Happy Thanksgiving! Gratitude Cards

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Thankful Thursday!

What have you been doing to show your gratitude on Thursdays? It can be done in so many ways from writing in a journal, to conveying it to others around you, and to making gratitude cards.

This Thanksgiving, I am making Gratitude Cards and sending them to my family and friends since I won’t be home to spend this precious time with them. The three cards are: “My favorite thing about you”, “I love you because”, and “My Thanksgiving wish for you”.

Click on the card you want, fill these out, print them or copy them and send them to your loved ones.

 

 

Fitness Slump

My fitness routine hit a slump last week. It’s been bad. This week I’m on vacation, so I’m walking EVERYWHERE. I have found a few things help me stay motivated: 1) change it up; 2) reach deep down inside to figure out WHY and write it down; and 3) keep a friend accountable and ask your friend to keep you accountable.

What has worked for you?

Change It Up
There are headache days, sick days, i-don’t-wanna days, it’s-cold-outside days, etc. I found changing it up helps on these days. I like my kettle bell workouts, but I found I don’t always feel like it. When I don’t, instead of taking the bus or train, I walk it out. I haven’t started yoga, yet, but my go-to exercises are working the kettle bell or walking it out and I never go without either too long.

Your Deep-down WHY and Write It Down
Hypertension runs in my family and I can’t dodge it, so this is my deep-down reason to keeping active. I have also put down the shallow goal of, “to look good in a bikini”. I think keeping deep-down goals and shallow goals are equally important.  When you write down your goals, it helps you commit to them because they become ingrained in your brain. Having a goal that is deep seeded helps to keep a meaningful reason as to why you’ve committed to your fitness routine. Have you tried this? Has it worked?

Accountability
My girlfriend on the West Coast and I like to keep each other accountable on our workouts and when we finish, we like to check in with each other on WhatsApp. It’s nice to know she cares and likewise, I try to keep her motivated and positively reinforce her activities by throwing her a thumbs up or happy face emoticon. It’s nice to know I have her support and she has mine.

What do you do to keep up and running on your weekly fitness?

 

In Memory of Mary Rose Mercieca

This week, a small community I belong to lost a loving person. This blog post is in her memory.

Have you heard of the quote that explains people come into your life for a reason,  a season, or a lifetime? I felt Mary Rose came into my life for a reason and a season. She was bright, cheery, and called my name with a cadence.

When I had a law school exam, was in a rush to get coffee, or get to class because I was late, she said, “Hi, Gee-nah!” She taught me to be thankful for the present. She taught me to be thankful in perseverance. She taught me to continue to be selfless and continue to give because others will appreciate this when it means so much to them.

Mary Rose left and I owed her something. I previously loaded LSAT study materials onto a thumb drive for her. She ended up losing part of the file. She gave me a thumb drive to place LSAT study materials on them for her and I still feel like I owe her. The Nerf Gun thumb drive sits on my desk in its package, unopened, with the intent that she was determined to go to law school one day. I learned from her also how important it is to live with intent and up to your dying day, live with purpose and strength. I will miss her tremendously. I am thankful she was in my life for a reason, even if, for a season.

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or
a lifetime. When you figure out which one it is, you
will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON . . . It is
usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have
come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you
with guidance and support, to aid you physically,
emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a
godsend, and they are! They are there for the reason
you need them to be.

Then, without any wrong doing on your part, or at an
inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.

Sometimes they die.
Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.

What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered. And now it is time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON . . .
Because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace, or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount
of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Author Unknown

Kick-Start Your Mornings with Lemon Water and Not Your Ordinary Oatmeal

START

I’ll be posting this for Well-being Wednesday and Foodie Friday. There’s a two-part to today’s blog article: 1) wellness  and 2) smart breakfasting to cover two blog categories.

Wellness

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A good breakfast will ensure you have proper energy stores until mid-morning, depending on how early you ate breakfast. However, what you put into your body may create an acidic environment. What exactly does this mean? According to a 1995 American Dietetic  Association Study, this means consuming acidic foods contribute to reduced kidney function, which can lead to muscle and bone breakdown.

Today is my second day out of 6 days, taking my pH three times in the morning in order to minimize an acidic environment in my body. I have also started being more conscious about the type of foods I put into my body.

I have started to kick my caffeine and sugar habit for two weeks and take on a more whole foods and alkaline diet. Refined grains and animal protein sources contribute to an acidic environment. I have also replaced my white sugar with coconut crystals.

Smart Breakfasting

My Ordinary Oatmeal used to be instant oatmeal, with 2% fat milk, organic cinnamon,  raw almonds, and honey.

Not Your Ordinary Oatmeal cuts out the 2% milk for whole milk and instead of the raw almonds, chia seeds and peanut butter. The almonds are fine, however, I added chia seeds and peanut butter for a kick of protein in the morning. If you’re vegetarian, you can substitute coconut milk or almond milk for the bovine milk.

Here is the Foodie Friday Recipe:

Place into a microwavable bowl the following contents:
1/2 packet of plain instant Oatmeal – steel-cut oatmeal is ideal
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp natural peanut butter
1 tbsp of honey
Sprinkle on cinnamon
1/2 cup of whole milk, or coconut milk or almond milk

Microwave for 2 minutes, stir it up, and serve warm.

 

 

 

Me Time

I need some me time
Not some you and some I
Just some me time, oh
I need some she time
– Heather Headley, Me Time

What does “me time” mean to you?

