Spring Cleaning for the Soul 2

woman-reading-in-hammockNEW TO YOU: Growth, Challenge, Change.

When most people decide they want or need to personally grow they look to those around them to learn from and then they also dive into the pages of good books. Reading has always been a well-spring for me personally. You can find educated people, people who have struggled and share their stories, adventurous people, people you can learn anything from. Books are a good starting point.

I also believe in just reaching out. If there is someone you want to learn something from–email them. The internet is a gift in that way, that you can connect with anyone. You know I have reached out to  Catherine Johnson(who did Mamma Mia (she was WONDERFUL), shared musical ideas with  Mika(never heard from him or his team), gone straight to book authors for ideas or museums for direction) Reach out. Learn. Grow.

ACTION: I have done my share of coaching classes, retreats, actual coaching of clients, but this tool I came across and thought you may benefit from. Its the ‘GROW’ tool:  This may help you in any life decision. Go for it!

“Don’t go through life, grow through life.” -E Butterworth

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largeBEAUTIFUL ON THE INSIDE & OUT.  Embrace and love your body. It is the most amazing thing you will ever own.

“You are an original, an individual, a masterpiece. Celebrate that; don’t let your uniqueness make you shy. Don’t be someone other than the wonder you are. Every star is important to the sky.”  -Douglas Pagels

ACTION: “When you look at yourself in a mirror, do you like what you see, or do you judge your body and use the word to tell yourself lies? If you believe that you are not attractive enough, then you believe a lie, and you are using the word against yourself, against the truth.”  -Migual Angel Ruiz

“Your body is your temple. Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in.” -BKS Iyengar

How do you take care of your body: 

Take time to exercise

Make sleep a priority–7 to 8 hours at least

Eat well and savor it

Listen to pain

Slow down

Keep a journal because it is therapeutic

Read because it is relaxing and is also a good escape

Have personal self time

Unplug

Talk to yourself in a positive manner

Positive affirmations

Play. Do things you truly enjoy doing

Learn something new because it not only stimulates your brain, but it invigorates your life

Dont forget to hydrate! You need at least 8 x 8oz glasses

 

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“We rise by lifting others.” -Robert Ingersoll. I LOVE this thought & it rings so true. Think about a time when you did something/anything for another person….YOU were lifted. My sweet daughter was running into the gas station to get me a drink & she always holds the door open for people who are coming and going. She lights up & one man gave a sweet gesture in return. She went up to the cashier to pay & he jumped in to pay. She lit up & he gave her a fist bump. She almost skipped out of the gas station & lit up as she shared the details of the story. Something so small (holding a door open) lit up his day and hers. We truly do rise by doing even little things for others.

“Spread LOVE everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving HAPPIER.” -Mother Teresa

ACTION: 

Seek /create opportunities to serve.

Be the reason someone SMILES today.

Send someone an encouraging note.

Pay it forward. Be generous in opening a door, allowing someone to go in front of you in line, get your mom a drink. smile.

Ask God if there is some way you can serve another.

 

ed4a6334ee35d635282ee8e090e1f577PLAY. FIND JOY. BELIEVE in MAGIC…be young at heart

” The heart that LOVES is always young.” -unknown.    “To a young heart, everything is fun.” -Charles Dickens.    “The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age.” -Aldus Huxley.

ACTION: 

READ: Take time to read your favorite classic stories.

TINKER: Figure out how something works.

PLAY: Skip, Explore, Create, Be silly, climb a tree, do bubbles, collect rainbows, daydream

HAVE A PICNIC: eat outside, something you loved as a child. (chicken nuggets, yogurt, cheese puffs, etc), fly a kite, play a lawn game, look at the clouds, lay on a blanket.

CREATE: Make a card or something hand made and gift it to someone. Be CREATIVE: Doodle, dress-up, make-believe, have theme days/parties, tell a tale w voices.

COOK: Learn something new & get messy.

IMAGINE: use your creativity & make something colorful, bright and imaginative.

GO OUTSIDE: throw rocks, paint a rock, skip down a path, make something from nature, take a picture, breathe in the fresh air, play in the dirt, shoot an arrow.

SMILE & LAUGH: tell jokes, watch a funny movie.

DANCE: be free to move & play your favorite tunes.

NAP: Take a nap & not care what time it is.

Be CURIOUS: want to learn about something–stop & ask. Read up on a topic or ask an expert. learn, grow.

WONDER: See the magic everywhere. Life is awesome!

