Posts Tagged ‘gratitude’

Making the Bed with Gratitude

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Click here for my English usage blogs.

The other day a client sat tearfully in my office, in pain over something she prefaced as “silly,” dismissing her feelings and herself preemptively with a wave of her hand. But her sobbing didn’t stop simply because her mind was in judgment of her feelings. “Please explain,” I encouraged softly.

She pulled a tissue out of the box and dabbed her eyes, looking at the carpet as she spoke. “I’ve had a lot of health problems recently. I don’t want to be a complainer but it’s been a push just to get up in the morning and go to work. Yesterday, my husband got up and left the bed unmade.” With that, her voice broke and she sobbed deeply.

“What does that mean?”

“It was Sunday—my day to make the bed.” She looked at me waiting for me to get the connotation. I was starting to get the idea so I just nodded. “It was more important to him that I keep some stupid agreement about making the bed than to help me when I’m sick. The part that hurts is that he didn’t want to help me.”

My heart ached. I thought of so many times where I’ve felt that what I did for someone mattered more than who I am, that without having something to offer, I wasn’t worthy. It’s been a belief I’ve been working on for a long time, but the need to heal that one still presents itself in surprising and painful ways. I took her hand. “You can use this as evidence that your husband doesn’t value you or you can confront him with his behavior and ask him to explain.”

“I’m afraid he’ll just get defensive and say he didn’t do anything wrong.”

“So what’s your worst fear in confronting him?”

She looked me in the eye now, searching for the answer that was already within her. “That it’s true,” she finally whispered, “that he doesn’t value me.”

“But since you already believe that, what is there to fear?”

“I might have to leave him.”

Of course that was her fear: that she wouldn’t have confusion as her excuse to hide behind anymore, that the decision to stay or leave someone who didn’t or couldn’t uphold her worthiness was her responsibility to make. Perhaps most difficult, she would have to face how much she was willing to value herself.

Before she left the session, she admitted to feeling unloved many times before but that this was somehow a last straw. She was resolved to confront her husband and face the consequences.

The woman who walked into my office the next week looked very different. Her shoulders were straighter and she had the confidence that comes with having just met fear with courage. I wondered what I would hear. Had she left him?

“He admitted that he’d been an ass. He said that I was right to be upset. Then he said that he cherished me. I must have looked pretty skeptical,” she said, “because then he asked how he could prove it to me.”

“What did you say?”

She smiled slowly, “I said, ‘I will know that you love me by how you look when you make our bed.’”

“And?”

“The next day I watched him as he made the bed, smoothing out all the wrinkles in the comforter. I could see the gratitude in his hands. He’s made it that way every day since.”

Announcements

Click here to read more about Jane’s popular self-help book, Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life, #15 on Amazon’s bestseller list in the spirituality category.

Dear Jane Podcasts
NEW! Listen to and Download Dear Jane Podcasts
I’ve got 32 podcasts available for listening so enjoy!
________________________________________
Jane’s Coaching and Training
For over 20 years, Jane Straus has coached individuals and groups, facilitated organizational retreats, conducted training programs, and presented keynotes for corporations and nonprofits nationwide.
To get exceptional results from coaching and training, you need someone who knows how to assess blind spots as well as enhance strengths. Jane’s coaching helps individuals and groups maximize their potential and improve their productivity and work relationships. Jane works to ensure that each client receives the wisdom, skills, and support he/she needs to succeed and often co-facilitates with industry-specific leaders who have chosen to mentor the next generation.
Contact Jane directly at Jane@janestraus.com to discuss your coaching or training needs or visit JaneStraus.com for more information and testimonials.
________________________________________
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation 10th Edition
Amazon’s #1 Bestseller in Four Categories!
#1 in Reading
#1 in Lesson Planning
#1 in Vocabulary
#1 in Grammar

An indispensable tool for busy professionals, teachers, students, home-school families, editors, writers, & proofreaders. Click here to see the contents of the book online. Plus 161 Subscription Quizzes that can be done online with instant answers or downloaded and copied to your heart’s content! Only $29.95/year. Discounts available for schools, bookstores, and multiple copies. Click to order

The Words of the Buddha in Action

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

Click here to read my English usage blogs.

