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Five Favorite Things for February!

Just going through the list for February tells the tale! It’s a short month that leaves a long trail! This year, Mardi Gras is back-to-back with Valentine’s Day and that means Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent too! Have you ever noticed at times that you seem to have weeks that drag along and then there are times when everything happens everywhere all at once!?… It was the same when I worked in retail years ago. At the department stores, people would not come in & the time would just seem to stand still. It would be slow, and all of a sudden everyone would just swarm the counters all at one time! It must be some quirk of human behavior that I just don’t ‘get!”…Anyhow…there’s a lot packed in to just one little month!:) Some favorite things for February   Number One: Black History Month This month, I’m making a point to feature some of the lesser-known tales of black women who paved the way for all of us living in the here and now! I have spotlighted them in our “6 Degrees of History” & “A Century of Women” magazines, with heroines like Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King. But not all of these ladies were well-known to the public. Remember the “Hidden Figures’ story of how the black women who were relegated to the back rooms at NASA were instrumental in helping our country make it to the moon!?   Number Two is Super Bowl Sunday Even if you don’t have a team in this fight, it’s always fun to see the roll-out of new commercials and films as we look for places to get-together with friends and just relax! We usually have Cuban Sandwiches at our house (it’s a Tampa ‘thing!”) for the big game, but just to mix it up, we are going to try some Philly Cheese Steaks this time around . Number Three is Mardi Gras Although I haven’t been to the actual New Orleans parade of parties in over two decades, I still like to celebrate that day with beads and maybe a festive dip or appetizer to help keep that party feeling rolling along…   Number Four: Valentine’s Day It’s a special time if you want to go out to dinner with your ‘significant other,’ but even if you are a single person, you can celebrate with friends and have a special dinner on Valentine’s. I have an entire site dedicated to romance on Flipboard: “A Little Romance.” I wasn’t quite sure how it would grow, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the popularity of the romance genre. And knowing my niece has a best-selling book in Fantasy Romance reminds me that the romance section of the book store is always hopping with customers…. And in addition to that, I have been a huge fan not only of Jane Austen, but also Georgette Heyer, for many years. Heyer has some stories that are so funny and full of detail about the Victorian era of England. Plus they are wildly entertaining. That’s why I cannot believe that Hollywood has not been swarming around her plots as they did with Ms Austen’s!   Number Five: Random Acts of Kindness I love this concept, because as we in The Growing Group know, it is always a good idea to remind ourselves that we should be kinder to one another (as well as to ourselves!) This special day is just a great time to reinforce that notion of random kindness. (And we really need to have it sticky-taped to our fridge!)_  

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Monday Mojo for February – Possibilities are endless!

Our Keywords this week are Possibilities….Belief…and Wisdom Possibilities Possibilities and the infinite potential we all have are some of the most exciting features of the human condition. Here we are in Tampa Bay, thinking of the small acorn of human possibility that was unleashed in the past year for our sports teams to each reach the pinnacle of success in their separate leagues. The Hockey team won the Stanley Cup, the baseball team played in the World Series and the football team has just won the Super Bowl! None of that was deemed a possibility, and yet it all came true. For those who believe in themselves, anything is possible in God’s world! Belief When we find that winning spirit, and perhaps another comparison with the football team is important here-anything can happen. But if we don’t believe that we can win, that we are not worthy, and if other people have laughed and scoffed, then we can begin to ‘buy in’ to the notion that we can’t do it. Henry Ford had a saying: “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t-you’re right” It’s a great way to let us know that “the power of positive thinking’ is something that is a tangible source of motivation within us. If we believe that God has gifted us with a spirit that can look at seemingly impossible tasks and then given us the spirit and the impetus to try, then we can move mountains! Wisdom We thought last week in our Mantra about the Serenity Prayer, the famous prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr which implores us to work through God and find strength and courage, but above all, wisdom! The wisdom to know what we can and cannot change is one of the keys to success in life. And at times, we must taste failure in order to know the path to success! If we can seek a new way of looking at things, through a pair of fresh eyes, or by stepping away from an old problem that seems unsolvable, then we can find inspiration and wisdom. Looking at a problem or challenge from a different angle, seeking a different viewpoint, and also looking within us to meet the challenge with belief and conviction, we can find the wisdom to do marvelous things. The possibilities are endless, the belief comes from within, and our wisdom is always that which we seek from a higher power. And with that combination, we know that anything is possible! Mantra This week, I will be energized each day with possibilities that I see for my own life and for ways to help others. I will repeat the mantra: Remember Henry Ford’s advice-I’m right because I KNOW I CAN!” And finally, I will ask for wisdom from a higher power. Looking within me, using prayer and meditation as my guide, I will seek answers and create new goals with a sense of newfound wisdom and confidence that comes from within. With God, all things are possible- Mark 10:27

