How & why we must always have a good day.

For a long time, I always thought that having a good day depended on how it went.  If everything at work went great, if everything aligned itself well, if I ate well, if I worked out, if I did everything right – I would have a great day.  If others treated me right, if everyone was fair, if business deals went well.  And then, I grew up a little, and realized that I can’t be dependent on external factors, for internal happiness and peace.

Certainly, it’s MUCH easier when all falls into place, but what if it doesn’t?  Does that mean that we have to walk around upset all day?  Does this mean we have to be gloomy, or grouchy, or think that we’re depressed?  What if it all falls apart, and nothing goes well for a long time?  Should we just give up and slide down into a deep hole, with no bright light in sight?

At times, awful things happen to us, to those we love.  We have challenging days, challenging times, and even really unfortunately years.  We can’t control it all.  We are unable to control the people in our lives, the ones we know well and those we don’t.  We can’t control much, except how we react, what we take in, and how we use everything that happens, to build our future and current emotions.

Everything that happens – is good.

But only when we use what happens, that doesn’t initially seem good, as motivation to grow.  We can take what we’ve been given, and go into a demise, or we can rise up!  How amazing is that?  But, this takes a lot of talking through, thinking through, and positive action – especially if it is not yet natural for you.

I had a former VP always tell me that he thought I was the most positive person he’s ever known.  And it seemed silly that he thought this about me, because for me, it’s just the EASIEST way to live.  I could complicate life, or blow small and big issues up, but then I had to deal with not only what truly did go wrong, but with the consequences of my emotions and frustration and disappointments.  And no one has time for that!

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Always have a good day.

If we surround ourselves with people who don’t have a bright, positive or grateful outlook on life – regardless of what’s going on in their lives – our lives start to get a bit morose.  If things are never good enough for those closest to us, or our family members or our coworkers, and it’s very tough to be around these types of people and stay happy and positive.  I wish nothing more than for others to always see everything with a glass full, and then use what isn’t perfect, and build upon it and improve daily.  Otherwise, what’s the alternative?  Constantly being upset, and using those emotions to cause more drama and problems?

If we break it down, the day always has its ups and downs.  It’s impossible for every single day of our lives to be a shining beautiful rainbow.  But, how do you choose to see the ups?  How do you react to the downs?  What are you going to do about both?

Always keep moving on.

This is probably my number one rule in life.  That, and knowing that everything I need, I already have.  Because if you can’t keep going, keep moving, keep changing, and keep getting stronger and better, what’s the point?  We can certainly never be done growing, and learning, and investing in ourselves.  Regardless of the trauma of what’s happening, it’s much easier to keep going, than to stand still or sink.

When I was a teen, I watched a lot of Oprah on TV, and Oprah and her guests really drilled positive thinking into my head.  Then, as a teen, I remember reading Chicken Soup for the Soul, and reading some of those stories which were heart wrenching.  Some people really suffered tragic events!  The stories were about how so many rose, and grew and became stronger because of those events.  Reading that book taught me that we as humans are able to handle so much.

Ideally, it’s not about suffering, but to move out of it as quickly as possible.

It’s usually the little things that upset us the most, things we actually have the most control over.  If you find yourself upset over this or that, and these tiny things and events aren’t life threatening events, then you must stop.  It’s time to put an end to constantly raising your blood pressure, or stress, or worry or anxiety over anything that isn’t a lion chasing you as their prey or something similar.  We’re all usually upset because of TINY LITTLE THINGS, that we make big.

The worst part about being upset about tiny little things, is that they tend to build up.  It may be a TON of tiny little things that always go wrong, and things that you are so used to being unhappy about.  Maybe it’s your commute, or the people in line for your coffee, or the news-feed with the wrong political story, or it’s a passive post from a relative, or it’s this and that, and this could get endless.  So by the time you get to work, anything and everything will set you off.  What if you did actually have to handle a real emergency in life?  How could you handle it well, when your foundation for handling the little stuff, is so out of wack?

We must get stronger, and we must get more positive, and look at every single obstacle as an opportunity to do our best, and to use it to build our experience and strength.  There’s nothing that can ever set us back, if we choose this way of thinking and way of life.

It’s most important to always practice looking at the good of it all, and being grateful for every incident and event.  Eventually, with weeks and months and years of practice, you may not even recognize anything that could upset you or frustrate you.  Because you have been so busy finding the bright star of every event and life change.
Can you just imagine living a life where it’s all good?  Where you are determined to help yourself gain more knowledge, and strength, and therefore positively impact those around you – to do the same?

Imagine your friends and family and most importantly – your children – also being positive, happy, grateful and peaceful.  They are able to handle small problems and big problems, and get motivated if and when they fail?  Imagine being able to look at situations and know that it may feel like a step backwards, but automatically see them as leaps forward.

Often, hindsight is 20/20, and that’s the greatest gift in life.  Yet, when we know that we’ll be ABLE to see the past CLEARLY in the present, that is when we can peacefully resolve what feels unsolvable, almost immediately.

Cheers to YOU, Strong Humans!  Stay happy, positive, and may the BIG and LITTLE things, always make your day better.

 

 

 

 

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Simplify to meet all of your goals.

We tend to complicate a lot.  We tend to complicate so much.  And when it comes to setting goals, we have to keep it simple:  We want X.  We must figure out the bare minimum process, and simplify and get it done.

We want to get healthy.

We want to get fit.

We want to save money.

We want to make more money.

We want to be happy.

We want to live in peace.

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Simplicity is the secret.

And then starts the complication process.  We need this and that, we start building up this wall of requirements before we realize that to get EVERYTHING we want, we must instead, simplify it all.  Everything.

I too have grown up in this era, and I have for a long time complicated the process towards my goals.  Until recently, when I realized that it’s so much easier to just simplify, and keep it extremely simple, and to keep moving on.

Goal:  Sleep Better

Complications:  We need perhaps some supplements, and maybe better sheets?  And a different job, and less stress, and if only we had a sleeping mate that wasn’t so loud.

Keep it simple:  Get to bed an hour early.  Turn off or put away your electronic device.  Shower, or take a bath, so you are so fresh and so clean between your sheets, and close your eyes and go to bed.

Now, I’m not saying THIS IS ALL.  But I’m saying, let’s find that middle ground between what is currently preventing us all from reaching our goals (overthinking, over complication), to making it so extremely simple and easy.  Simplify until you get to your goal.

Diet.

For a long time I complicated my diet.  And I still am trying to always perfect it and make it both extremely nutritionally sound, but also a diet that works for me, and everything I know about my body (which somehow always continues to change).  This can get extremely complicated, and if you aren’t keeping yourself positive, it can also get very frustrating.

But how can we simplify and keep our diet and food choices and goals simple?  Drink a lot of water.  Drink more water, so that you are hydrated.  Eat as many green vegetables as possible. If you can eat green veggies for or with breakfast, then lunch, then dinner – you’re 10000% further than most of your friends and family, and then – more water.

Yesterday, for lunch I had a salad of broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, romaine lettuce and tomato, with a few homemade keto meatballs, and some balsamic dressing.  I didn’t measure anything, or weigh anything, or calculate much.  I just made sure that MOST of my plate, and MOST of what I had was raw vegetable.  I know that water and live green food fuels our bodies and our cells, and therefore it’s all about keeping it extremely simple.

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Simple Salad

If you want to save more money, just stop spending it.  We can get apps, and books, and we can listen to a ton of videos and read some really great stuff, but at the end of the day, we have to keep most of our hard earned income, or else, we aren’t saving it.  Stay home, relax, clean, eat through your cabinets, and then just truly enjoy what you already own.  It’s so freeing, to keep saving money and building financial wealth simple, that it is almost funny.  Cancel anything and everything that doesn’t suit you, and live in peace.

