Category Archives: Joy in Every Moment

Declaring March 4th a Holiday

March 4th is the only day of the year that is a full sentence. (Get it? March forth.) Therefore, I have declared 3/4 to be a new holiday which I am calling “Click It Day.” To honor this day, choose something you are ready to let go of (an old grudge, an outdated belief, an unhelpful attitude) so this March 4th you can March Forth into a new chapter of your beautiful life.

While you’re deciding what you want to let go of on March 4th, here’s a little story for you to read about how I learned the value of clicking it.

Here’s my story:

Click It

After my relationship of nearly two decades ended, I asked my father how he managed to find happiness again after my mother left him, back when I was a teen. “Click it, kid,” he said.

“Click it?” I asked.

My father came of age in the 1950s and still carries himself like the Naval lieutenant he once was. He’s a man of the “big boys don’t cry era.” So ,it wasn’t surprising when he explained in his typically terse manner, “You just decide to move forward and not look back. You ‘click it’,” he repeated, as if this were an obvious solution.

Bad Advice Turns Good

“Click it” seemed to mean I should stuff my emotions  away and paste a happy smile over my broken heart. So, at first I wrote my father’s advice off. If I needed help balancing my budget or deciding when it was time to buy or sell a house, he was the man to turn to. But I scolded myself for thinking he could help me sort out matters of the heart.

But then, five years later, and after countless therapy sessions and even more hours spent crying on the shoulders of well-meaning friends–not to mention exhausting my ample supply of self-help books, I finally decided it was time to consider my father’s advice.

I had mourned enough. By now feeling had turned into wallowing. My emotions were no longer in motion. In short, I was stuck. Nothing else was helping so why not try to click it?

So on March 4th of that year, I vowed to “march forth” into a new chapter. I enlisted the support of my friends and my therapist. I explained that wanted their support in helping me to let go of the past and look forward to the future.

Marching Forth, Mindfully

Beginning on March 4th of that year, if someone asked about my love life, instead of telling a sorrowful story about my break up, I’d say, “I have a life filled with love from family and friends.” If I found myself longing for my past relationship, I’d think instead about future possibilities, or better yet, I’d bring myself into the present moment with a few mindful breaths.

Once I “clicked it” I focused on what I did have: a loving daughter, a close-knit extended family, a great job, and more. I even began to fall in love with the solitude of living by myself.

Part fake it till you make it, part breaking old habits of seeing the glass half empty, I discovered that click it, when the time is ripe, really could be healing, healthy, and helpful.

Ever since, I’ve declared March 4th to be “Click it Day.” Each year I choose another old grievance or tired story to retire on that day. If there’s something I find myself talking negatively about: My age, my appearance, my career, or the state of some relationship, I click it.IMG_2714

Ready to Click It? Start Here

  • Feeling afraid–click into feeling brave instead. Adventures involve risk — and opportunity.
  • They say you can only think one thought at a time … the choice is usually between a thought based in love or a thought based in fear. Click it: Choose the loving thought instead.
  • Are you complaining about some aspect of your life? Click it: Think about three things you’re grateful for instead. Then resolve to change what you can and learn to accept what you can’t.

Introducing the Click It Theme Song

Just substitute the words “Click It” for “Whip It” … and voila! The Click It Theme song is born:

And now for a word from our sponsor:

Joy Cover

Bring more JOY along with you as you March Forth. My new book helps lead the way!

 

 

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Quote Unquote: The Power of a Post

The Butterfly Effect*–Social Media Style

The following quote was published in 1973, decades before the advent of Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Its importance has multiplied exponentially since then.

“Any word you speak this afternoon will radiate out in all directions, around town before tomorrow, out and around the world before Tuesday, accelerating to the speed of light, modulating as it goes, shaping new and unexpected messages, emerging at the end as an enormously funny Hungarian joke, a fluctuation in the money market, a poem, or simply a long pause in someone’s conversation in Brazil.”

from the essay “Computers” in The Lives of a Cell, by Lewis Thomas

And the moral for today is: 
Post Mindfully

*The Butterfly Effect is the idea that a small change in one part of the world (i.e. the fluttering of a butterfly’s wing) can have a great impact somewhere else entirely.

For more thoughts on 
MINDFUL APPROACHES TO TECHNOLOGY
click here.
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Why I <3 Facebook Birthdays

Today is my birthday. But if you’re one of my 1200+ Facebook friends, you already know that, because Facebook broadcasts the news. And I love it! My 8 Facebook birthdays to date have been among my favorites, in part thanks to Facebook.

