Wisdom From An Ancestor

My great grandmother had a saying; “You will never be truly happy until you think more about others than you do yourself” – Ura McGurran. When you make choices in life, do you consider how they affect others? Maybe too much. Maybe so much that you are living your life for others and not taking care of yourself. So how do you strike a healthy balance? There is so much emphasis today on self care and putting ourself first. How can my great grandmother’s words still be relevant now? Let’s take a look at some self care activities and selfless acts and see where the common ground lies.

Do you feel guilty when you participate in self care activities? There is no real reason to feel guilty for caring for yourself. Do your self care activities hurt anyone? One really wonderful thing about self care, is that by doing it, you set a good example for others. A recent conversation I had with a friend, was about her feeling conflicted because something she needed to do for herself, was being viewed as selfish by her daughter. I encouraged her to go ahead and do it anyhow because, by doing so, she was setting an example for her daughter about taking care of herself and following her dreams. Her actions didn’t hurt anyone. In fact her actions help recharge her to further help others. Even when we take care of ourselves we can still be thinking of others and the example we are setting.

Selfless acts can also be a form of self care. My husband helps a friend rake his leaves, every year. He has never been asked to do this. There is no expectation that he does it. He just does it because he cares about his friend. The really good feeling he gets in his heart from helping out his buddy is a form of self care also. Selfless acts can also be a form of self care. Does this idea surprise you? It is possible to think more about others and still find happiness and balance in your life.

When we think about people who have inspired us as a world, we see that their acts brought them both happiness and purpose. People like Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, and the Dalai Lama; show us how caring for others is also caring for ourselves. I assure you, that new outfit will help you feel great, but there is no greater joy than helping another and seeing the true appreciation in their eyes. When we help others do something they could not have done for themselves, a ripple goes out into the world. The movie “Pay It Forward” taught us this. It entertained us while sending a message that “random acts of kindness” are a form of self care. They help us feel good and shift the energy of the world higher.

By thinking more of others than we do ourselves, as my great grandmother so wisely shared with her children generations ago, we are also taking care of ourselves. By lending a hand to those in need, we can find happiness, change the world, and set an example for future generations.

Yes, please care for yourself. Treat yourself to quiet walk in a pretty place or take a nap when you are tired. But remember, true happiness can also come from helping others.

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

 

 

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Who Inspires You?

I was with a friend yesterday and she was talking about something her dad used to say. “A friend or a partner should make you a better person” ~ Don Ortmann. That struck me as some very wise advise. Do the people you surround yourself with make you a better person? Do you help your friends and lovers be better people?

We all touch other’s lives. Although no one can make us behave a certain way, we all have those friends who challenge us to be a better version of ourselves. These magical people inspire us, not by telling us how to be, but by just talking the talk and walking the walk. My husband is one such person. His kind and generous soul inspires me to be the best person that I can be. He never criticizes my behavior or says I need to step it up. He inspires me just by being himself. I am also blessed with other friends who, simply by living their lives, have inspired me to be and do better.

My elementary school had a secretary who had reinvented herself with the name, Henrietta Peach. She was a peach! This was back in the late 70’s and early 80’s. She would make copies for the teachers to use as worksheets in the classrooms. The “Ditto Machine” had a round drum where the original was placed. As the drum circled it would copy the content of the original, in purple, onto the waiting papers. As the drum circled it made a rhythmic “chuchunk, chuchunk” noise. Henrietta Peace would do deep knee bends to this, saying she was “exercising”. This woman would not have said she was a role model. She was just living her life and having fun at work. She played the organ in the balcony of the church. She climbed those stairs, often multiple times in one day, even into her 80’s when cancer was sucking the life out of her. She was an inspiration to others. She would sing out loud in the school office and even had a song just for me. Sometimes at the end of mass I would hear that song being played on the big church organ. A little secret sign between the two of us. When I left that school at the end of the 6th grade, I named her as the person I looked up to. I am sure I was not alone. Ethel Mohn aka Henrietta Peach, was an inspiration. Knowing her made me a better person. She taught me to have fun at work. She taught me to share my talents with others. She showed me how making a difference in the life of a child leaves a mark on this world that grows and grows. I am a better person for having known her.

Think about the people in your life. Who are the ones whose actions pull you up to better yourself? Do you think you do this for others in your life? I am sure in many ways you do. Perhaps you would be surprised to realize how your actions inspire those around you. Whether you realize it or not, people are looking to you to inspire them.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May you inspire others to be the best version of themselves, as if by magic.

