”Imagine that every person in the world is enlightened but you. They are all your teachers, each doing just the right things to help you learn perfect patience, perfect wisdom, perfect compassion.” – Gautama Buddha
I love this quote! And I truly believe in living by it. Everyone can teach me something if I slow down enough to look for it and if I am humble enough to receive it.
My daughter teaches me about laughter and play on a daily basis – and to not take myself so seriously.
My sons teach me about pride, the passage of time, and how to hold each precious moment.
My husband teaches me spirituality, patience, perseverance, commitment, and how to stand up for myself.
My friends teach me consistency, trust, and how to be a friend.
My counseling clients teach me compassion and gratitude.
My coaching clients teach me discipline, courage, acceptance, and letting go.
My family teaches me forgiveness, self-awareness, and love.
Strangers remind me that I don’t know everything, and how powerful something as simple as a smile can be.
What will others teach you today?
If I can do it you can do it!
I found this great article by Dr. Cynthia Thaik on the Importance of Laughter and i thought I would reshare it.
Why Laughter is Good For Your Health
An old Yiddish proverb says, “What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.” Everyone knows that laughter makes you feel good and puts you in high spirits, but did you also know that laughter actually causes physiological responses that protect the body from disease and help your vital organs repair themselves? A good laugh can be compared to a mild workout, as it exercises the muscles, gets the blood flowing, decreases blood pressure and stress hormones, improves sleep patterns and boosts the immune system. Furthermore, a study by the John Hopkins University Medical School showed that humor and laughter can also improve memory and mental performance. Yet despite the fact that laughter has so many benefits, far too many of us forget to even crack a smile every once in a while, let alone laugh. The following are some ways to incorporate more laughter and joy in your life:
• Don’t take life too seriously. We all have obstacles in life and we all make mistakes. There is no reason to beat yourself up over it. In fact, if you can laugh light-heartedly at your own foibles, you’ll find that you give yourself that extra happiness and confidence boost that can get you over any hurdle. This also extends to other people. Try not to be too hard on others — a smile and a chuckle goes a lot further than criticism.
• Find the humor in a bad situation. Sure, there are some situations that are genuinely sad and certainly not laughing matters. However, most situations in life have an ironic or ludicrous side to them. The next time you feel the stress levels rising, take a minute to think about the irony of the situation and allow yourself to laugh over the things you cannot control. This will decrease the amount of cortisol that your body produces due to stress, lowering your blood pressure, blood sugar levels and heart rate.
• Remind yourself of funny moments from the past. Perhaps a friend told you a great joke the other day, your children or pets did something amusing, or maybe you watched a funny movie recently that had you in stitches. Call on these memories frequently, especially when you are feeling sad, angry or stressed. Sometimes just reliving a funny moment can cause the endorphins to kick in, which act as natural painkillers and mood boosters.
• Surround yourself with fun people who like to laugh a lot. As the saying goes, mirthful laughter is contagious, so make a point to seek out positive people who aren’t afraid to laugh at themselves and who have a knack for finding humor in life’s situations. Young children are especially adept at finding laughter and joy in everyday moments.
• Get a pet. Animals are great for boosting happiness and encouraging laughter because they love to play and have fun, and they often do things that are amusing without even realizing it. In addition, studies show that people with pets have lower levels of depression and stress and are less likely to suffer from heart disease.
If you can find a reason to laugh every day, you’ll find that your mood will improve, your relationships with others will seem more meaningful and effortless, and life’s hurdles won’t seem so daunting. Moreover, your body, mind and soul will reap the health benefits of this natural and free medicine.
For more by Dr. Cynthia Thaik on her website
Enjoy your Tuesday and remember to Laugh Often!!!!!
I am in the fortunate position of knowing how life “really is” for most people. I hear the secrets of their past, the pain of their present, and their fear of the future. I hear what really goes on for them in between their ears and about their daily work to keep enough balance lest it implode or explode.
There is not a person out there that does not struggle. If there is someone who is telling you that they do not struggle, look at their relationships and you will find the truth. Struggling is a part of being alive – it is part of the proof that you are alive. Even if you choose to blame your struggles on others or on life circumstances or on the weather, it is still struggle.
My point in all of this is that sometimes I think it should be easier. Sometimes I look at people I admire and I think, “why does it seem so easy for them?” “I want to be more enlightened or more popular or more well-spoken.”, etc. And then I begin to feel like I’m not as good as them – not only that I’m not as talented, but that somehow I’m not as worthy. And then I know I’m really in trouble.