But the cynics in the crowd will grumble and complain that the cornucopia of well-wishes that pile up on our profile pages on a Facebook birthday are just one more example of the shallow connections fostered on social media, because really, how could any of us truly know all of those “friends”, or even the dozens who post birthday wishes to our profile pages.

Well, sure. But then there’s this.

  1. It really is fun to log onto Facebook and read dozens of birthday wishes, even if I haven’t actually met every well-wisher in the bunch. (Really, I’d like to.)
  2. Lots of those greetings actually are from people I deeply love and care about. And lots are from people I care about but rarely see, so it’s a treat to hear from them. And lots are from people I’d love to get to know more. So thank you…every one.
  3. And even better–on the 364 days that are NOT my birthday–FB reminds me that at least 3 or 4 of my FB friends are having their birthdays. And I get the opportunity to send some birthday love their way. And that feels good, because I know I’ll help add to their Facebook-Birthday glow.

And it could be even better:

What if in addition to reminding us each day that several of our friends are having birthdays, FB reminded us each day that there are several people among our friends who we should APPRECIATE each day!

Facebook could send out daily  “Thank-A-Friend” suggestions using some random algorithm–just as they now do when they suggest people we might want to add as FB Friends, or FB groups we might like to join.

But why wait? In the meantime, we could just do it ourselves. Decide today to choose three people from your Facebook Friends list and post a message on their page saying why you appreciate them.

If the people lead, maybe Facebook will follow.

Let’s get the Facebook love flowing. Share this post on your timeline, and tag three friends you appreciate, and tell them why.

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To an admiring—B(l)og?

Say your name.

That’s this week’s Theme at “The Daily Post.” I’d tell you mine, but that’s just the problem. I feel like I’ve been saying it a bit too much lately. Here’s why:

Feeling Froggy

These days I’ve been feeling a bit like the frog in Emily Dickinson’s poem, “I’m Nobody! Who are You?” The poet writes:

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

You see, since the publication of my new book Joy in Every Moment I’ve been posting to Facebook and tweeting on Twitter so often, that sometimes it feels like I’ve been at it–well–“in every moment”!

Some authors resist the part of the job that entails self-promotion, but I’m not dragging my feet.

Perhaps it’s just that I’m the daughter of a salesman, so I’m okay with approaching strangers with an outstretched hand and offering my wares. You see, my dad recently retired after 60+ years of selling building supplies to contractors on Long Island. Before that he sold Scripto Pens on summer vacations from college. And here’s what he taught me:

Selling isn’t hard work if you believe in your product.

And in this case, I do.

After all, I’m selling nothing less than Joy! And Joy empowers us to live our days consciously, fully, and without regrets.

So, I’m not holding back! I’m going to keep preaching to that bog…or blog as the case may be.

To quote another of Dickinson’s poems:

‘Tis so much joy! ‘Tis so much joy!
If I should fail, what poverty!
And yet, as poor as I,
Have ventured all upon a throw!
Have gained! Yes! Hesitated so—
This side the Victory!

Spread the Joy

If you believe, as I do, that spreading Joy is important, I hope you’ll help me get the word out about Joy in Every Moment. Here’s what you can do:

  • Read the book! If you haven’t already done so, I hope you will consider reading Joy in Every Moment. You can find it online for $10! Retail it’s $12.95. That’s a bargain!
  • Tell your friends about Joy in Every Moment on social media
  • LIKE” my author page on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter (@tziviag) and invite your friends to do the same
  • Review Joy on GoodReadsor Amazon
  • Bring me to your city or town to talk to your book club, yoga community, professional group, local bookstore, or library.

Thank you for helping to make the world a little bit more JOYful!

P.S. Thanks, Dad!

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This Post is a response to “The Daily Post.” Say Your Name

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You’ve got the power—in your pocket. (Or why you shouldn’t Google away another day)

“The fact is, we now have amazing power (literally) at our fingertips. But how often do we go online and lose ourselves (and our power) in a brain daze?”

I recently picked up my smartphone to call my daughter to ask her for the address of a restaurant we both liked. She replied, with a trace of bemused impatience in her voice, “Mother, it’s always nice to hear from you … but you are holding a computer in your hand. You can find out anything you want. You don’t need to ask me.”

