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Intention Instead of Resolution January 1, 2013

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in Self-Development.
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Well, it’s 2013—another brand spanking new year. If you’ve read my blog in the past you know that I’m not too taken with new year’s resolutions. However I am very big on intention which is a kinder, gentler kissin’ cousin to resolution. And for me intentions have a lot more juice. Resolutions beg to be broken and then you get to feel guilty about having broken them. And if you foolishly made a list of your resolutions in the past don’t, I repeat don’t, be tempted to go back and look at the list to see how you did. It will only make you feel bad because chances are you did not fulfill them. And if you did achieve them–big congratulations—you are a unique person.

There is a saying that I quote each year on this day. It says that what you spend time thinking about or doing on New Year’s Day will be what you will do or think about for the entire year. With that in mind, I am planning on having a conscious day so that I can have the kind of year I intend to have—not the one that just happens to me. (Of course if you choose not to believe that then do whatever today. Me, I’m covering all my bases.)

So what am I going to do today?

1. Cook pork and sauerkraut for my family. I want to cook good food (and before you say it—yes pork and sauerkraut is good comfort food and good luck on New Year’s Day according to the local folklore here in Pennsylvania Dutch Land) and spend good times with my family this year.

2. Going to see my friend Mary who has been having some health challenges this year. I value friendships and want to continue to deepen the relationships I have and develop some new ones.

3. Post this blog entry. I neglected my writing in 2012. My intention is to write more this year.

4. Play tango music. Well, I want to dance the tango all year of course—often and well.

5. Meditate. One can never go wrong in spending time going inward. There’s much to be learned and gained by focusing on Source/Spirit/God. (you pick your favorite term—samey same—another Pennsylvania Dutch saying)

6. Keep my mood in a very good place. 2012 was a year of ups and downs for me mood wise as it was for a lot of people I know and/or coach. So I am intending a year of productive moods—even in the face of things going wrong as they inevitably will.

7. Work on a quilt. That’s obvious—I love doing it and it’s good therapy.

8. Be as kind as I can because just look around…couldn’t the world use a little (lot) more of that?

What are you going to do today or tomorrow to project the kind of year that you dream of? Whatever you decide I hope that you’ll be conscious about it and that all of your dreams come true—or at the very least that you have some dreams…


Plant a Daffodil July 17, 2011

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in Personal Observations, Self-Development.
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cccommons byandyhayI came across a story called The Daffodil Principle written by  Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards.  I don’t know if it’ s a true story but it really doesn’t matter because the meaning of the story is so wonderful.

The story is told by a narrator who goes to visit her daughter who then takes her to look at the property of a woman who has transformed her plot of land by planting 50,000 daffodil bulbs over many years. The result was an amazing display of blooms which transfixed and inspirited the people who saw it. For the entire story (which is quite short) follow this link: Daffodil Principle

The main character says

When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world.

Small actions can have a big effect

This story resonated with me because I believe that even small actions on our part can change the world in unimaginable and significant ways. One of the guiding principles for me as I coach others is the belief that I am changing the world one conversation at a time.

Before you start poo-pooing (gosh, wonder if I spelled that right) that notion, sit for a moment and think  of the times that someone has pointed out to you something that you said or did that had a profound effect on how they viewed the world or what they chose to do. You know you’ve heard that. And you’ve more than likely only heard a tiny number of the examples that others could come up with.

Here are some examples from my own little world.

  • My friend Jane, who loves to sew, is extraordinarily generous in teaching and working with others who would like to better their skills
  • Annie, my massage therapist, has taught me how to be ‘in my body’ and thus more in touch with how things are with me by using my body as an emotional guidance system.
  • My granddaughter has inspired me to be a stronger woman by her own observations about who she is as she starts the journey to adulthood

Are you aware of who you’re being?

I could go on and on, and so could you. How do you feel when you think that your own actions and words are changing the world? Good? Or a little nervous? If you have a nagging feeling that you may not always be changing the world in the way that you’d like, maybe it’s time to put a little intention behind that.

What kind of impact would you like to have?

Put your thinking cap on…What intention would you like to live into? Maybe it’s demonstrating more kindness than necessary, maybe it’s showing self-reliance or devotion to family. Maybe it’s keeping your lawn in impeccable condition. Whatever it is, know that simply by a little consciousness to your intention, some energy and a few actions behind it, you will have an impact on someone in your world,

How’s that feel?


