An amazing life

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I spent the past 31 days reciting a positive affirmation each morning. I practice Bikram yoga, attend church, volunteer my time, share laughter with friends and family, work in a field I’m passionate about and engage in fulfilling hobbies. I wake up every day and choose happiness, yet I seem to be missing something. Through Family Share and its 15 steps to ensure an amazing life, however, I discovered a few missing links.

  1. Connect with yourself and others
  2. Live in the present
  3. Always create
  4. Cultivate an “attitude of gratitude”
  5. Choose a mentor wisely
  6. Give your body the gift of rest and relaxation
  7. Eat for happiness (skip processed foods, enjoy healthy fats)
  8. Cleanse your body
  9. Cleanse your mind
  10. Cleanse your spirit
  11. Establish healthy boundaries
  12. Let go of anything that doesn’t serve you
  13. Set SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely)
  14. It’s a practice, not a perfect
  15. Help others

Where do you miss the mark?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Opposites attract

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[Image credit: digitalart]

I’ve always figured we gravitate toward people who are similar to us.  I think that unspoken rule generally holds true, but over the past couple of years, I’ve met a few women who, once-upon-a-time, I don’t know that our paths would’ve ever crossed.  Because, at first glance, we may appear to be polar opposites.  However, we’ve each chosen to see the other with eyes and hearts filled with unbiased and unconditional acceptance in order to connect and explore our similarities — while we also embrace and respect our differences.  After all, we would not be the women (and men) we are without both sides of the equation.  And, thankfully, when my weaknesses threaten to bring me down, one of them is always there to lift me up by highlighting my strengths.  I’m ever grateful to these friends who have helped me more clearly see who I am.  Through them, I’ve learned that family is not simply related by blood.

Do you have at least one “least likely” of friends?

15 days of thanks

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[Image credit: Felixco, Inc.]

Several of my friends on Facebook have been posting what they’re thankful for each day.  These posts range from appreciation of the tangibles like husbands, children, friends, deodorant and pajamas to the intangibles such as playfulness in life, God and the sunrise.  But instead of listing something each day, I stored them up:

  1. Each and every one of my girlfriends who are as unique as the pattern on a butterfly’s wings (you know who you are) who build up, inspire and never let me forget I’m loved.
  2. My family near and far.
  3. Bikram Yoga for its healing benefits, inside and out.
  4. A strong body and workout buddies to share the pain and sweat.
  5. The promise of Someday.
  6. Books.
  7. Nut and rice crackers (gluten free!).
  8. White Russians.
  9. Coffee.
  10. Permission to giggle.
  11. Dark chocolate.
  12. My new church.
  13. Medical insurance.
  14. Both my jobs (publishing assistant and writer).
  15. Galaxy SIII.

What are 15 things you’re thankful for?

Give it your all

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[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

I ran into my neighbors a week ago and learned they’re moving back to Minnesota — their hometown and mine — and secured an apartment in the same city where my best friend and a lot of my family resides.  Although I get back twice a year for visits, the goodbyes prove harder each time.  Oh how I wish I could be in two places at one time.  Or three or more.  But my employer depends on me to do my job.  My family counts on me to manage the household.  I’ve started getting more involved in my community and I’m expanding my friendships … which means I have multiple commitments in my own back yard.  A recent getaway really opened my eyes, however.  Even though I can’t be in two places at one time, I can give 100 percent wherever I am.   It’s not always easy, but at least I can give it my all.

If you could be in two places at one time, where would that be?

Doing my homework

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[Image credit: patpitchaya]

There is creative reading as well as creative writing.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Facebook is my “lifeline” to friends and family.  And sometimes it allows me to measure myself against who’s doing what — a way to live vicariously through the ones who are experiencing their dreams.  One friend, in particular, is my daily inspiration and someone I’ve written about in the past.  While I churn out my daily 200-odd word blog or write about beauty concerns or whatever my latest topic is, she returns home from work to pound out thousands of words on her latest novel.  Whereas, my ideas either remain on the back burner waiting to see the light of day, or they’ve been conceived, only to die a slow and forgettable death.  Very little seems to incite me enough to pledge my blood, sweat and tears to the bigger task.  I’ve been reading a lot, though.  I figure if I’m not writing the stories I desire to orchestrate, then I can at least be studying the craft.  And the more familiar I am with the subject matter, the better results I’ll have … when I’m ready.  So if you see me with book in hand, just assume I’m doing my homework.

Is there something you aren’t doing because you lack the right tools … or motivation?

Everything I never knew I always wanted

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[Image credit: Michelle Meiklejohn]

I find myself reflecting on how easy it is to take things in our lives for granted — the connection between friends and family, romance, financial security, good health — but like the old saying goes: it’s true we don’t know what we’ve got until it’s gone.  Which is a good reminder to nurture and appreciate those people and possessions that make our lives richer, before it’s too late.  The rest of the quote goes on to state that oftentimes we are unaware of what we’ve been missing until it arrives (author unknown).  When this happens, it may cause us to take a serious look at our lives, and perhaps we can see where we’ve settled along the way.  Maybe it was simply easier to put up with a dying friendship or a stale relationship rather than be open to change.  Or perhaps fear beat us to the punch.  Today I’m missing: my out-of-town family and friends, opportunities I’ve been close enough to touch but let slip through my fingers, and those I still only dream of.  But I’m also opening my eyes and heart to what I possess now and my hope for a better tomorrow.

Is there something or someone you’re missing today?