Make Every Moment Matter

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Day 14-16

Making every moment matter was the next focus of my 21 Day Meditation. Deepak says that the present moment is the only real time that exists. Meditation takes you to the “now.” I have a much better understand of this these days and I no longer let future worries steal time away from me. Being in the flow means I can “feel” my way through life instead of the constant stress and worry.

Here I had to come up with activity where it felt like time stood still. For me this is being at the beach. I find, like many people do, being at the beach to be incredibly relaxing. The sound of the waves, the hot sun and the feel of the sand. Obviously, I can’t be at the beach everyday! But the point is to understand the feeling of time standing still, when you are in the flow and there is no stress and worry.

On the other hand, now I had to come up with anything that made me feel the pressure of the clock. I had three.

Getting older
Kid’s activities
Having dinner ready every night

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At the time of doing this 21 day meditation I really did feel a lot more pressure about my age and where I was in life. I felt like time was SHORT. Part of me was so excited to do all these new things and the other part of me was like, “well it’s great you figured all this out, but it’s too late to really do anything productive with it.” I look at that much differently now. Partly due to a podcast that I absolutely love called The Sheri and Nancy Show (formally know as “This is 50”) You can find it here. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-sheri-nancy-show/id1271868787 At the time of writing this I’m coming up on my 50th birthday. The entire idea behind this podcast is that 50 is truly the halfway point. It’s about working on all the health and wellness areas in our lives and making the best life we can and this includes following your dreams and pursuits. This is not a time to slow down or retire as previous generations did. Now is the time to use all your wisdom, focus on yourself and move forward into the next 50 years. This is exactly how I view the rest of my life right now. I’m working all the areas of my life to make it the best it can be with the goal of another 50 years of health and happiness.

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The other two areas of pressure of the clock were not as serious, but still some things that needed to be solved. When my kids were a younger, I spent a lot of time getting all there accessories together for whatever activities they were off to at the time. What needed to change was more responsibility on their end in getting all their belongings together instead of me. They certainly were old enough, and honestly I never asked them to do it before. I took it on when they were little and then never let it go! That changed with me finally telling them it was time for them to take over these duties and the fact that they were older and actually wanted to do everything on their own.

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The third was the never ending need to have healthy dinners ready for my family. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE cooking. And I’ve also always enjoyed meal planning and grocery shopping. But I was feeling the time crunch every night of getting even the meals I had planned onto the table. I didn’t solve this until recently when I discovered Cassy Joy Garcia’s “Cook Once Eat All Week” cookbook. If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen all my posts of the dinners I make out of this cookbook! I post my cooking regularly because I’m genuinely excited about the meals! This book is full of gluten free and paleo friendly recipes that are broken down into weeks with a prep day at the start. The idea is to dedicate one or two hours of time to cooking once a week and then when it comes time to cook the meals for the week you are only assembling and heating the food you have already prepped. It’s genius. There are a lot of meal planning cookbooks out there but NONE of them are paleo friendly (that I am aware of) and so good! The food is just delicious! So much better than most cookbook recipes I’ve made over the years, paleo or not and I have an entire collection of cookbooks going back years. Not only am I saving a TON of time, I’m saving MONEY because I’m no longer buying 5 different proteins for the week. I buy ONE and use it for all the meals for the week in different ways. I can’t say enough about it! Buy it!! You can get it here. http:// https://amzn.to/2N7xJZB

If you would like to start making every moment matter, start thinking about the ways in which you feel time. Try the following:

Think of a way a time when time seemed to stand still. Remember this feeling. You are working towards staying in the present moment to eliminate stress and worry!

List a few ways you are feeling the pressure of the clock. How can you make changes in your life to eliminate these pressures? It may take asking help from others or just making some adjustments in your day to day schedule.

I can’t wait to hear your feedback! Thanks for being here!



Relationships

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Day 11’s meditation was all about giving relationships quality time. If we don’t pay attention to our relationships, they devolve. It’s really choice on whether or not we give our relationships the attention they deserve. I had two issues here. One, I neglected all my relationships (except with my mother and children) during the time I out of commission. I didn’t see any of my friends during this time. For one, I couldn’t do anything. And I just didn’t want to talk about how awful I felt. I just wanted to feel normal. And my relationship with my husband was strained to say the least. He took on all the driving duties for our kids at this time. My son was about a year away from learning to drive and when he did that eased up the responsibilities some. I couldn’t even do the dishes or any housework whatsoever. He did what he could, but he was very busy at work as well. My mom helped out, I ordered my groceries online and did what I could. My life had come to a halt. That is going to strain any relationship. He was feeling the stress of “why aren’t you getting better” too.

The second issue, and one I will cover much more in depth later, is that I wasn’t that great at paying attention to my friendships in the first place, before any of this started. I didn’t make it a priority. I let time slide between seeing them. I would say no to invitations for no good reason. And I really don’t know why I did that, but looking back it is most definitely a pattern I see.

I’ve made my friendships a huge priority. I talked about the types of people I’m surrounding myself with on a prior post about finding my tribe, but what happens when you have your tribe? I began to make those people in my life a priority. I make a point to invite friends on lunch or dinner dates. If I see that I don’t have any booked, I started reaching out and getting things on my calendar. I ask myself, who haven’t I seen in a while? Or who do I need to connect with right now?

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I also make sure I’m showing up for friends when needed. I’m quick to offer help now, where to be honest I wasn’t before. I’m not proud of this. It’s just a fact. Now, I’m more giving. And when I am with my friends, I make sure it’s a real conversation and that just comes naturally now because of the people I’ve surrounded myself with. Taking time to talk is so important. Even just a quick text makes a difference.