Change Not Optional January 16, 2011

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in Personal Observations, Political Scene.
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Last week the title of my post was Ready, Set, Change. This week I had intended to write about some of my favorite book recommendations. However, following the events of last Saturday in Tucson, I have been immersed in thinking about my country and wondering what the hell is going on.

Yet another terrible story…

I am not prone to awfulizing and making sweeping generalizations about ‘how bad things are,’ since I believe that constantly beating the drum about something creates more of it. That said, I have to say that I am tired to the depths of my soul of hearing of yet another shocking example of meaningless violence.

This post is going to be short (and not so sweet). We may each of us feel that we are not responsible for the actions of a misguided young man. However, we are all part of a national creation of ‘the way things are.’ And that creation has too much room for violence. Violence which takes the place of discussion/dialogue for the sake of understanding and respecting view points that differ from our own. And I know that I am as guilty of that as the next person—and you,my friend could be the next person.

We only want to be around those who think as we do

Lynne McTaggert wrote a very thought-provoking post about where we’ve come. Lynne’s post She said something in that post that has really stuck with me. She says that we only want to be around and respect those who think just as we do. In examining my conscience about that I have come to the conclusion that I have fallen into that way of being—and I need to do something different.

The power of intention

You know how much I write about the power of intention. Well, I think it’s high time that we intended something different for our country. The consciousness of a country can be changed one person at a time, one conversation at a time. While this may seem at times like trying to empty the ocean with a tea cup, I offer that we often don’t know the power of our own efforts and contributions.

I think Americans are better than they way we are currently acting. Wasn’t our country built on the tenet that we are all free to have our own opinions and to express them? It’s high time we got back to focusing on that principle instead of the way we have been…

And no, I don’t feel better now but I will again soon.


Ready, Set, Change! January 9, 2011

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in ontological coaching, Self-Development.
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organic light by xalamay (busy)

Last week’s post was about starting a new year, not with resolutions but with the setting of intentions. After I posted   it, my friend Karen sent me a post by Chris Brogan (the king of bloggers) on a similar topic. After I read Chris’ post entitled “My 3 Words for 2011”, I added another word to the two keywords that I had already selected. My previously stated keywords were Expansiveness and Service. After reading Chris’ post I have added Creativity to my list since I realized that a year without focusing on creativity would be a bleak year indeed. Take a peek at his post and see what you’re inspired to do.


Now a smooth segue into the topic for today…new beginnings. (See how I did that?) It’s related to last week’s topic but I’m writing it because my friend is starting a new endeavor tomorrow and I’ve been thinking about what that might mean to him as well as to those of you who read this blog. (Of course he probably won’t see one new thing in this meaningful and well-crafted nugget since he has been listening to me for quite some time but I hope you will.)

Let’s hear it for new beginnings…

New beginnings are yummy—like a brand new year, like a new boyfriend, like a new quilting project, like becoming a grandparent. You have the great opportunity to do something different and better and perhaps even to atone for the things that didn’t previously go so well. Beginnings can be scary too but most of us are smart enough to just push through the fear and get on with it.

I’m thinking back to some of the significant beginnings I’ve had in my life. Was I intentional as I embarked on the new experience? Probably not. I like to think that I am now a bit more conscious about what I want to produce than I used to be. It is, after all, my story and I’m sticking to it…

What you might consider

So if I were starting a new job tomorrow (as an example), what would I be considering? Here’s a short and thus not exhaustive list:

  • Who I want to be (the eternal ontological coaching question) Embedded in this question is some awareness of what I bring that is unique or special. What are my talents and skills that can add value in the new situation? What values do I believe it necessary to embody no matter how fabulous or not-so-fabulous the situation is? What is my promise to the world—or at least the part of the world that I inhabit?
  • What mistakes or missteps I made in the past that produced results that I didn’t value. Sometimes it’s possible to identify these without knowing how we could have done any better. Not to worry. That’s where my oft repeated mantra of INTENTION comes into play. I may not know how to be better but if I have a pretty clear picture of what I’m going for, I can use that as my North Star. From that picture, actions will either be ruled out or suggested based on my stated intention.
  • What value I want to produce for myself in the proposition. Make no mistake–unless you are producing value for yourself in addition to producing value for others—you won’t be having fun. And really, why the heck do anything if you’re not having fun? Especially if that ‘anything’ happens to be a job that takes up 40-60 hours a week of your time.

