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Happy National Coffee Day

29 Sep

coffee day

I remember growing up in a coffee producing country. Yep! I grew up in Costa Rica. I was fascinated with the beautiful coffee plantations with their red berries. I loved the smell of coffee and was fascinated with the way they poured coffee through a sock filled with the dark grounds. The only problem I had as a kid was the taste. Yuck!

Then one day I was introduced to Cafe con Leche (the Spanish version of a latte). The milk was heated and served in a separate pitcher. The coffee was thick like syrup. The key to liking coffee came in filling 3/4 of the cup with the steaming milk and then pouring in a smidgen of coffee.

What’s your coffee drinking story? How do you like your coffee? Are you addicted to coffee?

FYI – there are several places that are serving free coffee today. Check out this link for more information: http://fortune.com/2017/09/29/national-coffee-day-free-coffee-deals/

Karen Sebastian is an author, blogger, corporate trainer and gifted speaker who transparently shares the hope she has found in the darkest times of her life.  She is a seasoned entrepreneur who founded HOPEpreneurs, a consulting firm dedicated to helping women succeed personally and professionally. Karen is known as The Hope Lady because she  takes every opportunity to inspire hope by sharing her rich life experience with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world.

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World Listening Day

18 Jul

worldlistening day

Happy World Listening Day!

Wow! Who knew? I sure didn’t. I have been having fun with crazy holidays like World Listening Day. There was no history on this particular one. The really crazy part is that all the graphics associated with graphics seemed to have someone with a headset on listening to music, podcast or watching a program on their phone or ipad.

I would prefer to make World Listening Day about listening to people without distractions. This is a rare gift. Give it to someone you care about.

Ask questions and then listen up.

Karen Sebastian is an author, blogger, corporate trainer and gifted speaker who transparently shares the hope she has found in the darkest times of her life.  She is a seasoned entrepreneur who founded HOPEpreneurs, a consulting firm dedicated to helping women succeed personally and professionally. Karen is known as The Hope Lady because she  takes every opportunity to inspire hope by sharing her rich life experience with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world.

‘Be a kid again’ Day

9 Jul

Be a kid againI love this thought! Happy ‘Be a kid again’ Day to you! That might mean a lot of things to different people depending on your childhood and how happy you were then. I am going to tap into the best parts of my childhood and challenge you to do the same…

Live in the moment

Kids are able to enjoy the precise moment they are living. It is a unique gift that seems to fade as we start to feel the responsibilities of life and the pressures of supporting ourselves and our families.

Live in the Moment Challenge

Make a list of things that you really enjoy doing and have not done in a long time. It can be simple things such as – Eat an ice cream cone or make something out of play dough. Set your timer for 20 minutes and devote yourself completely to the process. In the world of multi-tasking, it is important to enjoy what you are doing at this precise moment without the encroachments of doing 10 other things.

Recapture awe and wonder at small things

When did you stop looking up at a full moon with a sense of awe at its beauty? The patterns of life can become routine and monotonous. As a kid I would howl every time I saw a full moon. I did that the other night. I know it sounds goofy but it makes those around me laugh and I can join them. When did you last see a beautiful sunrise (or sunset)?

Regain Awe & Wonder Challenge

Start writing down or drawing what brings you awe and wonder. It may be the grip of a newborn’s tiny fist, the chirp of a cardinal or the pink cotton candy clouds of a sunset. Stop for a second and savor that sense of awe.

Express how you feel and let it go

One of the challenges of raising children is seeing how raw their feelings can be when something goes wrong. They will boohoo loudly and carry on. What I admire most about them is how quickly they forget those few seconds and move on to the next laugh.

Let it Go Challenge

Does a sense of injustice or anger at someone have you all tied up in knots? Take a cue from the kiddos and release it. Yep, even if the those who are guilty do not apologize or say they are sorry. If they don’t get it, they may never get it. It’s alright! There’s a reason that song is so popular and the cartoon gets watched over and over again.

