Category Archives for "gratitude"

When the wheels fall off your day by 7:30am

gratitude even when the wheels fall off

This used to happen to me all the time. I’d be rushing around day after day and before long, the wheels would fall off the whole thing before I’d even left the house. I know you know what I’m talking about!

Have you ever had “wheels off” kind of day? It looks like this:

  1. alarm fails to go off properly – wake up 45 minutes late
  2. skip morning workout and shower
  3. try to look presentable without a shower
  4. grab a coffee on the way out the door
  5. spill coffee on your outfit trying to get in the car
  6. go back inside, change clothes
  7. leave without coffee (or breakfast, for that matter)
  8. get to work late disheveled and hungry, naturally, you hit rush hour traffic
  9. grab terrible office coffee
  10. skip lunch to make up for being late
  11. mid-afternoon grab a candy bar from the vending machine and another bad cup of coffee
  12. sludge through the afternoon, grumpy and on an artificial caffeine/sugar high
  13. bottom out on sugar crash
  14. get home, order pizza
  15. veg in front of the tv for 4 hours
  16. go to bed late and exhausted

Yep. Me too. It feels terrible and if you don’t rescue it somewhere along the way? The same scenario (or something similar) unfolds again the next day.

I used to honestly believe that if the wheels fell off on Monday, then the rest of the week was doomed!

But it’s not!

After PLENTY of my own experience trying to salvage yet another day waking up too late and getting to work late, I began to realize some things. There are some little changes I can make along the way (even on the REALLY bad days) that can consequently turn the whole day around.

Want to know a couple of my secrets?

  1. Purchase a great hair clip that makes it look like you MEANT to wear your hair tied back!
  2. Yes, I’m serious about #1.
  3. Play music that helps reset your mood, or listen to your favorite book or podcast as you drive.
  4. Before you get out of the car, take 3 deep, even breaths.
  5. I mean it! Take 3 deep breaths – it’s amazing how much it can calm you down, and only takes about 30 seconds.
  6. Take the lunch break. You need it. And everyone around you needs you to take it too!
  7. Pull your favorite essential oil or healing crystal out of your desk. Something as simple as a beautiful stone or a soothing aroma is better at getting you through the afternoon than caffeine and sugar.
  8. If cooking isn’t going to happen, at least drop by the grocery and choose something with nutritional value on your way home. Lots of stores have decent hot meals that can be consumed immediately.
  9. Sure, watch some tv if you want. But not 4 hours please! Take a nice evening walk or bath, read a book, have some herbal tea and GO TO BED on time!

Are you ready for the biggest one? This is THE single best way I know to take a wheels-off day and turn it into a dream day! It will literally REVOLUTIONIZE your life.

Drum roll, please….

Gratitude.

Yes, I’m serious about this one too – even more than that hair tie!

If you are serious about recovering after the wheels fall off your day and your entire lifestyle – it’s ALL about gratitude.

  1. Gratitude for waking up in the morning
  2. Gratitude for even have a shower available (even if there’s not time to use it)
  3. Gratitude for hair clips
  4. Gratitude for transportation to work
  5. Gratitude for coffee, even bad coffee
  6. Gratitude for vending machines
  7. Gratitude for making it home safely
  8. Gratitude for the pizza delivery guy (be sure to express that to him with a nice tip, after all, he’s the reason you don’t have to cook tonight!)
  9. Gratitude for television
  10. Gratitude for a bed to sleep in

Do you see how even the yucky day can be SO MUCH BETTER when you add in the gratitude? My experience is, when I start purposefully adding in gratitude even when the day starts off awful, it’s not two hours until the whole thing has turned around!

Most of all, when I go to sleep with gratitude on my mind, I’m much more likely to wake up well and ready for my day! Why? Because, it’s a choice. When I choose gratitude at night, I am choosing to end my day the way I want tomorrow to go. Therefore, choose gratitude!

So what do you say? Will you choose gratitude today?

I LOVE to hear from you! Comment below and let me know what YOU are grateful for!

How to enjoy the holidays

I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced it, but sometimes it can be a challenge to enjoy the holidays. Maybe it’s been a tough year, or there’s a conflict with someone in your family, or you’re working a second job to make ends meet, or whatever. And once it gets going down that road, what to do then?

