Just Be Yourself

a just be you 2

I was watching a dance competition the other night, and at one point the dance instructor said to a contestant, “just be yourself.” Up until that point, he had been acting a certain way that came across as inauthentic, and reflected in his performance.

His overall uneasiness was evident, as his movements looked forced, and uncomfortable. Certainly, there is the expected nervousness that a competition can bring, and his courage was evident too.

However, by his own admission, he was trying to dance like the other people on the show, and not playing to his own strengths. Not only was the scoring from the judges of his routines unpleasant to witness, but surely the dancing was not enjoyable for him to perform as well.

As soon as he was told to, “just be yourself,” there was an immediate look of relief on his face, as he had gotten caught in the act, and didn’t have to pretend anymore.

Therefore, when he returned to the competition, and started relaxing into being himself, he did a much better job, got better scores, and certainly looked more comfortable in his own skin.

This made me think about how easy it can be to play a part in life too by acting a certain way, and trying to be like other people. Usually, inauthenticity can be seen, and felt by others, and felt within ourselves as well.

What a relief when we start being true to ourselves, and stop performing for the approval of others but live for our own approval instead.

Ironically, the less we perform, and the more genuine we are, the more people are attracted to us as never before.

Action Step:

Listen to the music of your own heart, and do what feels right for you today.

 

Make The Best of Your Life

a rest of your life 2

I recently found out that a woman I used to live nearby many years ago passed away. We had lost regular touch when I relocated to another state, so I hadn’t seen her in a while.

I do remember when she was diagnosed with brain cancer, and her survival of the surgery to remove it. She didn’t walk around focused on dying but became more focused on living.

She lived way beyond her expected chances, and got her wish to see her infant son grow up. She had a passion for her family, and her precious life, and made the rest of her time on earth, the best of her life.

She was a great example of how not to take any day for granted, and live each day to the fullest. With that in mind, below is a lovely reminder of how to live today.

 Today Is the Very First Day of the Rest of Your Life

This is the beginning of a new day.
I have been given this day
to use as I WILL.
I can waste it…
or use it for good,
But what I do today is important,
Because I am exchanging
a day of my life for it!
When tomorrow comes,
this day will be gone forever,
Leaving in its place
something that I have traded for it.
I want it to be gain,
and not loss;
Good and not evil;
success and not failure;
In order that I shall not regret
the price I have paid for it.
I will try just for today,
for you never fail until you stop trying.

       ~Author Unknown

 

Action Step:

Enjoy the video below.

 

Find Your Place of Serenity

a nature

Something about the ocean is undeniably beautiful, powerful, and spiritual. Certainly, the same can be said for the mountains, lakes and streams, which all elicit an equivalent awe and wonder of nature. It is rejuvenating for the mind, body and spirit, to spend time in our natural surroundings, for which there is so much beauty to choose from. There are numerous ways to peacefully connect with our external environment, and experience its serene effect on our internal environment as well.

By taking outdoor walks, watching a beautiful sunset, or gazing at the evening stars, we witness the amazing choreography of our environment, and are reminded how amazing the healing power of nature can be. When we allow ourselves this time to reflect and catch our breath, we avail ourselves of the transformative power and growth which occur during the quiet moments in life.

In doing so, we become more focused on possibilities, and what is right in our world, rather than choosing to focus on what may not be working. We become grateful and aware of our precious time, and look to create more balance in our schedules.

Unfortunately, the busyness of our lives can pull us away from noticing the lovely settings which surround us, and allow them to fade into the background of our lives. This lack of awareness and connection can prevent us from the serenity we long to experience within us. We frequently allow our tranquility to become disturbed by experiencing an overwhelming amount of sensory overload, such as:

  1. Noisy television
  2. Overbooked schedules
  3. Excessive connection with social media

The more we make room in our lives for stillness and serenity by reducing the noise level around us, the more we are able to ‘hear’ the messages from our inner selves. Typically, it is only during our annual vacations that we allow ourselves the time to reconnect with the delights of our exterior world, and give consideration to our interior world as well.

It is only then that we delegate more of our time to relaxation, and connecting with the peacefulness and silence of nature. Likewise, we often spend a great deal of time and effort planning our trips, but we can begin devoting a similar commitment to our daily mental health during the rest of the year also.

There are unlimited ways to create our day, and a variety of choices in how we spend our valuable time. One thing is for sure, that peace, and serenity are essential to our well-being, and is certainly worth our attention.

One cannot underestimate the importance of introspection in our daily lives, as it has a profound impact on the way we think, act, and operate in our relationships. Therefore, it is never too late to begin nurturing the serenity within us, which is undeniably beautiful, powerful, and spiritual like nature itself.

Action Step:

Pay extra attention to your surroundings today by taking a walk outdoors, watching a beautiful sunset, or gazing at the evening stars.

Enjoy the Good Life

a recipe_good_life

Many of us love finding, and sharing great recipes.

This is especially true for those that contain extremely nourishing ingredients, and offer such delicious results, when the directions are followed as instructed.

Therefore, I’m passing along the delightful treat above for savoring today, and all through the year!

Enjoy!

 

Keep Acquiring Knowledge

a word of day 6

When I was a little girl, there was a word of the day section listed in our local newspaper. As a way of learning something new each day, my dad would quiz me about a given word, and make sure I understood its meaning. At the time, given my age, I would have rather spent all my time playing outside with the neighbor kids. However, I made sure to find the daily word before he would ask me about it because I wanted, and needed to be prepared.

Ironically, there is an uplifting publication called, “The Daily Word” which I read each day too which is filled with wonderful thoughts to meditate on, and expands awareness.

Who knows if those early days of word testing didn’t ignite my love of writing or the reason I love the game of scrabble or enjoy learning today?  We often hear that ‘knowledge is power,’ and expanding my vocabulary has been a wonderful advantage to me during my schooling years, and to this day.

The memory of that word game is a reminder to keep on learning in all areas of life, and not just recycle the same information.

What positive memories or practices did you get introduced to early in life that has shaped who you are today?

Action Step:

Keep the door open to your mind, and fill it with something fresh and new.

 

Don’t Rush It

a journey

Recently, we took a few days away from our schedules, and went to the beach. During that time we weren’t rushing around or making tons of plans. We took one day at a time, and just relaxed. During those days of relaxation, it really brought awareness to all the rushing around we normally do in our regular routine.

The question that continues to come up these days is “What’s the rush?”

This has become an especially significant question as I contemplate a conversation we had with someone we met on vacation. She shared her experience of rushing around all her life in order to get to her retirement years, so she and her husband could finally relax.

Unfortunately, her husband passed away before they reached retirement, and now she is a widow which wasn’t part of her plans. She is now in the longed for time in her life but misses her husband terribly. Had she known it was going to be this way, she would have savored her days with him more during their time together, and not tried to rush her life along to the next stage.

It was a sobering conversation, and good reminder to not rush through our days but to relish them. It is great to have future goals, and plans but equally important to enjoy the trip along the way, with the people we value most.

Acton Step:

If you find yourself rushing around, and pining for a future time in your life, take a deep breath, and embrace this moment.