Yearly Archives:2019

Being Grateful

If you were asked to describe your day, are your mornings filled with rushing around, dragging kids out of bed, fumbling to find your shoes, dreading the bus ride to the city and complaining about going to a job you do not like? 

For most women, mornings are not filled with an hour of meditation, some time for reading, a quiet breakfast with the family discussing their plans for the day. Yet how we set up our day in the morning will most likely be responsible for how our day progresses.

A Simple Plan: Be Grateful

Although we would love to start our days with peace and quiet, and a cup of coffee while we sit by the fireplace; limited time robs us of the opportunity to do this. But what if there was a way to bring a positive spin into the early morning that would last through the day?  While you brush your teeth, or feed the dog, or ride on the bus, or walk into the office – give thanks.

Give thanks for the house you live in, the family that surrounds you, the people on the bus who smile at you, the change in your purse, the clothes you wear, the job you have. Give thanks for your health, your dog, the food on the table.  Say thanks for your relatives, friends, and co-workers.

Now it may seem improbable to be grateful when the kids are sick, you missed the bus, the boss is angry, and you’re in a rut. And it seems almost impossible to be thankful when there is no money in the bank, the mortgage is overdue and you were passed over for that raise. Worries about family, work, and money steal your days and take away the ability to enjoy life.  Living becomes existing.

Reach Beyond Your Circumstances

But even at these most despairing moments, you need to reach beyond the “liabilities” to find those things to add to the “asset” side of your life’s ledger.

By starting the day in this spirit, you set up your day to be prosperous and satisfying. If you start the day feeling stressed and lacking, you will have a day of stress and lack.  But if you take an inventory in your mind of your life’s assets, you will realize just what a rich woman you really are. You will see that you have much to be grateful for and that you are probably taking for granted the abundance that already exists in your life.  The world around you will give you more if you appreciate what you already have. If you sow seeds of lack, you will reap lack. But if you sow seeds of abundance you will reap more of the same. 

Melody Beattie wrote in The Language of Letting it Go, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.”

Begin each day with gratitude; because if you do this every day for a month, you will simply not be the same person you are today. By giving thanks each day for the abundance you already have in your life, you will set into motion an ancient spiritual law that says, the more you have and are grateful for, the more you will receive.

Know that I am grateful for you, dear reader.

– Mary Grace Musuneggi

Truths A Man is Not a Plan Teaches Every College Grad 

In the book, A Man is Not a Plan, readers learn the many reasons they must be the CEO of their own life. No other person can play that role. For recent college graduates this is a critical lesson. Developing your own plan with an understanding of the twists and turns life can throw at you is critical. While that plan should start today for anyone of any age, young adults can set a plan that will reap great benefits throughout their life by starting now. 

Planning on Others Planning

A Man is Not a Plan can teach anyone the error of delegating one’s own lifeplan to someone else. 

Here’s an excerpt from the book that details a conversation between the author of A Man is Not a Plan and a young woman. It highlights one example of relying on someone else:

If you are thinking that while the Cinderella concept ruled in the past, today’s women are more educated, informed, and independent, consider a conversation I had with a young woman we will call Kathy. The conversa- tion went something like this: 

Mary Grace: “I see you just graduated from college?” 

Kathy: “Yes, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree.” 

Mary Grace: “What kind of career will you pursue?” 

Kathy: “I am really not planning on pursuing a career. I am planning on staying at home and raising children.” 

Mary Grace: “That is a terrific career that a young woman can choose when she has children. Have you given any thought to what you might do until then, or when they go off to school, or grow up and leave home?” 

Kathy: “No, as I am not planning on ever working. I am hop- ing to never need to. I am planning for my husband to provide me the opportunity to always stay at home.” 

Mary Grace: “And if you won’t have to work, what kind of plans do you have for your life? More education? Public service? Charity? Artistic endeavors?” 

Kathy: “No, not really. I am comfortable being part of my husband’s plans since he will be supporting me.” 

Mary Grace: “Well, okay then. But I didn’t know you were married.” 

Kathy: “I’m not.” 

Mary Grace: “Are you engaged, or there is someone special in your life?” 

Kathy: “Not yet. But I am sure there will be.” 

It may sound as though this conversation took place in the 1950s. Unfortunately, I had this talk recently with a 23-year-old college graduate. 

So just at the point where you think we have “come a long way, Baby,” and women are making better life choices, a segment of the female popula- tion still seems to believe that women’s life goals should center around the men in their lives, whether those men exist or not. 

However, it’s not just young women who can fall prey to others being the plan who will provide:

  • The wife who counts on her husband
  • The employee who counts on her boss
  • The entrepreneur who counts on his/her partners
  • The adult child that counts on their parents
  • The citizen who counts on the government 

The truth is: many people, organizations, and institutions are trustworthy and can help us along the way, but only the individual can be the CEO of their own life. To cede control of one’s life to others is not a plan. Get your own plan. 

Start Your Own Plan

Not sure how to get started? Grab a copy of A Man is Not a Plan. It will start you on the way to being the CEO of your own life. 

It’s Only Make Believe…

…Or Fake It til You Make It

In the month of Halloween, it is fun for me to remember that as a little girl I loved dressing up like someone I was not.  The norms for girls like me back then were to dress as a Princess, a Ballerina, a Nurse or Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.

I had friends who dressed as brides or nuns, but I never saw myself that way. But it was quite clear we all saw ourselves as the typical stereotypes of women of that era.

Kids dressed in various halloween costumes

A Mom and a Role Model

Surprisingly, having a mom who was raising two children alone after the death of our father; a mom who became a nurse, but then became an administrator, a director at a nursing home, who started a business of her own and who was really a pioneering spirit in her day, I had a great role model for why it was not likely that I would become a Princess, a Ballerina, or live in a fairy tale world of Oz.

But like many women in my time, I did become a school teacher. Even if I never pretended to be a teacher, it was an acceptable career for a woman. 

The one thing I never, never did was dress up as a Financial Consultant.  I never saw myself in that role, I never pretended to be that person.  So, when the time came to move from teaching to consulting, I had to “dress up” to fit into the role.  I had a mentor who would remind me of the old adage of “dress for the career you want, not the job you have.”  It was sort of a “fake it until you make it.”  In those days, women trying to make it in a “man’s world” dressed like men.  I had a blue blazer and a red tie.

Dress on Purpose

And did you know that when Native American’s dressed in animal skins to go out to hunt, it was not to blend in with the animals? The animals were smart enough to know the difference between who they were and who a human was. I was told by a Native American that hunters dressed to attract what they wanted.  They wanted to attract animals for food, clothing, shelter.  So, they dressed for their success.

Graphic of women dressing for different professionsIf you see yourself as someone other than the current you; or you are unhappy with your current career or life’s work and want to be someone else; maybe this is the perfect month to pretend to be who you want to be.  Dress for the life you want.  Dress like the you that you want to be.  Afterall it may seem like it is only make-believe, but it could just be that you have to fake it until you make it.
 
– Mary Grace Musuneggi

Happy Halloween