Take Care of Yourself This Year — Remember Self-Care

How do you plan to take care of yourself this year? This may include physical ideas like diet and exercise, but think about how you take care ofTake a break yourself emotionally and mentally too. What do you include in your schedule for self-care? First of all, yes, you must plan for it. In our busy lives we often forget about ourselves as we take care of others in our lives, whether that includes parents, children or spouse. Before we know it another day is over and we sit numbly watching television because we are too tired to do anything else and fall into bed exhausted. So schedule some self-care into the calendar with the kid activities and grocery shopping. See the picture “50 Ways to Take a Break” for some ideas to look after yourself. Self-care may also include an energy treatment, a naturopath visit or spending time with friends or reading a book.

 

We need to take care of ourselves emotionally. Don’t do things that don’t feel right as mentioned in the picture “12 Steps to Self-Care”. Also speak your mind in a positive manner so that your feelings don’t stay submerged and eat away at you. Emotions and thoughts are energy and if you don’t release the emotions that cause you harm they may cause health concerns later on. And as the old saying goes, what goes around comes around. Radiate happiness, love, gratitude and joy to continually receive. The word radiate reminds me of Jack Johnson’s song by the same name. Check out the lyrics.

self care 

Affirmation TreeSo instead of making a resolution that may be hard to keep, perhaps make an affirmation such as those found in the affirmation tree by Paul Foreman. See his website for more mindmap ideas for happiness or relaxation. Whether you call it an affirmation or inspiration or aspiration, keep yourself in mind and remember your self-care. Enjoy some quotes about self-care and especially read the poem about why you need to take care of yourself.

 

“Love yourself first, and everything else falls in line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”

– Lucille Ball

 

He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.

– Arabian Proverb

“Don’t sacrifice yourself too much, because if you sacrifice too much there’s nothing else you can give and nobody will care for you.”

– Karl Lagerfeld

 

”Self-compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others.”

– Christopher Germer

 

A Blessing for One Who Is Exhaunsted

When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes on the strain until it breaks;
Then all the unattended stress falls in
On the mind like an endless, increasing weight,

The light in the mind becomes dim.
Things you could take in your stride before
Now become laborsome events of will.

Weariness invades your spirit.
Gravity begins falling inside you,
Dragging down every bone.

The ride you never valued has gone out.
And you are marooned on unsure ground.
Something within you has closed down;
And you cannot push yourself back to life.

You have been forced to enter empty time.
The desire that drove you has relinquished.
There is nothing else to do now but rest
And patiently learned to receive the self
You have forsaken for the race of days.

At first your thinking will darken
And sadness take over like listless weather.
The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.

You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Be excessively gentle with yourself.

Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.
Learn to linger around someone of ease
Who feels they have all the time in the world.

Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your heart
And the joy that dwells far within slow time.

                                                                    — John O’Donohue (1954 – 2008)

 

 

How to Be Assertive Without Alienating Others

How to Be Assertive Without Alienating Others

 

Asking for what you want and need—and setting boundaries around what you don’t want—is a key life skill. But sometimes in our enthusiasm to practice this skill, we over-do our own assertiveness and end up with a partner, family member or friend who shuts down, gets angry or feels resentful. Don’t let the stress of the holidays cause issues. Here are four tips for developing your assertiveness in a way that will actually strengthen, deepen and enrich your relationship—thus avoiding the “alienation trap”:

 

  1. Get Clear.

Being assertive starts with knowing what you are—and aren’t—willing to be, do, or have. For many of us, coming to this knowledge is a real task unto itself. Here, it may be useful to ask: “In an ideal world, what would I like to happen?” Focusing on an ideal outcome opens our minds, prevents us from falling into passivity or “victim-thinking,” and helps us get really clear on what we want and don’t want.

 

  1. Set Boundaries.

Once you know what outcome you need (or want), share it with your family/friend. Pay attention to the way stating your boundary feels in your body. With practice, you can actually sense when you’re hitting the “sweet spot.” It can feel really pleasurable, even exhilarating, to express your needs or desires out loud. Phrases like “such and such doesn’t work for me” are simple ways of being assertive while maintaining connection with the other person.

