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Posts from the ‘Health’ Category

Gratitude Journal

“The good life consists in deriving happiness by using your signature strengths every day in the main realms of living. The meaningful life adds one more component: using these same strengths to forward knowledge, power or goodness.” – Martin Seligman

Gratitude is a key ingredient to real optimism and whole-hearted living. Starting a daily gratitude journal can transform ordinary days into extraordinary days.

A Verywellmind.com article offers some simple and doable tips on starting and maintaining a gratitude journal:

  1. Decide on a Journal – online or paper;
  2. Decide on a framework – long form or lists;
  3. Commit to a schedule – do it everyday;
  4. Keep writing – things unwind and unfold when we write them down.

The 5 Minute Journal app has a morning and evening check in a very simple format. In the morning, you record 3 things you are grateful for and 3 things you will do to make today great? And then daily affirmations – I am… In the evening, you record 3 amazing things that happened today, How could I have made today even better? You can look back and see how you make progress when you do it daily.

Being intentional, aware of your blessings daily and saying “thank you” fosters an abundance mindset. Knowledge, power, goodness.

“‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.” – Alice Walker

Daily Gratitude

“It was the rainbow gave thee birth, and left thee all her lovely hues.” – W. H. Davies

“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” – John Milton

A simple glance to the left and the rainbow caught my attention and awe entered, setting the tone for the day. That’s all it takes. Opening our eyes to what is present in this very moment and rediscovering gratitude in daily encounters.

According to research, simply expressing gratitude may have lasting effects on the brain:

  1. Gratitude unshackles us from toxic emotions;
  2. Gratitude helps even if you don’t share it;
  3. Gratitude’s benefits take time;
  4. Gratitude has lasting effects on the brain.

For more inspiration and ideas on living well, check out the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley which I just tripped on looking for quotes on gratitude. The joy that comes from simple pursuits indeed.

To be more grateful, lift your head up, open your eyes and find the rainbows woven through each day.

Little Pauses

“If you are losing your leisure, look out; you may be losing your soul.” – Logan Pearsall Smith

“We will be more successful in all our endeavors if we can let go of the habit of running all the time, and take little pauses to relax and re-center ourselves. And we’ll also have a lot more joy in living.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Speed over depth
Multi over single tasking
Loud over quiet
Busy over slow
Quantity over quality

Make different choices, get different results. Pause. And then pause again. Go deeper, slower and stay longer in each moment.

Deep Down

“You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level.”– Thomas Merton

You will be free when you move past competition and comparison with others and pursue with vigor and enthusiasm your true authentic self. No apologies, nothing to prove, no permission needed. Get comfortable with yourself, learn and grow.

The days turn quickly into years so be yourself now, uninhibited and unchained. Regardless of circumstances and challenges, keep going, confident that either things will move or you will be moved when the time is right.

Go deep down and release that hindered spirit and let it lead you back to you.

Cadence

“What we hope ever to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence.” – Samuel Johnson

Last Friday, I did a 9 mile run in preparation for the Twin Cities 10 miler which is in conjunction with the Twin Cities Marathon on October 1. I’ve completed three marathons and all were at the Twin Cities Marathon – a beautiful course. I felt good that I made 9 with my sporadic and mixed training as of late. The 9 mile run builds confidence that you can do the 10 miles so that’s the main purpose of the longer run. But what really matters is the time and effort in all distances, consistency and time on your feet.

I took it easy on Saturday and did a 6 mile run on Sunday. I got my stride, my flow and was reminded of all of the reasons that I run. It was like I was floating on air and one with the run. Those joy-filled moments when all of the pieces of work and effort come together in a beautiful symphony of cadence.

So often we focus so much on the work and effort, we miss the ease of flow and cadence of the input. When we experience it, we must celebrate it by simply taking it in and letting it move us. Daily living is a mix of ups and downs, momentum and struggle. It is the downs and struggle that are the foundation of the ups and momentum, of the cadence.

