Trying vs. Doing — a Positive Perspective Shift…

I’ve always thought that when someone says they are going to “try” to do something, there is no commitment in it.  That they aren’t really going to do what they say they will “try” to do.  I have found that to be true in my life.  And a conversation I had with someone recently reminded me of that.  It is definitely a commitment when you say “I am going to do it.”  It is a way of stating that this is now your goal and you are actively going to pursue it.

For example, have you ever invited someone to a party or an event you are hosting and they say, “I’ll try to make it”?  Does that person ever attend your event after saying that?  No. Very rarely does try mean do.

It is good to “try” new things.  But it is not a good thing to “try” someone’s patience.  This is all very trying… okay I digress.

All of this reminds me of the character Yoda’s comment in the movie “The Empire Strikes Back”.  He is talking to a young Luke Skywalker who says that he is trying to do something but it is hard.  Yoda responds “Do. Or Do Not.  There is no try.”

Copyrighted – Lucas Films

Where I am going with this is that when you are ambivalent about a certain course of action it is hard to stay positive.  When you commit to a goal and a course of action, make a plan and then execute that plan – it is easier to stay positive. This doesn’t mean that the path is easy or even clear for you to see where things are going.  But it does give you a light to work towards that is bright and positive.

I am doing what is needed to have a positive life.  I am taking my opportunities to be joyful and active in my own life.  It is a choice to look at life from this point of view.  It’s a positive perspective.  To have this perspective you have to make a shift from Trying to Doing.  Give it a … Try? NO!  DO IT!.

Be Positively Inspired!

 

How to make friends- be one first!

There are many amazing people in my life. Some I have just met recently and others I have known most of my life. Regardless of the length of time we’ve known each other, I find that the quality of our relationships is what keeps me positive.

I love my friends. I try to show them how much they mean to me by keeping in touch and building great experiences together. I definitely have fun with my friends. We laugh! Boy do we laugh! But we have also cried together and have had our share of pity parties. There is nothing like a hug from a friend when I’m down.

I have learned that being a friend is a two-way street. I check on my friends to see how they are doing. I listen. I help them. I invite them to do things. I text. I leave voicemails when I can’t get ahold of them on the phone. We talk things through. I have also learned that in order to have good friends I have to be one first.

I have also learned that being a good friend to myself is important too. If a friendship is toxic or unhealthy for me – I end it. It is the best thing for me and that other person.

Building and keeping positive friendships is what keeps me positive. When you think of your friends- tell them. When you miss your friends – tell them. Tell them how they make you feel, what you appreciate about them, what they mean to you.

To have a friend- be one.

Celebrate every day you get!

On Monday, I will turn 50 years old.  There are so many people who dread celebrating any birthday or dread turning a certain age.  Mostly the reason they feel this way is because they are getting older.  I look forward to my birthday and I usually talk about when it is a month or two in advance.  I feel blest to get another day, month and year with those I love. I get chances to try new things, enjoy new people and experiences and LIVE!  Looking back at my life, there are many reasons why I value that I am going to be 50.  I will share them with you.

I treasure the time I get with my two amazing and loving parents and their relatives. My fantastic brother and his wife are awesome.  And of course my husband and my wonderful friends.

But when I was 19 – I couldn’t see any of that, all I could see was that I was going to flunk out of college and that my goal of perfectionism was falling short.  I did the unthinkable.  I didn’t want to let all of those people down – so I attempted to take my own life – I attempted suicide.  Now I know that it was due to dealing with depression.  Depression is a real and medically treatable illness.  On that day I couldn’t see that there was more to my life than those grades.  Don’t get me wrong, grades are important.  But they are not worth a life.  They weren’t worth mine.

I have come to believe that my life being saved – was a miracle and it was saved for a purpose.  To let others know that nothing is bad enough that you can’t hold on for another 24 hours. PLEASE talk to someone, a friend, a relative, a therapist, a spiritual advisor, a hotline number, just don’t stay alone in your thoughts.  YOU have VALUE.  I HAVE VALUE.

You should know that I was raised to know that I have value – my parents are very loving as were my grandparents.  No one ever told me that I wasn’t.  It was my illness telling me that.  I am so grateful to God that I was not successful.  Because of this experience, I make sure to tell people that they matter to me and that they have value.  But I also tell them that therapy is important, a support system and spiritual life is important.

After having this blog for over a year, I thought I would share part of my journey to being positive.  I have been referred to as “Miss Mary Sunshine” before by people.  Always so positive.  Always so focused on the good.  Looking for a silver lining in everything.  It’s because I have PERSPECTIVE.  I don’t ever want to forget that I am BLEST to have another day on this earth with all the people I love.

Why am I so glad to be turning 50?  Because the alternative sucks.  I love my LIFE.  LIVING it – really LIVING it – takes work, patience, love and a positive attitude.  There are so many people who don’t get to live this long. If my suicide attempt had worked, I would have missed 31 years of AMAZING experiences and people.  I am grateful to still be here and feel that it is my purpose to share that with others.

