Monday, December 15, 2014

Love the Journey!

Now that Advent is more than half done, and we are getting closer and closer to Christmas, we want to thank our many readers who have given us just a snapshot of what they are doing to Occupy Advent during this 24 day challenge.  Here are a few of our favorites!




Anonymous #1 said that she went through her winter clothes and gave away as many coats, hats, scarves, and gloves that she could spare to a local homeless shelter. How wonderful!

Anonymous #2 put together "survival bags" for the homeless that stand on the street corners near their office. They included a pair of warm socks, trail mix with dried fruit, toothpaste and tooth brush, hand warmers, and a scarf. How thoughtful!

Anonymous #3 decided to give up shopping for unnecessary items and she was able to save over $200 since the beginning of December! She plans on donating the money to a local charity! What a blessing!

These are just a few of the wonderful things our readers are doing during the 24 Day Challenge to better themselves during #occupyadvent. You have ten days left before Christmas. How do you plan on spending it?

Here's a poem that was shared with us by a reader, enjoy!

ENJOY THE PRESENT MOMENT

We make them cry who care for us.
We cry for those who never care for us.
And we care for those who will never cry for us.
This is the truth of life, it's strange but true.
Once you realize this, it's never too late to change.

Don't let someone become a priority in your life,
When you are just an option in their life...
Relationships work best when they are balanced.

Never explain yourself to anyone.
Because the person who likes you doesn't need it,
and the person who dislikes you won't believe it.

When you keep saying you are busy,
then you are never free.
When you keep saying you have no time,
then you will never have time.
When you keep saying that you will do it tomorrow,
then your tomorrow will never come.

When we wake up in the morning, we have two simple choices.
Go back to sleep and dream, or wake up and chase those dreams.
Choice is yours...

Don't make promises when you are in joy.
Don't reply when you are sad.
Don't make decisions when you are angry.
Think twice...Act Wise.

Time is like a river.
You cannot touch the same water twice,
because the flow that has passed will never pass again.
Enjoy every moment of life...

First I was dying to finish my high school and start college.
And then I was dying to finish college and start working.
Then I was dying to marry and have children.
And then I was dying for my children to grow old enough so I could go back to work.
But then I was dying to retire.
And now I'm dying.
And suddenly I realized I forgot to live.
Please don't let this happen to you.
Appreciate your current situation and enjoy each day!



Monday, December 1, 2014

#OccupyAdvent: A 24 Day Challenge

Who hasn't heard of the 30 day challenges swarming all areas of social media? It seems like every month there's a new one popping up, whether it's an exercise challenge, a healthy eating challenge, or a clothing challenge. These are all good, but today, the Ladies of Provocative Manners would like to challenge you to a special 24 day challenge and it's the perfect time of year to begin! With the season of Advent and Christmas upon us, it is time that we re-examine ourselves internally and externally. The purpose of the #OccupyAdvent 24 day Challenge is to help you simplify your everyday life while using those benefits to pay it forward through charity to others. You have 24 days! How will you spend each day?




Every week we will be sharing some experiences of our readers during this #OccupyAdvent Challenge. Don't worry, if we choose to share your story, it will be anonymous. Feel free to send us your Challenge "stories" to provocativemanners@yahoo.com, on our Facebook Personal Page, or our Business Page.

Here are the guidelines for the #OccupyAdvent 24 Day Challenge. Remember that the purpose of this is to improve ourselves, assist those around us, and prepare us for Christmas. These are only guidelines, adjust them to accommodate your lifestyle.




1. Contemplate the Meaning of Christmas.
     This time of year isn't only about ourselves, family, friends or even strangers. This time of year is about the birth of Christ. How are you preparing for His Birthday? Without Him, this season would not exist, so let's show some thanks!

2. Simplify Your Life. 
      This may include limiting your access to social media and increasing time within your day for reading, organizing, or helping others. You know better than anyone what consumes your time and yet doesn't have much merit. Spend more time with family and friends, these are the moments that you will remember when you get older and the kids are grown. Don't have regrets!

3. Don't Purchase Anything You Don't NEED!
     Yes, we know this is difficult this time of year, but our consumerism mentality is overbearing. (Maybe this is one of the reasons I cannot stand Black Friday, or Black Saturday, or Cyber Monday...) For me, it will be difficult to drive past Starbucks without a Skinny Peppermint Mocha, but instead of spending the money there, I can donate food to the local pantry or purchase gifts for families in need. That cup of Peppermint Mocha will be so much more enjoyable on December 26th by waiting!