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 9.25.00 AM

Anything bringing you an opportunity to reduce stress or restore energy is “Me Time”. Me Time does not have to be at a set time, set activity, or by yourself. Me Time can be different everytime or the same everytime and a bit of both everytime. I like Me Time to be Quiet Time, also. This energizes me and helps me be a better person for those I love and make time for daily.

Beginning this week, I am taking the time to wake up 30 minutes earlier to think about my day, brew a cup of black tea, with milk and sugar, journal and reflect on gratitutde and thankfulness, and begin a positive spin on my day. I will plan my day, then I will finally end my morning ritual with what I covered in my post about positive reflections and affirmations.

What is it that you’ll be doing?

Savoring

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 7.47.54 AM In July, I posted a Bliss App review of an exercise called “Savoring.” Since I started the Bliss App in June, I have not been consistent. The exercises that repeat, I tend to put off, thinking, “this exercise, again?” However,  I have noticed a change in my morale when I am not reminding myself of all the great things going on in my life. It takes a toll on my spirit. So, I have a goal to complete a Bliss App exercise at least once a week and do more if I can. No pressure.

I have also intended on spending mornings as “me time.” This means sketching out or writing out my personal attainable goals and start with areas of fitness and health, family, and career.  I found starting with me allows me to center myself to be the best for my husband, my family, and my career path. Although I take joy in putting others first, sometimes this burns me out, so focusing on what I need to handle reminds me I have given me some time out of my busy day of giving me to others.

The savoring exercise entry I reviewed in July was different from today’s savoring exercise. I am in a different place in my life and it shows. It isn’t necessarily a bad place, but it isn’t sun-shiney positive, either. I am my own worst critic, so the savoring exercise today helped me realize that there is joy, even in drinking tea. It reminded me every moment can be savored, even in mundane chores and activities.

Have you started a gratitute journal? If an app isn’t for you, here is a free print out to get you started.

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Don’t Take It Out on Those You Love

Are you stressed? Do you need something to eat?  Are you tired? Are you hangry?

We all have pain and it needs to go somewhere. Pain, like energy, is transferred, when not transformed.

Why do we take out our stress on those we love the most? It’s because we love them the most. So when it happens…apologize to that person, then work on not using people you love as an emotional punching bag. This world will be a better place for the both of you. Tell him or her how much you love him or her.

“All streams flow to the sea because it is lower than they are. Humility gives it its power.” – Lao Tzu

Here is what else you can do after you ask your three questions to yourself and head out to eat something and take a nap:

  1. Identify why you’re really upset.
  2. Turn to your inner self or a higher being to ask what this is really about. It’s a potential moment or opportunity to grow.
  3. Apologize to those you took your stress out on.

Stuck in Mud

SO BRIGHTIf you substitute your own word for “mud,” what would it be? “Sunshine,” “flowers,” “cupcakes,” “rainbows,” “sprinkles,” “polka dots”? It depends if your cup is half full or half empty at the moment, right? Well, if you’re stuck in a rut for a hot second, there are a few ways you can free yourself.

I thought of at least 3 ways you can cultivate your gratitute today; I know. Optimistic. Give it a try, at least two, and call me in the morning.

1. Really sound happy to hear from someone when that person in your life calls you on the phone. Let’s be you when you’re happy. How do you think you sound? You don’t need to be not you because everyone takes a different spin on being happy, but give this a whirl: try to smile while you’re talking to that person. Do you feel a difference?

2. When you think something negative about a person, switch it to something positive. Example: Andrew has really bad breath this morning. He always has onion breath…BUT he is super funny, almost always. I’m glad I work with him or my work days would stink…

3. When you’re in the dumps, think, “What am I learning from this? How am I growing from this?”

I think it will take a while to get used to thinking this way,  but it is a way of training yourself. Soon enough, there will butterflies in the sky and your friends will be squiting, covering their eyes, or need their sunglasses because you’re so bright! Bright in your own way, of course!

Draw a Circle Around You

Last week, I talked about drawing a circle around you. wpid-20150728_083210.png

Have you thought of this? The only thing you can control is yourself. If you’re about to have a melt-down, it’s not that you’re not allowed to – go have it. Go have it on your own, take a minute, go for a walk, and let it out. Go to the gym, lift those weights, sweat it out, and let it out. Go to your desk, take a pen and paper, write it out, and let it out. There is a great feeling on letting it out. Go to your bed, think it out, scream in the pillow, and let it out. Right?

So, look, you got this. There is nothing in this world that keeps you from being you and you’re the only one you can control. Let it out.

Finding Gratitude in Your Problems

When doors close, windows open.

How can you find gratitude in your problems? What an oxymoron.

I have found, in short, problems are just that when you see them in that light.

Anyone watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s?  Holly Golightly has problems. How does she deal with them? Not necessarily through gratitude, but her problems seem to roll right off her back. She seems to be okay with confronting her landlord,  telling the taxi driver to step on it, and getting help when she can’t find her alligator shoe.

On top of handling problems this way, why not find gratitude in your problems?

The Bliss App helps you process what may be troubling you to stop staring at the closed door and look for the open windows.

In the Transforming Problems exercise, you state what the problem is  then you state how this problem is an opportunity for growth and then choose how you will respond to the issue.

Draw a circle around you, friend, because that is the only thing you can control in this world.