DON’T MISS OUT on the Miracles!  CELEBRATE every day you get!  Be Inspired.  Positively Inspired.

PS.  Happy Birthday to me!

You are stronger than you think.

Have you ever felt like you couldn’t handle one more thing? I feel like that sometimes. It’s human. It’s important to remember that those feelings are temporary. Take a deep breath and remember that this too shall pass. It can feel exhausting and hopeless when you are overwhelmed. Remember that you are actually stronger than you think.

We all have strengths. Make sure that you celebrate them. Own that you are good at certain things. Sometimes it’s easier for other people to see your strengths. I would bet if you ask your best friend to list five or 10 things that you are great at they would be able to do it quickly.

Try that out with a friend or colleague. You may be surprised that you are known for bringing certain strengths to the table. Thank those friends and colleagues for the feedback. Take a look at that list and realize you are stronger than you think.

Now – make your own list. Where do you excel? A strength is something that you are good at. It feels as natural to you as breathing. Self-confidence and strength are not the same as being conceited or a braggart.

To maintain a positive attitude it is important to acknowledge our own value. Acknowledge that we are unique. Acknowledge your strengths.

Once you’ve got that going – – start sharing with others the strength you see in them.

We are stronger together.

Music – The Soundtrack of Life. 2018 Edition….

My blog has been up and running since March 10, 2017… Alot has happened since then.  I now work at a great company that is aligned with my thinking about so many things… including MUSIC.  In honor of the 1 year anniversary of the blog and acknowledgement of the impact MUSIC has in my daily life – including work… please enjoy my blog from March 22, 2017. ROCK ON!

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Music is used for many things: to create a peaceful environment, to lift spirits, create inspiration, to celebrate special times and more.  Why do you think that is? I think it’s because we connect our favorite music and lyrics to memories and emotions that have made us feel one way or another.

Have you ever been in the car and your favorite song comes on the radio?  Oh yeah!  Time to turn it up and sing along!  And who cares if not all the notes are on key?!  Those few minutes bring a feeling of great happiness, joy and release.  A release of whatever is weighing on your mind.

I enjoy going to concerts and I love a wide variety of music: Rock, Country, Classical, Jazz, Blues, New Age, Religious, Showtunes (aka Musicals), R&B, Folk music.  One of my favorite musicians is Rick Springfield. He’s still rocking, recording and touring since the 1970s.  I have a great time dancing and singing along to his music.  I also enjoy the songs that make me think about how we treat each other in life. His music has often brought me comfort and joy!

Rick Springfield – Cleveland, OH 9.11.2015 (photo by Sharon Berezne)

What is your favorite music?  Your favorite singer and/or musician? Do the music and lyrics make you happy?  Do you have a better attitude after listening to it?  Take time to consider the music is making up the “soundtrack of your life”.

I know that not everyone gets to meet their favorite musician.  I am lucky enough to have been able to meet him.  When I had the chance, I told him that his music got me through some tough times in my life.  After I told him that, we took this picture together.

Rick Springfield and Sharon Berezne 11.12.2016

I don’t know if you can read my t-shirt in the picture.  It says: Take a Chance. Run Wild. Create Beauty. Believe in Love. Travel Far. Stay Young.

And I will add one:  Be Positively Inspired!

The Future is Female – Happy International Women’s Day!

Yesterday, March 8th, was International Women’s Day.  There are billions of women around the world who make a difference.  I am sure by now that you have heard the phrase – “the future is female”.  It’s been around for decades.  So to all my male readers – this is not about putting you down.  It is about lifting women up.  To point out that we matter and we can continue to make a difference at a larger and grander scale in the world.

It’s important to be confident and proud of your accomplishments in life. In my opinion it is even more important to be confident and proud of who you are as a woman.

Sometimes, the first thing a woman is asked is – are you married?  Do you have kids?  Do you work outside the home?  Interesting that I rarely have heard a man asked these questions… But I digress.  Whether a woman is married, has children and where she works should not be the only categories that indicate she has value in the world.  I have many friends who are not married and don’t have children – they bring great value into the world. For more information on resources related to this go to www.thenotmom.com or http://gateway-women.com  .  I don’t have children – I know I bring value into the world.

So here where I am going with my blog this week.  Women matter.  All of them.  Just like the Black Lives Matter Movement – it is not about putting down other groups.  The Black Lives Matter Movement is about recognizing the pain and struggle that African-Americans have dealt with (and still do) – racism, Jim Crowe laws, lynchings and mistreatment.  That is not okay.  It matters that it happened and the movement is putting a spotlight on that.

Women still deal with  sexism, inequality, sexual harassment, condescending behavior from some men in society.  The goal here is to reduce this as much as possible with education of the facts and suggest solutions to make this better.  Being positive and standing up for yourself are not mutually exclusive.  Tell people when their behavior is not okay.  It is positive to let others know that you matter – that you have value.  Don’t think for a minute that people already know you add value – sometimes you need to remind them.