Stay happy.  Happiness, and contentment and living in a state of peacefulness and calmness, and gratefulness is by far the best when we simplify and keep it easy.  Write out a ton of reasons you are grateful to be alive, and everything you have done so right in your life, and read them daily.  That’s it.  There’s absolutely no secret to happiness, except to realize and acknowledge, and accept the fact that you already are.  We have everything we need to take a deep breath each day and say thank you for all we have, and go on with our lives.

Quite down.  When things don’t always go the way we wish, it’s easy to think that we must talk our way out of an issue, or explain our side, or argue about this or that.  And in fact, we must always do the opposite.  Say nothing at all.  Especially when this is something that is ego driven, and not necessarily MISSION driven.  If this is something that may or may not pass in an hour or a few days, say nothing at all.  Keep the lid on all arguments and fights and disagreements from your side, and keep moving on.  It’s not always our turn to be right, it’s not always the right thing to explain, and defend.  Often, it’s best to say nothing at all.

We are all different.  The amount of differences and dislike for others would plummet, if we just realized we’re all different.  We’re driven in different ways, our genetics make us different beings and personalities and humans.  We can’t help some things we do or think or we can’t often change the way we were raised.  But it’s important to remember this when dealing with others, or especially, when we need to perhaps give our own selves grace.  You and I weren’t build and raised and loved the same, we were disciplined differently, educated differently, and therefore may forever make different choices and decisions.  Understanding this fundamental fact when thinking of others, or allowing yourself some peace – is important.

Keep moving on.  Have you ever met those people that constantly live in the past or even worst: in a painful past.  It’s so tough to move on and get to any goals, because their lives are presently in a part of their life where events have happened or ended.  It’s tough, but the only thing any and all of us can do, to reach our goals, is to keep moving on.  It doesn’t matter what we had, what happened, who did what, it’s our job to keep moving on.  I’m not saying that this is always pretty, and easy, but it must be done.  We must get your feet out of the quicksand and the molasses of mud, and keep moving on .

Nothing is personal.  Your goals are your own, and other people’s goals are their own.  We again, won’t have the same goals and aspirations and determination.  To keep getting to your goals as simple as possible, we must accept the fact that nothing is personal.  People can’t hurt, or sabotage, or negatively impose on your goals and life movements.  Bless everyone with your best intentions, and always send good vibes, and focus on simplifying all of your steps, to get to the next level.  Not everyone will love you, your dreams, or your life, but this is okay, because it’s not personal.

Instead of always trying to figure out complicated and complex solutions, take a step back, and simplify instead.  Keep it simple, and relaxed, and calm, and easy, and see if getting to your destination makes this process better than a previously hard difficult one from before.

Cheers lovers, and cheers goal setters & getters!

 

 

 

Homemade Dog Food & Can we treat ourselves as good as we treat our pets?

Feeding my dog is my life.  It’s not, but I love it so much.  We were out of his homemade doggy food so on Sunday we got in the car to go to Aldi for all of the ingredients (some ingredients I already had.)

Onion

Rice

Salmon

Beef

Eggs

Quinoa

I kept this batch extremely simple.  It lasts exactly two weeks.  He eats 1 cup of homemade dog food + 1 cup of store purchased dog food for breakfast, and the same for dinner.  So in total, I make 28 cups of homemade dog food in the biggest pot I own.

I first chopped up an onion, and added the beef to the pot.  I also add a bit of water, and let that simmer and cook.  Then I took out my kitchen scissors, and cut up pieces of salmon, and threw chunks of the salmon into the beef.

Usually, I would take the dozen eggs and add them into the mix, but this time around, I put all of the 12 eggs into my NutriBullet and blended them up with the egg shells.  I mentioned before that the eggshells contain a ton of calcium which are great for dogs.  Blending them up, I’m sure also tastes better than eating bigger pieces of egg shells.  And I can’t say it was pretty cool to watch the bullet pulverize all of the eggs!

Lastly, I threw in the last of our quinoa and a cup of rice into my rice cooker, and let that cook up.  I originally purchased this beautiful red organic quinoa for my husband, but he wasn’t a huge fan.  And not because the quinoa wasn’t good, but because I just gave it to him as it was (after cooking), and didn’t make anything fancy with it.  And since I already had it, and it was organic and perfect, I figured it’s pretty darn good for the dog as well.

Once all was pretty much done cooking (you don’t have to overcook at all for the dog because they have some wicked and amazing stomachs), I blended up the whole thing, and mixed it together, and then put it into our Tupperware containers.  I froze one, and  I put the other in the fridge, and now it was ready to go for both breakfast & supper time.

It looks grosssy, but it doesn’t smell bad, and isn’t bad (not that I would taste it).  I think the dry dog food is more nauseating, than this deliciousness.

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Homemade Dog Food

My cat eats normal dry food, but lately, every single morning, she’s waiting for that homemade dog food to come out too.  When Artex is eating, she’s on top of the island, getting her share of his food.  When it’s good, it’s good!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Because I’m so interested in my own health, and I love learning how I can better support the health of our family and our gut health, and microbiome and everything in between, it’s been extra fun watching our dog grow and flourish, and watching him nourish.

He’s been an extremely easy dog, without any issues. (Knock on wood!)  We did get him at the shelter, and we were told he was young, because his teeth were very strong and healthy, and we are grateful each day for being able to own and love such a stellar pup.  He sleeps throughout the entire night, doesn’t have any accidents in the house, and does another 30-60 minute walk outside each day.  He hangs out in the backyard (or in the front yard), getting plenty of sunshine throughout the day, and goes to the dog park either each Saturday or Sunday with my daughter.

There, he runs and sprints and gets wild with the other bigger dogs, and I’m sure further builds his health and immunity.  After the dog park he gets a nice bath, and is set and ready to go for anther healthy week.  If we treat our dogs well, and give them all they need, we can maybe treat ourselves better, and give ourselves walks, and breaks, and good food, and time to rest, and engage in activities that relieve stress.

If we took some time and thought about how we treated ourselves throughout our days, would we ever treat our animals this way?  Would you sign your animal up for a long daily commute?  Or would you feed them fast food?  Would you make keep them indoors all the time?  Would you be okay if they slept poorly or had a ton of interrupted sleep?  Would you feed them alcohol or drugs – often?  Would you be okay if they were prescribed drugs with lots of side effects?  Would you want to put a ton of chronic stress on them?

It’s silly comparison, but what if we took a bit of time, and lived more simply like our pets?  What if we gave ourselves more sunshine + water + exercise + real food + sleep = good life.  How would we feel?  How would we function?  What can we do better today, to give ourselves more of a natural life?  What can we do today, to get ourselves outside?  What can we do today, to eliminate or avoid more of the unnatural, or the toxic, and put us in line with the natural?

We do tend to complicate things, and a little is good (advancement), but too much, is stress (disease, illness, sadness).  But we can take more of the control of how we treat ourselves?  We’re in charge of our dogs and pets, and we can really create an amazing life for them, and we can do the same for ourselves.  Not all at once, and not all together, and certainly I am not advocating picking up and moving to the forest, BUT, can we live a bit more green, can we treat ourselves a bit better, can we eliminate a bit more of what we don’t need, to live a lot more healthier.

Cheers to you, and do all you can to be health, happy, free, and put some effort to live in peace and calm.

 

 

Free Fun

Yesterday, I wrote about some strategies to save more and spend less, and one of them included dong as many tings and activities for FREE as possible.  I love this game, and I especially love it as often as possible.  And with the weekend almost upon us, what can you do this weekend, that is totally FREE and FUN and will put you into savings mode?

