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The Big Picture

sun will rise and set

sun

Something hit me while I was in the kitchen this morning.  I saw the sun coming up through the trees.  I’ve seen this similar occurrence over these past 24 years living in our home.  But, this time it was different.  A little voice inside my head said, “The sun will continue to rise and set”.

That really put things in perspective for me.

The sun will rise and set with us or without us.  It does not matter.

Without causing anyone to feel disturbed or upset with me for my continued thought process surrounding this reality check, I’m going to share it here.  It’s your choice to read it or not, and to agree or disagree.

We are each just a small piece of the puzzle.  But, it hit me today how so many people, individually, thinks they are what the world revolves around.  How they think their problems are more important than other people’s problems, or the most important thing to the extent that nothing and no one else matters.

We also have seen such actions in Paris with this latest, unconscionable slaughter.  We know this is not the first such horrible circumstance, but something that has happened since the beginning of time.  Some person, somewhere, believes their way of life is the right way and tries to impose it on others.  We’ve seen this again and again throughout time with one people conquering, segregating, or persecuting another because they are not the same.  And, as we have seen, it gets sadly extreme.  Look at the holocaust.  Look at religious persecution.  Look at any and all types of discrimination.

I wrote in my book, If I Knew Then What I Know Now that history will continue to repeat itself if we let it.  Every day I can find situations – whether large or small – that we make this statement true.

At some point we have to realize we are all connected and that whatever our actions are cause a ripple effect.  We’ve seen this from the smallest gesture of just giving a person a smile – it can change their whole outlook, the course of their day and, perhaps, even save their life.

We are here on this earth for a very short time.  It is truly up to us, individually and collectively, to make the experience a pleasurable one for everyone, or one of despair.  I believe there is a solution for every problem if we can just take a moment to step back and really look at a situation and the options available to us to make a change.

Imagine what would happen if people chose love and happiness.

After all, I believe it is time to enjoy life.  It is Time to Play.

Love,

Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified professional life coach, the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life and author of If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.  The concept behind time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE. Please see www.timetoplay.com for more information.

Photo credit from: sharifahnorhamidah.blogspot.com/2014/03/blog-post_9368.html

 

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The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side

The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side

The Grass is Always Greener on the Other SideThis has been a topic of discussion that some of us at the Time to Play Foundation have been thinking and talking a lot about this over the past week.

This proverb has been around and passed down from generation to generation.  I talk about the wisdom of those who came before us in our book, If I Knew Then What I Know Now.  These idioms and proverbs interest me greatly.

The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side … Think about this for a moment.  Do you or someone you know always think they would be so much happier in a different life situation?

I believe this philosophy is actually dangerous to a certain extent.  Why?  Because each time you run toward something while running away from something, it may surely lead to becoming disappointment.

I actually tried to do this in the year 2004 when I decided that moving our family to Florida would be a solution, would give me peace (after all, life is hard, you know?) and a new way to start over. I was looking for “easier”.  Thankfully my husband is the voice of reason.  Moving, he said, would not solve anything, and that once the “honeymoon period” was over I would find life the same as before we would have moved.  We didn’t go, which did force me to reevaluate my life situation, evaluate potential options, and make changes that were more reasonable.

I believe we could apply this “running away from” theme to anything and everything in our life experience, relationship or job.  But, guess what?  The circumstance surrounding the concept of “it will be better when” does not necessarily provide a solution, and, sometimes potentially, can create more problems.

In many cases, the issue you are running from will follow you, because, perhaps, they start inside you.

The most important thing we can do is find peace and happiness in ourselves.  This is something we’ve been researching and working on, too (see PREinvent YOUR Life® article and survey for more info).  At this point in my life, I do not believe that there is anything tangible in this world that can fill a void inside of us:  not another person, not a new car, not a new home.  If there is unrest and despair in our hearts, we have to evaluate why and what we can do to start to heal.

I found an article that included this quote that I thought most appropriate here:  Buddha once said that the way to happiness is actually quite simple; the secret is to learn to want what you have and not want what you don’t have.  Again, I believe the secret to peace and happiness is in ourselves.