Are you looking to make your relationships a priority? Try the following:

Make time to meet up with your friends, whether that means lunch, dinner, a movie, a festival, whatever you enjoy! And make sure you have these dates in your calendar to make them a priority!

Check in with your friends often just to see how they are doing or even a quick text to keep connected.

Can’t wait to hear your comments! Thanks for being here!


It’s Not Me Talking

Day 7

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Pretty sure that’s an 80’s lyric that I dug up out of my brain! What I’m really talking about is Deepak’s teaching about the ego. Today’s lesson in my 21 Meditation Practice was still focused on the present moment but now also talking about being the observer of your own thoughts. Years ago Oprah did a online course with Ekhart Tole on A New Earth. This was my first forte into learning about the ego. Once you learn it you can’t unlearn it. I see it EVERYWHERE. In myself, in others and people I don’t even know. I hear the ego speaking. If you recognize this voice as your false self you can see that you are the observer of your thoughts. Deepak says “we are not our thoughts”. That is so true. Having this awareness was so enlightening! It just drives home the idea that my true self is in my awareness, not my thoughts. If my thoughts are taking me down the road of worry and past hurts, that takes up my present time. I needed to learn how to be in the present as much as possible to keep stress and worry at bay. Deepak says there are three things that take up the present moment.

Dwelling on old regrets

Anticipating the future

Worry as protection

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I did all of these on a regular basis. Dwelling on old regrets was something I did occasionally, but not as much as the other two. Anticipating the future!! All the time. This was where all my “what if something happens to my kids” worries lied. And until I heard this I never thought about worry as protection but that’s exactly what it is. It’s like preparation for disaster. I would say to myself “if I think about it enough, it won’t happen”. It’s exhausting really. I DO NOT want to live that way ever again. And I’m happy to say I don’t. At the moment, I have a parent who is dealing with some health issues. I’m even surprising myself at how well I’m handing it. I’m not up all night with worry, I’m not projecting the future, I’m not thinking about it nonstop. It’s truly incredible. The old me would be stressed to the point of not eating, (a hallmark indicator of my stress levels) talking about the “what if’s” constantly and obsessing over any information I could find on webmd. I’m tired even reading this. No wonder I felt the way I did! Like I said before, meditation carries over into real life and I’m living proof of that! Staying present is a part of my practice.

Do you find yourself not in the present moment? Think about trying the following:

Remember that only the “now” is real.

If you find your self talk is focused on old regrets or worry about the future, recognize this as your ego (your false self). You are not your thoughts.

Please comment below! Thanks for being here!


Improving My Home life (Happiness Project)

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This month was really about habit change.  Our environments really do influence our productivity and mood.  My favorite Gretchen Rubin quote ever is “Outer order leads to inner calm.”  So true.  Many people talk about the small act of making a bed having a big impact on their day.  We feel it.  I certainly do.  When did I stop making my bed? And why?  It takes almost no time and is incredibly satisfying.  I feel like the day is starting off well.  One accomplishment done. 

When I was stuck in my cycle of pain the last thing I felt like doing was chores around the house.  Everything got done, trust me and to an outsider it probably wasn’t noticeable.  But I noticed and I didn’t like it.  So this month’s resolution would be Improving My Home Life.  Which looked like this:

Improving My Home Life

My Quotation: “Being organized isn’t about getting rid of everything you own or trying to become a different person, it’s about living the way you want, but better.”

Daily/Weekly Actions:

Take Care of Dishes Immediately

Take Care of Trash Immediately

Make My Bed Everyday

These may seem like small things but they had a big impact when I actually put them in motion. Clutter affects your mind and your stress levels.  Read more about that here.  https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/how-decluttering-your-space-could-make-you-healthier-and-happier/art-20390064

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Never having dishes in the sink makes the entire kitchen look clean and gives me a happiness boost. Maybe you don’t have a lot of dishes being used everyday, but I actually run my dishwasher three times a day. I cook a lot and I have two teenagers who are constantly eating and one who enjoys cooking herself. The dishes get out of control quickly. My goal was to take care of them immediately. Same with the trash. In our house trash needs to be taken down a flight of stairs to go out, so it’s a little inconvenient. I got a little lazy about it. “I’ll take it later” I’d say to myself. And you might be asking why isn’t anyone else in my household doing this chore? Well, to be honest I’m the one that is here most of the time during the day. They are not. It doesn’t make sense to wait around for someone else to do a chore when I can just get it done myself.

And I already talked about making the bed. I love a made bed!! It just screams “I’m ready for the day!” Overall I just needed to get my house back in order after ignoring it for so long. Like I said, it was always clean but just not organized the way it had been in the past and I missed that. The goal here was happiness and the way things were looking around my house was not making me happy. These resolutions were not difficult, but important to my overall happiness. And I’m still working on this all the time. I have a home project notebook that has all my organizing ideas and repairs that need to be done around the house. There is always SOMETHING to improve at home. The other day I decided to redecorate with items I already I have. This is one of my favorite things to do when I get the shopping bug or the urge to do big redecorating. I will move some furniture around, hang pictures or move existing pictures to other parts of the house. Or I’ll rearrange knick-knacks, and bring things out of closets and cabinets to let them see light of day and find a place for them to bring life into our home. It always does the trick for me. When I’m done I stand back and smile.

Are you thinking about decluttering your home?  Try the following:

If you don’t already, make your bed every day and see how it makes you feel.

Keep living areas decluttered by taking care of messes as they happen.  Don’t’ procrastinate!  You will be surprised at how little time this takes.  Another little tip is to listen to an audio book or podcast when doing these types of chores.

I’d love to hear how your decluttering goes!  Please comment below.  Thanks for being here!