Clumsy- Wise Project 2017 #tenacioustuesday

I feel clumsy, like I am stumbling and tripping through my days, like a small child on a playground who just learned how to walk.

I was listening to the radio on my way to work this morning and the Our Lady Peace song Clumsy came through the speakers and I had an aha moment of sorts. Grief does weird things to you and when someone asked me if I could describe it in one word I think that it would be impossible but clumsy is definitely a word that comes to mind. I feel clumsy, like I am stumbling and tripping through my days, like a small child on a playground who just learned how to walk. I think grief, like any type of challenge we face in life should be faced with the same energy a small child will give it, a child can fall down 10 times and they will get back up 11.

Every single day I stumble and fall, I do silly things like send text messages to the wrong people, and my memory is practically non existent, my kids were making fun of me for not remembering that my favorite basketball player Lebron James plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers, I have to laugh along with them because my short term memory bank is virtually inaccessible right now and if I didn’t laugh I would have one more thing to cry about. I wake up with the sun every single morning and almost immediately I realize that there is something desperately wrong, and that one memory, the memory of losing my husband so tragically floods my prefrontal cortex and crowds out all of the other memories. My instinct is always initially to hide from the world, to stay in bed and not deal with any of it. Every single day this memory is accompanied by tears, nausea and indigestion that makes getting ready for work a unique task. Like a toddler that has thrown up his milk I wipe myself off and go about my day and fumble through the very best I can and at the end of the day my tank is on empty. I don’t think there is anything in the world quite as exhausting as grief, except for fighting the devastating and primarily solitary battle of depression and mental illness that my husband and many others labor with on a daily basis. There are two types of tired, one is in dire need of sleep and the other is in dire need of peace; they are similar but also very different.

I believe I was in an active state of fight of flight, waiting for the next bad thing to happen, always on high alert.

I realized almost two years ago that I spent a great deal of my life holding my breath when I was confronted with challenges during my life. I never really faced them, I just held my breath and pushed them down in my belly and soldiered on. During Christmas of 2015 I was hit in the face with pretty much every single thing in my life that I had neglected to deal with. I spent most of the holidays in tears and completely confused. I had everything I wanted in my life to make me happy, yet here I was curled up in the fetal position crying about things that should no longer have the power to hurt me. After giving it some careful thought I realized that I spent most of my life in either the past or the future and very little time in the present, enjoying what the moment had to offer. I believe I was in an active state of fight of flight, waiting for the next bad thing to happen, always on high alert. I wasn’t enjoying my life, and my reactions to everyday stress were making me sick. That is when I decided to start the W.I.S.E. Project and learn about the science of happiness and the benefits of mindfulness as tools to create a deeper experience of joy in my life, living in the present moment.

I am not sure where I would be in my life had I not decided to do this work and commit to being stronger for myself and my family. In a series of meaningful coincidences I have been lead on a healing journey that has awarded to me to the people, places and experiences that are able to support and guide me during this grueling journey.

Navigating through heartache and anguish is demanding and cruel but the important thing is that I am learning to pilot through the pain without holding my breath. That seemingly simple thing has made all of the difference in this arduous passage. Several times of the day as tears spill down my cheeks and reminiscences threaten to knock the wind out of me, I take a couple of quiet minutes to just breath.

In the last several months it has offered me not just an escape but a refuge, a safe space to work on my healing in a healthy and soul fulfilling way.

Several months back SynchroDestiny led me to a magical place with a community full of healers and givers called Lifestyle Meditation. Operating on the premise that silence is luxurious, it offered me a way to further develop my meditation technique and quiet my busy mind. In the last several months it has offered me not just an escape but a refuge, a safe space to work on my healing in a healthy and soul fulfilling way.

This past weekend I took a three day Learn to Teach Meditation course at Lifestyle meditation. I was excited to dive even deeper into the science and philosophy of meditation, to encourage my continued wellness and to at some point in my journey be able to extend the gift of meditation to others that could benefit from its remedial capabilities.