Think about all the things that you do in your life to make a difference.  Take a positive step today. Be inspired. Be Positively Inspired.

 

One Person Can Make a Difference

I was talking with a friend last night about some of the recent tragedies going on in our world. She said it just seems so overwhelming and that she is just one person – how can she change anything? I asked her if she had ever heard the story of the little boy and the starfish. She said no. So I told her. Now I’ll tell you.

The Starfish Story

Original story by: Loren Eisley

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed

a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.

Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?”

The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean.

The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”

“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish?

You can’t make a difference!”

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish,

and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said…”

I made a difference for that one.”

Sometimes life can be so overwhelming- we think our actions with one person don’t make a difference. But they can – for that person. The most positive thing you can do is start! Start with that one person. Don’t give up because you think you can’t impact anyone or everyone – so why try.

Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Theresa of Calcutta, Gandhi and so many ordinary and everyday people started by focusing on helping just one person at a time. Their work spread because more and more people started to help too! One at a time.

I have talked to several people in my life who had been contemplating suicide and self-harm. I talked to them about the value of waiting one more day because life is worth it. I have helped people see that there is great value in finding someone who can help them before they commit to making that life altering decision. I know that those conversations mattered – to me and to that person.

You CAN make a Difference in the lives of others. You don’t have to be the person who saves the whole world! Be the person who helps make their world better, happier, more loving, kind, courteous, forgiving and positive.

Don’t be afraid – to have fun!

Yesterday a group of people I work with went out bowling. None of us are on a bowling league and none of us are joining the PBA (Professional Bowlers Association). But one thing we all did – was have fun!

We cheered for each other. We ate pizza. Talked about our lives. We smiled a lot. And when we got gutter balls we all went – oh well. And then we moved on and kept having fun. There were even a few of us who kept sharing the same bowling ball because it felt like the right one for us.

Life is too short to not have fun. I think it’s worth it to take the risk of looking silly too! No one is perfect. And trying to be that way is stressful for that person and those around you.

If bowling isn’t your thing, pick something else! Play charades, go to karaoke, go to a concert, just go outside and blow bubbles. Whatever you think will make you smile, laugh and let go. It will help you and those around you to feel positive.

Have fun!

Baggage – check it at the door.

Everyone has some kind of baggage that they carry through life. It can be regrets, resentments, grief and things that you have no control over. Carrying this through life makes it harder to move forward. Your baggage can get heavier and heavier if you don’t deal with it.

Whatever it is that you keep holding onto it is keeping you from having a positive and happy life. Look at what is in your baggage. Think about why you’re still holding onto it. Consider if it is helping you or hurting you. And then get rid of it.

There are many ways to do this. The primary way is to make a decision to let it go. This is in your thinking and your actions.

But some people need a symbolic way to let it go. I have seen people write their baggage on a balloon and release it or pop it or let the air out. I have seen others write it on a piece of paper and burn the paper. At a workshop I attended there was a piece of old luggage for each person. They wrote down every single thing they wanted to let go of. They put it into the piece of luggage. And put it outside the door of the room. We then proceeded with the workshop which dealt with the mental side of letting it go. But the final stop was after the workshop. As we walked out of the room we said goodbye to our baggage and kept walking.

Whatever method you use it is time to let go of your baggage. There is so much more for you to do today and in the future. I think it’s time for your baggage to go on it’s own trip – out of your life. Of course that is up to you. But for me it has made me more positive open and honest person. I can do the same for you.

A Rose by any other name…

Think of the best things that have ever happened to you.  Do you have trouble describing them?  Do the words amazing and incredible seem to fall short?  That’s because what we feel can rarely be described in words.  In the play “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare, Juliet says, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”  It’s the feeling of that experience – not the words – that stay with you. 

A Rose…

I started thinking about this earlier in the week.  A friend of mine, who I have known since high school, lost her mother on Monday.  She and her mother are two of the sweetest, funniest, kindest, most loving and positive people I know. But those words do not do justice to the life changing feelings I have because they have been in my life.

By Any other Name…

Her Mom’s name is Rose.  I love her dearly and always will.  That feeling will stay with me forever.  When I have those feelings, as well as the sad ones because she is gone, I don’t ignore them.  I feel them. Because they are important to feel.  One day in the future I will mostly feel the joyful feelings about her being in my life.

I am usually a very upbeat and positive person who encourages others to be positive too.  But I am human — we all are you know!  It’s okay to be sad sometimes.  I have found that I appreciate sunny days more after I have experienced a really snowy and cold winter (I do live in Cleveland, Ohio!)

All of this helps me stay positive.  To my friend and her Mom, Rose – you are now sweetness and light.  You always were – but now you always will be.

Rose – just as sweet by any other name. 

Be like Rose.  Be positive.