Choose. Choose to enjoy the holidays.

Yep. Make a conscious choice to enjoy the holidays anyway.

Here’s the thing – our life situation is really only responsible for about 10% of our happiness. The other 90% of happiness is attributed to, you guessed it – choice. How we perceive our life, and choose to view it and respond to it is THE number one factor in us experiencing JOY.

For example…

You’ve seen it – the person with no money and a terrible life circumstance that somehow rises above it all to show kindness to others, or the homeless person who volunteers to help out the “less fortunate.” All you have to do is take a 5 minute tour through FaceBook to see one of those heart-warming stories that makes you cry over the goodness of humanity and the ability to overcome.

Now, I’m not saying this is easy. Not by any means. I’m sure the people in those stories didn’t FEEL like life was full of sunshine and roses as they walked through their days under such hardship. I would imagine that it seemed like an unbearable load most days.

However.

Each of the people in those inspiring videos did the same thing. They CHOSE to see things differently. They CHOSE to rise above the hardship and spread love and light ANYWAY.

Know what the best part is?

Those people in the tear-jerker videos don’t have any special super-power. They are just regular people who decided to enjoy life no matter what.

And you can too!

If choosing to enjoy the holidays as a whole is too daunting, try enjoying today. If there is a particularly challenging event or get-together coming up, decide now to see the joy that IS there. Because there is always something to enjoy and be grateful for. And I can guarantee if you truly change your perspective about that thing you are dreading or hate, the entire scenery of this season will change. The lights will twinkle brighter, the songs will sound sweeter, and YOU will be filled with joy, because you chose to be.

So, tell me – how will you choose to enjoy the holidays this year? Let me know in the comments below!

It’s not over yet! 6 Ways to celebrate the rest of 2016.

It’s not over, ’til it’s over!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had so many people already asking me what my word for 2017 will be, what my New Year’s Resolution is going to be, etc., etc. And the thought that keeps going through my head is:

WAIT! 2016 isn’t over yet!

Why are we in such a hurry to get to the next year? What’s wrong with the 30 glorious days we have left in THIS year?

So I, for one, am waiting. And while I wait, I will enjoy this month as much as I possibly can!

How will I do it?

Well, the answer is pretty simple. Although, it won’t be easy every day. I will enjoy. On purpose. I will continue to work through each day as though it matters.

Because it does.

Here’s my game plan:

See? Super simple. While some days, it won’t be so easy – I may have a busy schedule, or not feel well, or something. Truth be told, I’ll probably miss some of these on any given day. But I’m committed anyway. Because I know it works. Making a plan, doing my absolute best to stick with it, and getting back on the wagon if I fall off.

There’s still 30 wonderful days! Let’s LIVE them!

I’d love to hear from you – how do YOU live your days on purpose? Leave a comment below:

How to create your Dream Day in one easy step

How was your day yesterday? Would you describe it as a “Dream Day”?

If you could rate it from 1-10, what would you say? For many of us, I know the answer would be lower rather than higher. You know it too. Listening in to conversations around you throughout the day can show you the general level of satisfaction people are feeling. And yesterday, as I listened, the general mood was not a 10. Maybe not even a 6.

Why is that?

What is causing people so much dissatisfaction?

Sure, life has it’s share of troubles. No question. Everyone has something going on that’s less than awesome. But, if you are reading this on your personal computer, your iPad, or your smartphone, you obviously have enough discretionary income to purchase such a device. Probably then, food on the table and a roof over your head is not a daily concern.

And yet, when you visit a place where food and roofs (thatched or otherwise) are not so common, the conversations have a very different flavor. The people are happy. They enjoy life and express it all day, everyday.

So, what gives?

Why are people who aren’t sure how they are going to feed themselves and their children so happy when those of who are “privileged” are so unhappy? What do they know that we don’t?

I think I know.

And it’s more simple than you think.

There is something we can all do in this exact moment that can turn it around. And I’m not talking about winning the lottery!

Here’s the deal – when we spend our thoughts on our frustrations and problems, then we are unhappy. Plain and simple. We may not even realize how much we do it, but we probably spew our dissatisfaction all over every conversation we have. Our poor friends!