 

8778035b1067fcd00d00070776aac23bREMEMBER YOU ARE LOVE

365 days of learning something NEW

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Challenge your path to growth. Try something NEW. It’s a great way to learn new things, to shift energy and empower yourself!

“Something is going to come out of this. Something New. This can end you up in a whole new place–a better place, a much more open place.”                                   -Pema Chodron

With the New Year I thought it would be fulfilling to begin by learning or trying something, anything NEW each day. Each week I am going to post my findings, so then you can learn new things along with me. Feel free to post NEW things you have enjoyed learning too! It should be fun!!

Here we go! I am going to be adding more and more, so I am not going to date them because there will be lots to learn. Look for my posts marked 365 for additional things to learn.

bEEbFCHFUN FACT: In chatting with my sister-in-law I learned there is a jellyfish called, “The Immortal Jellyfish” that when it gets scared, its defense mechanism literally reverts and transforms it back into its infant state. It can become “immortal” if the cycle happens over and over again.

 

960018_417139271726610_324800680_nLive each day! I read a small excerpt in an Oprah magazine about a woman who had survived 9-11. She had a small, square tattooed on her wrist to remind her that “I am alive.”        What could you do to remember this precious gift of life? We are each given daily gifts of life. Live them.

 

Morning-StretchSTRETCH! “Our culture places a premium on strength and power and as a result anything that has to do with mobility or stability feels like a waste of time. But the opposite is true. Having a full range of motion actually helps you achieve better results when you perform your regular workouts. Loosening  tight and overworked muscles can improve your posture, give you more toned thighs and even make it easier to flatten your abs.” -David Reavy Founder of React Physical Therapy

Everything in your body is constantly reacting to everything else—it is called a Kinetic Chain Theory

5 Must-Do Stretches: Here is a link that has 5 stretches http://www.oprah.com/health_wellness/Reasons-To-Stretch

 

Cut down on TV Watching more than 2 hours of TV per day can increase your risk of diabetes.

 

BN-IR158_sewall_J_20150529180322PLAY Stuart Brown MD, describes PLAY as time spent without purpose. Brown believes that Play is at the core of creativity and innovation. Play is anything that makes us lose track of time and self-consciousness, creating the clearing where ideas are born. Create a PLAY list. Write down three activities you could do for hours on end.

 

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“Your real job on earth is to become more of who YOU really are. To live to the highest degree what is pure, what is honest, what is natural, what feels like the real you. Anything less is a faked life. To be authentic is the highest form of praise. You’re fulfilling your mission and purpose on earth when you honor the real you.”  -Oprah

 

That is it for today. HAPPY NEW LEARNING!! Look for more 365 posts.

Have a BeYOUtiful day!! -H

Where is the little YOU??

ImageOn my walk yesterday I came across a mom and her little daughter who was dressed like a cat from head to toe. I commented on the cute costume and her mother smiled, “she dresses up in something different every day!”

What happens to that youthful essence? the part of who we are that yearns to play, to dress up in wild costumes, to show a side of ourselves that shines, the part that yearns to be creative, to risk…

Halloween is a wonderful time to dress up and be anything or anyone you wish to be—even just for the day!! I have a friend that comes to our halloween party every year as his favorite college football fan. He wears the same thing almost every year. It makes me a little sad that he doesn’t take the time to let his inner child play, to find the freedom in the fun!!

I was listening recently to a podcast with Kelly Ray Roberts who is a “artist, author, possibilitarian”—you may have seen her work (smile) here is her link http://kellyraeroberts.com  I LOVE that my computer just underlined “possibilitarian” because that just goes to show you that not EVERYTHING has reason. The very word doesn’t show up, but to me this yells…creator of possibility, I want to be one of those, endless possibilities, the world should be cheering and applauding at the very thought of this existence.

Talking about the essence of youth made me think of something she said—she explained that she looks at herself as someone who has her inner child creating the art (being wild, crazy, youthful, creative), and the adult part of her that runs the business, while there are other parts like mother, wife…I loved the thought that she taps into this essence within herself to let her little child be free, to create, to touch that part of her that wants to be free.

So, where is the little YOU? Is it hiding, have you not talked to them in awhile, is she/he been afraid since you were little? Is there a part of you that wants to forget that little you? Whether you need to nurture or neglect this part of you—it is there, hoping you will tap into that part of you that can help you remember things you love, things you use to enjoy doing, a little part of you that longs to play, create, be alive and remembered.