During the course I learned way more than practical knowledge and philosophy. I learned about the power of community and connection and I learned that we are never alone in our suffering. I learned that we do not spend enough time looking inward and giving the love we so desperately want to share with the world to ourselves.

When you are able to find and visit the silence that exists in your own mind and are no longer distracted by the external world meditation deepens.

Meditation is a specific method for quieting and resting the mind and realizing a state of pure consciousness that is entirely different from our natural waking state. It is the basis of understanding all the levels of our personal being and finally experiencing the center of consciousness within. Though meditation is a very old practice and it is deeply rooted in several cultures it is not religious, it is in fact a science which means that the process of meditation follows a precise order, has definitive values, and generates outcomes that can be substantiated.

In meditation, the mind is pure and relaxed and focused internally. When you meditate you are awake and aware, but your mind is not focused on external events or the world around you. Mediation involves an inner state that is single focused so that the mind can learn to be silent. When you are able to find and visit the silence that exists in your own mind and are no longer distracted by the external world meditation deepens.

From the time we are young children we are taught to observe people, things and places in the outside world with great enthusiasm. We are never taught to seek or discover things within ourselves. In relationships we strive to get to know others while remaining virtual strangers to ourselves. We are easily escorted into relations and circumstances that don’t necessarily resonate with who we truly are, which can often to a life of dissatisfaction.

Our fundamental nature is that of peace, happiness and bliss, and the goal of meditation is to reconnect with ourselves in that essential state but the mind remains our greatest barrier to this state of pure consciousness.

The mind is beautiful and mysterious yet largely unknown and little knowledge of the mind is promoted formally in the education system. Our entire body is in our mind yet our entire mind is not in the body and that can be very confusing. Meditation is designed to influence the entirety of the mind. The mind quite literally has a mind of its own, so for some trying to sit and meditate they may experience racing thoughts, daydreams or a grocery list of stresses, never truly able to attain the benefits of deep meditation. Our fundamental nature is that of peace, happiness and bliss, and the goal of meditation is to reconnect with ourselves in that essential state but the mind remains our greatest barrier to this state of pure consciousness. While we are taught how to move through the world and the expectations of behavior we are rarely guided on how to be still with ourselves and observe what is inside of us.

Meditation is a useful means to comfort and quiet the mind. It allows you to see sings the way that they are, void of worldly and personal judgements. Just like you would prepare and train your body to be strong and resilient, meditation trains your mind so that you are not constantly preoccupied and overwhelmed by an endless train of thoughts that you cannot control. The only obligation in meditation is your desire to explore yourself fully and learn to be peaceful, no matter what challenges you are facing in life.

Meditation has had a genuine affect on my overall well being and my ability to sit with pain and be an observer in my life without being overcome and destroyed by the agony of grief. As I mentioned, this is a very old practice, I barely know a fraction of its rich history and benefits but I am captivated by it and will continue to learn and grow and share with others.

 

I wonder what steps you are taking in your wellness today and what commitments you have made to your personal happiness and growth.

 

Namaste.

“The Spirit within me salutes the Spirit in you”

Lifestyle-Meditation-Teacher-Logo

Red Red Wine-W.I.S.E. Project 2016

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This morning I found my crumpled up paper that I had handwritten the entire years W.I.S.E. principles on back in December and discovered that June’s principles are WOW, Incredible, Stimulate and Enthusiasm. I had my first WOW moment around 3 am when I got up to use the washroom and noticed through groggy, half open eyes that my underwear were covered in red wine stains. I was initially confused and then I had a moment where I whispered to myself “WOW bitch, time to get your shit together!”

I am pretty sure that when I set out in December that was not the type of WOW moments I had intended to have upon entering the sixth month of this journey.

