Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day 38: Just Say "NO"

Day 38: Just say "NO," that is the most powerful word in the English language, so why not use it to your advantage?  For some of us, saying no is just to hard to do.  We feel like if we say no we're going to let someone down.  But, that is not the case at all. No-is your barometer in life.  It is your way to keep the lid from flying off the pot, so to speak.  If you don't say no to the things that you really can not do then you are only hurting yourself. 

Get into the habit of saying no-to unreasonable deadlines, obligatory social engagements, interruptions during dinner.  Say no to things you do out of habit or guilt, or to meet someone else's agenda.

When you do, you'll learn an important lesson; by saying no, you are better able to say yes to the things that truly matter in your life.

Day 37: Take a Break from the news- We dropped cable months back and still have one of the old tv's that isn't digital.  We just watch movies we buy or get through the mail the ones that we want to watch not the junk that is on tv most of the time.
I get my news from the Internet when I log on in the morning. Whatever is happening in the world comes up on the front page of my home page. I scroll through, check the weather for the day and week and then I've had enough of the news to last me all day.
My husband listens to a talk radio station in the car to and from work and if there is anything really important it's on there and he comes home and tells me about it.  It really feels good not to be watching one depressing item after another. And, that's all that seems to catch their attention.  So, it's off with the news around my house.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Day 37: Take a Break for the News

Day 37: Take a break for the news- Ever heard the expression, no news is good news?  Well, try turning off the tv or switch the station when the news comes on.  Even the newspaper is filled with local and national stories of bad things that are happening daily. 
So instead of starting or ending your day on a negative note why not do the opposite, start it off and end it on a good note? 

Read something inspirational, or that makes you laugh.  Listen to relaxing music before bedtime and something perky in the morning.  Watch kids movies.  Or, you could just start and end your day with silence and reflection on your day.   Use it to reflect on all the good you experienced in your life or heard from friends.

Day 36: Reward Yourself-  In order for me to reward myself I have to turn off the computer and just sit and relax making one of my crafts.  That is how I reward myself.  Doing something I really enjoy.  Occassionally,  it might me to go to my favorite resale shop and see what useful treasures I can find. 

At other times it might just be to sit and look at the nature in my backyard.  Even though I live in a huge city of houses we have our own little patch of woods and plants, flowers of all kinds.
I like to think of it as my green filter from all the fumes in the air.  Our neighbor to our left has lots of trees in their backyard and we still have one empty lot across the street.  And one block over is woods and lakes so I just love our little corner of the world.  Then, all around our city is water and woods so that too helps filter the fumes that the highway creates. 
Our town is called the city of lakes.  We have the St. Johns River on the west side and lots and lots of lakes all over the city.  Pretty cool I think.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 36: Reward Your Progress

Day 36: Reward Your Progress- Every step you make toward a goal is progress. Even if they're only baby steps. They don't have to be leaps forward, just moving ahead is what counts.  Don't let yourself regress back into a bad habit or way of thinking that undoes all the progress you make.

It's the same if you have to follow a sugar-free diet the first time you cheat you set yourself back to square one and all the good you did for your body is now wasted.  And, it's harder each time you do cheat to get back on the good routine.  It's easier to break a bad habit than it is to start a good one.

So, just think of how a baby expects positive reinforcement, so should you.  Reward your efforts.  Each time you take that next step forward, do something nice for yourself.  You deserve it!

Day 35:  Count Your Blessings- For each of us what we may consider a blessing is different depending on how we were raised.  If you were raised with a faith in God and that all good gifts and ever perfect present comes from above, then you know where your blessings come from.

I like to think of them as knowing I'm on the right track and that I'm doing everything I can in my life to live up to God's righteous standards.  And, for some that is hard to understand.  Why wouldn't God have standards for us when we humans have standards for ourself.

Wicked people are certainly not blessed by the true God.  They may be blessed by the god of this system of things, Satan the Devil.  2 Corinthians 4:4

But, where do the bad things that happen to us come from?  Some say God, because he has a plan for us.  But, is that what the Bible teaches?  And, isn't that where we want to go for the right answer and not just pick it out of the air. Yes, because God is loving and can not lie and no evil is found with God, according to the scriptures at 1 John 4:8, Titus 1:2 and James 1:13.

So the bad things that happen come from several sources. First, from our own imperfection. Second, circumstances beyond our control. Third, Satan because when he was thrown out of heavan as Revelation 12:9, 12 states, he came down with great anger, knowing that he has a short period of time, (before he is destroyed).

