Saturday, October 30

We Decide Our Tomorrow

“The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.” ~ Flora Whittemore
Over the past 20 years I have read many books on the subjects of self help, spiritual enlightenment, finding your purpose, and knowing who you are.  I can honestly say each one had something to offer and some insight I had failed to realize.  Yet now reflecting on them all, I realize they were all saying the same thing in a million different ways.  We are connected somehow; so don’t tear anyone down. We are all where we are because of our life choices so stop blaming yourself or others.  We can each change our tomorrow so just decide to do it and get it done.  Even today as I type these words I realize it sounds so simple, yet we have learned these habits that teach us to blame others for our own circumstances.  We learn, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” or ask ourselves what is the point in improving since my life isn’t that bad.  Bottom line is this: they are only habits and just as we learned those we can learn new ones.  I can learn something new regardless of my age. I can change the way I view life and find the good in it. I can be the person I was meant to be.  No, this won’t change yesterday, however, it will begin to move you closer to being the person you were meant to be and farther away from being the person you promised you never would be.  Your tomorrow is your choice and you decide slowly and surely what you want it to be and make it that.
Courtesy of "But What Do We Know"

Thursday, October 28

The Price Of Expectations

“Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work.” ~ H. L. Hunt
I have a friend that hasn’t spoken to his mother in years.  In discussing with him as to why, I discovered the reason.  His stepfather made a scene at his wedding and his mother had never apologized for what happened.  Years had gone by and he decided he would call her and talk to her.  I indicated he might want to not have expectations; just hello, how are you and see where it goes.  He called and as they talked he pologized, then waited. His mother never mentioned the wedding or an apology.  He felt angry that he had made the effort to call to apologize and then she didn’t.  I asked him what happened to my suggestion to have no expectations.  He said he had none; he did though.  He expected her to apologize and when she didn’t he became angry.  Love is the one thing we give and if we can do so without expectation the world will amaze us.  If we have expectations, the world will surely disappoint us.  We try so hard to change our habits and traits and if we can’t, how can we change the world?   Your parents will make mistakes and if you become parents you too will make mistakes.  Decide if you want to love without expectation and then try it.  You might be amazed.
Courtesy of "But What Do We Know"

Monday, October 25

Lasting Loyalty

Napoleon Hill said a, “Lack of loyalty is one of the major causes of failure in every walk of life.” It is a very different work life than it was only a couple of generations ago.  I remember my grandfather going to work for the city where he was born and lived his entire life. He started driving a bus in his early 20s.  It was the Great Depression and everyone in the family that was old enough worked to help support the family.  Decades later he retired from the city. It was calculated that he had driven the equivalent of to the moon and back several times over.  My father, worked for 25 years for the same company.  The loyalty of an employee was earned by the way the employer rewarded such loyalty.  There were pension plans and rewards for years of service.  Times have changed along with the economics of today’s businesses, but one thing remains the same in and out of the workforce.  Loyalty is still a quality to be admired.
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Sunday, October 24

Chart Your Life

“Intelligence is not to make no mistakes, but quickly to see how to make them good.” ~ Bertolt Brecht

One of the most important lessons life has taught me is that we have to be willing to readjust our course. Sometimes we make a mistake or things just don’t go the way we had anticipated. It is these moments we define how the outcome will go. Will we find an alternate route that takes us where we want to go or we just not proceed forward? Every person has faced situations that aren’t going their way. It is not a bias situation that only some of us experience; however, those individuals that seem to have life always go their way have just become master at charting their life with the ability to adjust to the winds of life. There is always opportunity and sometimes we have to paddle up the stream and others the wind will carry us, yet in all situations there is opportunity if in nothing more than the attitude in which we face the day and the situation. Those that face it with potential will find potential.

Saturday, October 23

Dedication and Determination

“Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.” Gail Devers

When we dedicate ourselves to a cause, a belief, a purpose driven goal, there is nothing we cannot accomplish. I believe this because of my own experience in trying to get through school. I have a sister whose IQ is much higher than mine. We both set out to get a college degree. Her heart was not in it, and she put little effort into completing what she had started. I had the opposite going for me. Even though I was not the top student in my high school and had to work hard to get decent grades, I had one thing going for me. I stuck with it no matter what. I had obstacles and setbacks, but through hard work and dedication I was able to accomplish my goal. Believe in yourself. Have a clear vision. Dedicate yourself to the work and you can achieve anything.