Robert Fulghum wrote, “The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. No, not at all. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you are.”

Nurturing ourselves is where we may have to start.  Take a moment today to stop and look deep inside.

We know what we need.

We sometimes just have to take the time to listen, evaluate our best options, stop reliving the past that keeps us “a prisoner” (chapter two of my book, “We are all tortured souls”), and move forward towards what we need to do so we can enjoy life.

After all, I believe everyone deserves the opportunity to enjoy life.

It is time to play…

Love, Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified professional life coach, the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life and author of If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.  The concept behind time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE. Please see http://www.timetoplay.com/ for more information.

 

Image credit: simpledailychange.com

 

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What is YOUR Impact on Others?

impact jackie robinson

impact jackie robinsonAsk yourself:  When you talk to other people… people you may work with, people in your family — your spouse, your siblings, your kids… do you encourage or discourage?  Do you propel a person to greatness or do you say something that can break their souls?

I’ve been thinking about this ever since Stacy Gertz, an amazing and important part of our Time to Play Foundation’s team, shared a video about a woman, Lisa Nichols, who was discouraged at 19 years old by teachers who told her she was a terrible writer and a terrible speaker https://youtu.be/Kcu92UlIQfs.  If you take a few minutes to listen to Ms. Nichols’ video you will also learn how she was in a situation where she was economically disadvantaged.  She said she found herself in a life situation where she said she was broken in every way.

How did this happen?  Could the words she heard while she was younger have impacted her in a negative way?  I believe they could have been a contributor to many years of her negative life experience.  She had a lot going against her.  She could have given up, but she found power within herself, against all obstacles, to change her life.

This is an observation I have made over these past years working on the Time to Play Foundation, a not for profit organization intended to inspire others and provide resources for a better life.

I believe that, sometimes, we live in too many years in the “what is expected of us” or the “I can’t”. 

After almost 50 years of my life, I have started to understand the power of “can’t” and the power of “not possible” that we seem so inclined to adopt; perhaps starting because of the opinions from others.  I’ve included here another really short and pertinent video (it’s only 1 minute and 16 seconds) that gives incredible examples of “can’t” that people overcame – people including Walt Disney, Lucille Ball, and more:  https://youtu.be/hzBCI13rJmA.

This story of “Can’t” is retold by so many again and again.

The good news is, I have learned it is ever too late for “CAN”.  Henry Ford was 45 years old before beginning to be successful.  Just look at the empire he built and his legacy.

I believe it is never too late for any of us.

I believe the “trick” is to encourage our younger generation via OUR impact vs. the need to unbury the “CAN” later in life after so many years of believing the “CAN’T”… to gain and to give the tips and tools from those who are older and have had the experiences that could save others some time.

To encourage others to PREinvent their life®, not reinvent, as so many do again and again.

In closing, again I ask…. What is YOUR impact on others?

Do you encourage and propel?

If the answer is no, I hope you will take the time to stop a moment and identify why not.

If the answer is yes, perhaps you can give me a call (631-331-2675 or email me doreen@timetoplay.com) so WE can move forward, together.  #PeopleHelpingPeople.

Just imagine the IMPACT, then.

After all, I believe it is time to enjoy life.

It is Time to Play…

Love, Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified professional life coach, the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life and author of If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.  The concept behind time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE. Please see http://www.timetoplay.com/ for more information.

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Not listening Clogged My Chakra

Chakra

ChakraIn my book, If I Knew then What I Know Now, I wrote how there is so much wisdom in the past experiences of others and how people who have come before us left information behind for us to use in our lives.  I have also come to the realization that we don’t necessarily use this wisdom but reinvent… and reinvent… and reinvent “new” ideas.

Please don’t get me wrong.  I’m not trying to say we shouldn’t invent things that are new ideas.  People are forever thinking and dreaming, which is absolutely part of life and what moves society forward (perhaps that’s subjective depending on the subject – maybe we move backwards, sometimes, too).

However, introducing an idea of reflecting on what was learned in the past, and how the information could help us, was the best way I could think of to introduce the topic of this article and the following discussion.