The Buddha said, “If you knew what I know about the power of generosity, you would not let a single meal go by without sharing it.”

Last October, I made a promise to the people in New Orleans that I would keep their needs in the forefront. Then Kim Nance, Assistant Principal of James Weldon Johnson Elementary School, called me when she read that I was offering free copies of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation to New Orleans public schools. I asked her what else she needed to help her 400 schoolchildren, their families, and her teachers. She asked tentatively, “Do you really want to know?”

As sad as it was for me to hear her incredulity, my resolve to bring attention to these kids’ plight strengthened as Kim spoke. She told me about her preschoolers who, after having “accidents,” had to sit the rest of the day, embarrassed and smelly, in their soiled clothing. Gratefully, a social worker took money out of her own salary to buy extra clothing for these young children.

Then Kim’s tone changed as she proudly shared that her school’s girls just won their first basketball tournament but had nowhere to display their trophy. When I asked, “What else?” she described having to shout through a bullhorn at assemblies because the school has no microphone or amplifier. And the cafeteria, where assemblies are held (There is no auditorium.), doesn’t have tables or chairs, forcing families who come to watch their children perform in a play, poetry reading, or musical event to stand.

Kim, who lost her own home in Katrina, aches for these children, many of whom are living in overcrowded conditions (15 to an apartment with one bathroom!) or homeless under freeways, often with distant relatives or even strangers. Like war victims, these young children are suffering from post-traumatic stress. Kim says that what will heal them is what heals any of us: to know that they matter and that people care about them enough to help.

Kim has this to tell us:
Reaching out to us softens the jarring, daily experiences that our students and teachers suffer just to work and learn. By donating, you are giving our students the belief that they are valued. Your efforts help me to exhale a little and your contributions are allowing us to do what all teachers and administrators desire to do—teach our students. Thank you!

So if you feel compelled to help donate for needed supplies to Kim’s school, call Robin Fox at SchoolOutfitters.com, 1-866-619-5320. Just tell her how much you want to put on your credit card for supplies for James Weldon Johnson Elementary School. She will keep a list of donors that will go both to me and to the school. In a few weeks, I will publish what I trust will be a long list of donors’ names in this newsletter.

Supplies Requested Supplies Donated Still Needed
500 folding chairs ($11.95 each) 200 chairs 300 chairs
1 trophy case 1 trophy case
7 lg. rectangular tables ($85 each) 7 tables
Chair dollies ($287 ea.) 1 dolly (holds 84 chairs) 6 dollies
PA system PA system

I wrote this poem today as an ode to the children of New Orleans.

Note to Self

Words matter
With their power to soothe or batter
But so do actions
Not done in small fractions
I pray for the courage not to ration
My compassion

What do I want at the end of my story
Except to know I’ve lived out my glory?
Able to look in the mirror and tip my hat
Not having wasted time on tit for tat

The hokey pokey says it true
For me and maybe for you
You put your left foot out, not just your toe
‘Cause that’s what it’s all about
Don’t you know

Announcements

“Coffee Talk”: A Fundraising Event for James Weldon Johnson Elementary School

Tuesday, April 15, 2008, 10:00 AM, Northpoint Cafe, 1250 Bridgeway, Sausalito
Remember Lucy in Charlie Brown? She put up a sign offering “Advice: 5 Cents”
Well, the price for that sage advice has just been lowered by a nickel!
Sip your latte and have an Aha! FREE (Donations for Johnson Elementary School gratefully accepted) with popular Life Coaches and Bestselling Authors Jane Straus (Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life) and Diane Conway (What Would You Do If You Had No Fear? Living Your Dreams While Quakin’ in Your Boots).
Talk with Jane or Diane about whatever concern/issue/decision is foremost in your mind. Be ready to get a new perspective, be inspired, share a laugh, find your courage, or let go of an old, painful thought—before your coffee gets cold! Take this opportunity to declare what you would do if you had no fear. Then be ready for results!

Create Your Abundant Life NOW!
at Club Med in Cancun!
June 21-28, 2008

Enjoy the beautiful beach, delicious food, and luxurious setting while experiencing enriching programs by renowned self-help leaders, including a NEW program that I am offering:

Create Your Abundant Life NOW!