 

  1. Make a Regular Habit of Stating Your Needs and Desires.

You can build your assertiveness the same way you build any muscle: exercise. Practice speaking up about your needs, big or small, on a daily basis.  When you speak up about things that are less controversial—such as where to go to dinner, requesting help unloading the dishwasher or what TV program to watch—both you and your family get used to your assertiveness. It becomes easier for you to practice and for your partner to hear. Also, when bigger issues come along, you and your family will have a healthy process in place for dealing with differences in needs, and you’ll have greater confidence in the resilience of your relationship.

 

  1. Give as Much as You Get.

Assertiveness is a two-way street. If you want your boundaries to be respected, you must return the courtesy to the other person. When it comes to following through on a person’s reasonable request, actions really do speak louder than words. Please respect each other. 

 Author’s content used under license, © 2011 Claire Communications

 

And here are some more ideas to keep in mind this holiday season.

Happiness Comes From Love & Gratitude

 

happiness travelEvery day, people buy too much stuff, eat too much food, and waste away their hours chasing after happiness…to no avail. They may find excitement or satiation, but TRUE HAPPINESS still eludes them.

 

Fortunately, happiness is really inexpensive and pretty simple to find, but that doesn’t mean that it comes easily. However, if you’re bold, and truly willing to commit to a few simple steps, happiness will be yours in just a short while.

 1.      Quit Complaining.

The first step to finding happiness is to stop trying to find what’s wrong with the world around you. There’s plenty to complain about, but if you focus all of your attention there, you’ll never see the good stuff.

 2.      Choose To Live In Love.

Falling in love with the world (and people) around you is a sure step toward happiness…and it’s easy. Simply accept people for who they are, and choose to see the good in them. Don’t expect it…CHOOSE it…then express it.

 3.      Appreciate Everything.

Start expressing your gratitude every day. If you’d like, keep a gratitude journal and write down at least 3 things you’re grateful for every morning. Before long, you’ll have more things to appreciate than you can count.

 

Becoming happy may mean “looking like a fool” or changing A LOT of your current habits, but I promise you…it sure beats the alternative.

 

What can YOU do to create more happiness in your life TODAY?

 

Are You Grateful for Clarity?

Are You Grateful for Clarity?

"Image courtesy of Dan/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net".
“Image courtesy of Dan/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

Feeling grateful has been something that I have been feeling everyday, especially in the last while. I have been practicing more mindful meditation of as late since I kept feeling the need to slow down and be more aware of things. In this type of meditation one is aware of body sensations and any emotions that arise, a great way to stay in the present moment. I’ve been asking for clarity on many levels, whereas physically I’ve been waiting to learn when I would be having cataract surgery. Since I am not yet 50 years of age, the eye doctors keep asking me what head trauma I’ve experienced; none that I can remember. After a 7 month long wait to see the surgeon I learned that the cataract in my right eye was close to being severe enough that I was on the verge of losing my license. No wonder I have been avoiding driving at night in the last months. But I was grateful that cataract surgery is a fairly simple surgery in this day and age with a good chance of success. I was scheduled for surgery in December and was thinking that sight would be a great Christmas gift. On Oct. 18, date of the last full moon and a day on which I was teaching a Reiki class, I received the message saying that there was a cancellation the next week. The shift of energy that occurred for me was tremendous with a great feeling of joy. I felt so much lighter and excited with the possibilities. 

The eye surgery went well (with a little energy help from friends) and I felt so excited during the procedure. Although my brain is still getting used to this interim vision with one eye being near sighted and the newly done eye now far sighted, I am so grateful for the clarity. I am gaining clarity of physical vision plus clearness at other levels of my life. Although I can’t wait to get my other eye done (hopefully there is another cancellation before December), I am still processing what I’ve learned. Even though I will be very dependent on reading glasses after these eye surgeries, I will be forever grateful for the gift of sight. Have a listen to my “theme song”: http://youtu.be/FscIgtDJFXg

