Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Here are 60 things to be grateful for in our lives:
1. Your parents - For giving birth to you. Because if there is no them, there will not be you.
2. Your family – For being your closest kin in the world
3. Your friends – For being your companions in life
4. Sense of sight – For letting you see the colors of life
5. Sense of hearing - For letting you hear trickle of rain, the voices of your loved ones, and the harmonious chords of music
6. Sense of touch - For letting you feel the texture of your clothes, the breeze of the wind, the hands of your loved ones
7. Sense of smell – For letting you smell scented candles, perfumes, and beautiful flowers in your garden
8. Sense of taste – For letting you savor the sweetness of fruits, the saltiness of seawater, the sourness of pickles, the bitterness of bitter gourd, and the spiciness of chilli
9. Your speech – For giving you the outlet to express yourself
10. Your heart – For pumping blood to all the parts of your body every second since you were born; for giving you the ability to feel
11. Your lungs – For letting you breathe so you can live
12. Your immune system – For fighting viruses that enter your body. For keeping you in the pink of your health so you can do the things you love.
13. Your hands – So you can type on your computer, flip the pages of books, and hold the hands of your loved ones
14. Your legs - For letting you walk, run, swim, play the sports you love, and curl up in the comfort of your seat
15. Your mind - For the ability to think, to store memories, and to create new solutions
16. Your good health – For enabling you to do what you want to do and for what you’re about to do in the future
17. Your school - For providing a environment conducive to learning and growing
18. Your teachers – For their dedication and for passing down knowledge to you
19. Tears – For helping you express your deepest emotions
20. Disappointment - So you know the things that matter to you most
21. Fears – So you know your opportunities for growth
22. Pain – For you to become a stronger person
23. Sadness – For you to appreciate the spectrum of human emotions
24. Happiness – For you to soak in the beauty of life
25. The Sun - For bringing in light and beauty to this world
26. Sunset – For a beautiful sight to end the day
27. Moon and Stars - For brightening up our night sky
28. Sunrise - For a beautiful sight to start the morning
29. Rain – For cooling you when it gets too warm and for making it comfy to sleep in on weekends
30. Snow – For making winter even more beautiful
31. Rainbows – For a beautiful sight to look forward to after rain
32. Oxygen - For making life possible
33. The earth – For creating the environment for life to begin
34. Mother nature - For covering our world in beauty
35. Animals – For adding to the diversity of life
36. Internet - For connecting you and me despite the physical space between us
37. Transport - For making it easier to commute from one place to another
38. Mobile phones – For making it easy to stay in touch with others
39. Computers – For making our lives more effective and efficient
40. Technology – For making impossible things possible
41. Movies – For providing a source of entertainment
42. Books – For adding wisdom into your life
43. Blogs – For connecting you with other like-minded people
44. Shoes – For protecting your feet when you are out
45. Time – For a system to organize yourself and keep track of activities
46. Your job – For giving you a source of living and for being a medium where you can add value to the world
47. Music - For lifting your spirits when you’re down and for filling your life with more love
48. Your bed - For you to sleep comfortably in every night
49. Your home - For a place you can call home
50. Your soul mate – For being the one who understands everything you’re going through
51. Your best friends – For being there for you whenever you need them
52. Your enemies – For helping you uncover your blind spots so you can become a better person
53. Kind strangers – For brightening up your days when you least expect it
54. Your mistakes - For helping you to improve and become better
55. Heartbreaks - For helping you mature and become a better person
56. Laughter - For serenading your life with joy
57. Love - For letting you feel what it means to truly be alive
58. Life’s challenges - For helping you grow and become who you are
59. Life - For giving you the chance to experience all that you’re experiencing, and will be experiencing in time to come
And last but not least… #60:
Sunday, November 17, 2013
There's been a long-held belief that people are worthy of respect when they put others before themselves. People have often evaluated their own worth (and the degree to which they deserve value in society) by their ability to contribute and place the needs of others before themselves.
Along with this belief is the idea that self-care is self-indulgent. However, we can only sustain physical health and emotional health when self-care is a priority. (This is true for both women and men, despite some old-fashioned gender stereotypes!) When your needs are met, and self-care is a non-negotiable priority, you can come to the world as the best version of yourself; fully nourished and ready to nourish those around you.
In fact, giving yourself permission to take care of yourself is probably the best thing you can do for the people in your life. Not only will you be happier and healthier, but those around you will be, too.
