Category Archives: habits

“X” is for eXpect good things to happen today

“X” is for eXpect good things

If you follow my blog, then you might know that I’m not a morning person and I begin my day sluggishly. I get up slowly, shower slowly, think slowly, move slowly and then hit the kitchen with a slightly faster pace to make breakfast and put my daughters’ lunch together.

No matter how I’m moving, I’m thinking about my day ahead.

Some mornings my head is wishing I could be back in bed, and some mornings I’m forcing myself to look forward to my day by thinking about all the good stuff that will happen.

A class full of four-year-old's is a super way to spend your day, by the way. Sometimes they have more energy than I do, but they can paste a smile on my face by just being themselves. Thinking about what will happen in my classroom that day makes me curious and engaged about getting to work.

I get sleepy hugs from my daughter first thing in the morning after she wakes up. I’m usually in the kitchen in a more rushed state by then, and seeing her arms head towards me always makes me stop to enjoy it.

Taking on my day with expectations of all of the good things that could happen is so much more inspiring than dragging myself into my day with a negative slant.

Yes, I have to go to work and yes, I have to walk the dog first thing before my eyes are barely open, but if I remind myself that later in the day I’ll have more energy to enjoy the little things, it also helps me enjoy the morning moments more, too.

Even on the days when I know it’s not going to be my favorite kind of day, I can still look forward to what I think my favorite part of the day might be, and I can also set intentions for how I want the day to go.

Imagine that you are at the bottom of your day getting ready to climb the hill, and during the climb you are going to have nice views as you go.

Eventually it will be time to climb down the other side, and there will be new sights to see as you descend. Looking forward to all of the sights and experiences your day has in store for you sets your expectations on all of the good that you can get out of your 24 hours.

We have 86,400 seconds in a day. How we use it determines how we experience it. It reminds us what a gift each day is because we are allowed to be alive and to live it in the way that we choose.

Choosing to experience the good from your day instead of the bad gives you the incentive to enjoy it and dive in with higher expectations. So even if your day begins with the news that Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds have both passed, you can first mourn for them, but you can still preserve the direction of your day by looking ahead for the positive things. It’s your compass and you are the only one that holds it.

Keep your compass on good - or even great expectations.

 

 

The most recent list of Lunch Box Jokes is here. Print out, clip & add to their lunches.

Get to the root of who you are and to the things that you'd love to be doing. #Live Simply #Live Elegantly Your Life Journal for $14.99 for the paperback on Amazon and $9.99 for the ebook, helps you put your head and home in sync with you and your life so that you can begin creating and living a life that you love. #Live Simply is part memoir, part journal to get you out of distraction and into a frame of mind that helps you to focus on living a happier and more fulfilled life. It was my summer baby two summers ago.

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.

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
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for Making Memories Last
"A" through "M" summary to Better Choices
"N" is for Nurture
"O" is for optimum
"P" is for moms are pack leader
"Q" is for quiet your mind
"R" is for reorganizing 
"S" is for simplifying
"T" is for being your own teacher
"U" is for utilizing 5 tools we already own
"V" is for visualize your day
"W" is for walking

Follow me on Facebook  and  Twitter
Books by Katherine A. Rayne on Amazon.com.
Lost in Thoughts Adult Coloring Book An Adult Coloring Book that interviews you with each illustration.
Back to Being a Woman (Without Changing the Man) Turn relationships into Elationships.
#Living Simply #Living Elegantly Your Life Journal Get your head and home in sync.
There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel. You A compilation of my blogs that all women can relate to.
Visit my website at www.backtobeingawoman.com

 

“W” is for Walking

"W" is for Walking / ABC Blog Series of #BetterChoices2016

As a single-mom I have plenty to stress about, but I still don’t feel like I have a stressful life. There are stressful moments and episodes, but somehow my life is not a stressful one and I couldn’t tell you why not. I can guess that it’s because of my habits; when I start to get a bit frenzied, I slow my pace down. When I start to feel tired, I sleep or rest, and when I begin to feel overwhelmed, I deduct less important duties from my schedule. I also remind myself that I have gotten through all of the other stressful times in my life, and this one will be no different so I know that just pushing through it will get me to the other side.

There’s a huge difference in the way that I think during stressful times after I’ve finished my walk.

