Monday, 30 September 2013

Nothing but the truth

I need to take a moment to be completely honest with my blog followers. You sometimes experience short or long breaks from my daily inspirations. Believe me, if I could write to you I would, but these breaks of communication are a result of my mental health. I am managing a condition called bipolar affective disorder. My brain has a chemical imbalance that causes me to experience periods of really high, hyper activity and periods of low, depressive moods. You help me so, so much along my journey with this illness and I felt it was appropriate to be real with you as you have been so real with me. I try not to feel too guilty when I leave you and hide from my blog, but I am always amazed when you welcome me back with open arms. I spend time on people's blogs who are raw and open every day about their struggles and I think it is a scary and beautiful thing to witness. I know my blog doesn't get personal but I still feel this strong connection to all of you. Amazing. Well, I want to thank you for being part of my healing, and if you notice I am MIA feel free to drop me a line letting me know how much this blog means to you. It may inspire me to connect my fingers to my keyboard once more. I know I hijacked today's inspiration but I felt compelled to share.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Life is a dance

We often think life has to travel forward in one direction of we ever to reach our goals, but as we know, life does not work in this way. We step to the side, do a turn, step back and then proceed forward once again. All of our footwork is contained on the dance floor we just use the space in different ways. It may seem like we aren't getting anywhere but if you look back and follow your tracks, you have created an intricate design of beauty and grace. In your journal tonight write out a few steps forward you have taken today and a few steps back that you can learn and grow from. This activity will sum up the successes of your day and give you some ideas to work on in the future. When you take time to look back on these dance steps you will be amazed at your beauty and your strength in those moments.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Hello neighbour

There is a gift hiding close to your home that you may sometimes notice but rarely use. Our neighbours are gifts sent us, a community, a connection to the home. Take time this week to connect with those who live near you. Cut some flowers from your garden and bring them over, offer to mow their lawn or bake some muffins to share. If there are children living next door, make an effort to get to know them better. What is their favourite subject in school? Who is their best friend? Connecting to their innocence can remind you of yourself at their age. When new neighbours arrive, let then see your genuine smile and they can know they have arrived in a safe place. Maybe these neighbours are new to your country,or walk with a limp, perhaps ask them their story if they feel willing to share. Understanding, empathy and acceptance can unite us all and fill our lives with a glowing light. I would love to hear how you connect with neighbours.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Gold star for you

When was the last time you created a reward system for yourself? Perhaps when you were a young child? Well, this process works just as well no matter what age you are. First, get a goal in mind. Are you working to finish a degree in school, are you attempting to lose ten pounds, would your life be better if you could just get out of bed on time? After choosing your goal, making sure it is specific and achievable within six months to a year or so, create a reward system. Maybe it is a spreadsheet with gold star stickers, maybe it is a jar with tokens, or you might use a calendar to keep track of your reward milestones. Now is the fun part, contemplate a reward for yourself. Perhaps it is money for a holiday, a new pair of shoes to replace your torn ones, or a meal out at your favourite restaurant with a group of friends. The sky is the limit! We rarely take the time to acknowledge the blood, sweat and tears we pour into this life. We are hard workers even though we feel that we aren't getting anywhere. We just haven't been in an observation role, checking off accomplishments as we go. You will feel stronger, more free. What is your goal?

Friday, 13 September 2013

Play time

I bring up the subject of play often but it just cannot be stressed enough. When we play we transform into a place of innocence, wonder and freedom. Our days are typically filled with responsibility, worry, errands and tasks. Book some play time at least once a week directly into your calendar. Maybe you will play dolls with your niece and nephew, perhaps you will strike up a dance party in the office or head to the mall and try on all new clothes without planning to buy any. Creative play can also be fun. Take a pottery class, try dance lessons, or pick up a guitar. The possibilities are endless and the healing they will bring to your soul is priceless. What's your play away from the everyday?

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Listen to your heart

Our mind likes to tell us all sorts of tales. It asks for an extra scoop of ice cream, it wants to sleep in on a work day, it says we deserve bad treatment from others when that is of course not true. Our brains can do so many amazing things like writing poetry, remembering people's names, and doing math….ugh. But the wires have a way of becoming crossed and we need to look to another organ to tell us the real story. The heart is a place of infinite love, compassion and acceptance. The heart wants us to be peaceful and happy and satisfied. The mind could care less, it is merely a jumble of neurons passing signals back and forth. In a meditative or calm state of breathing and relaxation we can best communicate with the heart. We can understand its true desires and hopes for our future. If you practice prayer this can also be a pathway to the heart as you share your compassion for yourself and others. Take some time today to sit quietly, perhaps journal if you can and focus your energy into your heart centre and let it radiate there and light up your chest, allowing the heart's words to connect more closely to you. How do you listen to your heart?