I’ve been “dabbling” in learning about Chakras here and there over some years / months, but never really delved in.  Some people will say, “Oh, that’s hokey stuff”.  My husband is one of them.  BUT, I truly believe there is real validity in this knowledge.

Last night I sat at the kitchen table speaking with my daughter Jackie and her friend.  They are working very hard on reconnecting to “source”.  They are only in their early 20’s; and, with what I know now after many years of reading and learning, am so grateful that they are where they are at this point in their lives.  I only wish I had been more aware so I could have shared what they are learning now with them when they were younger.  At this point in their awareness, they have far surpassed my awareness, to which I am grateful.

So, after that long introduction and explanation, here’s what happened that has caused me, a person who will turn 50 in a few days, to consider this “new” concept that has been around well over 3,000 years.

I believe what I learned this past week was valuable.  For those who think it is “hokey”, that’s o.k.

But, hopefully, my sharing my story and experience will help someone else.

Anyone who knows me knows I am a little stubborn.  I get an idea in my head and, no matter what, I will strive to accomplish it.  But, here’s the bad part.  I don’t listen.  I don’t listen when people say it’s not the right path.  This past week, my not listening fully affected my body, as well.

Looking back over the years in my life, I realize that “not listening” to signs and experiences have adversely affected my health and my body many times.  Remember the Time to Play Philosophy is “happy, healthy, have money and work life balance”.  When we do not feel well, being happy and feeling healthy certainly are disqualified from this equation.  Perhaps, based on the circumstances, we lose the “have money and work life balance”, the other two parts of the time to play philosophy, too.

BUT, if we are listening, we can circumvent a negative life experience.

So, this past week I actually created a physical illness in what I’ve learned was my root Chakra while fighting for something that I was told was not the right move.  I, myself, believed it was and was going to do everything I could to move forward.  And then, this past Thursday night, not only did I not sleep, but became physically ill including an upset digestive system, fatigue and joint pain throughout my whole body.  It was at that point I “woke up”.  Armed with the little knowledge I had about Chakras, I realized there was a root cause to what I was feeling.

So I went to the all-knowing Google and searched for the symptoms of a blocked / clogged Root Chakra.

What I read was what I was physically experiencing.

I have been following Lisa Beachy and her morning wisdom for some months.  I knew she had a meditation for clearing the Root Chakra (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ol5rRFSC1_s – it is only 4 minutes long), which I took the time to complete. I included it here if you think that you may need it, as well.

Before this “aha” moment, I hadn’t really understood.

This whole experience was something I actually needed.  Almost 50 years of life did not give me the education that I did receive in this one stroke of awareness.  Once I listened, and “got it”, my body, physically and emotionally, started to become well.

I don’t intend to give anyone information that they may feel uncomfortable with, but kind of think this information has merit and is worth looking into and considering.

We all know we can make ourselves physically ill and have heard of people having a heart attack due to stress.

This chakra stuff has been around forever, originating in India between 1500 and 500 BC.  In my book I wrote how we make mountains out of molehills, and maybe investigating the Chakra system may be one path to search for what ails us and affects our quality of life.

BUT, please note – this is not an easy fix.  From what little I understand, the Chakra system starts with our mind and our thinking, two areas that may be the hardest to affect.

Something else I finally “got”:  How our emotions are our guide if we are doing something we should or if we are not.  I have been learning this, telling people this and reading about this, but, again, didn’t “get it”.  Hopefully now that I understand a little better what this whole emotional guiding system is, I can use it to better enjoy my life.  The concept makes sense, but reading and saying is much different than doing because you “get it”.

I learned I need to “Just Listen”.

Here is a table of information I found which includes a “Chakra Aches Index”:  http://www.inner-truth.net/healing/chakras/chakras.html

Additionally, please go to www.spritualgirlfitness.com and download Lisa Beachy’s “How to Eat for Your Chakras”.  I believe that the easy to understand information I listened to yesterday, and wisdom she imparts on her audio program, (it’s 38 minutes long) was very valuable to me.