Walking calms me and my worrisome brain. It’s something that I will always make time for, no matter how short on time I am because it puts me back in that place that helps me handle my life better. I’m calmer, happier and more peaceful after a walk.

 

There’s countless articles on how good walking is for you and how it’s a great exercise and even helps get your heart rate up at the right pace, but nothing gauges how good it is for you more than the effect it has on your mind-frame after a 30 – 40 minute fast-paced walk.

When I start out on my walk I might be tense and anxious but by the end of my walk after I’ve listened to countless songs or just the quiet, everything is beautiful to me; the day, the sky, the trees, and then I feel renewed. It costs nothing and it's priceless to me. I have a membership at a gym to use the equipment, and on occasion I join other work-out regimens, but walking is what soothes. I think I even gain back some of my youth with each walk.

I wish I could do it every day like I used to, but as a single mom there isn’t always time, so I squeeze it in at some of the most unimaginable times because I’m always looking for that brief interlude of time, and I always have a set of clothes and shoes in the car “just in case.”

So “W” was an easy one for me.

Walking propels me back into my life full-force and enables me to take on more.

Think about what habit you have that works for you in the sense of bringing you back to life, and do more of it, especially if it's walking.

xo Katherine

Find my books on Amazon.com under Katherine A. Rayne. I write in support of women who want to create a life they love. 

"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
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for Making Memories Last
"A" - "M" to Better Choices
"N" is for Nurture
"O" is for optimum
"P" is for moms are pack leader
"Q" is for quiet your mind
"R" is for reorganizing 
"S" is for simplifying
"T" is for being your own teacher

"U" is for utilizing

"V" is for visualizing your day

 

“V” is for Ten (10) Ways to Visualize the Kind of Day You Want to Have

There are so many things about our day that we can’t control, but one of the things that we can control is our thoughts. When negative thoughts wiggle their way into our minds, there are ways to override them. Visualizing your day is like making intentions. The result of how our day goes has a lot to do with how we forecast it before it even begins.

Visualizing what your behavior and reactions will be throughout the day give you a positive plan of action so that you can end your day on a successful note, no matter what you might battle with during the day.

Ten (10) things to visualize about your day before it even begins:

  1. Having healthier actions. If you want to make better food choices during your day ahead, plan your meals in your head first thing in the morning and what foods you will avoid. Also make a mental note about what time you will squeeze in some exercise, whether it’s at home, at a gym or going for a walk or run, even if it’s just some lunges in your living room. Think positive.
  2. Plan on having positive reactions to any negativity that comes along and imagine how you’ll keep a positive spin on your reactions. I can spit out negativity just as easily as positivity. Be ready to spit out positive reactions to anyone and anything as it happens. Be positive.
  3. Plan to slow down long enough to connect to others, even if briefly. Think of the many moments that we rush through in a day and slow a few of them down. Feel positive.
  4. Make a mental note and visualize what two things you want off of your to-do list today and how you will fit them into your day. Checking them off will make a positive in your day.
  5. Who do you need to reach out to today that you haven’t spoken with in a while and have been meaning to call? Determine the time of day that you will be connecting with them so that it’s already a plan. Do positive.
  6. Visualize how your day will unfold. Do you need an extra ten minutes in the morning so that it will come together calmly? Envision yourself leaving the house relaxed and not rushing. Act positive.
  7. Give yourself a word to describe how your day will go. How do you want it to go? Successfully? Accomplished? Calmly? Stress-free? Label your day in advance so that you have preplanned the best way to proceed. Plan for the positive.
  8. How will you handle the stress that is on its way? Something almost always throws a wrench into your day. See yourself handling it in a calm and positive way. Embrace positive.
  9. When you get home to family after a long day, how do you see yourself being a support and inspiration to others in your home? Implement the positive.
  10. How can you envision being a support to yourself once you are home and in need of rest and renewal? Engage positive.

Pick three or four of these that relate to your day to help you begin visualizing and changing your daily outcome. If you need to write them down to help you focus on them better, use a journal each morning to write down what will be positive about you and your day ahead. Planning ahead with good intentions increases the chances that it will unfold as a positive day.

xo Katherine

Get to the root of who you are and to the things that you'd love to be doing. #Live Simply #Live Elegantly Your Life Journal for $14.99 for the paperback on Amazon and $9.99 for the ebook, helps you put your head and home in sync with you and your life so that you can begin creating and living a life that you love. #Live Simply is part memoir, part journal to get you out of distraction and into a frame of mind that helps you to focus on living a happier and more fulfilled life. It was my summer baby two summers ago.

