Tag Archives: lifestyle

Doing 3 Things at Once

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Sunset Sky

Happiness Tips

If you are anything like me, you may find yourself trying to multi-task quite often.

I walk up the stairs, and try to group several things that need to be done up there. When I run errands, the same. I’m so busy all the time. Can I have a conversation with my husband while I am cooking? Sometimes he needs strong eye contact. It doesn’t always work to multi-task. BUT…. I have found this healthy triple-combo, sure to make people feel great.

1- Looking at the sky should inspire awe. Look up and be amazed. I like looking into trees, too~!
2- While looking up, take a deep deep breath. Inhale slowly, exhale slowly. Do this a few times.
3- While taking the deep breaths and looking at the sky, put your arms ALL THE WAY out to the side and stretch yourself. Lift you arms over you head and stretch. Breath deep and keep looking at the sky.
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Three beneficial things all at once~!

It only takes a few minutes, but makes you feel great.

Sky Under Locust Tree
Once you have mastered that, you can add to it…. Check it out…
4- Think of something that has gone well today, or maybe a few things.
5- Laughing would take it to the next level~!

Did you just do 5 things at once?~!

WOW… you are SO GOOD at this~!

How do you feel?
Leave a comment~!

To You and Through You

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Andromeda New GrowthWalking out to the mailbox I see this (the 1st photo)~! Wow~! Andy Warhol has taught me to look for things that are unexpected, like 1 red shoot on an otherwise green shrub. But, I can’t really give Andy the full credit. Actually, I am wired that way. As I pray each day, I have noticed that I almost invariably start by thanking God for the beautiful tree across the street, or the flowers, or the birds in the bird bath. I find myself thanking God for His creation. Then I can’t help but recognize that I am also a creative person. See, God has made mankind (male AND female) in His image. So, we are supposed to be a reflection of His nature. But, God isn’t as simple as that. I find that I connect with those aspects of God that are in my specific wiring. To me, God is Creator; I am creative. God is good and merciful; I am called to be good and merciful. Now, ask yourself, who is God to you?  There is a connection: who God is TO you, He would like to be THROUGH you. These are hints as to your strengths and destiny. I’d like to encourage you to rise up to your purpose, otherwise we’re ALL missing out~! We need you to actually be who you were created to be. Don’t worry. God will help~!

(A helpful Bible Quote from “The Message” translation (I find this translation makes some Bible verses clearer, like the writings of Paul): 2 Timothy 1:11-12  – This is the Message I’ve been set apart to proclaim as preacher, emissary, and teacher. It’s also the cause of all this trouble I’m in. But I have no regrets. I couldn’t be more sure of my ground—the One I’ve trusted in can take care of what he’s trusted me to do right to the end.)

Andromeda - 3 stagesThis second photograph is of the same shrub 1 month ago. This picture shows me that it is possible to be in several seasons of your life simultaneously. We can be blooming in one part of our lives, sending up new shoots in another part, and all the while something else might be dying off. Give yourself the grace to grow and bloom into new things as you shuck off the old stuff.

Better Roots, Better Fruit

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This flower means that our 1st cucumber is on the way.

My husband Brook and I have been growing perennials since 1996. But, this year we decided we should eat more organic fruit and vegetables. After checking out of the grocery store and paying for all the food, we decided we might dedicate some effort into growing some of these veggies. It has not gone perfectly. We knew to get good soil, but we didn’t know much about the pots. I want to make it a “container garden” because I can get lazy with gardening. With the containers, I can have the pots near the hose, and I am hoping this will mean less weeding, too. Well, we didn’t get the right pots. Ours were a bit too small, and they didn’t drain properly. We ordered new pots last week, and spent some time over the weekend re-potting our plants. The thing we learned is this:

BETTER ROOTS -> BETTER FRUIT

Once we said it out loud, repeating the motto of the potting company we bought from, we recognized the spiritual truth in this statement. We need to feed our spiritual roots and take good care of them so that we will have good spiritual fruit in our lives. So, what does that look like? Well…

1-  Spend time with God in prayer, and

2-  Giving thanks is a big one.

3-  Brook and I also make sure to read the Bible together each day and search for nuggets of truth to apply to our lives.

4-  It also means proper drainage…. let go of anger, suspicion, fear, and other negative emotions, trusting that God is good and He has our best interests at heart in the long term plan.

Huge Marshmallows and a Camp Fire

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Brook and I went to visit some friends last night.

It was the perfect kind of night that one just must have from time to time. These people are great at entertaining. The conversation flowed for hours. Great food. An awesome dog to bring extra entertainment to an already dynamic scene.  It is the kind of night I wish for all of you to have. Makes us feel good to be alive~!
          The icing on the perfect night cake, as it were, was the killer fire pit. These guys always have some cool item that we especially admire. It isn’t like they are super rich (yet… probably will be some day), but they make good choices. The fire pit they have has a set of benches that curve around it. Metal, can’t catch on fire~! So, they made a fire. It was a nicely crafted fire, the kind an eagle scout would make. They bought a bag of those jumbo marshmallows, graham crackers & chocolate… we made smores~!  We got sticky, and laughed like kids. Oh, another cool gadget they had was metal prongs for roasting the marshmallows that extend extra long, so you don’t get burned. 

Time spent in friendship is part of what makes this time on earth so precious.

Make time to invite people over to your house. Make them feel special, as these people did with us. In doing so, you add LIFE to their lives, and your own as well.
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I went out with 2 friends last night. We had Kenyan food. It was new to all of us. So we all ordered something we’d never eaten before, and each tried everyone else’s flavors. It was fun to learn something new. (This is a happiness tip~!) While we ate, we talked about all kinds of this & that.