ImageHere are some exercises, tips and ideas to tap into the little you:

Dawn Breslin, Coach and author of “Power of Zestful Living” http://www.dawnbreslin.com has a great exercise about helping you remember the little part of You (the child within). She has her readers find a picture of them self at a young age and has them hang it somewhere that they can look at it whenever they need inspiration, are making a big life decision, are trying to be creative, etc. When you look at this picture of the little you, you then go back in your mind & ask that little you what you need right now?? and then listen. You may be surprised at what you hear within yourself. Try it.

Children love play, fun, creativity…so be open to this on a personal level. Take time to step away from the “serious adult” part of you and just enJOY!! Find enjoyment in little things: get outside, play in the leaves. The other day I challenged my daughter to lay under a fall tree that was beginning to drop its leaves. She didn’t want to because of the feeling of crunchy leaves, but took the challenge. We watched the tree as one by one a leaf fell and we tried to catch them. True JOY in a small thing!!

Slow down and do something that slows you. Children can play in a sandbox or beach sand for hours just moving the sand to create forms. Sit by a stream and just listen, watch birds,  water plants, play in sand, just sit and take in your surroundings, calming the little one within.

Nature calls to everyone–young and old. Take a walk, stare at the moon and stars, listen to the sounds outside.

PLAY. Sometimes we get hung up on the idea of taking a playful day or break because of all the responsibilities we ‘should’ be doing. But play is so good for us on many levels. Let go of any guilty feelings you may have about doing something fun for yourself. Let go of your adult mindset and allow your inner child to find something fun to do. Whether you have always wanted to try horse back riding, want to parasail, take an art class, buy a record player, have a Star Wars marathon,

Do things you loved as a kid. Did you love baking in a Toy oven, swinging on the playground, dressing up in fun costumes,

Let go of things. My daughter is great at this. She can be mad at me about something and then hugging me the next. I feel like I am spinning a lot of the time. Just this morning I was wishing I could let go of things a little more easily. Feel what you are feeling (anger, frustration, stress…) and don’t judge it. Take a minute and then let it go. Did you know that according to Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor anger can only stay within your body for 90 seconds and then it is gone UNLESS you begin to rehash it over and over in your mind. After 90 seconds—let it go. Anything.

Do things your kids enjoy doing. I do love going to the park and swinging with my daughter. Play Legos, build forts, make up songs, paint, draw, color, doodle, read picture books, play ball, climb trees, watch Saturday morning cartoons…enjoy the time with them & let your little you play!

Shock & Awe: Simply JUMP, do a cartwheel, pull out the robot dance move, pull a funny face & make yourself smile. Make your little child within giggle and feel JOY from a simple move. I saw a video of One guy who went around his city and just had people simply jump and spin. Every person smiled or laughed. Here is the link if you want to watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8GsoaUIptY He also did one where he found random people and had them pull a funny face (so child like–smile. smile) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2PQj5lAcew

Think back to when you were little & think of all the things you wanted to be and do. Write down your memories, evaluate which ones still resonate with you & begin to create a fun LITTLE YOU LIFE LIST & begin to do them!!

SMILE. Smile often like children do. Make wishes like children do. Be gentle with yourself. Have fun. Enjoy many things like children do. There is and always will be a part of you that is the little you within, so take the time to give that little one some of the desired attention. You will be better for it—I promise.

Peace out.  -Heather

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Day of AWESOMENESS!!

ImageYesterday I had all my nieces and nephews over for a fun summer activity I called “A Day of AWESOMENESS!!”  We made an eruption out of a 2 liter of Diet Coke with half a package of mentos, then we created little tornadoes out of water bottles filled with dish soap (2 drops) and glitter, did activity books, learned lots of weird but true facts & had lots of FUN!!

I truly enjoyed watching their faces Ooh and Ah at the wonder and delight of seeing their own little tornadoes take shape. Children have this amazing sense of wonder and imagination and I thoroughly love being around the creativity they hold—making up games, coloring so vibrantly with such passion, learning and seeing things at a new level–their level.

SO, what is something that would make YOUR DAY OF AWESOMENESS?? What peaks your interest? What lights you up? What do you want to learn about?   Is their a science experiment you want to try? Do you want to go volunteer at a shelter or humane society for a day. Maybe sit with a child and think of all the super powers you would like to have. Maybe take a friend and go visit a museum you have never been to. What about flying kites (homemade ones if you want to be truly creative & scientific). Take your camera outside & shoot pictures close-up of everything—see the details. Get online and find some AWESOME experiments you can try. Have a night of Constellations under the starry night sky. Blow up Ivory soap in the microwave and make Soap Clouds…there are soooo many things to learn, try, experience…there is an abundance of AWESOMENESS!! Have fun, get creative…do, try, PLAY!!