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.

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
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for Making Memories Last
"A" - "M" to Better Choices
"N" is for Nurture
"O" is for optimum
"P" is for moms are pack leader
"Q" is for quiet your mind
"R" is for reorganizing 
"S" is for simplifying
"T" is for being your own teacher

"U" is for underutilized tools we own

Follow me on Facebook  and  Twitter
Books by Katherine A. Rayne on Amazon.com.
Lost in Thoughts Adult Coloring Book An Adult Coloring Book that interviews you with each illustration.
Back to Being a Woman (Without Changing the Man) Turn relationships into Elationships.
#Living Simply #Living Elegantly Your Life Journal Get your head and home in sync.
There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel. You A compilation of my blogs that all women can relate to.
Visit my website at www.backtobeingawoman.com

“U” is for Five Underutilized Tools We Own

“U” is for Utilize – Five (5) Underutilized Tools We Own

I’ve come up with obvious actions that I can take to make better choices for my health because I’m aware of the healthy foods available, of the outdoors waiting to be explored and the energy my body has when I treat it right, but I'm not always making those choices. I love vegetables but there’s also other things that I eat that aren’t healthy. One simple decision can send me in a healthy direction or unhealthy, and it's truly my choice. I already possess all of the tools that I need to do it, and it’s just a matter of putting them to use and to better use.

Here are five things that we already own that will lead us to an improved and healthier lifestyle:

  1. Knowledge. We don’t need to get health tips online, buy a diet book or hire a health coach because we're already educated. We know what things should be going into our mouths and what shouldn’t. We have enough knowledge right now to begin making the perfect choices. We can write a list of all of the things that we want to eat for the next seven days that will make us feel better by the end of the week and can repeat weekly. We know it’s okay to cheat once in a while because with our knowledge, we know it’s okay in small amounts. Using what we already know today will turn us into someone healthier tomorrow.
  1. Food. We have so much food available to us. Everywhere we go, there’s food. Convenience stores, coffee shops, fast food restaurants and vending machines galore. What if there wasn’t food everywhere we went? What if we had to pack a lunch, pack a snack, and get home earlier in order to cook dinner every night? If we had to work a little harder for our food, we’d put more thought and energy into it and be more aware of what we were eating. We’d enjoy it more, too. I love walking the beach any time of day but mostly in the calm mornings. I watch the birds search, dive and work for their food. Then they rest on the shore before it’s time to do it again. Rarely do I see an overweight bird on the beach (unless it’s a land roaming duck, of course) and their brains are a lot smaller than ours. Work, earn an appetite, eat, rest. We were made to do those things. We also own our own food processor. Everyone shops for the best food processor that will juice their vegetables faster, easier and with less pulp. But we already have a food processor within us that crushes, grinds and liquefies our food like it’s supposed to, and rarely does it break down. It’s called our stomach. Processing raw and healthy foods is what we were built for. Start dumping vegetables into your body and watch what happens. It’s magic.
  1. Muscles. Our muscles are the only things that get bigger and stronger the more we use them. Use all of them as often as you can. I have days that I can’t even open a jar and it’s so frustrating. I can rid myself of that frustration easily by utilizing the muscles in my hands and fingers more often so that they become stronger. Lifting weights, squishing a small ball and doing push-ups could help within a few weeks. I already have everything I need to do those things. It’s a matter of beginning.
  1. Heart. I think if we could physically see the insides of our bodies each day when we look into the mirror, we’d take better care of ourselves. We all know what a strong muscle looks like and what a weak muscle looks like. Our heart is a muscle. I know what my upper arm looks like right now, and it’s not muscular. When I’m doing my work outs, it looks so much healthier and stronger. That’s what I want for my heart; strong and solid in order to keep pumping for me. It’s much more important than my upper arm. Cardio cardio cardio. No equipment is even needed with all of the exercises we already know how to do.
  1. Brain. We function at all because of our brain. How can we work it to its full potential? Our brains love oxygen, healthy diet, exercise and knowledge. Feed it all of those things and your brain will function at a higher and healthier level.

Breaking down our life into those five (5) simple categories will help us make better choices. We have knowledge, food, muscles, a heart and a brain and those are the only things that we need to live a healthier life along with the right choices.

