No matter how much we love what we do to as a vocation or to earn a living, we all need to “get away from it all” once in awhile.

The brain needs variety and a break from the normal routine in order to re-charge and re-new.

What does it mean to you to take a break?

Is going away for a weekend enough for you to feel refreshed or do you hold out for those special two weeks off to go to some distant place?

Do you like to visit other cities or go to nature?

To you like to stay close to home or is a change of scenery a must?

Do you like to go to warm climates or does adventurous locales call to your soul?

Everyone is different, and no one form of break is right for everyone. The important thing is, no matter how long or short the break is, that you immerse yourself into something that is far outside of your everyday world.

People often complain about the weather.

Either it’s too hot or too cold, too sunny or too rainy.

Our perspective is so limited that most of us don’t even realize the implications of those complaints.

Just look at rain, it is so vital for our food and the well being of our eco-system, that without enough of it we would all be living in a desert. Many of us are so sheltered from nature that we don’t even realize that usually there is not enough rain for our region, and the precious day or two of rain is vitally needed for the plants and animals.

We also forget that if our area is enjoying wonderful weather, more than likely there is some place else that is probably having much more severe conditions.

Can we learn to enjoy whatever mother nature decides to give us? Can we learn to see the bigger picture of hope our little space on this planet inter-connects with the rest of the world?

In this world of hustle and bustle, how often do we stop to take time to be playful?

How often do we even have the thought of how to make life more fun and joyful?

Have you noticed how we usually assume that work is work, we have to be serious and get things done, and never stop to think about how we could make the whole process easier by being more playful in it?

When was the last you found a way to be playful at work? At home? With your friends?

If you actually took the time to think about it, how hard (or easy) would it be for you to be more playful in your life, right now, today?

Sometimes it really does feel like everything around you is falling apart.

From long-held relationships, to careers, to homes, to communities, we grow used to the familiar and then are shocked when it starts to fade.

That’s when we get ourselves in trouble, when we hold on to those things that we know it is time to let go of, because we fear the change, the unknown and the uncertainty.

Yet that is where the real beauty lies, in letting go of the known and embracing the unknown. That is where our growth and often times our dreams lie. We cannot climb a mountain and see the beautiful summit if we continue to hold on the anchor at the base.

Time is constantly moving, and with it’s current comes change. We may try to resist the change, yet when we embrace the change, we find so many new joys, many more than our imagination could have conceived.

Embrace the mystery of life. Embrace the falling apart. Embrace the new you that emerges.

How often do you find yourself in a heated discussion wondering how did things get so loud?

Is the other person accusing you of something or is it just implied?

Did the other person understand the meaning behind your words or did they just take them at face value?

How is it that we ever come to an agreement at all?

Learning not to take things personally, and to listen with an open heart, is essential for good communications.

When you listen are your listening in order to respond to what the other person is saying, or are you truly listening to their words, their inflection, and their intent?

Is the main stream media really serving us?

Are constant reports of ebola or terrorism really doing us any good?

Are you safer for having listened to the broadcasts or read the same thing in every newspaper?

What is the real effect of all this negativity on our collective psyche?

Our minds constantly feed on whatever information we supply it with, and the more fearful, negative, depressing information we see, read and hear, the more our mind will generate fear-based, depressing thoughts.

The worse we feel, the more we feed on those same sources that only re-enforce the same depressing mood.

How do we break the cycle?

Limit the amount of negative news you take in each day, and look for more and more sources of positive, uplifting news. Balance what you focus on so you won’t become so obsessive with all the tragedy in the world.

Taking a risk is not about gambling.

It is not about faith, blind trust or educated guesses.

Taking a risk is about believing in yourself.

We often feel the risk in making a bold move, of committing ourselves to project that may or may not work out, or to a cause that we truly believe in, is about not knowing what kind of return will come from them.

Actually, it is all about betting on ourselves, and investing in our dreams, hopes, and desires.

Does that mean that we should just assume everything will work out? Of course not. What it means is that we can make a more conscious choice to believe that the Universe will truly support us and that we can succeed when we trust ourselves.

So let’s agree to gamble less, and to bet on ourselves more!

What is the difference between special and unique?

Everyone wants to feel special, better, flattered.

The truth is that we are all unique, and because we are all unique, it actually isn’t all that special to be unique.

But being unique is far better than being special.

We can all be unique together, letting our own brilliance shine along with everyone else’s brilliance.

We don’t have to be special to have something to contribute to life. That’s because we are all unique, and that uniqueness makes life that much richer, more vibrant, more interesting.

So why don’t we give up this quest to be special and just settle for allowing our true uniqueness to shine?

We often measure generosity by what people give away.

Yet there is a very important aspect of generosity that is often overlooked.

How generous are we with ourselves?

Do we give ourselves the time we need to heal when we are sick? Do we give ourselves time in our daily lives to just be with ourselves and not do anything? Do we give ourselves a break, not because we “deserve” it, but just because we feel like it?

Next time we start thinking about generosity, perhaps we can start with “Have I been generous with myself today?”

Taking things to the next level often sounds easy, but usually is more challenging than it appears.

Whether it is in your career, your relationships, your family life or your business, make better connections, becoming closer to the people around you, and risking more leads us to self-doubt and insecurity.

So how do you move forward anyway? How do you calm the demons of your imagination and take those dreadful steps?

The key is always your focus.

What are you focusing on, the challenges or the rewards? The risks or the benefits? The potential mistakes or the potential magnificence?

The more we focus on what life will be like once we get through this trial, the more we can start enjoying the good times now!