However…

When we turn that around and CHOOSE to think about the things in life that we enjoy and are grateful for? Everything changes. Right that second. Seriously.

Don’t believe me?

Try it. Right now, think of three things you are grateful for. And do me (and you) a favor, don’t just give the “right” answers. If the answers come out flippantly, those aren’t the ones for today. Really think about it.

As you choose the first one, spend some time on it. Lean into the gratitude you feel. Let it sink in how beautiful this aspect of your life truly is. Let it bring a smile to your face.

And then choose the next one.

And the next.

Now…how do you feel?

I’m gonna go ahead and believe that your perspective on your day just took a massive shift. It’s even pretty likely that the day you thought was a 4 just magically turned into an 8.

You see, it’s all about perspective and gratitude. I know we all “know” that. But do you really know – deep down inside? Have you given gratitude a proper chance?

Here’s what I know:

When I am feeling very frustrated and maybe even a little depressed about an area of my life, if I choose to pause and recognize three things that I’m grateful for and then really experience that gratitude, everything changes. I don’t feel as upset, and maybe what I thought was such a big deal just isn’t anymore. I may even move on to the next moment with a smile on my face and in my heart.

Creating your Dream Day isn’t about being on vacation or having the latest and greatest technology or any of those things we chase after. Nope. It’s about how you see your day. Every single day can be a Dream Day. It’s up to you. When you choose gratitude, the day becomes dreamy.

I recently did a webinar on this topic! Sign up for the replay here.

I’d love to hear from you! What are your experiences with gratitude? How has it changed your life?

What’s the most important item on your schedule today?

What’s the most important item on your schedule today?

I hope it’s YOU.

Yep.

You.

You know that feeling when your schedule is too busy and you feel like you’re running all over the place and there’s no time for yourself?

Guess what?

The only person who has control over the busy-ness of your schedule is….yep…YOU!

So, whataya say? Are you willing to make yourself a priority? It really isn’t that hard, it just takes a little planning. If you haven’t already, how about trying one of these today:

  • 10 minute walk by yourself
  • mindfully make a cup of tea and enjoy it while simply noticing the beauty around you
  • make a gratitude list – thoughtfully write down 3-5 things you are truly grateful for

These things are so simple, but can absolutely change the trajectory of your whole day!

Have you seen Kung Fu Panda? It’s amazing to me the life lessons that you can learn in a cartoon movie! In the movie, the wise teacher is a turtle named Oogway. In a critical moment of the movie, one of the cahracters, Shifu tells Oogway that he has “very bad news!”

Shifu: Master! I have… it’s very bad news!
Oogway: Ah, Shifu. There is just news. There is no good or bad.

I love this moment in the movie! I recall it often when I want to jump to conclusions and immediately assign the label of “good” or “bad” to a situation. How can I truly know if something is good or bad? Some things that I thought were just awful in the moment have turned out to be the biggest blessings of my life, while other situations that seemed grand at the outset have nearly sunk me in the end. When we receive news, let’s pause for a moment and realize that it is only news. It is not good news or bad news. We have the choice of how we will respond.

It’s most important to take care of ourselves.

Even in the middle of an intense situation, we can choose to care for ourselves. I have seen this in action and it is POWERFUL! Even when the situations of  life are not what you had hoped or planned, and it seems like “very bad news,” we can make the conscious choice to take care of ourselves and make that care our top priority of the day. We all “know” it’s true, but we simply MUST take care of ourselves if we are to take care of anyone else.

So, Dragonfly, please share. What will you do to take care of YOU today?

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Here in the US, we will celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday. A day of gratitude for making it through the year, including all its joys and hardships.

As I sit back and reflect on life right now, I am overwhelmed with gratitude.

It began this morning in the yoga class I was teaching where we focused all our mental energy on gratitude – even in the hard poses, even in the uncomfortable poses. And as those who came thanked me for leading the class, I was overflowing with gratitude for them, because they bring such light and beauty to my life every Monday and Wednesday morning.

Then I went by my chiropractor’s office to deliver homemade pumpkin bread to the chiropractor who has served me and my family for a decade (or more) as he and his family move off to their new adventure. Then I also gave one to the awesome woman at the front desk who helps us schedule appointments and make payments, but who has also been our friend for 15 years. And, to say thank you to the new chiropractor who has already earned my respect as he helped me recover from a car accident back in August, I gave him one as well.