IMG_2079IMG_2080I have also been participating in the Women Together Life Coaching Program. I continue to learn about myself and strive to reach my goals in many areas of my life. The Personal Growth Event that I recently participated in was Equine Facilitated Learning at Full Circle Ranch with The Coaching Room. Working with the energy of the horses we endeavoured to stay in the present moment, as that is how the horses exist (a reminder about mindfulness). Horses mirror our true selves and feelings. Horses are always thinking about whether they are safe, just as we humans have the need to feel safe in our environment. We had a discussion about vulnerability and how the horses are vulnerable but strong; a good lesson for us about how it is okay to be vulnerable. Definitely a lesson I am working on. Oh, and did I mention how the one horse licked my hand? In shamanic work the transfer of body fluids such as saliva give the gift of the energy of that animal so I received horse medicine. Horse traditionally brings the energy of freedom and I’ve worked with horse shamanically for many years so it was a great experience to work with horse in ordinary reality. Horse

So as I gain clarity in many aspects of my life through circumstances, meditation, life coaching and energy work I am forever grateful for the opportunities to learn and to grow. Make sure that you slow down to appreciate the nuances of life that arise.

Here’s an article that echoes some of my advice:

You Were Born To Shine

Let your light shineOver time, fear, exhaustion & shame can dim the brightest of lights, and that is why we must, at all times do what we can to keep that flame inside burning bright, choose the path of light and love, and allow our brilliance to be seen.

Fortunately, there are plenty of tools that you can use to rekindle your spark every day, and here are just a few to help you out.

  1. 1. Express your gratitude daily.

Tell the people around you that you appreciate them. Give thanks for the food you eat and the roof that you sleep under. Smile. Gratitude magnifies your feelings of goodwill, helping you stay focused on the good stuff. 

        2. Exercise often.

Sweating and moving for just 20 minutes a day has been clinically shown to improve your mood & boost your health. Try a yoga class, ride your bike around town, or go for a swim, and you’ll easily chase away the grumps. 

         3.      Meditate every morning.

Spending time in silence reconnects you with your source of self-awareness, self-assuredness & happiness. It’s also been shown to greatly reduce stress & improve communication. 

What can YOU do to shine a little brighter TODAY?

Autumn is Bittersweet and Soothing for the Soul

Autumn is Bittersweet and Soothing for the Soul

Autumn is a bittersweet time for gardeners. We have celebrated the magnificent bounty from our gardens, whether that is flowers or vegetables, but now have to say goodnight to our garden as we prepare it for winter. Working in the garden is very healing for the soul and a great stress reducer. Here are top 15 tips to help you clean up your garden and put it to bed for the winter to make it ready for a prosperous following year.

  1. Do a final good weeding and remove any weeds that are going to seed.
  2. Continue to harvest vegetables such as carrots, garlic, leeks, parsnips, radishes, turnips and squash.
  3. Bring in any annual plants you plan to winter over. Keep an eye on those frost warnings.
  4. Remove any diseased and dead plant material to create healthier plants.  After perennials die back after a hard frost, cut dead material away ready for spring growth.
  5. Remember to tag any necessary plants in case you need to remember what is what.
  6. Remember to leave some plants for winter interest (think about what plants would look great with snow on them) and leave some for the birds to nestle in on a cold day.
  7. Continue to water plants is the season is dry.
  8. Fall is great time to transplant perennials.  Think about how to make your garden even better by dividing larger clumps or adding new plants.
  9. Plant new shrubs and trees. Remember to water them well.
  10. Gently till the soil to expose any insects that planned to over winter.
  11. Add a layer of compost, leaves or manure and gently till into the soil or plan on mixing in when the spring season arrives.
  12. Protect small trees or sensitive plants from drying out by wrapping in burlap or protect them from animals with wire fencing.
  13. Prune any shrubs (ones that need pruning in fall) or roses properly and mulch when necessary.
  14. Wash and store any pots and planters you plan to use next season.
  15. Take care of your tools by cleaning and sharpening them.

Last of all, once all the chores are done, sit back, relax and plan and dream about what your garden will look like next year.