I am going to attach a fun packet of weird but true facts I put together for the kids—feel free to print them off and share them with people in your life. You can never learn too much!!Awesomepacket

Here are a few pics from our day of AWESOMENESS!  Cheers to YOU & having an AWESOME DAY!!ImageImage

PLAY!!

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Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain                                                       an artist once he grows up.  -Pablo Picasso

Last night I spent a couple hours doodling with my daughter and two of her cousins. It was so fun to see the creativity, the spark of creation, the lines that whirled & then created the outline of a lion, a dolphin, a girls curly locks of hair. It always surprises me to see how in tune children are with diving deep within to find their belief in their own creative abilities.

First there were words of self-criticism, words of personal imperfection & disbelief in their ability. Then the drawing began. It turned into a chain of confidence boosters as one finished a small, doodled whale, then another was sparked into making a self-portrait…the chain continued on as they each complimented and cheered one another on in their pursuit of creation. It was neat to see the transformation within each little ten-year old girl. We doodled, colored, grabbed stuffed animals as inspiration for shapes and design & played for hours. It was so fun!! But the best thing of all…just letting myself play, to doodle like a little girl, to be part of the sisterhood of creativity & cheer each other on in the creative, play process.

So, today, I am going to give you (adults who have children within) some links to find play tools for your personal delight and creative possibilities.  Take some time over the next couple of weeks & just set aside some time to PLAY!! Pick a mandala to color, doodle, pull out some chalk & create on your driveway, listen to the Ted talk about the importance of play in creativity, sketch, whirl with markers, create a art journal, etc. Here are some ideas and links to fulfill this little request. Enjoy!

ImageFINDING CREATIVITY. IMAGINATION. the CHILD WITHIN

Creativity in business: Ted talk by Tim Brown: Tales of Creativity and Play Tim talks about the powerful relationship between creative thinking and play–with many examples you can try at home     www.ted.com/talks/tim_brown_on_creativity_and_play.html

Blog: http://playaboutit.wordpress.com/ Reflections on adult play in modern society

Color Mandala’s: Mandala’s are amazing symmetrical designs that are fun to color. Print one off and just fill in the swirls and patterns. It is very calming for the mind. Here is a great link for a variety of mandalas–http://www.colormandala.com/

Doodle & Drawing Ideas: link to Pinterest ideas   http://pinterest.com/majekmom/doodles-drawing-ideas/

List of 40 impressive doodle artists for your inspiration: http://www.creativebloq.com/illustration/doodle-art-912775

Create an art journal:  http://www.createmixedmedia.com/make/journaling/journal-doodling

Well, I hope these ideas get your creativity going. Take some time to let the child within come out and PLAY!! Have a MARVELOUS, fun-filled day!! My BEST to YOU.  -Heather

What do your kids REALLY NEED?

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Lately my husband and I have been back and forth on our concern about moving our ten-year-old daughter from a home she loves and the close proximity to her cousins and family for an out-of-state job position.  We are in the middle of making the decision to keep a steady income with the possibility of moving or taking a less paying job and staying. It has been a roller coaster of pros and cons. So I thought I would do some research on what children really need…their REAL needs vs COMFORT needs. So, here are some of my findings, mixed in with my own thoughts and feelings. Hopefully these ideas will help encourage you to invest a little more in the children within your life.

CONVERSATION: I strongly believe kids need to be heard and when you truly listen there is a stronger investment in the relationships. Talk to your kids regularly, don’t be too quick to fix their problems or tell them what you would do. Listen and allow them to get out their feelings, to see that you are truly engaging in their needs and concerns. This will help them to always open up and talk.      Try and see yourself in their childlike shoes. What may seem like a small problem, to them may be a big experience—listen and empathize. Help love them through.

Tips & Tricks: Have a highlight moment of the day & ask your kids what were the highlights of their day.  Play a get to know you even better game in the car & have fun questions for one another. Have fun family questions on the dinner table to pick and choose from when you have a quiet moment together.