How do you know if you have limiting beliefs around abundance?
Just ask yourself:
Do I believe that abundance is that which already exists?

If you can’t answer that question with a resounding YES!, then don’t waste any more of your life suffering in lack.

Here’s another test of your abundance quotient:

Do you feel that you don’t have enough:

* Time
* Money
* Energy
* Love
* Intimacy
* Fun
* Self-esteem
* Inspiration, or
* Direction

There is a Buddhist saying that no enemy can harm us as much as our own worst thoughts. Three kinds of negative thoughts stop us from manifesting abundance:

* Fear
* Self-judgments
* Limiting beliefs

Any one of them can sabotage us, keep us stuck in a rut, stress us out, cause us confusion, or make us want to give up.

You will experience cutting-edge strategies and intriguing processes so that you will begin immediately to manifest your spirit’s deepest desires.

Price: Get your Friend of Jane discount $1999 (regular price $2600)/$1000 for children under 18, which includes lodging, meals, airport transportation, and all programs. Check out this beautiful, newly renovated Club Med for yourself.
Luminaries Joining Jane as Presenters:

Cameron Johnson: You Call the Shots

Maybe you’ve watched Cameron on the Big Give with Oprah – now meet him in person. Cameron is recognized as one of the most successful young entrepreneurs in the world. Over the last eight years, Cameron has given hundreds of speeches worldwide. Cameron is also the author of the international bestselling book, “You Call the Shots.” Cameron will inspire you with his story and motivate you to the next level of success.

Teresa Rodriguez Williamson: Build Your Personal Mission Statement

Teresa is the creator and founder of TangoDiva.com—a worldwide online social network and travel magazine for women. She is also the author of “FLY SOLO: The 50 Best Places on Earth for a Girl to Travel Alone.” She has appeared on hundreds of TV shows, magazines, and newspaper articles around the world. Teresa will teach you how to create and build a mission statement that can guide you to success.

Chet Holmes: How to Double Your Sales

Super Strategist of the Fortune 500, Chet Holmes had more than 60 of the Fortune 500 as clients, taking his place as America’s top marketing executive, trainer, strategic consultant, and motivation expert. He is the author of the NO.1 bestselling book, “The Ultimate Sales Machine.” Chet will teach you how to double your sales – no matter what your business is.

Stephen Pierce: The Art of More

For many, Stephen Pierce’s name is synonymous with success. Recognized as one of the world’s leading Internet marketers and Business Optimization Strategists, Pierce wears several hats when it comes to his businesses. He will teach you how to expand your business in a competitive world.

Spike Humer: Consciously Creating Your Future

Dedicated to the passionate pursuit of creating joy, excellence, and positive abundance in life, health, relationships, and business throughout the world. He will help you create a clear and compelling vision for your life.

Joe Polish: From “Real World” to “Real Money”

Joe Polish is the founder and President of Piranha Marketing, Inc. Considered to be one of the most effective direct-response marketing experts in the world, Joe made his name teaching other entrepreneurs the marketing techniques and business strategies that came directly from his own “real world” work experiences. Joe Polish is a business strategy consultant and marketing expert who has helped thousands of entrepreneurs become successful. And during your week at Club Med, he will teach you his secrets to success.

Greta Remington: Innovative Thinking for Growth

What is the next “big idea” for your company? How do you know which ideas to pursue? Based on the greatest creative minds in history and the most innovative companies of today, Greta’s proven methodology for identifying market opportunities has generated millions in incremental revenue for her clients from the Fortune 500 to start-ups. Greta will teach you her step by step methodology for improving your innovative thinking and creating actionable ideas to grow your business.

Contact Teresa Williamson at media@podium-pr.com for more information and to register. Put in your Subject Line: Club Med w/Jane Or call Teresa @ 650-759-1005 or Raha @ 925-915-1515

Dear Jane Podcasts

I’ve got 32 podcasts available for listening so enjoy!

Jane’s Coaching and Training

For over 20 years, Jane Straus has coached individuals and groups, facilitated organizational retreats, conducted training programs, and presented keynotes for corporations and nonprofits nationwide.

