This year I am heading into my 30th year in business and I must say it has been amazing.  I say this often, I love my business because I have  all of you who I truly care about.  You have not only kept me in business but you are interesting, funny, sad, happy and a constant source of inspiration.  Every year I pick a focus word to help me improve. This last year I chose “acknowledgement” as my project.  Let me acknowledge how I am grateful everyday for you.  Thank you so much…

acknowledgementThis last year has been challenging, not only for me but for many of you.  You have shared some very heartfelt stories.  It has  been tough financial times and it seems like many things have surfaced for all of us to face.. Maybe this is a good time for the 2012 prayer to be “Dear God, my prayer this year is for a fat bank account and a thin body, please don’t mix these up like you did last year! Amen. ” Well, on that note I am going to share mostly good things that came my way ( often via you) .

My first thought goes to a story I heard recently.  One of my customers was with her grand daughter on a cold day waiting with a group of her pre-school chums.  They were cold, so grandma decided to teach them the Hokey Pokey.  “Put your right foot in…..” A circle of tiny girls in pink and very energetic boys  did wild jumps when they “turned themselves about”.  They all screamed with glee and had to have elbows, hands and bare legs touched to prove how warm they now were.  That vision has stayed with me and makes me smile,but not more than my friends grand daughter who on an “adventure” to Starbucks with her classmates stated that she had a hot chocolate and the “allergics” had juice.

As I mentioned, every year I pick a project for self-improvement. For me that meant taking the time to let people know how great they were, customer service, personal issues, just anything I really liked about their behaviour.  The most surprising thing was just how truly moved most of these folks were.  I just told them what a gift they had for “whatever”. To one woman I mentioned how kind she was when  I  observed her help a senior.  I said to her she had an impressive way of handling the situation.  She told me no one had ever said that to her before.  I intend to write about this in detail at some point as I had so many encounters and what it taught me was  how little it takes to make a huge impact.  This really had very little to do with me, I just observed and acknowledged the deed.  It was so obvious how touched most recipients were.  I mistakenly thought this was just us everyday people who tend to get ignored but no… I told a doctor ( I actually said to her ” I need you to listen to me for a moment”) ,that alone got her attention.  I praised her for being a healer, having a  superior bedside manner, that she showed no judgement about the fat issue.  She stopped in her tracks, got very quiet and said no one had ever said anything like that to her and she would never forget it.

This thing I do every year came about because I refused to make New Year’s Resolutions about diets.  I choose words instead and then try to live up to them.  I don’t always do a splendid job but it does help me be mindful.  I recommend it as a project if you choose to do one.  One cannot actually fail at this, just going there will change you.  One year I chose kindness, I am not always kind but I always think about it and am more kind than I was before I took it on.  Stephanie ( my business partner) suggested I should try humility this year..ha!!!

I am open to suggestions for my 2012 word project and I do love all your quotes and items of interest you send to me.  Here are just a few of that came my way, hope you enjoy them.

For 2011 my favorite quote is “Worrying is using your imagination to create something you don’t want” Jerry and Esther Hicks.   My favorite Tweet is from Jenny Ellison who wrote “Eating disorders are up among children in the USA. Congratulation anti-obesity crusades for teaching kids that healthy equals skinny”.  My favorite response when a woman of size was asked  “What are you hungry for?” her answer: Powerful life changing results!!!

As one of my long time customers said, maybe the Hokey Pokey IS what it is all about!

Merry Christmas