If you are feeling crappy in any way – headaches, exhaustion, joint pain, etc., it may really be worth a few minutes of time to listen and look into.  I believe the whole thing makes sense and is useful to have in our “toolbox” of skills for life.

I know that every day is a learning experience.  I know it gets tiring to hear me say that, but, it’s true.  No matter how you think you’ve “gotten it”, learning is continuous.  I, personally, do not believe that any one of us is an “expert” in life, nor do I believe that any one of us is perfect.

We can just try the best we can.

Hoping my “aha” gives you an “aha”!

After all, I believe it is time to enjoy life.  It is time to play…

Love, Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified professional life coach, the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life and author of If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.  The concept behind time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE. Please see http://www.timetoplay.com/ for more information.

 

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Lessons of Time and Choice

losing track of time

losing track of timeAt this point in my life I truly realize that every day is a learning opportunity.  Sometimes I wish the lessons didn’t take so long to get here.

Yesterday I went to the wake of a dear friend’s mom.  We hadn’t physically seen each other in over 20 years.  I think the last time was at our 10 year high school reunion.  We had been the best of friends all through high school, and, if I remember correctly, junior high, too.  We had participated in countless sleepovers and events – and then she moved away to go to college and we lost touch.  Our only connection for these past years has been the holiday cards sent to each other.

Seeing her yesterday at the wake for those few moments made me truly wonder.  Of course, firstly, I wonder where in the world had the time gone???  How could it have been possible that so many years have passed?  Time does go by so fast, and of course every day is filled with priorities.  But, every day we are lucky to have we are also lucky enough to have a new opportunity.

The swift passing of time is not an unfamiliar realization.  I’ve certainly heard people express this same sentiment before.  It is so easy to lose track of time.  Personally, my days are filled to the brim with things that I “have” to do.  In my personal experience, one day just rolls into the next.  The week is gone, the month is gone, the year is gone… you get the idea.

I woke this morning thinking about this and asking myself how she and I could have lost touch and how we allowed so many years to pass in this manner.

So, there it is… the lessons of time and choice. 

With this being said, I think about the saying, “Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today”.  In my book, If I Knew Then What I Know Now, (www.IfIKnewThenBook.com) I wrote how I marvel how someone, somewhere had said all these amazing quotes and sayings that have been passed down through the years.  They had “been there and done that”, and gave us all these secrets to have a better life.  There is so much wisdom from the past if we pay attention.

“Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today”:  What is something you have wanted to do and/or a person you have wanted to call?

Perhaps today is someday.

I’ve definitely been crossing things off my “bucket list” of things I want to do; but, what about all of those other things that I should do?  We will make time in our busy lives if we really want to make the time.

Truly the days go by so fast.  Don’t let another pass you by without touching someone you “should” call.

If you “should” do it, you probably should actually make it happen.  I know I “should” have.

What do you CHOOSE to do today?  How can you make those things a priority?  And, if your day, like mine, is filled with the what I “have” to do’s, it may be time to reevaluate the “have to” and figure out how to create a schedule that suits life and love and freedom to do those things that we “should” do.

I certainly plan to reevaluate things a little.

After all, it is time to enjoy life.  It is Time to Play!

Love,

Doreen

Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified professional life coach, the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life and author of If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.  The concept behind time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE. Please see http://www.timetoplay.com/ for more information.

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PREinvent YOUR Life® Survey Findings can put the Self-Help Industry Out of Business

preinvent your life

preinvent your lifeThere are many statistics and studies that show the effects of reactive education, counseling and treatment for those who experience a negative life experience, including those who participate in self destructive behaviors and/or who are suffering from depression.  Additionally, in light of the fact that the average life expectancy in the United States is currently 78.8 years, it seems imperative to address quality of life issues early in life in order to facilitate the longest possible quality of life experience.

An article published by the World Health Organization (WHO), “Depression, A Global Public Health Concern”,  confirms the work of the Time to Play Foundation, a not for profit organization that encourages everyone to enjoy life.  In the WHO report, it was noted that over 350 million people in the world suffer from depression, which, at its worst, could lead to suicide.  The article noted that almost 1 million lives are lost to suicide yearly, which equates to approximately 3,000 deaths by suicide per day.

