Happier at Home

Gretchen Rubin has written a few books on happiness, but I figured everyone could use a few of her tips on being “Happier at Home.”

Here are some of Gretchen’s quotes from her book “Happier at Home”

They say that research is “me-search.”  -Gretchen Rubin     I like this thought because it truly resonates with the idea of taking time to figure out your own personal needs. I don’t think we take the time to do this, to truly understand ourselves and our needs on different levels.  We have needs on a personal level, home level, work level, relationship level, etc. Those areas become better when we take the time to figure out what we need from the various situations of life.

“In particular, I’d realized that although I possessed all the elements of a happy life, too often I took my circumstances for granted and allowed myself to become overly vexed by petty annoyances or fleeting worries. I’d wanted to appreciate my life more, and to live up to it better.” -GR     I think this quote is true for each and every one of us. There are times when we allow things to push us to surrender. We become vexed by the petty and allow things to shadow the beauty in our lives.  When we are able to see the happy things, to have a heart of gratitude for the little things that make life better, we begin to come from a place that is good for everyone.

“Certainly I had paradoxical wishes for my home…What would be true for me? My home should calm me and energize me. It should be a comforting, quiet refuge and a place of excitement and possibility. It should call to my mind the past, the present and the future. It should be a snuggery of privacy and reflection, but also a gathering place that strengthened my engagement with other people. By making me feel safe, it should embolden me to take risks. I wanted a feeling of home so strong that no matter where I went, I would take that feeling with me; at the same time, I wanted to find adventure without leaving my apartment. My home should suit me, and also suit {my family]. But as I considered this list, I saw that these weren’t, in fact, contradictory desires. My home could be both wading pool and diving board.” -GR          What would be TRUE for you? What desires do you have for your home and the feelings within it?     “To ‘feel right,’ I’d look for ways to make my home more closely reflect my values, to make sure that the life I’m living is the life I ought to be living. My ordinary routine should reflect the things most important to me.”

 

306ea9dbda414961dd286db61c563312“We need to project ourselves into the things around us. My self is not confined to my body. It extends into all things I have made and all the things around me. Without these things, I would not be myself.” -Carl Jung     

“Some research suggests that spending money on an experience brings more happiness than buying a possession” -GR     Think back on the experiences with your family–the trips, the plays, the spontaneous adventures. They are priceless. I think everyone would agree that you will always remember the walk on the beach with your Dad over the writing pen he gave you. You will remember the quality time over any possession. One idea to tie things together for memory sake–Maybe you purchase something that reminds you of your amazing trip to the Canadian Rockies. “I read a fascinating study about people’s relationships to their possessions, and in particular, what made a thing ‘special.’ What the researchers found was that usually it wasn’t the object itself that was so special, but the important memories or associations invoked by the thing.”-GR

“There is no one right way to happiness, but only the way that’s right for a particular person–which is why mindfulness matters so much to happiness. To be happier, I have to notice what I’m doing, and why, and how it makes me feel. Research suggests that mindful people tend to be happier, are more likely to feel self-confident and grateful and less likely to feel anxious or depressed, and have heightened self-knowledge.” -GR

 

43.-CLUTTER-QUOTE-4It only makes sense to surround yourself with beautiful things that inspire creativity and growth, love and harmony. Look around you. How do you feel?

“I knew that people who travel to new places and try new things are happier than those who stick only to the familiar.” -GR     I am sure everyone can relate and understand this quote. When you travel to any new place you have a sense of awakening. It is as if a new door has been opened and their is a spring of newness to enjoy.

“Research shows that people who remind themselves of the excellence and beauty in their lives have a greater sense of meaning and happiness.” -GR     A grateful heart has no bounds.

“Benjamin Franklin observed of his own happiness project, “On the whole, tho’ I never arrived at the Perfection I had been so ambitious of obtaining, but fell far short of it, yet as I was by the Endeavor a better and a happier Man than I otherwise should have been, if I had not attempted it.” -GR     As we are always striving to become better we will find opportunities to grow. Wisdom comes in all we strive to learn from.

 

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“My home was a reflection of me:It would be serene, festive, loving and welcoming only if I brought that spirit to it. To feel more at home at home, I must carry my home, my treasure, within me. A happy home wasn’t a place that I could furnish, but an attitude of mind I must develop.”  -GR       Hold forever in your heart that happy place.

“Now is now. Here is my treasure.”-GR     This moment and every moment is a gift. enjoy.

Thank you Gretchen Rubin for your thoughts and inspired work.

Peace to all of you today. May it be a blessed day.  -H

 

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SPRING is a rebirth for the Mind, Body & Soul

 

199360-Colorful-Hello-Spring-Quote“SPRING is a time to find out where you are, who you are, and move toward where you are going.  ”  -Penelope Trunk

SPRING seems to breathe new life into everything. You walk around a store and see color everywhere, you walk out into your yard and see the first yellow daffodil’s that seem to sing SPRING.