First, list all of the things that you normally do each day over the weekend or week, that cost you money.  Do you buy out coffee?  Or lunch?  Or do you go on a date?  Do you buy several bottles of wine, or do you stock your fridge?  Do you like to go to the movies, do you like some brunch time?  Do you like museums, or shows, or do you just like to go for long rides, or maybe shopping trips to the mall?  What do you “usually” do? Do you have tournaments for your kids, or do you spend all weekend running errands and buying this & that?

How can you make this upcoming weekend FREE?

How can you make this upcoming week, FREE and FUN?

Are you able to quickly cut out some things that aren’t needed?  Perhaps you can spend a few minutes and make a delicious HOT coffee or tea or an ICED coffee or tea for yourself, instead of buying out?  Can you drink through the alcohol you already have in your house, instead of stocking up and buying more – if you are craving some fun drinks and enjoy relaxing with one?

If you enjoy going out to dinner, can you use what you already have in your house, and make an awesome meal?  I know learning isn’t always fun, but google your favorite recipe, and use YOU-TUBE to recreate an awesome meal.  Maybe it’s chicken parm or eggplant parm, or another country’s favorite dish?  Maybe YOU LOVE lasagna, or are just in the mood for some burgers and fries, and you can do it all.  Maybe you never ever take the time to put together a delicious salad, but how much fun would it be to sit down to one?

Can you get outside – and still spend it out without spending anything?  Can you go to the beach this weekend, can you go to a local park, can you go to a park and just walk around.  Can you be out in nature, as long as possible?  Can you visit with family and friends, and maybe have a potluck dinner or lunch?  Can you invite friends over your house for brunch, or coffee?  Can you physically take a walk to a spot of your choice?  Can you pack up a picnic and tell your family you are going on an adventure, and eat outside?

Can you make it a special movie afternoon, or movie night and pop some popcorn, and make it a really fun experience?  Can you take your dog to a doggy park, or just go out for so many walks with him/her.  Can you put your child in the stroller, bundle them up, if it’s cold, and just walk until you feel your muscles burning with delight?  Can you go to sleep early?  I know that many people love staying up, but going to sleep early is so necessary, and refreshing and so much fun!

Waking up refreshed and ready for the day is everything.

Can you make your bedroom or guest room into a massage room, and give your spouse or partner or best friend a massage, and vice versa?  Can you make each other feel good by really taking the time to have fun?

Can you pick two or three or four comedies and watch them one night?  I’ve been to probably a dozen or so comedy shows in my life, and they are always so fun, and so funny.  If you have older children, can you pick some PG13 ones, and enjoy with them?  Laughing is everything and it’s FREE FUN.

I love buying healthy food, and the last place I want to spend money is buying junk food.  BUT, having some fun grub once in a while for the kids to eat is cool.  So once a weekend, I like to bake, and I’m usually making new chocolate chip cookies or some sort of cake.  When you are the chef or baker you get to control the amount of sugar and sweets, and even how your ingredients were sourced.  It’s a way to make a treat but to make it the healthiest way you can.  Many of my “healthy” treats I’ve tried to make have been major fails.  From “zbars” that taste like dog treats, to cookies no one wanted to eat, but I’ll keep trying until we have a good combo of healthy, homemade and sweet. Again, free activity.

First, decide what YOU WANT TO DO this weekend, and then figure out how to make it completely FUN and then FREE?

If you have tournaments, or already events you have paid for, can you further save, by bringing your own lunches and snacks, or by deciding not to buy any more souvenirs and toys?  Are you able to go somewhere, enjoy it, and come home, without further investing your financials?

If you already have a nice event this weekend, are you able to spend some time ironing the clothes you already have, or googling some cool outfits you can put together with what is already in your closet, and just going with that?

Can you organize your closet, clean your bathrooms, wipe clean all of your baseboards, and de-clutter your home? Can you make your cabinets and pantry super perfect?  Can you clean your fridge?  Can you wash your pet?  Scrub your floors?  Windex your windows and give your home a nice almost spring overhaul?

Can you journal, and read and write, and learn, and just relax.  Can you do nothing at all?  Can you just take a bath, and a shower, and do everything really slowly, to bring you back into much needed peace and calm?  Can you sit back and breath, and think good thoughts, and write out all that you are grateful for and completely relax?  Can you plan an adventure that is free, for the next couple of weeks?

Can you meal prep, and make some good grub for the next week?  Can you share something with a neighbor or friend, can you make your favorite recipe and invite someone over for a taste?  Are you able to connect with others this weekend, without pressure and anxiety and stress, and just enjoy being together?

Spending weekends in nature, and making weekends completely free is not always doable.  But commit to making at least one weekend a month, money free.  Maybe two, maybe three, maybe every weekend can be focused more on relaxation, and freedom, and calm, and turning back the clock on always rushing and spending so much.  I know it’s not always possible, and it’s super exciting and invigorating to do NEW things and NEW activities and NEW adventures – but, what about everything we are missing because we are spending so much on paying for entertainment.

Cheers to you, and this green weekend, and this time, that is yours, and all that you can do to make it so!

 

Saving More, Spending Less, not causing yourself more stress.

Saving money, and spending less is not for everyone.  It’s not everyone’s cup of decaf tea, it’s not necessarily for your neighbor or friend or family member.  Even if you think those in your lives should save more money, spend less money, if it’s not for them, it’s okay to move on and accept this.

For me, it’s like freeing my soul, and giving it wings to fly in forever freedom!  Basically, I’m so incredibly passionate that living on less, brings me so much more, I can talk and write about it all day long.

Yet, we live in a world, where spending large amount of cash or credit is the norm. It’s easy to subscribe there, buy this, buy that again, buy that, need this, and rent that, and buy into that, and just buy buy buy.  And that’s not even including the regular bills, the regular necessities that are impossible to get out of.  I was watching Extreme Cheapskates on TLC years and years ago, and this adorable Asian woman (who I do think had a mental illness about saving money to a certain degree), did not understand why she had to pay a BASIC fee for her GAS bill, even though she was not using her gas.  So instead, she turned off her gas stove and purchased an electric cook-top instead, removing the fee all together.

My family and friends and community save me from turning into one of these humans, because it would be actually really fun to see how LITTLE you could live on, BUT, let’s get back to real life here.

Why is spending less, and saving more – important?

Because it gives us freedom.  Not wanting and not needing more than what we already have is freeing.  We don’t have to work extra, or we don’t necessarily have to work more.  We have freedom to work as we please or freedom to do work that brings us the most happiness.  My son was eating breakfast today, and he turned his head away from a commercial, and said, “You know what mom, I don’t like commercials, they just make you want to buy stuff we don’t need.”

It made me laugh thinking I’m staring at a little young-old man, but he somehow gets it.  Ironically we never really talk about saving money or not spending it with the kids just yet (because they are young), but perhaps he gets it, because he knows the only place we really go to spend our cash is the grocery stores!  And that’s enough for us, for now.

It’s really freeing to wake up each day and know you have all you need.

I’m a regular human wife mom woman and community member and neighbor.  I want the nice stuff too!!!  But, it’s more important to me to not have a new charge on my credit card bill, than brand new flip flops (which would be massively amazing right now.)  I get it, I’m with everyone else and I can appreciate nice and expensive and quality and fancy and fun and beautiful things.  It’s not like I’m living under the rock and can’t see the value you get by spending more on quality things.  But, I would rather not buy something, if I truly don’t need it.

It’s a practice, a practice we can all perfect as time goes on. 

I remember a life, perhaps a decade ago, where I would spend my weekends at the mall.  I would shop Lord & Taylor, and Marshall’s, and Walmart, and buy everything from nice bags, to nice clothes to everything my home needed.  And now-a-days, I spend my weekends cleaning my home, or cooking inside, or being outside with my children and neighbor-friends.

