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Resolutions or Mindfulness

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Resolutions or Mindfulness

From Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

In two days, it will be the dawn of the New Year. So you’re probably working on a list of things that you’d like to get done in 2015. Well, I’d like to ask you to forget about making these resolutions. Forget about deciding on the first day of January how you will be conducting your life in September, some nine months later. Any resolution that involves making decisions about future behaviors is a waste of time. It also reinforces the self-defeating notion of living in the future.
For 2015, wouldn’t you rather live in the present moment?
This day that you’re living right now is the only day you get. Period. You can resolve to be skinny when next July rolls around, or to quit smoking next month, or to write that book you’ve been meaning to, or to embark on your overdue exercise program by the end of this year. You can go about resolving until the cows come home, and you still have to live your life just like everyone else on the planet: One day at a time.
You can only live minute to minute. You can certainly use up your present moments thinking about what you’ll be doing in the future, but that doesn’t change the fact that you can only live in the now. The important question to be asking yourself is:
How am I going to live in the present moment this year?
Will I waste these moments reviewing the way I used to behave? Will I waste these moments reviewing how I would like to behave in the future rather than resolving to live each day to the fullest?
The New Year is a good time to initiate a plan so you can make some changes and help live your life to the fullest. See if you can practice thinking differently. Decide very specifically what it is that you would like to change about yourself in 2015. If you have some goals in mind, vow to work on them day by day rather than making them a year-long project.
When you set up day-to-day goals for yourself, you can begin living this way for the rest of your life. Remember this little piece of advice, which will be extremely helpful to you if you can incorporate it into your life: When you go for one entire day without eating sugar (or not smoking, or being assertive, or any other new behavior), you are a totally different person at the end of that day. What you must learn to do is let that totally different person decide on the second day whether to do it again on this new day, rather than letting the same old person decide today that it is going to be difficult in a couple of days anyhow, so what’s the use. Always let the New You make the decision, and then you’ll be living your present moments.
Remember, you are in control of all thoughts in your head. When you are using up your present moments to worry about the future, constantly reviewing the past to come up with how you should have done it differently, or contemplating disaster, remind yourself that you are wasting this particular present moment.
Practice cancelling out negative thoughts for a few minutes at a time. Vow to enjoy the next five minutes regardless of what has previously transpired or what you think is about to happen. Remind yourself of the folly of wasting your present moments on mental activity that focuses exclusively on your past or imagined future. All of your thoughts about what you should have done, or how terrible things were in the past will not change one tiny slice of the past.
As you celebrate this New Year and each precious present moment, here are 10 reminders to help you live in the Now:

  1. Remember that habits are changed by practicing new behavior. By practicing new thinking every five minutes, you’ll soon begin to master the art of present-moment living.
    2. Do an honest assessment of your “problems.” You’ll very likely discover that almost all of your problems are really in your head and not located in reality.
    3. Take time to be mindful of everything around you. Begin to look at your entire surroundings in a new light. Observe every detail on every face, every building and every object. If you do this often enough it will become a habit that will facilitate your being alive in every moment of the year.
    4. Change your attitude. Begin an attitude-redevelopment plan. That means practice enjoying everything you do.
    5. Be specific about what you want and take action. Decide on one thing that you would like to work on and do it today. Work at it daily, rather than making it a long-range objective.
    6. Create a self-improvement agenda for yourself. Put on your agenda whatever activities you’ve always thought about but never had time to do. Do them now.
    7. Rid yourself of mundane chores that are not really that important. Spend more time making your life a pleasure.
    8. Eliminate procrastination as a lifestyle. Instead of talking to yourself about what you are going to do next week or even tomorrow, use this time to start a new task.
    9. Don’t give up control of your life to others. You cannot enjoy the present moment if you are busy trying to make everyone else like you. People respect you more when you operate from a position of strength and self-reliance.
    10. Feel good about yourself. You are a magnificent human being. Always feel good about that self that you are always with.

For 2015, as I have for many other years, I vow to be fully alive and see the world the way Walt Whitman described it to be many years ago: “To me…every cubic inch of space is a miracle.” I really believe that.

I wish you a New Year filled with many miracles. May you live a long and productive life—one present moment at a time.

Love,
I AM,
Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Until next month.

Warmly,
Mary Pfeffer

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wayne-dyer

WAYNE W. DYER, PH.D., is an internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development. He’s the author of over 30 books, has created many audio programs and videos, and has appeared on thousands of television and radio shows.