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Day 35: Count Your Blessings

Day 35: Count Your Blessings- Past, Present and Future.  Whether you are a religious person or not you can still find the good in your life and where it came from. 

Past Blessings- Think back as far as you can remember and write down all the good things that came into your life.  Things that were given to you, things that you earned, things that you really wanted.

Present Blessings-These are the things that happened to you this year.  If you prayed for things you needed and you received them write those down.  If you needed a friend to talk to and they called you or stopped by write that down. Any and every little thing it doesn't have to be an object it can just be something that filled a need.

Future Blessings- What would you say would be a future blessing for you? Would it fill a material need, a physical need or and emotional need?  It could be all three.  Well, think about this as a future blessing.
Think of a time when no one will pay for anything to survive. Think of a time when no one will die or be sick ever again.  Think of a time when everyone will have their own house and own garden and no one will come and take it away.  Think of a time when there will be no more war, violence or wickedness on the earth.  Think of a time when the earth will return to a healthy, pure environment.  Think of a time when there will be no more divisions among races.  Think of a time when there will be only one government.  Think of a time when there will be only one religion.
Do you know when that will happen?  Would you like to be a part of that?  You can, ask me how.

Day 34: Connect with Nature- I love to go outside in the morning and close my eyes and listen to all the sounds around me. I hear the birds singing of all varieties. I hear dogs barking, I feel the wind blowing across my face.  Then, I open my eyes and look at all the trees and flowers and insects buzzing past me. 
I stop and thank God for being alive and giving me so much beauty to look at every single day.  It makes me happy and I feel calm inside.  I have bird feeders to attract different birds and of course the squirrels think it's just for them.  But, that's okay they need to eat too.  The birds get plenty too.
Then, I have an extra special treat of watching our cat sit inches away from the squirrels face and they chatter back and forth to each other until she finally springs up and misses it and the squirrel runs back up the tree.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Day 34: Connect With Nature

Day 34: Connect With Nature- Take a walk on the wild side. Get outdoors at least once a day. You don't have to travel great distances to enjoy the beauty and peacefulness of the natural world.  Even if you live in the city they have parks or community gardens you can take a stroll in.

So take a stroll down your street, go on a picnic, find a rock or tree to sit on.  Observe and listen to the complex beauty of the natural world around you.  Let yourself be at one with your surrondings. Close your eyes and just listen to all the animals and see if you can identify each one.

Day 33: Enjoy Creature Comforts- As I was saying yesterday that we have a cat which is Siamese, named Bubbles and a dog, Yorkie, named Spencer.  They keep me company during the day while my family is at work.  Every morning I let the cat in and feed her. She greets me with her morning meow and purrs away when I pour the food.

The Yorkie is attatched to my daughter and the minute she leaves to go to work he will stand at the door for about 10 minutes waiting and listening in the hope that she will come back soon.  And, no matter how many times I call him away and tell him she has gone to work he just looks back at me and stands there and then turns and looks at the door again.

I have the lovely job of feeding him too.  He is so well trained that he knows he has to sit first and then has a count-down and "ok" signal before he can eat.  I get a good laugh when he decides he wants more than what I just put in his bowl and instead of going to the bowl and eating right away after his signal he sits and looks at me.  I tell him the same thing every time, "Sorry, that's all you get today, buddy".  Then, he'll either go ahead and eat it or go back to my daughter's room and sleep until she gets home. 

The only time he will come out of her room is when someone comes to the door and rings the bell.  Then, like lightening he runs to the door barking wildly hoping it is his "Kayla".  That is my little corner of the world with our critters.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Day 33: Enjoy Creature Comforts

Day 33: Enjoy Creature Comforts- What are creature comforts anyway? I like this definition I found on a website.

"You can define creature comforts in many ways, and many of us view some of our creature comforts as near necessities. They can be all the little things about the home that make it yours and cry out to you “Welcome!” when you enter the door, or they can be those nice simple things, like a great fluffy pillow that enhances your sleep at night. Could you live without a great fluffy pillow? Of course you could, but if you have the wherewithal, why should you forego it?

There are so many different types of creature comforts that it is challenging to put them into a single class or category. They can include most furniture, most bed and bath items, most kitchen supplies, and many types of clothing. When you think about it, there are many accessories or extras in your life that aren't necessary to survival. These may even include creature comforts we might list as basic things like toilets or beds. Such things are often viewed as necessities but it should be noted that much of the world’s population lives without them."

