5 Reasons Self Care & Your Purpose Are Connected

You have a purpose in this life! Yes, you! Even if you do not know what that purpose is, it is there, pushing you forward. This is precisely why it is important to take care of yourself! Here are 5 good reasons how self care and your purpose are connected.

1. Put the oxygen mask on yourself first! They say it on every airplane ride. If someone needs assistance, put the mask on yourself first before you help them with their mask. If you pass out from lack of oxygen, then you cannot possibly help that person who needs your assistance. It may seem like the noble thing to give to others first, but once your cup is empty, you will not have anything left to fill others.

2. You set a good example for others! When your children, family members, and those who admire you, see you caring for yourself, you set a good example. They begin to understand that self care is not selfish. They see how it provides you the much needed balance. By caring for ourselves, and therefore having the energy to care for others, those watching will learn that it is okay to take the time they need to recharge their own batteries. Isn’t that what you would want for those you love? That they feel they deserve to take care of themselves too? Of course it is. So be a good example to them.

3. Allow for creativity! If we are always busy with this or that, running from point A to B, how can we possibly have time for our creative juices to flow? Creativity needs some space. Taking time for meditation, art, exercise, and other self care activities give us time for inspiration to hit. Even if you do not consider yourself a creative person, in the midst of these self care activities, you may find yourself coming up with solutions to problems. Inspiration can hit while you are walking in nature, sitting in silence, or expressing yourself with paint on a canvas. You just never know when it’ll strike.

4. Define your purpose! Self care allows you to explore different activities and interests that may help you learn about your true purpose. Personnel development classes or retreats are self care options that can help lead you down the path toward your purpose, as is just trying something out. Maybe you think your purpose is to carry on the family business, by working in the tire shop that has been passed from father to son, you may come to understand that now it’s your turn. Perhaps that is a part of your purpose or not. Caring for yourself can help you feel the tug towards where the Divine is leading you. It can give you the space or help you develop new skills that can help you define your purpose.

5. Find the fun again! Self care can help you find the fun. As the proverb goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. According to Wikipedia this proverb was recorded as early as 1659. That’s at least 360 years of encouraging you to let your hair down. Dancing, laughing, playing are all great self care activities that will help you “Feel joy and share it”, as my friend Nancy says. Without some fun in your life, you may find that your purpose can start to feel like a burden. Life is meant to be joyous! Find the fun!

Whether you know what your purpose is or not, self care is important. Even if you do not believe you have a life purpose, life is too short to not take care of yourself and enjoy this adventure! I beg you to find at least a couple self care activities that feel good and feed your soul!

Thank you for reading my blog today! I love you! May you find self care a part of your routine, as if by magic!

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Making Time for Your Priorities: 6 questions to ask yourself

What are the things that are most important to you? What are the things in life that you wish you had more time for? Life is so full of the push and pull to do various things, that finding balance amongst all of these, is one of the challenges we all face. I used to look at people who were retired, or didn’t work for one reason or another, and thought they must have it made. They have all the time they need to do whatever they want. As I have paid more attention to this perceived abundance of theirs; it seems not having a job does not mean that there is plenty of time to do it all. These people are still very busy and vocalize having a lot on their plate to get accomplished.

So, I had a couple thoughts about priorities during a meditation this week.

The other morning, as I sat in meditation and my husband scurried around cleaning up the kitchen, it struck me that we make time for the things that are priorities in our life. If we feel that there is no time for our priorities, we need to take a look at our life and see how we are really spending our time. What things have crept into our life that are not priorities, but we just treat them as if they are? I am blessed to have a husband who shares the household duties with me.  He never suggests that I am not carrying my fair share of the load or that I should be doing more and this helps allow for more time. Working a full-time job, that often requires more than full time hours and almost weekly travel, makes the time to pursue things like blogging, planning retreats, offering classes, sharing inspiration, and my own personal development quite sparse. I have changed things in my life to be able to have time for the things I feel are priorities. Here are some things to ask yourself. I have and continue to reevaluate these as life marches on.