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I Am Determined to Make 21 Days Complaint Free

I recently started off on a new adventure. I decided that I would take up Will Bowen on his challenge to go 21 days complaint free! I initially thought it would be easy. I thought I was a person who didn’t complain much at all. Sure, I knew I had my occasional rant about this or that, but surely I could just stop doing that and move easily through this adventure. Well friends, I am here to tell you it is really about the journey and not the destination. This adventure has taught me so much about myself and it has also taught me about the person I want to be.

I started on this adventure in early September. I have yet to go one day without complaining. The principles behind this, is to bring complaining to the front of our mind, so that we can make a conscious choice before we let the words flow out of our mouth. Thoughts do not count, only things we verbalize. My blog from September; Can You Go 21 Days in a Row Without Complaining?, will tell you more about it. I was shocked that I complained so much and could not get past day 1, so I bought his book and wrote a second blog. I found out that I was normal in my initial performance.

Today, as I write this, it is 7:30 am and I have already had to move my bracelet from one wrist to the other, (this is done when you complain to help increase your awareness). I realized today I need to change my focus a little. Instead of looking at the whole objective and feeling overwhelmed, I need to take it more bit by bit. I have already complained once today so perhaps my goal is to have no more than 3 complaints today. I sometimes do not notice my complaints until a while after the fact. I great bite sized goal, would be to be fully aware of my complaints as they happen. Last night, as I socialized with friends, I removed my bracelet fully intending to dive into one of my favorite complaints. In the end, I changed my mind and put the bracket back on without uttering that particular grievance.

I have noticed that, from September to now, I am better about staying on the positive side of a conversation. I am aware of when I need to move my bracelet more often. I am starting to learn when to keep my mouth shut. I am far from perfect but getting closer to being a better, more positive version of myself. If you are interested in improving yourself, I encourage you to jump on the band wagon. Remembering that what we put out in the world is what comes back to us and this is a great way to increase the abundance in our lives. Let’s replace our complaints with gratitude. Let’s be the best and most positive people we can be. Please join me on this adventure and let’s change the world by starting with ourselves.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. May your life be full of gratitude, as if by magic.

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Have You Heard of the Buy Nothing Movement?

I first time I heard of this amazing idea was when my friend Dawn mentioned it to me. At that time, there was not a group in my neighborhood, so I moved on from the idea. Later, when I relocated to a different neighborhood, I thought for sure there would be a group. Nope! How could this be? It is such an wonderful idea. So I decided to look into it further. What is Buy Nothing and what could I do about the lack of a group in my area?

The Buy Nothing Project is the idea, that instead of sending no longer needed stuff to the landfill, you can give it to your neighbors that need it for free. It is run as a private group on Facebook. Each group has defined neighborhoods with their streets set as boundaries. You can only belong to one group and only the group for the area you live within. There is a reason for this. The groups are intended to not only prevent usable items from heading to the landfills but also to help build community. It is encouraged, that when you pick up an item, you arrange a time when you and the gift-giver can meet. There by helping to build a community and helping neighbors get to know neighbors. This is such an amazing idea, right!?!

It is also possible for neighbors to borrow items from other neighbors or put up posts asking for something (maybe something someone no longer has need of). Gifts of service can also be given as well on the buy nothing site. Maybe someone needs help with lawn work or a ride somewhere. It truly is a community (and Site) of people just giving and helping one another.

So how could neither of my neighborhoods have this amazing group? I went to the website to see what could be done about this and I found my solution quickly. There was no one willing to be a administrator of the site in those areas. So I could volunteer to be the administrator of my local group if I wanted to start one there. I am pretty busy but I felt that this would be worth it.  I reached out through the website and volunteered. In no time at all I was starting my own neighborhood group. I worried if I would be able to grow the group large enough that it would become self-sustaining, healthy and active. I knew a few people in the group and had recently joined the My Neighborhood App. That was all it took! The group grew quickly and gifts began being shared freely and it took on a life of it’s own.  I am proud to say that my neighborhood Buy Nothing group currently has 270 members and counting.

Some groups are more interactive. Some run contests, which are fun. Like can you gift something everyday for some many days, would be one example. I read about another group where a whole wedding was planned and all items provided by the Buy Nothing Group! Wow! That is really great some random acts of kindness. It is also encouraged that the first to respond should not always get the item automatically, but rather people should comment why they were hoping for the item,  then a selection made for the person with the biggest need or the most interesting reason to get it.  Additionally those posting items are encouraged to tell a story about the item they are offering to their neighbors. Gratitude is always encouraged amongst the group. Freely expressing thanks for items received; is a beautiful way to keep the neighborhood vibration high and intentions pure. All of this is meant to continue to build strong a community and spread love.