Spring seems to wake up the soul and fill in the empty spaces with plans and projects, with new beginnings, with spring cleaning, with hope like a bud blooming on the trees outside the window. Everything whispers, grow.

Here are some tips, tricks and ideas to wake up the soul, stretch beyond, open spaces, and make room for the new ideas, dreams and soul seeking things you need right now!

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YOU ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH. YOU ARE BEAUTY. INTELLIGENCE. LOVE. LIGHT. YOU ARE DIVINE. 

Some great tips for your MIND. BODY. SOUL. HOME…balance is better

IDEAS TO NOURISH YOUR SOUL: Take time to be alone, to be quiet. Read–something that will enrich your mind and heart. (a few personal favorites: The Heart of Goodness, The Seekers Guide, Zest for Life, Wayne Dyer, The Untethered Soul) Write–journal things you are grateful for, begin a personal blog to express where you are in life & get feelings out, or write letters to yourself. Write to find your true voice, to set your feelings free and be able to understand yourself a little better on a personal level. Get Creative–what artistic avenue may help you tap into a deeper part of you. Do you have a hobby or passion that lights you up? Find some way to express yourself creatively [photography, painting, wood, collage, etc].  Get out in nature–take a walk through a park, look at flower petals up close, sit under a tree, touch the smooth lines of a pebble, listen to water, watch the clouds. Nature has a calming, soothing affect on us. Get in tune–listen to music that soothes and comforts through the rhythm and flow of the melody of music. It has a power and influence that you cannot over look. Music takes us to memories, it records moments within our lives. You can feel what feels right for you at a specific moment. Listen to what your heart needs. Breathe deeply–take at least five deep breaths and let go. LOL–share jokes, watch a comedy, be silly because laughter really is a great medicine for stress and releases hormones that help us feel better.

IDEAS TO NOURISH YOUR BODY: Sleep–make sure you are getting 7 to 9 hours . Stretch–to avoid soreness, aches and pains. Exerciseaccording to Dr. Mercola eighty percent of Americans fail to meet the recommended amount of exercise, which is 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity activity or 1.25 hours of vigorous-intensity activity each week…along with twice weekly strength-training workouts.  Drink more water–You are suppose to have eight 8-ounce glasses, which equals a half a gallon a day. Make one small change–switch out a soda for flavored water, eat an apple or try a fruit or veggie you have never had. Sun Me–Get out in the sun for a little vitamin D (at least 15 minutes) Try Walnuts–I keep hearing how walnuts are so good for you because they stimulate the brain and nervous system. Don’t eat so fast–This is a big one for my family. We ‘inhale’ our food. Chew, take your time and savor your food. Tap into your scents–lavender calms, Cinnamon reduces nervousness, Orange & Vanilla are an antidepressant, etc. Spray, light a candle, use infusers or oil, but use the power of the aromas.

IDEAS TO NOURISH YOUR MIND: according to HuffingtonPost here are 10 things that benefit our brains–Tired is better?–Your brain does creative work better when you’re tired. That is probably why many ideas often happen in the shower. Stress–can actually change the size of the brain (and make it smaller). Stress is very bad for the brain, so do all you can to avoid it! [ie: get enough sleep, eat healthy, limit alcohol and don’t smoke, exercise, try to have a good work/life balance] Multitasking— is literally impossible for your brain. When we think we’re multitasking, we’re actually context switching. That is, we’re quickly switching back and forth between different tasks rather than doing them at the same time. Research shows your error rate goes up 50 percent and it takes you twice as long to do things.  Take a nap–short bursts of sleep are actually really useful to improve memory, solidify memories, better learning, and more. Vision trumps–Hear a piece of information, and three days later you’ll remember 10 percent of it. Add a picture and you’ll remember 65 percent. Pictures beat text as well, in part because reading is so inefficient for us. Our brain sees words as lots of tiny pictures, and we have to identify certain features in the letters to be able to read them. Meditation can rewire the brain for the better–causes less anxiety, more creativity, better memory, increased compassion, decreases stress, improves memory skills… Exercise is good for your brain–there is a link between exercise and mental alertness, in a similar way that happiness and exercise are related.          Best foods to boost brainpower according to bbcgoodfood.com–Wholegrains, Oily fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, Blueberries (improves short term memory loss), Tomatoes, B vitamins, Blackcurrant (vitamin c), Pumpkin seeds, Broccoli, Sage, Nuts (vitamin E)

IDEAS TO FIND MORE PEACE WITHIN YOUR HOME: Your home should be a safe haven, a sanctuary for the soul, a place where you are lifted and renewed. Here are some ideas to create more peace at home. According to health.com  you need: Cut the clutter–“Remove anything that causes you stressful thoughts,” says Janice Sugita, author of The Feng Shui Equation. Add watercolors–“Certain hues bring on calm: Blue attracts creativity & prosperity, and green creates a feeling of new life in a room,” Sugita says.  Embrace space–an overstuffed room can make you feel tense, so leave about 2.5 feet of walking space around the furniture. Invite nature indoors–Open blinds to let in natural light, and place plants around the room, “Plants bring new life, growth and oxygen to a space, ” Sugita says.         Have specific times each year to de-clutter— Clutter can add feelings of tension & when you have space and clear out excess you have a more peaceful mind and body.    Energy drain--Make a list of things that drain you around the house & then begin one by one to take care of them.

