Let’s Play Like Children! “Win” a Thanksgiving Message!

Published November 24, 2014 by Maryanne

SecretBe My Secret Pal This Thanksgiving!

As a creative person, I’m always coming up with what I think are cool ideas.

I’ve realized that I rarely use the WordPress “Password Protected” feature and thought it would be super fun to use it this Thanksgiving, offering a “win” to random readers from WordPress, Twitter and Face Book — or email followers in general.

What You’ll “Win”

I’m going to write a general, positive Thanksgiving Blog that will be password protected so only winners can see/comment on. For everyone who wins, not only will they get to see the protected blog, I’m going to offer a special prayer and positive vibe for a blessing.

To Enter

Just comment here with your name and email address. I’ll put all the names in a hat and randomly select a few winners. Then on Thanksgiving Day, or the day after, winners will get an email with the “password” and the following:

1. A positive, inspiring blog entry that’s limited to a few people.

2. A special prayer/positive vibe blessing that I’ll secretly say just for YOU! Then watch the magic and blessings come your way. (I do this regularly and keep a journal of all my miracles!)

3. The child-like glee of being in on something “secret” and the exhilaration of winning something unique.

And if you like this idea, feel free to steal it from me. I think it’s cute and fun and hope you do too! :)

You Can’t Always Fix Things

Published November 24, 2014 by Maryanne

Maryanne:

I love this!

Originally posted on Positive Outlooks Blog:

There’s only so many times you can allow someone to let you down before you will no longer tolerate being disappointed. When things go wrong between two people, something has got to give. You get to the point where you get tired of being the only one trying to fix things, it’s not giving up, it’s realizing you had enough. You’ve got to do what’s right for you, even if it hurts. — Brigitte Nicole , Lessons Learned In Life

Man walking at sunset

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I Learned God’s Most Beautiful Gift From a Cat

Published November 24, 2014 by Maryanne

Billy in the SkyMy Late Billy Cat, 1994 to 2013

“Slow down, Maryanne.”

That’s all I used to hear from my husband, Dennis. I used to do everything fast. (I still do if I’m not careful). I write fast, I type fast (92 wpm), I’m the queen of multi-task. But in my later years, I’ve come to realize how great life is when you slow down a bit. When you take a break, stop and smell the roses, look outside the window at the birds in the feeder. That sort of thing.

But what made me realize this? My cat Billy.

Dennis and I nicknamed Billy, “The Forrest Gump of Cats” because he was a simple cat who seemed to have deep thoughts in his tiny little head. Sure, once in a blue moon Billy Cat would scatter around the room like he had an agenda, but most of the time he was just sitting or lying around, sometimes with his tongue hanging out of his mouth (as goofy cats often do) just taking it easy.

I paid more attention to Billy in his later years, as I knew he wasn’t going to be around much longer. I learned from him, how to take a deep breath and stop and smell the roses. I used to work like a fiend behind my computer, non-stop. I still do if I don’t catch myself and force myself to stop. But now, most of the time, I embrace my breaks. I love to slowly drink a glass of flavored water, or even stop the world for a cup of tea. Or not eat my lunch while I’m working.

Then it dawned on me … Even though I do things fast, I was always a bit of a late bloomer. I didn’t have my first article published until I was 32. My business at 45. Marriage at 48. And my first book at 50. Do you see a pattern? (Not to mention, the best girlfriends I have are the ones I met in my 40s and 50s).

The truth is, when you take your time with precious things in life, they tend to not only last, but be the best things life has to offer. My marriage is amazing. It’s been a blessing to make a living as a writer and to have my own business book editing and as a public speaker. And all this great stuff happened to me because I never rushed into anything. I took my time with it — and believed in it.

When something is nourished, rather than rushed, it turns into something very special and dear that will be close to your heart for a lifetime.

Now at 51, I’m starting my second business. While I can go full force — promoting all over social media and having parties left and right — I prefer to take it slow. Because it’s yet another thing I love and believe in and I want to have this business around until I die. I want don’t want to just enjoy the successes of my second business, but all stages: the beginning, the growth, the spiritual aspect of it and all the amazing people the business brings into my life along the way.

Because “slow” is the most beautiful gift from God and the universe that many people tend to over look.

the-trees-that-are-slow-to-grow-bear-the-best-fruit-quote-1

When People Really Like Each Other, They Stay in Touch

Published November 23, 2014 by Maryanne

Friendships

I feel like I’m a fantastic friend because people never have to second-guess how I feel about them. I always tell my friends I love them. I make dates to see people. I call them. I email them. I let them know when I have dreams about them. In other words, I make my friends feel loved. And if I say something stupid (it happens to the best of us, dumb things just roll off our tongues) I do everything in my power to apologize to someone so they don’t feel bad.

When it comes to loved ones, I’m not of the mindset, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” but rather “out of sight, out of mind.” Why? Because if someone says they are “too busy” for you, I don’t believe them. No one is THAT busy to not pick up the phone or type an email. Even if you type with one finger, it doesn’t take that long to send an email that says, “I miss you.”

