortunate happens that is out of your control, gently remind yourself that it is happening for a good reason and is in fact a gift. 🙂

**This post was also published on my blog Journey To Complete Wellness.

Practice Acceptance. Everything Happens for a Reason

Practice acceptance snow

As I sit here writing this, my daughters are home from school with another snow day!  This is the third snow day this week, with February vacation only 2 days away.  Over the past 13 scheduled school days, school has only been held on 5 of those days (and one of those was a 1/2 day).  We have been hit hard with snow in Massachusetts so far this year…and more is on the way tomorrow!  Needless to say, my schedule has been greatly interrupted and needed to be rearranged.  And for that, I am grateful!

With every situation in life that is out of our control, we have two choices:  we could complain, or we could recognize the gift in the situation.  Complaining is often the easiest option, but it will not accomplish anything good.  On the other hand, looking for the good in each situation takes a little more effort, but it is much more rewarding because it leads to feelings of gratitude, love, and happiness.

So, today I choose to focus on being grateful for the 8 snow days I got to spend with my girls so far.  I am grateful:

  • We knew school was canceled the night before, so we were able to sleep in.
  • I didn’t have to pack lunches (my least favorite chore of all)
  • We still have heat and power
  • We had the opportunity to go sledding and make some wonderful memories.
  • We had time to bake cookies and cakes and experiment with some new dishes for dinner.
  • The girls were able to enjoy good old-fashioned unstructured play time outside with each other and their friends.
  • We were all able to make good progress on some projects we had been putting off.
  • I had the opportunity to shovel.  Call me crazy, but I enjoy shoveling.  I find it so peaceful and therapeutic.  I love being outside in the silence, breathing in the fresh air and giving thanks for the beauty of nature surrounding me.
  • We had the opportunity to try making snow ice cream.  It wasn’t a hit with my girls, but we are going to try it again with a different recipe.
  • I was able to capture some beautiful pictures to preserve the memories of these days.
  • For boredom!  I LOVE it when my kids say they are bored, because I know it won’t be long before they are using their imaginations and re-discovering their inner artists.
  • For the chance to help out neighbors and take the time to reconnect with them because everyone is always in such a rush.
  • For the memories made with family, friends, and neighbors as our community works together and accepts help from other communities to get through this unprecedented snowfall together.  And most of all…
  • For forcing everyone to SLOW DOWN and take a much needed break!

Sure, these days may appear to be an inconvenience today, but I know we are going to look back on them and realize what a blessing they were.  I understand nobody wants to be in school until the end of June, but if that is the case, it will give us a chance to practice acceptance then, too.  Remember, we are not the master planner of our lives.  Some of life’s greatest blessings are a result of distractions and inconveniences beyond our control.  So, the next time life doesn’t go as planned, take a deep breath, remind yourself that the situation is actually a blessing, and look for the good in the situation.

Because EVERY situation we encounter each day IS a gift! 🙂

Friday Inspiration: Appreciate Your Blessings Before They’re Gone

Happy Friday!  This important message by WCW Champion Marc Mero is a great reminder to stop and appreciate all the people and things we often take for granted in life, because none of it is guaranteed to be here tomorrow.  So, hug your loved ones today, show some appreciation for all those who believe in you, and honor your precious life so you will never have any regrets.

If you are viewing this via e-mail and can’t see the video below, check it out here.

For more information about Marc Mero, click here.

Visual Quote: Thankful People are Happy

Happy Wednesday!

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If you choose to be grateful, then you choose to be happy!  As I’ve often said, the attitude of gratitude will always bring happiness.  Have a wonderful, Happy Thanksgiving!!!  May you appreciate and enjoy the blessings surrounding you today, tomorrow, and always! 🙂

Gratitude Stew

I think this is such a wonderful idea! I’m going to start it with my family today. I think this exercise will help us appreciate the little things in life that we often take for granted. The more we focus on what we are grateful for at this moment in our lives, the happier we will be in this moment. Remember, the attitude of gratitude always brings happiness! 🙂 This is a great way to get the entire family involved!

edible South Shore & South Coast Blog

Deb’s Recipe For 365 Days of Gratitude

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Happy ( almost ) Thanksgiving! Just thinking about the true meaning of Thanksgiving makes me feel happy and grateful! Loved ones gathering from far and wide (and sometimes just down the road or next door ) to feast on food made with  lots of love by many busy hands and the blessings of being together. Imagine what would happen if we kept that feeling alive every day of the year? I’ve been thinking about it a lot and I believe I’ve got the beginnings of a GREAT (and SIMPLE ) recipe for a delicious and life-changing “gratitude stew ”  and I need your help to finish it! Are you game?

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