Now you try

How about you start something new?  Do something different. Start small if you really, really hate change. Today when I pulled into the Borders parking lot I made the heroic decision to park in a different section of the parking lot than I have been parking in for the last 10 years or so…Gutsy—maybe not. But it reminds me that I am about making changes, big and small. Changes, that is, that are productive and fun…

Wanna try?


Messages in Water May 30, 2010

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in Self-Development.
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heavy_metal thank_youwater molecule

I have been drinking a whole lot of water as part of a health improvement program I have undertaken. This morning I filled my 2 liter glass container as usual. However, instead of being on automatic pilot as I usually am when I do this, I took the time to notice the plastic label that I have had adhered to the front of the container for a couple of years. It says, “Come Holy Spirit” on it and I have another one that has the word “Love” on it. There is a story behind this and while it’s in my BOO (background of obviousness, in case you didn’t read last week’s blog), I realized that some of you who read this blog regularly (and thanks and kisses to you all) might not know about the work of Dr. Masuro Emoto of Japan. He wrote a well known book called The Hidden Messages of Water. At Amazon– The Hidden Messages of Water

As a scientist, Dr Emoto has been studying water molecules for years and in the course of his work he discovered that the basic makeup of water can be changed dramatically by words, music, or names being introduced to the water. The two pictures at the beginning of the post reflect reflect two different water molecules. The one on the left shows a molecule after being subjected,er, I mean exposed to heavy metal music. The one on the right is the result of the work ‘thank you’ being typed onto paper using a word processor and taped on the glass bottle overnight. Fascinating, isn’t it? The conclusion is that water can be changed by intention, energy,thoughts and words. And of course, since our bodies are about 61% water, this certainly has implications for changing our consciousness.

This scene from the film, The Secret explains a high level interpretation of Dr Emoto’s work. (And try to ignore the reference to 90% water in the body)

So ever since I have found out about Dr Emoto’s findings I have been using words to enliven my water. I figure it can’t hurt and I believe it helps a lot.

This brings me to one of my favorite topics: intention. Dr Emoto’s work is yet another example of how the use of conscious intention in life can enhance and enrich life. The act of intending something causes us to be conscious of who and what we want to be in the world. And through this we are actually creating before the creation comes into being on the material plane. It’s being created in your thoughts and then migrates out there in the ethers somewhere. And even if nothing more than that goes on, it creates some kind of magic for the ‘intender’ (is that a word??). And magically things that we have set our intentions on come into being. So even if it all seems like mumbo jumbo or new age la-la-land stuff, where’s the harm?  It can make you feel happier and more at effect in your life. What’s wrong with that?

So how about trying an experiment this week? And of course I have a suggestion or two.

  1. Pick out a word that is meaningful to you like love, gratitude, bliss, or whatever rings your bells. Type it up and stick it on your water bottle overnight and/or each day. See what happens.
  2. Pick out an intention that you would like to realize. Start with something small—even though it really doesn’t matter how big it is. Then work with this intention every day by visualizing it clearly for 4 minutes—use a timer. Notice what happens. You could also try writing it out 15 times each day if you still remember how to write.
  3. If you’ve got someone in your life who is challenging (and who doesn’t), when you are with that person try broadcasting a positive intention with your thoughts. Something like, “Philip gets more understanding and approachable every time I see him.” Don’t be put off by evidence that looks like it’s not working. Just keep doing it.

I’d love to hear how it goes—especially if you have miracle results.

Oh, and drink your water….


Signs March 7, 2010

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in Angel Writings, Self-Development, spirituality.
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I’m a big believer in magic…you know, the things that happen in life that can’t necessarily be explained away in a logical way. Things that make you say hmmmm…It’s great to be organized and planned and to check things off of your to-do list. We need that kind of stuff to assure ourselves that our lives have meaning because we’re getting things done. (read a touch of irony there) But what really lights me up is when the seemingly inexplicable things happen.

Signs fall into my magic category. No, not stop signs or McDonald’s signs or signs of global warming. I’m talking about normal run of the mill things that somehow put themselves into my path just to give me a little hug (or a not-so-tiny kick in the butt) from the universe that lets me know that I’m not hanging out on my own.