His books Manifest Your Destiny, Wisdom of the AgesThere’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem, and the New York Times bestsellers 10 Secrets for Success and Inner PeaceThe Power of IntentionInspirationChange Your Thoughts—Change Your LifeExcuses Begone, and now Wishes Fulfilled have all been featured as National Public Television specials.

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Pets Get Stressed During the Holidays, Too!

Strangers in the house! Sometimes even other animals! Car trips! Or even airplane flights! Weird sparkly stuff added to the décor! And you can’t play with it! Really good food smells! Owners coming home tipsy and silly! Sleep disruptions! All kinds of things can add to your pets’ stress level during the holiday season.

Fortunately, there’s easy help available to keep your pet calm and relaxed through it all.

YellowLabradorLookingIf you are not familiar with Bach Flower Remedies, you have been missing out on some of the most valuable “home remedies” in existence. These 38 homeopathic remedies were formulated by Dr. Edward Bach in the 1930s and are specifically designed to restore positive, healthy states of mind.

The fact that they work so well on animals is, to me, a testament to their efficacy on humans. Not a “placebo effect,” but actual emotional healing. I have been using these remedies myself for many years, and have recently had excellent success using them for my cats in times of need.

The Flower Remedies may be administered by adding a few drops to your pet’s water or by spritzing in the mouth from a spray bottle with about 4 drops added to 2 ounces of distilled or spring water, or even applied topically in some cases (especially good for birds). Here are some of the holiday problems you might encounter, and how Bach Flower Remedies can help.

Your pet becomes bad-tempered

Dogs growling and raising their hackles, barking, biting. Cats hissing, swiping, clawing. Animals oversensitive to sensory stimulation… upset by too much going on… loud parties, bright lights. The remedy to try is Beech, which restores tolerance and flexibility. Beech is often combined with Holly, Vine, and Willow if there is maliciousness or territoriality involved.

Your pet is homesick

Your pet is staying with friends, at a boarding kennel or with you while you’re away from home, and having trouble adjusting to the new environment. This can cause pets to stop eating, stop eliminating properly, slow down activity, and sit in waiting mode seemingly unaware of surroundings. To restore the ability to adjust to the new circumstances, Honeysuckle is the answer.

Your pet’s irritability leads to gastrointestinal problems

Your pet wants to go out, wants to come in, wants to go out, pulls at the lead, and can’t wait to eat. Your pet is so restless and uptight that it has a bout of irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, or other gastrointestinal problems.  Skin conditions and itching may also manifest. It’s time to break out the Impatiens to help your pet restore calm and cooperation.

Your pet is afraid

Pets may be afraid of many things: vacuum cleaners, thunderstorms, fireworks, strangers, other animals, airplanes, and you may not know this will happen until it does. Your pet starts shivering, pacing, puffing, panting, or whining with those big eyes they get. It would be good to have a bottle of Mimulus on hand to restore your pet’s courage in the face of all the unusual holiday stimulations.

Your pet is heavily traumatized

If the worst should happen, an accident, a fire, or some other horrific event, your pet may experience extreme fear and panic. Rock Rose is the remedy to restore your terrorized animal to courage, bravery, and calmness. Rock Rose is one ingredient in the amazing Bach Rescue Remedy, which, in my opinion, needs to be in everyone’s home health care arsenal. It keeps people from becoming hysterical in a crisis.

Your pet can’t adapt to change

Use Walnut as the remedy when your pet can’t seem to handle environmental changes. Animals are very sensitive to moving to new homes, or even redecorating the present home. They react to changes in the emotional environment, as well. So, if your holidays are not complete without an episode of the family feud, make sure your pets don’t suffer from it, too.

Keeping some Bach Flower Remedies on hand is a great way to provide your pets with the emotional health they need to make it through the holidays with aplomb. The remedies may be used singly or in combination, though using more than 5 at a time is not recommended. The happier your pets are this holiday season, the happier you can be!

Bach Flower Remedies; are available at your local natural health store. I tell you that they work, and they work very well, if you remember to use them. If you are struggling with emotional issues during the holidays or any time of the year, please make them your first choice before you feel the need to poison yourself with prescription medications that are supposed to help your emotional well-being. If you need help in selecting the remedy or remedies you need, call your naturopath for a consultation.

Until next month.