It is our position that treatment, provided reactively after development of the symptoms of depression, is less effective than a proactive approach.

Further, the WHO article did emphasize that that the prevention of depression is an area that deserves attention.

In our society it is common knowledge that those in their mid to late life experience the proverbial “mid-life crisis” to search for their life purpose, quality of life and life enjoyment; but, today, it is evident that many of our youth are plagued with self-destructive behaviors, depression and /or suicidal ideation, translating to a painful and displeasing life experience.  In response to these, the self-help industry has exploded to an over $11 billion a year industry that preys on those experiencing a negative life experience.  For so many there is a need for counseling, encouragement, and education to assist them in recovery of their mental health status.

The Time to Play Foundation’s intention is to encourage people to enjoy life in a proactive manner, and believes in a proactive approach and the concept of PREinvention® vs. REcovery.

It is evident in our society today that the focus is more reactive than proactive and utilizes the practices of REinvention and REcovery vs. the concept of PREvention and PREinvention®.  In 1855 Frederick Douglass said, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men”.  While the background behind this statement was not solely in reference to creating a mentally healthy and stable population, it can be utilized to emphasize this proactive idea of PREinvention® that could be easily implemented into our population today.

Therefore, it may be emphasized that an enjoyable life experience starts with a healthy thought process and healthy self-perception.  In the reactive recovery process we utilize today through our current self-help industry, we hear over and again how people cannot let go of their past and see how self-destructive behaviors are developed in response to lack of life skills and coping skills. This thought process is what feeds our self-help industry, where we try to unravel past damage and unhealthy thoughts that cause the underlying motives behind self-destructive behaviors.

With this more proactive approach it seems to be possible to eliminate so many who spend much of their lives without life enjoyment and that we can facilitate a better life experience for a longer period of time.

The Time to Play Foundation’s team acknowledged the importance to look for a root cause that may provide insight as to why people are not enjoying or not able to enjoy life.  In April, 2015 the Foundation conducted a survey entitled PREinvent YOUR Life® to high school students in grades 9 – 12 at the Comsewogue High School in New York.  There were 727 voluntary, anonymous respondents out of 1131 students present, a statistically significant survey that represented the whole.  The findings were mind-blowing and provided valuable PREventive insight, as well as a “key” concept that may not only eliminate self destructive behaviors, but provide an opportunity for us to implement an easy strategy while raising our children that will provide them a lifetime of success and life enjoyment.

The findings showed that 90.65% of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed that “how to be happy as myself” was the most important “how to” in order to have an enjoyable life experience.

The survey was developed by Doreen Guma, an expert in quality improvement and the Founder of the Time to Play Foundation, who researched many reactive processes and experts in the self-help industry and compiled data for the survey over a 2 ½ year period.  The survey was developed by a team selected by Mrs. Guma to create a streamlined inquiry.

Following the survey, the insight gleaned was validated through discussion with students and young adults.  There was agreement supporting the idea that, if the students had learned preventive, positive coping skills, they may have chosen a different way with dealing with life situations they had encountered thus far in their lives.  It stands to reason that these positive skills, learned early, would have impact on overall life satisfaction throughout an entire lifetime.

The study findings were most telling, and potentially provide a KEY to quality of life.  Considering the implications behind the skill of “how to be happy as myself”, it is may be safe to summarize that, if a person is happy as themselves, and loves themselves, there is potential to eliminate self-destructive behaviors adopted to fill a void and/or hide some type of personal pain; for example, self-harm, suicide, or alcoholism.  Further, it could be deduced that if a person is happy as themselves, they may not adopt these types of hurtful actions.  It may be safe to go a little further to note that, if a person loved themselves, they will protect themselves.

Therefore, if we can encourage and educate our children in a proactive manner how to “be happy as myself”, we have the potential to create a population of persons with self-esteem, self-confidence, self-love, and self-worth.