Was I any happier back then?  Did I feel better about myself?  Absolutely not.  If anything, I’m totally digging my life of LIFE so much more now, than the buying and buying I was engaging in nonstop before.

Replace your spending habits. 

We’re all creatures of habit.  We like to do what we do, what we’ve done, what we’ve been taught, what brings us feelings of nostalgia, and fun and love and care, and comfort and security.  But when all of that does not bring us more comfort or security, it’s time to replace our spending habits with habits that do.  Instead of running to Macy’s for a Saturday sale like every Saturday, stay home instead, or go walk at a park.  Instead of buying a brand new dress or outfit for the next event, just wear what’s in your closet.  I know, instantly and immediately, we might get a sense of insecurity.  But what if I don’t look good or feel good?  But what if you do?  What’s more important to you?

We are a society and world who craves and is used to instant gratification.  Credit card companies and all banking institutions that lend us money at a ridiculous FEES are making billions and billions on this phenomenon.  Start living the way we lived in the past: If we had it, we spent it, after we saved, and if we did not have, we did not buy.

If you don’t have $80 right now in your bank account to pay off your current credit card bill, then you don’t need a pedi, or a new pair of jeans, or a meal out.

If you don’t have enough in your bank account to be debt free from all credit card debt, you don’t have enough to plan a vacation, or buy a new pet.

I know these sound like really harsh words, and I know you may be cursing the screen right now calling me a crazy horse, but take a deep breath, and realize that getting in tune with your truth, your goals, and what you have to do, is a must.  The longer we are in denial, the more damage we can cause our financial selves and future.

Because we’re all different it’s okay to acknowledge our priorities.  Perhaps you love spending on yourself at the spa each week, or maybe house cleaning, or maybe with the grub you buy, or the car you drive, or the gadgets in your home, or the books you buy, or education, or hats or bags or shoes or travel.  Whatever it may be, we all have something that we can not or do not want to comprise on.  I’m okay with this.  I think it’s important to have things we are passionate about, but you can’t be passionate and prioritize it all. 

If you love spending on your kids’ clothes, good, but then cut back on your own threads.  If you love your car, cut back on your home, if you love a good bag, then cut back on your shoes.  Whatever it may be, choose 1 item, or 1 category, and start there.  For me, it’s certainly food.  I love buying food and shopping for it, and it’s hard for me to walk away from the $6.29 pasture raised eggs from Publix, and buy organic or cage free ones instead, or even the $.79 ones from Aldi, that are “normal.”  I will buy those ridiculously expensive eggs, because that’s what’s important to me.  Buttttt, you won’t see me out grabbing lunch at a restaurant ever, or dinner, because I know in my head I spend ENOUGH already at the regular store.  And every time I eat an egg or feed them to my children, I think about their value and appreciate them.

But that’s me, that works for me, and that’s what I prioritize right now in my life.  And when I say this works for me, I mean, I have to spend A LOT LESS ON groceries, and continue to EAT through what we already have.  Groceries are always wayyyy toooo expensive and it’s always a budget area I have to get better at saving.

Start off with just tracking what you buy, what you spend, and then slowly cut back and cut things out.  I’ve been tracking our spending in January and February and it’s AMAZING how many things come up.  Birthdays and gifts, and new flag football signup and then a $250 tackle football sign up, and then this and that, and a celebration that requires more grub, and a new water heater, and camp and this and that, and it’s endless.  And that’s ON TOP of regular bills.  I can see why most of us have a hard time making it each month without carrying over a credit card balance.  Add on top of this all the EXTRA and unneeded we buy each month, and we’re buried.  We’re buried, and it’s hard to point to a reason why we’re in this situation except to accept the responsibility and task ourselves with the digging out.

Find pleasure in the free. 

Especially when changing our saving and spending habits, we have to get busy living that free life, and doing activities that do not cost money or do not cost extra.  Can you get yourself out of the house to the beach or to a park one day each weekend?  Can you take your pet to the dog park?  Can you do a lot of things, you used to pay for, yourself?  Can you wash your own car, can you scrub your own toilets (I know this is gross, but it may be worth it), can you eat in or eat out, by making a picnic and taking it to a local outdoor spot?  I know, I get it, change sucks and it’s hard and it’s obnoxious, and it may even feel unfair.

See, we create our own lives.  We don’t create what we have been given, or what we have not been given, but we certainly create the LIFE we want going forward.  It’s not always fair – the financial discrepancy between people – but it’s still okay.

Some of the wealthiest people are unhappy and miserable – people who appear to have it ALL, and then the most impoverished people – are some of the happiest and most free humans out there.  And most of us are somewhere in the middle.  We are healthy, we are smart, we have access to information, we can think for our selves, and BEST OF ALL – we can always reverse the damage, especially when we start today.

Figure out your plan, write it out, and execute.  It’s so much fun.

Cheers Savers!

 

 

 

Schwinn Airdyne – getting stronger with this bike.

I just got off my Schwinn Airdyne bike, and I have been riding that badddddd boy every morning since my hip starting hurting from running.

12 days – Schwinn Airdyne bike

1 day – elliptical

40 days – running 

I am dedicating myself to building up my arse/glutes, and leg muscles, by squatting and doing some dead lifts with dumbbells to hopefully strengthen THAT WHOLE AREA, so I can run again.  The other day I was listening to an amazing video, and in it they said:  running is a PRIVILEGE.  You must first be STRONG, and then you can run.

This really makes a lot of sense to me, because the goal isn’t to hurt myself or run through injuries, but to use running and all cardio to keep that heart muscle strong, and the mind wise.  The weight training is a must for me, and it will be fun to see what happens in the next few months.

Yesterday, after taking my dog for a walk, I got home, and did bent over rows, and shoulder presses and these dead-lifts with my 25lb dumbbells.  I am certainly sore this morning, but I was even more excited to get on the Schwinn this morning.  I love this machine because it’s simple, but it does so much for the body. It quickly gets the heart rate up, but then, because it’s using both the legs and arms to move the Schwinn, it feels like my muscles are growing as I ride. There’s no “going through the motion” on this thing, you must keep pushing and pulling the entire ride.

I purchased this Schwinn for myself as a college graduation gift in 2004.  I believe it was about $600.  I remember dragging it up to a 3rd floor apartment, and then riding it whenever I could.  It made so many moves throughout the years, but thankfully, it still is in good shape.  It uses AIR as resistance, so there’s no plugging in.  The screen still works, which is good, because I would have no clue how to replace it or fix it if it broke, though I having a feeling my husband could figure it out.  I’m sure it’s powered by a simple battery.

My neighbor came by the other day, and she thought it was an antique, because this machine has been around for so long.  She remembered a family member having it years and years ago.  Now they just made them newer, but the whole model is the same, so it does look very old school.  I often see them on the sidelines of NFL games, keeping the players warm and their blood flowing.

The ONLY bad part about this particular Schwinn is that it’s LOUD.  You couldn’t be on it, and not have your ear buds in.  You couldn’t watch TV, while riding it, unless your ear buds connected to the TV.  I listen to YouTube songs or videos, and have no issues, but with my buds in.  I ride it out in my garage, because if I rode it in the house, the whole house would hear it. My son is usually up by 6am, but even if he was sleeping, I’ve made sure that he can’t hear it in his room.   In my first post college apartment, which was on the 2nd floor, I could never ride it, because it caused my neighbor’s 1st floor to vibrate.  So, the ONLY negative about this bike, is that it’s not really condo, or 2nd floor friendly.  Though, my bike is at least 14 years old, and I bet the newer models are much more quieter.