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Shop local

Something magical happens when we purchase goods from someone in our community. It helps us appreciate the product so much more. There is also a feeling of charity in a way, supporting someone who may not be able to sell their wares to a retailer. It also supports sustainable practices, shopping local is very, very green! Make a plan to check out a craft show or a farmers market in the next week. If you cannot find one in your community, visit a small, independently owned shop like a butcher or a flower shop. Start up conversations about the items you are interested in, learn how they were made and what is special about them. You will treasure your purchase whether it is giant cucumbers from a granny's garden or sweet honey from a bee farm. How do you shop local? What was your favourite experience?

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Just a nibble

Large tasks and goals often seem very overwhelming and can bring with it anxieties that sometimes cause us to back out and turn the other way. It is like sitting down at a restaurant and the waitress insisting that you eat your steak in one mouthful."What?! That's not going to happen!" But if you take the steak with your fork and knife and slice off small chunks, in no time that whole meal is settled securely in your tummy. Choose a goal that you have been thinking of. Maybe you want to run a half marathon, perhaps your heart desires to open a bakery, or you dream of going back to school. Write down the goal as specifically as you can then attach a date to it. Write down six to ten mini goals that you will need to reach along the way. Grab a calendar and decide when those goals could be accomplished. Maybe break those mini tasks into smaller, weekly chunks. One hour, two hours of focus may be all you need. What goal are you trying to reach?

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Wedded bliss

What is it about wedding that can strike the heart with so much emotion? Hope, happiness, everlasting love and optimistic dreams are thick in the air touching each soul who bears witness to the union of two hearts connecting as one. I often wish I could be the one to marry a couple and say the words that will forever flow through their hearts and minds. What a powerful role! Take some time today to get in the wedding spirit. If you are celebrating many happy years of union go into your guest book and read the hopeful quotes from loved ones who support your love. If you are best friends with your lover, why not spend time daydreaming of your special day with the person you want to endure life's struggles and sweetness with. If you are single ask a married couple for coffee and listen to stories of their day and imagine that such a love is possible for you one day when life decides to reveal your life partner to you. What do you love most about weddings?

Friday, 6 September 2013

Shake it out

We lock a lot of emotions away thinking we will deal with them down the road. But emotions are simply energy in motion and they need to be set free. Maybe you are feeling very sad about a sick pet, or a coworker has really upset you, or your partner keeps whistling when whistling is your pet peeve. Find a safe outlet like a good listening friend, a journal, or a mirror. Start out by saying how you feel. Angry, sad, frustrated. Then go into the explanations as to why you are feeling these emotions. Really let it out! Before long, once those emotions are flushed from your body you will start to see things more clearly and you will feel more in balance. Many of us know the cathartic feeling of a good cry. Think of what we could be doing to ourselves by bottling things inside and allowing their toxic energy to poison our mind. You deserve to be at peace so go for it.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Be here. Now.

Life has its wild twists and turns, but when you look at this maze from far above, it's a beautiful, intricate design. Sometimes we may feel lost along the way, unsure of where our next move should be and then we see a sign that says we are exactly where we need to be. We could be experiencing the bliss of our wedding day or struggling with an ill family member, but then these symbols appear to say "stay the course". If you experience deja vu, this could be a signal that you've reached a post marker on your path. If you see a gift from mother nature like a feather or beautiful flower this might also provide a symbol of arrival. Keep your eye open and your mind hopeful. This is your purpose, this is the lesson you you meant to learn, this is perfect. Right now.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Cat stretch

We can learn a lot from our feline friends. All cats past the stage of kitten have this miraculous sense of relaxation. They perform a simple stretch then curl into a ball and choose to nap. Spend some quiet time with yourself today and either watch a cat in action or imagine a big fluffy one sitting close to you. Watch how they gently close their eyes, see how their chin slightly sinks into their soft fur, observe the way they wiggle their foot into just the right position for perfect calmness. We may even drift off into a light slumber as we monitor their actions, our lungs filling and emptying just as the cat does. Don't feel guilt for taking this time to rest. Know that cats never feel guilt no matter how many naps they take, so why should you?