There is not a person on this earth who is more or less worthy than you. This is a really really difficult concept to embrace when we have judging brains and a social system made up of capitalism, competition, and haves and have-nots. But when you have true empathy at its core, you begin to see that we’re all on this boat together. And although someone may be a better architect or have more letters after their name or have longer legs, they do not have any more of a right to breathe the air we breathe, have a stronger opinion, or take up more space (physically, emotionally, or psychically).
I am drawn to certain people because they encourage me to grow and learn and live with greater integrity. If I then use them as a means to judge myself, that defeats the purpose. And, just because I am not “there” (wherever “there” is) yet on my spiritual or professional journey, it does not mean I am less of a person. It also does not mean that they are necessarily “further along” or do not struggle.
Today I am going to believe my life has purpose and meaning. Today I am going to allow my struggle to remind me that I am just like you and you are just like me. Thank goodness I am not alone.
If I can do it, you can do it.
“Oh, God, I struggle with low self-esteem all the time! I think everyone does. I have so much wrong with me, it’s unbelievable!” – Angelina Jolie
“I have always fought for ideas – until I learned that it isn’t ideas but grief, struggle, and flashes of vision which enlighten.” – Margaret Anderson
Our bodies and brains need us to take care of them. They need a certain amount of sleep, good, healthy food, and exercise to work at their best. If we are not doing all of these things, we are not working at our best. The consequences of this are plentiful – irritability, depression, inattention, impulse control issues, moodiness, sluggishness, anxiety, procrastination, weight problems, heart and other health problems, stress… need I say more?
Perfection is not needed in these areas. Do not set yourself up for failure. (“I don’t have time to go to the gym for an hour, so I’m not going to go at all.”) Set your goals small and obtainable. After reaching your goals for 1-2 weeks, increase them. If you slide out of the habit, start again with small obtainable goals. Each moment of every day you get the opportunity to start anew.
Health professionals recommend that adults get 75 minutes of rigorous exercise a week. That is about 11 minutes a day. Can you jump rope or run around the block for 11 minutes a day? Start with 1 or 2 minutes and work your way up. Something is better than nothing.
For healthy exercise standards, go to http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise/AN01713
Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Only you know how much sleep enables you to function at your best. Set a goal of increasing or decreasing the amount of time you spend in bed each night by 5 minutes.
To view healthy sleep requirements, go to http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/how-many-hours-of-sleep-are-enough/AN01487
To learn some ways to improve your sleep habits, go to http://www.helpguide.org/life/sleep_tips.htm
For a personalized healthy eating regime, see a nutritionist.
Hire a life coach to help with the follow-through and accountability.
If I can do it, you can do it!
“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” – Buddha
We are the only species that endures consequences for our mistakes/shortcomings more than one time. We do something that we consider imperfect or we fall short of our expectations, and then we spend much of our time berating ourselves for our “failures”.
Put the bat away. Stop beating yourself up. This is one of the most unproductive ways that our brains believe they are helping us when they are not. Our brains think that if they make us feel really badly about our actions (releasing chemicals that make us feel negative feelings and deplete our energy), we will not repeat the actions. This is completely nonsensical.
Productive thought is simple. Walk through the scenario once, maybe twice and ask yourself these questions:
1 – Given the information that I had available to me at the time, did I do my best?
2 – Given the information that I have now (hindsight), is there anything I can do to amend the situation (apologize, clean up the mess, set a boundary, forgive, etc.)?
3 – How can I behave differently in the future should this scenario present itself again?
4 – Am I willing to commit to practice behaving differently should this come up again?
I sometimes beat myself up for not “doing” enough. I have friends that work full-time, are full-time parents, write books, travel to exotic locations, and cook dinner every night for their families. While my daughter prefers the snack-type meals that I prepare for her, I sometimes feel “less than” those who appear to be doing more. I have to continually remind myself that I am doing my best. I am doing my best to manage my time. I am doing my best to define who I am and set my priorities accordingly. I am not everybody else; I am me. I am good enough. I am doing enough.
What good is an accomplishment if the road getting there is full of self-flagulation?
If I can do it, you can do it!
“The point isn’t to live without any regrets. The point is to not hate ourselves for having them.” – Kathryn Schulz
What is the first thought you have when you wake in the morning?
“Need more sleep”
“Why won’t anyone let me sleep in?”