In all seriousness though, before my family thinks that I have turned into Chelsey Handler with a blog, I had a rough couple of “lady-time’ days and I had given myself a time out in the rec room with fuzzy blankets, Crave TV and wine. I discovered on my couch-side table that I had three bottles of wine with a glass to a glass and a half each in them because apparently I can never finish what I started. I thought it would be best to drink them before they evaporated and at some point I forgot that I didn’t have three hands and spilled wine all over me while adjusting my blankets. The couch is leather and my pants were black so I grabbed some Kleenex and put minimal effort into the clean-up, poured another glass and put it out of my mind entirely until the witching hour when I discovered that I looked like I just left a college frat party instead of the comfort of my bed.

All things considered it gave me a “WOW’ moment early in the month, an incredible laugh, it stimulated my imagination and I was wanted to enthusiastically recall the story for all of you. So I have used all of my June W.I.S.E. principles in one day so yay for me. I am going to celebrate with ice cream and call it a month!

I am happy to report that I am feeling much better today. I actually put on real clothes and lipstick for work which admittedly was not the case for the first two days of the week. That is in the past though, lets leave it there.

May’s W.I.S.E. principles (warmth, intimacy, serenity and enrich) have changed my life. I discovered so much about myself and relationships,took time to myself to recharge and refuel and discover the power of vulnerability. I have enriched my life immensely with the books and talks by the fabulous Brene Brown. I am currently reading Daring Greatly and taking her CourageWorks e-course on the anatomy of trust. I know I mentioned this in a previous post but I am clearly telling you again for your own good. Give her a listen, her Ted talk on Vulnerability was life changing for me and I am not even being a little bit dramatic, it really has profoundly changed me and the way I see myself.

I am loving the W.I.S.E Projects Facebook page. If you haven’t followed please check it out. It is just a place to share inspiring messages and you can interact with me there.

Visit me on Facebook

Let’s be wowed this month, whether it be by kindness or the beauty of nature or by knowledge, lets embrace the moments that make us say “WOW’, let’s seek the “incredible” and find it in everyday things, laughter, stories, art and music. Lets stimulate our minds and our bodies with good news, great messages, learning, good food and activity, and let’s face each new day with spirited enthusiasm, living, loving and learning moment to moment, day by day! This is a pivotal turning point for the W.I.S.E. Project, when we complete June’s principles we will be at the halfway mark of the 2016 W.I.S.E. Project. I don’t know about you but I feel great!!

I have learned so many great things lately but one thing that I wanted to share that I was once told is that you will be what you think of most of the time. when I started this project I just wanted to be happy…and I am.

Think about happiness, seek it, create it, enjoy it!

Be W.I.S.E. friends.

 

Enough. W.I.S.E. Project 2016

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The couch was a rich shade of red earth brown distressed leather. It was soft to the touch with classic rolled arms and a button tufted back, reminiscent of days gone by. The length was beyond generous and you could immediately imagine yourself kicking off your heels and curling up by the warm fire for a night cap. The room was littered with navy wingbacks adorned with fuzzy pillows in hipster fabrics but neutral shades. An eclectic mix of nautical and old world accessories cohabiting on tables of different sizes and shapes, some sleek and glass, others a chunky chocolate brown wood.

In Burnaby’s Metrotown district it feels more like Greater Vancouver’s SoMa meets Shaughnessy , hipster meets posh, Spumante meets Cristal.

There was a time when I would never have imagined myself sitting alone in an upscale hotel lounge by myself, sipping a nice red wine by the glass and feeling comfortable in my own skin. There were times it would have been more likely for me to walk by the lounge en-route to my hotel room, wistfully thinking what a quaint place it was but never going in alone.

I would never have been confident enough. I would have needed someone to accompany me.

Not this day.

This day I sat sipping on an easy drinking house red, in front of a warm fire while rain drizzled against the tall glass pane windows and I finally felt like I was enough.

It was more than OK to enjoy my own company.

Nobody tells you about the nights you will spend alone enveloped in sadness, waiting for someone to complete you. Wrapped up in covers and wreaking of guilt, shame and inadequacy. Even if they told you, you would never have believed that where you were cracked wide open would one day be the spots where you were filled with light. That you would have amazing adventures and endless laughter, the ocean would soothe your soul and the mountains would bring you a peace you never thought possible. People would love you, all of you.

