Tending the Garden

mind is a garden

Our thoughts are at the forefront of our success or failure. Our happiness or sadness. Some days are easier then others, such is the nature of life. Choose to cultivate the flowers on the sunny days, and focus on the blooms on the rough ones. Remember, wellness isn’t just about nutrition and fitness, it’s also about getting the heart, mind and soul to a place of peace and strength.

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Surround Yourself…

advice and encouragement

This is a quote from Dave Ramsey who is the author of Financial Peace University and is a major force in learning how to get and live debt free. He is a guru in the financial field. But it’s tough love and not for the faint of heart…along with Gail Vaz-Oxlade, they are two of the best resources for applicable financial (and many life) lessons.

I find this quote so applicable to life in general. Have you ever had the experience of being in a great mood, then after spending time with “happiness suckers” feeling dragged down and tired. I’m still trying to find a way to be stronger than those people. Sometimes it’s easy – you just don’t hang around them. Other times it may be co-workers, family members or other people who you can’t avoid spending time with.

I think this is one of the reasons that I love exercise classes. More often than not you are with a group of like-minded people, and if you have a regular group you build relationships that encourage and support one another. You see each other grow and can support each other as you reach new physical, and often emotional, heights. You become accountable to one another when you haven’t shown up in a while. And possibly one of the greatest motivators is increasing the “happiness” factor! Exercise may wear you down and tire you out, but I have never met a person who wasn’t in a better mood post-workout then before they started.

If you aren’t finding that in your group class – branch out. See what other opportunities there are out there. Try a new exercise modality, join a running group, karate dojo, tai chi class, boot camp… The opportunities are there and they are worth it!

The Secret of Success found with Serenity, Courage and Wisdom.

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.

The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”

~John C. Maxwell

I love this quote. It really resonates with me and the situations I have found myself in, in my life, especially as of late. I also think this is a true statement in regards to the negativity you can bring into your life. We have so many routines that are a part of our daily life, have you ever stopped to think how those routines impact you? Are they positive or negative? Are they habits that are performed consciously or unconsciously?

My running has fallen by the wayside. I am working at it again, but without the momentum that I had embraced since January. I always knew that if I missed one day I would get derailed, and that day came. It was the day before my husband was to go into the hospital for an angiogram, the day before our world turned upside down and would be forever altered. The day before our family would find out that one of us was now going to have to find a way to live with “heart disease” so essentially, the day before we found out we would all be living with it. The day before a Cardiac Surgeon stood by the hospital bed and said “I’m sorry I couldn’t give you a better prognosis”. Funny – a time in my life when I needed the release that came with running, and routine and I let it slip away. It’s also the same time that I stopped posting here daily. But this post isn’t about the fallout from health issues that have impacted our family over the last month or so…one day I’ll post about that, but not today.

Today I want to re-focus on how daily activities can impact our lives. First, you need to be aware of them though. I love the Orange Rhino – a mom working her way through no longer being a “yeller”. I’m a yeller, so this rings true for me. I hate being a yeller, but sometimes it feels I cannot stop myself. You can find a lot of tips on her website here :http://theorangerhino.com/ along with her story. For me this is a negative behaviour that I want desperately to change. It affects my mood, it obviously affects my children, and my husband. It’s always a quick stress reliever, that never actually relieves my stress, just temporarily dulls it while the feelings of guilt and embarrassment come to the forefront. One of the biggest things I’m coming to grasps with is that I can’t control other people’s behaviours (gasp!! who knew!!) I can only control my own, and my reaction to those behaviours.

Another wonderful group are those working towards “A Complaint Free World”. You can read more about their mission on their website at http://www.acomplaintfreeworld.org/.

Through perseverance many people win success out of what seemed destined to be certain failure.
~ Benjamin Disraeli

So be aware of the triggers that cause the negative behaviours, and look towards what daily activities you can do to promote health, happiness and success in your life. Don’t forget to look at all aspects of your life. You need to feed your body, mind and spirit to have a truly balanced and happy life. Here are a few ideas for daily behaviours to help you get started:

Find a calming start of day routine – making coffee and cuddling the cat, a tea and some bible study time, hot water with lemon and a few minutes with an uplifting blog. Notice – no internet news sites!! No mind-sucking negative-focused t.v. or media sites. Find something calming and relaxing to get you started, perhaps it will be an exercise routine. A Yoga practice or a quick run. You can increase your heart rate while calming your mind!

Crunched for time? Set a timer! Spend 10 mins playing with your kids. Go for a quick walk – look around, take in the surroundings and breathe deep. Play a game that you can walk away and come back to, like chess or a jigsaw puzzle. Write a to-do list. Sometimes having a plan, like a list, can take a lot of pressure off the many stressors of our day-to-day lives.

Have a little more time? Make a phone call to a friend, write a letter or send a card – just because! Write in a journal, or a blog (you can keep them private).

Looking for a few more ideas? You can find some great ones on Gretchen Rubin’s website.

Practicing something every day is not a new concept. AA uses it to encourage and support sobriety, many business leaders speak of perseverance in the name of success. Life coaches and personal coaches know the importance of healthy and productive repetitive behaviours.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches

Some of you may have already seen the “Real Beauty Sketches” in Dove’s new campaign. If you haven’t yet here is the link so you can take a look.

http://realbeautysketches.dove.ca/

I thought it was really well done. Is it a marketing campaign? Of course! But, that doesn’t take away from the message. How often do we beat ourselves up for the imperfections that often only we can see? If you had to describe yourself, would you be as kind and loving to yourself as you would a stranger?

This ad has received mixed reviews, but I think most women and even men may be able to find a little bit of themselves in this. Regardless, it’s definitely providing food for thought and opening conversation.