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.

Happy June!

This morning my oldest daughter came to me and said, “I don’t know what it is about a new month, but I just love when I have a fresh calendar page!”. What can I say, the girl comes by it honestly. As I’ve talked about in the past I love the opportunity that a new month brings. Awhile back I recommended picking one thing to focus on each month. You can refresh your memory, or check it out for the first time in this post here.

For June I am focusing on planning and actually scheduling my workouts. As I’ve mentioned before I work shifts and now that I’m back to commuting my time is even more precious. I have big plans for the month of July so between that and life getting away from me some days, it is extra important that I make a plan. I was reviewing the goals I had set in a past post and things have been adjusted a little. But that needs to be part of our life. We have to be flexible and open to change, as long as that change isn’t one that completely derails us from a long-term plan.

Here is a picture of my calendar. Nothing fancy, it is written in pencil. I have my scheduled shifts written (the “D” and “N”s) and I’ve used Get Movin’s schedule for the next 8 weeks and picked the classes that best suit my schedule. I’ve also included my runs and TRX workouts.

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It’s written in pencil because on some days there are two options. With overtime shifts that pop up I have to be able to change things sometimes. For example – I can run on the treadmill at work and bring my TRX so those are an option depending on the workout I may miss. I also am being very conscious of my sleep requirements. There may be days when my “wellness” routine is actually sleeping instead of a workout. I work 14 hour night shifts with a 2+ hour round trip commute. Four of those in a row, means that my body can get fairly run down. I’ve suffered burn out before – without knowing it until it was in my rearview mirror. Now I know the signs and how to avoid it, and I will at all costs. It doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Just that I am more conscious of how I need to take care of myself. And what was it G.I. Joe always said: “Knowing is half the battle!”

I’ll also be planning our families meals for the month. Even more focused will be my own. We’ll be having our family sit-down tomorrow to discuss the month ahead. Perhaps I’ll share that later in the week!

Think about incorporating one simple thing into your month. Increasing your water, if you haven’t already done that. Checking out the seasonal fruits and veggies that will be starting to appear before long. Getting out and walking a new trail or going for a bike ride. Picking up a sketch book and pencil and sketching the flowers you find. There is nothing like drawing nature to make you focus on all the intricacies and fine details you will often miss in a hurried day.

Enjoy the sunshine and summer evenings that are here to stay….at least for a while!

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.

Find a reason to be thankful…

 

I found this piece on-line today and I wish I knew the author. I think it sends a powerful message. It highlights the fact that we should be thankful and not just when we are given our desires. We should be thankful for the opportunity to work hard to attain our goals and dreams. It goes along with the idea that it isn’t always the destination…it’s the journey.

I am thankful for the obvious, my husband and children. A secure job, a home and the ability to provide for my family. I received news today that I wasn’t ready for. We have some health challenges facing our family right now. What it made me frightfully aware of, is how thankful I am to have my husband, and how much I value him. How thankful I am for him everyday – and that I need to tell him that.

BE THANKFUL

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire. If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something, for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times. During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations, because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for your mistakes. They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary, because it means you’ve made a difference.

It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.

A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks.

Find a way to be thankful for your troubles, and they can become your blessings.

Let’s Rock This Month!!

I’m back!! Thanks to all who have asked how things are going. My apologies for missing most of the month of March. As I’ve expressed I’m an all or nothing girl, and when I realized that I was facing my 100th post (Yes, that’s right! This is the 100th post!) I admittedly became a little overwhelmed. What was I going to talk about? What should I cover? What have I missed? What would make this post extra special? And so I froze, next thing you know several days had passed, and well, I hit that slump that tends to go with my personality – but I’m working on it.

I’ve thought about this blog daily, I’ve been studying and researching so I have some great things to bring forward in the next few months. I have also set a new fitness goal for myself…curious? Check out this link if you would like to see what I’ll be doing on a lovely July weekend this year:

http://www.warriordash.com/

So my training will be certainly getting kicked up a notch or three 🙂

I’ve been keeping with my running, and I am excited to say my daughter is going with me for some of the runs as she is trying out for the cross-country team at her school. I am trying to find the right balance of encouragement for her without seeming pushy. I remember being her age and wanting to run, I would have loved to have had someone beside me saying I was doing a great job, all I had were the voices saying I couldn’t.

What are your plans for this lovely month? The weather is warming up, the tulips and lilies are poking their way through the soil. There is still that chance of snow, so get out and enjoy the fresh air on the days the sun is shinning!

So happy to be back, we’ll chat soon

xo Suzanne

“The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire not things we fear.”
~ Brian Tracy ~

My One Simple Thing for March

I’m a little late with the update on how February went, and sharing what I have implemented in my life for the month of March.

So here we go:

  • 2013: Run 1 km per day and stretch – still going strong! Some days are easier than others, but isn’t that how most things are in life?
  • January: Pay attention to my sleeping needs. On nights, go to bed during the day (I feel guilty missing the kids, even though I can be a grump – go figure), and on days off and day shifts, get to bed earlier. I have been doing better and better with this, maybe in part because I ended the shift work mid month 😉
  • February: Time Management! Journal what I eat, and create a workout schedule for the month. I bombed so badly on this one!! Maybe part of it was changes in work, which through me off any routine. March doesn’t look much better as far as “routine” goes. We’ll keep on plugging away and see how it goes though
  • March: Re-focus on building my faith. This is me time. It’s quiet time I can try to get in the morning. It’s like working out first thing in the morning. When I get a workout in, I make healthier choices all day. When I spend time on my faith, then I am refreshed mentally, and feel more peace. Have you ever thought about meditation? Do you have a faith base to build on? Do you love to read? Is there something you can choose, a way to start your day quietly and peacefully so that you can build your inner stores to get you through the challenges that you may face during the day? On the nutrition front, I’ve decided to cut out alcohol this month. I’m not a huge drinker, but I have my moments of enjoyment. Admittedly this one will be a little easier than choosing…oh, say chocolate. Maybe that will be next month!

Looking for more ideas? Check out the blog post for February here.

Let us know what steps you’re taking…are you continue each months goals into the next, or do you try something for a month and then move onto a new challenge in the next month?