I hope this post has helped you find ways to nourish your mind, body, soul and home.

It’s Spring, a beautiful time to renew

Peace to you.  -H

Creating the comforts of Home

il_570xN.310423992With fall in the air there seems to be this need to bundle up, to light candles, to create a place of warmth and comfort. This week I literally stacked up on candles and bought a cozy blanket…why?? the comforts of home. That wonderful place that calls you to stay, that space that brings family together, a place that nurtures our necessities.

So what do we truly need from our home?? Ask yourself, ‘What do I want from my home?’

Did you think…quiet, calm, order, warmth, love, family, fresh bread baking in the oven, the smell of lavender, soft sheets, warm blankets, a clean dog, vacuumed rugs, steam cleaned floors, a space for my children’s art, pictures of my family, everything dusted, pretty music playing, candles flickering, a vase of fresh flowers, color, patterns, textures that make me want to melt, time to read with my children, bubble baths, plants, family dinner around a set table, art that inspires, space to be quiet, a place to create, a space to do yoga, a room with a fluffy rug, a room with a view I enjoy, bowls that all match in my cupboards, silverware that I enjoy eating with, a pillow that puts me to sleep, clean windows, organized drawers…the ideas are endless. What do you want from your home? a sanctuary, a safe place, a place that inspires, a place that creates memories?

You may want to write down every idea that came to you, so you will have something to move toward. Even if you took one little idea at a time & began to create what you want within the walls of your home. It is your direction, your families safe space, the walls that will nurture your tiny children, the place that will surround your family with love and kindness…but you have to first decide what you and your family need and desire & then you will be successful at creating the comforts you desire within your home. Talk to your family & ask them what they love about being home—do they feel comfortable & what is it that they as individuals love and appreciate. Do they sleep well in their room? if not, what do they need—a better bed, a soft light, a little music, lavender sprayed on their pillow, etc. Do they find comfort in milk and cookies after school? Do they enjoy having dinner by candlelight? Do the colors of the walls or the furniture seem warm? Do you have mostly hard surfaces & need to add some comfy rugs to warm up a space? Do you have enough family time & where do you spend that quality time–is it at the kitchen table or in the family room. Is there enough room for everyone? Is your family even home enough or are your schedules to cluttered with lessons & carpool that you aren’t even home. Maybe you need to evaluate your schedule to make time to be home as a family. HAPPINESS truly is HOMEMADE.

The other day I was having a bit of a battle with my daughter & I gave her the responsibility of cleaning the kitchen & getting ready for dinner. She was not happy, so much so that I literally had to remove myself from our home & go on a drive. When I came back she had gone over and beyond—she set the dinner table, lit candles, had place mats, had cleaned the kitchen & had a change of attitude. I happily cheered her on in her change & expressed my gratitude for all she had done and then I simply asked her, “why were you struggling, what can I do to help?”    You know what she said, “I want to help out with dinner every night.” I smiled & said, “done.”

Even children can give you ideas and bring their own piece to creating the comforts needed within your home. Just ask them what they would like to do to make your home a little better. I bet you would be surprised at what they come up with. Include the whole family in creating a comfortable home, everyone lives within the four walls, so everyone should have an opportunity to do their part. Home truly is where the heart is.

Think about it…What do I want from my home?

Here are some fun images to inspire you…cfadb43ac6856fb80318ebd8953fca58Boy, girl and dog sleeping covered with a blanket.45-Cozy-Rustic-Bedroom-Design-Ideas-with-white-bed-pillow-blanket-rattan-basket-window-lamp-nightstand-carpet-and-hardwood-floor-flowerfamily-wall-sayings-11-Picnic-Table-Settings-e1346284821766California ClosetsA-Picnic-in-the-Park-2012-IKEA-Summer-Inspiration-Decorating-and-Relaxing.jpeg-570x4279912221-young-woman-lying-in-hammock-in-a-garden-and-reading-a-book-shallow-dof-focus-on-a-left-shoulderimages-3article-new-ehow-images-a07-np-50-guitar-lessons-beginners-800x800SimpleWomanonRugPurple heart in the hands