  1. Where does time go? By looking at how we spend time, it is possible to find some extra space in the day to do more. Things that steal time for me are playing games on my phone, procrastination (where I stay busy to avoid something else) and the occasionally TV binge.
  2. Is it really important? About 25 years ago, I made a conscious decision that the TV would not be in the main room of the house. When there it steals our time. It is easy to fall into the trap of coming home and plunking down in front of it. Don’t get me wrong; there are a lot of really great things to watch on TV. Just be mindful about what you are watching and how much of your time it is truly taking. Is it really the priority? Our Tv (at home) is in a family room in the basement. So that it is not in the center of attention when meals and conversations are had.
  3. Is there another way to accomplish it? We all know that living in a sanitary way is important for health. I am not a germaphobe and my house does not have to be perfect, but It does need to be tidy. Also, according to Feng Shui, a cluttered environment causes a cluttered mind. Your space needs to be a priority, but maybe you make a chore list to share with others in your house? Can you hire a housekeeper? Are there efficiencies you can add like cleaning the shower as you get out of it in the morning once a week? We have worked out a trade deal with one daughter so she comes and cleans our house in exchange for us helping her with things she needs. Be creative!
  4. Is there times when you can multitask? I love audio books! I listen to them while I commute, exercise, cook, etc. It is a nice way to fit in some learning or self development while doing other things that I have to accomplish anyway.
  5. Could you start your day differently? I am a morning person and getting up early to get things done, before the demands for the day start closing in, works well for me. Even if you are not a morning person, is there a way you can make a morning routine more supportive of the things you want to be priorities in your life? I recently started daily meditation again as well as another 40 day yoga practice. I have found that if I get up a little earlier in the morning I have time to meditate, do my yoga, and often even blog, before I have to go to work. Having this routine has been very positive for me feeling more centered and finding balance in my life.
  6. Check your attitude. How is your mood or your tude? In March, I had a tough month. I couldn’t seem to find the energy or desire to blog or commit to other healthy habits. I was eating poorly, vegging out in front of the TV, and I was uncharacteristically crabby. Then I started “shoulding” all over myself, which made it worse. I felt guilty for the choices I was making but yet I seemed incapable of changing them that month. On April 1st, I decided enough was enough. I made intentional changes to take control of my life again. I got my diet back into check, stopped the sugar and restarted intermittent fasting. I stopped zoning out in front of the TV. I started the daily meditation and the 40 day yoga practice. My mood shifted the first day. It is very empowering to take control of your life.

I hope these questions will help you to make your priorities, priorities. Remember that you are a priority and not to give all of yourself away. You need to put the oxygen mask on yourself first, so that you will have what you need to be there for the others you hold dear.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May your priorities fall into place, as if by magic.

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Silliness is Always a Good Idea: 7+ Ways I Have Added it to My Life

Do you like to be silly? It can feel very vulnerable to be playful and silly but it can also feed your soul and support your inner child. Let’s face it, there is a little kid hidden deep inside all of us. Here are some examples of how I have added some more play to my life. Trust me, even if it feels awkward at first, before long you will be laughing and not giving a darn what others think when they see you being goofy.

1. A friend and I recently drove up Mt Baker in Washington State. Along the way there was a big silhouette of Sasquatch. I excitedly ran up to him to shake his hand. My friend was not there to judge me but did manage to grab a shot for Facebook. Perhaps the cars driving by thought my behavior was a bit odd, but what they think of me does not impact me in the least. It was fun and we had some much needed laughs.

2. I invited a friend over for supper and decided to make it a theme meal. We had an inner child party; complete with sticky alien party favors, corndogs, and dreamsickles for dessert. It was a fun way to spend time with a friend while letting our inner children play and feel nourished.

3. Yet another friend and I went to a theme park together. It was busy time of year, when there seemed to be more work than hours in the day. There were big tubes for the kids to crawl through, on, and over. We got down on our hands and knees and crawled around in the play area like children; giggling and released a lot of the stress that had built up.

4. We try to have a family dinner once a week. For a recent family dinner we decided to have a tea party, complete with crustless sandwiches and fancy china. The kids had a great time but so did the three grown men around the table. They sipped their tea, held their pinky out, and laughed big belly laughs. They were a great example to the teenaged boy and younger children at the table that it is okay to be vulnerable and yourself.

5. When going for a walk, if I happen across a child chalk hopscotch game on the side walk, I cannot pass by with out hop, skipping, and jumping my way through it. It’s just plain and simple, feels great to be a kid at heart.

6. When my kids were teenagers we lived in a small rural community. There was not a lot to do. One night we just decided to crank up the music and dance the night away in the basement. Dance is a wonderful way to release pent up energy and be as silly as you want too. Those around you may get a good laugh and you will have some disco disco fun!

7. When Emy and I go the the BWCA, we bring kid’s blowup tubes. We push them down around our middles like pink and blue tutus and float in the clean cool lakes. We chat and play in the water like carefree little girls. It feels great to be so free for a little while.