On Amazon right now, I see the prices from $300-$1000, depending on how fancy you want it.  But first, I would check out FB marketplace or Craig’s list, for a used one.  These things are sturdy, so find a local really inexpensive one.  I’m all for saving $, and not spending too much extra, to get moving.  I do like the fact that the seat is super cushy, versus a regular “bike” which will leave your bum sore.

diamond-back-fitness-assault-airbike-upright-3__78645.1411077070.500.500.jpg
Schwinn Airdyne

GET MOVING

Recently, I’ve also been learning about the importance of strengthening our bodies, and growing and keeping muscle, and not just leaning out.  I know that at one point we all wanted to be skinny, but that is so so out, just like fat-free anything.  It’s done and over with, and it’s not healthy.  Be lean, but be muscular.  Or better yet, getting muscular, will help us all get lean.  Having healthy and more muscle, helps us avoid so many diseases, helps us have hormonal balance, and helps digest those treats that we have once in a while.  This is so important for women, and men too.  Weight training helps increase testosterone, a hormone so many men are deficient in, as we grow and age.  And for women, the benefits are even greater.  We must get and be strong.

KEEP MOVING

I’m right in the middle of WEEK 8 of my every morning cardio routine this year.  It was day 53 today, since I started on December 31, 2017.  And as each morning passes, I’m constantly thinking about how I can keep this going forever.  It’s so much more NOW about LONG TERM GAINS.  Whenever we commit to working out, or whenever I committed to a new exercise routine in the past, I was constantly focused on tomorrow, or how I would look next week or the next month.  Now, I’m thinking:  If I can keep this up, and continue to feed my body right, and move it smarter, I can stop that aging and disease, and I can look exactly like this, and feel so good at 45, and then at 55, and then at 65, and at 75, just like I feel right now, at 35.

Is the Schwinn the answer to putting a pause on aging, and building longevity? Yes, it’s apart.  It’s a tiny part, a tiny 20 minutes that adds up well over time. The best part about committing to 20 minutes each day, is that those 20 minutes influence OTHER decisions throughout the day.  What you eat, how you feel, how you react, what you research, read, how you work.  It’s a domino effect, and once we push that first one over, the result is strong.  The opposite works as well. If you wake up and go into the office and have donuts, it’s so much easier to use that high blood sugar to make other poor decisions throughout the day.  Instead, we can choose to make one good decision to positivity effect our whole day!   I wrote this, to help us all get started with a morning routine.

Cheers, Friends, Exercisers, Strong Humans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keto/Low Carb Cheesecake: no flour, no sugar.

There’s more and more evidence about getting sugar or processed empty nutrient carbs out of our bodies, out of the food supply, and out of everything we put into our bodies.  It’s a mountainous task, and will we ever really ever see a grocery store filled with just the right grub, grub that nourishes your bod, versus hurts it?  Grub that is keto and low carb friendly that does not raise our blood sugar and illicit an insulin response? Probably not in my lifetime (even if I live until 150 which is the goal), but maybe just maybe.

The best thing I have heard recently about the ideal diet for all of us, is that none exist, we instead must CREATE what is perfect for us all.  It’s pretty brilliant, and if you take a step back and actually understand the importance of CREATING, with trial and error and research and time, the perfect diet for you, we are only then – on our way to creating the healthiest human we can all be and become.

With so many diets out there in the market place, the obesity rates, diabetes rates, depression and heart disease climbing, we know certain facts.

Facts: sugar makes ya sick.  And the older we are, the sicker we feel almost immediately afterwords.  I can’t have sugar in small amounts (not that I would ever want sugar in small amounts, because if I’m eating sugar it’s in BIG amounts), or else it immediately leads to (personally for me):

binge eating

mood swings

These two are awful for me.  Now, sugar may affect you in different ways, but for me personally, I will be hot one moment and cool the next, excited or sad, angry or super psyched.  It’s amazing that at one point I really thought I may have had bipolar disorder, when in fact, I was just stuffing my face with crap.  And using the word crap doesn’t describe the affects of sugar strong enough.

Recently, and always, because researching nutrition is always an act of LOVE and happiness in my world, I FINALLY got it into my head the dangers of personally ingesting sugar (and I believe for many people) and eating more keto.  I realized once you eliminate sugar from your diet, you will probably start to wake up like a whole new human.

I’ve gotten serious about putting more whole foods into my body, and that of my family, and slowly eliminating the junka.  Creating the perfect diet for you, means we have to incorporate foods and a lifestyle that works for us individually.  What works for me, may not work for you.  You may drink, eat, travel, work, socialize completely differently than me.  Therefore, we will have different schedules, requirements, needs, wants, cravings and nutritional desires.  We all also have different genes, and what effects you, does not effect me, and vice versa.  And that’s what’s confusing, because no one is the same, YET, we all can always benefit from more vegetables, less sugar.

Because I am a social being, I absolutely love a good get-together with good people at least once per weekend.  I started to research some low carb/low sugar desserts for my life.  Now, in the past, I promised myself I would never ever eat dessert again, but that worked as well as high heels on ice.  After a week of amazing eating, one get together and I was eating 8 cookies, 10 cupcakes and a chocolate piece of cake along with endless amounts of sweet wine.  But that’s just me.  So this time around, because when we know better, we do better, I decided to set myself up for some success.

My neighbor was celebrating a 40th birthday party this past weekend, and I made a pretty rad keto/low carb cheesecake for his birthday!  I wanted to make sure I had something pretty sweet and fabulous to eat, and something that wasn’t going throw me off a healthy eating plan.  And if it’s good for me, sharing is caring, so it’s good for others too!

I made the same cheesecake for my husband’s recent 38th birthday, and ALL OF THE CREDIT goes to lowcarbyum.com  You can find the exact recipe here!

I started off with eggs, creme cheese, sour creme and vanilla and lemon extract, and added the sweetener Swerve.  There are a ton of sweeteners out on the market, so do your research about which one is healthiest, and which one is best for you.  I also have been a bit cray about using really good ingredients so you can use everything organic for everything or really well sourced grub, which of course, makes things just that much better.

I used a hand mixer to blend up the above, and then I used the Nutribullet (or if you have a Vitmax), to make it go from lumpy to silky and creamy!  It was EVERYTHING.

I made my crust in the food processor and added sliced almonds, and hazelnuts, and grass-fed butter, and you can add chia seeds, and whatever else would make a delicious crust.  I padded down the crust in my cheesecake pan, and then poured the cheesecake mix on top.  1 hour in the oven at 300 degrees, and BOOM!!!

Decorating this beauty was the funnest part.  I have come a long way, because if you showed me a “cake” with fruit on it, in the past, I would have ran to the closest grocery store for a tiramisu or a carrot cake (my two favorites), faster than a lion chasing their prey, but now, as I get older and wiser, I realize that FRUIT is dessert! We don’t need shitty high fructose corn syrup that raises our blood sugar, and starts us on the road to diabetes, often, if ever.  But we must put the effort in to set ourselves up for keto success.

I used raspberries, and blueberries, and blackberries to top the whole cake without any additional sugar or mix.  It was so pretty and perfect.  The leftover fruit, my son had the next day for a snack.  He loves apples, and pineapple, and strawberries and blueberries, but I was surprised he ate all of the blackberries and raspberries (as blackberries then to be a bit rough).  So double win win, as those berries have some of the highest nutrient content, out of all fruit.

I should have made the keto cheesecake cake the day before and refrigerated it, because it was pretty warm when we all cut into and ate it, but live and learn!

