11 ways to Live Life to the fullest

As I write this, it is my birthday. What has happened over the past year?

New grandchild was born•Another grandchild is in a better situation•Traveled to England and saw Stonehenge•Traveled to the Netherlands and saw my grandfathers homeland•Lost my grandmother and a couple of friends•Purchased a boat as a second home in Florida•Had family photos taken with all four children and all four grandchild for the first time ever•Finished renovations on our home•Started renovations on our rental property•Helped my daughters move•Attended a writers workshop and started proposals on, not one, but three books•Started blogging•Traveled to Canada and explored Amethyst mines•Joined Toastmasters and became the club Secretary•Navigated changes in my day job•Began completing my coaching certification•Joined instagram•Had my 1 year wedding anniversary•Formed a deeper more loving relationship with my stepson•Watched as all three of my daughters became even more amazing women•Completed a 5k for charity•Took my stepson and a granddaughter to see the Grand Canyon•Served several holiday meals•Gained ten pounds•Entertained friends•Hosted gatherings to create community•Donated my time to fundraisers, raking leaves for seniors, and my local Buy-Nothing group•Broke my wrist and had surgery to put in a plate to repair it•Went dogsledding for the first time ever•Watched several movies•Cried a little and laughed a lot•Had more than a few glasses of wine•Baked goodies for others•Tried to make the world a brighter place•Listened to my friends and encouraged them when I could•Camped in three different states•Worked hard to be the best wife I can be•Worried about my family and strived to improve my relationships•Read several books•And many more items I cannot even think of right now.

It is amazing how much life can be packed into 365 days. I believe in using everyday to the fullest. We do not know how many breaths we will have in our life. Why waste any of them. I work hard and play harder. Striving to find joy in all aspects of my life, helps keep my focus positive.

It is interesting to reflect on a year. They seem to go by so quickly but when I look back, it has been a glorious year. Full of joy and a little bit of sorrow. The duality of sorrow amongst the joy helps us appreciate the joy. It takes the darkness so we appreciate the light. We need both.

How can we live our life to the fullest between the demands of work, family, and other responsibilities? Make them fun! Find the joy!

Talk. During a family meal, pose a question to get a conversation going. “What did you learn today? What kindness did you witness, what was the most interesting part of your day? What do you hope to accomplish is year?”

Plan a trip. It does not have to be a month long cruise around the world, although it can if that is accessible to you. Take a day trip to a nearby town to explore. Go camping in a state park. Plan a family get away to a historic part of the country or go on a romantic weekend retreat with your love. Whatever kind of trip is right for you, it’ll  give you a break from the routine. It refreshes you and gives you a pause, to enjoy.

Get outside. Go for a walk; feel the sun on your face, hike, run, play, sled, whatever is enjoyable to you.

Laugh. Find the joy in life and share it. One of my Yogi friends is passionate about her mantra: “Feel joy and share it!” It is a beautiful sediment!

Accept yourself  Be kind to your self, love yourself as is. If you want to work on things about yourself, fine, but know you are perfect just as you are.

Notice the positive things  A beautiful tulip in the spring, pretty snow in the winter, a child laughing, the hug of a loved one, a delicious fresh and healthy meal. There are always positive things to be grateful for.

Play. Work is important, it gives us purpose and allows for money to pay for our life, but play is important too. Whether it is paint night with your friends, hopscotch with your child, or bowling with your league, playing is an important part of living life. Just because we grow into adulthood does not mean we should stop playing.

Love. Love your family, friends, furrbabies, coworkers, neighbors, strangers walking down the street; allow that love to flow from you to others, even if you only share a smile with that person.

Create. Create art, community, recipes, games, whatever gets your creative juices flowing. Children create works of art, games, even imaginary worlds. Just because we grow older, does not mean we should stop.

Share  Share stories, thoughts, or journal, even if this means just sharing with yourself.

Learn. Learning should never stop. We can learn formally from classes and seminars, but we can also learn informally from others, watching interesting programs, taking tours, or looking things up in books or on the internet. Learning things enriches our life and helps us grow.

I am wishing you a life full of joy! Thank you for reading my blog today!

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In Their Shoes

I recent listened to a group of family members discussing what it is like to work in customer service. As a nurse I also have been in jobs where pleasing people is a part of the role. I have seen people be extremely rude and even verbally abusive to people working in stores, all in an attempt to get their way. I am ashamed to admit, when I was younger, I also had occasion where I lost my patience with people just trying to do their jobs. What can we do and how can we think to help us have empathy for those who cross our paths in the course of a day?

Think about how different the world would be if we all followed the Golden Rule. Treating others the way we would like to be treated could help transform some of these frustrating interactions to be better. The Golden Rule is in some version in almost all major world religions. If we could see ourselves in that person, we would act the way we would want others to treat us, if we were working that job.

Nisargadatta Maharai said, “ The consciousness in you and the consciousness in me, apparently two, really one, seek unity and that is love”. We are better able to give love and acceptance, when we see that we are that other person. Can you put yourself in their shoes? Can you feel empathy for what it must be like to be in that place and having to deal with that situation?