I got the message she intended: I used my smartphone to Google the address of the restaurant in question, and later used my phone’s GPS to direct me there.

But I got a bigger message, too.

I, and likely you, too, have a powerful network of knowledge and information within arm’s reach. Mine’s in the outside zipper pocket of my purse. Yours may be in your pocket, on your kitchen table, or beside your bed.

9911The fact is, we now have amazing power (literally) at our fingertips. But how often do we go online and lose ourselves (and our power) in a brain daze: We log on to answer an email and end up watching cutesy videos of kittens chasing laser beams, mindlessly checking Facebook feeds, or wandering from one marginally interesting blogpost to another. But in the end we come away no wiser and no happier than we were before.

The power to choose

Instead, we can choose to use this amazing technology to learn to live better, to get tips on staying healthy, to explore consciousness, to connect meaningfully with loved ones, or to listen to talks by world leaders, spiritual masters, or motivational speakers.

We can learn how to save a few dollars with Groupon—and we can learn how to save plants and animals that are headed for extinction.

We can use social media to crack wise, and we can use our posts to spread wise and hopeful, helpful, loving, or supportive thoughts. We can complain about politics, or dig deeper and research the complexities of of an issue that disturbs us.

And then, too, we can turn it all off and turn inward for five minutes—or 20—or 40—instead. (We can even download apps to help us meditate or practice other forms of mindfulness.)

The point is, not only do we hold a powerful computer in our hands … we hold a choice in our hands. It’s up to us how we will use this amazing technological gift.

So, before you Google away another day, take a moment to see where you want that smartphone to take you. Set an intention for the time you spend when you’re online. What do you want to learn or experience in that vast web of knowledge?

As for me, I think I’ll try to find a lovely restaurant where I can meet my daughter for lunch so I can thank her for inspiring me to use my power well!

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Joy in the Airport? You must be kidding!

 

Maybe I should have called my book: “Joy in Every Moment: Except for that Moment When You Look at The Departure Status for Your Flight and See the Word…Delayed.”

Joy in (Almost) Every Moment

When I told family and friends that the publisher for my newest book, Joy in Every Moment, was sending me on a book tour, they congratulated me and told me how lucky I am.

But here’s the thing: A book tour means travel, airports, flying, and rental cars. In this case we’re talking 3 cities and 6 flights in 5 days! And I may have written a book about Joy, but I am not a joyful traveller. American AirlinesIn fact, a more honest title for my book would have been: “Joy in Every Moment: Except for that Moment when You Look at The Departure Status for your Flight and See the word…Delayed.”

Forget the present moment. When I travel, I’m calculating time, adding and subtracting minutes, trying to make “Good Time,” and rueing every obstacle that comes between me and an on-time arrival: Traffic, lines of passengers with over-stuffed luggage that won’t fit into overhead compartments, maintenance alerts that keep airplanes grounded on the tarmac, tailwinds…you name it.

But since I was traveling to promote my book about finding joy in every moment, I couldn’t turn into Anxious Nasty Travel Lady muttering at rental car agents who are checking my car in too slowly, or cursing airline agents who deliver the bad news about a missed connecting flight–then admit that I’m on the road to promote a book on finding happiness in the present moment!

So, I texted a friend for advice. She replied: “Read your book!”

Gulp.

Yes, I took my own medicine. Before I left home at 4:30 a.m. to catch my first of six flights in five days I asked myself: “What does mindfulness mean to me today? How will I connect with Joy in airport terminals and on cramped, crowded and/or delayed flights?

Here’s what I came up with:

The Travel To-Do List

I took out my Travel Checklist, and along with to-do items such as “Pack phone charger,” “E-mail hosts,” “Check seat assignments,” I added the imperative to: “Enjoy the Journey.”

Count smiles

Everywhere I went I looked for smiles, and I found them: The whistling airport shuttle driver who brought me from the parking lot to the terminal, the woman cooing to her baby on the check-in line, the baby being coo-ed at, and the man in the business suit laughing as he spoke into his bluetooth as he stepped out of his designer shoes in the security line… each one had a radiant smile. And it’s true. Those grins are contagious.