Having a healthy existence isn’t just for living a longer, healthier life. It enables us to have more happy moments, more energetic days and a higher appreciation for life. Make a list now of changes that you are making today in order to thrive off of your five tools.

 

Four Tickets that help you have a great day are the freebie with this newsletter. Four simple strategies to help you have a more energetic, positive day.

Here are my most recent  Lunch Box Jokes in case you haven't printed them yet.

Get to the root of who you are and to the things that you'd love to be doing. #Live Simply #Live Elegantly Your Life Journal for $14.99 for the paperback on Amazon and $9.99 for the ebook, helps you put your head and home in sync with you and your life so that you can begin creating and living a life that you love. #Live Simply is part memoir, part journal to get you out of distraction and into a frame of mind that helps you to focus on living a happier and more fulfilled life. It was my summer baby two summers ago.

  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.

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
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for Making Memories Last
"A" - "M" to Better Choices
"N" is for Nurture
"O" is for optimum
"P" is for moms are pack leader
"Q" is for quiet your mind
"R" is for reorganizing 
"S" is for simplifying
"T" is for being your own teacher

Follow me on Facebook  and  Twitter
Books by Katherine A. Rayne on Amazon.com.
Lost in Thoughts Adult Coloring Book An Adult Coloring Book that interviews you with each illustration.
Back to Being a Woman (Without Changing the Man) Turn relationships into Elationships.
#Living Simply #Living Elegantly Your Life Journal Get your head and home in sync.
There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel. You A compilation of my blogs that all women can relate to.
Visit my website at www.backtobeingawoman.com

 

“T” is for Being Your Own Teacher

"T" is for Being Your Own Teacher

Life gets stale if we allow it. I came across a saying that said we should always be expanding. Just coming out of a summer break, I haven't been doing that with exception to my dress size. That's not teaching, that's eating.

As a preschool teacher, I get to encourage my students to expand their sweet minds, but I will say that it's not always easy to expand myself each day. Even though I love to create and learn, some days my energy is tapped out. Being my own teacher, I should be looking to learn something new every day. Even if life is going great, it still needs renewal.

We could let our disturbances shake us up, or better yet, we can put those to the side and allow something fun and creative to do it instead. It would take my focus away from the disturbances of life and I could then aim at the creativity going on. Creativity equals rejuvenation.

By making ourselves learn more each day and create each day, we change the outcome of our day and our future, even by the tiniest of change. In short, we are more capable than our current existence, no matter what it might be.

Through life there are so many things that can get us down; hardships, struggles or the demands of the day, but there are so many good things, too. I think the secret to a good day is to always be searching for and creating the good things.

Expand outside of the disturbances.

You know how easy it is to reach out with good advice for friends, family and even strangers when they voice their troubles. They speak their worries out loud and right away we start giving them the advice that we hope will be the key piece to ease their burdens. Sometimes it will create an “ah-ha” moment for them and spur their train of thought into a more productive way of thinking towards self-relief and solution that now exists simply because they asked for advice and we offered ours. They have something to aim for now. We all need something to aim for, and not just long term, but something every day.

I loved track when I was in school, especially the relay race. When you have a team depending on you, you run more for them than for yourself. Your grip on the baton is tight so that you won’t drop it and when you come around the turn, you aim the baton for their outstretched hand and trust them to take it as you hand it off. You slow down and rest while watching them take their stride heading for the next runner or finish line. You micromanage the hand-off so that they can have the best chance possible. I can remember the races when I dropped the baton more vividly than I can remember the races that were won. You want to create success for them, which is the same for the advice that we offer. We all want great results in any race we are in. We need that magical baton to run with, and many times it is us that needs to give it to ourselves.

To get into a mind frame of learning and growth, other things need to be put on our back burners. In order to weed out our worries, asking ourselves questions can redirect our thoughts towards solutions:

What’s the worst thing that could happen if (fill in blank) happens?
Will it be the end of the world if it happens?
Will this matter five years from now?
What steps can I take to make it better?

Once we have questions about it, then we can hand ourselves the answers. There’s always the problems that can’t be fixed, but there are many problems where the solution is obvious, attainable and do-able. So often I put things off because the work entailed is overwhelming, or because I’m not sure how to proceed, but it always ends up that once I begin, I can finish.