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Friday, October 22

What We Do

“What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.” ~
Albert Pine

When I think about why we started Waves of Gratitude I realize it was exactly what Albert Pine is saying, we were trying to do something for others. Having been put into a situation I had never been in and finding it so difficult to stay focused and not freak out over not having a job or an income I wanted something to remind me that what a think has a direct impact on what opportunities life presents me. If I could remember to be grateful for what I had then I could move towards the life I wanted to create. That was the birth of our company. From July 11 of 2007 until this moment there have been times when I have had moments of doubt, which fear has tried to step in and force me to surrender; however, I have stayed true to the course. I have realized that doors and windows have opened when I some have closed. That there have been lives affected by the jewelry we created. That we have inspired others. That there is a true value to touchstone jewelry that allows us to bridge our thoughts to our actions. 100 years from now my breath will no longer be a part of this earth; however, it is my hope that touchstones are. That people realize there is a way to remind ourselves of the thoughts we want to think in order to create the lives we want to live.

Thursday, October 21

Endure to the End

When we think of the word endurance, we often think of the athlete able to run a marathon. There is the short distance sprinter who may be able to get ahead in the short run, but those with endurance will win the race that continues day in and day out.  In the words of Buddha, “Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes.  Anything worth having is worth the hard work and endurance it takes to achieve it.
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Wednesday, October 20

Times Value

“Time stays long enough for anyone who will use it.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci

Years ago my sister and I were sitting in the hot tub on a winter night in Arizona talking about our childhood and how time seemed to go so much slower then. As we sat there and discussed our lives we began to discover a theory. When we were ten a year was 1/10th of our life and a day was 1/3650th of our life so of course that seemed like forever. Fast forward to 21 and a day is 1/21st of our life and a day is 1/7665th so it seems shorter. Basic math teaches us the larger the fraction the smaller the size. As we live a year, a day or an hour become a smaller fraction of what we have already experienced. So time is relevant to our age. However, knowledge is also relevant. When we are a teenager we think we have all the time in the world. When we are in our mid to late 40’s we begin to realize just how quickly time does pass and that it is the one commodity we can get back once it is gone. So we tend to choose how we spend our time more. We pay more attention to what is important and less to just being a cog in the wheel. Time is a precious and we get to decide how we spend it and we get the same number of minutes in an hour at 10 or at 100. They are just a little more precious at 100.

Tuesday, October 19

Your Full Committment

There is a peace of mind and satisfaction in knowing you believed in something and gave it your all – 110%. Seeing something through until its full potential is realized has with it rewards that may not be measured in dollars and cents or in advancement and recognition. It is what gives us the sense of accomplishment and pride. It is the epitome of integrity. It is what differentiates contentment from satisfaction. Be committed to what you know is right and what you believe in with all your heart and your heart will lead you to know how to make your dreams your reality.

Monday, October 18

In Giving We Gain

“When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves.” ~ William Arthur Ward

There are moments in our lives when a friend is feeling down and we try to remind them of their own qualities that make them such a great person and good friend. We take time to try to understand what they are going through to help them see their own internal strengths and beauty. In those moments of selflessness we bring forth in ourselves our own internal and true nature. The desire to lift others up, to not try to compare ourselves and let our ego get in the way, but instead to help them discover within themselves their own internal beauty. In this action we bring forth an amazing quality of caring and kindness that sometimes gets lost behind our ego and our need to compete. Gratitude and giving are the core elements or our nature and reveal to ourselves and the world our true potential.

Sunday, October 17

In the Sunlight

Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight. ~Benjamin Franklin

A state of panic or anxiety is completely counter productive to accomplishing one’s goals. While pressure may prompt us to act quickly, panic and worry only prompt us to act irrationally and without intention. How do we move from an initial response of panic into one where we can be proactive, not paralyzed by fear? Stop, breathe, organize your thoughts logically and rationally, then take the first step toward your intended destination.

Saturday, October 16

Where Are Our Priorities?

“We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aid, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

This morning my daughter was running late for a 6:30am meeting she has every week. The need to be at the meeting at 6:30 requires her to pick up a friend that doesn’t have a car and be to the school by 6:25am which means leaving here at 6:00am and I woke her up at 5:55am. The normal routine in the morning is I say its time to get up at least 3 times before she even thinks about moving. This morning though when I said, “you have to get up and by the way don’t you have a meeting?” She bolted out of the bed. This caused an immediate flash back to those morning that I worked in corporate America. I would make sure I was on time. If I had a plane to catch I would be up some mornings at 3am due to my commute to the Boston Airport. As I made a pot of coffee I thought how young we start to decide that what we do for others and the time we put in is so much more important than what we do for ourselves. We can get less sleep, squeeze more into a day for our social groups, school employers and yet somehow when it comes to us waking 10 minutes early to mediate, go for a walk, and watch a sunrise we just can’t bring ourselves to do it. Where did we get our priorities so confused? When did we stop looking forward to life with expectation of the dawn instead of at the list of priorities?

