Monthly Archives: March 2016

“J” is for Just Dance !

#BetterChoices2016
#BetterChoices2016

"J" is for Just Dance ! (and Just Dance #FreebieFriday freebie is below.)

Kinda’ cliché, I know, and you’ve heard it a thousand times before, but those two words can change my perspective instantly.

“J” was a hard one. I had a few ideas and none of them were working. I couldn’t think of a topic and that’s frustrating when you’re already late with your blog. So when I get my undies in a bunch over something, especially something as simple as a topic, I know it’s time to stop fretting and to also stop trying so hard. It’s time to just dance. (TaDa!)

Do you know that saying, “what will it matter five years from now?” We are supposed to ask ourselves that question each time we get stuck on a matter that bothers us. A good example is if we use it when our kids are doing something that we are giving them grief over. But what they are doing, will it really matter five years from now? Sometimes the answer is yes, but most often it’s no.

Flat tires, broken dishes, rude people, muddy puddles, a bad haircut, dessert for dinner, mismatched clothes, and spilled milk won’t matter five years from now, along with a gazillion other things.

After my mom died 11 years ago, I found out what the “small stuff” was, and learned that I no longer sweated it anymore. At her memorial a few days after she had passed away, the video tribute we’d put together malfunctioned. In front of a quiet crowd in a funeral home, it stopped working and we didn't know if we could get it back on again. The old me would have probably felt embarrassed and inadequate and apologetic to everyone in the room, but the new me sat there, sympathetic to the funeral director who was trying to get it working, but I wasn’t worried or even bothered that it might not turn back on. It was so small on my scale of important things now. WAY down at the bottom.

It was at that moment that I realized just how much my perspective had changed by losing my mom, and there was even a tinge of relief. I knew that all of the things that I’d allowed myself to get stressed out about in the past would no longer stress me out. They were small, small, small in the workings of life. The bigger picture had just shown itself, and I saw it so clearly.

Mom’s death: BIG                    A dishwasher flooding my kitchen: little

I came across a saying today while reading Arianna Huffington’s book, Thrive, and the saying works so well with what I’m trying to say today.

“Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.”  -G. K. Chesterton
 

Arianna’s mother used to say that to her when she was young to remind her not to take herself so seriously. To be able to laugh at ourselves is a skill that we need to have in order to maneuver life. Laughter really is medicine. And so is having fun.

So keep your dancing shoes on at all times. It’s so much more fun to dance, even through the hardships.

Follow my ABC Blog Series for #BetterChoices2016 in order to make 2016 your best year yet at www.backtobeingawoman.com or get the blogs as soon as they are sent out by signing up for my newsletters.

#FreebieFriday Ballet Tips and Simple Instruction - Just Dance !

Ballet Tips are compliments of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre - Please download the free printable to get your tips and instructions from an article shared by Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. A special Thank You! to PBT.org for allowing the use of their article ♥

Make Better Choices Today 2016 ~               xo Katherine

Find previous ABC Blogs here.

What is Love – Photo/Blog Challenge

What is Love www.backtobeingawoman.com
What is Love www.backtobeingawoman.com

What is Love

Love begins as a light inside. The light grows as we do, unless it is stifled by words, treatment, outsiders and influence. The light needs to be nurtured to grow.

Having love is seeing that light in everyone and everything, even if it no longer shines. Looking past color, sins, flaws, issues, actions and judgments. Being love is looking through eyes that have no shield or reservation. Being open to possibilities of something being different than what it appears.

Love isn’t about loving everyone, it’s about loving life and embracing each new experience as it happens to us and to others. We carry love in our hearts, and having love is when we give it freely versus hiding it and holding it back.

When my son was in second grade, he asked me not to kiss him at carline anymore when dropping him off at school to save embarrassment. I told him to be embarrassed about hate, not about love, and love is what he’s kept at his side and in his heart since that day fourteen years ago. He learned love in many moments including that one. He was given love and he has given love.

Love is easier than any other emotion and it’s living life with your light always on.

Photo - blog challenge with the Daily Post: One Love

Katherine A. Rayne blogs regularly @ www.backtobeingawoman.com. Find her books on Amazon.com in support of women and their worrisome heads and hearts. 

 

Ten (10) Ways to Exercise Your Brain – “I” is for Intelligence Preservation

This week is "I" is for Intelligence Preservation -

Ten (10) Ways to Exercise Your Brain

W.D.I.C.I.H.F? What did I come in here for? is the most often asked question at my house. I end up in my kitchen or in my laundry room or my bathroom and have to stop myself in my hurried tracks to regurgitate what I was thinking about minutes before in order to remember what I went in there for. Preserving my intelligence means preserving the dependability of my thinking and of my brains behavior.

I did a bit of research for this piece (rare) and I discovered a few things about intelligence studies. One study① showed that people who were open to new experiences were more likely to preserve fluid intelligence②.