4. Internal and External Silence.
     We all have loud, busy, chaotic lives 12 months out of the year. Maybe these 24 days we can occupy ourselves internally and externally with moments of silence. Take a few minutes out of each day, even 5 minutes to sit in silence. Don't try to plan your next party, or dwell on all the gifts you have to purchase, but enjoy those moments of silence. They are more important than you realize.

5. Keep Perspective - Pay it Forward
     Charity is the highest form of respect for others. Whether you give a meal to the homeless man standing on the corner or choose to give your waiter an extra percentage of a well-earned tip, these are the moments that make living worth while, because for once you are not making it about yourself. The most important thing to remember: don't brag about it. Once you tell the world your inner most actions, those beautiful forms of charity begin to loose bits of their luster.

Take Control of Your #OccupyAdvent 24 Day Challenge! 
How will you push yourself to be a better you?
     


95.7 KJR






Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Constructive Criticism v. Destructive Criticism






How do you deal with criticism?

Is there a certain type of personality that deals with criticism better than others?

We all know that critical opinions are a fact of life and oftentimes they can be given in a charitable and constructive way, but then again they can also be used as a defense or barrier for others to hide behind. We are all willing to dish out the critical comments, but more times than not, it is extremely difficult to acknowledge them, let alone accept them.




It is a trait of human beings to pounce on any and every opportunity when it comes to judging others. It either makes us feel better about ourselves or helps us justify our actions by comparing and  contrasting our virtues and vices. It should not be this way! It is easy to dish out the critical comments but it is another thing to accept them as constructive.

There is definitely a difference between constructive and destructive criticism. A person who has secure beliefs and a high level of self-esteem will be able to notice the difference. They will be able to take those constructive comments and put them to good use by improving any mistakes, but those who are unwilling to appreciate such well-meant opinions will struggle for the rest of their lives barely floating above the tide.






Four Ways to Determine Whether a Criticism is Constructive or Destructive

1.  If the comment made critically points out personal flaws of a person only with the intention to showcase failures then this is destructive criticism.

2. If the feelings of other people are not part of the consideration process when expressing an opinion, then it is most definitely destructive criticism

3. If the opinions are charitable, but firm, then this correction has validity and is a form of constructive criticism.

4.  If the comment makes a suggestion and then provides a tangible solution, it is an excellent form of constructive criticism




Saturday, October 18, 2014

When You Cross The Road...

I know, I know, we all want to go through life assuming that the world should revolve around one and only one person, ME! Well it doesn't and yet again, I have another example to discuss with our readers.

Most of us would think that the idea of crossing a road should be pretty self-explanatory, if not, then you should have learned that as a pedestrian, crossing the road when the cars have a green light is mostly likely not a good idea. It's actually probably a horrible idea!


PhotographyBlogger.net


Yes, of course I have a story to back up this post about crossing the road. Several days ago, while waiting for a light to turn green I noticed a woman standing at the corner ready to cross the street. Well, did she decide to cross when the pedestrian light gave her the recommendation? Nope! She decided that it would be smarter to begin crossing a busy street after my light turned green. Because of course pedestrians have the right of way, no matter what.... Nope! Wrong again! There's a reason the pedestrian light comes on at a certain time, well because that's the safest time to cross a busy intersection. Not only did this woman cross the road when the cars had the right of way, but she also chose to do so at a very, very, no I mean a very slow pace (age was definitely not a factor to the slowness, let's just say it was a smartphone). I was not the only unhappy driver to say the least, but I kept my cool and sat and waited for her. Because patience is an active virtue, right?





What's the moral to this story? Well there is actually more than one!

The obvious one is that the woman's inconsiderate approach and choice to ignore the rest of society functioning around her was ridiculous selfish. Who needs to watch for cars when they will watch for me, right? Wrong again!

Another lesson was the response many of the drivers wanted to relay or did display towards the woman. Yes, she was inconsiderate, but screaming at her was not moving her along any faster. Even though I was irritated, and it gave me a great topic for a blog post, it also helped me work on something that I struggle with each and every day....PATIENCE!

Have a Safe and Happy Weekend!



Wednesday, September 24, 2014

An Autumn Bucket List To Remember

There's something special about a crisp cool autumn breeze. It seems that once September hits, everyone is ready for a season change. Here is Wisconsin we long for fall, but trend that winter comes next! Let's enjoy the warm fall temps before they disappear for several months!

Let's Make Some Autumn Memories!











(Makes 6 servings)
4 medium bananas, sliced and frozen overnight
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin spice