SOAPBOX® mini-motivation: check yourself, dude

(Featured quote is often credited to Kingman Brewster also.)

Copyright 2000-2012 by Kimberlie Dykeman.

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SOAPBOX of the week: less stuffed, more satisfying

“Happiness is not a goal, it is a by-product.”     ~ Eleanor Roosevelt, social activist and writer

Pull up an eggnog and hear me out. And so begins the once-a-year mad rush. The hunt for the perfect gift. Fighting crowds for last minute preparations. Those of us not hurrying home for Christmas are cramming in last minute get-aways. ‘Tis the season of joy and merriment, now on sale for $69.99, aisle 5. Alas, the holiday spell rears its alter-ego, Hallmark-ed ugly head. From the sounds of it, you’d think we were readying ourselves for the fight of a lifetime, damned and determined to make this celebration more memorable and more star-studded than the last. But this year’s traditionally frantic, albeit festive holiday season is decorated in a different set of lights.

Unfortunately, some of us find ourselves, yet again, up against bosses and bills, deadlines and waiting lines. Ironically, this time of supposed glee surfaces another year’s memories, sweet and bitter alike. Earning its own chapter in our collective personal history books, sometimes we stand in awe of the tough times and negative events that altered the very backdrop of The Big Picture. Many of us even take to re-evaluating, re-booting, and re-uniting in hopes of making the neighborhood, let alone this world, a better place. But to our dismay, the pressures of our bigger-better-faster high-tech society yank our global gaze back to an unyielding state of chronic stress. Weighed down, perhaps, by the loss of family, friends, jobs, and financial security, our ability to regain a natural balance stands compromised, and we wonder what can transform this into a happy holiday again.

Well, if the glass appears half-empty, I can tell you right now, if you pray each year that good ol’ St. Nick will overstuff your stocking with happiness, you might as well ask for a Lego erector set to go along with it. For, I have a hunch that you’ll need a few colorful tools, and perhaps the magic of Rudolph’s shiner, to bring this intangible notion into sight as a sparkly new toy under the tree. With little reservation, I propose that a wish for a state of equilibrium tops our common holiday lists. So perhaps this is opportunity knocking, egging you to take the reigns and pursue your own path toward surviving and thriving. Admittedly, giving to others is paramount on your mind, but if you’re yearning for a healthier state of mind and for the clouds to clear, you’ve got to give to yourself. And time is of the essence. When you re-learn how to take care of and reward yourself, your valuation of self in relationship with everything and everyone around you will profoundly change, and you’ll find your needy glass filled with the spirits of true joy.

You have the power to dictate your experience during the holidays. You must make it a time of relaxing, reflecting, and rejoicing in how far you’ve come each year in all aspects of your life. If you fail to give to yourself, you’ll rob yourself of the opportunity to attain balance and genuine happiness and embrace the coming of a healthy new year.

Copyright 2000-2009 by Kimberlie Dykeman.  This article contains a copyrighted excerpt from Kimberlie Dykeman’s book PURE SOAPBOX …a cleansing jolt of perspective, motivation, and humor.   Pure Soapbox available nationwide online and where books are sold.   AUDIO BOOK COMING JANUARY 2010!  A portion of the proceeds of all book sales is donated to LIVESTRONG.   SUBSCRIBE HERE!

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SOAPBOX of the week: the cost of conflict

“I cannot believe that war is the best solution. No one won the last war, and no one will win the next war.”     – Eleanor Roosevelt

It doesn’t matter the actual battlefield…be it Vietnam, Iraq or your own backyard…everyone experiences casualties, leaving no one celebrating an unscathed victory.  Lives are lost, time wasted and dignity sacrificed.  Communities are shaken and families are broken apart.  And you think, “What can I do?”  You can start by taking action in your own life.  Stop picking arguments, harboring anger and planning revenge!  Truthfully own up to the damage you’ve caused by instigating and fueling senseless conflicts.  And figure out a resolution that might actually help others while serving yourself.  Harmony might not immediately fill every neighborhood, but a peaceful feeling in your heart will certainly be resuscitated.  And that’s a good start.  Now, just think what might happen if more folks did just the same. 

Copyright 2008 by Kimberlie Dykeman