Warmly,
Mary

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Filed Under: Caregiving | Mary Pfeffer @ December 14, 2014

Love is truly a Practice

Woman's eyes closed, breathing“Love is the capacity to take care, to protect, too nourish. If you are not capable of generating that kind of energy toward yourself- if you are not capable of taking care of yourself, of nourishing yourself, of protecting yourself- it is very difficult to take care of another person. In the Buddhist teaching, it’s clear that to love oneself is the foundation of the love of other people. Love is a practice. Love is truly a practice” Thich Nhat Hahn

It took me a long time to truly absorb the meaning of the above quote. I still struggle at times with the concept of taking care of myself first before I can care for others. Do you suffer from this affliction?

I’m sure that I’ve mentioned these two short stories in this space before but they’re worth mentioning again.

My son John was listening to me complain about all my aches and pains one day while we were doing some chores around the farm when he stopped me and said, “Why don’t you do whatever it takes to take better care of yourself?”   I made some excuse about being too busy taking care of him and his siblings, his father, the farm etcetera. To which he replied with the all-knowing wisdom that all 16 year olds seem to have, “Mom, how do you expect to take care of anyone or anything else if you don’t put yourself first?”

That simple yet profound statement from my oldest started me on my journey and had me thinking: is it really possible for me to do this? To be able to do what I thought at the time was pure selfishness?

It took me many years after that conversation with my son to finally and truly understand what it means to take care of oneself first. And I went through the hell of a number of painful ailments before I got there.

The other short story is the one where on a plane the flight attendant instructs you in case of an emergency to put on your own oxygen mask first before you help your neighbor with theirs. After all, you can’t be expected to help anyone if you’re half dead and gasping for breath.

I started my journey where most women start, with their diet and added exercise. I also took on either a new business or job, one after the other or all at the same time.  At one time I was working three jobs and two businesses at once.

Crazy right?

But something was missing. I was so busy being busy trying to fix me from the outside that I had forgotten about the inside.

It took a complete emotional meltdown before I finally realized that when they talk about taking care of yourself, it really means all of you – body, mind and spirit.

When I finally took the time to re-connect with myself and replaced my fears with trust, I learned to let go of the things I couldn’t control. Then I was taking care of me.

Now I feed all of my needs without all the ‘busy-ness.’

Is my life perfect? No, hardly. However, I’m working at it, although at a slower pace than what I’m used to.  And I wake each day asking myself, what do I need today?  What does my body want? What do I want to create today?

And if I listen really close I receive an answer.

I AM.

Have you reached the stage and you’re finally ready to put yourself and your needs first?  Get started today.

If you need someone to talk to, I’m here to listen.

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Express Your Gratitude to Reduce Your Stress

Grateful for beingExpress Your Gratitude to Reduce Your Stress.
The practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been in the mainstream for years. Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and a faster rate of recovery from an operation.

But while we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it still can be difficult to sustain. So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. And for gratitude to meet its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just a Thanksgiving word. We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. And that can take some time.

That’s why practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the ability to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.

Remember that gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. It’s more a matter of where we put our focus and attention. Injustices exist in this world, but when we focus on the gifts of life, we gain a feeling of well-being. Gratitude balances us and gives us hope.

There are many things to be grateful for: colourful autumn leaves, legs that work, friends who listen and really hear, chocolate, fresh eggs, warm jackets, tomatoes, the ability to read, roses, our health, butterflies. What’s on your list?

Some Ways to Practice Gratitude 

  • Keep a gratitude journal in which you list things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Greater frequency may be better for creating a new habit, but just keeping that journal where you can see it will remind you to think in a grateful way.
  • Make a gratitude collage by drawing or pasting photos from old magazines.
  • Practice gratitude around the dinner table or make it part of your night-time routine.
  • Find the hidden blessing in a challenging situation.
  • When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You may be amazed by how much better you feel.
  • Notice how gratitude is impacting your life. Write about it, sing about it, and express thanks for gratitude.

As you practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be delighted to find how content and hopeful you are feeling. That sense of fulfillment is gratitude at work.

And don’t forget to do something relaxing for you every day, even if it’s just for a few moments. Read a chapter or two, enjoy a hot bath, pour yourself a glass of your favourite beverage and sip while enjoying the book or bath, or better yet enjoy all three at the same time.

Until next month.

Warmly,

Mary Pfeffer

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3 Steps to Consciously Live Your Life with Grace & Ease Instead of Grief & Pain.