I”ll give you a few examples. In my lexicon of symbols (and coming from the interpretation of Doreen Virtue) the number 44 or 444 and so on is the angel number. It means that angels are giving you a big broad wink or answering your question or offering you comfort—depending on what you need at the time. One of my roles in life is Angel Therapy Practitioner ® certified by the well known expert in that field, Doreen Virtue. So as you might imagine I travel with a band of angels.

And everywhere I go I run into the number 44. This morning after spending the day yesterday doing angel readings for people, I woke up at 4:44. Yesterday on my way to do the readings, I was taking a route that I travel at least 4 or 5 times a month if not more and have done so for many years. I happened to look to my right at a traffic light and noticed a street sign that said “144 Lehigh Street.” Things that make you say hmmm..From this I interpreted that as I did the readings I would be guided to do good work in service of others.

I could go on about the number 44 but you get the drift. And now you’re going to start seeing that number everywhere too.

The shamans believe that animals appear to us to give us messages and teach us how to better our lives. The classic book on the subject of what messages animals symbolize is Animal-Speak by Ted Andrews.Yesterday as I was on my way to the reading place (it was an eventful ten-minute drive),I saw not one but two dead skunks. Now there’s a sign. I know that part of the symbology of the skunk is that it fears no animal. (wonder why) When I got home I looked up the entry in Animal-Speak and found that the message that skunk gives is

Now is the time to assert your boundaries. Others may be taking advantage. Demand respect and move forward at your speed.

Well, the boundary things seems like good advice. Not good to let boundaries get fuzzy when you are dipping around in other people’s energy fields. Got it.

I could go on but I’m sure your getting the drift. For me (and for you if you want to play) day- to-day life is not just the routines of getting my chores done or finishing a day at work. It’s the wonder of waiting for the magical things that show themselves often enough to keep my interest. It’s the signs that tell me that I’m being guided or perhaps that I am veering off the right path.

Why don’t you try it? If you’re in question about a decision—ask for a sign. And then don’t forget to watch for it. If you miss it, ask again. When you see a sign, it’s fun and inspiring and very, very comforting.


New Year’s Day: Choose your actions wisely January 1, 2010

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in Uncategorized.
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There’s a saying about New Year’s Day—maybe you’ve heard it. It advises that what you spend your time doing on New Year’s Day is what you will be doing throughout the entire year. So when I woke up this morning full of plans for the day, I paused for a few moments to think about that. Hmmm….I had thought about taking some time today to give my kitchen a good post-holiday cooking clean up. Eliminate that idea. House cleaning is fine in its place. But do I want to spend the whole year cleaning my house? Definitely not.

I had planned to go to the gym. Yep, that will stay on the list. Going to the gym religiously in 2010 would be a great idea. Besides I like the gym energy. Loud music, sweating people, and free weights. Weird, I know but it’s true.

I also plan to spend some time with my family. That will definitely stay. Family is important and I treasure the relationships I have with my son, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren.

What else? Well, I did my morning meditation and prayers…they definitely deserve a permanent place in 2010. And later today I plan to work on my current quilt project. Quilting is great therapy and so that activity is one that I want to keep in my life in 2010.

I also spent some time this morning writing out my intentions for the year. Notice, I did not say that I made resolutions for the year.  I am a bit averse to “resolutions” as I have had a great many of them in the past that were unachieved by year’s end. You know the ones—lose 200 pounds and wear a bikini, make a million dollars, find the perfect relationship and so on. I think resolutions are fodder for depression.

I prefer intentions. Intentions have a lighter touch than resolutions and yet they have more juice somehow. When you set an intention in place there is no guilt about not achieving it. You are intending something and in doing so requesting the assistance of unseen forces in your world to achieve it. You can hold an intention until it no longer rings your bells. Then you can intend something different. No guilt—just a change of mind.

So what intentions do I have for 2010? Well, some of them are private but I can share a few with you.

  • to enjoy vibrant good health and have my family do the same
  • to do the things that I am passionate about
  • to attract and enjoy satisfying and stimulating relationships
  • to be of service wherever and whenever I can
  • to have some fun

How about you? Care to share your intentions for 2010?

