Eve Annunziato

WHO ARE YOUR VIPs? January 19, 2009

I don’t make resolutions, rather I make annual goals. Nothing wrong with New Year’s promises – no judgment here. But, reportedly they have a less than 2% success rate. However, you exponentially increase your chance of success and personal growth by setting  goals. Personally, when I write down my aspirations and visualize my expectations, I’m more likely to achieve them. For 2009, one of my top goals is to live in the present, shelf my ego while maintaining work-life balance by focusing on my VIPs. I want to ensure my relationships with my Very Important People are a priority.  In times of busyness, I have tendencies  to shelf my relationships and focus on VDPs (Very Draining People) and VNPs (Very Negative People).  NOT ANYMORE.  Why put an effort toward folks that suck the life out of you and form only conditional, one-way relationships?

As all of you know, the effect of relationships in our lives simply cannot be overemphasized. When they are in a positive healthy state, tranquility is easy to find. When they go sour, stress, depression and even physical fatigue can result. Because it’s so important to foster our relationships with those with whom we care most about, our VIPs, we should purposely place a higher priority on them.

In The Five Love Languages author Gary Chapman makes a very pivotal point for relationships when he writes, “When your spouse’s emotional needs are met and he or she feels secure in your love, the whole world looks bright and your spouse will move out to reach his or her highest potential in life.” Right then, it hit me: It’s not just enough to think about how much I love my most valuable players in life, I have to make sure and tell them.  It’s a daily decision to put the needs of your spouse, children and best friends before your own. There’s a healthy way to love and be loved and to be intimate.  Quality relationships require patience, consistency and attention. Too many times, because the rest of life wears us out, we just don’t have the energy to put toward the commitment. In reality, you’re likely going to have to rearrange schedules, drop some activities and not commit to so many other things that keep you from putting your full energy into your family and other quality relationships. Studies have shown 85% of our joy is rooted through nourishing relationships.

Ask yourself this after a conversation with your loved one, “Did I make that person feel better or worse about themselves about their life?” After all, people are already besieged by doubt and surrounded by negativity that can incidentally be profoundly sobering. One of my top goals is to make certain that after every VIP conversation, the people I love, admire, and respect feel more confident about their situation – about their life. My husband’s program, the Life Barometer, is a great resource for growing healthy relationships.

Abraham Lincoln said it this way, “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” So, let’s start putting some life back in YOUR years and love your VIPs with all of your heart and soul in 2009!

 

HAPPY HOLY HUDDLE November 24, 2008

As we head into our season of Thanksgiving I have the obvious attitude of gratitude: A heavenly father who loves me unconditionally in spite of my faults, my cherished family and few close friends who love me unconditionally in spite of my faults, and a lifestyle I don’t deserve yet yearn to appreciate. But this post isn’t about that stuff or my invaluable community of loved ones all of whom are quite lovable. Rather, this challenge is about those I haven’t yet met but whom I aspire to love.

The honest raw truth, I have a horrible habit of remaining in my Happy Holy Huddle. In order to keep a balanced lifestyle, I intentionally singularly invest in and surround my self with those dearest to my heart. I’m often asked, “Eve, when are you going to Twitter, or sign-up on Facebook (or Face-Space as my father often refers to it) in order to stay connected with others?” My answer, “Never!” More connected, are you kidding me?! Please, I’m most joyful and content disconnected from the outside world. I’m most comfortable circled up in my Happy Holy Huddle. But, isn’t that contrary of how we’re actually called to form authentic community?

“The goal of the Christian life is to love well. Jesus was aware that true spirituality included not only loving God, but also the skill of loving others maturely… Growing into an emotionally mature Christian person includes experiencing each individual, including myself as sacred, or as Martin Buber, great Jewish theologian put it, as a ‘Thou’ rather than an ‘It’… According to Buber, ‘We treat people as an It when we use them as means to an end or as objects. We treat people as a Thou when we recognize each person as a separate human being made in God’s image and treat them with dignity and respect.’”
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero

Frankly, I’ve been processing this meaningful devotion since I encountered the truth a few weeks ago during my quiet time. These words pierced my heart with a dagger of conviction. It’s my prayer this holiday season to disassemble my huddle, disconnect from my contented spirit and start loving those I haven’t yet met.

Sure, I’ll still continue to guard my heart from getting more bombarded, busier, noisier, and more indebted to the virtual Cyber World (Not judging anyone who chooses to go this route to build community, including my sweet husband, but just setting a personal boundary not intended for everyone!). I’m striving to reach out more, build deeper relationships, and experience life, with even those outside my convenient circle of familiarity. There are plenty of opportunities we encounter in order to engage and extend a gracious heart. This Happy Thanksgiving, I’m giving thanks for my existing relationships and my prospective interactions whilst far from my Happy Holy Huddle!

On another personal note, congratulations to my loving husband and favorite weatherman! He was just awarded two Television Emmy nominations: an honor he’s most humble and grateful to receive. I’m quite excited for my already two-time Emmy award winner and am thrilled about these recent Emmy nods! Good luck, and I’m so very proud of you, baby!