Do you love stories? I know I do, in fact I believe most of us do. When I hear or read a story that teaches me a life lesson I like to pay it forward and share with others. That’s how we learn and grow, by sharing and telling stories.swan

My friend, Christine, is an astute storyteller and a woman who strongly believes in personal growth. In fact, it’s something that she practices on a daily basis and I’ve grown so much by having her as an example in my life. She is the one whom I lived with for four months before I returned home to my husband. She taught me a great deal during my stay with her, but that’s another story for another time.

Christine had an event that she was attending as the star attraction doing what she does best –  storytelling. After her initial meeting with the woman who had approached her for the booking, Christine was starting to feel apprehensive and dreading her decision. You see, this woman was an extremely difficult and challenging person to get along with.

When future meetings and discussions ensued regarding the booking, Christine chose to pass her off for her agent to deal with. Obnoxious, critical and negative are words that come to mind to describe her personality. She really was one of those, thank God, few people that like to make life difficult for everyone they meet. Even her own son agreed that she wasn’t the easiest person to get along with.

Christine had agreed to partner with her because the woman was the chair of a charity that she felt strongly about and whatever short comings this person had, Christine could see the difference the woman was making and how hard she worked to benefit the recipients of the charity.

As the day of the event drew near, Christine knew she would have to change her perception about the woman so that she could remain in control of her emotions and not make the situation worse. She chose to do the following three steps:

First, she set an intention by reaffirming her desire to support the charity work. She decided that she would show up with all of her needs met:  hair, nails, media coverage, and crafts done for the event. She went with the intention that it would be a success, no matter how small the turnout was.

In order to prepare herself both mentally and emotionally, Christine meditated and prayed. She allowed her mind to go to a peaceful place and she kept that vision in mind when she was in the presence of the woman.

She consciously switched her thoughts and went from being filled with dread and anxiety to one of happiness and joy. She chose to show up in a way that would make the situation better not worse. Even when the woman criticized her hometown,she didn’t defend St. Thomas or its people, but rather apologized and said “I’m sorry you didn’t have a good experience here.” And no matter what others in the room did, like rolling their eyes at what the woman was saying, Christine chose to remain in grace.

So what does it mean to live your life with grace and ease? What does it take to live in grace especially during times of stress and upheaval?

Simply, it starts with a decision followed by lots of practice. After all its so easy to take the route most people take; the one of “losing it” on someone else’s behavior. You can’t change their behaviour; you can only choose how you will react to it.

Remember being graceful isn’t about being weak; being graceful is about acceptance and non-judgment, starting with you.

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All excuses make sense to the person who makes it. What’s yours?‏

‏All excuses make sense to the person who makes it. What’s yours?‏  I’d like to share this story with you of a really good friend of mine who shared his story with me on a recent visit home. His life just two short years ago was a complete mess, he was seventy pounds overweight, he wasn’t in a very positive head space and his two daughters had shut him out of their lives and thereby the lives of his three beautiful grand-daughters. He couldn’t blame them for doing so, after all they had been raised by him to not hang out with the kind of person he had allowed himself to become. He was full of excuses. It was his own personWhat's Your Excuseal hell. A year went by and he came home again for a visit with his family here and he looked amazing. He had lost more than half the weight and was back in his daughter’s lives. He was so happy and positive, he just glowed if you will. This year when he came home, he was down the full amount of weight and his life was better than ever. He was looking forward to walking his second daughter down the aisle and sing at her wedding this fall. When I asked him his “secret” to turning his life completely around, dropping the seventy pounds regaining a loving relationship with his daughter and grand-kids again…this is what he told me. “Mary it happens so unbelievably fast how your life, the life you want, and how it comes back to you when you take care of yourself and put you first. I couldn’t blame them for feeling the way they did about me at the time or for what I had allowed myself to become. I knew I couldn’t change the way they felt about me unless I changed myself first. And that’s what I did, and no excuses; none whatsoever.” “Think of it as pulling back on a bow, like in a bow and arrow. You keep pulling back, further and further till you can’t go back any more and when you release and that arrow takes off and hits it’s mark…that’s how fast your life comes back to you.” “It’s all about mindset. You make a decision, set your mind to doing it and put your plan into consistent action.” A pretty amazing story don’t you think? I am so proud of my friend. He has set such a fine example for himself and his girls. When I asked him if it was hard work, he said “of course it was, like they say anything worth having is worth the work.” This is the stage I’m at in my own life, the weight part of the story at least, although I’m always trying to improve my relationships with my own family, too. I’m learning to put myself first. I’ve reached that time in my life when it’s time to do for me and take care of me. It’s like the part of the speech I wrote for my son’s wedding were I was giving him and his beautiful bride three tips as they move forward in their married lives: Take care of yourself first, so you can then care for each other, then your children, then others and in that order. You don’t want to wait till the end of your life and have any regrets do you? But if you do, you have no one to blame but yourself. We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, and the teachers, everyone else – but never blame yourself. It’s never your fault. But it’s always your fault, because if you wanted to change you’re the one who has got to change. Katharine Hepburn Have you reached the stage in your life when you’re ready to put yourself and your needs first? If not, why not? Life is too short to live it for someone else. If you need someone to talk to, I’m here to listen.