The Woman’s Way

The Woman’s Way

 

As the fall season approaches in the northern hemisphere, the fruits of the season are harvested and often it was the woman that was involved in that harvest as she was responsible for the planting of the crops.  Femininity has always represented fertility, compassion and gentleness.  In days of yore it was the female that bore the children, looked after the family and household and nourished the family with plants grown in the garden.  The woman’s role has changed over the years, but females are still drawn to looking after others with loving kindness.  Females still feel responsible for this role, as it is as much a part of us as our own names.  We feel we need to help grow and nurture things in our lives, whether that is our families, a career or volunteer position, and it can take toil on our health and energy.

 

Today, females need to be aware of ways to accomplish their dreams without sacrificing themselves.  Following these following three ideals will help every woman along the way.  First, every woman needs to honour herself.  This means taking time for herself, whether that is just time alone, doing things for herself and taking the time to remember whom she is.  These things need to be scheduled into our busy days, whether it is time to relax, or do something that you really want to do or go out for a fun evening.  Part of this is accepting help when needed.  Don’t try to do everything by yourself.  Second, every woman needs to learn to do things to empower herself.  She should feel strong and proud of whom she is.  This may mean taking a new course to learn something that will help yourself or others.  Continue to expand your mind and boundaries and be open to new experiences.  Taking courses really allows one to learn about one’s self.  And with this knowledge one is able to understand others on an even deeper level.  Lastly, every female needs to keep room in their lives for joy.  Love life and love yourself.  It is simple to say, but sometimes hard to remember.  Always stay positive, smile, laugh and enjoy the little things rather than be waiting for something you believe is unobtainable.  And with love in your life, miraculous things will happen. 

 

Even if you feel the responsibility to look after everyone and everything, you must look after yourself first.  You may need to work hard, but reward yourself too, not just after the harvest, but before and during those times too.  Everyone will be rewarded with your feelings of love.

 

Wanda Davis, M.Sc., B.Sc., B.Ed.

Reiki Master/Teacher

Shamanic Practitioner

 

Elements of Healing Energy

www.wandadavis.ca

226-374-9045

wandadavis823@gmail.com

 

What are You Celebrating?

What are you celebrating?

rtf.com
Celebrate

 

 

Everyone likes a celebration and the opportunity to show their pleasure and excitement for an event or accomplishment. Whether it is a birthday, a wedding or a graduation, all events are worth celebrating. How do you celebrate such an event? Usually gatherings with other people help mark celebrations. This week I am grateful to be able to celebrate my 25th wedding anniversary with friends and family. But celebrations don’t have to be just for milestones.

 

 

 

 

 

 “If you think positively

Sound becomes Music

Movement Becomes Dance

Smile Becomes Laughter

Mind Becomes Meditation

And Life Becomes a Celebration….” 

Do you celebrate your life daily? Do you appreciate the small things in your life? Celebrations don’t have to be big events and parties. People are able to think well of themselves, praise themselves and celebrate at any time.

”The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”

Oprah Winfrey 

“Celebrate what you want to see more of.”

Thomas J. Peters

“Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey!”

Barbara Hoffman

I thought this piece was worth considering.  

“People of our time are losing the power of celebration. Instead of celebrating we seek to be amused or entertained. Celebration is an active state, an act of expressing reverence or appreciation. To be entertained is a passive state–it is to receive pleasure afforded by an amusing act or a spectacle…. Celebration is a confrontation, giving attention to the transcendent meaning of one’s actions.”
Abraham Joshua Heschel

Are you one to act in the state of celebration or one that waits to receive?

“Put yourself in a state of mind where you say to yourself, “Here is an opportunity for you to celebrate like never before, my own power, my own ability to get myself to do whatever is necessary.”

Anthony Robbins

Celebrating your life every day is about creating your own miracles.

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Albert Einstein

“Loving ourselves creates miracles in our lives.”

Louise Hay

“Life is a celebration of awakenings, of new beginnings, and wonderful surprises that enlighten the soul.”

Cielo 

Many times I have been reminded of 4 universal practices for life.  We need to sing, dance, commune with nature and sit in sweet silence. When did we stop? When are we going to start again?

So don’t wait until you’ve reached some big milestone before you take the time to celebrate and rejoice. Create more joy in your life every day.

 

 

What Qualities Help Complete What Needs Doing?

What Qualities Help Complete What Needs Doing?

