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You're basically killing each other to see who's got the better imaginary friend -- Richard Jeni

>> 31 July 2009

I am a fervent reader of Christine Kane's blog.

She started a reader's poll which I thought was really funny: your imaginary childhood friend.

It immediately sent me back to my childhood spent outdoors having all kinds of imaginary adventures and friends.

I had a whole life story plotted out. I not only had imaginary friends, but was an imaginary person myself with an imaginary life

I was Sam (Samantha) and had a twin sister called Amanda. We were from a family of 12 girls and our dad was the pirate Sandokan. Our mother was of course Lady Marianna.

I watched The tiger of Malaysia series all the time and must have had a crush on Kabir Bedi.

Since he could obviously not take care of 12 girls we were all sent to live somewhere else. I was sent to live in my family but would from time to time go back to Malaysia on holidays and have pirate-like adventures.

My plot was often spiced by my interest for books by Enid Blyton and Astrid Lindgren.

I was a strong independant child just like Pippi Longstocking and Ronja the Robber's daughter.

I had a whole plot where I pretended to be at boarding school just like in Malory Towers and St Clare's .

And I had my own detective club just like the Famous Five.

So who was your imaginary childhood friend?


Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing -- Mother Teresa

>> 29 July 2009

Join the smovement. It's all about attitude & action.
Mattering to the world all with a smile.


Time is the one thing we cannot make more of.

>> 23 July 2009

Last year I posted Randy Pausch's last lecture which had blown me away.

This Carnegie Mellon speech of his was a response to that. Having only a few months left to live, he had to make sure that his time was spent in a effective way. So here he talks about Time Management.

Do you have a busy job? Children? Emails to read? Errands to run?
Do you have a messy desk full of paperwork? Do you have To do lists? Are the effective?
Do you have fun? Do you procrastinate?
Randy addresses all these issues in a very enthralling way.

Believe me, there is a lot in it, so take some time and enjoy.


An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one -- Charles Horton Cooley

>> 21 July 2009

While I'm sitting in the sun on a camping in the Provence, I wanted to share with you a new painting I recently finished.

As you may be able to tell, I am fascinated by aboriginal dot paintings.

It takes forever to fill a large canvas with dot, believe me, but the result is stunning.

I am all in the BE-DO-HAVE model Christine Kane is suggesting in her course.
I AM an artist, creative, happy, positive, complaint-free person first. I behave like one. And the rest just follows. And it does.

The reason most resolutions don’t work is that they address only one level of your life. The DO level. It’s the DO-HAVE-BE model. “I will DO this thing.” (i.e., Lose weight) “So I can HAVE this other thing” (Self-Esteem) and I can BE this thing. (Confident.)

The average New Year’s Resolution doesn’t address the core of the issue – the “BE” level.

The best order for creating positive changes in your life is the BE-DO-HAVE model. This means you start from the BE level. When you begin changing on the BE level of your life, then the DO level and the HAVE level follow more easily.

When you start only on the DO level, then all the blocks on the BE level will often become the obstacles you can’t overcome.

Enjoy the sun, seize the day.



Life is the only real counselor; wisdom unfiltered through personal experience does not become a part of the moral tissue -- Edith Wharton

>> 15 July 2009

A moving tribute to the vision of wisdom from some of the greatest minds of the 21st century.


Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one -- Hans Selye

>> 14 July 2009

There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference.
The little difference is attitude.
The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.

-- W. Clement Stone

Since I started the Uplevel Your Life program, I have noticed quite a few changes. Some small, some big.

The biggest change is that life has stopped happening to me and that I am now deliberately creating it myself.

One example happened to me yesterday.

I had prepared a pitch for our management on a project and needed input on a topic from a colleague. After I shortly outlined the project, he immediately began a negative rant. On how this was not feasible and why, that this would never be accepted, etc.

I was so overwhelmed by his negative wave that even now I am unable to list all the evidence he came up with. And his negativism was completely pulling me down with him.

I had no more arguments left.
I was literally speechless.
And completely flabbergasted.

I had no wish to counter his negativity.
I wanted to have a sane discussion, not a fight.
I have been on a high and in a positive mood lately.
I did not want to be pulled down to where he was coming from.

I didn't know what to do.

When his phone rang, I went over to the next office to a colleague of mine who has been working on this pitch with me and plain simply explained the situation above and asked him to help me. Which he gladly did.

And this colleague managed to pull the negative spiral up again into a business discussion about pro and cons. It was no longer a fight.

Afterward he told me 'That guy just needed to let off steam. And you always have to ask him what HE thinks about it.'

He was right. All that negativism was built up from the stress that this colleague is under, from the fact that he is always put in front of a fait accompli and probably feels his opinion is not valued.

We managed to come to a compromise we were all happy with and I thanked my 'rescuer'.

It made me realize a few things:
  • I am no longer willing to be pulled into negative situations
  • I am no longer afraid to ask for help
And these are two lessons I have learned recently which have upped my life quite a bit.

When I was sitting in a meeting today, another colleague with negativity written all over his face was making jokes about how he had to watch his mouth now that 'positive Mimi' was in the room.