 

FROM THE HEART November 7, 2008

This is what I pondered during my morning Yoga:

“Right now, and in every now moment, you are either closing or opening.  You are either stressfully waiting for something – more money, security, affection, or you are living from your deep heart, opening to the entire moment, and growing what you most deeply desire to give, without waiting.  If you are waiting for anything in order to live and love, without holding back, then you will suffer.  Every moment is the most important moment of your life.  No future time is better than now to let down your guard and love.  Everything you do right now ripples outward and affects everyone.  Your posture can shine your heart, or transmit anxiety.  Your breath can radiate love or muddy the room in depression.  Your glance can awaken joy.  Your words can inspire freedom.  Your every act can open hearts and minds.  Opening from the heart to all, you live as a gift to all. ”    By David Deida

Wow, I love this.  It does always come down to the heart of the matter, doesn’t it?  It reminds me of what my Meteorologist husband, Charlie, likes to call, “The Vortex Rule.”  You see, when a storm becomes destructive, like a tornado, it not only affects areas directly in its path, but also an area around the immediate path.

It’s clear, The Vortex Rule, is also true for us.  When we’re living a hectic and imbalanced life, the resulting unhappiness and stress doesn’t just affect us, it affects those around us.  Oftentimes, THOSE WE LOVE THE MOST.  How many times has the mood of the whole room changed when you entered it angry?  A bad day for you can quickly turn into a bad day for your whole family, your co-workers, or your friends.

So, let’s create a healthy environment in which real JOY is possible both in our home and in our workplace, whether you lead your family, staff, volunteers or all the above.    We’re just one beat away from bringing down the room and sucking out the energy from everyone in it.  Do a pulse check and remember it’s the spirit of your heart that matters to you and the others around you.

 

Tired Of Being Tired? August 30, 2008

My husband recently got me very excited (no it’s not that, get your mind out of the gutter people!  That’s another blog topic altogether!).  It was after reading his recent post about being tired.   I think many of us are tired of being tired, tired of being status quo, and tired of mediocrity.

Today, I received a phone call from my best friend here in Nashville.  She said she was in the process of reading a motivational book when she started to think of me (it was at that point that I was flattered that I was in her thoughts!).  Susie explained that she understood that in the past I’ve been told I have a restless spirit and she said that although that description has hurt my feelings at times, she wanted to let me know she thinks it’s one of my positive attributes.  She proceeded to explain that my somewhat restlessness has me always taking risks, setting and achieving my goals all the while saying, “Okay, I’ve finished that! Now God, what’s next on my agenda to accomplish?”

I’m not sure if I can live up to her standard, but I accepted the kind words nonetheless!   Like almost all of you, I do indeed make a concerted effort to strive to achieve excellence – not always getting there but trying all the same.  Charlie’s below post, made me stand up and cheer!!

I think many people are tired…

Tired of the status quo…

Tired of average…

Tired of unremarkable…

Tired of the same old, same old…

Tired of feeling like there’s more…

Are you?

What if you took being tired of these things and used it to motivate you to change? What if you decided it’s time to…

break out,

step up,

take a chance,

be different,

dream higher,

reach higher,

be nicer, serve better,

follow your dreams,

and be remarkable?

Is an extrodinary life calling your name?  If so, isn’t it time to answer the call?

 

Live It Up & Lighten Up June 30, 2008

Filed under: Just thinking... — Eve Annunziato @ 3:35 pm
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Charlie and I spent a wonderful week on vacation in Philadelphia and New York (my two favorite cities!).  While visiting my 92 year old Grandmother in her Assisted Living facility, we decided to turn on the video camera and capture these invaluable moments between Nan and her great-grandkids playing, interacting and talking.  For posterity purposes I even started to conduct an interview about my Grandmother’s thoughts on life- lessons and just living.  My Nan, a woman of great faith, integrity, and generosity, talked about loving everyone then proceeded to introduce us to her best friend there, Anne, who is 100 years old.  Being the producer that I am, I decided to turn the camera on Anne who is of strong mind, body and soul – and asked her the secret of her happy and healthy decade long life.  Here are her profound words of wisdom:
 
“Eat healthy, live it up, lighten up and drink whisky!” (you’ll have to excuse Anne, she was born in Ireland!). 

Live it up and lighten up – a useful philosophy for both life and leadership.  I feel as if I have really grown in this area lately.  I’ve been quite focused on all of our blessings and have felt more joyful in my personal and family life than in years past and I’m enjoying every minute!  As for my professional life, I’ve stopped taking my work so seriously and realized my career, although is valued, isn’t as important as my personal life (I had to learn that lesson the hard way!).  Funny thing, when I don’t let my work define me or become top priority, work is more enjoyable and I’m more productive.  The 100-year-old Irish woman reminded me that life is short and there’s no need to sweat the small stuff.  After all, we can’t control everything.   Try letting go a bit and being more carefree and see if that doesn’t result in more LAUGHS!

My practical husband, Charlie Neese, teaches how worry is a waste of time and robs us of joy if we don’t guard our heart and mind from this temptation.  Charlie points out the following truth about the number #1 theft of happiness:

Author John R. Noe, among others, wrote that out of everything we worry about, only eight percent is real and legitimate.  The rest won’t happen, happened in the past or is out of our control.  That means 92 percent of our time spent worrying is wasted.  Considering that most of the 60,000 thoughts we have each day are repeats from the day before, that’s a tremendous amount of time we just throw away.  (Charlie will share more about this subject on my post next week!).

Thanks for the reminder, Anne!  We’ll be sure to eat healthy, live it up, lighten up and well – let’s just leave it at that!