I just wanted to check-in with everyone and let you know of my progress. I believe that to be successful with any goal, it's a good idea to have someone or somewhere that you report your accountability to. Now I want to let you all know that even though there have been some times when I have been tempted to slip-up, I have remained true to my goal. Knowing that eventually I'd be checking-in publicly with my success or failure actually made me really think about my resolve in my times of weakness. So this has pretty much been my internal motto:
We all have times of weakness with things that we struggle with, but I have found that if I take a step back and think for just a moment, all of the sudden, the choice becomes much easier. I've also noticed that the times when I wanted to depart from my goal were the times when I was overly emotional. But instead of drowning my sorrows in a stack of blueberry pancakes, I listened to myself and tried to understand more fully why I was feeling that way and how I could feel better. For some tough days it meant just making it through to the next day, but for others, it meant slowing down or actually making and tackling a long to-do list.
Any goal that we are striving for is possible, even when life is a little rough. And when you're done and you've made it to the end, you can sing, hum or yell this song:
It's been a long week. LONG. And to be honest, I've had a hard time finding things to write about, so sorry for the lack of posts. BUT , we've made it to Friday, so things are looking up. So, here for your enjoyment, a Bagpiper performing AC/DC with flames shooting out of his bagpipe.
A little ridiculous? Perhaps. But after a week like this one... Anyway, have a great weekend and keep smiling!
Life can get so busy and distracting sometimes that we could probably all use a little more time to relax and rejuvenate. I'm a big 7 Habits fan and I have to say that my favorite habit was always the last- "Sharpening the Saw." When I worked for FranklinCovey, the parent company for all things 7 Habits, I noticed that most of the people that I worked with struggled with taking time for themselves and their families. I can't remember how many times I used the car analogy; cars need maintenance and fuel or they will stop working and our bodies and minds are no different. We may not think that we have time for relaxation but when you're busy driving around, do you still make time to go and get gas when you're on E? All drivers know that if you don't eventually you'll lose more time walking to a gas station with a gas can than if you had simply taken a few minutes to fuel up.
Here are a few ways that I "fuel up" when I feel personally on E.
1.Light a candle and close my eyes and breathe for 5 minutes. Sometimes I even set a timer to make sure I do it for a whole 5 minutes.
2.Take an epsom salt bath. Whenever I do this, my body just feels more loose and clean.
3.Hit the pool for half an hour
4.Go for a walk
5.Write a letter of gratitude to someone I love
6. Say a prayer from the heart
7. Snuggle my pet or someone I love
8. Read a chapter from a book
9. Do a relaxing yoga video
10. Hit up Youtube for some relaxing music
I did a little work for you and found this video which is over an hour or relaxing music. Take a listen
Today, let's take a moment to relax and keep smiling!
I love music. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that I wish life had a soundtrack. It could make the happiest moments more joyful and even the average day-to-day moments seem especially purposeful. Music has an ability to bring our emotions to the forefront of our mind; with music we not only feel our emotions but we embrace the act of feeling them.
There is plenty of scientific data that supports music's ability to change or alter even our most basic autonomic functions like heart rate and breathing. Music is like magic, basically. Like magic mixed with scientific support. I'm not sure that there is a composer out there who created more magical or beautiful pieces than Claude Debussy. His music truly is what feelings sound like. I'd like to think that if my soul had a song, it would closely resemble Reverie. His piece Clair de Lune was also recently voted the most beautiful song so I've put both videos up for you to enjoy!
Clair de Lune
I love Debussy! If you're dying for more of his work, Youtube has quite a few of his songs. Have a beautiful day and keep smiling!
Is anyone else feeling a little gleeful about another Disney Princess movie where the princess is plays the part of the savior instead of a damsel in distress? I sure am. This movie looks to be good. I love that the villan is not cast as merely evil either, similar to Tangled but hopefully more complex. Did I mention that the villan is also set to be her older sister? Exciting! I cannot wait to see how it all plays out! Oh and don't forget to watch the funny trailer at the end of the post. It's truly charming.