Friday, October 15

No Regrets

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -- Mark Twain

To sit on the sidelines and watch life go by is to miss out on what might have been. Even if the dream is not realized, it is better to have pursued it than to wonder, “What if…?” There may only be one opportunity to go for something you have always dreamed of. I would rather take a chance, risk everything and fail than think about how someday I will try. We often think that at some future point in our lives, when the kids are grown or we save enough money, or lose enough weight then we will pursue our dreams. Don’t wait. Do it now. Tomorrow will come and go whether or not we decide to take action or not.

Thursday, October 14

Chance Meets Opportunity

“Chance favors the prepared mind.” ~ Louis Pasteur

In the pursuit of a fulfilled life there are moments that we feel as if it is going according to plan.  We are rowing our boats along the course and have done everything right, regardless we are still not reaching the final destitination.  If we gaze back too much at those moments in the past we will run ashore, if we stare too long at how others are doing we may run into them.  Instead we have to keep our eyes fixed on our destination with an understanding that we must be prepared.   Prepared for a bend in the river, a swift current or an idle current.  Life isn't according to our plan, instead it those that are prepared and open to new destintations that typically exceed their own expectations.  Keep an open mind, be prepared for every option and most of all, don't be so fixed on getting there that you don't enjoy the here and now.
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Wednesday, October 13


Maybe I’m a romantic who likes the way things used to be, but I miss the days when people would get really dressed up for a night at the theater. I wonder if the dress at such events has become more casual because back decades ago, it was only the upper-class who attended and now we all have the wonderful privilege of viewing the arts. To me, a night at the symphony, ballet or a Broadway show will always be an occasion to get a little dressed up.

It is not just our attire, but everything about us that can form an impression of how we view ourselves. My mother tells a story of an admired friend who advised her as a young bride that if she couldn’t keep her whole house clean, then at least always make sure her entry way was clean and inviting. That is where visitors will form their first impression and it will show you have pride in yourself and your home. I like that advice and to this day, my whole house can be a wreck, but my front rooms are almost always “presentable.” Take time to present the best you, a presentation that shows you matter. "You never get a second chance to make a first impression."

Tuesday, October 12

William Arthur Ward said: “If you can imagine it you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.”

Nonetheless, I am always surprised when I pose this question, “if money weren’t an issue what would you do” and the response is a blank stare. I always wondered at what point in life people decide that this is all there is, there is no point in dreaming, hoping, creating. Rather I will live content with whatever this may be. I am not saying to never be satisfied, if you are fulfilled with your life then maybe you have no need to dream bigger. However, I have met too many people that wait until the final curtain to say “what if?” There is no need to wait. If you have dreams then consider the possibilities. If you have a passion to do something why not just sketch it out on paper. Ask yourself, if money weren’t an issue what would I want to do with my time? Would I want to give back, pursue a hobby or coach a team? There are a million small ways we can begin to make a difference in our lives and begin to pursue our dreams and fulfill our purpose. The one sure way not to do it is to stop dreaming, stop imagining. Within each of us there is a seed of what we can do to make a difference here and if that seed reaches its potential is totally up to us. Ask yourself if money weren’t an issue what would you do?  Afterall what is the worst that can happen, you pursue and dream an it comes true.  Better then not considering it and then wondering "what if"

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Monday, October 11

Greatness in Simplicity

Winston Churchill said, “All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.  Simple words can have such strong meaning and bring to mind some profound images.  When I think of the words Mr. Churchill described as simple, I think about the fact that they cannot be confused with anything else other than what they are and how they make you feel. There is no doubt what it means to be free, just, having honor, or a sense of duty.  Anyone who has had mercy shown them or felt hope in the day knows the purity of emotion that comes from those words cannot be mistaken as anything else.  When looking for something great, don’t be misled thinking it has to be something complex or complicated.  Great things are simple, plain, and easily expressed.