Only connect

I gave myself a little job for my journey. My self-imposed assignment was to make three meaningful connections with people in the airport. This ended up being the best part of my travels. I made it a point to pause and talk to three people I met along the way. I asked the woman who sold me my souvenir postcards in an airport gift shop where her beautiful accent was from, and she shared a story about growing up in Ethiopia. I asked the TSA agent who checked my license and boarding pass how he was doing, and he told me it had been a tough few days for him. The line was short, so when I asked him why, he told me. Then I got into a conversation with a woman behind me on the security line who turned out to be on her way to a family funeral. The line was long and slow, so I even had time to learn about her work teaching autistic children, and all the little things she does to help them and their parents feel happier. We enjoyed our conversation so much that we barely noticed the line’s glacial movement forward, and by the time we piled our shoes, belts, and 3 ounce bottles of liquids into plastic bins we felt like close friends.

IMG_0528Laughing all the way

The bottom line is this: I have never had such fun traveling–in spite of the fact that on Day 2 of my tour, the battery in my rental car died just as I was about to  head to the airport for my next flight, I encountered several flight delays including one on the tarmac (my least favorite kind) while the plane’s wings were de-iced, and countless other (potential) irritations.

 

P.S.

Oh, and by the way, the book readings and signings were wonderful, too. More on that some other time. Meanwhile, I’ve got to sign off now, so I can book my next trip.

Joy CoverAnd now for a word from our sponsor:

Bring more JOY into your life wherever you go. My new book helps lead the way!

 

 

 

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My Top 10 Books to Inspire You

Tzivia Gover Author PicksThis post was written in response to a question posed by the librarians at Boston Public Library, where I’ll be speaking about my book Joy in Every Moment: Mindful Exercises for Waking to the Wonders of Ordinary Life Thursday, January 14, at 6 p.m. as part of the Boston Public Library’s Author Talks Series. 

Q: What are the 10 Books that Inspire You Most?

It wasn’t easy to come up with my “Ten Favorite Books to Inspire You”—but it was fun to give the question some thought. As a writer I have an entire village of favorite books that inspire me on my shelves. (I live in a relatively small space, otherwise I’d have an entire metropolis of favorites!) But which ones might inspire you as well? To narrow it down, I began by flipping through the pages of Joy in Every Moment, my latest book, which includes quotes from many of the books that have inspired me to live my best life—one moment at a time. Then I added a few more to come up with a highlights list that includes books of poetry, philosophy, self-help, psychology, and fiction. I hope you find something here to inspire you! Enjoy.

  1. The Life of Pi, by Yann Martel: The fictional character, Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel, inspired me to “choose the better story”—a reminder I turn to again and again.
  2. Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman: I re-read this book-length poem with a group of friends almost every year on the Fourth of July (the anniversary of the book’s publication). It takes us about two hours to read the entire poem aloud, and each time I feel inspired to try to do my part to live up to Whitman’s vision of true equality and democracy.
  3. Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl: A psychiatrist imprisoned in a concentration camp comes away recommitted to his belief that we can live positive and purposeful lives filled with meaning—no matter what the circumstances. Now that inspires me.
  4. You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay: As a young woman, this classic self-help book inspired—and empowered—me, to wake up to the role our thoughts play in manifesting our lives.
  5. Memories, Dreams, Reflections, by Carl Jung: My dreams are a constant source of inspiration to me. Jung’s work helps me to explore them, trust them, and find meanings within them.
  6. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo: With joy as the organizing principle for getting one’s house in order, this quirky little book inspires me to experience my surroundings in a richer way!
  7. From Where You Dream, by Robert Olen Butler: This book inspires me to grab my pen, nearly as soon as I open my eyes in the morning—and start to write.
  8. Active Hope, by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone: I turn to this book again and again when I need to be inspired to live from my heart in a time of great challenges to our magnificent planet.
  9. Tiny Beautiful Things, by Cheryl Strayed: Pearls of wisdom wrapped in humor and humility and delivered with gloves-off, gut-wrenching candor—that’s what I call inspiration.
  10. Comfortable With Uncertainty, by Pema Chödrön: I have this book in paperback and in an MP3 file on my iPod so I can read or listen to it any time, including at 4 a.m. on nights when I can’t sleep. This book inspires me to face difficult situations and emotions with a loving heart.

May these books inspire you, too. Or better yet, may you be inspired to share with others your ten most inspiring books!

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[Originally Published by Boston Public Library http://www.bpl.org/press/2016/01/08/author-picks-tzivia-govers-top-ten-books-to-inspire-you/]

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