Do you belong to a Buy Nothing Group? If not, it’s is worth looking into. If there is not one in your neighborhood, do what I did, volunteer to be the Administrator! There are resources and support people to help you and offer suggestions. I have found that being a Buy Nothing Administrator takes very little of my time and is very worth while.

Thank you for reading my Blog today. I wish you a lifetime filled with random acts of kindness, as if by magic.

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Daily Meditation Adventure: Week 12, 13, and 14

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

Experiences during the week: Over the last three weeks my experiences have been varied. From drumming meditations to Deepak’s mantra meditations.

What I have learned: I have learned that the drumming meditations seem to resonate a lot with me but drumming is not always convenient. As when in a hotel room with neighbors.

My weight:   Intermittent fasting has proven to be a successful weight loss tool for me! I have lost 10 lbs. I give the meditation some credit as well, as it has helped with my stress management and stopped me from eating to comfort myself.

How I feel: I feel as if I am still searching for balance in my life. I feel as if I am still looking for a way to make it all fit into my schedule. I am searching for a way to organize my day so that there is time to do and be it all. I know there is a way to find this alchemy of balance, time, space, and connection. So I pull myself up and I journey on, still trying to be true to myself and respect what I need.

How it is affecting my life: There are times this meditation journey is a stressor and I feel blessed having not succeeded as I would have liked to by this phase in the journey. But then there are times the meditation adventure enhances my life. I have magical experiences and I find a peace and connection I would not, without it.

I would love to hear your experiences with this. Have you had magical experiences? 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 peace, 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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Drumming With the Wolves; My Experience

On Saturday, July 21st I received the exciting opportunity to be part of an event called, Drumming with the Wolves. It was held at the Wildlife Science Center. To follow is the intentions behind the event, what I experienced there, and how it changed me.

The event was the brain child of one of my friends, Vonne. I feel grateful and blessed that she invited me to be a co-organizer for this important event. It was set with the idea of raising money to help support this important center and all of the great research they are gathering, knowledge they are sharing, and endangered animals they are fighting to keep from extinction.

The event started around 6 pm. The evening was sunny and warm and about 30-40 people joined us to have the opportunity to see these great creatures up close, learn about them, and be part of a drum circle. There was a strong feeling of community as old friends reunited and new friends met for the first time. I met some amazing people, who I hope to see again and again at future events. Peggy, the Founder, Biologist, and Wolf Mother took us on a tour of her amazing facility. We started off by meeting the Wolves. As we walked along their enclosures the Wolves ran up to the fence to meet us. I remember when my eyes met the golden eyes of the first majestic animal.  I fell in love. You could see the wildness in his being but also the love. These Wolves are, after all, spiritual beings too.  Peggy graciously educated us, answered questions, and howled so that the Wolves would howl back. I cannot describe the way it took my breath away to hear 100+ Wolves howling in chores together.  I have heard Wolves howl when Emy and I were camping in the Boundary Waters but to have them all around us howling, was a completely different experience. We met many Wolves on this tour, all with their own interesting and unique stories to tell.

After we met the Wolves we got to meet some of the other wild creatures that have come to live there, because they cannot be released back to the wild. Mountain Lions, Lynx, and Bobcats all call the Wildlife Science Center home. Additionally, there are Bears, Raccoons, an elderly Porcupine, Fox, and Skunk. Each creature has its own story of how it came to call the heartfelt place home. There are also Raptors, who we did not get to meet, perhaps during the next public event called The Harvest Howl in October.

After we finished our tours we shared in a potluck. Prayer Ties were made with Tobacco grown from a 100 year old seed shared by an attending indigenous woman. Intentions and prayers were placed in the Ties to be fed to the fire. It was very beautiful and powerful. That this tradition was shared with us and the tobacco song sung in the native tongue made me feel honored and blessed to be a part of this.

I led a healing meditation. I was awed and a bit amused as the wolves added their howls from time to time to the meditation. It was as though they wanted to participate.

Now it was time for the drumming. Lisa called in the directions and led the drumming. The drums beat matched with the heartbeat of the Earth. Each drumming session had a powerful intention set with it. Children and adults all participated. There were Drums, Dowels, Tibetan Tingsha Cymbals, Singing Bowls, Rattles, and even a white Crystal Bowl. A Didgeridoo was played earlier in the night offering sound baths to some participants. It was a blend of cultures and such an amazing sense of community. There was no judgment, only love, community, and respect. The Drumming was an important and inspiring part of the evening. As our Drums beat together, joining us with each other and the natural world around us, our prayers were carried off with the Drum beats and vibrations. It connected us together with one another and with all of nature.