Sunday, October 10

Action Creates Reactions

"The mark of a good action is that it appears inevitable in retrospect." ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

I was speaking with someone this week that was looking for a new career. In our discussion I asked if money weren’t an issue what would you do and he responded cook. I asked if he had thought about having a business that involved cooking and he told me about receipts he had created that had been inspired by his grandmother. As we talked I realized how far we are from how we are meant to live. We grow up and get jobs to make money and forget about pursuing our passions and hobbies. The next thing we know our kids are grown and our lives our half over and we wonder where did time go and what are we going to do with the rest of our lives. However, we can start today. What is it you love to do? Take my friend, he could put together a menu, a business plan and start looking for a place to open a restaurant. There is no cost to lay the idea out on paper. No cost to move towards what if and then you never know a door may open you never imagined. I flew to LA to meet with a Film Producer about our products, a week prior the idea of that had never crossed my mind. The outcome of that trip has yet to be decided however, I took the chance I opened the door. When we start to take action doors will open that make it seem as if it were always meant to be

Saturday, October 9

Everyday Traditions

Traditions are not only for the holidays. Each day we routinely go through our day, doing things in somewhat the same manner. This consistency of family time, dinner time, and our pre-bedtime routine will become the traditions our children will perhaps one day carry into their own families. As I think about this, I think of the importance of creating this legacy of traditions based on my values that I want to pass down to my children.  There are the Sunday dinners, the family birthday celebrations and the long weekend traditions.  To some on the outside they may seem routine and warn out, but to our family they are the bonding traditions of childhood and memories of tomorrow.

Friday, October 8

Hold Guides Us

“Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark.” ~ George Iles

Each of us must take our own path and in traveling that path the amount of darkness we encounter will vary. It is the darkness that makes us appreciate the light. When we are in the darkness we sometimes forget that it only needs to light for you to see your way. Claude Debussy said “Music is the silence between the notes.” The pause between the keys allows us to hear the music to feel the vibration of the rhythm. We must remember that our most aware moments are in silence it will help us to remain hopeful. To hold on to what can be with an open heart to how it will be. Hope is the core to all potential in life. If enables us to dream, to believe, to care, to love, to risk. Hope is the foundation of all that is possible, the seed that grows into our lives and braches out across the years and others lives.

Thursday, October 7

With Purpose & Passion

What does it mean to give your whole heart to something, to know it is right without any doubt or reservation?  I believe that it means you are so totally committed to what you really want that you lose the desire for anything that will take you away from it. It is passion and focus rolled up in one and it has the power to drive you directly to whatever maters most.  When you find your passion, there is nothing that can keep you from it and there nothing that distracts you in another direction. “Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.” – unknown

Wednesday, October 6

Friendship In Family

Everyone wants to know they are needed. That in some way they have made a difference in someone else’s life. Take the time to share your feeling with those that have been there for you.

One of the things in life I have found to be most difficult is to tell family how much they mean without it sounding planned or rehearsed or insincere. I’m not talking about your spouse or children, more your siblings or parents. We assume for the most part they know how we feel. After all, they have been in your life from the beginning. Yet there is never a perfect moment to say thanks for making my childhood more fun and mischievous; for the memories you would never want to remember, and those you couldn’t bear to forget. For being the one I looked up to when it seemed there was nobody else to believe in. For keeping me true to myself and the stories of the past from becoming too disproportional. For the push when I didn’t need it that helped me to be tough. For the smile when I didn’t deserve it to help me know life will always work out. For the courage to know when to leave, by doing it first and doing all you set out to do. I learned from you to go out on my own and you always supported my choices. In your eyes you see the same person you have always been, but in my eyes I see so much more than that. You once were my big sister and today are my dearest friend. Find your words and share them.
"Courtesy of But What Do We Know"

Tuesday, October 5

Into The Light

"We all get lost. Whether it's in sadness, love, peace, or chaos, it doesn't matter. Just to know how it feels, and to realize what it's like to finally find your way again is what's important. And when you do find your way, you know it. You feel it. Like the suns warming rays, like the mists of the oceans, you can tell. You have found your way out. And nothing can stop you from moving on." – Elaine Berndt

My friend’s daughter who is 15 wrote this when she was 11 years old. I think sometimes we underestimate the depth of thought and feeling by children. We all come to this world with an eternal soul, some perhaps more mature than others. Earlier today Cheryl posted something on Facebook asking our followers why they keep a journal. For this young girl it was the way to reflect on feelings much more poignant than she might have been able to express verbally. The message of this quote is quite profound too. Certainly everyone can relate to the painful feeling and then the warmth, elation or peace that comes from finding your way out of it.

Monday, October 4

Time Lost Is Gone Forever

I can not purchase it and nobody has more than anyone else so I must use my time wisely and make the most of it because once it is gone I can never get it back.