The amount of silliness you can allow into your life is only hampered by your imagination and bravery. Play Clue by candle light, wear something fun like a big floppy hat, pop silly poses with statues, go to the park and swing as high as you dare, finger paint, or anything else your imagination suggests. It is a great way to have fun, release stress, and get some great big belly laughs going.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May your life be filled with laughter, as if by magic!

*photo was taken at our kitchen table

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Do You Feel the Call

I can feel the creativity flowing within me. It wants to come out but not in the way it has in the past. This is not about just about writing a blog or creating a meme. This is about creating something that will live on beyond me. Something that will help people on a much bigger scale than my blogs currently can. Maybe it will even help me at a deeper level. After all, the wheel of the year has turned to the place where the crops are harvested and the seeds lay dormant under the surface. Just waiting for the time when their potential can be realized and rise again into the sun. This is how I feel now.

I want to create a class or retreat. I want to help others do their internal work. I feel it may be time for me to do this again as well. I was recently reading a book about someone who attended a silent retreat and that sounded interesting and growth inducing to me. There is something within me that has me saying that I should create one of my own. Am I destined to do it alone or am I going to offer it on a larger level?  I feel called to offer classes and retreats but how does that work within my world? How does that work with my travel. Perhaps offering something online? Is it possible for me to do more, be more, help more?

What types of stirrings do you feel in your soul? Are you called to create something right now? Do you feel more inclined to journal, paint, meditate, teach, or do some other type of creative endeavor? Am I alone in this calling (deep in my soul) right now or are other light workers feeling this call as well? I am always drawn to work collaboratively with groups, but at this spot on the wheel of the year, is the time right for that?

It is the right time to go inside, both physically and mentally; to feel deeply and learn more about yourself. It is a great time to do healing work. It is wonderful time to feel your pain so that it can be released with the new life that will arrive in the spring. Trust what you are feeling now. Trust what is bubbling up inside you. Follow your intuition that pulls deep in your gut and create!

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May you be able to follow the pull you feel inside of you, as if by magic.

*Photo was taken in Indianapolis, IN

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Daily Meditation Adventure – Week 11

If you have not already joined our Daily Meditation Adventure, I hope you will still do so. Here’s how the last week went for me.

Experiences during the week: I notice that I am (more able) to get into a meditative state. I also notice that I am able to settle into longer and longer meditations. I went from 10 minutes one day to 20 minutes the next day and the 20 minute meditation actually felt shorter than the 10. 

My weight:   Intermittent fasting   has sprang my weight loss forward. I have lost about 7 lbs since starting it. I find it very helpful. The meditations certainly help me stick to the hours of fasting but are not the soul cause of my weight loss. 

How I feel: I feel more connected. I find that I am manifesting situations and experiences more quickly since starting my meditation practice. Even if my practice has not been perfect and I have missed days (even weeks) at one point, the constant return and true desire to have a daily practice seems to be enhancing my life. 

How it is affecting my life: One day I chose a guided meditation for creativity. I felt very inspired after the meditation and wrote short story. I feel that at this point the meditation is more of a beneficial presence in my life rather than the stressor that it was when I first started doing it. 

What I have learned: I have learned to never give up. To try try again and I will be successful. What a Lessons that is! There are so many times in life when our first attempt at something does not yield the results we would like. But we can be successful We WILL be successful if only we believed continue to try! 

Oprah and Deepak are offering a free 21 day meditation series. There is an app you download and you can listen to a new lesson and meditation everyday that builds on the previous day or can stand alone. This series is the Energy of Attraction. In the past I joined a series that was related to Time. They are definitely worth checking them out.

I would love to hear your experiences with this. Have you fallen off the meditation wagon? Have you maintained daily meditation? Have you enjoyed this adventure? Is meditation helping enhance your life?

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you a lifetime of achieving goals and the drive to keep going to get to limited-less success, as if by magic.

Previous meditation blogs by the Adventure Sisters: Join Us on This AdventureMeditate the weight away?9 ways to improve meditation, Meditation contemplations, There’s an App for That: A review of meditation Apps7 Common Meditation Myths11 Types of Meditation 

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Do You Believe in Trolls?

Albert Einstein said,”Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” Imagination is a wonderful thing. My husband and I are in Seattle, traveling and exploring the Pacific Northwest. This is one of my favorite parts of the country. Today we went to Fremont and saw the troll under the bridge. It reminds me of my childhood.