I wish someone sat me down at 20 and said to me:  “You know, sugar can mess you up.  It’s pretty bad for you and your body and your mind and your type.” But, now at 35, I’m learning this, slowly, at times painfully, and other times, beautifully.  I am not saying that SUGAR affects you this way too.  It does for me.  And if I knew the importance of avoiding it sooner than now, I’m curious about the life experiences I would have had.  BUT, we can’t go back, and we can’t regret, we can only forgive ourselves and keep moving forward as best as we can.  I also want to share that the best diet for me does not include Swerve or sweeteners or cream cheese every day.  BUT, there are special occasions from time to time, and when it is that time, it’s nice to have a treat that works IN your diet, and for your body, versus causing instant damage.

Create your ideal diet, and then fill it with what is most delicious for you – of the most natural and best kind.

Cheers, healthy food lovers.

 

Outdoor time, it’s a must, to heal and strengthen.

At one point in our lives, or the lives of our society, it was normal and regular to always be outdoor and outside.  Growing up in Poland until I was 8 years old, I was walking to school, walking to the store, walking to my grandma’s house, and then to my aunt’s house, and if we had to take a longer trip, like to my grandparents’ garden which was maybe 8km away, I was on the back (or the front) of my grandpa’s moto/vespa.  The sun was just non-stop shining down on us all.  I believe we had a car, but it wasn’t used for normal, regular day to day transport.  Add the fact that we lived in Ustka, right next to the Baltic Sea, where walking to the sand dunes and sandy pine tree filled forest – was everything.

Old school photos, one of a swim in the sea, climbing the fence in my aunt’s chickens’ house, and talking my dolly for a stroll – doing so much playing outdoor.  Always being outside was life.  All photos from mid 1980’s.

 

We’ve made so many incredible advances in our current world, but we have started to spend so much less time outside.  We now have to force ourselves to get out there for a walk, or for a bike ride, or for a day at the park or the beach.  My little daughter, who is three, loves being outside, and naturally wants to come home, grab her bucket and shovel and find some dirt and dig in.  My son on the other hand, I have to gently coax to get out there.  If he had it his way, he would spend more time inside.

Yet, what can we do, to incorporate MORE time outside to our lives, naturally?  Can we organically exclude the car from our errands, or the normal day to day driving?

Try on foot or via bike grocery shop runs.

My main source of car use is driving to the grocery store and back.  When I lived in NJ, originally there was a grocery store less than a quarter of a mile from my first home.  And I absolutely loved being able to walk there, and back, and grab my groceries for the day or weekend, and walk right back home.  Eventually it closed down, and later, my husband and I still at times trekked 2 miles to and 2 miles back to the closest Shop-Rite.  It took so much longer, but we used to load up the stroller with our little baby, and then the bottom part with our groceries, and I loved the outside time.

In NJ, we also, whenever the weather permitted, we would take walks around Robbinsville, to the grocery store or bagel shop or to their coffee shop, and even their amazing pizza restaurants.  It was so much fun to get outside, WALK, get to a destination, do what you need to do there (buy, or eat or shop, or just look) and walk back.  Being outdoor was everything.

Getting more outside time was probably one of the biggest motivators of why we moved south, and wanted nice weather all year round.  Being outside is healing.  And since my main goal in life is figure out how all of us can grow and stay incredibly mentally strong in all we do, and raise our children the same way – being out in nature – is a must.

We headed to the beach yesterday, and just being able to sit out there, with my toes in the sand, with the wind blowing, and fresh air everywhere – fed my cells.  I loved it so much that after we came home and settled in, while my baby was napping, I took my mug of tea outside, and got back in my beach-chair in the late afternoon.  I couldn’t get enough. Shine down on my sun, blow on me wind!

Once you feel how freeing, and relaxing, and de-stressing fresh air, and the sun, and just looking up at the sky is, it’s something we will want to do, and must do all the time.

What can you do each day, to get out there in the fresh air?  Can you take a walk each morning, or each lunch time?  I know it’s sometimes it seems it’s more fun to head out to a restaurant with coworkers for lunch, but what if you spent it walking around the office park?  What if you ate your lunch outside?  What if you just sat outside whenever you had a break, or could get outside.  What if you brought your chair outside your home, and just took a few deep breaths, while you could, each evening, while the sun was going down.

I know that you may be reading this, and you may be getting angry or rolling your eyes, or just saying to yourself, how the heck will you find time to spend outside.  It’s maddening the amount of things you have to do each day, and at night, and there is no way in heck that you can even take a five minute break.  But you must.  I know change sucks, but it’s a non-negotiable for a healthy life.  We must STOP, and break, and be outside, even if it’s just a few minutes during the day’s sunlight.

Getting a dog, has really forced me to get out there a lot more.  I’m determined to take my big fur child for a daily walk.  He loves it.  We take him to a doggy park each weekend, and he goes nuts running around with his friends.  It honestly is the best thing to see, and unfortunately during the week, all we have time is a nice long walk, but I know it’s better than just letting him out in a backyard, or nothing at all.   If you have pets, get them used to a nice hearty walk.  Get them out in the sunshine (or clouds, or rain), regardless of the day and weather, and go along for the rid.

I know Florida is about to turn into a hot humid state in the next couple of weeks, but I’m determined to stay up with our routine.  Even yesterday at the beach, I had my spf beach-shirt on, and a hat and sunglasses and my regular facial sunscreen.  Though outside time is everything, there is no reason to start turning into a prune, or building up skin cancer cells.  Cover up, regardless of the weather, and enjoy. (Even knowing this, I still picked up color on my face, which I think happened on the ride there & back.)

My children are still a bit little, but I’m excited to incorporate some outdoor adventures when they can hang and keep up.  I want to go hiking, and exploring the many outdoor spots, and nature around where we live.  Beauty surrounds us all REGARDLESS of where you live, nature is everywhere, and we must seek it, find it, and incorporate it in our lives.  Whether it’s mountains, or lakes, or the ocean, or just some really beautiful parks or streets – go out there and explore.  We must do it for our mind, for our strength, for our sanity, for our happiness, calm, and peace.  It’s  a MUST DO, and it sets us up for success.

It’s impossible to work inside, under bright lights and come home, and stay home, and then go back out to work, and then come home, and the only air we breath is once we get out of the car, and then back inside.  It’s impossible to stay healthy this way.  Doctors are so quick to prescribe pills for our minds, and we as patients are too quick to accept.  We must create a life that nurtures our minds and bodies with nature’s medicine.  I’m not saying to do anything like GET OFF pills, I’m just gently saying that we all must create a life that builds up our strength, and not a life where every aspect is directly or indirectly draining us.

Recognize what’s happening, and put your observations together for change and improvement.

Then, like the boss you are, incorporate, LITTLE BY LITTLE everything that will make so many things better.

This was our car, which I don’t remember using very often.  That’s my little sister standing by it, removing the snow from it.  Then, my grandparents on my dad’s side, and me in the stroller.  It looked cold, but we were still outside.  Lastly, me with the chickens.  Chilly, but dressed warmed and getting that sunlight.  I’m grateful for this childhood, and being raised out in the fresh air.

None of us just woke up in 2018, and found ourselves on one end of the nature spectrum or the other.  We all got there slowly. So whatever you are, accept it, and now – better it.  If you are already in an awesome spot, just keep going, and maybe invite a friend for some outdoor time, now or on the weekend.

I’m not anywhere NEAR where I want to be.  I want to SPEND MORE time outside, doing everything from day to day tasks, to huge big adventures that will feed my soul and continue to build life and memories and health into my family.  We, as women, as mothers, as parents, as humans, are the ones who can show our children the beauty of nature, outside time, fresh air, the sun, the clouds and the rains – and that they always must create a life, that incorporates all of this and more.

Cheers, may the sun shine down on us all, and feed our hearts, and minds happiness galore!

Nurture your soul. What can you do right now?