To get exceptional results from coaching and training, you need someone who knows how to assess blind spots as well as enhance strengths. Jane’s coaching helps individuals and groups maximize their potential and improve their productivity and work relationships. Jane works to ensure that each client receives the wisdom, skills, and support he/she needs to succeed and often co-facilitates with industry-specific leaders who have chosen to mentor the next generation.

Contact Jane directly at Jane@janestraus.com to discuss your coaching or training needs or visit StopEnduring.com for more information and testimonials.

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation 10th Edition Now Available

Amazon’s #1 Bestseller in Three Categories!
#1 in Reading
#1 in Lesson Planning
#1 in Vocabulary

An indispensable tool for busy professionals, teachers, students, home-school families, editors, writers, & proofreaders. If you buy the book through Amazon, please write a customer review. Reviews are immensely helpful at letting other consumers know that The Blue Book is a valuable resource.

What’s New:

* 60 additional pages at the same low price
* More quizzes
* Spelling / Vocabulary / Confusing Words

View entire contents online

* Spelling / Vocabulary / Confusing Words
* Grammar Rules
* Punctuation & Capitalization
* Rules for Writing Numbers
* More than Two Dozen FREE Quizzes in interactive format with answers

Discounts available for schools, bookstores, and multiple copies.

Spotting a UOF

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

(For my English usage blog, click here.)

No, this title isn’t a typo. I am not writing about UFOs. A UOF, unlike a UFO, has had millions of confirmed sightings and can be easily spotted. It is the Uh Oh Factor: the fears, self-judgments, and limiting beliefs that stop us dead in our tracks, generally right before or right after we take a risk.

You know how your mind works: You apply for a job and you pump yourself up for the interview, telling yourself that you are the right person—perhaps the most qualified candidate—and that they’d be fools to pass you up. You remind yourself of how well you have performed in your current position and how undervalued you have been, which is why you deserve that new position.

But then you no sooner submit your résumé and that little voice starts whispering in your ear, “What if I don’t get the job? What if it means I have to travel more? What if I don’t like my new boss? What if I don’t like my new colleagues? What if they don’t like me? What if I have to work longer hours?” And the worst what if of all is the one with the F word, “What if I fail?” (This mindset works similarly with dating.)

All of our what ifs create the Uh Oh Factor: the negative thinking that reminds us of each of our character flaws, every painfully embarrassing moment from our past, every fear that’s woken us up at 2:00 A.M. bathed in sweat. This Uh Oh Factor (UOF), untended to, can instantly overpower our tenuous hold on our still-delicate affirmations.

The volume of our UOF will only go up if we try to ignore it. In short order, we will hear the voices within shouting, “You’re so full of yourself. Who were you to think you could land this job? You’re a fraud, a phony. They’ll see right through you.” Try to push these negative thoughts away and it’s like playing Whack-A-Mole: you have to be on high alert looking for where and how they’re going to pop up again if you’re going to defeat them.

So what can you do when the UOF begins to override your confidence? As Ram Dass, a wonderfully funny Buddhist teacher says, you can practice thinking of your Uh Oh thoughts—those neurotic fears, self-judgments, and limiting beliefs—as little schmos. Then, instead of trying to bar them from entry, which is futile anyway, invite them in for tea.

Imagine this scene: Three little schmos, looking like Snow White’s dwarves, come knocking at your door. Instead of hiding in the coat closet, you welcome them in, escorting them to the dining room table. Without any need for small talk, you say to the one on your right, “I recognize you. You’re the schmo who tells me I’m not good enough.” Then you turn to your left. “And you’re the schmo who catalogues the imperfections of my body.” Now you look across the table at another one who is returning your grin and say, “And you, you’re the schmo who reminds me of all my mistakes.” Then, with an inclusive sweep of your arm, you announce, “Thank you all for having tea with me.” You look at your watch and then continue, “But tea time is over because, after all, I am a busy person.” You see your little schmos to the door, although they are reluctant to go because you’ve been such a good listener. When they ask if they can come back, you let them know that they needn’t worry; certainly you’ll hear them next time they come knocking. You wave to them as they retreat and then close the door with a sigh of relief.