All of your thoughts and perfect imperfections.

More importantly you would love yourself.

They would compliment you…but not complete you. You complete you. You are ENOUGH. You always were.

The Sound of Silence-W.I.S.E Project 2016

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We are almost at the end of March and it hasn’t all been perfect but I have embraced every bit of it and to be honest most of it was damn good. I hope yours was too.

Through the W.I.S.E. Project I am continuing to learn a great deal about myself. I worked on my well-being this month,  not just physically but mentally. I have been learning to recognize the things that make me feel “well” and happy. I gratefully embrace the moments that I feel pure joy.  I have learned to focus more on the here and now, being mindful and grateful for the blessings I have in my life right now. I am still learning to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of the present moment without out stressing  about the past or the future. It is a task that needs daily of practice but it really does put things into perspective.

I have continued Floating or “therapy” as I like to call it. Each time I float I try to go in with an open mind, hoping to achieve an inner peace that I know is possible when your mind, body and soul are in sync. I recommend Floating to anyone who is interested in mindfulness and wants to free their mind and enjoy the pure bliss of feeling whole. It really is a challenge to shut down the thousands of browser tabs your mind keeps open and buffering at any given time and welcome the freedom of just being, instead of doing, but it is really worth it.

I am striving to learn more ways to practice being content in the moment without constantly having to do. I still struggle to enjoy quiet moments without feeling like I have to be “doing” The bigger challenge is to spend more quiet time, without the distraction of TV and electronics to fill in the blanks. It is hard to sit still or even read a book without playing with my phone every two minutes. (A work in progress)

I know that with work and a busy family that it will be up to me to commit to creating quiet moments for myself and continue to make my well-being a priority.

As I mentioned at the end of February sometimes things look differently at the end of them month then you had planned and that is OK. To be happy and mindful we have to learn to eliminate the unreal expectations that we often have. People who are able to live free of expectations are happier because they are not constantly disappointed when situations don’t turn up the way they presumed they would.

This month my husband came home after working away for 10 weeks. My focus shifted and for the last week everything has changed including my eating habits. I have had more wine but less water, less sleep but more laughs, less focus but more fun. I am grateful for my family and sometimes we eat cheeseburgers and stay up way to late…that is just the way it is.

My April W.I.S.E. Principles are:

Wisdom-At age 42 I feel I have gained lot of wisdom, I want to reflect on the things that I have learned over the years and I what I once believed to be true as opposed to what I now believe to be true. I want to continue to gain knowledge that will help me to lead a better life and understand how the wisdom has helped me evolve and be happier.

Integrity– I think being an honest person,  having good morals, and being considered someone of good character is an admirable thing and I want to continue to live my live with intention while trying to be sincere and truthful.

Sincerity-Being virtuous and speaking and acting truly about your feelings, thoughts and desires, acting and communicating earnestly is a wonderful character trait but I know that a lot of people struggle to live and speak their truth. This month I will get very real about my thoughts, feelings, struggles and triumphs.

Education– The capacity to learn is a true gift. As humans we have very few true instincts. Most of what we know has been learned. Willingness to continue to learn is a powerful choice, a choice that I intend to continue to make every single day. There is a world of knowledge out there and I want lots of it. I have never been numbers smart but I have a fair bit of wisdom and  knowledge. Learning promotes understanding and I seek to bring more satisfaction and joy to my life by actively seeking opportunities to learn and understand.

I am still so excited about Robert Waldingers Ted Talk about Living a Good Life. Robert is a Harvard psychiatrist, Zen priest, and psychoanalyst. He directs the Harvard Study of Adult Development, which is possibly the longest study of adult life ever done. About 60 of the original 724 men are still alive, still participating in the study, most of them in their 90s. They are now beginning to study the more than 2,000 Baby Boomer sons and daughters of these men. I am currently reading George E. Vaillant’s book Triumphs of Experience. George was a director of the study as well.

