Suzanne Reisler Litwin: The Spring 2021 Series: Pumping Up Positivity, Part Five – Fabulous Final Four

This week, I introduce you to four women who all have different methods for maintaining a positive perspective.  Each use great positive tools and have learned or adopted new challenges into their lives.

Welcome to The 2021 Spring Series – Pumping Up Positivity! This is the most encouraging series you will ever read. What’s it about? I’m glad you asked. It’s about living through challenging times with an encouraging positive perspective.

Everyone is living a very different life, especially now. Everyone has a different perspective and interesting tools for living in the positive. I asked an eclectic group of people to answer a questionnaire based on their “Positive Perspectives”. In this series, I will share with you their very generous and thought provoking responses.

Perhaps you will adopt some of these positive tools and broaden your own perspective. Enjoy, Living in the Now!

This week, I introduce you to 0four women who all have different methods for maintaining a positive perspective. Each use great positive tools and have learned or adopted new challenges into their lives.

Suzanne Reisler Litwin: The Spring 2021 Series: Pumping Up Positivity, Part Five – Fabulous Final Four

Maureen Burnett

Maureen Burnett

  • Curious, creative and generally happy person

I’ve known Maureen since I was 16. She is the kid-sister of one of my oldest and dearest friends. She has a great sense of humour and a fresh perspective. Here are her answers to my positivity questions. Enjoy!

When you wake up in the morning, what is the first thing you think about?

Today is a new day. Let’s see how the day unfolds.

What positive words do you think about or use during your day?

Opportunity, fresh, nourishment, family time, learning, happiness, gratitude.

What tools do you use to maintain your positivity?

I have been reading and learning new things, I love cooking meals for my family and friends. I enjoy taking long walks outside in the ravines with my dog or a friend. Being in nature puts things in perspective for me. We only have control over a narrow part of our lives. Being outside in nature makes you realize that there is a bigger world out there and things are often beautiful even when we don’t have control over them. In these stressful times letting go is a gift.

What suggestions would you give others to help them maintain their positivity?

We only can control ourselves. We need to be forgiving of others who have a hard time dealing with what we are going through. It is not easy being present when life before was so different. Maybe this reality is it, we do not know. So lean in and be grateful and happy where you are today. Be kind to yourself and let the world do what it does; we have no control over others. Breathe.

Maureen, anything else you would like to add?

We are living through very unusual times, Depression is a reality for a lot of people out there and we need to have empathy and compassion for those who are struggling. I am lucky because I can find the light in life and not drown in the darkness that is being inundated in our lives now. I hope people can realize this too shall pass and hopefully we will all be living in a better world soon.

Suzanne Reisler Litwin: The Spring 2021 Series: Pumping Up Positivity, Part Five – Fabulous Final Four

Suzie Shaffer

Suzie Shaffer

  • Realtor, proud mom, aspiring writer and closet painter

Suzie has a fresh, unique perspective. I thoroughly enjoyed reading her responses. I’m certain you will appreciate everything she has to say too.

What positive words do you think about or use during your day?

The positive words that immediately come to mind and that I find myself using most frequently are "grateful, blessed, fortunate, loved, embrace and learning”, which I believe is what makes every experience positive.

What is your positive perspective?

There are silver linings in every cloud......all you need to do is look.

Life is a journey of learning. Embrace EVERY lesson.

What are your current best moments?

My most cherished moments are when I get to see my children.

My best moments are those where I recognize myself as a "survivor" and remember how incredibly fortunate I am.

What tools do you use to maintain your positivity?

Long walks outdoors seeking clarity, reading of inspirational and self-help books, reaching out to others in the hopes of sharing love and hope and writing...

Is your perspective realistic?

I believe so. People need people, in these times more than ever, touching others is the key. I live alone yet I am never alone...I hope everyone comes to feel that. I have found that we all need others to understand, to hear our voices...whether it’s simply to share our stories or remind each other that someone understands.

What suggestions would you give others to help them maintain their positivity?

Reach out to others to share your feelings, look for silver linings in every situation, they are there. In the dark there are stars, after storms there are rainbows. Get fresh air each day. Find reasons to laugh, even if at yourself.

How do you currently feel today?

HOPEFUL, GRATEFUL.

What is beautiful in your life? What is your joy?

My girls are the axis on which my world turns...they are my most beautiful blessings and my greatest gift and joy.

I also find being able to touch lives, in a big or small way makes a difference... to offer support and to show love...giving from the heart of ourselves brings tremendous joy.

What are you grateful for?

My family and friends, their good health, my successful cancer surgery and second chances, support and encouragement from those close to me, the new, incredible, fellow warrior friends I have made throughout my journey, and the limitless possibilities left to discover.