Happy New Year…


Ok–You Can Say It a Little Louder Now November 11, 2009

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in Personal Observations, Uncategorized.
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I am now in Day 11 of NanoWriMo, National Book Writing Month…that’s right..day 11 of my quest to write a 50,000 word book—which by the way is not that long a book. It’s the length of Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, a slim volume. However, I’m no longer whispering that I am doing NanoWriMo—and I’m not exactly shouting it from the rooftops of my neighborhood either. But so far, so good. As of today I am at 22,506 words—closing in on the halfway mark

I adopted the word count strategy of my friend Anne who is a 2008 Nano winner. She advised doing 2000 words per day which is a bit higher than the goal of 1667 which Nano advocates. That way, she pointed out, if the roof falls in and you can’t write (which would be the only reason not to write) you are not too far behind.

So each morning I get up at six and go into my study. First I meditate and ask for mucho help from any good spirit out there who is so inclined. Then I start. My declaration is to have my writing complete for the day by 10 am. And so far, I have managed that every day except this past weekend when I attended a quilting retreat.

The experience has been a bit different than I thought it would be. For one thing, I am more disciplined and committed to it than I anticipated. Secondly, I have let go of the need to make my writing perfect before going on. The Nano folks advise you not to edit your work or even go back and read what you have written. So, OK, I am not reading the tripe that I have written. It’s not about quality at this point; it’s about quantity. The idea is that if you get something on the page you can go back to it in December and edit it. But you can’t edit a blank page. I have found this to be true before. If I just get something down on the page—good or not—I have made a start and then I can mold it into a decent piece of writing by editing the heck out of it.

Unlike my other Nano buddies, I am writing a non-fiction book with the working title of Intention in the Workplace. It’s based on work that I have been doing for a long time and I am enjoying noticing how my understanding and interpretation of it has changed and in some cases deepened over time. So, while I can’t yet say I am having fun—I am getting satisfaction from this process. Was even feeling pretty good about my word count until I talked with a WriMo at Borders on Sunday. She plans to reach her word count by today. She will then go on to write a second novel by the end of the month. Take a deep breath… “To compare is to despair.”

Me? I am happy to settle for 50,000 good or not-so-good words.

Healing With Intention October 11, 2009

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in Uncategorized.
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1303371658_a7fe237dc9_mpetar_cI am once again lucky enough to be spending the weekend at Omega Institutes in Rhinebeck, New York. This weekend I am taking a workshop taught by Lynne McTaggert, author of The Field and The Intention Experiment. As a former investigative reporter, Lynne became interested in exploring whether there was any scientific proof that meditation, prayer, visualization or other seemingly non-linear practices really work in improving the quality of human life. And interestingly enough, she has found that there is a multitude of scientific proof that the stuff really works.

In our class, we are learning about a lot of these studies and even better, we are getting to participate in some experiments. We began last night with an experiment that has been done numerous times in a scientific setting. Ten of us who are experienced meditators were each given a baby food jar filled with water. We were told to select a noun and spend three 10-minute periods meditating on the image that we had selected with the intention of placing an energetic imprint of the object into the water. When this was completed, the jars were placed on tables around the room. All of the class participants rotated through the sequence of the ten jars. We were given a moment to tune into the jars and then asked to write down images that we received from the jar.

The class has 21 people. As we de-briefed the items, we found that there were 6 or more hits by the class on identifying what was in the jar. An answer is considered to be a hit when it describes the shape, color, texture, or of course, the actual word. For almost all of the 10 items there were about 5-8 hits from the class—much higher than probability suggests.

My personal result was around 50% but the thing that really pleased me was that I was able to identify my own jar (naturally they were all identical) and come up with an image of a yellow rose which is what I had intended through my meditation.

Even more interesting and not at all coincidental was that out of ten words that were chosen by the meditators out of a gazillion possible words in the English language, there were three, count-em, three duplicates. Two people chose “strawberry”, two people chose “pear” and two people (one of them me) chose “rose.”

The use of successfully broadcasting a compassionate, healing intention has great application in alleviating many of the world’s pressing problems. Lynne and her intention squad have taken on peace, clean water, as well as physical and mental healings for individuals. Check out her website at http://www.theintentionexperiment.com/ if you’d like to find out more about it.

We have one more half day of class left. Who knows we may have cleaned up Afghanistan and Iraq by this time tomorrow…