Stir up healthy curiosity

Curiosity is refreshing. Children want to know about everything and ask lots of questions. When did you stop asking questions? One reason is that you may assume to know what others are thinking. I great way to lead into a good conversation is to say, “Tell me more about the reasons you ….” Listen carefully and enjoy the expansion of your relationships with others.

Ask More Questions Challenge

Instead of assuming what others are thinking, ask them more questions. Opening your heart to discover what motivates another person can help you better their understand their actions and desires for the future. For the elders in your life, get them started by asking, “How did it feel when…? or What was it like to…?”

Restart the Tickle Box

I loved to laugh when I was a little – so much so that I would beg my brother and sister to tickle me. When they tickled me I would laugh so much that my sides hurt. Then, somewhere in my life I stopped being ticklish. Maybe it was that I felt the weight of the seriousness of life. I am happy to report that I by choosing hope I am able to laugh freely once again.

Laugh Freely Challenge

Every day look for laughter opportunities. They abound if you are looking for them. I may be that you need to laugh at yourself and your own antics. I struggle with the punch line of jokes yet can get a crowd laughing when I tell stories on myself.  My satisfaction with my life grows as I fully enjoy the memory of events that did not start out as being funny yet are transformed into humorous anecdotes as I share them with others.

What else can you do to regain the joy of being childlike? Please share.

Karen Sebastian is an author, blogger, corporate trainer and gifted speaker who transparently shares the hope she has found in the darkest times of her life.  She is a seasoned entrepreneur who founded HOPEpreneurs, a consulting firm dedicated to helping women succeed personally and professionally. Karen is known as The Hope Lady because she  takes every opportunity to inspire hope by sharing her rich life experience with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world.

 

Happy International Joke Day

1 Jul

Happy International Joke Day

One of my fondest childhood memories is sitting around the dinner table while my brother told his newest joke. He would start out with a serious tone as if to make sure he remembered every detail. I remember leaning forward ready to learn the joke so I could proceed to share it as well. It never quite worked out that way, however, because at some point my brother would get tickled. He would start to laugh and we would join in. Before long, all of us would be laughing without even knowing why. Laughter is contagious!

As you face the challenges of owning your business or advancing your career – keep the following on your to-do list: “Laugh heartily every day.” No wonder the good book says in Proverbs 17:22 — “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.”

Laughter benefits you in the following ways:

  1. Eases physical pain
  2. Gives you a cardio workout
  3. Opens up avenues of hope and possibilities
  4. Lift the weight of depression
  5. Banishes stress and the effects of cortisol on your system
  6. Lowers your blood pressure
  7. Boosts your immune system
  8. Tones your abs (when it’s a side-holding belly laugh)
  9. Protects you from chronic diseases
  10. Releases creativity

I easily forget the punch line of the jokes others tell, but I will never forget the warmth I experienced in laughing together with my family. My jokes may fall flat yet I can laugh every day. Many times the joke is on me – like the time that I wore two different shoes to work or responded in a silly way. Laughter releases you from the day-to-day grind and elevates your spirit to soar in new and exciting ways.

Make the commitment with me to laugh often, laugh heartily and laugh with a hope-renewing faith that the difficulties you encounter are temporary, the cranky people in your life can transform you and the best is yet to come.

So… have you heard the one about … Oh – I forgot the punch-line. It doesn’t really matter does it?

Karen Sebastian is an author, blogger, corporate trainer and gifted speaker who transparently shares the hope she has found in the darkest times of her life.  She is a seasoned entrepreneur who founded HOPEpreneurs, a consulting firm dedicated to helping women succeed personally and professionally. Karen is known as The Hope Lady because she  takes every opportunity to inspire hope by sharing her rich life experience with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world.

