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Gratitude

Want Change? Be The Change.

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I think about our friend Ruth Samuelson of Charlotte, North Carolina daily. Ruth left us in January after an 8 month battle with Ovarian cancer. She was only 56. Ouch.

Ruth was a living example of “being the change” and how it can positively impact ones family, community and politics.  Ruth’s impact on earth is remarkable. #PoliPower.

She was a loving daughter, sister, wife, mom, grandmother, community leader and public servant. She also was a FiA we nicknamed “Poli” for her love of politics.

Ruth was funny, fit and athletic. She loved to work out outside at 5:15am with her daughter Joy (FiA Santiago) and FiAs from our female fitness group, Females in Action. Then, last spring she suddenly got diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer. By May word was out…the cancer had spread. A complete shocker to everyone who knew and loved her.

Though now gone, I feel she will always be with us in the many lessons she taught, and the good, gutsy and crazy things she did we will always remember and laugh about.

A few years ago, Ruth and I were having lunch together while discussing life, careers, family, community and of course, politics. I was at a cross roads trying to figure out where next to best focus my maverick leader type A energy.  Should I stay focused on community fitness efforts or launch a new female start-up to stop the division in our politics?

When I asked Ruth for some guidance on this, she gazed at me for a thoughtful moment.  You know that gaze if you knew Ruth. Then with her pirate eyes and beautiful smile, she said:

From my experience, you can’t make others change. You have to be the change.

I will always remember this decisive moment with Ruth. She was so calm. So matter of fact. She was also right. Force change? She sure loved ruffling us up by being the change.

As Ruth said… if you want to change others...change yourself first. 

In honor of Ruth and igniting that #PoliPower, here are 3 ideas to get cha-cha-changing.

  1. Re-organize your busy life: The days and years fly by really fast friends. Prioritize and pursue what matters most to you. You will avoid living with regret.
  2. Be the calm: We are our brothers and sisters keepers right? I’ve learned life’s greatest obstacles can reveal God’s purpose for you in this area. So start today to turn your pain, anger or sadness into a mission for good. Be the inspiration, humor or kindness you need. Be the calm in someone’s storm. Be the friend in someone’s loneliness. Be the mentor in confusion. Be the light in the darkness.
  3. Pray it up: Ruth prayed a lot everyday and is probably still praying for us in Heaven. Let God worry about your worries. He is vast. We are small.

Thank you Ruth.  We miss you.

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXXO

Begin the day with Gratitude in 2017

A new year. Hello 2017!

The possibilities of each day are within this year for each of us.

Aren’t you excited? I am.

I have decided to let go of the long list of resolutions and keep it simple for 2017.

I am setting 3 goals and committing to them.

Here they are.

#1 Begin each day with gratitudes and a positive lead.

#2. Finish 1st round of my book by Dec. 1.

#3. Focus on achieving my best health ever.

Today I will focus this post on #1: Gratitude.

I am going to start the day with more gratitude and lead with the positive. Having been doing this off and on for years, I have witnessed instant benefits in my attitude, happiness and impact on others.

So how do we turn the ordinary dawn of a new day into the extraordinary?

Use awe as a catalyst. What gives you awe?

Our church minster, Joe Clifford at Myers Park Presbyterian in Charlotte, NC  spoke about this concept in a sermon where he recited a beautiful poem I had never heard before.”I thank you God for this amazing” by EE Cummings.

Here it is along with two verses and one very powerful video that was done over  Christmas. That should help put us in a positive mindset for 2017.

“i thank You God for most this amazing” by E.E. Cummings

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

 

Isaiah 40:28-31 28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak….31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

 

The creative director at Forest Hill Church did this funny video over Christmas.  20 million have already viewed this video. Have you? Click here: Funny video on Gratitude

Want to join me on this road to glory in 2017?

For the next 21 days start your day with gratitude.

First, say this before you get outta bed every single morning.

Psalm 118:24 “This IS the day the Lord has made, Rejoice and be glad in it!”

I bet it will light a tiny spark of mojo to get you going.

Keep a journal by your bed. In the quiet of the early am write down what or who you are thankful for that day.

Then do a “power lead” into the day by keeping your first comments, texts, posts or emails to your family then friends, neighbors or co-workers positive.  Be intentional on this. You may have to bite your tongue! It’s worth it.

Are you in? Let me know how it goes for you.

Cheers to 2017.

Let’s make it AWEsome and spread some cheer.

 

 

 

 

 

How a Friend & Music Got Me Running

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” -Albert Schweitzer

One of my my goals this year is to start thanking the people in my life who lit a spark in me and others.

Today I want to thank my friend Bo, who got me started running.

I was in junior high-school when I first “ran” just to run. In the past the only time I had to run was in soccer.

Just “going for a run” was definitely not on my “to do” list. Never felt the pull.

Yet, I began running because of Bo, my childhood friend and neighbor.

One day as we were chatting after school, he invited me to join him running that weekend. How nice, right?  He must have realized I needed or wanted to lose weight.

That Saturday we met for our first run. It was Bo, his black Sony Walkman, and me.  In his Walkman was a mixed tape of his favorite Led Zeppelin music. We said hello to each-other, then he put the earphones in his ears and off we went.

Uphill. 

Can we stop, I said?

I was out of shape and not a “runner.” I began huffing and puffing. Bo must have sensed my misery! About 5 minutes into our run, he stopped running.

He looked concerned (or maybe just annoyed) then smiled at me.

He took off his earphones and handed them to me along with his Walkman.

“Amy, you gotta listen to music…it will make your run better!”

I took him up on the offer and put the earphones in.

I had heard “Stairway to Heaven” at many school dances (the parents and teachers loved to waltz around slowly to that song), but really never listened to any other Led Zeppelin music.

I figured any music would work to ease the pain of the run! The first song on his playlist was “Black Dog.”

“Hey, hey, mama, said the way you move / Gonna make you sweat, gonna make you groove…”

I started running and it did seem easier.

I survived that day thanks to Bo and Led Zeppelin.

And I am still running today!

Now, every single time I hear a Led Zeppelin song…I feel like I just gotta run!

Crazy.

So, thank you!

You never know what a little kindness can do!

Who knew I would learn to LOVE running?

Who knew I got back to running because of the iPod?

Who knew I would run so many races in so many places?

Who knew I would then go on to teach people how to run and earn money doing it?

And who knew I would own a dog named Finnegan who also loves to run?

The greatest of gratitude to Bo.

Thanks for the spark!

Fin. Amy

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