Teaching ourselves each day doesn’t have to be about our burdens, and it doesn’t have to mean learning foreign languages, either. Sometimes it’s just learning more about who we are and what we're capable of. Most of the time we'll impress ourselves. The point is that it leads us to another “place” that we might not have gone if we hadn’t questioned it and been curious. Being curious expands us.

Always wake up wondering what you are going to teach yourself today. Make today different simply because you can. Journaling about it at the end of each day encourages you to do it all over again tomorrow. Wake up each day with your baton in your hand and carry it to your finish line.

 

And with school starting, I have created new Lunch Box Jokes here for you. Print out, clip & add to their lunches! P.S. Where do horses live? In neigh-borhoods!

Get to the root of who you are and to the things that you'd love to be doing. #Live Simply #Live Elegantly Your Life Journal for $14.99 for the paperback on Amazon and $9.99 for the ebook, helps you put your head and home in sync with you and your life so that you can begin creating and living a life that you love. #Live Simply is part memoir, part journal to get you out of distraction and into a frame of mind that helps you to focus on living a happier and more fulfilled life. It was my summer baby two summers ago.

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

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
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for Making Memories Last
"A" - "M" to Better Choices
"N" is for Nurture
"O" is for optimum
"P" is for moms are pack leader
"Q" is for quiet your mind
"R" is for reorganizing 
"S" is for simplifying

Follow me on Facebook  and  Twitter
Books by Katherine A. Rayne on Amazon.com.
Lost in Thoughts Adult Coloring Book An Adult Coloring Book that interviews you with each illustration.
Back to Being a Woman (Without Changing the Man) Turn relationships into Elationships.
#Living Simply #Living Elegantly Your Life Journal Get your head and home in sync.
There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel. You A compilation of my blogs that all women can relate to.
Visit my website at www.backtobeingawoman.com

“O” is for Optimum

"O" is for Optimum

 Optimum – adj. - most conducive to a favorable outcome; best.

How much do you do in your life that you can label as “optimum?” I’ve been thinking about it for a while and my answer would be nothing. When I eat, it’s not optimum to my health every single time. When I exercise, I could do much better. When I clean? Lol.

I feel like if I were to try to aim for optimum-everything, it would mentally and physically drain me, although if I were to be eating an optimum diet, I’d probably have superhuman energy. (Is optimum starting to sound a bit strange to you, too?).

I’m thinking the trick is to take aim in bite size pieces. I’ve been taking better care of my liver lately. I’ve been drinking and eating more bitter foods and liquids first thing in the morning and the last thing at night to rinse my liver of its toxic buildup. So if I stay on that course for a while, I’ll get closer to optimum liver health (if I stop eating CiCi’s Pizza cinnamon rolls).

I can eventually improve the care of my heart by increasing my cardio and eating a heart-healthier diet. I will continue to do that and then I’ll be ready to take on optimum brain care. I’m thinking I’ll just replace bread with avocado and replace chocolate with walnuts, or maybe keep the chocolate and lose the pasta. As much as I’d LOVE a clean diet, I don’t know how close I could get to it, but if I aim for optimum, and come up with very satisfactory, I’m still winning.

I was browsing Pinterest the other night again and came across a cool saying:

“In order to make the changes you want, you either need to start doing something, or stop doing something.”   unknown

That one sentence simplifies how to make changes, doesn't it? To rid yourself of that “bothersome habit” or to begin that “ideal project,” you can begin by either stopping it or starting it, and see where it takes you.

What is it that you’d love to change right now? What’s the first step that you can take to get there? How far can you push yourself to do the steps that it takes to get to “optimum?” Going as far as you can will make big changes in the long run.

Optimum – n. the most favorable conditions or level for growth, reproduction, or success. 

Do-able.

Make Better Choices Today 2016 ~               xo KatherineKatherine 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.

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
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for Making Memories Last
"A" - "M" to Better Choices
"N" is for Nurture

Get my Newsletter here to keep up with my news and weekly blogs. Share this with friends that could do 2016 with us.

Follow me on Facebook  and  Twitter
Books by Katherine A. Rayne on Amazon.com.
Lost in Thoughts Adult Coloring Book An Adult Coloring Book that interviews you with each illustration.
Back to Being a Woman (Without Changing the Man) Turn relationships into elationships.
#Living Simply #Living Elegantly Your Life Journal Get your head and home in sync.
There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel. You A compilation of my blogs that all women can relate to.
Visit my website at www.backtobeingawoman.com

“N” is for Nurture – simple and sweet

"N" is for Nurture

I remember as a kid walking into a room where my mom was and telling her that I was bored. Her normal response was that she could find something for me to do. Read: UNfun. Chores. Boring. It seemed to work…I’d go find something else to do to become unbored with.