CONNECTION: I have heard time and time again that kids who feel closely connected to their parents that they want to cooperate. There are many things to consider when talking about connection like play, hugs and affection, getting rid of outside distractions, etc.      It is easier to ask your child to get out of bed in the morning if you spend a few minutes snuggling in bed with them or read them something inspirational before sleep. My daughter loves it when I tickle and rub her arms, we also have personal back scratches that create waterfalls, rainbows, rose petals, raindrops…that help soothe and relax her. Its a good way to connect and help her feel safe.          Be present with your child. Focus on being with them then and there. You only have so much time with your child until they are all grown up and move on, so be with them, listen to them, connect with them on any and every level.

Tips & Tricks: According to many sources—people needs 8 hugs a day. So think about, plan it out and give those hugs to those you love…morning, noon and night, just because & always to say “I Love you.” I came across a good quote to remember Focus on CONNECTING, not just CORRECTING. 

“We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance.                We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”  -Virginia Satir

PRAISE & APPRECIATE: Notice the little details in moments of greatness. When you as a parent are awarded a piece of art done by your little one, take a moment and look at the details, comment on the great use of colors, the pattern, the background. Don’t just respond with “great drawing.”      Always try to point out the good moments in any situation. My daughter is constantly at odds with cousins touching her stuff and playing with things without asking. I have to talk her through those moments & point out how well she handled the little kids with kindness and patience.      Make sure you take special moments to praise your little ones in front of your spouse. Since my husband travels a lot it is fun to sit down together and talk about all the highlights he missed while he was gone.       Be silly & make some noise–kids really do LOVE the attention when you yell their name as they jump out of the car and run to the school or when they are performing and you whistle loud and scream their name.      Create moments of celebration–whether you have a special dinner in honor of entering reflections, or give a gold coin for good behavior, honor your child for being the special person they are.

Tips & Tricks: Have a special spot (fridge, personal bulletin board, special shelf) to allow children to shine and share their artwork or a outstanding test.  Make a special book each year that you include their artwork and special tests, write a special letter & make it a cherished keepsake.

PLAY:  have nicknames, special handshakes & songs you make up together. Play creates moments of rituals and tradition. We have special songs we sing for Halloween that we made up together, we have recently created a special “Fairy Day” for the first of May, because fairies have been a special addition to our whimsical world of imagination. My daughter comes home with fun handshakes and teaches them to me & our nicknames go on and on depending on the mood of the day.

Tips & Tricks: Take time to create moments of play together—make fairy houses out of sticks and acorns, tickle each other for the television remote, put puzzles together and make candy bets during card games. Have fun and PLAY!

QUIET TIME: Have some special quiet time as a family. Take 15-30 minutes or more and sit down together–read, write in your journals, meditate, go on a walk, do something that takes you away from the noise of the day. Children need your undivided attention, but they also need quiet spaces.     Your time and attention is so vital to the relationship between you and your child. Taking this time together will be able to mend wounds, heal hurts, create moments that will open up conversations and will ultimately take care of any need that arises.

Tips & Tricks: Give your child a special place in their room that is a good reading corner. Have a great chair or pillow where they can read, write, be still. My daughter has just began to write in her journal each night before bed. Yeah!!      Create opportunities of quality time with your child. Have a special day each week where you go out together. Have daily quiet time where you just talk or read together.

Additional Tips & Tricks from an Expert: According to Dr. Harley Rotbart, author of No Regrets Parenting–Turning Long Days and Short years into Cherished Moments for your Kids, he said this…

What do kids really need from their parents?

1. Security–Kids must feel safe and sound. This means providing them with basic survival needs (shelter, food, clothing, medical care and protection from harm)

2. Stability–Stability comes from family and community.

3. Consistency–Parents must synchronize their parenting. No “good cop, bad cop.” Consistency also means that important values should not be changed casually or for convenience.

4. Emotional Support–Parents words and actions should facilitate kids trust, respect, self-esteem, and independence.

5. Love–Saying and showing you love your kids can overcome almost any parenting “mistake” you might make. Even when kids have disobeyed, angered, frustrated, and rebelled against you, they must know that you love them and that you’ll always love them.

6. Education–Make sure your kids get the best possible education for their future. This, of course, includes school. But it also includes the valuable lessons about life that you provide during the time you spend together.

7. Positive role models–Parents are their kids first and most important role models. Be the kind of person you want them to become.

8. Structure–Rules, boundaries, and limited: Without them, kids are forced to be adults before they are ready, and they lose respect for you and other adults.

Well, I hope these ideas will spark some motivations to do more with your little ones. Happy Parenting.  Happy Day.   -Heather