Many of you know that my husband I decided to become pescetarians a few years back to keep off some of the weight that tends to creep up and cling tightly to most of us as we age. We saw real and marked success with this change in many areas, but especially around the middle. Fast forward a few years and you'll find my husband and I doing pretty well with healthy eating. Healthy except for one main thing: sugar.
Sugar is my weakness, my Kryptonite. I'm fairly fortunate to have a personality that isn't easily addicted to much of anything. My body is awesome about that too. No real issues, I thought. Then for some strange reason one day I felt the need to try a whole week without processed sugar. No "healthy" yogurt pretzels or dark chocolate covered almonds. I even said no to honey for the fear of it becoming a gateway drug, leading back into the harder white stuff. Well, I'm reporting in that after more than a week of only real foods -including fresh fruits, I'm actually feeling pretty great. The first 6 days were rough and I literally dreamed and day dreamed about cookies more times than I'd like to admit. But then, the cravings slowly started to dissipate and my body feels a lot happier now when I reach for an apple instead of chocolate. While I'm sure that I'll eat sugar again at some point, my new goal is to extend my processed sugar ban for a month. Will I make it? Who knows, but I'm sure gonna try. Anyone else out there trying out some new goals? Best of luck and keep smiling!
Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and I am not giving medical advice. Phew, now that that is done we can enough the following cartoon. What if medicine was more focussed on HEALTHcare and less focussed on curing sickness?
This is humorous but true! Most of us know the things wer should be doing to stay healthy but we get lost in the space between knowing and doing. This week I decided to give up meat (like normal life) and processed sugar. WHOA, can I tell you how hard it is to give up sugar?!? I realized I'm a total sugar addict when I started dreaming about chocolate chips cookies just a couple days in. While it's been hard, I'm shocked to see how much better I look and feel. I'm not sure if I'll make it all the way to my month mark, but I'm sure going to try. What goals are you working on? I think that working towards goals gives us a sense of achievement and purpose which definitely increases feelings of happiness. I love it-becoming better makes us happier. It sounds silly and such but it's science. And I love me some science. Happy weekend and keep smiling!
Well, to be honest, today's title is a little misleading. I don't have any data that proves Michael Bublé brings happiness but I'm sure if someone did the research, the data would be skewed in his favor. Anyway, I got these bad boys in the mail on Monday and they have been hanging out on my fridge ever since.
I want to make it clear that I'm not trying to brag, but I just had to post about something that has made my week quite a bit brighter. We've been to one of his concerts before and it was amazing; he truly is a performer. And can we talk about talent for a moment? Hello, Michael is out-of-this-world talented. I could listen to that silky voice sing jingles. Anyway, who is your favorite artist? Is their a group out there that instantly brightens your day? Oh and in case you haven't heard some of MB stuff, here's a couple of my fav songs:
Some people have indoor pet bunnies and they say that they act a lot like dogs. Today's fun little videos actually highlight what I think to be a major difference between them. This is similar to how Oakley looks when I am trying to give her a bath.
This bunny reacts quite differently
And this one is almost unbelievable
The cuteness level here is almost unbearable! Keep smiling!
As I was walking to the gym today, the head of maintenance for our community (who is also a dear friend) asked me how I was doing. It was one of those moments where I knew that he was asking me because he wanted to share how he was feeling. I replied that I was fine for a Monday and then somberly he said that he was feeling low because his dog had to be put down this weekend. As we talked for a little while, my heart hurt for him. And it still does. It also made me realize that our time with these little pups is short.
My little Oakley has saved my life in so many ways and I'm so thankful for her. How easy it is for me to forget how wonderful she is when she is begging for something or peed on the floor (I'm not quite ready to discuss last night's escapades). It's so easy to lose perspective and forget that these little animals are truly one of life's greatest gifts. They honestly don't require much and in return they give you love 100 times what you deserve. So today I'm grateful for the fur-baby in my life. She is loving, kind, affectionate and, as witnessed by the above picture, patient when we put silly hats on her. While Oakley tells me she loves me ALL. THE. TIME. with cuddles and wet kisses, this next dog is a little more direct. For your viewing pleasure:
Ever have those days when you wake up and realize that your life is good? It's not perfect, but it sure is good. Today is one of those days. Somehow on days like these the air feels cleaner, the sky clearer and your outlook just a little brighter. I love days like these. Conquer-the-world-days. This song came out a few years ago but every time I hear it I still feel that energy, that feeling like the world is my oyster.
