living woman with flowers

Flowers for the Living

This Anne Frank quote came across my awareness the other day and stopped me in my tracks. “Dead people receive more flowers than the living ones because regret is stronger than gratitude.” wow. Here are some themes that came up for me.

Be in the Moment

One of the reasons regret has more power is that we are living more in yesterday than today. Instead of being here now, we spend much of our days living in yesterday. We replay what happened, what we could/should have done differently, and we ruminate on how others wronged us. We are often so consumed by what happened yesterday that we completely miss what is happening right now. We can also miss right now by focusing on the future and then later regretting that we skipped over the present moment. More power, joy, reward, connection, and love exist in the present. The present is really the only reality, because fear of the future and regret of the past are completely diluted with our perception. Being in the moment is where happiness and gratitude reside.

Why is Gratitude So Hard

Hardly a person today could say they haven’t heard the importance of gratitude. Many agree gratitude is very important, and yet, hardly any of us practice it with any consistency. My belief is that gratitude is hard because it makes something other than our ego important. As humans we are constructed to focus on ourselves for survival. Or maybe it is not a result of humanity but a culture that puts the “I” in “team.” Western focus is very much on individual contribution and success. The community is secondary, and yet the community and the larger world are where much gratitude lies. Yes, we can be grateful for the health of our bodies and our current situation, but we can also be grateful for the support of a loved one or the beauty of nature. Whether it is something essential to us individually or something that affects the group as a whole, gratitude is sent outside of ourselves – and unfortunately the ego doesn’t like to lose the spotlight.  

Regret and Punishment

As a society, we focus on punishment, getting your just deserts. We have an ingrained belief of a judgment day; that there will eventually be someone earthly or not-so-earthly person who will punish us for our wrong-doing. If you are like me, you may not wait for someone else to judge you and you may spend a lot of your time punishing yourself for a wrong misdeed. This focus on punishment may be the result of human survival needing to focus on threats. Many of our threats are no longer physically based, by emotionally and psychologically. For survival, our ego focuses on negativity and what we are doing wrong, because this is what may kill off the ego. Unconsciously we feel we are protecting ourselves by focusing on the bad not the good. We feel more comfortable and secure if we keep our attention on the negative; which is counterintuitive but commonplace. We send flowers after the fact in the desire to have our regret forgiven, instead of giving in the moment where it can do the most good for all.

Living versus Dying

The final theme I see in this quote is the call to live. Be present. Be grateful. Be here now. Stop looking for the finish line and the final judgment. Stop focusing on the end. Much of my life I focused on the end result. I was focused on the goals and the regrets. I was doing not living. Overtime I have learned that living meant being. It is connecting with others, asking for and giving help, acknowledging growth and progress in myself and others, and striving for better. None of my accomplishments meant as much to me as putting a smile on someone else’s face. Focusing on business and personal goals takes us out of the moment. Focusing on making the most of each and every moment, brings us into the present where life is richer and more wonderful. We are truly alive.

What does this quote mean to you? How can you use it to reframe today? Share with us here.

from type a to type me: how to stop doing life and start living it

What is Type Me?

Type Me is uncovering and following your own unique definition of success. It is releasing the roles and responsibilities others have for you. It is bravely living by your values and what brings you joy. Type Me is your own unique life separate from any expectations attached to your title, status, or function. Type Me is your own definition of how life should be lived.

from type a to type me: how to stop doing life and start living itType Me is putting yourself first. It is experiencing life, not flying from task to task. Type Me is putting yourself back in the driver’s seat of your life. It is reconnecting with your inherent power and inner knowing.

Becoming Type Me means gaining more of life. You gain the space to find more time, more joy, and more ease with your projects. Type Me reduces stress, allowing for better health mentally and physically. As a Type Me personality, you will gain more joy in your relationships, and in all you do.

Type Me allows you to:

  • Feel you are in control and contributing to the world without having lists and deadlines rule your life.
  • Complete everything needing to be done, but in a way which is much better for your physical health and your enjoyment of life.
  • Enjoy life instead of feeling you are flying through it task by task.
  • Experience and enjoy accomplishments without having to burn yourself out.
  • Be less of a victim of circumstances, and more of a conscious chooser of your experience.
  • Fulfill your obligations, and still have time for yourself.
  • Maintain a sense of self while still being a caretaker.
  • Receive what you desire without guilt or justification.
  • Remain powerful, calm, and energized, even in the face of incredible challenges.

Type Me is a new way to approach life. Instead of trying to control every situation and everyone around you, you can learn to control how you experience what is happening around you. True freedom and joy lies in changing how you approach life, in your own unique manner.

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About Time

The Secret Formula of Life

About TimeI learned from a sweet little movie called About Time a very powerful message about to find happiness in our lives. The story is about a family with the ability to travel back in time. On the son’s 21st birthday, he is told about the power and how to use it. For the first half of the movie, this young man uses his ability to have do-overs. Can you remember your teens and early twenties? Are there words you wish you hadn’t said? Are there sentiments you wish you had? Did you have an awkward moment you wish to erase? Were their opportunities you would have seized? Were there choices you would have changed? Where their conflicts you would have handled differently? Every imaginable situation occurs as the lead character tries to perfect every moment of his life. Then the movie turns from romantic comedy to something deeper. It teaches us two important points about life: the necessity of living with the bad to get the good and the secret formula for happiness, living deliberately.

Living With the Bad for the Good

In the movie, we learn that if the time traveler goes back in time before his child is conceived that the baby will turn out differently. A hard choice has to be made between allowing a beloved child to be born or rescuing a dear family member from injury. If he goes back to fix a bad situation, he loses his good situation, his child. The lesson is that sometimes we have to accept the bad in life to get our ultimate joy. In the long run, sometimes the bad that happens is a wakeup call for a difficult lesson or a turning point which will become our purpose to teach and help others grow. Acceptance of some of the less than enjoyable situations may actually be allowing us to receive the good in our lives.

Living Deliberately

Toward the end of the movie, his father who has lived fully due to his time travel ability shares the secret formula of life. Unlike the first part of the movie, where the ability is used to try to make each encounter perfect, the father recommends living the day like everyone else. Experiencing all of the worries, stress, and issues which “keep us from noticing how sweet the world can be.” Then secret is then going back and reliving the same day, but noticing the joy, love, beauty, and miracle during each moment of that day – without changing it. Eventually the lead character learns that he doesn’t have to relive his day to see the sweetness of life, but that he simply needs to live each and every day deliberately to find the wonder.

Try it today. Instead of focusing on your worries and fears, look around you. What is beautiful? How can you find the humor in the moment? How can you gift another? How can you maximize each and every moment? I can not show you how to time travel, but through acceptance and awareness, you can surround yourself with an amazing life.