So my #1 suggestion to you is: be open to new experiences! In my case that won’t mean jumping out of airplanes or climbing mountains, but it might mean doing things in a different way than how I’ve done them the last 1,247,952 times, or maybe ordering ribeye instead of salmon once again.

Keeping rejuvenation a part of our being is good for us.

Another study③ showed that people who had the following things in common retained fluid intelligence better than other members of the study:

  1. exercised
  2. engaged in social activities
  3. coped well with stress
  4. felt in control of their lives

So #2? Be active and be calm. Good thing because for me being active and exercising makes me feel more calm.

Other searches of the internet commonly mention the following things:

#3 Read - and not simple, light, fluffy Facebook posts all of the time. Pick up a Pulitzer Prize winning kind of book to read, a book on poetry, or something you wouldn’t normally choose.
#4 Meditation – and find a way to redefine “meditation” so that it works for you. Long walks, painting, running, sitting quietly, yoga, or even an actual form of meditation.
#5 Add to your vocabulary – open the dictionary (or app) every morning to learn a new word and its definition.
#6 Learn a new language
#7 Escape the phone fog once in a while. Put the phone down and forget about it, not just for minutes, but for hours. I once forgot my phone at home and by the time I got back home at the end of the day, the world hadn’t ended.
#8 Thinking games – the next time you have a long wait for a table at a restaurant with your family, play the ABC Memory game: One person comes up with an “A” word, as in A is for Apple. The next person comes up with a “B” word, like B is for Blimp, and then they also repeat A is for Apple. The next person (or back and forth) will say a “C” word followed by repeating the B word and then the A word. I used to do this when my son was younger while we were out to eat as a family and it passes the time quickly and is good for some laughs together. Exercising your memory with a list of words that grow as the game gets longer is great brain exercise.
#9 Create more positive channels in your brain than negative. Give yourself a positive thought immediately upon awakening, no matter what kind of day you think you might have, and then give yourself a positive thought right before sleep and allow that to become a daily habit.
#10 Respect your brain - Use it or lose it. Put your brain to good use. It’s such a complicated tool that we depend on for everything we do. Focus on the things that continue to keep it healthy, active and growing.

The next time you find yourself googling a random celebrity or a trending topic, do a search on brain exercise and brain health instead. Find some of your own ideas on how you can treat your brain right and extend its output and quality. You'll learn something new that is useful and for your own purpose.

Katherine is doing an ABC Blog Series for #BetterChoices2016 in order to make 2016 your best year yet. Follow her blog at www.backtobeingawoman.com or get the blogs as soon as they are sent out by signing up for her newsletters.

Make Better Choices Today 2016 ~               xo Katherine

① Edinburgh University’s Centre for Cognitive Aging and Cognitive Epidemiology/Psychology and Aging – August 2012 issue of eu:sci Edinburgh University’s science magazine.
② Fluid Intelligence – Wikipedia - Fluid intelligence or fluid reasoning is the capacity to reason and solve novel problems, independent of any knowledge from the past.
③ Midus Study – Midlife in the United States, Brandeis University

Find previous ABC Blogs here.

Use Your Airstairs – “H” is for Higher

I'm late posting my blog simply because life happened. But here's what happens when life happens; we get to use our airstairs. #BetterChoices2016

 “H” is for Higher – Use your Airstairs

Once we are in a place that brings us down, we need to remember our airstairs. Airstairs are the stairs that lead up to an airplane to embark from. We all have our own set. In a long ago previous blog, I wrote about how we all have ladders outside of our front door to measure our actions at the end of every day. You can go up your rungs, or down them, until you become a rung leader. In this blog, “H is for Higher,” I’m writing about how the negativity in our life can still be positive.

Our set of airstairs have limitless steps. We continuously climb them, but it's easy to get stuck on the 10th step, or the 19th step, or the 51st step while we struggle in our difficult situations. We sit down and rest and wonder how we will move past the challenge. When we become stuck, we need to remind ourselves to continue climbing upwards. We aren’t supposed to stop. We can wallow and mourn for a while, but eventually we need to walk past our stresses by going above them, even while still dealing with them.

What is your stress? It’s often something beyond our control. We can learn to step passed it by acknowledging that we don’t have to stay IN it. We can refuse being held hostage on that one lone step. Continuing our upward journey gives us more options and better views that come from going above it. We’ll still feel the frustration of the challenge, but our focus should be on what else we can do instead of sitting on this step. Focus on your upward steps when life has the ability to bring you down. You still get to go up. Focus on the things that are waiting for you, even if you don't know what they are yet.

Make Better Choices Today 2016 ~               xo Katherine
Find previous ABC Blogs here.

"A" is for accepting your present existence
"B" is for be you
"C" is for create
"D" is for do
"E" is for eating and exercising
"F" is for free to choose
"G" is for grit

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