From this study, one important lesson about what makes for the good life  kept emerging time and time again.

“Simply put, good relationships keep us happy and healthy.”  

Robert Waldinger 

 

You can listen to Dr. Waldinger’s facinating talk HERE.

It was enlightening to me. I have always told my kids that you don’t need a bunch of friends, just a couple of good ones. It validates for me how important it is to focus on making our important relationships good one’s. People will come and go from our life, the people that are meant to be there always will be. It makes sence to focus our energy and time on those relationships, and making sure that they are good for us.

He also made me pause and think about the things that that really matter to me and how important it is to prioritize living a life that is rich and fulfilling instead of a life that is frantic and busy. It strikes me how we flock to cities with bright lights, traffic and noice, we fill our lives with electronics and the next best thing, we fill our calendars up with borrowed time and what we long for more than anything else is to get away from it all, to be free of it. To go to a quiet place and be still.

I have been so inspired in fact that I am committing to go on a silent retreat for three days in September. I will be going by myself and unplugging from the world for three days. No phone, internet, cable or radio. I am already scared but equally excited!!

On my walk tonight I was thinking that maybe I would text or call Kirk and the kids once a day but I know that defeats the whole purpose and it is only three days out of my life. I also decided that taking the dogs would be cheating too.

I will be taking wine and chocolate, to do otherwise would be irresponsible.

Could you totally unplug from the world for three days? Can I ?

“Silence is sometimes the best answer”

-Dalai Lama

 

 

 

 

 

Breathing is not living-W.I.S.E. Project 2016

“Life is a collection of moments. Mindfulness is the beautification of the moments.”

                                                                                                                  -Amit Ray

I cannot believe that three months have passed since I started this little project. The W.I.S.E. Project has taught me so much about the way I want to feel and how to achieve it and it is truly in it’s newborn stages. I am excited for the next 9 monthes and the challenges and opportunities I will face. You may think it seems silly to put so much time into studying and practicing mindfulness and happiness but there is a wealth of knowledge available and the outcome is feeling great which is pretty fantastic. Everyday we unknowingly make mistakes that sabotage our own happiness and one of the biggest things is thinking that we have forever so we can put it off till another day, as if being happy is not a priority.The biggest lesson I learned is that breathing is not living and the little moments that make up our lives are much more beautiful if you fill them with happiness and joy. I learned that being happy is a choice that you make, every second of every day.

We often make things like playing on our phones or watching a show a priority when the things that really make us happy like quiet time with our family or sharing laughs with friends we barely make the time for. We often fill our lives with stuff instead of memories and in doing so our lives feel full and cluttered. Instead of recognizing and experiencing real emotions we indulge in way too much reality TV and get lost in the spiking ups and downs of people that we don’t even know. We say yes too much and then we are resentful, our calendars are full, we are tired and cranky but we want to be liked and we want to say yes to all of it but we are not saying yes to the things that make us happy and we are not investing time in our own well being.

We keep our blinds closed all day and we stay inside too often. We need to let the light in and we need to to allow ourselves to feel the sunshine on our face and let it fuel our souls.

We compare ourselves to our friends who we think are wealthier, are in better relationships, are thinner or funnier. Instead of being grateful for our lives and the people in it we measure our lives against the accomplishments of others. We focus on the things we want and the things we don’t have instead of appreciating our many blessings.

We don’t celebrate our own victories, successes, happiness or give ourselves permission to be content with who we are and what we have. We live in the past too much, always wondering “what if” and when we wander away from the past we are thinking of the future. We rarely live in the present, seeing the beauty and feeling the joy of the here and now, embracing opportunities, striving to be healthy and happy, making our inner peace and well-being a priority.