It amazes me how quickly time passes. As a child I used to wonder what adults meant by time rushing by. To me it was like every movement of the hands of the clock were going in slow motion. I am not sure exactly when it went from wondering such things as is this day going to end, to realizing that when this day ends it will never come my way again. Yet, somewhere in the last thirty years I have come to appreciate more the value in a moment. I’ve come to understand what wasted time means and to want to use time more carefully in order to become the person I was meant to be. To stop saying I’ll do it someday and to just do it. No matter what the outcome, I will make my dreams my reality. I will change the things I don’t like in myself even if only gradually becoming who I am meant to be a little more each day. Until one day I realize I lived my life on purpose; I fulfilled my dreams. I will stop blaming and start acknowledging that I got me where I am and I have the power to change or improve that.
"Courtesy of But What Do We Know"

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Sunday, October 3

Freedom of Choice

Liberty is obedience to the law which one has laid down for oneself” -- Jean-Jacques Rousseau.  Often people associate being obedient as being restricted from something they really want but in reality, it is liberating.  A child who is obedient to a loving parent can be spared some of the dangers or heartache of disobedience.  Sometimes the natural consequence is unavoidable. There are certain laws of nature and science, for example, which are completely objective in their consequences.  If you don’t give yourself the proper rest or nutrition the body will become weak and eventually sick.  When we obey the laws of the land, we retain our liberty from the consequence of a fine or imprisonment.  When we adhere to a set of moral principles, either defined by our choice in religion or our own sense of right and wrong, we are free from the consequences of making mistakes that could negatively alter our lives.  It is in a way a higher sense of freedom to choose to be obedient to the laws governing life.  It is that obedience that gives us the ability to lay down the law for ourselves as the French philosopher Rousseau describes.  It is that obedience which has as its prize liberty.
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Saturday, October 2

Instict To Follow Intuition

“I feel there are two people inside me - me and my intuition. If I go against her, she'll screw me every time, and if I follow her, we get along quite nicely.” ~ Kim Basinger

Today I realized this strange ability I have had my entire life which my teenage daughter also has. It is the ability to have the truth revealed to us. Throughout most of my life I would have information come to me. Some of it was data I really needed however other times it has been information I would rather not know. When chatting with my daughter about this ability she has now come to realize she has I think we can chalk it up to intuition. When I follow my intuition I find that I am granted information. Again some of it is good, some bad, however, all information. What this has allowed me to do as a parent is to know when something is up with my daughter and address it. This has enabled us to discuss potential life altering situations prior to them becoming life altering situations. What it has done for my daughter is taught her to trust her instinct. This is something most of us don’t learn until much later in life, so to learn it at the age of 17 is a huge jump start on navigation of our lives. See we are born with intuition and then our parents, teachers and friends tell us what to think, how we should feel, what to do, and we silence that voice that would normally guide us. If you listen to the voice that says go the long way home, only to realize you avoided an accident, or stay late at work only to get that call from the client that closes that deal you have been working, then you find yourself feeling blessed or lucky. If you fail to listen to that voice that guides you then you may be one of those that feel as if you are always swimming against the current. Life and people all have their own agendas and it isn’t our place to tell them what their agenda should be, rather it is our place to align ourselves with individuals that also follow their intuition and are in alignment with our core values. In doing so we have less of the, “Oh man” intuition moments and more of the, “Wow am I lucky” intuition moments.

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Friday, October 1

Everyone at one time or another in their life has felt they were wronged. It may have been on a large or small scale, but in order to move past it one thing must occur. There needs to be forgiveness.

I heard a news story years ago about a woman who had been kidnapped. She was beaten, tortured, raped, and starved for days and then left for dead on the side of the road. The ordeal left her blind. The interviewer asked her how she dealt with the anger she must be feeling at having been treated this way. She said she forgave her attacker. She stated that he took 72 hours of her life. If she did not forgive him, then he would take more of her life. Forgiveness not only heals, it allows us live our life. If we choose not to forgive we cannot move forward and we allow the person who wronged us once, to continue to hurt us. This applies even if, and maybe especially if, the person who has wronged us feels no remorse or is not asking for the forgiveness.
In light of recent news about bullying and how that has led to teens and young adults feeling so much pain they take their own lives, forgiveness is needed even more in this world. If we can teach our children that what others say about them doesn’t make them who or what they are, and to forgiving those who bully, maybe then we can give them the confidence to not let what others do and say affect their own actions.

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