What you do next is remember to feel grateful that you have learned how to say hello and goodbye to your little schmos. Then you restate your affirmations, call on your support system to remind you of your best qualities, demonstrate behaviors that make you feel good about the person you see in the mirror, and take a leap of faith that these practices will not only keep you sane but will provide you with the courage to take the next risk that your spirit urges you towards.

Announcements

Create Your Abundant Life With Jane
at Club Med in Cancun!
June 21-28, 2008
Enjoy the beautiful beach, delicious food, and luxurious setting while experiencing enriching programs by renowned self-help leaders, including a NEW program that I am offering:
Create Your Abundant Life NOW!
How do you know if you have limiting beliefs around abundance?
Just ask yourself:

Do I believe that abundance is that which already exists?
Do I believe that money is love?
If you can’t answer both questions with a resounding YES!, then don’t waste any more of your life suffering in lack.

Here’s another test of your abundance quotient:
Do you feel that you don’t have enough:
• Time
• Money
• Energy
• Love
• Intimacy
• Fun
• Self-esteem
• Inspiration, or
• Direction
There is a Buddhist saying that no enemy can harm us as much as our own worst thoughts. Three kinds of negative thoughts stop us from manifesting abundance:
• Fear
• Self-judgments
• Limiting beliefs

Any one of them can sabotage us, keep us stuck in a rut, stress us out, cause us confusion, or make us want to give up.
You will experience cutting-edge strategies and intriguing processes so that you will begin immediately to manifest your spirit’s deepest desires.
Price: Get your Friend of Jane discount $1999 (regular price $2600)/$1000 for children under 18, which includes lodging, meals, airport transportation, and all programs. Check out this beautiful, newly renovated Club Med for yourself.
Contact Teresa Williamson at teresa@tangodiva.com for more information and to register. Put in your Subject Line: Club Med w/Jane

About Jane Straus
Jane is a trusted life coach, dynamic keynote speaker, and the author of Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life. With humor and grace, Jane offers her clients and seminar participants insights and exercises to ensure that the next chapter of their lives is about thriving as the unique individuals they have always been and the extraordinary ones they are still becoming. She serves clients worldwide and invites you to visit her site, www.stopenduring.com. Here you will find excerpts from her book, more articles, TV and radio interviews, and clips from her presentations.

She is also the author of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation, www.grammarbook.com, an award-winning online resource and workbook with easy-to-understand rules, real-world examples, and fun quizzes. Contact Jane at Jane@JaneStraus.com.

5 Steps to Just Set Yourself Free

Monday, March 12th, 2007
 
icon for podpress  .: Play Now | Play in Popup | Downloads 181

Just set yourself free. This line from a Paul Simon song beckons, doesn’t it? What if we could just set ourselves free? Well, we can if we know what imprisons us to begin with.

So often we tell ourselves that we would feel better if someone else in our lives changed, saw the light, or apologized. And, no doubt, we would feel better…at least until the next person came along and did us wrong. We can’t free ourselves from the prison of our hurt, fear, and resentment by waiting for others to transform. In truth, we owe it to ourselves to stop enduring and get happy now.

1. The first step is to recognize that everything begins with thought. To feel hurt, resentment, or fear, you had thoughts that triggered the feeling. It’s likely that these thoughts aren’t new to you. We tend to recycle painful thoughts because they are based on old beliefs and self-judgments. What self-judgments or beliefs are you recycling that are making you feel bad?

2. The second step is to realize that the person you wish would change is simply triggering your thoughts, not causing them! No one can make us feel bad about ourselves without our unconscious permission.

3. Be grateful–yes, grateful–that this person is such a great mirror. For better or worse, people reflect our beliefs about ourselves. Take advantage of what this person is bringing up for you.

4. Release your self-judgments and limiting beliefs. You can do this every day by practicing acting as if. Act as if you now respect and honor yourself. Act as if you are fully worthy and deserving of kindness and compassion. Act as if you are unconditionally loved by loving yourself unconditionally. Forgive yourself. Treat yourself well. This is how you will train yourself to see your self-judgments for what they are: blinders that keep you from seeing that you are so much more than your worst thoughts. You are enough. You are worthy, regardless of what you have believed and how you have behaved due to a false belief.