I was expressing how much I would like to do a mere 15, or so, minutes of stretching and core strengthening exercises each day. I do ride my bike 2 to 4 times per week, fairly long rides (today was 22 miles). Seriously, it is the most humane form of exercise, and is often quite fun. But, I am not doing much of anything for my core or my arms.

One of these friends is very into yoga (& has the body to prove it), so of course she had valid suggestions. The other does a good assortment of exercises. That 2nd friend recommended the Arms/Abs/Buns of Steel workouts. She said they are 15 minutes each, and she rotates them. That seems reasonable.

I’m not sure what I’ll end up doing yet, and how I’ll squeeze this into my daily routine, but I really DO need to get the middle of my body stronger. It is not fair to my back and spine, and ultimately to myself to let this get a tiny bit worse each year.  WELL….  good news. I looked around youtube.com today and found hundreds upon hundreds of exercise videos waiting for me. I admit, I was amused to sit and watch exercise videos, and fast forward through them, too. But, I’d like to find my own perfect custom mix of stretches & core strengtheners. I thought you’d like to know that youtube can be a great resource for adding new or varied exercises to your daily routine…  for FREE~! 

For starters, I liked this one:  Lance Armstrong’s Three-Phase Program – Base Training: Core

Here’s a glimpse of the: Arms of Steel Youtube Sample Video  …. looks pretty good~!

Here’s a Link to Mayo Clinic’s: Slide show of Exercises to improve your core strength

 

My Terrifying Project~! Getting Organized

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Oh Dear…. I have decided to get organized, and it feels like I have opened a can of worms.  I may be making a mistake. I am adding a shelving system to my studio closet.  I was thinking I have a lot of wasted space. Now I am wondering if I am making room to collect even more stuff~! This will require some discipline, I see. The temptation is to just put the boxes of random stuff back on the shelves. But, I really need to force myself to open all of the boxes and get rid of a few things.. to Good Will or Salvation Army…. and maybe sell a few things on Craig’s List or Ebay. Some things should go into recycling & the trash, too.  OH BUT…. the problem with being a creative person….  I could use that trash to make….. X & Y & Z~!  I have started to feel encumbered by the weight of my stuff, and I know cleaning out will feel good… it is just so TERRIFYING. I know I’m not actually making a mistake. I just have some work ahead of me before I’ll feel the benefits of this endeavor. I’ll try to remember to come back with an update, and maybe even some photos of my new closet.  But, what I can post now is the website I found: easyclosets.com.  I was pleased to be able to add just shelves (no baskets or drawers yet) for a rate that was quite reasonable, considering it is going to be custom made, and I have to install it myself.

(It is 18 months later. I am still quite pleased with the investment I made. I would recommend easyclosets.com.)

 

Plastic Storage Bins Add Happiness

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I have always hated the idea of plastic storage bins…. until recently.  My main objection is that I keep shoe boxes, which come free with every pair of shoes I buy.  I have tended to use these to store all kinds of things. They are practical, and the price is great, but I can’t tell which box is which, the boxes aren’t very cool looking,  and they are all different sizes, so they stack & store inefficiently. Recently, I read something about making small reasonable investments in my own happiness.  I also read that being organized in a practical way can add to my happiness.  So today, I went out and bought 10 clear tubs.  The funny thing is that they were $2.97 each, so I really didn’t spend very much money. I think I will get a lot of aesthetic organization for such a small price.  I am please with my “happiness” investment. Tomorrow I have a project to get them into use.

Good News…. Bad News….

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The bad news is:  I have a sore throat & fever.

The good news is: I am self-employed, so I can take the day off.

The bad news is: When I don’t work, I don’t get paid. No paid sick days for this girl.

The good news is: I am reading a really good book… and that makes me happy.

Oh?  What am I reading?

The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin.  I’m very likely to post quotes from this book.  I find myself laughing and thinking as I read it. It has plenty of secrets for how to get more enjoyment out of our everyday lives by making small simple adjustments. Very Cool~!

Here is a website for more information: //www.happiness-project.com/

How to Live Before You Die – by Steve Jobs

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I listened to this video today while I was working. It is amazing. I thought I could take a quote from it for my post today. It turns out that every sentence is pregnant with purpose and power. Instead of watching TV before going to bed, why not let this fill your head, so you can REALLY dream while you are sleeping.  

Steve Jobs dropped out of college because his family didn’t have enough money.  He then sat in the classes anyway, un-enrolled, going only to classes that interested him, with no pre-requisites. Later, he invented MacIntosh Computers and ended up getting fired from the company he had birthed. Still passionate about his work, he created Pixar, the amazing animated films company. Then he was diagnosed with cancer. He talks about the value of every failure and disaster, and how staying hungry and passionate is vital for a quality life.

Video: Steve Jobs: How to live before you die

Take Away Points:

Follow curiosity & intuition.

You can’t connect the dots looking forward, only looking back. Believing the dots will connect in the future helps to allow you to follow your heart now.

You’ve GOT to find what you love…. and that is as true for work as your relationships. Don’t settle. Keep looking.

Your time is limited. So, don’t waste it living someone else’s life.

Your heart and intuition already know what you want to become.

Steve’s parting wish:  “Stay Hungry…. Stay Foolish…”

Happy Monday

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Approximately 18 years ago, someone reminded me of that cute little saying: “Do what you love and the rest will follow”.  I’m not sure how seriously I took that advice, but I did take the advice.  I have continued to take that advice, and I am happy to say that I like Mondays. I like my job. Sometimes Sundays drive me nuts. I force myself not to work my professional job type of work on Sundays. I don’t want my job to “own” me.  But, in taking that day off, I actually do get more excited for Monday morning. I would like to encourage you to spend some time doing what YOU love to do.  It might not become your career, but it sure will make you feel good. And, who knows where it will lead?

Happy Monday,

Laurie