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Two great tips to use to keep your head from exploding.

493474_30814826Are You a negative Nelly? Last month’s blog post touched on how to deal with the Negative Nelly’s in your life. How did that tip work for you? Do you use it all the time now or at least tried it out once or twice? It’s a pretty handy little tool to use and I love how it keeps me in charge of my feelings and emotions so I can respond and not react to people around me.

Today I’m going to share two short and sweet tips that you can use when you’re the one being the Negative Nelly.

Here’s a scenario for you to set the stage; let me know if it sounds familiar.

A position becomes available in the company that you’ve always wanted to work for and you submit your resume and killer cover letter. You had agonized over it for hours, using the exact wording that they are looking for. This is it, the job you’ve always dreamed of and you’re already imagining yourself working there as you hit the send button on the email.

You wait a few days and then wait some more. You call and ask if they’ve received your resume and inquire as to where they are in the hiring process. And you wait some more.

As time goes by you start telling yourself a story that sounds like this:

“They’ve probably already filled the position.” “I didn’t meet all the requirements or my skills weren’t – change to aren’t strong enough.” “Maybe I should have worded it differently.” “I’m probably not good enough or smart enough for them.” “What if I did this?” “Or maybe I should’ve written that.” You get so overwhelmed with your thoughts, feeling and emotions until your head feels like it’s ready to explode.

As humans, we create stories to help make sense of our world. We constantly re-tell ourselves things that have happened to us, replaying the internal video over and over in our minds. We also project into the future, wondering what might be.

A tool to getting out of that head space is to say out loud in a firm voice STOP, I’m not going to think that anymore and then direct your thoughts to something more pleasant.

Or you can simply ask yourself the question “how does it get any better than this?” And you say this statement for anything positive or negative that’s going on in your life and that way it has no choice but to get better.

Unlike the external factors that we have no control over, our internal factors are made up of our own reactions to the events in our life. Since these reactions happen within us, we have the power to change them in the here and now.

By doing this you will be able to step into your power, move forward and live the life you deserve.

Are you oftentimes your own Negative Nelly? Do you need someone to talk to? Click below and schedule your FREE Moving Forward Conversation. My work is to listen to you and I love to brainstorm. Together let’s discover exactly what is standing between where you are now and the life you deserve to live. I want to listen to your story. Let’s talk!

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One Great Tip to Dealing With the Negative Nelly’s in Your Life

Everyone has a defining moment in life.

Everyone has a defining moment in life.According to Dr. Phil a defining moment can be either positive or negative. It’s an event or moment in your life that enters your consciousness with such power that it changes the very core of who and what you thought you were. A part of you was changed by these events, and caused you to define yourself, to some degree by your experience of that event. In simpler terms, it’s a point at which the essential nature or character of a person is defined or identified. Surprisingly there are only a small number of choices that come into our lives that rise to the level of life-changing ones. And these are the choices that have affected you up to this point and set you on the path you travel today. Defining moments can come from an external or an internal source and they can be either positive or negative. Today I’m writing about external sources, such as your family, friends or co-workers, those closest to you. Do you have someone whom you are close to and they are, “how shall I put this nicely;” soul sucking, negative, energy draining zappers. Yeah, that pretty much describes some people in my life too. Maybe you’re married to one or one of your children or a parent is like this. Even though it is possible to live with and or love someone like that you MUST do this one thing to protect yourself. So how do you live with a Negative Nelly? Simple, you move them to the back of your bus (aka life), do what’s necessary to limit your time spent with them in order to protect yourself. Another simple tip to follow to living your true self is to surround yourself with positive people…you’ve probably heard that expression. Just because you love or live with someone who’s negative doesn’t mean that they have the right to drain your positive energy. They will knowingly or unknowingly try. One of the Access Consciousness tools that I teach people sounds like a man’s name, Just an IPOV – and I would like you to meet Just an IPOV – Just an Interesting Point of View. Instead of reacting to what people say to you or the way they treat you or any other drama going on in your life remember the acronym Just an IPOV. By saying hmmn that’s “Just an Interesting Point of View” it allows everything to flow past you, like the rock in the middle of the stream, their energies flow around you and don’t affect you because you are being the rock. It also allows you to stay in control in the moment, not fly off the handle and think about the situation or if you like, never give it another thought cause after all, it’s just an interesting point of view! Do you have a Negative Nelly in your life and need to talk? Apply here for your FREE Moving Forward Conversation. Together let’s discover exactly what is standing between where you are now and the life you deserve to live.