It was kind of an indirect reproach... But I took it as a compliment because it means that my change is having an effect on others.

And that made me smile.


How to Make Your Life a Drama-Free Zone - by Christine Kane

>> 10 July 2009

This week I am sharing with you an excellent post by Christine Kane.
You can also check out the website of the Dramastoppers.

One of the hardest things I ever had to admit was that I was a total drama queen. And one of the best things I ever did was to give up my crown and step down from that throne.

That's because drama - with all of its he-said-she-said, self-righteous anger, and done-me-wrong stories - is one big MAJOR distraction. It pulls our attention away from our dreams.

Many of us were taught that if we don't get hooked into drama, then we lack compassion. We're taught that emotion and drama are inseparable.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Emotion is the feeling, or energy, that moves through us. Drama is the thoughts and the hooks that create stories and reel other people into them. It steals our time.

Like the excess clutter that fills our closets and shelves, we can just simply let the drama go.

Becoming drama-free is more about creating space than anything else. Space for better thoughts. Space for clarity. Space for taking conscious action toward our dreams.

So, here's five ways to make your life a drama-free zone so that you, too, can have the perfect, abundant, spacious life you've always wanted.

1 - Bring awareness to your reactions.

Being a Drama-Queen requires one thing: Unconsciousness.

To shift your dramatic tendencies, start by becoming aware of your own reactions.

Though it can be tempting to point at all the drama-queens around you, start within you first. See clearly what hooks you, what compels you to gossip, what makes you judgmental of others.

Most of our unhappiness comes from one thing: our judgment.

So, where do you paint life situations with your self-righteousness or judgment? Where do you collapse because you judge yourself so harshly? Where do you want people to behave differently so that you can be happy or successful?

(And why not go ahead and just be happy and successful anyway?)

2 - Think R.O.I.

R.O.I. is "Return on Investment."

Every time you give your energy and your time to something, you are investing in it. You are, in essence, voting for it.

An entrepreneur thinks in terms of "returns" on investments. When you engage in gossip, whininess, self-righteousness, explaining yourself - you are literally getting no return on your investment. (Except fatigue!)

Your energy is your investment. So is your time. Ask yourself throughout the day, "What am I voting for here? What kind of return will I get on this activity?"

3 - Proactive communication

Melanie, a college professor, was expected to visit her family in Detroit every Christmas.

Melanie told me that she just wanted to take the holiday for self-care and reflection after a grueling semester. She didn't want to travel!

I encouraged proactive communication.

Rather than waiting for her usual sense of frustration to arrive in November, Melanie made calls in August to let her family know that she had other plans for the holidays.
She discovered that she was able to speak more clearly and compassionately because she chose to be proactive. She never once got dramatic!

Proactive communication means that you communicate when the emotional charge of the situation has passed, or has not yet arrived!

4 - Regular Exercise

There's a reason that everyone from doctors to trainers tell us to get our heart-rates up for at least 20-minutes a day. Exercise uplevels our mental health, our emotional health AND our physical health.

In other words, the more you increase your heart-rate, the more you decrease your drama!

5 - When Drama Strikes, Ask Three questions

Here are three powerful questions to ask yourself in the face of drama:

(1) What's my story here?

This is what you tell yourself in your head. "If I don't, then no one will." "I'm unworthy." "No one recognizes the good I do." "These people are idiots!" This is your "story." You probably know it well!

(2) Who would I be without this story?

Imagine that an angel surgeon comes into the room, and surgically removes that story from your head. You can't find it no matter how hard you try. Who would you be without that story? What does it feel like to move forward without it?

(3) How do I WANT to feel?

You always have a choice. But it's easier to MAKE the choice when you know your options!

So, when you remind yourself how you WANT to feel, you offer yourself a more empowered option than the drama. Even if you can't get there right away, make sure you know that this is where you can be if you choose it.

Performer, songwriter, and creativity consultant Christine Kane publishes her 'LiveCreative' weekly ezine with more than 4,000 subscribers. If you want to be the artist of your life and create authentic and lasting success, you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to LiveCreative at http://www.christinekane.com/.

See Christine's blog - Be Creative. Be Conscious. Be Courageous - at ChristineKane.com/blog.


How a child deals with a heavy situation

>> 5 July 2009

My 7 year old niece and I were sitting in church for the very sad occasion of her cousin's funeral.

It was a  sad occasion and things were taking very long.

We were waiting for mass to start and she was obviously bored. One priest was already sitting up near the altar, waiting like us.

Out of the blue, she asks me:'Can the priest have a wife?'

This is catholic church and I explained to her that no, he cannot, that he has made his oath to God and that the catholic church does not allow him to marry.

Two minutes later, she asks me:'Can he have a girlfriend?'

By now I am smiling. I say no again and explain the same rules.

She seems satisfied with that answer. It takes her 5 minutes this time to speak again.

'Can he have a boyfriend then?' she asks.

I almost burst out laughing.
The sad occasion that triggers extreme emotions, often the opposite of the one's one is supposed to feel.
The boldness of this 7 year old girl and the kind of information she is already juggling in her head.

She seemed to feel with this poor priest and probably thought he was very lonely.

And that made me smile.


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