My Thoughtful Place to Ponder Things

My Thoughtful Place

Do you have a thoughtful place, somewhere to spend a few moments pondering things? From my workplace at home this is what I see, only in a dynamic form.

Large branches sway back and forth in the wind. Leaves dance about ever so quickly as they are pulled along. The movement mesmerizes my mind, pulling it into a creative state where I can find just the right words to write, gain clarity on situations I’ve been mulling over, gain some inspiration, and contemplate the passages of life.

As I look up past the tree tops, into the sky, I have conversations with the Lord. Many conversations. Telling Him what’s troubling me, pouring out my heart, thanking Him for so many, many blessings – and even thanking Him for the difficulties that seem to come more often than I’d like.

I find peace in the pouring out, rest in the thankfulness, and joy in creative inspirations.

If you don’t have a quiet place to go and think, I hope you can find one. I highly recommend it.

And when you do find one, I hope you visit it often!

 

 

 

 

My Morning Routine for Success

How would you like to leave your home each morning relaxed and as fully prepared as you can be for the day ahead? Yes, we all know that unexpected happens, but if you have a routine it will provide the confidence and calm to withstand almost anything that comes your way. It will give you the best chance of a day that flows as peacefully as possible.

1. Rise & Shine. Awaken before the sun rises so I can watch it fill the sky with beauty. Take slow deep breaths, express gratitude for the day ahead, my health, and my eyes which are able to take in the beauty before me.

This morning’s beautiful sunrise!

2. (Optional) Oil Pulling.  This is something I put in my routine about a year and a half ago. My teeth are whiter, gums have stopped receding and are healthier, sinuses are clearer and I’m staying very healthy. [Read more…]

Beauty that Restores Peace

When life is overwhelming, we are stretched beyond ourselves, and we become more stressed and anxious, it is time to go to a quiet, peaceful, place and bring some calm into the chaos. Colors bring peace to me, along with scenes of nature that I can focus on, imagine myself in the midst of, and restore my soul through the magnificence of beauty.

This past year has been one of the most overwhelming of my life. I need to make a conscious effort each day to find peace and rest for my soul. This photo, with the stunning hue of the bluebonnets, strength of the forest, refreshing of the foggy mist, and symbolism of the gently winding path, spoke  great peace to me.

I have a thing for forests. When I lived in Switzerland, there was a trail I would walk that would give me great peace and tranquility. I would hike up to a large fallen tree, lay on its strong trunk and look up at the sky, watching the high above branches sway in the breeze and the clouds pass through the rays of sunshine. When I saw this photo of the stunning floral landscape in my favorite color, amidst the gentle forest, I sighed, a deep, anxiety-releasing, relaxing sigh. I share it with you here, and hope you will click through to the photographer’s site to refresh your soul with more of his amazing photography.

The creator of this lovely forest in Hallerbos, Belgium, is no other than Our Lord God. The photographer, Kilian Schonberger, provides additional photos of this lovely scene at My Modern Met

Enjoy!

Kilian Schonberger

Great Reason for a High Protein Breakfast Every Day!

coffee and a muffinCoffee and a bran muffin used to be my standard breakfast when I was a younger, thinner version of myself. Through the years, especially when my children entered the picture, I found myself hungrier from all the physical activity of  chasing them around, and eating heartier meals. Now that they are grown, I’ve gotten rid of the gluten, and with that a lot of starchy carbs, going to higher protein meals with a mix of lean meats, cottage cheese, and eggs. I’m also eating my largest meal of the day at lunch.

Looks like there is a greater benefit to eating higher protein for breakfast other than staying full longer. It is now being shown to help control your blood glucose and insulin levels, helping to fend off diabetes. [Read more…]

Want Less Stress? Be Optimistic!

The way you manage stress can be evident by the way you see “the cup”. What? Well it turns out that if you are a cup half full, or optimistic, type of person, you are better at managing your stress than your cup half empty neighbors. You could have guessed that, right?

Remember Elle Woods classic line in Legally Blonde:  “Exercise gives you endorphins–endorphins make people happy and happy people just don’t shoot their husbands… they just don’t.”

Elle Woods

Same thinking here – if you’re happy, you don’t flip under stress. Now there is research to back this observation up. A new study published in the American Psychological Associations Health Journal and ScienceDaily.com shares:

Results show that indeed the “stress hormone” cortisol tends to be more stable in those with more positive personalities…. that pessimists tended to have a higher stress baseline than optimists, … also had trouble regulating their system when they go through particularly stressful situations. “On days where they experience higher than average stress, that’s when we see that the pessimists’ stress response is much elevated, and they have trouble bringing their cortisol levels back down. Optimists, by contrast, were protected in these circumstances,” says Dr. Jobin.

While the study generally confirmed the researchers’ hypotheses about the relation between optimism and stress, one surprising finding was that optimists who generally had more stressful lives secreted higher cortisol levels than expected shortly after they awoke (cortisol peaks just after waking and declines through the day). Jobin says there are several possible explanations, but also notes that the finding points to the difficulty of classifying these complex hormones as good or bad. “The problem with cortisol is that we call it “the stress hormone,” but it’s also our ‘get up and do things’ hormone, so we may secrete more if engaged and focused on what’s happening.

So if you are not a natural optimist, there’s hope. You can change your thought habits with much discipline and persistence. Let me tell you a secret to changing your outlook. It’s gratitude. Expressions of gratitude, in your thoughts, and out loud, throughout each day change the way you see life.

The bottom line is that YOU make the choice, each moment of every day to be grateful or stressed, negative or energetic.

How to Tweak, Update or Overhaul Your Personal Image

It just happens. Your life is busy, time flies by, and the next thing you know you are ambushed by Stacy and Clinton from “What Not to Wear”! Well, almost.

This is when you realize your skin is starting to sag,  gray hairs are springing up, you can’t find your makeup colors at the store because they’re no longer being made, your pants all have elastic waistbands, and your kids cringe when you get out of the car in public. Is this you? This was me. My daughter did send in a request for Stacy and Clinton to work their magic on me. Twice. I don’t need to say anymore!

I kind of lost myself in everyone else’s lives and let my own go.  As time went on, and the kids became more independent, I could see my light at the end of the “mommy” tunnel. I took on a new job, and started a new business. Being back in the “real world” caused me to take stock of my public image, and realize that I needed to make changes in order to be someone people were proud to be around, happy to be seen in public with, and someone my family and colleagues could look up to.

Here are my tips from my tweaks, updates and overhaul over the past couple of years: [Read more…]

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