After that I came home to continue my Ayurveda homework for the certification I am working on and had a feedback email from Kathryn, my teacher from the YogaFit Ayurveda program. She has sent me her gentle guidance about things that I am doing well and things I can improve on to bring my body into the healthiest state possible. Her input is truly changing my life and my habits. And I am so grateful.

jenn by the fireNow I am sitting at my desk writing a blog to you – my Dragonflies. It has been a little over a year that we’ve been hanging out talking about inner transformation using stones (crystals), meditation, essential oils, self-care, and yoga. And every day, I get to do what I love. Sharing the journey with you all and working out ways to move forward on the path together. I can’t imagine any else I’d rather do. Honestly.

So, during this week of gratitude, what are you thankful for?

I’d actually like to know – so email me and tell me your story!

What’s a mala, anyway?

The other day I bought my first mala. In case you are unsure what that is exactly, it’s a long string of 108 beads and you say a prayer or mantra and repeat it as you move along the string. One repetition for each bead. I have been looking for a mala for a couple of years but just hadn’t been able to find “the one.”

Well my friend Rachel at Moonstruck Rising posted on Facebook that she was selling some malas she had made and one of the photos totally captivated me! Then I went to the studio where she had her merchandise and it was confirmed. THIS was the mala I had been looking for! The next day I received some soul-care encouragement from Gin White at Subtle Harmony and she gave me a lovely practice that combines breathing practice with gratitude and uses a MALA as the tool!

How fabulous is that??? A brand new mala AND a wonderful new practice all in one weekend!

There are so many beautiful ways to deepen our practices. Sometimes those practices find US instead of us finding them.

And THAT is a beautiful thing.

Happy is the New Healthy

Bringing a little happiness into our daily life goes a long way toward living our full-color iridescent lives. And truly, happiness is a choice we make every moment of every day. As far as I can tell, no one does this better than my friend Dave Romanelli.

Dave has been talking about and living in the deliciousness in the moment for years and years. And guess what? His new book is called, Happy is the New Healthy and is all about enjoy life RIGHT NOW!

Here’s a bit from Dave about Happy is the New Healthy:

I am so excited to share with you my brand new book Happy is the New Healthy.

But before I tell you more…here is some kicka$s Native American wisdom as you head into the holidays. It came from the heart of a Native American healer who goes by the name Bob Bear The Medicine Man. Dave and Bob Bear

I met Bob Bear on my annual retreat to Sedona, Arizona (see below for more) which is the healthiest, happiest place in the nation, and widely considered one of the most spiritual places on the planet.
Bob Bear said, “Don’t need for things.
“The Great Spirit knows what you need and will provide.
“Your job here is not to need.
“Your job here is to DREAM in a way that lifts, heals, and inspires the world.
“Do your job, dream big, and magic will rain down on your life.”

YES!!!!!!!

For anyone out there who is stuck on their needs…

“I need more money.”
“I need more love.”
“I need more time.”

How about taking a little advice from Bob Bear The Medicine Man and daring to pry open your mind and embrace the greatest dream of all:  the dream for total and complete happiness. To wake up each day feeling full in your heart and spirit…that’s what we live for!

Maybe you are already there.

But if you are ready to make 2015 the year of less needs and more DREAMS (which, by the way, is an incredibly liberating shift)…that’s the idea behind Happy is the New Healthy.

The premise of the book is to flip the wellness paradigm on its tightly toned a$$ and shift the priorities from losing weight, doing fancy yoga poses, and seeking the latest juice cleanse to…
…loving more deeply, living more passionately, and saying YES to the full fury of life.
If you are in the mood to celebrate happiness…and Happy is the New Healthy sounds like your kind of philosophy…

Get your copy of Happy is the New Healthy!

What’s the point?

Someone asked me the other day why I do what I do (referring to this blog and my Facebook page). What’s the point in spending all that time coming up with content to brighten people’s day? Why study about meditation and chakras and oils and stones and self-care and take the time to post it on a Facebook page for a bunch of people I haven’t ever met in person?