As the summer drifts by (quite often in a relaxed sort of way as people take vacations) many are still planning things to come into fruition for the fall. Perhaps tasks that were started in the spring have started to blossom, but may not be quite yet ripe for the taking. How do you keep yourself motivated to stay on track? Feel free to share your comments and ideas. Or have you arranged your work and home life so that you can really relax and enjoy the summer weather with your family and friends? Either way, one still needs to maintain a positive attitude and keep one’s goals in mind, whether those goals are personal or work-oriented. 

So what qualities or virtues help you stay focused on your goals? Let’s look at Faith first. Faith is defined as the complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Faith does not have to have a religious or spiritual connotation, but for many it does. It is the belief in something. Most importantly, one must have Faith in him or herself. Each person needs to have the confidence and belief that he or she can accomplish the goals that have been set and that also involves loving him or herself first. Of course plans can change and goals may need to be modified, but having faith in oneself is important for well-being and health. 

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” 

Mother Teresa

“Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof.”

Khalil Gibran

Another virtue or quality that is needed is Hope. Hope is the feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. One can anticipate and visualize one’s goal in actuality. Many people may have read The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. This self-help book is based on the Law of Attraction and outlines how positive thinking can bring life changing results. It is often said that the secret to The Secret is having the emotion behind the goal. Hope and desire are the first such emotions needed to be felt followed by imagining how you would feel once the goal is reached such as happiness and joy. With hope one never gives up; the path may change course, but one is always moving forward. Imagine what our world would be like if we did not have hope. 

“I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.”

Dalai Lama 

“Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.”

Joseph Addison

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.”

Emily Dickinson

Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.”

Martin Luther

And here are the inspiring points from Anita Moorjani’s message from when I saw her speak a few months ago. Anita is author of Dying To Be Me, www.anitamoorjani.com.

  • Love yourself unconditionally.
  • Live your life fearlessly.
  • Life is a gift. Find your Joy.
  • Be yourself.

Please share what other qualities you feel are needed to reach your goals with good health. Remember to have Faith and Hope and, above else, love and be yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ways to Lead by Example at Home, Work or Play

Top 10: Ways to Lead by Example

At Home, Work or Play

by Wanda Davis

Good leaders must lead by example. Through their actions, which are aligned with what they say, they become a person others want to know and to follow. A leader is a person other people want to associate with, listen to and trust. Do you hope others think of you as a “good person”? One that they would admire, call on for some advice or one they would buy something from? Are you a leader in your family as a parent or as a caregiver for an elderly parent? How about patriotism (it is Canada Day weekend) or environmentalism or citizenship? What values do you hold true to yourself and want to portray to the world?

When leaders say one thing but do another, they erode trust, a critical element of productive leadership. You can even think of it as being a leader in your own life. How do you want to portray yourself to the world?

Here are 10 of the dozens of ways to lead by example. And when I say lead,

1. Take responsibility. Blame costs you your credibility, keeps others on the defensive and ultimately sabotages real growth.

2. Be truthful. Inaccurate representation affects everyone. Show that honesty really IS the best policy.

3. Be courageous. Walk through fire (a crisis) first. Take calculated risks that demonstrate commitment to a larger purpose. This does not have to be done alone, you can ask for help. 

4. Acknowledge failure. It makes it OK for others to do the same and defines failure as part of the process of becoming extraordinary.

5. Be persistent. Try, try again. Go over, under or around any hurdles to show that obstacles don’t define you.

6. Create solutions. Don’t dwell on problems; instead be the first to offer solutions and then ask your family, friends and associates for more.

7. Listen. Ask questions. Seek to understand. You’ll receive valuable insights and set a tone that encourages healthy dialogue.

8. Delegate liberally. Encourage an atmosphere in which people can focus on their core strengths.

9. Take care of yourself. Exercise, don’t overwork, take a break. A balanced group of people, mentally and physically, is a successful team. Model it, encourage it, support it! 

10. Roll up your sleeves. Like Alexander the Great leading his men into battle, you’ll inspire greatness amongst your peers.

“Be the Change You Want to See in the World”. Ghandi

www.dreamstime.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author’s content used under license, © 2011 Claire Communications