I always had The Jungle Book record on my record player in my bedroom that got me out of a lot of bored moments when my three sisters were in three different places somewhere else. I’d put on my record and see how much cleaning I could do in my bedroom before the record ended. After my room was clean, (to my standards) I’d see how many somersaults I could do during the song. Surely I’d lay down on my bed after that and then my imagination would take over from there.

It was a really great tactic so I of course used the same one when my kids began coming to me out of boredom, but eventually I began to see a pattern and realized that when they came to me out of boredom, they weren’t really looking for something more to do. They were looking for a moment of nurturing. Or a few minutes. Or an hour. So I decided to start giving it to them right then and there.

As a preschool teacher, the age I teach needs lots of nurturing moments. They don’t have to last long…they don’t even have to be a huge sympathetic deposit of love. They just need to include some eye contact, a listening ear and a warm hug. The result is instant and they are renewed and happy to go off and play once again.

In this day of phones, I often catch myself with my head in my phone when my daughter’s having an “I need you” moment and I’m like, hold on…almost finished answering this (unimportant-can-wait-until-later) text. I look up and she’s moved passed the needy moment but I feel I’ve missed that important moment of connection that you get to have less and less as they get older and older.

You can’t do these moments at your convenience. Kids move on easily and lose interest in your advice or kind words quickly when they are 12, 13 and more. You have to be in the moment with them when it comes around. Phones kinda’ suck the life-moments out of us, but also out of our kids.

What color eyes does my mom have? I don’t know…she’s always looking down in her phone. Maybe if I call her I can ask her.

When someone says “he just wants attention,” about a child, they are right. So we should give it to him. His way of acting out or acting up is saying, “help me….I can’t settle myself on my own right now.”

Kids don’t know our stresses, nor should they, but they still have their own that will stress them out in the same way. We are their stress-reducers. Teaching them that a calm adult is always close by will give them more reasons to be calm when they aren’t close.

So what do we need in order to nurture ourselves? Slow down. Quiet the noise. Go where there’s no distractions (we all need a break even from our kids sometimes). Every time I get myself to the beach, no matter how often I go, I ask myself while I’m there why I don’t go more often. It is always so calming and rejuvenating. Making sure that we have that place to go, wherever it is, is a priority. It’s an escape. You know how men have “mancaves?” My sister recently came up with a "womancave" of her own, the first I'd ever heard of. Make sure you have a “womancave” somewhere, and use it often.

Reading over this post, it's kind of gloomy. I think it’s because I had one of those moments yesterday with my daughter at breakfast, and I can’t take it back. Hopefully writing about it will bring me out of my phone-fog quicker the next time it happens. 🙂

So how are you going to nurture yourself starting today, during today? What's going to make you feel good? Do that. I'm going to go take my shower finally, and then spend the afternoon with my girlie. <3

Make Better Choices Today 2016 ~               xo Katherine

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.

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
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for making memories last
Read the highlights of Blogs "A" thru "M"

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Lost in Thoughts Adult Coloring Book An Adult Coloring Book that interviews you with each illustration.
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“A” through “M” of Better Choices

                                                                                                   I've written a blog for each letter of the alphabet up to "M" so far about evolving your life into a more creative, focused and fun way of living. And honestly, I don't put all of the suggestions to use every day, but the ones that I have consistently put to use have given me a better outlook, more satisfaction from what I can do in a day and have improved my habits. Read over my brief summaries of each blog here, and see which ones you can gain from.

A – M Highlights of the ABC Blog Series of #BetterChoices2016

A is for Accepting our existence which equals owning our burdens but not staying focused on the derailment that they cause us. Focus on and create positives in your life to offset the negative; start a hobby, call a good friend, plan something unexpected, begin a new tradition.

B is for Be You: Throw away worry (it's only your imagination, after all) so that you can stop squashing the positive thoughts waiting to happen.