Today I challenge you as you walk through your day to imagine yourself in the shoes of those you cross paths with. I would be curious to hear how this changed your perspective on the world around you. Did this make any impact on how you dealt with people or situations? No matter which side of the counter you are on, there is room to try and see the other person’s persecutive. Eckhart Tolle said, “If you are not in the state of either acceptance, enjoyment, or enthusiasm, look closely and you will find that you are creating suffering for yourself and others”. Try seeing yourself as the other person in a way to gain acceptance.

Thank you for reading my blog today! May your day be filled with love and acceptance.

Please Follow the Adventure Sisters:

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

The Adventure Sisters on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

Stacy Crep on Instagram

@stacycrep

Maintaining effective communication during the holidays

Today’s blog is written by Emy Minzel, Adventure Sister.

The stress of the holidays has a way of bringing us closer or tearing us apart. I hear stories that make me laugh, cry, and groan, sometimes all at the same time. I would like to focus on how we convey or communicate love in our closest family relationships. I am guilty of getting defensive when I hear something I may not agree with from people I love. Yet through my years I’ve learned it’s not the best way to communicate effectively.

We know that when our parents, family, and friends are meddling in our lives it’s usually because they love you and see things from a different perspective. They may have advice we don’t want to hear, but it is important for us to listen with love. They speak up because they had been there and done that, and don’t want to do it again. They warn us or tell us ‘how it is’ because they love you, even if it upsets us and pisses us off.

What if we decided to give our dearest family and friends, the benefit of the doubt? Choose to think only the best of them. If we tried to recognize that whatever they do or say, they do it out of love or fear. Then we could also assume that the people we love, do the best they can, in the time and space they’ve been given. I have realized that all our actions, the good, the bad, and the ugly, come from fear or love. At the root, we all want to be loved. As we grow in different ways and different directions, the way we communicate changes as well.

What matters is that we continue to communicate. Even if we are scared, it’s important to tell our loved ones if you are fearful, or hurt, without assuming their actions or words were purposely harmful. Most likely they were not. Keeping lines of communication open, by not overreacting or shutting down is difficult for some, yet it’s imperative for effective communication. When we overreact and blow up, our emotions take over and our ears stop listening, stopping any connection in its tracks. This can affect even our closest most cherished relationships.

What if we met miscommunication and perceived hurt with love? Understanding that loved ones are either fearful of something or trying to show love in a way you may not understand. How would the conversation change if we chose to calm fears, by focusing on love? It may take courage to ask our loved ones to explain until we understand. It takes disciplined focus to speak our truth the best we are able, in the kindest way possible. It’s well worth the work we put in to communicating well, we should talk and know it’s ok to agree to disagree, respectfully.

It can be hard to remember that how we communicate our thoughts and feelings will define our character. How we act/react, handle hard times/good times/holidays, how you make someone feel, the words you choose and how you say them become how you communicate. How you communicate portrays how your closest family and friends will remember you.

My hopes this holiday season are that you too choose love and communication. Remembering that most of your family will act out of fear or love. When we focus on love, we open understanding and healing, this is how we make the world a better place, one family at a time.

~ Emy Minzel, Adventure Sister

What is love?

What is love? Is it the passion you feel for your romantic partner? Is it the warmth in your heart when you see a sleeping baby? There are as many different answers to this question. Probably as there are people to ask it. I want to tell you about the selfless love my husband has displayed to me over that last couple of weeks. It has shown me another aspect to love. I am blessed to have the unconditional love of this man.

Two weeks ago I fell and broke my wrist. Having only the use of my left hand has given me challenges that I didn’t anticipate on having. We tend to under appreciate having two working hands. It isn’t until you lose the use of one hand that you recognize that. I have needed help with things that in the past I took for granted. Washing my hair, putting on my socks, and opening a container, were some of the tasks i needed help with. My husband patiently helped me with these once seemingly easy tasks.

 

When the pain was new and intense, he got up every 2 hours in the night to make sure I was as comfortable as possible and to give me pain medications. He has driven me to appointments and meetings. He has been right by my side throughout this process. My husband has taken over household chores that are typically my responsibility. He has done all of this with care and compassion. He is steady when I am having a meltdown because something is more difficult now. My husband reassures me, when I feel bad because I have lost my cool.

 

I now know that love is multifaceted. It is the hot steamy moments alone, touching and exploring pleasure together. It is looking tour new grandson with pride. It is holding hands and walking down the street as the sun sets together. Love is so much more than these sweet moments. Love is caring for another, even when it is not glamorous. Marty shows me his unending love by doing for me what i can’t not currently do for myself. He needs no praise or recognition. He does it because he loves me from deep in his soul.

I am grateful for this love. I am humbled by it. I hope he feels the depth of my love. When I bake cookies, wash the towels, and do other simple household tasks, I express this love.

What ways do you show your love?