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3 Life Lessons I learned About Life While Cutting the Grass

766976_66653797When I was growing up, the youngest of five girls, one of my chores once I got old enough was to cut the grass.  The three oldest sisters were already grown and gone and Barb the fourth sister who’s two years older was born suffering from eczema and asthma. So guess who got to do all the “dusty” chores; me. And if you remember, I grew up on a farm so there was always plenty for me to do.

I remember one time (or more) complaining to Mom “why do I have to do the cooking and dishes to since that was all Barb can do”, but I guess Mom didn’t want me missing out on the education she taught all of us on being a fully qualified domestic engineer.
When I married John at the tender age of 22 I never had to worry about cutting the grass ever again.

Now that we have moved into town and John’s health limits him, I’m back to doing the “dusty” chores.

So what’s changed about grass cutting in the last 35 years?

Not much really. The 3 things I learned about life back when I started are still true today.

#1 It takes a little planning.

A square is a square is a square, right? Wrong! A square is only as square as you can walk straight firstly and then navigate around the yard without running into things like tree roots and flowerbeds and the house and side-walk and driveway etc.…..getting in the way.  So what do you do?   Well, when life doesn’t go as planned you improvise and get creative. And when things get in your way, say to yourself, “hmm isn’t that interesting” readjust your thinking and plan and come up with something new.

So what if there’s a diagonal pattern in the centre of my front lawn now. I like it, and that’s what’s most important.

# 2 You need to be ready, willing and able to meet life head on.

I knew that when we moved into town I’d be responsible for more than I was used to doing outside the house and I was willing to take these chores on.  And yes I am able, although between you and me, I’ve aged in the last thirty-five years.  What’s up with that? My mind still says twenty-five but the body doesn’t always agree. But I rest when needed, don’t overexert myself and so what if it takes a little longer than when I was younger. I’m having fun and getting some exercise in to boot.

# 3 The Reward is in a Job Well Done.

There are times when you just have to sit back and admire what you’ve accomplished, because let’s face it, there’s not too many people out there that willingly give you a pat on the back.  So don’t wait for someone else to take notice of what you do, do it yourself. Take pride in your work, reward yourself with a little treat and be grateful that you can still get the job done and done right.

Now if only John’s mom had taught him to be a fully qualified domestic engineer, he could cook supper and we could trade off some chores.

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Express Your Gratitude to Reduce Your Stress

The practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been in the mainstream for years. Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and a faster rate of recovery from an operation.

But while we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it still can be difficult to sustain. So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. And for gratitude to meet its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just a Thanksgiving word. We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. And that can take some time.

That’s why practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the ability to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.

Remember that gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. It’s more a matter of where we put our focus and attention. Injustices exist in this world, but when we focus on the gifts of life, we gain a feeling of well-being. Gratitude balances us and gives us hope.

There are many things to be grateful for: the new smells and colours of Spring, legs that work, friends who listen and really hear, chocolate (was the Easter Bunny good to you?), fresh eggs, warm jackets, tomatoes, the ability to read, roses, our health, butterflies. What’s on your list?

Some Ways to Practice Gratitude

  • Keep a gratitude journal in which you list things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Greater frequency may be better for creating a new habit, but just keeping that journal where you can see it will remind you to think in a grateful way.
  • Make a gratitude collage by drawing or pasting photos from old magazines.
  • Practice gratitude around the dinner table or make it part of your night-time routine.
  • Find the hidden blessing in a challenging situation.
  • When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You may be amazed by how much better you feel.
  • Notice how gratitude is impacting your life. Write about it, sing about it, and express thanks for gratitude.

As you practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be delighted to find how content and hopeful you are feeling. That sense of fulfillment is gratitude at work.

And don’t forget to do something relaxing for you every day, even if it’s just for a few moments. Read a chapter or two, enjoy a hot bath, pour yourself a glass of your favourite beverage and sip while enjoying the book or bath, or better yet enjoy all three at the same time.

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