Now, let me turn your attention to another kind of "creature comfort," Pets!! Do you have one of those furry little four legged friend running around your house?  We have two, a cat and a dog.  Once, you get one and they wiggle their way into your heart you can't live without them.

Pets overlook our faults, are always happy to see us, and don't ask for a lot in return.  What a treat!  So spend time with your pet each day. Play with them, walk them, talk to them. They are really good listeners.

If you don't have your own critter, "borrow" one from a friend or family member, or visit a shelter or pet store. Hold them and cuddle them and let them feel loved. 

Day 32: Smile Therapy- This one is one I came up with after my horrible ordeal with Lyme disease.  I would lie in bed at night feeling like I'd run a marathon all day and could get to sleep.  I would notice my body was tense and I felt awful.  I was introduced to a anxiety home course that came with a relaxation tape for you to use at night or during the middle of the day to unwind and relax.  That was the best thing I'd ever listened to.  It gave you a short simple exercie to do along with deep breathing to help you relax and get to sleep.

Then, I would feel so much better afterward that I would feel like smiling.  And, once I smiled I felt even better mentally.  So, every night that became my routine and I've been doing it ever since.  So, put it into practice in your life and start feeling what a difference a smile can make to your life!

I hope all my supporters are still following me out there.  I am happy to announce that my cancer is responding to treatment and I should be out of the woods completely by next month.  So, please say a big horrah!!!  And, please keep leaving your wonderful comments, they encourage me so much.  I hope I am encouraging you too!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Day 32: Smile Therapy

Day 32: Smile Therapy- Smiling comes easy to most of us when something makes us smile. But, what about the times there is nothing going on around us that makes us smile?  Or, at the end of the day when you're tired and worn out from the days events you may not feel like smiling.  What can help you smile more when you're not feeling chipper and perky?  Make smiling a daily routine.  Smile for 5 minutes a day when you find that you're feeling depressed or not feeling very well. 

Stand at a window and look out over the landscape and find something that brings a smile to your face.  Now, exercise your smile muscles and do it in reps of 20 for 5 minutes a day.  You'll be surprised how this will get you into the smile habit that will change your life for the good. So come on smile a little!

Day 31: Look For the Good- We all tend to stray away from looking for the good in those around us everyday.  I'm working on looking for the good in those I'm around everyday and compliment them on something different their good at daily.  I always thank my husband for providing for the family daily, weekly, monthly, yearly.  You may not think that is so important, but there are some husbands that go from job to job because they don't take their obligation seriously.  
I thank my daughter for contributing toward the family financially now that she is working.  She never complains and is ready to help out in other ways as well when asked.  I buy her little gifts throughout the year to show her how much she is valued and loved. 

One of my friends daughter told me that her Mom doesn't have a clue of what she likes and when they give gifts once a year at their Anniversary she always gets things she doesn't like and just gets thrown in a drawer.  That was so surprising to me because I listen to what my daughter talks about and I pay attention to what she buys, the books she reads etc...

And, don't be afraid to ask someone what they'd like or tell someone what you'd like when gift buying.  I hear to from friends, "They are so hard to buy for," that usually is because the person is picky and doesn't value the spirit of giving. 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Day 31: Look For The Good

Day 31: Look for the good, be surprised. Find pleasures in the little things. If you know you will be around someone that always seems to bring out the worst in you, stop and look for the good in that person. Tell yourself something wonerful will happen.

Or, perhaps you will find a great new place to buy your favorite collectibles. Maybe an idea will come to you of how to solve a problem you've been working on. Whatever, the day brings look for the good.

You don't have to look far or hard they will come unexpectedly and surprise you.

Day 30: Find Refreshment in Spiritual Things- Weekly bible study is a routine at our house. I couldn't get through my week if we didn't prepare for the spiritual meal the faithful slave provides for our congregations. Worldwide there are over 100,000 congregations that they take care of and care for the spiritual needs of every member. And, that is no small feat, there are over 7 million men, women and children.

We are provided with the same information that builds us up to deal with these "critical times hard to deal with." 2 Timothy:1-5

When I became ill with Lyme disease five years ago they came to my aid and helped take care of me and my 13 year old daughter. For seven months on a daily basis they took shifts taking care of me until my Mother could take over. Truly, a loving sisterhood they proved to be. John 13:35