Suzanne Reisler Litwin: The Spring 2021 Series: Pumping Up Positivity, Part Five – Fabulous Final Four

Marcy Kastner

Marcy Kastner

  • Director of Day Camps and Early Childhood.  Loves working with kids and most of all loves my family and friends

I met Marcy when our kids were in Elementary School together. Today, 23+ years later, the kids are still best friends and Marcy and I are friends too.

When you wake up in the morning, what is the first thing you think about?

I think how grateful I am for my fiancée Lorne, my kids and new granddaughter. Thankful for a new day.

What positive words do you think about or use during your day?

Make this day count.

Do something positive for yourself and others.

Did I accomplish something that I set out to do?

What is your positive perspective?

My positive perspective is that we can’t go backwards, so we must look forwards.

What are your current best moments?

My best moments are currently doing Facetime with my children and especially with my granddaughter.

I also am now watching what I eat, as I decided to make something positive out of the COVID experience.

I lost my job of over a decade ago and decided to take control. On my own, I successfully lost over 40 lbs.

What suggestions would you give others to help them maintain their positivity?

Appreciate what you have. Try to do something good each day. Stay positive and don’t think too much about tomorrow or what will be as this might stress you out.

Be grateful for the here, and now and the present.

What is the future like for you?

I feel optimistic. Things can only get better. I look forward to getting married, seeing my children successful and happy in their life choices and careers.

I am a little concerned, as I am 60 looking for a new job. However I feel confident with my years of experience and my network. When one door closes another one opens. Thus, I’m excited for the next chapter in my life.

What are you grateful for?

I am grateful for my fiancée, kids, granddaughter, family and close friends. As well as my health and my new weight loss and happier active lifestyle.

Suzanne Reisler Litwin: The Spring 2021 Series: Pumping Up Positivity, Part Five – Fabulous Final Four

Heidi Tucker-Puritt

Heidi Tucker-Puritt

  • Marketing and Amateur Food Guru – people pleaser hostess

I met Heidi in Kindergarten at Merton School in Cote St. Luc, Quebec. We went through Elementary School together. We reconnected via social media and it’s been amazing to catch up and support each other. Here are Heidi’s answers to my positivity questions.

When you wake up in the morning, what is the first thing you think about?

I think about how lucky I am to have my husband and our health. I am grateful that we have a wonderful family and friends.

What positive words do you think about or use during your day?

I use the word blessed because I have a wonderful son and caring stepsons and daughter in-law. I firmly believe that things happen for a reason and sometimes it’s just out of our hands.

What is your positive perspective?

My positive perspective is to be grateful for my health, my loved ones and a roof over my head. Everything else is a bonus.

What are your current best moments?

My best moments are talking and snuggling with my husband, kissing my son and smelling my late Mother’s perfume (Shalimar) bottle in my drawer so I can feel her presence.

What tools do you use to maintain your positivity?

I don’t use any specific tools other than I try to remember the logical and practical advice my Mom gave me and listen to those words in my head. Don’t let small things annoy you, if something breaks, try to rationalize it by saying that it’s only money and it can be replaced - as long as we have our health - nothing else matters.

Is your perspective realistic?

Yes, my perspectives are very realistic. I have never set out unrealistic goals for myself. I tend to procrastinate so I have learned over the years to set goals, and challenges, that I can attain.

What is the future like for you?

My future is very encouraging - I’m having knee replacement surgery which will hopefully give me back my mobility and my eldest stepson is getting married this summer to a wonderful & sweet girl.

What is beautiful in your life? What is your joy?

The beauty in my life is my son. He is what keeps me young at heart. My joy is definitely cooking for my family and friends, it makes me happy that people enjoy my food and I become part of their home.

Heidi, please add anything else you would like to share.

I am so happy to have reconnected with you Suzie. The last time I saw you, we were 9 years old. It makes me happy that we obviously had a bond formed that really never left. I love when you post things about your Mother - she reminds me so much of my own.

Thank you to our Fabulous Final Four: Maureen Burnett, Suzie Shaffer, Marcy Kastner and Heidi Tucker-Puritt. I hope their positive perspectives were interesting, helpful and encouraging.

This ends our Spring 2021 Series – Pumping Up Positivity. I’ve learned so much from all our participants.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the questionnaires, helped with editing and were willing to put positivity out there for everyone to read and ponder.

Now, onto something completely different.

Summer writing and reading is going to be tilted on the silly, fun, sun, and fluff. And… Maybe, with a little hope, some more lessons from the canoe! Dip your paddle in!

Stay Tuned and Stay Positive!

— Suzanne Reisler Litwin

— AB

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