1. Feed yourself the best foods when possible.
Often when we are busy fulfilling our responsibilities, part of the way we make more time is to neglect our own dietary needs. Instead of fully nourishing ourselves, we rely on packaged, microwavable or takeout foods, which lack nutrients and often have an abundance of substances that are detrimental to our health.
Decide to make food a priority for yourself; even for just a short while. Chances are, you’ll feel better at the end of that process, with increased energy and clarity. You can start slowly here, evaluate where you are now, and make plans for small steps. As you learn new strategies for sustaining healthy eating as a regular part of your life, you'll make more changes and your progress will be exponential.
2. Move everyday.
Our bodies are made for movement. Find time to move daily and to exercise three days a week. Daily movement could be in the form of a walk or gentle yoga. Your three-times-a-week exercise could take whatever form resonates with you most: the gym for cardio, core work and resistance training, swimming, running or power yoga.
3. Make sleep a priority.
For a myriad of reasons, our society is becoming increasingly sleep-deprived. Sleep is significant in our body’s ability to be well. While sleeping, we repair damaged tissues and organs, we metabolize hormones our body no longer needs, and our brains use this time to organize our thoughts and experiences, and to make permanent neurological links (memories) for the learning we experienced that day.
4. Develop a breathing & meditation practice.
When we breathe fully, using our diaphragm, the parasympathetic nervous system becomes engaged. This is the rest and relax system of the body, the opposite of the sympathetic nervous system, which engages during times of crisis or arousal, and which for many people is on much of the time. Allowing the body and mind to believe that all is okay and that it can rest and relax comes with breathing deeply and provides an opportunity for significant repair to the body. Meditation enhances this process further as it allows the brain to change its activity and release calming neurotransmitters.
5. If possible, do something you really enjoy daily.
If that isn’t sustainable, try weekly, or as often as you can. Take a bath with some Epsom salts and essential oil, write in your journal, buy yourself some flowers. Whatever activity you choose to do, don’t feel guilty about taking the time to do it; remember it’s feeding your soul and increasing your joy.
6. Tweak your supplement routine.
Consider speaking to a healthcare professional such as a nutritionist or naturopath to determine if there are supplements that would enhance your overall health. Many people are lacking in Vitamin D3, iron, digestive enzymes, probiotics, omega-3 or other key nutrients. Using specific foods or supplements will enhance your feeling of wellness and energy.
7. Get outside.
Time in nature is extremely restorative. Visually feasting on the beauty and wonder of nature, placing our feet on the earth, our body in water, and breathing in fresh air is a great act of kindness towards out bodies and minds. If you find time outside healing and pleasurable, make time for it as often as possible.
8. Make time to be alone.
Just as a sense of community is paramount for people, so too is time alone. Often there are feelings of guilt associated with taking time alone, but it is essential for everyone, particularly people who are introverts. Time alone allows people to process their thoughts and experiences and to rejuvenate.
9. Develop a gratitude practice.
Begin your morning with an affirmation, something that builds resiliency in your mind and heart. Perhaps you have a meeting or family responsibility that day that will require some extra effort from you; build your affirmation around the idea that you'll be successful in that endeavor. For example, “My mind and heart dissolve all fear, doubt and anxiety in me now, I am magnetic to my highest purpose and move through my day with ease and grace.”
Beginning your affirmation with an intention is also very powerful. Then, end your day with gratitude. Write down three things you are grateful about from the day, and reflect on why they were meaningful to you.
Think about what brought you joy or pleasure, what did you appreciate in someone or something. Doing this regularly will change your perceptions of your life, the people in it and your responsibilities.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
"When we leave this planet we won't be asked how much did you earn, how big was your house etc - just "How kind were you?" Kindness, it's a currency we need more and more, the more you give the more you have to give".
World Kindness Day is a time when many people around the world choose to carry out random acts of kindness. And in doing so make someone's day extra special, bring a smile where there was none and remind people that they are cared about.
Little things can become the big things: compliments, the holding open of a door, the carrying of a bag, the cheery "Good Morning" from a passing stranger. These things can all make a difference to the life of another.
We never know what difficulties another person is facing in his or her life. To offer a moment of compassion is all that is needed sometimes.
Today as you think about kindness, remember to also be kind to yourself. So many of my clients suffer because they put themselves last. They have total burn out because they've forgotten how to look after their own needs.
Today I suggest we all take some time to look after ourselves.
Here's my question: "What would you do for you today to celebrate World Kindness Day, if you were your best friend?"
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