So if someone is “too busy” for me, I’m not interested in them either. It’s like the single girl who is waiting for a guy to call her. If he was really interested, he would.

If you significant other went on a business trip for several months, would it be acceptable to not hear from him/her during that time away? Of course not! So why should be expect anything less from our friends? A true friendship should not be taken for granted.

There are exceptions of course. My husband and I have friends we only see maybe once or twice a year but when we do, they make us feel like royalty and there is never a doubt in our minds that these friends love us dearly. And of course, we love them too. We know that when we see these friends it’s always a good time. We can drop in on them unexpectedly. They can call us and leave funny, lengthy messages. It’s just a given … a friendship you can depend on.

In order to get to that point though, there has to be history. A history of shared good times and bad times that builds up to a solid ground. If you have an on-again-off-again friendship since high school or are just coming into a new friendship, time together is pertinent, otherwise you stay in “acquaintance limbo” and you’re always second guessing the friendship: Did I say something wrong? Am I not fun to be around?

Now I’m not talking about being on the phone three hours a night like you’re a teenager or spending every free moment together. I’m just saying that making a lunch date every other month or so … or picking up the phone once in awhile just to let someone know you’re alive and still thinking of them.

And of course that will come naturally — not forced — if you’re really connecting with someone. There’s beautiful magic in a great connection where you feel safe. It’s the greatest feeling in the world when you can be yourself in front of someone without being judged. When you can get excited over each others happiness, laugh, exchange ideas, share, etc. When you leave someone feeling like you can’t wait to see them again! That’s what makes the difference between a friend and an acquaintance :)

So why choose “acquaintance” when “friend” feels so much better? :)

 

 

Xyla: A Delicious and Healthy Sugar Substitute

Published November 21, 2014 by Maryanne

xyla

Trust me, I’ll get to them all!

Each time I discover a new Xyla mint tin, I feel I’ve died and went to heaven. The latest I tried is the watermelon. Whoa! And I thought the chocolate mints were delicious. And I’ve yet to try all of them, so there’s a lot to look forward to in the near future.I think the lemon/lime is next on my agenda.

What is great about these mints is that the flavor is so … flavorful! The watermelon just dances around in your taste buds.

Xyla is perfect for my healthy lifestyle and also suitable for diabetics. They’re all natural and low glycemic. They come in tins and inside each one there’s a positive quote.

They’re actually good for your teeth as they help restore a proper balanced pH to your mouth. So ENJOY!

Why Do People Begrudge?

Published November 21, 2014 by Maryanne

begrudge

One of the best lessons in life my mother taught me is when something good happens to another person you don’t be jealous of them, you be happy for them. This is a lesson that stuck and I’m a healthier, happier person for it. Everyone gets their share of good things in life if you seek them out and are open to miracles. I have a “miracles journal” and miracles happen every day.

Yesterday I was super high on life. I just scored a new client. Not only will I be editing her book, but she’s a very nice person so I know it’s going to be wonderful working with her. After our meeting I had to pick up a few things in the Shop Rite. I was floating on air, but a little under the weather and going up and down the aisles thinking about what to eat. Then I remembered Shop Rite carries Chia Pod, a simple, natural pudding dessert made up of fruit and chia seeds. I had a hard time finding the product, but when I finally did, I was thrilled and threw two of them in my basket, which was full, and they landed on my new bag — my favorite new bag.

Well, sad to say, since these Chia desserts are in the dairy section (why, I don’t know, they are not dairy) and one of the yogurts must have exploded because next thing I knew I was smelling something rancid. I picked up the desserts and noticed one of them was covered in stench. I tried to get rid of the smell, but I couldn’t. So I had to get rid of my new bag. It wasn’t an expensive bag, about $40, but I felt Shop Rite should cover the cost because it was their incompetence that ruined my bag. I called the manager, nicely told him how I love Shop Rite and have been going since I was a little girl in the 1960s with my grandmother. He smiled and offered me a $35 gift certificate to cover the cost of the bag and told a young girl in Customer Service, “Give her a thirty-five dollar gift certificate.”

I counted my blessings as all was not lost. However, the girl giving me the gift certificate gave it to me begrudgingly — as if the money was coming out of her paycheck! She said to her co-worker, “I don’t know why she’s getting this.” When she handed me the certificate, again, she said, “Here’s your certificate, but I don’t know why you’re getting it.”

I thought that was incredibly rude. I would never begrudge anyone anything. I later shared this story with my husband. He said, “You should have told her it was none of her business.”

I said, “It would be funnier if I said, ‘Because I slept with your manager.'”

It never ceases to amaze me why people are like that. Jealousy is the root of all evil, I’ve always believed and it saddens me that I see it on a regular basis. Years ago when I worked in the editorial department at a newspaper, I loved the job so much I went in during a snowstorm. The office ended up closing early and I got to go home at noon. So myself and a few others that made the effort were rewarded with a day off with pay for a future date of our choice.