C is for Create: We were created to create. The baby won’t go to sleep? Someone created the baby swing. Stuff too heavy to carry? The wheel, wheel-barrows and strollers were invented. It rains? Someone created the umbrella. Problems were fixed because one person chose to go one step further beyond being annoyed. They created a better way.

D is for Do: “Doing” leads to discovery.  We’ve mastered so many things in our life, but continuing to master new things leads us towards a constant renewal and far away from boredom and monotony.

E is for Eat/Exercise: We have something in common with SpongeBob Square Pants besides three names. We are sponges. Our body and organs absorb toxins from food and the environment. When we do strenuous activities like exercise and yoga, the movements squish those toxins out. (Rinse with waterwaterwater.) Exercise every day to keep your body and blood circulating. As for eating? Pretend that you are what you eat, because you are. Be green, strong, healthy and toxin-free.

F is for Free to Choose: The way your day will go is based on what choices you make as it progresses. Even if you are having the kind of day that you’d much rather be doing something else, but can’t, you get to choose the way you will experience it. You don’t have to wait and see how it will end, or let it end the same way that it always does. You're allowed to change it.

G is for Grit: An oyster can’t spit out his gritty grain of sand, which is really good news because it will eventually turn into a pearl. Don’t spit out your own grit. Begin the long process of turning it into something more beautiful than what it began as. Recognize the beauty that it adds to your life, not just the interruption that it makes.

H is for Higher: Don’t get stuck on the same step as your challenges. Go higher than the challenge to see what else is there waiting for you while you deal with it.
 
I is for Intelligence Preservation: Being open to new experiences has been proven to preserve fluid intelligence. Do things differently than how you’ve always done them. Keeping rejuvenation a part of our being is good for us.

J is for Just Dance: “Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.” -G. K. Chesterton   
Don’t take yourself or life too seriously. Use laughter as medicine. Increase dosage as needed.

K is for Kick the Crap to the Curb: Keep a Promise Journal. Each morning, write down what promises you are making to yourself that day that will keep you far away from “crap-traps” like the wrong food and bad habits.

L is for Look for the Lesson: When you are having a conversation with yourself about whatever mess or challenge you are dealing with, stop and ask yourself, “what is the lesson I’m supposed to learn here.” There’s always a lesson and there’s always a silver lining.

M is for Make Memories Last: Create a Memory jar (Memory Jar Guide here) or document special moments by writing one sentence down at the end of every day about it and the date that it happened. When the end of the year comes, you can read and relive each moment.

When you wake up each day, remind yourself of the great day ahead and plan how you will make it great. Ask yourself early in the day what it is that will make the day great, and go do it. 

See you next time with "N." Right now it stands for Not sure what it will be about, but that's just me. If you want to read the previous blogs in full, they are below. And please share me with others if you think they could use a jumpstart to creating a life they love. 

Make Better Choices Today 2016 ~               xo Katherine

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.

Find previous ABC Blogs here.

  

“M” is for Eight (8) Ways to Make Memories Last

"M" is for Eight (8) Ways to Make Memories Last

Memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, and the things you never want to lose.  -Kevin Arnold

 
Laundry is boring, but I do it over and over again. Most of the time you can find me doing it on the weekends with earphones on and my favorite music playing in my head. When I’m old and gray, I will probably look back on the memory of laundry, not as dull and monotonous, but as entertaining because of my music. I think making memories last will come easier if we tie fun into them.
 
I didn’t take anywhere near enough photos of my kids as they grew. I took many shots of my son while living special moments with him. With my daughter, I wanted to suck them up in a different way, by just being and watching instead of jumping up and getting my camera each time she did something that I wanted to remember. Then came phones with cameras. Now I take candid photos often and store them away for a glimpse any time I want. They are always there staring back at me and reminding me of the moments.
 
As time passes, things become less important, and memories become more vital and endearing.

Here are eight (8) ways to make them last:

  1.  Journal. I say this often for lots of reasons in many of my blogs. Journaling brings you closer to feeling the memories, reliving them, and embedding them further into memory. Even if you don’t like to write, (even I don’t like to take the time needed to journal daily), write a paragraph or two every couple of days of special things that happened. Writing them down stores them so that you can go back to them again and again. 

 

  1. Document. If journaling isn’t for you, have a notebook at your bedside and write one sentence at the end of each day documenting your favorite moment of the day. They may not be dramatic or exciting moments, but to sift through your day for “good” things is a healthy practice before bed and a double benefit to store it away to be remembered again.