 IMG_6874When I was a child, my grandmother used to tell me the story of 3 Billy Goats Gruff. I was always so nervous for the Billy Goats. Afraid that the troll would come out from under the bridge and eat them up. I was so relieved when they would outsmart him and get safely across the bridge. It was a great story to let you know, as a small child, that you could overcome things that seemed bigger and stronger than you with cunning and creative thinking. 

I find that traveling is a great way to embrace your creativity as well. You can imagine what it must be like to live in the area. Think about what it was like long years ago when only the indigenous people were here. I find myself wondering if perhaps Bigfoot really does lurk in the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest amongst the Hemlock, Douglas Firs, and Aspen trees. 

We decided that this trip really should be an adventure, so we booked several quirky places to stay that include an Airstream, yurt, and an little cabin in the woods. This is further sparking our imagination and allowing us to dream. What great originality our hosts had to offer such unique experiences. 

The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before. ~ Neil Gaiman

Imagination is not just for children. It is for all of us. It is fun, it gives life a spark that it just doesn’t have, if you don’t allow yourself to dream. Dream big, dream often, and dream in a way that might just change the future, even if it seems to be in a small way. Think about the artists that created the troll under the bridge in Seattle. This creative project has attracted people to the neighborhood to see the troll. Children look in awe and then with a gleam in their eye, run and climb all over him, while parents snap pictures with delight. 

Thank you for reading my blog today. Dream my friends. Dream in big ways and in small ways. Allow your imagination to sore. Blessings. 

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Self Care: a series – part 2

In the first blog, in the Self Care series, we talked about the importance of healthy boundaries. Now let’s talk about another aspect of self care, finding time for yourself. It is an important aspect of taking care of yourself but it can seem impossible in the course of our busy days and hectic life. Let’s think about some simple things you can do to take a little time for yourself.
1. Take a walk. (or a jog if you prefer more of a fast pace) It is a great way to get a little time for yourself. The nice thing about this activity is that it is also good for your body. Additionally, it can get those healthy endorphins flowing to help your emotional health too!
2. Work on a creative project. If you are like me you can get lost in doing something artistic. The time and pressure fall away. As the item starts to take form, your stress can also melt away. I enjoy drawing with chalk pastels, making sun catchers with beads and crystals, taking pictures and working with stained glass. There are so many creative things you can do.
3. Read a book. Whether it be poetry, fiction, history, spiritual, or self improvement; books are a nice way to step out of your world for a short period of time and find a little space for yourself. It is something you can pick up for 5 minutes or an afternoon, depending on how much time you have. If you like audio books you can listen to a book while getting something else done. (if it doesn’t require a lot of mental concentration)
4. Take a bath. Baths are underrated in my opinion. I love to soak in a nice hot tub. Bring a nice cup of tea or glass of wine along, light some candles, and put on some soothing music. It can be like a trip to the spa. There is less expense to it and not as much of a time commitment. If you are able to do it right before bed at night, it can help you relax into peaceful slumber, when you crawl beneath the covers.
5. Play with children. Whether it is your child, your nieces, your grandson, or the kid from down the block; taking some time to hang out with a wee one, can be quite refreshing. The smile from a baby, the giggle of a toddler, or the curiosity of the school aged youngster can provide a nice fresh outlook on life. My grandchildren, stepson, and I made fairy gardens yesterday. It was an mystical and imaginative way to spend some time together. Just make sure this one feels fun and is on your terms.
6. Snuggle with your pet. I do not have pets but I respond very well to pet therapy. I say hi to all the dogs when I go on walks. I coax my friend’s cats over to scratch behind their ears. The act of petting an animal has been shown to lower blood pressure. It can be very soothing to spend a few moments with a four legged friend, even if you do not have your own.
7. Meditate. First off, do not ”should” yourself about meditation. I know too many people who get stressed about this, because they feel they “should” be doing it more. Instead, make it like a nice little treat, something you “get to do”. There are so many different ways to meditate, find the one that works best for you.
I am sure you can think of many other little things you can do to give yourself some of “your” time. What is important is that your remember that you deserve it. If you keep giving all of your time to others eventually you will have nothing left to give. Take care of yourself. I worked with a chaplain once, who compared it to when you are in the airplane. They tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself first, because if you don’t, you will pass out and not be able to put it on the person next to you that really needs your help.

I wish you peaceful moments that are just for you! Thank you for reading my blog today.

 

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