A young woman I worked with was pissed that some of us got a day off and she made sure everyone knew she was pissed by repeatedly saying, “I don’t know why they get a day off” over and over. Two years later she mentioned it again. And for all I know, she’s probably still not over it. Yeesh. I don’t get it.

It’s a shame when people let bitchiness, cattiness and jealousy rule their lives, when the healthier thing would be simply to be happy for someone.  When you let the happiness in, that’s when the miracles come. Be happy for other people, do not begrudge.

 

 

 

 

Why We’re Not “Friends” on Face Book

Published November 20, 2014 by Maryanne

face book

Unlike others who have a list of 500+ friends on Facebook, I like to keep my list very low … like under 100.

One time someone joked to me that I was acting like a judge on American Idol, eliminating contestants that didn’t make the cut. No, that’s not it. For me, it’s just keeping it real. “Less” means “more” because then I have time to read everything that people I really connect with write.

Since I was a teenager back in the 1980s, once a year I took the time to re-write a new personal phone book. I eliminated people that didn’t return my phone calls. Why would I want to keep old numbers that I don’t use? It didn’t make sense.

Fast forward to the 21st Century, it’s so much easier to delete than write an entire new phone book, though I find myself deactivating old Face Book pages and starting new ones in order to not hurt feelings. But eventually people find out. I can’t imagine what goes through their heads because those who confront me for unfriending them … damn, it’s as if I burned their house down!

But, honestly, people … can we please act a little more grown up about Face Book? I’m entitled to my Facebook policies and I think my reasons for unfriending someone are pretty reasonable.

#1. I never hear from you. I believe in being honest. I don’t use the “hide” feature. So if I’m liking and commenting on another person’s photos, updates, etc. and they’ve stopped coming to my page, I assume I’m being “hidden.” So, if someone isn’t jiving with what I’m writing, why keep them on board? It’s pointless.

#2. Your marketing techniques were too obvious. I’m a creative person, so of course I meet many creative types. I’m also self-employed and I know all the Facebook marketing tricks of friending as many people as possible to get them to “like” your business pages. I did that too at one time. It helped me sell a few books and got me a few clients. But in my spiritual growth, I realized that’s not how I want to get clients. I’d rather get them authentically, the old fashioned way — word of mouth/referrals and good ol’ Craig’s List. That’s the way I got my best clients, so I’m sticking to what works. Facebook is now, for me, more about friendship and less about marketing.

Sometimes I meet someone on an events page or a music page, etc. and they seem really nice at first. Then I realize they’re just trying to jack up business by getting someone to “like” their pages and go to their events/concerts/etc. This makes me feel more like a “fan” than a “friend.”

In my six years of being on Face Book, I have only two friends who are truly authentic in liking my business pages just as much as I honestly like theirs. And I’m fine with that. I don’t need more “likes” for my business page. My business is doing great, thank you very much!

#3. You’re of a clique mindset. I can’t deal and won’t deal with a clique mentality. I’m inspired by individuality and I seek to “friend” those who I can aspire to be like. When I see one person up another person’s ass all the time, or a certain group ignoring other friends and family members it’s a big turn off. Just remember, “To belittle is to BE LITTLE” — which means hurting people by making them feel left out doesn’t make you a big deal, it makes you small.

Some of my biggest inspirations on Facebook are people who are either individuals or community-oriented (not clique-oriented). So reach out and touch someone who is a little different than you — you’ll reap massive rewards from the universe.

#4. Instincts. You know when you get a gut feeling someone doesn’t like you? You’re usually right.

#5. You make Facebook a combat zone. I’m a live and let live type. I’m a paleo eater who has vegan friends; a Democrat with Republican friends; a spiritually open-minded person who believes in many things who has friends that are Christians and atheists; a happily married woman who has friends who are happily single … and so on … you get the picture. What never ceases to amaze me are the people who can’t wait to argue with you online and force their opinions down your throat. This is when the “ban” feature comes in handy.

#6. Tit for tat. When someone is obviously only “liking” something of mine only because I liked something of theirs. That’s so phoney and annoying. And it’s just as annoying when in a matter of seconds someone scrolls down your entire page and presses “like” five, 10, or 15 times which brings something you wrote two weeks ago to the top of the news feed.

#7 People who are ONLY around when things get rough. I’m a happy person. So happy that one of my clients nicknamed me “Happy Pants.” So when you’re happy, 95 percent of what you write in blogs or on Face Book/Twitter is HAPPY.

I’m no better than anyone else. I’m an average middle-aged woman who just happens to enjoy life and follows my dreams: as a journalist, public speaker and author. But sad to say this makes people very jealous (when they could be doing the same things, they just don’t initiate it). So of course you’ll never hear from these people. They’ll never give a compliment (and I’m not alone in this, Meryl Streep once said something about disliking women who never give compliments … I have to agree). You never hear BOO from these people … UNTIL you have that one bad day. THEN all of a sudden, they want to comfort you. That is so fake. As a parody of these types of people, I once wrote as my update: “Thanks to everyone who was there for me when things were really good.”

One person got it :)