Happy First Day of Summer

21 Jun

FIRST DAY OF SUMMER

It’s summer! For many of us that does not change much what we do and means mainly that it will get hot. Here are some Hope Strategies to assist you in making the most of the daylight hours:

Summer Hope Strategies

  1. Enjoy what others complain about  – okay, I know it’s hot and that weather is a safe topic to commiserate with total strangers. Stop complaining … period. Replace the complaint with gratitude for the season. What do you like best about summer? I love that the kids get to stay up later and we can share fun times.
  2. Exercise every day – swim, walk at sunrise or sunset, buy a DVD so you can exercise indoors. Do not hide behind the excuse of “It’s too hot…” You will feel great and will find renewed stamina and energy. 
  3. Seize every opportunity to create unique memories – Seek out free concerts, new  parks, run in the sprinklers, buy a ‘slip-n’slide’ and use it, or buy a kiddie pool. It may be as simple as eating popsicles in the backyard where it doesn’t matter if they drip on the ground.
  4. Take lots of pictures (and create a photo album) – capture the fun with lots of selfies, pictures and then do something with them. Create a slideshow or a photo book. Make sure you are in a lot of them also.

What other ideas do you have to share? Would love to hear from you!

Karen Sebastian is an author, blogger, corporate trainer and gifted speaker who transparently shares the hope she has found in the darkest times of her life.  She is a seasoned entrepreneur who founded HOPEpreneurs, a consulting firm dedicated to helping women succeed personally and professionally. Karen is known as The Hope Lady because she  takes every opportunity to inspire hope by sharing her rich life experience with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world.

 

 

Reach As High As You Can Today

14 Apr

4-14-Reach as high as you can day

Take the leap!

Go for it!

Jump!

Some times I just need the reminder the get back up and go for it. I don’t know about you but sometimes I just wish I was not an entrepreneur. It’s only for a few thoughts and then I go back to all that I enjoy about I what do and the incredible ride I have had in my life.

To all HOPEpreneurs out there – today is your day to be reminded why you have not given up on your dreams.

Hope Strategies:

  • Pick up that big project that was overwhelming you last week. It’s okay to take a break every once in a while. Remember, you can get it all done — just not at the same time.
  • Rethink what looks impossible. There is a reason that you are attracted to the possibilities. What would you do if you could be certain that there was absolutely no way to fail. Here’s the secret… Treat it all as lessons learned for the next time and GO FOR IT!
  • Take out your ‘Some Day List’ and plan the next one. Jump higher even if it’s just on a trampoline. Or go sky diving – at least in the indoor one. Enjoy the ride.

What are you doing today? What are you encouraging others to do?

Karen Sebastian is an author, blogger, corporate trainer and gifted speaker who transparently shares the hope she has found in the darkest times of her life.  She is a seasoned entrepreneur who founded HOPEpreneurs, a consulting firm dedicated to helping women succeed personally and professionally. Karen is known as The Hope Lady because she  takes every opportunity to inspire hope by sharing her rich life experience with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world.

 

Breathe

3 Feb

breathe

Secret to Success #5

Breathe

It sounds so simple until you can no longer do it. My late husband suffered from Muscular Dystrophy. This muscle weakening disease affected his core so that during his last years with us he could no longer breathe on his own. He became dependent on a ventilator for his very breath. What is so interesting about this issue was that his lungs remained strong. So what happened?

At the beginning of this process we tried a multitude of solutions. None of them worked. The main lesson that I learned from this experience was to stop trying to second-guess what is wrong and get input from an expert. He landed in the hospital and finally went to ICU. It was a great thing because it was there that the experts were able to diagnose exactly what was going on. His diaphragm stopped working and, although everything seemed fine, he could not take a deep breath in or out.

Get the help you need to analyze your business problems today. Surround yourself with those who can see with eagle eyes what you may not see as you are so close to the situation. It may take some drastic measures or it may be something simple.

Even if everything is going well stop for a few minutes to take a deep breath. If you can do that, extend a word of gratitude to your creator for keeping you healthy enough to do that. Slow down the process by breathing through your nose, hold the breath for 10 seconds and exhale slowly through your mouth. Do this every time that you feel stress building up!

This is another secret to your success – BREATHE!

Karen Sebastian is an author, blogger, corporate trainer and gifted speaker who transparently shares the hope she has found in the darkest times of her life.  She is a seasoned entrepreneur who founded HOPEpreneurs, a consulting firm dedicated to helping women succeed personally and professionally. Karen is known as The Hope Lady because she  takes every opportunity to inspire hope by sharing her rich life experience with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. 

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