Based on the findings of the survey, Dr. John Salvarodos, a member of the Time to Play Foundation’s Business Advisory Board with 30 years experience as a school psychologist, educator, mental health therapist and crisis intervention counselor, noted that, “Creating programs that educate new parents and community workers to find common language that supports the development of critical reasoning and decision-making skills benefits all children.”  Further, he summarized that, “Efforts that promote healthy outcomes are fundamental in understanding ways that we can reduce the quantity and effects of adverse childhood experiences.”

In summary, based on the preliminary findings of the PREinvent YOUR Life® survey, it can be suggested that early intervention programs for ALL children, beginning with parents, support the possibility of the prevention of the development of depression, self-destructive behaviors and an adverse life experience.

The Time to Play Foundation is in final stages of development of the proactive PREinvent YOUR Life® programs for expectant parents and early childhood intervention programs and educators, spurring further research on the effectiveness of this approach.

Dr. Salvarodos’ essay overview of the findings from the PREinvent YOUR Life® survey, incorporating his years of direct observance of students entitled Developmentally Making the Right Choices, is available at Developmentally Making the Right Choices.  Dr. Salvarodos is also a founding member of the Gardner Massachusetts Suicide Prevention Task Force created in response to the per-capita rate of suicide in his area.  He is a strong supporter of the PREinvent YOUR Life™ concept.

The PREinvent YOUR Life® survey is available for your review in its entirety at http://timetoplay.com/preinvent-your-life-survey

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified professional life coach, the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life and author of If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.  The concept behind time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE. Please see http://www.timetoplay.com/ for more information.

 

References:

http://www.who.int/mental_health/management/depression/who_paper_depression_wfmh_2012.pdf 

http://www.forbes.com/2009/01/15/self-help-industry-ent-sales-cx_ml_0115selfhelp.html

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Gliding

motorcycle

motorcycle

I’ve written about my experience riding my motorcycle before, but I felt compelled to write about my progress after riding today.

I acknowledge that certain things come easily for some people. I also will say that the skills to skillfully ride my motorcycle have not come easy to me. I’ve got to take a step back so you can understand why and how I took up this hobby at 49 years old…

In 1986 I told my husband (then boyfriend) that I wanted to get a motorcycle. At some point he purchased one, and I sat on the back, as a passenger, since… until last July. One of the members of our firefighter motorcycle club suddenly passed away at 48 years old. With that, I decided “today was someday”, and not only got my motorcycle license, but my very own motorcycle.

Even though I had wanted to ride for almost 30 years, and even though I wanted to be so “good at it”, I admit I was a little fearful. I made lots of excuses to others and to myself to justify my skill set. I pretty much even talked myself into believing that if I had gotten that motorcycle at 20 years old it would have been easier to learn the skills to ride.

Nevertheless, I kept at it even though sometimes it was frustrating. There were a few times I internally quit and didn’t ride for days.

Riding a motorcycle, even though you wouldn’t think it because the people who ride make it look so easy, takes great skill (at least in my opinion).

Last weekend, we went on a long ride with 30 other motorcycles. Over 120 miles later, on the ride back, I went around a turn in a manner that was stiff. So stiffly, that I actually was deciding that, if this was how I was going to ride, I should just go back to being a passenger. In my mind I was recounting the many miles we had traveled. In my mind I was “yelling” at how I could still “not be good at this”. Riding a curve stiffly is not a good way to ride a curve. I couldn’t imagine, at this point, after so many months later, how I could not yet have the skills I knew I needed.

Then, it clicked. I can’t exactly explain it. I started “gliding”.

Gliding is the best way I can explain it. I was no longer stiff going around the curves, but the motorcycle skillfully went around them, smoothly.

How many times have we encountered situations like this, where we decided something was just too hard or “impossible”, and quit… If I had quit, it would have been just before I “got it”.

My reflection today is really just this. Coming to terms with the little voices within that tell us we “can’t”, or that, perhaps, we’re “not good enough” to accomplish something.

You know that if you really want to accomplish something, it is possible. We can be taught, but we have to “get it” on our terms and when it’s time for us to trust.