 
 

  1. Photos: Whenever my family and I have a get-together or outings, we are so engaged in each other that we often forget to take photos. Such a waste! Take photos, even just a few. If you are tired of the same posing, boring, say-cheese shots, make it interesting. At our last dinner out with my sisters, I took a picture of my birthday sister through my wine glass. Double loves; wine and my sis together in one.

 

  1. Photo Story. I have a super young-at-heart aunt who is dealing with dementia, but we still get visits from her and my uncle once a year, but less and less because trips are becoming more difficult for her. During one of her last visits, I took her to the botanical gardens and used my phone to take countless photos of her genuine smile and silly poses that she is famous for. We went right to the drugstore afterwards to develop and print out our photos so that I could share them with my uncle, remember the day, and so that she’d have a souvenir of a day she might not remember. It was a special day for me to have her all to myself and enjoy her humor and wit that she never loses, even after losing some of her memory.

 
 

  1. Memory jar. Even if you don’t do this every single day, keep the jar out for all to see and be reminded of with a pen and plenty of pretty slips of paper to write on. Encourage everyone to add to this jar regularly, including guests when they visit. When the end of the year comes, you get to relive each moment together by reading them out loud.

 

  1. Talk about special moments. Even if you don’t write them down, discuss the best part of your day with family (vs. the failures, the bumps, the problems) to remember them longer. Reiterating them and talking about them will embed them into memory better than not discussing them at all.

 
 

  1. This one’s hard for me. I really love to shop. Retail therapy really does work for me, but I’ve found creating experiences is a better choice and place for my money. I may or may not remember the excitement of finding a great bargain, but doing something fun either by myself or with family and friends is the memory I will keep longer.

 

  1. A road trip, even if it’s just to the next town for the day. Think of a place that you have wanted to see, or haven’t seen for a while and just go. Take lots of photos. Start a road trip journal (there’s that word journal again).

 
Do more of the things that you love, and keep doing them. For me, that doesn’t include laundry, but the music is what I love. Jot down (in your journal, if you must) things that you love to do. Start checking them off one week at a time. Make sure that you plan a life of creating memories for your heart.

Make Better Choices Today 2016 ~               xo Katherine

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.

Find previous ABC Blogs here.

“L” is for Look for the Lesson

"L" is for Look for the Lesson - In anything and everything

PosterLlessons

I'm almost half way through the alphabet already. I'm going to miss doing the ABC Blog Series when I hit Z. And yes, I have an idea for Z already, but I'm not anxious to get there.

Meanwhile, "L" is for look for the lesson, or for lemonade made from lemons, or for Life Lessons, because lessons are what life is made up of – served one right after another.

Lessons never lessen.

I came across another saying the other day and it said,
 

Fall down seven times - get up eight.

 

I wish it was that easy. Some things can really knock you down. But sometimes staying down is the best answer because you have to send your roots further into the ground first before your next bloom happens. I’m couch bound when I’m down. When I was younger, I’d clean my house with the force of a cyclone, but not anymore. Now I just rest and bleed and whimper until I’m finished resting and bleeding and whimpering.
So what else do we do when we’re down? We talk to ourselves in our head, incessantly. We can’t believe we are dealing with this stuff in our life, or we want it to just go away, or we feel sorry for ourselves. But what we say to ourselves while we are down is what’s going to direct us upwards so that we’ll bloom, or it could be what keeps us down in the dirt longer, all depending on how we talk to ourselves. Literally, good conversation should be happening in our heads as if between two people - two very close, supportive friends.

 

When you hit those lessons, how would you tell a good friend to get through them? When we don’t focus on the crappy happenstance of it all and instead concentrate on the hidden lesson, we will recognize the lesson quicker and then move through the happenstance quicker, too.
I’m all for having the “life sucks” conversation first, to get it out of our system, but when the dust settles and you can’t cry/complain/moan one more minute, that’s when you start the conversation with your “good friend.” Ask her what she would do in your shoes. Ask her why she thinks you have to deal with the mess. And ask her what silver lining could there possibly be in it. And she’ll answer every single one of your questions intelligently and with compassion. Because she’s been there, too.

Make Better Choices Today 2016 ~               xo Katherine

When you're feeling low on energy or under the weather, I have a Mushroom Soup recipe that is perfect and simple, here.

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.
Find previous ABC Blogs here.