Are you ready for a story? This is where it began:

Back when I was around 10 years old, my dad and I were out on the property (5 acres outside Oklahoma City) and had been to the garden to pick summer’s bounty of blackberries. By the time we had finished gathering berries and started heading back to the house, it was getting dark. We followed the path toward the house and dad was telling me about the stars. We came to the natural bridge between two little creeks where I would fish for crawdads by day and, to get a better look at the stars, we decided to just lay down there on the cool grass. He showed me how to locate a few constellations and that was cool, but the part that really struck me was the space and the freedom in that moment. We could have been there for 5 minutes or two hours. I don’t know. And I don’t care. What I do care about is that it was the first time I can remember being truly present in the moment and old enough to be able to “know” that I was being present.

Ever since then, I have longed for such moments in time. Moments when nothing else matters but NOW. Moments when all the cares of the world melt away. Moments when I am tangibly aware of the divine all around me. Sometimes I can find them in seemingly mundane moments of the day like sitting at a stop light or waiting for my kids to get out of school. Other times I find that same stillness in meditation or practicing yoga. I have realized that I can also find those moments when shopping for stones for someone or creating an essential oil kit that meets someone’s needs.

But do you want to know what my biggest take-away is? It’s not any ONE of those things that allows me to pause and breathe and experience the oneness with all things. It’s all of those things and MORE. The ability to find the peace and stillness isn’t found in one magical object or technique or practice. Finding and creating space for quieting our minds leads to our inner transformation. And that truly takes all of our lives to do. It’s not only in the 20 minute meditation before we get out of bed. That meditation sets us up for mindfulness so that when we get to the grocery store and the line is ridiculously long, instead of seeing a mini-tragedy, we see God. It’s not only the 90 minute yoga practice (no matter how awesome it is), but the attention to breath we carry with us long afterwards, so that when the stress of life happens we respond with a deep cleansing breath instead of a nervous breakdown.

The Source Energy isn’t only in those special moments when we set aside time to connect.

The Source Energy is in

every

single

moment

of

every

single

day.

And this is why I do what I do. To live a life of practicing awareness in each moment and share my experiences along the way. Then to post those experiences on a random Facebook page so that all of us looking for those beautiful moments have a place to share them together.

Thanks for joining me on this journey. It is an honor to share it with you. Namaste.

Gratitude – It’s not just for Thanksgiving Day

I love Thanksgiving Day. There’s something wonderful about getting up at 5:00am in the quiet of the morning to wash and prepare the bird. It brings me great joy to offer this work of my hands with love for those who will eat it later in the day. In just a couple of hours the house will be a-bustle with husband and kids up and the rest of the cooking frenzy will begin.

But for now, it is quiet.

I hear the heating elements in the oven click on and off and the coffee maker percolating. These sounds soothe me in a special way that ushers in the holiday season for me with gentleness and a few quiet moments to pause and be grateful. Grateful for all the lesson of this year – which are many. Some of them learned through laughter and others through tears. Each one immeasurable valuable and precious.

This year has taught me much regarding myself. I have learned how to feel like I belong here on this planet (thank you Brian). I have learned that indeed I DO have something to offer humanity (thank you Kristy). I have learned that I can decide something for myself and that I really am the only person who knows for sure what’s best for me (thank you Peggy). I have learned how to better express my thoughts and emotions (thank you Amanda). I have learned how to facilitate my own personal growth (thank you Ted). I have learned how to ask for help (thank you Joey). I have learned that I am radiant (thank you Suzanne). I have learned there is nothing wrong with me and I am not broken (thank you Panache Desai). I have learned how to speak my truth (thank you to a whole host of people who have helped me with this one!). I have even learned how to cry (thank you self). Which has, in turn, taught me how to laugh (thank you to all those in my life who bring me things to laugh about).

And for each and every one of these things I have learned, I am deeply grateful. The kind of grateful that brings beautiful tears to my eyes. It is my hope that in learning all these lessons, I have more to offer to you, my friends, my family, my readers.

What lessons have you learned this year? For what are you grateful beyond measure? Take a moment to reflect and express gratitude for these things, and if you are so inclined, I would love for you to share them here. So we can all be grateful with you.