Don’t believe that you’ll never “get it”. Don’t give up on getting the skills you need. Keep at it.

Want to speak in public? Practice. Want to roller blade? Practice. Want to ride a motorcycle? Practice. Want to play the cello? Practice. Want to do ballroom dancing? Practice. Want to do gymnastics, play a sport…. ________________ (fill in the blank). You get the idea.

Knowing that most of us are not born with the skills to do those things that we admire, or things we think we could never do, I truly believe that those who put in the time and the practice do get there. Maybe it takes some people – like me – longer than others. That’s ok! If you keep at it, you will get there. I promise.

If it is something you truly want to do, take that first step and start. Don’t wait to have regrets that you didn’t give it a try. Just go and start.

I promise that, with some time and some practice, you’ll be gliding, too.

After all, I believe it is time to enjoy life. It is time to play…

Love, Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified professional life coach, the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life and author of If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.  The concept behind time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE. Please see http://www.timetoplay.com/ for more information.

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Get Happy

get happy

get happyI saw this on Facebook the other day. It is a quick visual that really puts things into perspective, and maybe will encourage a positive action to change our lives.

So many times, I believe, we get “stuck” doing the same old thing. Sometimes whatever it is we are doing in our day becomes drudgery, where we are dreading getting up to go to, or to do, whatever it may be. But, yet, out of habit or obligation we just keep doing or going.

My son is a prime example. He had a job he hated. It pretty much sucked the life-blood out of him, but he went. He dreaded going there, hated being there, and felt devalued as a person after he left. It made for an incredibly unhappy existence, as his whole world pretty much revolved around the distress of his job. To add to the despair, the salary he received was meager, and it was difficult for him to pay his bills. He stayed on with this for over a year, feeling like he was trapped and had no other choices.

And complaining.  He did a lot of complaining.

But, no matter what we told him, or how we encouraged him, or with any suggestions we gave to him, HE decided he was trapped and had no other choices.

One day he happened to go to a place that was hiring. Coincidence or not, he was able to change jobs and his whole demeanor shifted to enable him to better enjoy life. He was no longer a “prisoner” in a situation he facilitated, but had experienced a year of his life unhappy, frustrated and stressed out.

Is this something that you find yourself experiencing?

I have learned through working on the Time to Play project that our emotions are a guide. If we feel upset, uptight, frustrated, unhappy (you get the idea) in a situation or while doing or participating in something, that might just be a trigger that you need to change something.

Even though, as you read this, you might be thinking that it sounds easy but that is not possible to change your situation, you might be able to, at least, begin with a small change that can lead up to a larger change towards your better quality of life.

If nothing else, the exercise on the graphic is pretty easy.

Get out that piece of paper. Make a list of things that make you happy. Make a list of things you do every day. Compare the lists. To “adjust accordingly”, make another column with options to begin the process to make the change towards those things. Pick something that is possible for you to begin with to make your change happen.

Just keep in mind that a list is just a list unless you actually cross something off.

Then it is a reality.

Life is short.

Maybe you can take out that piece of paper and make that list today…

After all, it is time to enjoy life. It is Time to Play.

Love, Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified professional life coach, the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life and author of If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.  The concept behind time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE. Please see http://www.timetoplay.com/ for more information.

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Gotta Start Somewhere

Don't Give Up

Don't Give UpA few weeks ago I was feeling sluggish. I sit most of the day at work. My legs felt particularly achy, and the best way I can describe the feeling in my back was “crunchy”. Those of you who are 50-ish can probably relate to that description!

I decided to start a walking group in our community and posted it on Facebook. The first day we met, one of my neighbors said he always wanted to run the Tunnel to Towers 5K. This is an annual fundraiser in memory of Firefighter Stephen Siller who lost his life on September 11. (For more information about Tunnel to Towers: http://tunnel2towers.org/stephens-story)

I told him, “Hey, let’s do it!” At this point in my life, and through my experience with the Time to Play project, I will work to make anyone’s vision a reality if it is in my power to do so.

