Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day Eleven ...

Yesterday I read something that really summed up the spirit of this blog in a far better way than I ever could have.
"You live in the 'mental' environment you create. When your thoughts and feelings are miserable, you live in a self-created miserable environment. When you make sure your thoughts and feelings are positive and uplifting, or compassionate and charitable, you live in a healthy mental environment.  It's completely up to you."
This is from an e-book by Paul Friedman that I am reading and finding extremely enjoyable and enlightening.

Choosing a healthy mental environment,
Nicola Byrne

The conscious act of thinking about one's thoughts in a different way changes the very brain circuits that do the thinking.
--Sharon Begley

Friday, April 29, 2011

Day Ten ... Friday Once Again

An entire week has passed and it feels like a successful week of lifting emotions and keeping up with choosing better thoughts. I've noticed when I was getting stuck in a mental sinkhole and adjusted the course of my mind chatter. I woke up feeling a bit stuck mentally after a tough night and ...

Today I will choose to focus on the many things going right in my life and the many ways I have to be grateful instead of on the night, which is only a small blip in time ...

I'm grateful for the love and support of my family.
I'm blessed to have so many close, caring and inspiring friends.
I'm grateful for my health and my five senses of vision, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching. What a different world it would be without any one of them.
I'm grateful for my excellent education, I have learned so much from so many amazing people that I am a very lucky lady.
I'm grateful to have a job that I love and enjoy going to every day.
I'm grateful for my husband, he gives the best hugs.
I'm grateful for my car, it takes me everywhere I want to go and is so much fun to drive.
I'm grateful I have my trampoline which lifts my spirits and improves my health while making me feel like a kid at the same time.
I'm grateful to be living in Las Vegas. Here I am so close to nature it makes it easy to find peace and serenity and to believe in things greater than myself and my day to day concerns.
I am grateful for my pets. They cheer me and teach me what unconditional love truly is.
I am grateful for the food I eat and the water I drink. There are those in the world that aren't so fortunate and don't know where their next meal will come from.
I am grateful for the inspiration that created this blog and for those of you kind enough to follow it and read it. It lifts my spirits to write, gives me something positive to strive for and focus on and every day I post it with a peaceful feeling of accomplishment.

With gratitude,
Nicola Byrne

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day Nine ... Choosing Sides

I love to work out in the morning. I have the most energy in the morning and my mental faculties are at their most active. My husband prefers to workout at night because he isn't rushed or pressured by the need to get to work and out the door by a specific time. At night I want to unwind, not ramp myself up for serious activity. My husband likes to ease into the day slowly. The differences remind me of two different people getting into a cold pool. One puts their toe in first and then super slowly follows with the rest of their body until they've pretty much adjusted to the temperature. Me, well I'm the jump in and get it over with person.

Last night was gym night for us. We didn't get there until about 7:45 p.m. and by then I had nearly worked myself up in an emotional tsunami. Silently of course. With this newly developing awareness I am experiencing or cultivating however, I realized that I was choosing to look at this negatively and not positively. In most things you can find a positive and a negative side. The point being you'll find what you are looking for.

I've told my clients time and time again, you can talk yourself into a workout or out of a workout. It helps if you talk yourself into it, of course. And there I was talking myself out of it last night.

In spite of that, I went, powered through my intervals and did a conservative weight training attempt. I didn't try to force myself to do a full intensity workout, instead choosing to acknowledge this will take a little getting used to for me.

My internal dialog needed to be refined also. A very wise friend of mine, Emiliya, who is an amazing Life Coach in NY taught me something I have never forgotten. Sometimes I slip up and I catch it and correct it. During a phone call where I was listing my seemingly never ending list of "Need To's" she calmly and rationally pointed out that saying I need to do something makes it a chore and choosing the phrase "want to" makes it a choice. It empowers me and gives me control over my life and my schedule. It seems so simple, yet it really works.

Replacing I need to go to the gym and workout with I want to go to the gym with my husband and spend time together exercising made a big difference. I won't pretend I was filled with energy but the emotional tsunami was dissipated and I was pleased with myself when I left.

Choosing the positive side,
Nicola Byrne

Optimist: someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it's a cha-cha.
--Robert Brault,

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day Eight ...

I'm finding my mood is all over the place today. This is not a bad thing, because as I notice my emotions are less than perky I adjust where I am mentally and successfully improve on how I feel. This is good progress. I am also looking at what would normally put me in a foul mood as opportunities to really practice shifting my emotions. To be able to sit back and say "well this situation isn't ideal but it sure is a good chance to overcome negativity" is a bit of a change for me. To say the least.

I'm wondering just how much to share here; however in the spirit of staying positive I will omit the minutiae of the specific opportunities and focus on what I turned my mind to.

Oddly enough it is work. Not work to turn my mind rather the work I do and love. I found myself walking around the gym this morning completely happy to be there. To see my clients and my coworkers and even the gym members and construction workers I don't know. Everyone was friendly. Happy.

Emailing back and forth with a new client, coaching her on the details of improving her health also lifted my mood considerably. It is great to be good at what you love doing and I am truly fortunate to make a living from helping others. It in turn helps me and so it becomes a never ending loop.

Surprisingly chipper,
Nicola Byrne

A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.
--Harry Truman

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Windy Day Seven ...

The wind is gusting in Las Vegas today, up to 22 mph gusts. Shining above a vast blue sky the sun is strong, but not as strong as the wind. I can hear it howling and it is very soothing.