And for those of you not having a fantastic day, here is another favorite:
I'm not feeling 100% inspired this morning and I need to get off to the gym but I wanted to share this sweet pic.
If all else is lost, hope is the one thing we can always carry, always cling to. Hope can be boosted by outside influences but we are the creators of our own hope. How awesome is that? We may not always be able to choose our circumstances or even our initial emotions but we can always choose to have hope. I think of hope as that small promise to yourself that things always get better. It's such a simple word yet it is the beginning of all possibilites. Nothing is ever started, no dreams are ever realized without the small seed of hope.
In the past few weeks there have been some instances where I have felt the full gamut of negative emotions. Sad, angry, guilty, and hurt to name a few. Life in general was fine but certain situations felt hopeless and were starting to bleed into the rest of my life. Fortunately, I had a wonderful grandmother growing up who told me that whenever I felt bad about myself or something in my life, I should do something nice for someone. Once my self-pity dried up (fairly fast, thankfully) I decided to do some service for a family. I didn't tell them and I certainly hope that they never find out that it was me because I wanted it to be anonymous, something nice for them because it really shouldn't be about me. With most anonymous service, you'll likely never know the impact of your actions but yesterday presented me with a special treat. One of the girls from the family came up to me and gushed about how someone had done something nice for her. She was beaming. It was awesome reminder of what an impact we each can have. While I'm sure that this little girl and her family were positively impacted by my small gesture, I'm truly the one who benefitted from it. I came across this quote and in my relatively short life, I have found it to be true.
After my wonderful experience yesterday, I am going to recommit myself to be continually looking for ways to serve and I hope a few of you will join me.
Something I'm trying to work on is having both my husband and I eat dinner every night without computers or cell phones. We love to go out to eat, in part because it forces us to get away from papers or projects and spend time with just each other. But if there is ever a disagreement about a fact (which happens more than you'd think) one of us pulls out our phone and asks the all-knowing Google. The problem is that once that happens, it's like we invited another person along for the meal because we can't seem to stop looking up information or checking on this or that. Pretty soon we're both reading interesting articles on serial killers and their favorite super heros or how Google glasses are only appealing the the super nerds, etc. We then spout out certain points the article of the article to one another but neither of us are actually listening because we are both trying to synthesize information from our own respective articles.
While I believe learning to a very important thing, at what point do we say enough is enough and start interacting with each other? We finally discussed it and decided that we can be blunt with each other and tell the other person to simply put the phone away. I cannot tell you how much this has helped us communicate more! While we still aren't perfect at it, we're getting better. What's crazy to both of us is that dinner is more fun and we actually learn more about each other than some psychological postulation about mental illness and Superman or Apple's world domination. Without offending Superman or Apple, I think we're both a little happier discussing goals and dreams and the adorableness of our dog. My challenge to whoever is reading this (probably just my grandma and hubs) is to put the phone away and connect with someone rather than the internet.
How often do we fail to listen to ourselves and that little voice in our gut that says we can do it? I am the queen of self-doubt and while sometimes my doubt pushes me to excel, other times it stops me right in my tracks.
So yes, I've been gone about a year. A whole year. And I'm not even really sure about why except for that things get busy and life runs away from us. As I was thinking about whether or not I should close down this account, I read through all of the previous posts and decided that this blog helped me probably more than it has helped anyone else. This blog gave me a reason to find joy and humor each day and I need to get back to that. Now don't get me wrong, my last year has been good and full of accomplishment, but as I look back, I remember times when I definitely let life and circumstances get the best of me. So I'm starting this up again. Who knows if anyone will ever read any of this- I guess it doesn't matter. I'm ready to continue working my butt off but dream a little more, laugh a little more, and be a little more grateful for my life.