Keep moving, knowing that it won’t always be easy, but we find ease and flow when we move our mindsets out of the way and let our heart and spirit lead the way into whatever path is in front of us. Practice, repetition and getting back up every single time. With each strike of your heel, you build your cadence. And suddenly effort becomes effortless.

“The more I practice the luckier I get.” – Arnold Palmer

“The more I practice the luckier I get.” – Arnold Palmer

Choose Tigger

“Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun.” – Randy Pausch

“Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun.” – Randy Pausch

“I am going to keep having fun every day I have left, because there is no other way of life. You just have to decide whether you are a Tigger or an Eeyore.” – Randy Pausch

Today, and each day going forward, have fun, no matter what’s going on. There will never be a time in life when there are not challenges woven through the victories. Create your little wins by having fun.

Don’t wait for a loved one to die or a health diagnosis to learn that life is so very short. Give more and receive all there is right now in this moment. Be grateful for the gift of this day and put some bounce in your step – choose Tigger.

Flexibility

“Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.” – Lao Tzu

When we’re young, we’re agile, flexible. We bend and don’t break. Experience, time, age changes us. We become rigid, rule-following, hard as rock in our ways, leading with “no,” “can’t,” “it’s too late.” Yet we have a choice to lead with “yes,” to choose differently.

So as you enter this day, start with “yes” and follow it with several more “yeses.” Be flexible and loosen up a bit. We become more agile with practice. We become more of what we want to be with practice, actually.

Laugh more, be silly, let go of all the “shoulds,” “musts” and “have-tos.” Be like water, or like puppy Abby. Softer, flexible, irresistible.

“There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.” – Bernard Williams

“There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.” – Bernard Williams

This is Your Life, Are You Who You Want to Be?

“We ‘reorder’ our lives when we choose spirit over the illusions of physical circumstances. With each choice we make, we either become more involved in the illusory physical world, or we invest energy into the power of spirit… Each time we choose to enhance our internal power, we limit the authority of the physical world over our lives, bodies, health, minds, and spirits. From an energy point of view, every choice that enhances our spirits strengthens our energy field; and the stronger our energy field, the fewer connections to negative people and experiences.” – Caroline Myss, PhD, Anatomy of the Spirit

As I was driving to work yesterday on autopilot, my thoughts focused on my overwhelming “to do” list, one line from a song playing on the radio suddenly caught my attention – “this is your life, are you who you want to be?”

Songs, books, nature, art all have a way of capturing our attention, bringing us back to center, to the important questions that need answers. Signs, seeds, and clues surround us begging for our attention, to wake us up and give meaning to our days.

Take yourself off auto pilot, cruise control – look and listen to what’s all around. You will be surprised what you see and hear. Suddenly, awe and wonder enter into your noisy busy, busy world that you’ve convinced yourself that you must participate in. Slow down so you can answer the questions that really matter, that define your life.

This is your life, are you who you want to be? If you don’t like the answer, do something different. Not sure what to do? Listen closely, the answers are there.

If Then, Only, When

If we do not center ourselves how can we be steady;
If we do now slow down, how do we find meaning;
If we do not rest, how do we find solace;
If we do not reflect, how do we find purpose;
If we do not look, how do we see beauty in our midst;
If we do not create, how will we be created.

Center
Slow
Rest
Reflect
Look
Create

If then
If only
If when

Entertain Possibilities

Without hesitation, we let doubt and fear enter our thoughts, control our actions, putting us into a “holding” pattern. Holding back, holding up. We too easily accept less rather than risk more, putting conditions, rules and fences around wide open spaces. “I can’t do this because of this … If I do this then this will happen … I need this to happen then I can do that … I am not good enough to do that…I’m too old to do something different…”

Entertain the endless possibilities present for yourself, others and the world. Abundance over scarcity. Fulfillment over comfort. Curiosity over inevitability. Action over acquiescence.

No more fear of what may or may not happen if… Invite, entertain and welcome new ideas and possibilities for your life.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson

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