What is it that you really like to do?  Those little tiny things that are no big deal, but you can enjoy blissfully and un-apologetically?  Are you able to nurture your soul, all the time?  Maybe it’s coffee your favorite way.  Maybe it’s sitting down with tea, and reading a magazine.  Maybe it’s just getting back in bed, on a Saturday afternoon, for a nap.  Maybe it’s your makeup, maybe it’s a walk, or a super slow walk where you can breath and take it all in.

As I continue to write, I am starting to uncover that my mission in life may be to help women, help mothers, help humans to constantly grow stronger mentally, so that we can do everything we need to, and everything we want to, and live our very best lives, full of peace and gratefulness.

And for this, we must nurture our souls, constantly.

Yesterday, we focused on identifying and staying grateful for all that we have, yet, how is that possible without sitting back, standing back, and taking a tiny break, to allow us free time, a moment of time for gratitude activity.  First, identify what you absolutely love doing, what makes you feel good, what gives you that sense of pride in your life, a sense of freedom, that feeling of happiness.  This may be big or small, and at this point in my life, it’s just the TINIEST things for me, because it’s busy, and always going.

I don’t have the luxury just yet to vacation for a week at a spa or resort, BUT I do have a moment each day to make myself a delicious cup of coffee, and enjoy each sip.  Especially on the weekends.  On the weekends, I have 15 minutes to sit out in my lanai, and kick up my feet, and drink my coffee and just breath.  It makes me feel like I’m living the absolutely best life, and it’s just coffee, outside.

Homemade fancy coffee and homemade guacamole bring me back to life.

How can you constantly put yourself in a state of luxury and soul liberty several times throughout the day or week?  After I finish working out, I take a few minutes (maybe 3 or 4, but feels much longer), to sit out on my driveway on my yoga mat, and stretch it out.  It’s honestly the shortest amount of time, but it gives me that feeling of WOWWWWWWWWWW, I am NOW ready to get back in the house and get it all done for the kids, and for work and for life, and am ready for what’s in store.

In the PM, we pick up my daughter from her school on our golf cart, and lately the weather has always been sunny, and warm, and just riding 15mph to her school, with my best friend by my side – feels like a VACATION.  I can also decompress from the workday, and just relax, and sometimes we say nothing at all to each other, and sometimes we discuss the day’s events, or what’s coming up.  It’s a luxurious amount of time, that isn’t long, or extended, but just enough to absorb some vitamin D and let any bad energy go.

Can you find moments in your day, that you enjoy so very much, and focus on them more?  Can you treat yourself to your favorite activities?  Whether these are in your home, at your work, or special outside activities such as a pedicure, or a massage, or a gym session.  What can you do for yourself each day or each week, to bring you back to you, to bring you into constant nurturing and self-love?

Enjoying that outdoor air.

Perhaps it’s cooking your favorite grub, or cleaning up your home, or spending time on your favorite couch, reading a good book, or maybe it’s writing, or texting with a friend, or laying out in the sun or making a shake? What can you do, for you?

My husband needed a haircut, and I asked him if he could drop me off at Publix while he got it done.  I am always rushing while grocery shopping, so that day, I decided to just to lounge my way through the store.  I wanted to look at every vegetable, and then all their teas, and all the different flour products they have, and everything interesting I don’t ever have a chance to see.  Usually, most grocery trips, and I’m assuming this is the same for all busy humans, is a SUPERMARKET SWEEP type of run, where you are running from one item or another, or racing through the aisles dropping items into your cart like a mad clown.  But not that day, that day I was able to slowly mosey my way through, and it felt HEAVENLY, nurturing my insides.

In the evening, when it’s almost bedtime, after dinner is done, and the kitchen is cleaned up, I make myself a cup of tea.  And I want to sit down for a few minutes and watch Jeopardy.  My children at this point are playing right in front of me, and they are wrestling or building forts, or playing with those magnet pieces, and it all just feels right.  Everyone is fed, and clean, and happy, and the day is coming to an end.  I try hard not to think about work, but only about the fun that is presently going on.  Jeopardy is a silly game to check in with each night, but its so fun for me.  Thankfully in FL it comes on at 730pm, so it’s just enough time to get all the above done, and now relax with Alex Trebek.

These are the type of tiny little things that nourish my soul.  In these moments, I take back a bit of my sanity, and peace, and thrive on the kindness it brings forth.  In these moments, it’s EASY to think about all the good in our lives, and in these moments, it’s also easier to know that the tough times shall pass.  This is what feeling nurtured feels like:  total peace.  But when we don’t activate and do anything to bring ourselves back from the stress, the madness, the anxiety, how can we survive and thrive?

If you can, make a physical list or a mental list of everything you enjoy in this way.  And then put as many small tiny little actions in motion, so that you do spend this time, checking in with yourself.  Get to them right away.  Since many reading are now celebrating the weekend, use this weekend to get started.  What can you do for yourself today? Indulge yourself in your favorite activities, so that your soul can tag you back with super good feelings and truly feel nurtured.  It’s impossible to keep going and going and going, without these tiny breaks of love for ourselves.   Maybe you love to go to Barnes & Noble, and just sit back and read cookbooks or self help or a new mystery.  Maybe it’s the library.  Maybe you love Starbucks or Dunkin and just want to drink some coffee or tea in peace. Maybe you want to take some extra time and get your hair done, and nails done, or you want to put in this time yourself.  It could be anything and everything, and it’s our job to create these moments for ourselves.  Your partner nor your children know exactly what you want and need all the time, so take charge, and re-charge.

Cheers to you and your soul.  Cheers to a cup of your favorite moments alone.

 

 

Happy and Happiness. How to get happy, and stay happy.

I was talking to my great girlfriend this week, and I hope she doesn’t mind me saying, but she struggles with being happy, yet, she wants this so badly for her everyday life.  She wants to stop stressing, stop worrying, and just be happy with her life, and everything she’s built for herself.

I love her so much, as I do all of the people who just ROCK out in their lives, and it pains me to hear that for a large portion of her life, she has used one of the most incredible work ethics out there and created an incredible life for herself, yet still struggles to live in that happy, simple, peaceful place.

So many humans, so many women, and mothers, have a hard time, perhaps sitting back, or throughout their busy days to feel that sense of contentment, nirvana and feeling of just being grateful for all they have.  But we must change this.  We deserve to feel good.  All women deserve to get there, be there, and stay there, in a state of easy bliss.

What is true, and what we all know for sure, that having more, doing more, getting more, buying more, spending more, changing more, isn’t going to bring us that feeling of calm, feeling of relaxation, or feelings of happiness.  But what will do it, is constantly checking in with your feelings of gratefulness.  It’s not about anyone else, it’s not about your circumstances, it is not about luck, it’s not about what you don’t have, but about fully understanding and tapping into your feelings of gratefulness for your life.  It’s about feeling lucky already, for everything that has happened.

What do you focus on as soon as you wake up?  Do you wake up with anxiety or worry or stress about what you have to do, what you need to do, what you can’t do, what you don’t have money to do, or do you slowly rise from your bed, or allow yourself to stay in there a bit, and say thank you for it all.

It’s important to note, that none of us have it “all”.  None of us are the Kardashian sisters with millions of fans, and endless amounts of money, and resources to PERFECT every aspect of our lives.  We are real humans, real women, real people who must work extremely hard and smart to live the lives of our dreams.  But this is all possible, and possible immediately, and at the end of day, the absolute best way to live and be and create.

Wake up and say thank you.  Say thank you to yourself for your ability to wake up and breath.  Say thank you for the bed you just slept in, for the person next to you, for the kiddos in your home, for your pets, for the food in your fridge, for the furniture around you.  Say thank you for the chaos that may immediately erupt because of the pets and the kids and perhaps even the spouse.  Say THANK YOU for the argument you may have had the night before, because this means you are ALIVE and you are human.  Say thank you to everything that comes to your mind that is a current challenge or obstacle in your life.  Without challenges, we can’t get stronger.  It is IMPOSSIBLE to get and grow stronger without resistance.  Say THANK YOU for all of this.  Say thank you for the mess, for the laundry, for the groceries.

