Friday’s Focus—Being Grateful and Yet…

Recently I’ve noticed when I ask people how they are, their response is a shrug of their shoulders as they say “I’m alright. I’ve got a job.” All in all this is great but what struck me was the tone of resignation, like there’s nothing more. There’s something to be said for being grateful for what you have—a job for example, which these days is a biggie. But, it’s the resignation in the tone that’s been bothering me. Call me a dreamer but I don’t believe in settling. There’s more. There’s always more of a quality of life that we can attain, rather than a quantity of things in our lives that so many of us seem to reach toward instead.

It’s a fact that to survive in today’s economy, daily living has become hinged on a paycheck and benefits. But that’s not living. That’s existing. To me, living means thinking, creating, moving, doing. Not just hanging on to the gray thread of a paycheck. To me, that’s dying. I believe in staying hungry. Staying curious. Yes, there’s always a worse off way to be but that doesn’t mean one has to remain placated and resigned.

Stay grateful but also stay alive! Find something each day that piques your curiosity, something that makes you wonder, laugh, even cry because all of the emotions have a place, but whatever you do, don’t die while you’re still living. Live, love, laugh, be hungry, be curious, and you’ll be grateful for what you’ll find.

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#takingitdeeper

 

Friday’s Focus—Get in Trouble

Not the kind you need a lawyer for but the kind that will put a smile on your face and make you feel like a kid again. With the beginning of a holiday weekend only hours away and fresh page on the calendar, it’s as good a time as any to go do a little something or go a little somewhere that’s been nipping at your heels but somewhere along the line you decided you were too old for it, had no time for it, or were too busy for it.

Shake it up and shake it off. Stop looking at your phone, take off that watch, and close that laptop. Get the wind in your hair, your hands a little dirty and be a little more flexible with the day.

Surrender to the what if’s and why not’s and indulge that part of you that you would if you could but you decided you couldn’t so you didn’t and go have a blast!

There’s always time for the responsible stuff in life and it’s easy to forget that it’s just as important to take some time out for play.

Taking things deeper doesn’t always mean taking things more seriously. Sometimes we feel we need permission to do things we feel we “shouldn’t” or “aren’t supposed to” because we’re adults. The only permission you need is the one you give yourself. What are you waiting for?

#takingitdeeper

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Friday’s Focus—Smile! It’s All Good

It’s been said that the devil is in the details but, sometimes, the devil can be too many details. Yesterday morning, I made 9 phone calls in one hour to talk with 4 people to work out a situation that came up regarding selling our home. It’s still being worked on, but out of much confusion some great points were brought to light and so something potentially negative, turned into something good after all.

Trying to keep it all together and remember who needs to know what for when had been foremost in my mind but yesterday morning’s blip completely threw me into a hamster on a wheel mode until finally, I wore myself out and exhausted my email with so many “reply’s” and “forward’s”.

Lines are constantly being drawn in the sand, wiped away, and drawn again. Sometimes it seems the changes are only 1 inch forward and all too often, seem 3 feet back. But I see now, how I can’t take it too seriously or think I can manage it all.

There it is again. Surrender. And Humor. And Release. And a big ol’ bag of teenage “Yeah, whatever.” I’ve written about surrendering a few times now, but it’s not something you learn once and you’re done. Well, maybe for some guru’s but for the average us, it’s a daily lesson.

The stress of control is not worth the angst. Yes, there are certainly some pretty huge events that draw our attention and demand everything from us, but in the day to day average goings on, the desperation we feel and the agitation that rubs us is really from our own fear and insecurities and our sometimes desperation to command them blindly.

I’ve also learned that by relaxing the need to control, we allow situations to take a breath and a chance to work kinks out by themselves. There’s a fine line between being on top and informed about goings on versus controlling them and where that line is, is different for all of us. To find where our own lines are is the healthiest and best thing we can do for ourselves and the situation(s) we’re in.

It’s simply impossible to control the world, even if the world is just you and your living room, but if the next time you find yourself stressing over the detail of one thing or another, smile, laugh even, throw your hands to the air and say, “It’s all good!” And then do it again tomorrow. And tomorrow. And tomorrow. And tomorrow…..