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I recently took a trip to see my husband in Vancouver, he had been working there for about ten weeks and I flew there so I could drive back with him. Our intention was to go to Victoria and make our way home slowly, taking advantage of some the beautiful scenery and some well earned couple time. That plan fell through due to last minute job requirements and I ended up having a lot of down time in Vancouver. We managed to steal some time to be together and it was great but undeniably short. My husband was frantically busy and I on the other hand had plenty of free time to do what I wanted.

I long more than anything for unrestricted time. I hate the demands that are placed on my time and so a day without them is a wonderful gift to me. At first it was great but as the hours dragged into days I felt so guilty about being “free” that I made myself anxious and miserable. I literally needed to call my mom and have a little cry and talk it out. Yes, I am 42 and I still call my Mom and cry. It helps.

I had to give myself permission to be happy. You need to give yourself permission to be happy. Happy is good. Happy is great! Be happy, think happy, do happy things. Sleep in, stay up late, feed your soul, love yourself!

Sometimes we really are our own worst enemies. It turns out drinking wine in a luxurious hotel bathrobe and eating chocolate cake for dinner is not the worst thing in the world.

“Sometimes you have to let go and be free”

free bird

For those of you who like ‘exercises’…not to be confused with ‘exercise’ make a list of positive words. I put an example below, you can start with the letter “a” and work your way through the alphabet. Try to insert these words often into your daily vocabulary to make your days brighter.

e.g. ecstatic, fabulous, jubilant, optimistic, wondrous, worthy, rewarding.

Be W.I.S.E. Friends. I hope you are all working on your well-being and striving to achieve inner peace while embracing opportunities and loving every bit of yourself.

xo

Michelle

Creating Happiness

Happiness is yours to create.

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Hello All,

We are well into March and I hope you are all striving to work on your well-being, Inner Peace and embracing all of the wonderful changes that mindfulness and living in the moment can bring.

Happiness is a choice. Every second of every single day you can create your own.

If you haven’t joined me on my journey to get W.I.S.E. it is never too late to start! If you have a couple of minutes I would love to share some things with you. Grab a drink and let’s chat!

Listen here https://www.spreaker.com/user/michd74/creating-happiness-w-i-s-e-project-2016

xo Michelle

March Madness-W.I.S.E. Project 2016

I want to truly and eagerly accept and support myself and everything that makes me ME.

 

Acceptance

I realize it is the third day of March and I haven’t posted the W.I.S.E. Principles for March. I am not a fan of excuses so let me explain. I was half thinking of ditching this project and starting the donut a day challenge, I would challenge myself to indulge daily in the yummy goodness that are donuts and post scrumptious pictures and  delicious reviews. My ass woke me up in the middle of the night with a stern “C’mon dude, you tried that with a bottle of wine a day challenge, a cupcake a day challenge and Eat an Entire Pizza Fridays and what did we get out of that?” Sometimes that ass of mine has a strong argument so I decided to stick with something for a change. I am excited to tell you a little bit about my W.I.S.E. Principles for March and the goals I have set for myself. As always I would love it if you challenge yourself, your goals will be different and your interpretation of the W.I.S.E. Principles may vary…that is OK and encouraged.

February was a bit of a Cha-cha month for me, a step forward, a step backward but all in all it was a learning experience for me. I am learning a lot about myself, a lot about the way I feel and what it takes to make me feel the way I want to feel. Recognizing real happiness and what it takes to achieve that feeling is a work in progress, and so important to me. I am an emotional person, I cry at sad movies, I cry at happy movies. I cry when my feelings are hurt and I cry when I am feeling euphoric. As an emotional person who is an emotional eater I have realized that ice cream does not make me happy…shocking I know!! It seems like a little thing but we (the human race) often use things like food (shopping, sex, drinking, gambling etc.) to try to make us happy and once we realize that they cannot possibly make us happy we can figure out what does…and do it! Instant gratification is not happiness, the ice cream may satisfy you for a moment but you won’t wake up in the morning feeling the lasting affects of the pleasure the ice cream gave you.