If you feel you have NOTHING good at all in your life now, say thank you for this too, because this means you are starting off, starting fresh.  Say thank you for your health, regardless of it’s status.  If you are in your worst possible health situation ever, still say thank you to those cells in your body that are functioning well.  Be grateful for the health that you do have, and focus on how you can start to nourish what is good, and improve onto your strengths.

If your past is a mess, be grateful for this too.  I know it’s tough, I know it’s impossible to understand WHY something happened, why someone touched you, why someone abused you, why someone didn’t love you, but calmly say thank you for this too. Thank you for giving me this pain, this torture, because I will NOW use it to get better.

If you suffered a great loss in your life, perhaps your love, perhaps your child, perhaps your sister or brother, or mother or father.  Say thank you for this too.  You knew them, you loved them, you experienced what you did with them, and now you can cherish the memories and remember just the best about them.

Start breathing.  Start to take in deep breaths as often, throughout the day as possible.  Give yourself time to breath, and let it all sink in.  How good do you have it?  What are your favorite things about you?  About your home?  About your spouse?  About your kids? Your car, your fun?  What do you love so much about your life?

If you physically need to take out a piece of paper, write it all out. 

I am grateful for…

…in my life, and start writing it all out.

Let it all flow out.  I am grateful for my husband, my health, my children, my dog, my cat, our bed, our home, our food, Publix, and Aldi, and friends and neighbors, and the sun, and living here, and the world, and everyone that does so much good for others.  I’m grateful for my childhood, and my teen years, and my college years, and my 20ies, and everyone I’ve loved, and my 30ies, and being 35, and everything and everything.  Start writing it all out.  Start jotting down, everything that is SOOOOO DARNNNNNN GOOOOOOD in your life.

My adorable little kitty – we love her so much, and all that green.  Each day, I try to stay grateful for these plants, because they are so beautiful.  They are just green, and nothing extremely special, but still, how cool that they are life.

Also, at the Flag Football game last weekend, a truck pulled up, called Lucky Goat and they were giving out complimentary cups of coffee.  I was so happy to have one, and it was so freaken delicious, that i’m still happy I had a chance to have one.  I’m still like “you know that’s some delicious coffee” and I feel my day is better TODAY, almost a week after this cup because of it.  Get to this state, just get freaken excited about all those tiny small things that make your day.  Look for them.  Look for them everywhere.

Don’t focus on any of the bad.  At one point, you won’t even need to categorize anything in your life as “bad” because everything will be there for a reason.  It’s a very powerful state to get to.  View everything is a lesson, and nothing is permanent.  But the sooner you can start to focus on the good, the less bad there is.  Again, I completely understand none of us live in completely ideal situations all of the time.  Not me, not you, not our neighbors, not our friends, not our extended family.  I get it, we all from time to time, or ALL the time, have to deal with shit.  But this is okay, and we must still find the good in everything, all the time anyway.  What are you focusing on?  What are you thinking about?  Where are you putting your energy?

The other day, we received an email from the association, that we must immediately replace our water heater.  It wasn’t broken, it wasn’t leaking, it was working just fine, but immediately, we had 45 days to provide a receipt of a brand new water heater.  As you can imagine, my first thought was like, are you serious?  Why?  Why do we have to go out and spend $1450 on a brand new water heater, when our old one was just fine.? But you know what I did instead.  I sent the email to my husband, asked him to set up an appt with a local heating company, and get this done asap.  I could have walllllllowed in my pity, I could have been reallllllly upset, I could have been annoyed, I could have gone back and forth on email with my association contact, and let this DRAGGGG on for so long.  I could have posted about it on social media about how ANNNNOYING this situation is, but instead, we handled it. It’s not about the money, because no one has or wants to spend $1450 to just go about and use up, BUT it’s about not causing myself MORE issues, more mental anguish than necessary.  At the end of the day, we replaced the water heater, we sent over the receipt, and the situation is handled and over.  And instead of getting upset, I was grateful we own a condo, in a development that cares enough and is smart enough to help all of the units stay healthy and updated, so that major damage is never done.  I’m also grateful that I won’t get a phone call, in the middle of the night, of a water heater, in the middle of December, leaking, no longer working, and getting SURPRISED.

It’s always about finding that silver lining, always.  It’s often confusing why some humans, why some of us have to go through really hard times, whether chronic hard times that never seem to end, or major situations that arise, that throw us on our arse – backwards & blindfolded.  Will we always know exactly why something happened?  Nope, that’s just how life goes and works.  But we can still work hard at finding a new normal, and still find the absolute GOOD in it all.

The only difference between humans is what we choose to focus on.  We can always focus on the negative in everything, or we can choose to focus on the positive of it all.  It’s fun to be happy.  It’s fun to enjoy your days, even when there are some really crappy parts to them.  My daughter is in a mood where a lot of the morning is a battle, and instead of talking – she whines-cries.  It’s a combination of the BEST of toddler years where everything is a whine combined with a cry.  Writing it out doesn’t seem like the worst but being exposed to this many hours each day, it can wear on you.  She’s extremely competitive, and has to do a lot of things exactly her way, or else the whine-cry comes out.  Even when she goes through her morning exactly how she wants, it’s a whine-cry morning regardless.  She wants the pants with the stars on them, she wants candy, she wants to get dressed first, she doesn’t want Friday socks, but instead Sunday socks.  She wants to open the drawer and close it exactly her way, she wants to pull up her blinds, she doesn’t want the dog to lay down, she wants to close his crate, she doesn’t want her brother to talk, she doesn’t want to brush her hair, she wants her ponytail in the back and now it’s too high.  She’s upset her diapers say size 5 and not 3, because she’s three and not five.  I mean, this is endless, and can go on and she can stay strong and persistent.  But instead, I just keep breathing through it all.  The GOOD news is that she is healthy, and mostly happy, and she slept well, and is behaving well in school, and she’s fun in the PM, and very independent, and social, and absolutely my best friend.  The good news is that because she sets me up for such resilience each morning, that whatever bad news, whatever upsetting and unsuccessful info I get throughout the day from work, isn’t anywhere as tough or as hard as what she puts me through.

That’s the SILVER LINING.

We can find it in everything.

I go outside each day/most days, and every day I’m grateful for the beauty that surrounds me.  It takes my breath away, and I never want to not cherish this.  Because it makes me feel I have it all.  And these are just such simple things.

While chatting with my friend, I told her to just keep breathing throughout her day, and whenever her mind went to stress, or worry, to bring it back to gratefulness.  Consonantly get excited about what you DO have, what you already have.  If you have to PRETEND that you have something that you do not yet have, do that anyway.  It’s the only thing that will change.  Being thankful, being grateful, being happy, being in peace, means you have to immediately find this in your life already, and be grateful for it right now.

Even if you have to start small, start there.  Maybe you love your fleece blanket, or the brand of socks you have, or you love the way your hair moves, or your eyes, or you have just the best father or mother — whatever it is, focus on this, and constantly, and all the time, bring your mind back to what is already full, already right, already strong, already perfect in your life.  Removing thoughts and emotions and feelings about what is NOT right, will get us all closer to living that life of peace, and tranquility and natural flow, and success and progression and positive change, and growth and nonstop learning.  Focusing on the good, staying grateful all day long, for what we have, what we’ve built, who we are becoming and have become, will give us all and everything in life that we need and we want.

Cheers, Grateful Humans.