So… here’s the thing. Running is not easy for me. The last time I “ran” was in 2004 when I successfully completed a 5K in close to 31 minutes (long story on how I got involved in that!).  And, I do use the word “run” very loosely. I know there are diehard runners, and that’s truly not my skill level. That said, we started meeting every other day to train with a program called From Couch to 5K except for when our schedules did not permit. A few other neighbors also join us at the track periodically.

When my running partner left for a week of vacation, I went out by myself to continue the training program. I found it harder to follow the program without the camaraderie, and did not get as far as when we were at the track together… but, that’s o.k.!

I’m taking “baby steps” and I am still going.

The term “baby steps” may pertain to many things we attempt to do in our lives. Think about it. We sometimes have to take “baby steps” in relationships, job searches, diet changes, learning, or achieving a desire.

BUT, I believe that it is better to take a “baby step”, and to keep at it, then to not take any step at all.

Sometimes we may have to go out of our comfort zone when we’re starting something new. I believe it is rare when we do or try something one time and become an “expert”. There are many sayings that we can utilize here to emphasize this point, for example one I heard since I was little: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”.

Starting is never easy. But the key is to start.  Here’s a link to some more quotes that might drive you to keep going.

With that in mind, what is something you’ve always wanted to do? What is something in your life that you plan to do “someday”?

Well, maybe “someday” can be today.

What’s that first “baby step” you can take?

With the Couch to 5K app we downloaded, we don’t have to do much planning in order to complete the 5K in September. The 8 week program does all the planning work for us, and all we need to do to build our endurance incrementally to run the 3.1 miles is to push a button and following the program.

Maybe what you desire to accomplish requires a little more planning or a little more work to get from “point a” to “point b”.

Take out a pen and paper and start a list to achieve.

Again, the key word is “START”.

It’s time to enjoy life. It’s time to play.

Love, Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified professional life coach, the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life and author of If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.  The concept behind time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE. Please see http://www.timetoplay.com/ for more information.

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No Baggage

No Baggage

No BaggageEvery morning I read a bunch of emails from different sources that fill my mind with thought provoking, inspirational and positive ideas.

Today there was an email with a concept I had to share. It gave me a visual “aha” that anyone can use.

This article is going to be much shorter than others I have written, as the message is simple, clear and something we can all understand. It’s a “key” that can be easy to remember any time we might need it, and might just be the spark to shift a person towards a happier life.

The message: “No Baggage”.

What exactly does that mean?

How many people take “baggage” with them on a daily basis, reliving something that happened yesterday, last week, last month, last year… how many people blame someone for something in their lives? Do you?

I believe it’s the “Baggage” that keeps us trapped and unhappy. It’s the “Baggage” that may cause us to find fault, give us doubts, or prevent us from loving ourselves.

We cannot change the past. There’s nothing we can do. BUT, when we keep taking “Baggage” with us, we continue to live the same cycle.

Think about how reliving the past keeps us feeling poorly. We can’t change it. Maybe it’s time to take a second to STOP, realize we’re doing this, and let it go. Maybe we can forgive the person who wronged us or the situation where we felt embarrassed that continues to paralyze us.

When we bring “Baggage” to the workplace, we may create a sense of tension. When we bring “Baggage into a relationship, we create an opportunity of displeasure. How many times have you heard a relationship failed because they “brought their old baggage” with them”?

We realize we and others do these things, but continue to let history repeat itself. Perhaps it’s time to break the cycle. Perhaps it’s time to focus on what’s good happening in our lives right now and stop bringing the “Baggage” forward to today and to tomorrow.

I believe the concept is an easy one.

“It’s not that simple”, perhaps you are thinking… maybe it doesn’t FEEL that simple, but I believe that, sometimes, we make things harder for ourselves and for others.

Keep the vision of the suitcase with you as a reminder if that helps.  And, please reach out to us if there is a way we can help you “unpack”.

After all, it is time to enjoy life. It is Time to Play.

Love, Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified professional life coach, the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life and author of If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.  The concept behind time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE. Please see http://www.timetoplay.com/ for more information.