#takingitdeeper

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Friday’s Focus—The Devil Is in the Details but So Is the Beauty

It’s the little things that often trip up the best of intentions but can also upgrade that trip to something wonderful:

A stranger’s smile.
A penny on the ground.
Winning even $2 on a scratch-off.
Hearing from an old friend.
Your child’s eyes.
Your lover’s smile.
That amazing first cup of coffee in the morning.
That much-needed cup of soothing tea at night.
Finding a parking space right in front!
Your garden’s first shoot.
The smell of fresh flowers.
The feel of dirt under your bare feet.
The sound of children laughing.
The warmth of the sun on your shoulders.
The sound of ocean waves.
Your favorite song on the radio.
The juicy first bite of a peach or strawberry.
And oh, so much more.

On any given day, these things may go unnoticed on your radar, but then there are those days when the little things mean a lot—sometimes the most!

Have a great weekend!
Keeping it light and singing LiLoLa [Live, Love, Laugh] all the way…

Friday’s Focus–A New Weekly Post

Inspired by a fellow blogger, Becky Due, I’ve decided to begin a new post every Friday called Friday’s Focus, where I will post comments, suggestions, and things that I hope you will read and take in and use to inspire you to help you create some time for yourself and be used as a reminder that no matter what we have going on in our lives and how many obligations we have (whether self-created or put-upon), we still only have ourselves and we need to make sure to keep that little bit of humor and [in]sanity lit as we keep putting one foot in front of another.

It’s so easy to lose track of ourselves because we’re so busy taking care of everyone/thing else. So I hope my Friday posts will be a reminder to laugh a little, create a little, go smell some flowers or at least smell something good (!) and love a lot–starting with yourself.

Today’s Focus

With the weather finally becoming seasonable where I live, every day the trees are showing a little bit more color. It looks as if Mother Nature was having some fun and took her paintbrush, flicked her wrist, and let the yellow’s and red’s fall where they may. Take a look around your neighborhood–even if it’s through the windshield of your car as your run errands–and notice any changes.

If the colors don’t change where you live, then what is different this time of year that brings a smile to your face–the cool breeze in the evenings? The smell of new paper and pencils of the new school year and all of its opportunities? Anticipatory baking?

Keeping it light and singing LiLoLa [Live, Love, Laugh] all the way….

Blogging From A to Z: Laughter

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Laughter—Who knew there were so many different kinds? There are chortles and chuckles, giggles and titters, even guffaws and snorts. Then there is the silent laugh, the belly laugh, the drink coming through your nose laugh, or in my opinion, the most infectious kind of laugh of all—the carefree, full-on laugh of a child.

I remember when I was little; I would sometimes get into a fit of giggles over absolutely nothing. Oh how fun that was! Nothing that I can recall started me off. I was just happy, I guess, and started to giggle, which then made my parents laugh along. First, they laughed at me laughing, which quickly turned into laughing with me. When they asked me what was so funny I honestly couldn’t tell them. I didn’t know and didn’t care as a new fit of giggles overtook me. It just felt so good to laugh! In no time at all, the three of us would be there looking at each other and laughing over pretty much nothing but having the best time of our lives. Little did we know back then that laughing did a heck of a lot more than just feel good!

Laughing has physical and emotional benefits that include aiding in digestion, releasing stress, regulating breathing, reducing fear and anxiety, and most interestingly has been discovered to be a wonderful cardio workout. Studies have shown a link between laughter and increased vascular health so cardiologists are now recommending their patients watch funny movies or read amusing stories to encourage laughter and help stimulate better and faster healing rates for their cardiovascular health.

These benefits have already been known in India and the Yogic community and are being taught as a type of yoga—Laughing Yoga to be exact and it is a actual Yoga practice. There are several retreats that practice it and schools and teacher trainings available, but since I don’t have the resources to travel to these, I like to watch Mahaguru Ramesh Pandey, a Himalayan Yoga Master, on YouTube, extolling the virtues of Laughing Yoga: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXgdSOxaCGI

No matter what kind of day I have, I only need to watch this once to let go of whatever was getting me down or angry and before I know it, I start to smile, which quickly grows into full-fledged mirth. See for yourself! There are several other Laughing Yoga videos available on YouTube so check them all out and laugh yourself happy and healthy!

Taking Laughter and Yoga a little bit deeper!