My W.I.S.E. Principles for March are:

Well-being– I want to be healthy and happy and live a fulfilling life, to do this I need to experience more feelings of contentment and joy as well as being confident and engaged in my own life and interacting positively with others. I want relationships that are positive and that cause happy feelings.

I know that experiencing well-being does not mean that I will never experience times of sadness, hardships or discontent but in being well I can recognize my resilience when times are tougher and I can clearly see the choices and the people that bring me the most happiness. I am learning to accept myself and all of my emotional mania because I am a person that feels a great deal, invests my feelings and in doing that I often feel hurt. I am learning to let go of my need to control all situations and realize that even though some things will be entirely out of my control, I can control how I respond to these situations. I will invest in my physical and mental well-being, to do so is akin to making daily deposits in my bank account of life that I will be able to draw from for years into the future. No one can give you well-being, you need to take action and make your own choices to find wellness. For years I wasn’t aware that it was my job to make myself happy. I thought it was important to make sure everyone else was happy. Trying to take care of everyone else and not yourself is impossible and it will leave you empty and unfulfilled.

Here are some of the ways I intend to continue to work on my well-being.

Connect-Relating with people, friends, family, colleagues, taking the time to nurture and develop these relationships. Surprisingly (for someone who writes down all her thoughts and publishes them) I am a private person and if I am struggling with something I often do so alone. I need to remind myself that everyone has struggles and people who are meant to be in my life will share in my joy and not judge my struggles.

Be Active– Being active doesn’t have to mean going to the gym. It can simply mean moving, go for a walk, take a dance class, get moving. This is a struggle or me, after walking around work all day I really just want to go home and not leave. I need to come up with a good, yoga-wine-sofa work-out!

Educate– I have always loved learning. I love knowledge and learning about people, places and ideas. In Fiction writing I have to do a fair bit of research and when I am immersed in that It really gives me a sense of achievement. My kids activities make it difficult for me to take a cooking class or a dance class (on my list) but I am going to actively seek learning opportunities.

Give-I try to go out of my way to give to others. I used to spend a great deal of time volunteering and I find that I am happiest when I am making some sort of contribution. I find more and more that I am picking and choosing where I give my time because my free time is pretty restricted as it is and I am also happiest when I do not put too many demands on my time. I think even the smallest acts can count, lend a helping hand, giving a smile, a thank you, a kind word to someone that needs it. When someone is kind to me it makes my whole day and I want to continue to pass that along.

 Mindfulness-The whole purpose of this project was mindfulness, being more aware in the present moment and being aware of my thoughts and feelings, even being aware of my body and what it takes to make my body happy. I think this awareness has had a positive affect on the way I feel on a daily basis and how I respond to life’s challenges as they are  presented. It does require constant work so I will continue to practice it this month and hopefully always.

Inner-

I want to pay attention to my internal strength; characterized by my mental, physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual life. I want to work on my internal struggles and take the power away from them so that I can strive to achieve inner peace. I think to achieve inner peace you need to find a way to have your mind, body, and soul work as one. Sounds easy enough but it is definitely something that takes a lot of work.

Strive-

verb: strive; 3rd person present: strives; past tense: strove; past tense: strived; gerund or present participle: striving; past participle: striven
  1. make great efforts to achieve or obtain something.
    “national movements were striving for independence”
    • struggle or fight vigorously.
      “scholars must strive against bias”
      synonyms: try (hard), attempt, endeavor, aim, venture, make an effort, exert oneself, do one’s best, do all one can, do one’s utmost, labor, work; More

Need I say more?

Embrace:

I want to truly and eagerly accept and support myself and everything that makes me ME. I want to embrace change and opportunities to be better, physically and mentally and realize that being ME is the best thing ever (besides, everyone else is already taken!)

To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance ~ Oscar Wilde

Be W.I.S.E. friends, take, care of your well-being, strive for inner peace and embrace all of the rare and silly things that make you, uniquely YOU!!

P.S. Have some fun!!

 

xo

Michelle