“Did I actually get any sleep last night?”
“I can’t do this anymore!”
“There’s that pain in my knee again.”
“Oh, my, look at the time!”
“GET UP – the children (work, spouse, etc) need you!”
Your first thought in the morning not only sets the tone for the day, but also says a lot about you and how your brain is wired.
Your brain does best what it practices doing.
See if you can begin to build some first-thing-in-the-morning thought awareness. When you become aware, STOP. What is your thought? Is this a productive thought? Is this thought reflecting who you want to be and how you want to spend your day?
Then our brains say, “But its TRUE! Everyone is too loud. Or I actually didn’t get any sleep. Or I really do feel like I can’t do this anymore”. STOP. See if you can turn it around.
I want to be someone that gets up in the morning and has excitement about the day. “I am so excited about this day (or at least my coffee), I’m going to sing in the shower”.
I want to be someone who has nice things to say to the people around them. “I am going to thank my children for making noise because it is proof that they are in my life and I am so glad they are in my life”.
I want to be someone who sleeps. “I am going to continue to work on my sleep issues. I am going to do the best I can today with little sleep.”
I want to slow down and still be on time. “I am going to STOP for one more minute and enjoy the sunlight coming through my window or say 5 things I am grateful for today”.
This practice will not make your knee pain go away. This practice will not make your house more quiet. This practice will not make your “to-do” list shorter. But, what this practice will do is enable you to be more of who you desire to be while your knee hurts and your house is noisy and you accomplish task after task after task.
The brain will chatter on and on and on and on. Its like a goat – it chews on whatever is in front of it. Feed it good food.
If I can do it, you can do it!
“First thing every morning before you arise say out loud, ‘I believe,’ three times.” – Ovid
“I think that when you get dressed in the morning, sometimes you’re really making a decision about your behavior for the day. Like if you put on flipflops, you’re saying: ‘Hope I don’t get chased today.’ ‘Be nice to people in sneakers.’” – Demetri Martin
I will be honest with you. I am no expert at social media, marketing, or being web-site savvy. I am a lover of writing, blank paper, encyclopedias, and hardcover books. Seeing something on paper makes it more real somehow.
But, alas, I have found myself in the age of ever changing and evolving technology. In order to make my dreams come true, I must accept and learn a few things about the world of networking and social media.
It started with the development of my web-site. I was confronted for the first time with the need to sell myself. This is foreign to me. What I am good at is being genuine. What I am good at is being a model for structure, self-care, and self-forgiveness (for my human foibles). These strengths do not fit into the model of selling yourself. Selling yourself requires creating an entity that is a version of you that people will want more of. So I grappled slowly with creating this entity – this image – that I wanted to portray, and had a difficult time feeling that somehow I wasn’t being genuine. And yet, even with this entity that I created, which was mostly me (without the human foibles), I was concerned that it wasn’t the “me” that others would like or accept. I felt vulnerable to the hyper criticism and judgement of others. But I did it anyway.
The next step was joining a social networking group. I was on Facebook about 4 years ago for about 3 months. Literally, I was on Facebook for about 3 months straight until I decided I wanted to live my life and not just talk about how I was living my life. I made some connections with some people from my past that were wonderful and beautiful (Randy Ehrhard, Rest in Peace); and I made some connections with people from my past that were very uncomfortable (I was hoping to forget that one particular night). So, here I am again, joining another networking site, LinkedIn. I am asking people I haven’t spoken with in years to “join my network”. I am getting requests from people that I barely know to “join their network”. People are looking at my profile. Once again, I am feeling vulnerable to the eyes and projections of others. But I am doing it anyway.
And now look at me! I have graduated! I am writing a blog. And I think, out of the hundreds of thousands (millions?) of blogs out there, why would a person select mine to read? I, personally, think I have a lot of very intelligent and insightful things to say, but why would anyone else think that? And, how do I share myself honestly (and appropriately) and not turn others off to the entity that they expect me to be? This is all very confusing.
So, I will continue to do what I do best. This is what I have to offer. I promise you my blog will be honest (appropriately). I promise you my blog will give you tips on how to live a healthier lifestyle and have more peace inside. I promise you I will continue to grow and learn and change as I take on new challenges. My hope is that this, in turn, will encourage you to take on new challenges as well.
If I can do it, you can do it!
“I have come to realize that all my trouble with living has come from fear and smallness within me.”
-Angela L. Wozniak