The Wolves; who are a fierce hunter, strong predator, and create fear in so many – displayed only love and curiosity during our visit. They are well cared for and respected. They are not pets but rather wild animals who need our help and understanding to survive. At the end of the night we howled, Peggy howled, and the Wolves howled. It was a final goodbye and great end to the night.

It was an experience that was transformative in many ways. I was looking forward to the Drumming but the night was so much more than just that. The opportunities to join these kind of events is a blessing. They enhance your life and teach you things about others, but more than anything else, they help you to know yourself even better. What moves you, inspires you, touches your heart? This event and the people and creatures I met here did all these things for me and more.

Thank you for reading my blog today. May you find events that foster in you a deeper connection with yourself and those around you, as if by magic. I love you!

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Stepping into Your Power; 3 Techniques To Help You No Longer Feel Trapped or Powerless.

I’ve been listening to Mike Dooley’s auto book Infinite Possibilities. It is a great book discussing your ability to create the world around you. It dives into the how and why thoughts become things. There is a part of the book where he talks about depression. He references that a description of depression, that resonates with him, comes from one of the Seth books, by Jane Roberts. In this book Seth describes depression as feeling powerless. He goes on to expand on this description as feeling as if you are trapped by your life. Have you ever felt powerless and trapped by your life?

First off, let me say, depression can be a very serious disease. I do not intend to take it lightly or, for this blog, to inspire anyone to stop taking medication to treat depression. Always talk to your doctor before stopping depression medication. They are not meant to be stopped suddenly. If you feel depressed, get help; talk to a professional!

Now let’s talk about how you can address your feelings of powerlessness. Let’s talk about you no longer letting the circumstances of your life make you feel trapped. Where is your focus? What is it that consumes your thoughts? Like the quote by Norman Vincent Peale says, “Change your thoughts, change your world“. Have you seen the picture where two men are riding on the train? One man is seated on the right side of the train and his window looks out onto the stone cliff wall. He has no view at all, just the dark grey rock of the cliff. The other man is seated on the left side of the train and his window looks out into a vast and sunny landscape. The man on the right is frowning and looking disappointed. The man on the left is smiling and obviously enjoying the ride very much. All the man on the right has to do is turn his head to the left to see the same stunning view the other man sees. In fact, there are even more seats available on the left side of the train. He could just move to a different window seat if he is not enjoying the current view out of his window. There is always, always, always something to be grateful for! Sometime we just have to take notice of it.

Visualization is another important tool in helping you change your world. Imagine the future you want. Picture the things that will help you to feel the way you want to feel. Let’s say you want to feel joyful. Visualize yourself doing something that feels that way. Maybe you are sitting on a blanket in a grassy meadow on a warm sunny day, with just the right amount of breeze, surrounded by puppies. The puppies are up to funny antics, romping and playing with one another. Some are climbing on your lap and licking your face. You can’t help but giggle and feel joyous as the sun warms your face and your soul feels renewed. There are so many joyous events you could visualize. Maybe you see yourself going to the mailbox and opening an envelope. When you see what is inside your eyes widen, your heart lightens, and you whoop for joy! What great news! You have been hoping this would happen and now here is the confirmation that your dream has come true! You pump your arms in the air and maybe jump for joy as you run back to the house to share the great news with your friends and loved ones. They are all as happy and excited as you are! They celebrate and share your joy!

One final suggestion I have is to take action. This can feel daunting and even impossible at times but you can do it. It doesn’t have to be a big action. Get out into nature. Mother Nature has an amazing ability to feed our soul and help us feel renewed. Go for a walk. Our bodies are meant to move. Endorphins are released when we move and they stimulate our brains to feel better. Pick a corner of your home and clean it. I always feel better when my space is clean and uncluttered. Trying to take on the whole home feels to overwhelming but cleaning off the top of just one table, going through one drawer, or washing some dishes can have a great effect on the psyche and get some momentum flowing. It can also help you feel some pride, which is a powerful thing in moving out of powerlessness and into taking the reins of your life and living your dreams.

If you are feeling powerlessness and trapped by your life, I am so sorry that you feel that way. It is not a fun place to be. Be brave, take a couple small steps today. You can do it. Seek help, you do not have to go it alone. Look for the things you are grateful for. Noticing them will bring more things to be grateful for into your life. Visualize a better tomorrow. Our thoughts do create our reality. Take action, it does not have to be a big action, just a couple small steps can really get the ball rolling toward living the life of your dreams. In fact, you already did take action. You read this blog! I love you. I am proud of you!

Thank you for reading my blog today. May you feel powerful and live the life of your dreams, as if by magic!

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