Growing up on Long Island I associate this sound with a blizzard or winter storm, yet every time I look outside I see the bright Vegas sun and clear blue skies. It is interesting to see how memory alters my perception of the wind, in spite of what my eyes can see.

Today the wind makes me smile and brings back some great memories from my SUNY Stony Brook University days. In the fall I would go and sit on the dock in the village of Port Jefferson and simply be. I went to think and feel the wind. To look at the stars and enjoy the water. Today's wind takes me back to those days and it is a very nice memory to dust off and enjoy.

Listening to the wind and smiling,
Nicola Byrne

The substance of the winds is too thin for human eyes, their written language is too difficult for human minds, and their spoken language mostly too faint for the ears.
--John Muir

Monday, April 25, 2011

Day Six ...

Today is payday and food shopping day! To say that my paycheck didn't stretch as far as I would have liked is truly an understatement. As I was driving around I caught myself grousing about the things I couldn't get and I noticed my internal dialog was growing into a real whine-fest.

That simply won't do. That's a glass-half-empty mentality, and exactly what I am set on metamorphosing into the glass-half-full mentality.

To me the necessary shift was simple and obvious. Stop working myself up into a negative mood focusing on what I couldn't get this week, because that is only a temporary situation after all and redirect my focus to what I was able to accomplish. All that I was able to do with today's pay. Once I did that my mood changed drastically and for the better. Incidentally, I was able to do a lot more than I had realized while trapped in my negativity.

In addition to lifting my mood I discovered I was self-aware enough to witness the thoughts, know they could be changed and to direct them to a far better place.

I'm grateful for the lesson I learned here.

Choosing better thoughts,
Nicola Byrne

Using the power of decision gives you the capacity to get past any excuse to change any and every part of your life in an instant. 
--Anthony Robbins

Dave Five ... and My First Easter in Las Vegas

Yesterday was my first Easter in Las Vegas. It was a picture perfect day spent with good friends. Lots of laughter and fun and great food too. A day when good thoughts are plentiful and a special memory was created.

I am grateful,
Nicola Byrne

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
-Hilary Cooper

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Day Four and I Woke Up CRANKY

I definitely could feel myself running across negative thoughts today, however I had a strategy to get past them. I put on Wayne Dyer's audio book "101 Ways to Transform Your Life" and listened to it driving to work. The one that stood out the most today is "the wilderness is therapy". Very true.

Embracing that suggestion and setting the intention to improve my mood and frame of mind I went straight to Pueblo Park on the way home from work. During the very leisurely, scenic and enjoyable walk with my friend we talked and took pictures.

It did the trick! It is impossible to not smile at a bird, a chipmunk, the sky, a butterfly sitting on a flower ...




Friday, April 22, 2011

TGIF - Day Three

My morning began with an email from "The Universe" a.k.a. Mike Dooley's which sends me an inspirational email Monday through Friday. They are always great but today's was very appropriate:
There is always something, Nicola, to be happy about. Truly happy.
And if you have the audacity to find it and the courage to make it your focus, in spite of the countless temptations to do otherwise, you will have learned well, your life will be transformed, and all things will be added unto you.
"End" game,   The Universe
Some days everything seems to line up easily and feeling gratitude comes without any need to search or concentrate. Today is definitely one of those. The sun is bright, the sky is clear, the breeze is constant and it is a beautiful day in Las Vegas. I feel blessed to be able to call Las Vegas my home.

I'm grateful to be in Las Vegas. I'm grateful for all of my friends and my family who always support me. I'm grateful for all the natural beauty I'm surrounded by - I never would have expected so much of that to be found in Las Vegas. I'm grateful to be healthy.

I'm grateful for my cup of tea that the timer will announce is ready in about 60 seconds.

Choosing better thoughts,
Nicola Byrne

As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily.  The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world. 
--Terri Guillemets

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day Two ...

There is nothing better than waking up and feeling happy, well rested and looking forward for what the day will bring. It makes thinking good thoughts easy.

And as I look around me I see that the dogs are poster children for contentment and peace:

How cute are they? They provide smiles 24/7. Even in their sleep. Now that's powerful.

I am grateful,
Nicola Byrne

The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.
--Mark Twain

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day One ...

This blog is really for me though I do plan on sharing it with a couple of people to keep me accountable. I've read The Secret. I've watched it. I've listened to Louise Hay's Affirmations CD time and time again. I've tried affirmations but have never stuck with it consistently and for enough time before succumbing to negative thought patterns. In spite of that I truly believe it will work, there is merit and truth behind what we think is what we see and attract into our lives.

It is my intention to think before I speak and choose something better to see and say instead of choosing to complain or "vent". I know it takes 28 days to make or break a habit, I tell that to my personal training clients all the time. I choose to create a better habit to improve my mental well-being. Which just may improve the mental well-being of people that come into contact with me. Wouldn't that be nice?

Hence this blog. I am committing myself to 365 days of choosing better thoughts, no matter what my day may be like. I will choose to find something good to say and to be grateful for. I'd also like to take a picture and post a picture each day, something that is inspiring or symbolic to me in some way. Of something that makes me happy, makes me smile or makes me feel gratitude.

Today's image is from a walk in Pueblo Park, Las Vegas yesterday. This is my favorite park. It is home to a huge group of friendly chipmunks and never fails to make me smile. I am grateful for this gorgeous park and all of its inhabitants. I will also attach a video from a few months ago of the chipmunks, the video is a favorite of mine.

I choose happy thoughts,
Nicola Byrne

Grace isn't a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal.  It's a way to live.  
--Attributed to Jacqueline Winspear