The end of each year can bring a lot of stress of what is to come. What are my resolutions? What do I want to accomplish? What are my goals? While resolutions are a great practice and something that the whole world seems to be on track with at the moment, what about taking time to reflect on what we are grateful for? What about taking the time to notice what went right this year? All too often we focus on the future with little time for the all-important reflective revelations.
This year, let's try something new. Instead of frantically trying to make the deadline of goal setting, let's put that aside so that we can relax, take a deep breath and reflect through the entire year. What went right? What breakthroughs did you have? How many small and large challenges did you overcome? What things made you smile? What things opened your heart? How many people did you positively affect? How many people positively affected you? How many projects did you accomplish? What compliments did you receive? What things did you learn? What small or big changes did you make in your health? What things did you do to make your spouse happy? How many times did your kids make you laugh? How many times did you make your kids laugh? In what ways did you inspire a stranger? How many love letters did you write? How many love letters did you receive?
This year, instead of ending your year by starting a new one, how about giving yourself time to bring this year to a proper close so that it doesn't seem as if there is no end in sight. With positive reflection and repose, we can breathe again, we can see clearer, and we can feel that grounded sense of accomplishment. This is so necessary to excite us forward in life and is essential for your foundation of whole health.
"I am grateful for..." Reflections Exercise:
Set aside some quiet time for you (at least an hour) preferably when and where you won't be interrupted. You will need a notebook (or paper) and a writing instrument. Before you begin, close your eyes, clearing your mind of all current thoughts and just take 5 deep relaxing breaths. Make your 100's List of things that you were grateful for this entire 2010 year. There is no right or wrong way to do this exercise. You can purely list words, or expand on it if you feel the urge. The only criteria is to make sure you have your 100! This exercise will help lead you into the new year with a sense of accomplishment and a positive outlook.
go to this craft on marthastewart.com
i'm a total martha stewart fan! when it comes to all things bright and beautiful she goes the whole nine yards! the care and attention to the little things that mean the most are just the way it should be...especially during the holidays. here is a great no-knit simple craft that is so darling for a child or even your sister or best girlfriend! you can choose from so many organic yarns or even bamboo ones and see where your homespun creativity takes you! even if it seems like homemade gifts take more time, you'll be surprised at how much more productive making them actually can be! in the process, you can share some time with friends and loved ones - even get your kids involved! - get some relaxation in as crafting can be very therapeutic and great for your mind ~ body ~ heart connection and it just makes you feel good...naturally. there are a ton of beautifully bright, simple ideas out there and the best part, is that homemade gifts are made by your two hands and your heart! share your homemade gift ideas below! the simplest thing to you may be the most wonderful gift to another!
here are some great sites i found for yarn while writing this entry:
feel free to also share your resource below!
This was so delicious I just had to share. Just coming off of my Master Cleanse fasting and this was a great way to introduce good wholesome food back into my system. Nutritious, wholesome, simple and great for the cold months! I'm no Top Chef so forgive my simpleton language and techniques when I cook. I'm not complicated and don't really have time to be. If you don't understand what I'm saying just leave a comment and I'll get back to you with further explanation. I don't know about you but if it's simple, I'm more likely to make it!
Ingredients: This was made with all organic ingredients.
1/2 Daikon - sliced thinly. cut the leaves and stems and use that too!
1 Baby Bok Choy - sliced.
3 Carrots - sliced into circles.
2 Celery stalks - sliced.
1/2 Zucchini - sliced into circles.
1 Round Onion - diced medium
Shiitake Mushrooms - as much as you want
1/3 Cup Barley - Washed and pre-soaked (I soaked for 4 hours)
Dulse & Wakame Flakes - I did not use too much. This can be added in or used as a condiment.
1/3 Cup Raw Peanuts
1 Tsp Chili & Garlic Paste
2 Tbsp Basil - You can also use basil leaves - about 4 or whatever you want. I love basil!
Natural (unrefined) Sea Salt to taste - I used sea salt that my sister gave me from a salt pond in Kauai. So Yum!
Nama Shoyu - I use this as a condiment so I add it to my own bowl of soup.
Fresh Grated Ginger Root - Also as a condiment as above.
Fresh Lemon Juice - Also as a condiment as above.
Buckwheat Soba Noodles - Cook this separately and set aside.
Put it all into a large pot and add water so that it covers your ingredients. You can always add more water as it cooks. (I did that) Cook on high until it heats up and then lower to medium or medium low. Cover and check now and then to make sure you have enough water. You'll know when it is ready when the veggies are all cooked and the barley is puffed. Get out your bowl, and put some soba noodles in there, grate your ginger, add some nama shoyu and lemon juice and put the soup over it for a savory and yummy meal. Great also for when you are not feeling well - especially for your sinus health!
See photos below of the finished product and other goodies/tips.
The holidays can be a time of stress - being Overworked, Overspent and Overtired! We are constantly bombarded and pulled in every which way to fulfill obligations and wish lists more to keep the status quo rather than to bring back the meaning to what this time of year really could be.
In the "old days", autumn was a time for reflection and respite. If you observe nature, animals naturally prepare for hibernation and rest through autumn and winter. The leaves turn and fall and seeds rest below the surface of the snow. It is natural for our mind, body and spirit to want to cozy up and relax and to take stock of the year and the future. Instead, everything in our environment is pulling us to make the holidays bigger, better and brighter than ever! We must outdo ourselves each and every year or at least keep it up so we don't disappoint! It is easy to get caught up in it all and it is not so easy to take notice of what we are doing and choose those things that are meaningful and serve us. Everyone is doing the "O, O, O!" dance but whatever happened to the good 'ol "Ho, Ho, Ho!" in our lives? That being the "Happy, Healthy and wHoleness" in our lives?
This month's challenge is to put a little Ho, Ho, Ho! back into your life. Even if it is just to incorporate one or a few small things. Here are some suggestions:
1. Quiet, reflection time for myself.
2. Start a dream journal.
3. Make time for a brisk walk.
4. Make a simple, healthy, nutritious meal at least one day a week. (make enough for leftovers!)
5. Plan simple, meaningful gifts for loved ones.
Post a comment and let me know what you chose to do. You will be surprised at how the simplest little pivot in your day can restore happiness, health and wholesomeness into your life!