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Five Favorite Things for January

Here’s the Five Favorite Things for the month of January. As the hilarious Randy Rainbow put so well on Twitter: “Can’t believe tomorrow is only January the 48th!” 😊 Number One: The Flag was Still There! The Idea that the “Flag was still there” keeps running through my mind. Not long ago, I learned of the original story of our National Anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner.”  The flag that Francis Scott Key wrote the poem about had survived a night of conflict and battle at Fort McHenry in Baltimore. So when Francis Scott Key watched from a British ship where he was being held he looked to see the Flag still flying! Frayed and battered, the flag was still there. … So I thought of this key moment in the nation’s history as the lawmakers from both parties still met to vote and certify the Election on the same night that the Capitol riots took place. They wanted us to know: “The Flag is still here!” I thought about the hero-Officer Eugene Goodman and his inspirational bravery fighting against an angry mob; as well as the other brave policemen and women who fought for the Capitol building. And again I return to thoughts of the flag and the inspirational rendition of The Star Spangled Banner that was given by Lady Gaga at the Inaugural Ceremony. All of this reassures us that through it all, there is still a lot of good things about America that we need to celebrate. And the flag is still there! Number Two:  The Heroes in the Fight with Covid-19 Most people think of new beginnings with New Years Resolutions at the beginning of the month. We have seen some new leadership this month, and in this New Year for the ongoing fight against Covid-19. There are so many things to be thankful of in this fight, but our frontline workers and caregivers are the ones we see that are the most resilient in this almost year-long fight with the Coronavirus Pandemic. Number Three: Affirmations-Positive Planning Workshop! This month has been a month of looking for Affirmations. The Positive Planning Workshop was launched on our website, and we have been featuring all sorts of special offers to help kick off the new series. Stay tuned for more as we continue to offer discounts-but the main thing to know is that Monday Mojo features weekly affirmations and motivational exercises each week, delivered straight to your inbox…No obligations to buy anything, just sign up with us and set your Mojo to Now! Number Four: Dogs are always a Favorite Thing! The Dogs are always a favorite with me. And it’s always a good sign to have dogs back in the White House! Every month the website called, The Dodo features many sweet and sometimes inspiring stories of people who rescue dogs. This month, Tampa, Florida, my hometown, was named as one of the best cities in the country to BE a dog! I know my friend and I used to laugh that if we were reincarnated, we would return as one of our dogs! Number Five: Super Bowl for Tampa Bay and Tom Brady! Finally, A Favorite thing is about how all things considered, be careful what you say about Tom Brady. Always a Peyton Manning fan, never a Tom Brady one, I have been forced to root and follow the home team through thick and thin. And now we hear that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be in the Super Bowl against all odds, even in spite of Covid! Tampa has been given a gift of a Super Bowl appearance this year- and we recognize that it is mainly due to the presence of the star quarterback, Mr. Tom Brady of New England Patriots fame. With the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series, The Tampa Bay Lightning WINNING the Stanley Cup in Hockey and now this….What a remarkable year in sports for Tampa Sports Fans. We have been almost overwhelmed by the news of COVID and the hard fought battle to even get our sports teams on the field! So our cup runneth over…. So this month has given us some wonderful gifts that we may have overlooked in the long and winding road to our new tomorrow. But along the way, it’s always good to look back and remember some of the little things that we may overlook, and some of the larger things that go unnoticed as we careen through our hectic work weeks. These are a few of my favorite things….

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