5. Remember this: The Jewish sage Hillel said, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor.” Let’s add a corollary today: “What is hateful to you, do not do to yourself.” Just set yourself free.

To learn more about how to stop enduring and start living your extraordinary life, visit Stopenduring.com and read excerpts from Enough Is Enough! by Jane Straus. You can also listen to her teleseminars and watch interviews of Jane sharing her powerful work.

Some Thoughts on Gratitude

Friday, September 29th, 2006
 
icon for podpress  .: Play Now | Play in Popup | Downloads 188

I received two wonderful emails recently. One was from a teacher of underprivileged teens. He is helping his students, who have no books and must rely on the Internet for materials, study for the SAT. He wrote to thank me for offering my grammar and punctuation rules for free on my other web site, www.grammarbook.com. This email was a lovely reminder that our wealth is not just our money or what we do; it is our knowledge, our wisdom, our compassion, and our love. And the greatest joy comes from sharing our wealth, not accumulating it.

The other email was from my friend who rescues me whenever I have trouble with my computer. Yesterday, after fixing a problem, he sent a test email. In it, he wrote, “thank you.” Confused, I emailed him back asking what he was thanking me for since he had helped me. He wrote back that he wasn’t thanking me; he was using the test email as an opportunity to thank himself. What a guru of gratitude he is. When we share our gifts generously, we don’t have to wait for anyone else to notice or acknowledge us. So go ahead and send yourself an email of gratitude. Perhaps this simple act of self-acknowledgment will inspire you to share your gratitude for others. Don’t hold back, not today.

About Jane
Jane Straus is a trusted life coach, dynamic keynote speaker, and the author of Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life. With humor and grace, Jane offers her clients and seminar participants insights and exercises to ensure that the next chapter of their lives is about thriving as the unique individuals they have always been and the extraordinary ones they are still becoming. She serves clients worldwide and invites you to visit her site, StopEnduring.com. Here you will find excerpts from her book, more articles, TV and radio interviews, and clips from her presentations.
She is also the author of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation, Grammarbook.com, an award-winning online resource and workbook with easy-to-understand rules, real-world examples, and fun quizzes.
Contact Jane at Jane@JaneStraus.com.

The Key to Finding Hope

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006
 
icon for podpress  .: Play Now | Play in Popup | Downloads 172

This was a busy day. I’m sure you understand. So when I received two emails each from Amnesty International and the International Rescue Committee imploring me to contact my senators and urge them to support sending UN peacekeeping forces to Darfur, rather than call I felt annoyed, put out, guilted.

And then I thought for a moment. Here are millions of people suffering unspeakable horrors and this is a cause I’ve supported and spoken publicly about and I’m annoyed? What’s really going on here?

I realized that my annoyance was a cover up. What I really felt was helpless and hopeless. For all the spotlighting of this genocide, for all the petitions signed by hundreds of thousands, for all the rallies, the situation in Darfur has gotten worse, not better. What I was really thinking was, “What difference will two more phone calls make, especially to senators who probably already support increasing aid to the Darfur region?”

Then I realized what a luxury it was for me to feel helpless and hopeless while hundreds of thousands of people are being tortured, raped, starved, and murdered. How dare I do nothing because I choose to believe that I can’t do enough?

I’ve spent today forgiving myself for wallowing in hopelessness. The day’s not over and I’m not done yet. I still have more to forgive and two senators to contact. How are you spending your busy day?

About Jane
Jane Straus is a trusted life coach, dynamic keynote speaker, and the author of Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life. With humor and grace, Jane offers her clients and seminar participants insights and exercises to ensure that the next chapter of their lives is about thriving as the unique individuals they have always been and the extraordinary ones they are still becoming. She serves clients worldwide and invites you to visit her site, StopEnduring.com. Here you will find excerpts from her book, more articles, TV and radio interviews, and clips from her presentations.
She is also the author of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation, Grammarbook.com, an award-winning online resource and workbook with easy-to-understand rules, real-world examples, and fun quizzes.
Contact Jane at Jane@JaneStraus.com.